more top stories »


— Space

Infrared imaging shows Trifid Nebula in a new light

The European Southern Observatory's (ESO) VISTA survey telescope has revealed a beautiful new aspect of the Trifid Nebula, a star formation area that sits around 5,200 light years away from Earth, in the direction of the galactic center. By observing and imaging the nebula in infrared light, astronomers can look through the dust-filled, central parts of the Milky Way to expose new objects. Read More
— Automotive

Continental's "infrared curtain" could add multi-touch functionality to cheap cars

Although touchscreen controls are appearing in the dashboards of an increasing number of vehicles, they're still not something that one generally associates with economy cars. That may be about to change, however, as Continental has announced an "infrared curtain" system that could allow for inexpensive multi-touch functionality in any automobile. Read More
— Space

ESA ATV tests new docking technology

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) Georges Lemaitre captured the International Space Station (ISS) in a new light in August, as it fired up a set of experimental sensors that may form the basis of the next generation of automated docking systems. Such tech will be vital for the increasingly-ambitious missions planned by NASA and its partners to explore the Red Planet and beyond. Read More
— Space

NASA releases stunning global maps of six of Saturn's moons

NASA has released global maps of six of the Saturnian moons. The system has been under the intense examination of the Cassini-Huygens mission for the past decade, and the completion of the global maps represents the end of one of the legendary spacecraft's key mission objectives. Almost all of the maps are whole, though there are currently parts of Iapetus unfinished, as well as a region of the north pole of Enceladus set to be filled in some time next year. Read More
— Environment

Mirror coating to cool buildings by pumping interior heat into space

Keeping buildings cool isn't easy. In fact, conventional air conditioning methods are very energy intensive and account for up to 15 percent of the energy used in buildings in the United States alone. However, engineers at Stanford University have come up with a new ultrathin, multilayered, nanophotonic material that not only reflects heat away from buildings, but also directs heat from inside out into space, cooling both the building and the planet as well. Read More
— Military

BAE proposes smart countermeasure system to protect US airborne forces

BAE Systems has submitted a proposal to the US Army’s Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) program. Once operational, BAE's system will safeguard rotary and light-fixed wing aircraft, increasing survivability against the threat posed by infrared missiles. CIRCM is designed to work alongside an infrared warning system and a flare dispenser – a commonly-used countermeasure that confuses a guided missile into seeking the heat from the flare rather than that emitted by the target aircraft. Read More
— Robotics

Murata's dancing robotic cheerleaders showcase advanced group control

The only thing better than state-of-the-art robotics is when it's combined with Force 9 cuteness. Japanese electronics company Murata Manufacturing has given us one example with the unveiling if its robotic Cheerleaders. The squad of ten ball-mounted robots uses advanced ultrasonics, infrared, and group control technology to perform synchronized dance routines with perfect stability. Read More