Instead of floating inside an orb, these flakes, some of the solar system’s newest ornaments, dance around it. The dusting comprises active satellites and tens of thousands of space scraps—including wrenches left behind after extraterrestrial home-repair projects, bits of long-abandoned satellites, and actual trash bags stuffed with the detritus of manned space flight. The number of pieces of junk in this orbiting garbage dump, which circles Earth at speeds up to 7800 meters per second, is multiplying; when the particles collide, they break into smaller pieces that some believe could eventually make it too risky to put satellites into orbit or even to explore outer space.
Live From New York!
The big picture
Step Away From the Vehicle!
Gone to Pieces
The big picture
the big picture
A New Spin on Architecture
iCandy: Robots Analyze, Imitate, and Satiate
Scanning delicate works of art and delivering cupcakes are just two tasks that robots handle well
Shooting Stars Can Shoot Down Satellites
We don’t know enough about meteoroids
New Record for Nanowire-Based Solar Cells Achieved
Previous record nudged just slightly, but much higher conversion efficiencies should be achieved soon
What is a Distributed Denial-of-Service Attack and How Did it Break Twitter?
On Friday, multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks hit a common Domain Name System provider for popular sites including Twitter and Netflix
Replace Lego’s $190 Intelligent Brick with MIT’s Scratch and a $40 Raspberry Pi
A low-cost way to program and control Lego machines
Video Friday: Robot Toes, Wolverine Haptic Hand, and More From IROS 2016
Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos
Arpa-E's $85-Million Plan to Build a Battery the Size of the Grid
Or something like that
4 Steps to Turn “Neural Dust” Into a Medical Reality
Tiny ultrasound-powered motes could record and adjust nerve activity
The Energy Balance of Running
Human beings are great at running because they are stupendous at sweating
Video Microscopy Technique Reveals How Battery-Killing Dendrites Grow
Video of how dendrites grow inside Lithium-metal batteries promises a way to limit their growth and extend battery life
New Computer Combines Electronic Circuits with Light Pulses
A specialized computer based partly on light pulses could solve some of the trickiest problems for conventional computers
Can Smarter Solar Inverters Save the Grid?
A new technique called virtual oscillator control lets solar inverters help stabilize the power grid
SRI Demonstrates Abacus, the First New Rotary Transmission Design in 50 Years
Finally a gear system that could replace costly harmonic drives