Sunlight

  • As Philae begins its long sleep, mankind's attention shifts back to the Rosetta spacecraft as she begins the next phase of her 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.
  • 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.
  • Gizmag recently took the opportunity to tour the Hangar-7 Museum in Red Bull's hometown of Salzburg, Austria. Step inside for a virtual tour of intriguing architecture and high-performance machinery.
  • The boffins at architecture firm NBBJ have created the Sunbreak, an intelligent automated shade prototype that can be operated using a smartphone. It could potentially lower a building's running costs and make life more comfortable for those inside.
  • Science
    Working at MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, scientists claim to have created a sponge-like graphite-carbon material that helps convert water to steam using sunlight only one-hundredth as bright as that required by conventional steam-producing solar generators.
  • For residents living in the north, where sunlight can be a rare commodity during the winter, a psychological condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder is a very real problem. The CoeLux skylight aims to bring a realistic sunlight experience to those in the dark.
  • Science
    Scientists have recently experimented with a combination of biological and photonic quantum mechanical states to form a new half-light half-matter particle called the “polariton.” It could help realize fully synthetic systems that replicate biological photosynthesis.
  • Everyone knows that downtown alleyways are dark at night, but even in the daytime, shadows cast by the tall buildings on either side can make them quite gloomy. That's why researchers are developing a panel that diverts sunlight from buildings' roofs down into the alleyways beside them.
  • After the failure of two of its reaction wheels, the unmanned Kepler space telescope was incapable of maintaining the precision pointing needed to hunt exoplanets. Now, however, NASA’s Kepler team has demonstrated that the craft can still detect planets thanks the K2 mission concept maneuver.
  • Science
    Photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells can sustainably use sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, but the electrodes of most cells tend to corrode rapidly. Stanford researchers have deposited a 2 nanometer nickel layer on a PEC electrode that shows no corrosion after 80 hours operation.
  • A pair of researchers at the University of Cincinnati have developed the SmartLight system, which is designed to direct sunlight into dark, dingy rooms located within the bowels of buildings without requiring the installation of new wiring, ducts, tubes or cables.
  • For people living in those corners of the globe where electricity can be scarce, WeWi Telecommunications has developed the SOL, a rugged laptop that doesn't rely on a power socket to stay charged. The Ubuntu Linux-powered computer is instead equipped with a detachable solar panel.