Discovery of new semiconductor holds promise for 2D physics and electronics

From super-lubricants, to solar cells, to the fledgling technology of valleytronics, there is much to be excited about with the discovery of a unique new two-dimensional semiconductor, rhenium disulfide, by researchers at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry. Rhenium disulfide, unlike molybdenum disulfide and other dichalcogenides, behaves electronically as if it were a 2D monolayer even as a 3D bulk material.

NASA's Space Sunflower may help snap pictures of planets

A spacecraft that looks like a giant sunflower might one day be used to acquire images of Earth-like rocky planets around nearby stars. The prototype deployable structure, called a starshade, is being developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Hubble peers at the heart of NGC 5793

This new Hubble image is centered on NGC 5793, a spiral galaxy over 150 million light-years away in the constellation of Libra.

Dramatic new portrait helps define Milky Way's shape, contents

Using more than 2 million images collected by NASA's orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope, a team of Wisconsin scientists has stitched together a dramatic 360 degree portrait of the Milky Way, providing new details of our galaxy's structure and contents.

Will destruction of forests lead to the ultimate destruction of mammals?

he value of forests and tree-based ecosystems extends far beyond carbon sequestration; they are the foundation of sustainable societies.

Report: Deep ocean current may slow due to climate change

Far beneath the surface of the ocean, deep currents act as conveyer belts, channeling heat, carbon, oxygen and nutrients around the globe.

Scientists discover potential way to make graphene superconducting

Scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have discovered a potential way to make graphene – a single layer of carbon atoms with great promise for future electronics – superconducting, a state in which it would carry electricity with 100 percent efficiency.

Scientists say the surface of Titan Sea is mirror smooth

New radar measurements of an enormous sea on Titan offer insights into the weather patterns and landscape composition of the Saturnian moon. The measurements, made in 2013 by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, reveal that the surface of Ligeia Mare, Titan's second largest sea, possesses a mirror-like smoothness, possibly due to a lack of winds.

Algae may be a potential source of biofuels and biochemicals even in cool climate

Algae are organisms useful in many ways in the transition towards a bio-economy. Even in a cool climate as in Finland, algae might be used to produce biochemicals and biofuels, besides use in capture of industrial carbon dioxide emissions. The ALGIDA project coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland explored algae growing in Finland.

Study: Amphibians and dinosaurs were the new large predators after the mass extinction

252 million years ago the largest extinction event occurred at the end of the Permian age. It wiped out almost 90 percent of all life in water. So far researchers had assumed that the ecosystems gradually recovered from this catastrophe over a long stretch of eight to nine million years and that large predators at the uppermost end of the food chain were the last to reappear.

Linking storms to climate change a 'distraction', say experts

Connecting extreme weather to climate change distracts from the need to protect society from high-impact weather events which will continue to happen irrespective of human-induced climate change, say experts.

Report: Wind farms can provide society a surplus of reliable clean energy

The worldwide demand for solar and wind power continues to skyrocket. Since 2009, global solar photovoltaic installations have increased about 40 percent a year on average, and the installed capacity of wind turbines has doubled.

Tiny origami boxes hold big promise for energy storage

If you think your origami skills can’t be beat – try this: (1) use the world’s thinnest material, (2) make the origami fold and unfold itself, and (3) pack into your miniscule origami box enough hydrogen atoms to exceed future U.S. goals for hydrogen energy storage devices. Researchers from the University of Maryland have done all three.

NASA spacecraft reveal new “Zebra Stripes” structure in Earth’s inner radiation belt

Scientists have discovered a new, persistent structure in Earth’s inner radiation belt using data from the twin NASA Van Allen Probes spacecraft. Most surprisingly, this structure is produced by the slow rotation of Earth, previously considered incapable of affecting the motion of radiation belt particles, which have velocities approaching the speed of light.

Jupiter's great red spot viewed by Voyager I

At about 89,000 miles in diameter, Jupiter could swallow 1,000 Earths. It is the largest planet in the solar system and perhaps the most majestic.

Thermal vision: Graphene light detector first to span infrared spectrum

The first room-temperature light detector that can sense the full infrared spectrum has the potential to put heat vision technology into a contact lens. Unlike comparable mid- and far-infrared detectors currently on the market, the detector developed by University of Michigan engineering researchers doesn't need bulky cooling equipment to work.

Human brains 'hard-wired' to link what we see with what we do

Your brain's ability to instantly link what you see with what you do is down to a dedicated information 'highway', suggests new UCL-led research.

Report: Radiation damage at the root of Chernobyl’s ecosystems

Radiological damage to microbes near the site of the Chernobyl disaster has slowed the decomposition of fallen leaves and other plant matter in the area, according to a study just published in the journal Oecologia. The resulting buildup of dry, loose detritus is a wildfire hazard that poses the threat of spreading radioactivity from the Chernobyl area.

Nanotube composites increase the efficiency of next generation of solar cells

Carbon nanotubes are becoming increasingly attractive for photovoltaic solar cells as a replacement to silicon. Researchers at Umeå University in Sweden have discovered that controlled placement of the carbon nanotubes into nano-structures produces a huge boost in electronic performance. Their groundbreaking results are published in the prestigious journal Advanced Materials.

NASA releases first interactive mosaic of lunar North Pole

Scientists, using cameras aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), have created the largest high resolution mosaic of our moon’s north polar region. The six-and-a-half feet (two-meters)-per-pixel images cover an area equal to more than one-quarter of the United States.