Imagine how black a black hole is. That’s the colour of Vantablack. In July of 2014, Surrey Nanosystems, a British company, publicly released a colour so black is absorbed 99.96 percent of the light that hits it, making it the most absorbent thing on the planet.
This crazy colour, known as Vantablack, owes its absorption abilities to a series of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes – each 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. These nanotubes are suspended in plasma and coated onto any material, such as aluminium foil. These nanotubes are packed so tightly together that any light particles that hit them just bounce around between the rows until the nanotubes absorb them.
It can withstand the stresses from being launched into space by a rocket, extreme fluctuation in temperature and long-term vibrations. Defence contractors are especially excited to use Vantablack, in part due to its ruggedness and partly for it’s later potential use in stealth applications.
Astronomers, meanwhile hope it can improve the accuracy of their telescopes by reducing stray incoming light waves
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