Inventor Develops Synthetic “Leaf” That Produces Oxygen

Silk Leaf

photo credit: Julian Melchiorri on IFLS

Lisa Winter reports on IFLS that Julian Melchiorri, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, claims to have developed a silk leaf that could create oxygen for space travel as well as make the air nicer here on Earth. 

Invisible Black?

Excerpt from SMH article: The nanotube material, named Vantablack, absorbs all but 0.035 per cent of visual light – a new record according to the British scientists who created it.

Made of carbon nanotubes each 10,000-times thinner than a human hair, the blacker-than-black material is produced on sheets of aluminium foil. When crumpled, the uneven surfaces covered with the material become indistinguishable.

“It’s like black, like a hole, like there’s nothing there,” Surrey NanoSystems chief technical officer Ben Jensen told The Independent.

Full Article:

Solar Eclipse! 29/4/14

Tuesday afternoon around 4pm there will be a partial solar eclipse above Sydney (roughly 50%). From Antarctica an annular solar eclipse will be visible (i.e. all of the sun is covered except for a small outer ring – so called a ‘ring of fire’).

As always – please don’t look directly at the sun, even during the eclipse! The sun will only be 50% covered and that other 50% is enough to damage your eyes if you look at it directly.

Instead, watch the live stream here:

I’ll update this post with images/footage of the event after it occurs so if you miss it live you can still see it 🙂


If you want to watch it yourself live the best way is to use a ‘pinhole’ camera. You will need two pieces of paper. Put a pinhole in the first one and hold it up high towards the sun. Put the second piece of paper in the shadow of the first piece of paper. You watch the shadow – you will see an image of the sun (from the light that goes through the pinhole) and there can watch the sun slowly get eclipsed! You may need to adjust the distance between the pieces of paper to focus the light properly. Like this:

Image Credit:Eugene Kim

With thanks to ScienceAlert and Science is Awesome facebook groups for the links and reminder!




This Week in Science 6/4/14 + top videos of the week!

Water freezing/boiling:
Moonwalking fly:
Hubble Deep Field:
Cochlear implant:
Hallucinations:WARNING: Please use your discretion when viewing. If you suffer from photosensitive epilepsy, please do not view this video.

Dark matter:
Dwarf planets:
Gene editing:
Spinal cord:

Posts from ‘Science is Awesome’ facebook group