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Infrared


— Environment

High-tech camera allows us to see invisible methane gas

Although methane is one of the most potent of the greenhouses gases, scientists still aren't entirely clear on all of its ground-based sources. That's why researchers from Sweden's Linköping and Stockholm universities have created a camera that's capable of imaging methane in real time. They say that it could find use in monitoring sources such as sludge deposits, combustion processes, farms and lakes.

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— Space

ESO's VISTA telescope spies hidden Milky Way component

An international team of astronomers has discovered a previously unknown component of the Milky Way – a thin disk of variable stars hidden in the galactic bulge. The observations, made using the ESO's Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) telescope conflict with current theories regarding the composition of the center of our galaxy.

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— Electronics

DIY mouse trap sends photo alert when critter is caught

Humane mouse traps come in all shapes and sizes, but the aim of the game is the same – catch the pesky rodents that are munching through your breakfast cereal and evict them from the premises. For the most part, electronics don't feature. The RaspiTrap from tinkerer Alain Mauer is a little different. With the help of a slice of Raspberry Pi, a splash of IR sensor flavoring and some Wi-Fi magic, it sends a photo notification when the door closes behind a new prisoner.

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— Good Thinking

Density sensor lets you avoid the rush at your favorite haunts

If you've ever been on your sofa and wondered how long you might have to queue for a bike at the gym or how long the wait is for a table at your favorite restaurant, then the Density sensor could provide the answer. Designed to be attached to the entrance of a premises, the sensor captures people's comings and goings to provide real-time and historical data about the volume of traffic passing through.

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— Space

Herschel images present a stunning insight into the distribution of matter in our galaxy

Three stunning new images from ESA's Herschel Space Observatory are providing new insights into how matter is distributed in our galaxy. Observations made by the orbital telescope have led astronomers to conclude that our galaxy is threaded with filamentary structures similar to those featured in the newly-released images, the smallest of which stretches across 170 light years of space.

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— Electronics

New invention expands Wi-Fi bandwidth tenfold

The vast range of Wi-Fi-enabled devices available today means that anyone could have several personal electronic devices all trying to connect to a network simultaneously. Multiply this by many hundreds of people in a busy public place with Wi-Fi connectivity and this often means that available bandwidth is greatly reduced. To help address this problem, researchers at Oregon State University claim to have invented a new system called WiFO that incorporates infrared LEDs to boost the available Wi-Fi bandwidth by as much as ten times. Read More
— Materials

Squid-inspired stickers could make soldiers invisible to infrared cameras

We've already heard about two different studies in which scientists are developing camouflage systems inspired by squids' color-changing skin. If they're successful, the result could be military clothing that can change its coloration to match the environment. It's an intriguing idea, although it presumably still wouldn't allow soldiers to avoid detection by infrared cameras at night. Now, however, researchers from the University of California at Irvine are developed a stick-on covering that could let them do so. Read More
— Space Feature

Searching for the origins of life with the James Webb Space Telescope

Hubble has been a boon to deep space exploration, gifting us iconic pictures of the skies and revealing new insights into the history of the early universe. For the next big step in space astronomy, NASA, ESA and the Canadian Space Agency are raising the stakes even higher with one of their most ambitious projects in decades: building the largest space telescope ever ... the James Webb Space Telescope. Read More
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