Science and Technology Update: October 23, 2014


By Science and Technology Staff

Air Umbrella Prototypes 

A new Kickstarter campain has designed an “invisible” umbrella using air flow to divert the water away from the person or persons underneath. The creators have made three different prototypes: Air Umbrella-A, -B and -C. Air Umbrella-A is a compact version, at 30 cm and 500 g, with a battery life of 15 minutes. Air Umbrella-B is the creators’ standard version; it is 50 cm, 800 g and has a battery life of 30 minutes. Air Umbrella-C is their extendable version, extending from 50 cm to 80 cm, weighs 850 g and has a battery life of 30 minutes, as well. All versions of the Air Umbrella can protect one or two people, depending on the rain. In lighter rain, the umbrella battery can last longer because it automatically conserves power.

[media-credit name=’Courtesy of’ align=’aligncenter’ width=’450′]Comet Close Call

Siding Spring Passing by the Red Planet[/media-credit]Siding Spring Passing by the Red PlanetOn Sunday, Oct. 19, comet Siding Spring passed by Mars. The comet passed Mars at a distance of 87,000 miles. or one-third the distance from the Earth to the moon. NASA says this is the closest recorded pass of a comet to a planet. The comet came so close that the three Mars orbiters had to duck to the other side of the planet in order to protect themselves from Siding Spring’s dust debris and gas flying past them at 127,000 mph.



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