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Space Science Technology

NASA Creates Super-Black Carbon Nanotube Coating 132

Posted by samzenpus
from the none-more-black dept.
An anonymous reader writes "NASA has just revealed a new, super-black material, claiming it is the most light absorbent material ever developed, and capable of absorbing 99% of ultraviolet, infrared, far-infrared, and visible light. The super-black material is about 10,000 times thinner than a human hair and created using carbon nanotubes. Those nanotubes are positioned and grown on multiple other materials including silicon, stainless steel, and titanium. The process of applying the coating requires heating the surface up to 1,382 degrees in an oven filled with a 'carbon-coating feedstock gas.' As well as being up to 100x more absorbent than anything that has come before, the coating is significantly lighter than the black paint and epoxy commonly used today to absorb light. Because the light absorption level is so high, the super-black material will also keep temperatures down for the instruments it is used on. And that very high absorption rate brings one final big advantage: it allows measurements to be taken at much greater distances in space because it removes the light emitted from around planets and stars as well as any generally high-contrast area of space."
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NASA Creates Super-Black Carbon Nanotube Coating

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  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @06:53PM (#38006642)

    Seriously, this was released to the media about 3 years or so ago, and touted as "scientists create blackest material ever".

    Here is a link to a wired magazine article from march 2009:

    http://m.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/03/ultrablack/ [wired.com]

    Must be a slow news week.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @07:48PM (#38007252)

    seriously, try actually reading the article. It clearly states that they have improved the absorption by 10 to 100 times over previous nanotube coatings, and improved the wavelength range by 50 times.

  • Re:1,382 degrees F (Score:1, Informative)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @07:53PM (#38007324) Homepage Journal

    Solyandra wasn't a scandal, it was an attempt to do things right!

    More people realize that than you think. I deal with a couple of people who are big conservative types. You know the business leader/chamber of commerce guys who think everyone should work for minimum wage except "their type" of person and another is a corporate lawyer who "smells the glove" if you get my drift. Even they can't gripe about the Solyndra stuff with a straight face.

    I don't think the GP was necessarily a teabagger, just someone rhetorically sloppy who's probably heard "Solyndra" mentioned a few times and doesn't know any of the background. He probably doesn't take the time to look underneath any of the claims he hears on the corporate media and just repeats what he hears as truth.

    Can we keep the politics out of the science threads, please?

    I understand your frustration, but science and technology are issues where politics are most important. Politics determines everything about the decisions that are made in those areas. We had a bunch down in Mississippi who wanted to have a constitutional amendment saying that personhood begins at conception for chrissake. Forget about any kind of embryonic stem cells, but they would have the bathrooms where women suffer miscarriages treated as crime scenes. A woman with an ectopic pregnancy might be handcuffed to the bed to make sure she doesn't run away to Alabama to get an abortion so she doesn't die. It's gotten to that point. Fortunately, even the far-right folks in Mississippi defeated this measure overwhelmingly, showing that even in ground zero for craziness, there are lines that people won't cross, thank goodness.

    So it's not so much that you don't want politics in science threads, but you don't want dumb AM-radio political nonsense in science threads. If someone wants to say "I don't think it's the place of government to get involved with supporting technology" that's one thing. Saying "there can't be global warming because it was cold last week" is another thing entirely.

  • by Guppy (12314) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:35AM (#38009328)

    Zaphod's attention however was elsewhere. His attention was riveted on the ship standing next to Hotblack Desiato's limo. His mouths hung open.

    "That," he said, "that ... is really bad for the eyes ..."

    Ford looked. He too stood astonished.
    It was a ship of classic, simple design, like a flattened salmon, twenty yards long, very clean, very sleek. There was just one remarkable thing about it.

    "It's so ... black!" said Ford Prefect, "you can hardly make out its shape ... light just seems to fall into it!"

    Zaphod said nothing. He had simply fallen in love.
    The blackness of it was so extreme that it was almost impossible to tell how close you were standing to it.

    "Your eyes just slide off it ..." said Ford in wonder. It was an emotional moment. He bit his lip.

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