Saturday, 15 December 2012

High-tech Flower

Everyone must be familiar with the little white edelweiss from the sun-blasted heights of the Alps. We also found this one in the wilds of Ladakh, furry against the intense cold and wind.

In the current RHS magazine there's a fascinating snippet about the fur: microtubules a few dozen microns across, sized precisely to absorb UV radiation. Space scientists are now adapting it to protect electronics &  solar panels on deep-space vehicles. All the best ideas are borrowed!

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