NASA engineers working on the James Webb Space Telescope are doing a lot of things from scratch — they’ve had to design new mirrors and a foldy space cocoon, for instance — but their newest work may take the cake: To survive the coldest reaches of space, they invented a brand-new composite material. They nicknamed it unobtanium.
It's neat that you can see your house from space, thanks to Google and Bing maps, but cluttered images of rooftops and streets don't give you much besides street directions. A Belgian project aims to change that by adding infrared imagery, allowing Antwerp homeowners to check their homes' insulation capabilities.
The thermal map shown above was generated from an aircraft flying low over Antwerp and surrounding areas, on four cold nights in March 2009. The map indicates heat loss from the rooftops, according to the infrared map project.
Infrared images of Jupiter and the galaxy M82 are the first pictures from NASA’s flying telescope, which took to the skies late last week.
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, is a modified Boeing 747 jet with a hole in its side to make room for a diameter reflecting telescope 100 inches in diameter. The May 26 flight lasted six hours and reached 35,000 feet.
What we regularly refer to as "night vision goggles" are actually less like goggles and more like heavy, bulky (and outrageously expensive) pieces of machinery. But DARPA funded research at the U. of Florida has adapted technology regularly found in flat-screen OLED televisions to create a thin film that turns any infrared signal into visible light, which could integrate cheap night vision tech into car windshields, cell phone cameras and even regular eyeglasses.
An oil-free deep fryer, which its inventor hopes could hit the market later this year, could let health-conscious consumers have their donuts and eat them, too.
Call it an infrared-wave, radiant fryer, or miracle oven -- it makes french fries with half the fat, no engineered chemicals like Olestra, and the same crispy, oily goodness we all know and love.
Vacuum's emptiness doesn't just pose a problem for space travelers -- a vacuum lining is also one of the best known insulators on Earth, and may help keep those holiday drinks and soups warm in your thermos. Now scientists have found that layering photonic crystals within the vacuum lining can even prevent heat loss from invisible infrared radiation.
Have you ever been taking pictures of an entire country from space and thought, "you know what, this is ok, but I want to photograph the entire hemisphere at once,"? Well, with Raytheon's new 16-megapixel infrared sensor, you can.
Or, more precisely, the government can. Designed to work as part of a satellite, the sensor uses 4,096 pixel rows and columns to produce what the company calls, "an 'unblinking eye' over an entire hemisphere."
Herschel, the largest infrared space telescope yet flown, was launched a month ago by the ESA and was not expected to deliver images for another few weeks. It has, however, already produced images- in three colors- of M51, ‘the whirlpool galaxy,’ from a test observation run. The goal of the test was to get a large image and a sense of what Herschel will deliver in the future.
New motorcyclists are taught early not to out-drive their headlamps. Now, night riders (of the non-Hasselhoff variety) may soon owe Kawasaki a debt of gratitude for improving their safety after dark. The Japanese bike builder is reportedly fast-tracking new infrared night-vision technology to use on production motorcycles.
Using an infrared filter blocks visible light, yielding a trippy effect.
Infrared photography, which blocks visible light and captures only the IR spectrum to produce strange, beautiful images like the one above, has been around for more than a century. But it's become more popular recently, since now anyone with a point-and-shoot camera can easily take these unusual shots. Not all subjects are suitable—some objects reflect part of the infrared spectrum, making them appear white and almost ghostly, so you won't want to shoot, say, candid family shots. When done right, however, IR can work wonders. Formal portraits, for example, gain a delicate touch. Because IR softens the image, your subject's skin will be imbued with a smooth glow that effectively hides blemishes and wrinkles. Landscapes, too, take on an ethereal look.