Science

The Plan To Make The Moon An Enormous Detector Of Cosmic Rays

About once a century on any given square kilometre of Earth, a cosmic ray hits with mind-boggling intensity. The teeny tiny subatomic particle from space comes careening in with more than 10 million times the energy of particles shot out by the Large Hadron Collider. Where do these ultrahigh energy cosmic rays come from? Astronomers have a plan to find out, using the moon and a massive new radio telescope array.


NASA Will Reformat Mars Rover From 200 Million Kilometres Away

NASA’s Opportunity rover is still trundling across the surface of Mars, more than 11 years after its 90-day mission began. But its software is getting bogged down, so NASA’s doing a full system backup, memory wipe and reboot. It’s just like your routine computer clean-up, just from the next planet over.


These Fish Look Like They're Casting Spells

When you think about mechanisms animals use to avoid becoming dinner, clever adaptations like poisons or pointy spikes come to mind. But the Ostracod, a type of zooplankton, uses something a little more magical.


This Is A Nail Polish Designed To Prevent Sexual Assault

It’s the kind of thing you really wish wasn’t neccessary. A nail polish under development could help you detect date rape drugs in your drinks.


University Research Funds Threatened In Latest Budget Row

The Federal Government is apparently willing to slash University research funding if it doesn’t get its way with regards to higher education reform.


New Comet Photo Shows Fascinating Textures And Landscapes

Every time I see a new image of the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet, I just get lost searching through all the detail, marveling at the variation of textures, and mostly watching in awe thinking about the chain of events that took the spaceship Rosetta to where it is today, 804.6 million kilometres from Earth.


The Newest Weapon In The Fight Against Land Mines Could Be...Plants

Land mines are not only explosive but also poisonous, leaking toxins into the soil that make plants sick. That’s unfortunate for the plants but fortunate for us — if we can figure out how to look for sick plants as harbingers of land mines. Aeroplanes equipped with a low-cost sensor that captures non-visible light might be the answer.


This Fireworks Show Is A 4.5 Billion-Year-Old Meteorite Exploding

Back in October 2012, a meteorite whizzed through our atmosphere and broke up in a dazzling display over California. One particular fragment, embedded in the roof of a house, was recovered by NASA for study. Now NASA is ready to reveal a bit more about the meteorite, which was likely formed in the same collision that made the moon 4.5 billion years ago.


How Do Satellites Orbit The Earth?

Take a look at the moon and it isn’t hard to imagine it as a planet. A 3476 kilometres-in-diameter ball of rock, with basalt plains and mountain ranges, whose gravitational pull produces tides here on Earth. Despite its vast mass and gravitational pull, the moon does an excellent job of not falling to Earth. Why? Because the moon is in orbit.


Extreme Close Up Photo Of A Living Human Brain

Photo: A living human brain. Looks gross. But think about how amazing this is. You have one of these things inside your head, a mass of organic matter in which billions of connections make you — every memory, everything that ever was in your life is inside this mass. So yes, it may look gross, but it’s freaking amazing.


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