Posts Tagged ‘science’

Scientists Build a Digital Camera That Can Be Absorbed by the Body

What if there were a disposable digital camera that you could eat after using? Sounds bizarre, but it already exists. Scientists in the US are working on uber-thin electronics that can be dissolved inside the human body once their job is done. Among the many possible uses being explored is photography.
Read more…

This is the Most Zoomed-In Photograph Ever Created by Mankind

What you’re looking at is the most zoomed-in photo ever shot by mankind. Titled the eXtreme Deep Field (XDF), it’s a followup to the famous Hubble Ultra-Deep Field photo created in the mid-2000s. Scientists combined 10-years-worth of Hubble Space Telescope photos to create this resulting image that shows 5,500 individual galaxies, some of which are one ten-billionth the brightness of what our human eyes can see.
Read more…

The World’s Most Powerful Digital Camera Snaps Its First Photos

On a mountaintop in Chile is the most powerful digital camera mankind has ever constructed. Called the Dark Energy Camera, the phone booth-sized device shoots 570-megapixel photographs using an array of 62 separate CCD sensors and a 13-foot light-gathering mirror. Planning and building the thing took 120 scientists from 23 international organizations a whopping 8 years.

This past week, the researchers behind the project announced the first fruits of their labor: massive photographs that show patches of the sky 20 times the size of the moon (as seen from Earth).
Read more…

1909 Lincoln Penny Used to Calibrate the Mars Curiosity Rover’s Camera on Mars

Did you know that there’s US currency on Mars? It’s true: when NASA’s Curiosity rover was launched back on November 26, 2011, one of the things it carried with it was a penny from over a century ago. The 1909 Lincoln cent is part of the rover’s onboard calibration target used to check that the cameras are working properly.
Read more…

Male and Female Photographers See the World Differently

If you think male and female photographers sometimes have very different styles, the reason might go beyond their tastes and approaches to shooting. Men and women see the world differently — literally. A new study by vision researchers have found that the two genders have different ways of collecting visual information.

According to the findings, men are more sensitive to moving objects and seeing small details, while women tend to be sharper in seeing color changes.
Read more…

How the Curiosity Rover’s Photography Decisions Are Made

Earlier this month, when we were exploring why the NASA Curiosity rover’s cameras are so lame, we mentioned that the total amount of data the scientists can transfer on a daily basis is only around 31 megabytes. As anyone with a restrictive cell phone dataplan can attest to, having a small data cap makes you think carefully about the data that you choose to download. Glenn Fleishmann over at The Economist has an interesting writeup that sheds some light on how NASA scientists make their Martian photo shoot decisions:

Every day Justin Maki faces a tricky balancing act. He is one of the boffins at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) responsible, among other things, for deciding what Curiosity photographs each Martian day, or sol, and which pictures it sends back home. “We can always take enough pictures to fill up the downlink,” Dr Maki says. The mission can currently beam at least 30MB a sol, including scientific measurements, engineering data and images, from Mars, via two satellites orbiting the planet, to Earth.

All of the rover’s 17 cameras, seven more than any previous exploratory vehicle, store images in a raw, unprocessed format and initially beam back tiny thumbnails (which NASA uploads as they come in). The scientists working on different aspects of the mission meet daily to determine which of the thumbnails to download in higher resolution. The “health and safety” of the rover takes priority. After the deliberations, which can last over an hour, instructions are dispatched to Mars.

Taking pictures on Mars: Red eyes (via Boing Boing)

Scientists Create a Distortion-Free Lens That’s Essentially 2D

Think pancake lenses are flat? In the future, camera manufacturers might be able to replace those bulky glass elements inside lenses with lens elements that are thinner than a piece of paper. The lenses would not only be third-dimension-free, they would also be distortion-free.
Read more…

The Curiosity Rover’s Descent into Mars as an Amazing HD Video

When NASA’s Curiosity rover performed its “seven minutes of terror” landing on Mars a couple weeks ago, the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) camera had the task of capturing 1600×1200 (~1.9 megapixel) photographs at a rate of 5 frames per second. The camera began snapping away from when the heatshield separated to a few seconds after the rover touched down. The amazing high-definition video above was created with these photographs, showing what it’s like to fall onto the surface of the red planet.
Read more…

Photos of Alternative Batteries Created with Fruits and Coins

Lamp powered by 300 live apples, 2012

Portland, Maine-based photographer Caleb Charland (whom we featured before) has a fascinating new series of science-based photos that show various alternative batteries created using things like apple trees and stacked coins. The photo above shows an experiment in which he powered a lamp using 300 apples in a Newburgh, Maine-orchard.

He spent 11 hours sticking zinc-coated galvanized nails and bare copper wires into the apples in order to generate current using the fruit. Every 10 apples provide about 5 volts. The lamp was successfully lit by the apple power, but was so dim that the photograph required a 4 hour exposure!
Read more…

Photos of the Future May Be Stored on Strands of DNA

If you think modern day hard drives store a lot of data, get a load of this: researchers at Harvard have succeeded in storing roughly 700 terabytes of data in a single gram of DNA. The strands of DNA are treated much like other storage devices, except instead of using electric charge or magnetism to store information, DNA’s four bases (A,C,G,T) are used.
Read more…