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What's New in Science and Technology


Supersonic jet to fly London to Sydney journey in four hours London to Sydney in just four hours - that's the aim of US aeronautical engineers as they race to develop a "Son of Concorde" prototype.

Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Gulfstream - with the help of NASA - are working towards the first supersonic commercial passenger airliner, aimed initially at the business jet market. [ Read about it... ]




Oldest Extant Astronomical Measuring Instruments Discovered in China

China News: A few pieces of "lacquerware of unknown names" unearthed 35 years ago from a tomb of the Western Han Dynasty in Fuyang City, Anhui Province, are found to be a gnomon with template and an equatorial device for the positional measurement of celestial bodies. They are among the oldest instruments for astronomical measurement that can still be seen in the world.

In 1977, archaeologists unearthed a great number of precious relics from the tomb of XIAHOU Zao(?-165BCE), the 2nd Marquis of Ruyin of the Western Han dynasty. They named a piece of lacquerware "lacquerware of unknown name", for no one has been able to identify it. [ Read about it... ]



Our Sun Is Moving More Slowly Than Thought The sun is zipping through interstellar space more slowly than once thought, suggesting the giant shock wave long suspected of existing in front of the sun is not actually there, researchers say.

These new findings may influence what scientists know about high-energy cosmic rays that can endanger astronauts, they added. [ Read about it... ]


Navy Wants Ultraviolet Cloaking Device for Jet Fighters The U.S. military is already investing tens of billions of dollars to make its jet fighters less visible to radars and infrared sensors. Now the Pentagon wants the defense industry to come up with a system that can cloak fighters from another telltale type of radiation: ultraviolet energy from the sun. The Navy’s latest solicitation to research proposals asks for a “UV obscurant device” that can be “dispersed from an aircraft.”

The system should be compatible with the Navy’s existing counter-measures dispensers, which are currently tailored for releasing infrared flares and radar-foiling chaff to help warplanes dodge enemy missiles. [ Read about it... ]

Navy fighters release IR flares. Photo: Navy