SOLAR CLEANING CLOTHES: University of California chemists may have found a way to avoid washing their clothes. They incorporated a compound called 2-AQC into cotton fabrics. They found that when the fabric was exposed to light it released hydrogen peroxide that kills bacteria and breaks down toxins. Imagine this in your sportswear. CNET has more.
STREAMLINED ELECTRICS: Brigham Young University students set a land speed record with an electric car they designed and built. The car reached 281 Kph. The streamliner style car was built from carbon fibre and used lithium iron phosphate batteries. An electrifying run. Brigham Young University has more. Click here for the video.
SPACE CAMPING: If astronauts are to explore beyond Earth they'll need a home to live in. NASA's Habitat Demonstration Unit has been tested out in the Arizona desert with crews making overnight stays. The prototype housing unit has a hard shell cylinder with 4 rooms, outside modules to deal with dust and hygiene, and an inflatable area with sleeping quarters and a lounge. A space version of a pop-top caravan, in other words. Technology Review details.
GET OUT THE SPF 1,300: The European Space Agency are planning a mission to the Sun. Their Solar Orbiter will fly close to the Sun to study plasma, magnetic fields and particles in the near-Sun heliosphere. The craft will be close enough that the sunlight will be 13 times stronger than on Earth. It will also be the first satellite to provide close-up views of the Sun's polar regions. Launch is planned for 2017 from Cape Canaveral using one of NASA's Atlas launch vehicles and the trip to the Sun will take 3 years. Sounds like a nice spot in the sun. European Space Agency explains. Solar Orbiter details the mission.
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MIRAGE CLOAK: When light bends we see things that aren't where they appear to be. Or we don't see things we think we're looking at. For example, on a hot day a road may appear to have a puddle of water on it. Researchers have found that transparent sheets of carbon nanotubes can create similar mirages when rapidly heated. In their demonstration of an underwater setup the nanotubes seemed to disappear completely when heated. It's a kind of smoke and mirrors effect, only without smoke and without mirrors. Go to Science News for more info. Video here.
Miraz Jordan, knowit.co.nz