Remember ‘Oumuamua? It was the first known interstellar object detected that through the Solar System. Since it can’t be captured into a solar orbit, the object will eventually leave the Solar System and resume traveling through interstellar space. However, it will take the object roughly 20,000 years to travel the Solar System before leaving. Now, amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov has discovered a second interstellar object, called “C/2019 Q4”. Read more for a video and additional information.
Say goodbye to plastic / aluminum headphones, and hello to fungus. Design studio Aivan unveiled Korvaa, the world’s first headphones made from microbial-grown materials. The studio created two versions of the Korvaa headphones, with each consisting of six microbe-grown components with different properties: enzymatically produced, lignin-free cellulose; 3D-printed biodegradable microbial bioplastic PLA for the frame; a leather-like fungal mycelium for the soft foam inside the headset; biosynthetic spider silk for the mesh inside the earphone; and protein foam with plant cellulose. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
MIT engineers have created the blackest ever material, or to be more specific 10 times blacker than anything that has previously been reported. The yet to be named material is made from carbon nanotubes that were grown on the surface of aluminum foil. Why? The chlorine-etched aluminum foil captures more than 99.96% of any incoming light, making it the darkest on record. Read more for a video and additional information.
We’re still at least a decade away from commercial trips to the Moon’s orbit or even surface, but one startup company called Lifeship wants to give you a headstart, and it won’t break the bank. LifeShip founder Ben Haldeman is planning on sending human DNA to the Moon for just $99, or at least during the initial crowdfunding phase. Read more for a video about moon colonization and additional information.
Many already know that Vantablack, developed by Surrey NanoSystems in the United Kingdom, is the darkest substances known, absorbing up to 99.96% of visible light. We covered the BMW X6 that was covered in Vantablack a couple weeks ago, but now, this material has been put to the test against LiDAR at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Read more to see what happened.
Engineers know that creating robots that mimic nature is one of the hardest tasks possible, but a team at Imperial College London have just gotten one step closer. They created a flying fish that comes equipped with a small pump in its rear that takes in water from the environment and then combines it with calcium-carbide in a reaction chamber to produce combustible acetylene gas, thus pushing it out of the water as the gas ignites and expands. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are experimenting mixing cement, a key ingredient in concrete, outside of Earth’s gravity for the very first time to understand how it hardens under microgravity. When mixed with water, cement forms a crystallized micro-structure that binds everything together as it dries, and is well-suited to life on Mars. If the experiment is successful, this would mean future astronauts could simply make concrete by mixing cement with rocks and dust (or moon dust) on Mars. Read more for a video and additional information.
Despite being much larger than Earth with a radiation environment, an exoplanet called K2-18b had detected water vapor signatures detected for the first time in the atmosphere of a planet beyond our solar system that resides in a habitable zone. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope found water vapor in the atmosphere of K2-18b, an exoplanet orbiting a small red dwarf star about 110 light-years away in the constellation Leo. Once confirmed, this will be the first and only exoplanet known to have both water in its atmosphere as well as temperatures that could sustain liquid water on a rocky surface. Read more for a video and additional information.
The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft, along with its lander module Philae, was used to perform a detailed study of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P). On August 6, 2014, the spacecraft reached the comet and eventually started to orbit the comet. On September 30, 2016, the Rosetta spacecraft ended its mission by hard-landing on the comet in its Ma’at region. However, before that time, it captured over 400,000 images. Read more to see the amazing video put together by Christian.
Researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have developed a solution that allows them to 3D-print blood vessels on living tissues, and it’s called the SWIFT (Sacrificial Writing Into Functional Tissue) method, which will eventually lead to the creation of larger, more effective organs. In their test, they successfully printed cardiac tissue that could beat synchronously over a seven-day period using stem cells. Read more for a video and additional information.