How to keep lunar samples safe

Image credit - LUVMI consortium

By Gareth Willmer A lunar rover that can analyse samples in situ and a Europe-wide facility to store extraterrestrial samples will help to protect moon samples from contamination and increase their usability in scientific experiments. In 1969, the Apollo 12 mission retrieved a camera that had been left on the moon by an earlier spacecraft. … Read more

Pushing the bounds of vision could reveal hidden worlds

Image Credit - Amplify project

Nature is complex – often too complex for humans to see. But squint-controlled glasses that let people see 3D thermal images and a camera that can capture the inner workings of high-speed chemical reactions are helping to push the limits of human perception. Human senses have already been highly tuned by millions of years of … Read more

A dishwasher that keeps itself clean: how lasers are changing everyday items

Image credit - ALPhANOV

By Jonathan O’Callaghan At the smallest of scales, science can become rather weird. So weird in fact that metals and other materials can be altered to completely change their properties, such as making them resilient to water or bacteria. This is the cornerstone of new research looking into the hidden world of surfaces, with the … Read more

Under-road heating system to keep Europe’s highways ice-free

Image credit - picture is in the public domain

Under-road heating that melts ice and snow within 15 minutes and real-time information about icy road conditions could help prevent wintertime accidents. Snow and ice can dramatically change the conditions of a road, where slippery surfaces make it harder to keep control of a vehicle, particularly when braking or turning. ‘Once you have cars driving, … Read more

Extreme space weather can wreak havoc on Earth. These tools help warn of the dangers ahead

Image Credit - NASA/SDO and the AIA, EVE, and HMI science teams.

By Ethan Bilby On a hot day in August 1972 toward the end of the Vietnam War, dozens of naval mines off the coast of Hai Phong in North Vietnam began to explode without warning. In March 1989, a magnetic surge tripped circuits, knocking out power in the entire Canadian province of Quebec. While in 1859, an event … Read more

The robots being readied to enter nuclear no-go zones

Image Credit - Centauro

Robust, intelligent robots that react to their surroundings are being developed to work in situations that are too dangerous for humans, such as cleaning up Europe’s decades-old radioactive waste or helping during a nuclear emergency. When Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster struck in 2011 following a devastating earthquake and tsunami, the robots that were deployed to … Read more