How dark is dark within the solar system? We suppose black holes, by their very nature, are pretty dark. But high on the list of astronomical objects that don't reflect much light is a new contender: TrES-2b, a Jupiter-sized gas giant around 750 light-years from Earth that's now taking top billing as the darkest exoplanet that astronomers have ever discovered.
Brightness readings measured by NASA's Kepler spacecraft suggest that TrES-2b reflects less than 1 percent of the sunlight that hits it–and that's coming from a star a mere three million miles away from the planet itself (GSC 03549-02811). For comparison's sake, Earth is around 93 million miles from the Sun and, we should note, a whole lot cooler. The average temperature of TrES-2b hovers around 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although the super-heated planet's atmosphere is full of light-absorbing chemicals, there's no indication that their presence is the direct reason why the planet fails to reflect a great deal of light.
Looks like e-readers are a hot item, as LG is the latest company to jump on the bandwagon. Their devicee has a 10x10 centimeter solar cell that is designed to work in conjunction with the 6-inch TFT LCD. This allows the reader to get a whole extra day of reading with just four to five hours worth of pure sunlight.
Pricing and availability have not been announced as yet, but we’ll keep you updated.
Read More | LG Display
If you like to make statements with bold jewelry, make statements about alternative energy or just make statements in support of glowing in the dark, we have found the necklace for you! May Yokoyama’s Lux neckace is constructed of solar panels strung with LED bulbs. After two hours of charging the necklace will glow for four hours, ensuring your statement is made clearly and for a long time.
Read More | Notcot
Want your own mini-power plant? Dow Chemical has been working on the project Solar Solutions for the past year. They are developing solar roof shingles and hope to sell them by 2011. In collaboration with Global Solar Energy and home builders, they have been testing them with both simulated hail and fire to make sure they can handle extreme conditions. “The Beast,” a $2.5 million injection and molding machine, produces the shingles that should have a 20 year life span.
Read More | The Star
Pay attention, people of California. It is now illegal for you to use your cell phone while driving unless you have a hands-free device. Nextar, located in the same state, has cleverly released two solar Bluetooth kits, the NXBT-001 and 002. Each clips to a sun visor and recharges in standby mode. The 001 provides 250 hrs.of standby and 10 hrs. of talk time. It has an LED signal display, supports A2DP and AVRCP and comes at a price of $59.99. The 002 has 6 hrs. of talk time and 150 hrs. of standby with a backlit LCD display and caller ID. Its price is $69.99. Both will debut at the CES and come out in the spring.
Read More | iTech News Net
Go green this Halloween with a DIY Solar Powered Jack-O-Lantern. Aside from the pumpkin, you will need a carving knife, a Sharpie to design a face, and a solar-powered garden light. You can get all the instructions to make your own and remember to go really green by munching the roasted seeds, baking a pie and tossing the pumpkin on your compost pile. Make has lots of other ideas to spice up your Halloween, including a mag with 40+ projects.
Read More | Make
Iqua has come out with the VizorSun, a solar speaker that can be used with any Bluetooth capable phone that supports headset or hands free usage. With a flexible UI panel and large buttons that you can find without groping, you get unlimited talk time provided your visor isn’t terribly tinted and the sun is still out. The VizorSun features answer/end/reject call, last number redial, voice dial, call waiting, mute, fast dial, and auto-reconnect. Contact Iqua for more info and price.
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Casio is working on Tough Movement for radio controlled solar watches. Using metal and plastic to reduce its weight, the chronograph style is reduced by 0.55mm while the analog is 4.11mm smaller. The watches will be shock resistant and have a hand correction with LED. The hands are detected at 55 minutes and correct themselves if the time doesn’t coincide with the IC counter. The company intends to use the technology on both their Oceanus and G-Shock series. Look for the GS-1200 to debut this September with a price of ¥42,000 (~$388.00) in Japan.
Read More | Tech-On
Art Haines has developed the SUNN electric/solar car that can hit a top speed of 35 mph. You won’t be able to race down the highway, but with the customized kit you will be able to get where you need to go and help save the planet. It comes with windshield wiper, disc brakes, seat belts, turn signals and lights for $4,500.00 in your choice of color. You add the batteries and/or solar panel. The company claims that it will only take about 80 to 120 human-hours to put it together. Initiated as a high school project, they are also working on two pickup trucks.
Read More | SUNN
The environmentally friendly Chinavasion Solar Powered MP4 Player has a 3.5-inch TFT screen with 1.6 million colors and a built-in Nintendo, Gameboy, and Gameboy Color emulator. It also functions as an E-Book (in English and Chinese) and an LED flashlight. Its two solar panels will not only keep the built-in Li-ion batteries going, but through its USB out can recharge 4.5V, 5V, 6.3V, and 9V devices. With 1GB of storage, you can add to it with an SD card. The Solar Player is available for $123.32, less if you buy in quantity.
Read More | Chinavasion