Springtime on Mars means the thaw of carbon dioxide ice in the northern hemisphere. And when the dry ice goes, the party's over for any trapped debris that then goes tumbling down Martian cliffs in spectacular images such as this.
Human skin is apparently a very energy-efficient conduit for transmitting data. A recent experiment achieved a rate of 10 megabits per second, which may put my Internet connection to shame. The experiment used small, flexible electrodes and took place at Korea University in Seoul, New Scientist reports.
Solar storms could wreak havoc on satellites and power grids, and so scientists have humbly turned to netizens across the world to help watch our sun for possible signs of such storms. Anyone who can spare some time from YouTube and Facebook also gets to peer at nifty 3-D images of the sun, according to BBC.
Piezoelectric materials that create energy when flexed might go beyond recharging our smart phones and help make hydrogen fuel. Scientists have harnessed piezoelectric energy from nanocrystal fibers to split water into oxygen and hydrogen gas.
"This is a new phenomenon, converting mechanical energy directly to chemical energy," said Huifang Xu, a geologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He and his colleagues have dubbed it the piezoelectrochemical (PZEC) effect.
Tiny manufacturing flaws on the atomic level might cause most companies to throw up their hands, but MIT-spinoff Verayo saw them as the key to creating the perfect anti-counterfeiting tags for everything from Walmart DVD shipments to futuristic passports. The company's radio frequency identification (RFID) tags rely upon no two chip being exactly alike on the atomic level, Technology Review reports.
Here's one genius computer program you might consider pushing virally for science's sake. The "Quake Catchers" program aims to make earthquake detection a lot easier and cheaper by taking advantage of accelerometers built into MacBooks and other newer laptops, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Our solar system's 'hood may get a bit rougher sometime during the next 1.5 million years. An astronomer has given an 86 percent chance for a neighboring star to smash into the frozen Oort Cloud surrounding the outskirts of the solar system, and may scatter some comets toward Earth, Technology Review reports.
Perhaps it's time for Space Ghost to hand over his moniker to the International Space Station (ISS). The orbital outpost makes for an eerie blue shadow in this image taken by a German radar satellite, SPACE.com reports.
The snapshot was taken by Germany's TerraSAR-X satellite on March 13, 2008. But the German space agency only released the startling view of the then-incomplete space station this month.
Nintendo's Mario has long been beloved by geeks and scientists everywhere, as evidenced by a fluorescent bacterial version (seizure warning!) and a Mario "multiverse" that acts as a better guide to parallel universes than "Lost." Now a Carnegie Mellon University student has concocted a playable pixel tribute on an 8x8 LED matrix.
Flying cars may seem to keep receding into that deliciously-imagined future, but this, one of the earliest prototypes, hails from 1934. It is now slated to go up on the auction block in Atlanta this coming weekend, according to Wired's Autopia.
Rainbow trout with six-pack abs and burly shoulders have emerged from a University of Rhode Island laboratory, and could someday find their way to humans' dinner tables. That's assuming diners don't panic at the sight of the muscular ichthyoid awaiting their knives and forks.
DARPA envisions a future in which U.S. Special Forces or spooks have to assault underground bases. And the Pentagon agency wants to give those warriors an underground navigation system that works on lightning bolts, The Register reports.
China's new moon rocket design is in the class of the old Saturn V that once launched U.S. Apollo astronauts to the moon. The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology says that the proposed rocket would have a thrust of 3,000 metric tons, just shy of the 3,470 metric tons of thrust generated by the Saturn V's first stage, Aviation Week reports.
Fluid buildup or bleeding in the heads of preemies can damage the developing brain or even prove fatal, but draining the cerebrospinal fluids through needles has not noticeably improved the health of such babies. Now a clinical study offers hope through a new technique that "washes" the baby brain with fresh fluid.
Readers feeling jittery on their second or third cuppa might giggle at the concept of the Carpuccino, but few car owners will. The wacky UK invention comes in the form of a converted 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco that downs about 56 espressos per mile, the Daily Mail reports. That should only cost about 25 to 50 times the cost of running a car on gas.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.