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Sunlight

The facade incorporates fabric discs containing shape-memory wires (Image: Bára Finnsdotti...

Office buildings with plate glass windows may provide a nice view for workers, but they're certainly not ideal when it comes to energy-efficiency. Among other things, the sunlight that pours through them can raise the temperature in the office, causing the air conditioning to come on. Now, however, researchers from Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology have created a light-blocking facade for such windows that only kicks in when exposed to strong sunlight – and it's powered by that sunlight, too.  Read More

Panasonic is using UV light and photocatalysts to purify water

Drinking clean water is something that many people in the world can't take for granted, as they rely on polluted sources and often have no access to purification systems. In response to that problem, Panasonic is developing a new technology that looks to the sun to clean water extracted from the ground. The company recently presented a system that uses sunlight and photocatalysts to purify polluted water at a high reaction rate, to improve access to clean water where it's needed.  Read More

The 'tanning bed for mice' used in the research

Excessive exposure to sunlight is the leading cause of skin deterioration, causing it to age prematurely. We need some exposure, however, in order to synthesize vitamin D – plus who wants to stay in the shade all the time? Using a good sunscreen definitely helps, although scientists from the University of British Columbia are taking things a step farther – they're developing a drug that could ultimately prevent the sunlight-related aging of skin.  Read More

Sunn Light has already surpassed its Kickstarter goal of US$50,000

No device can really replace the feeling of being outside in the sunshine, but a good smart light could perhaps make spending time indoors more pleasant. Sunn Light is a smart and powerful LED light that changes its level of brightness automatically throughout the day to mimic the natural rhythm of the sun in your exact area.  Read More

The Light Bandit captures sunlight and allows you to use it in your home

In order to get sunlight into the home, one has to simply open the curtains, but what about parts of a room that aren't near a window? Light Bandit captures the sunlight from a window and allows you to use that light on the other side of a room.  Read More

The Stanford material cools buildings by both reflecting sunlight and radiating interior h...

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

The Lowline is an underground park planned for New York (Image: Raad Studio)

Squeezing public spaces into cities that are increasingly built-up gets ever more difficult. One unusual solution is to build such spaces underground. That's the plan for New York's planned Lowline park, which will see an old trolley terminal renovated and illuminated with sunlight via fiberoptics.  Read More

Artist's impression of the Rosetta spacecraft (Image: ESA - J. Huart)

As Philae begins its long sleep, bedded down on the surface of comet 67P/Churymov–Gerasimenko (67P), mankind's attention shifts back to the Rosetta spacecraft as she begins the next phase of her audacious mission. Over the course of the next year, Rosetta will become the first spacecraft to orbit and observe a comet as it approaches the Sun, allowing the already phenomenally successful mission to detail the evolving characteristics of 67P as the heat from our star causes a dramatic rise in activity.  Read More

Jupiter's Great Red Spot may be caused by the sun and not some internal phenomenon as prev...

The Great Red Spot is the distinguishing feature that makes Jupiter one of the most easily recognizable planets in our solar system. Until recently, it was widely believed that this blemish was formed as a result of reddish-colored chemicals rising up from within the planet itself. However, using information obtained by analysis of data from the Cassini fly-by mission of Jupiter, researchers working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have discerned that the planet's Great Red Spot may have more to do with the external action of the sun than some internal mechanism.  Read More

A look across the Hangar-7 museum (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

Gizmag recently took the opportunity to tour the Hangar-7 Museum in Red Bull's hometown of Salzburg, Austria. With an underlying theme of speed and adrenaline, the stylish, hangar-inspired gallery serves up an ever-changing collection of air and land race hardware. Step inside for a virtual tour of intriguing architecture and high-performance machinery.  Read More

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