Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Infrared

Artist's Impression of Cassini passing near Titan (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Data collected from observations recorded by NASA's Cassini mission has been used to propose ways to better understand the atmospheres of exoplanets. By studying the light of sunsets on Saturn’s satellite, Titan, scientists have shown how spectra are subtly altered when passing through a hazy atmosphere, thereby giving a greater insight into interpreting the spectral readings of the atmosphere of these distant worlds.  Read More

The giant exoplanet GU Psc b has an orbital period of 80,000 years (Image: Lucas Granito/G...

Using an infrared camera, astronomers at the University of Montreal have discovered and directly imaged GU Psc b, a planet with a mass 10 times greater than Jupiter's and orbiting its star at 2,000 times the distance between Earth and our sun. This very rare find will encourage scientists to start looking for exoplanets in places where, thus far, they hadn't even thought to look.  Read More

Tado Cooling is a WiFi-enabled unit that turns any air conditioning unit controlled via IR...

As internet-connected appliances continue to make their way into the modern home, you'd probably think that cooling your house with a smart air conditioner would involve going out and buying a new one. German company Tado is looking to bring your existing unit up to speed with its Tado Cooling system, a Wi-Fi-enabled device that turns any old air conditioner operated by infrared remote control into a smart device.  Read More

The new chips could make thermal imagers standard issue for soldiers and police officers

Technological advances aren't just about making new devices. Many times it's more a matter of taking an existing device and improving on it. A case in point is Raytheon’s work on a new thermal imaging chip that the company says will find so many applications due to it being so small and cheap, that it may make the humble flashlight obsolete.  Read More

The MightyRC channels infrared signals from different household appliances and transmits t...

Having already replaced standalone cameras for many people, the smartphone also has the humble remote control in its sights. MightyRC is the latest in a line of products looking to reduce remote control clutter in the environment where they have multiplied the most over the years – the living room. It allows all appliances compatible with infrared remotes to be controlled via a single app on a smartphone or tablet.  Read More

Composite image of the Flame Nebula, comprised of infrared and x-ray images (Image: NASA/C...

Recent data captured by NASA's Chandra Observatory and Spitzer Space Telescope has cast doubt on the basic model that accounts for the creation of star clusters. The data, collected from studies of NGC 2024, located in the Flame Nebula and the Orion Nebula Cluster, will require scientists to think up an entirely new approach as to how these celestial bodies come into creation.  Read More

The Zhong group from U-M responsible for pioneering a new graphene-based photodetector (Ph...

Thermal imaging has already found its way onto smartphones, but a team of researchers from the University of Michigan (U-M) have gone even further with the creation of an ultrathin graphene-based light detector. Being only slightly thicker than two sheets of graphene, the approach has the potential to put infrared heat detecting technology into a contact lens.  Read More

OCHO Pad connects objects to people

Wireless technology and mobile gadgets have made it easier for us to track and control our personal belongings. One of the latest technologies being developed for this market connects not only objects, but also the people who use them. OCHO Pad is a wired-up tray that uses NFC or infrared technology not only to identify keys, wallets, or phones, but also to mediate communication between members of a household.  Read More

The 20-gigapixel panorama is compiled from more than 2 million individual snaps (Image: NA...

Images from the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope have been used to create a staggering 20-gigapixel panorama, encompassing more than half of the galaxy’s stars. The vista was created from more than a decade’s worth of infrared images, and will be used to help further our understanding of the structure and formation of stars in the Milky Way.  Read More

Harvard physicists Federico Capasso (left) and Steven J. Byrnes (right) are part of a team...

Could it one day be possible to generate electricity from the loss of heat from Earth to outer space? A group of Harvard engineers believe so and have theorized something of a reverse photovoltaic cell to do just this. The key is using the flow of energy away from our planet to generate voltage, rather than using incoming energy as in existing solar technologies.  Read More

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