Super-Black Material Aborbs 99% of Light

N.A.S.A. has produced a material that absorbs over 99 percent of the ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and far-infrared lighta development that promises to open new frontiers in space technology.

What's the Latest Development?


N.A.S.A. engineers have developed a material that absorbs more than 99 percent of the light that hits it, including ultraviolet, infrared and far-infrared spectra. The material is a coating made of a thin layer of multi-walled carbon nanotubes, tiny hollow tubes made of pure carbon about 10,000 times thinner than a strand of human hair. The material will be useful for a variety of spaceflight applications where observing in multiple wavelength bands is important to scientific discovery.

What's the Big Idea?

The new material could be a boon for astronomers who depend on faint light to make important discoveries. "If used in detectors and other instrument components, this new technology would allow scientists to gather hard-to-obtain measurements of objects so distant in the universe that astronomers no longer can see them in visible light or those in high-contrast areas, including planets in orbit around other stars," said John Hagopian, leader of the N.A.S.A. team responsible for the find.

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'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
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No, depression is not just a type of 'affluenza' – poor people in conflict zones are more likely candidates

Image: Our World in Data / CC BY
Strange Maps
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Banned books: 10 of the most-challenged books in America

America isn't immune to attempts to remove books from libraries and schools, here are ten frequent targets and why you ought to go check them out.

Nazis burn books on a huge bonfire of 'anti-German' literature in the Opernplatz, Berlin. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Culture & Religion
  • Even in America, books are frequently challenged and removed from schools and public libraries.
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Is there an optimal time of day to exercise?

Two new studies say yes. Unfortunately, each claims a different time.

Bronx, N.Y.: NYPD officer Julissa Camacho works out at the 44th precinct gym in the Bronx, New York on April 3, 2019. (Photo by Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday via Getty Images)
Surprising Science
  • Research at the Weizmann Institute of Sciences declares evening to be the best time for an exercise session.
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