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Radiation

That the Universe is largely composed of a cosmic web consisting of narrow filaments upon which galaxies and intergalactic gas and dust are concentrated has been known for more than a decade. While a great deal of evidence for this has accumulated, visual evidence has been difficult to find. Astronomers have now photographed what appears to be a segment of a cosmic filament stimulated into fluorescence by irradiation from a nearby quasar. Read More
Orbital Sciences Corporation today successfully launched the first of eight Cygnus cargo supply missions to the International Space Station (ISS). Orbital's Antares medium-lift rocket (originally called the Taurus II) carried the Cygnus into an initial orbit of 135 x 175 miles (220 x 280 km), inclined at 51.6 degrees relative to the equator. The Cygnus is flying solo now, with full communications and deployed solar arrays, carrying roughly 2,800 lb (1,300 kg) of cargo toward a January 12 rendezvous and docking with the ISS. Read More
Nickolay Lamm is a self-identified artist and researcher, who is making a career of transforming ordinary images into extraordinary visual displays of quantitative information, to borrow from Ed Tufte. We take a look at his transformation of New York, Chicago, Hollywood, and Washington D.C. through converting cellular network transmissions into visual overlays. Read More
The chances of life having once existed on Mars got a boost this week alongside good news for astronauts on any future expeditions to the Red Planet. Six papers from Curiosity team members presented to the autumn meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco revealed that they had directly dated their first Martian rock, gave details of an ancient lake where life may once of existed, and found new evidence about the radiation hazards that explorers and colonists may one day face. Read More
Access to rare fossils is limited, potentially putting a go-slow on their study, while sharing them around increases the risk of damaging them. Researchers at Berlin's Charité Campus Mitte have combined data from computed tomography (CT) scans with 3D printing technology to make it possible to print any number of accurate 3D reproductions of fossilized bones, without any adverse effect on the originals. Read More
A group of researchers at NIST working with engineers from Colorado-based Scientech has developed a new approach to measuring laser power using a mirror and a scale. This method, which measures the force on the mirror driven by the radiation pressure of the laser light, presents a more rugged and more portable solution than current meters. Read More
Using data from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole, scientists have reported progress in understanding the longstanding mystery of how and where cosmic rays originate, in a development that might help us find ways to shield astronauts and electronics from cosmic radiation. Read More
There are few things more embarrassing than being caught in an all-out thermonuclear war and realizing that you've forgotten your Geiger counter. To prevent this social faux pas, MTM has released its Special Ops RAD watch. Available in black or silver (gray has already sold out) titanium cases, the RAD watch includes an integrated Geiger-Müller tube for measuring exposure to harmful ionizing radiation. Read More
The Tokyo Electric Power Company's decommissioned Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, is still under investigation. Progress has been slow due to lethal radiation preventing workers from accessing the site, and a lack of industrial robots ready to tackle the job. Now Honda and Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) have unveiled a High-Access Survey robot that began work inside the reactor building last week. Read More
Shortly after the discovery of the neutron in 1932, some scientists recognized the potential of boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) as a cancer treatment. But despite decades of research, the problem of finding a delivery agent that would more effectively target the tumor without harming surrounding tissue persisted. Researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) may finally have found a solution. Read More
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