Science + Technology – Articles, Analysis, Comment

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Pluto’s ghoulish cousin, 2015 TG387, lurks in the distant reaches of our own Solar System. Illustration by Roberto Molar Candanosa and Scott Sheppard, courtesy of Carnegie Institution for Science.

A Goblin could guide us to a mystery planet thought to exist in the Solar system

Whether you call it Planet X or Planet Nine, talk of another planet lurking in our Solar system won't go away. So what does the discovery of a new object – nicknamed "The Goblin" – add to the debate?
Scientists working at the central peak of Gosses Bluff meteorite crater in Northern Territory. Nick Timms

How rare minerals form when meteorites slam into Earth

A meteorite hitting Earth at many kilometres per second puts 'ground zero' target rocks under immense pressure. A shock wave faster than the speed of sound can result – and new materials created.
Participants in a virtual reality travel experience reported a sense of relaxation, similar to that gained from travel in real life. Shutterstock

VR technology gives new meaning to ‘holidaying at home’. But is it really a substitute for travel?

Mind wandering engages the same neural pathways used to receive stimuli from the real world, evoking emotions similar to real life. VR can elicit these same feelings.
Lake Taupo, in the North Island of New Zealand, is a globally significant caldera of a supervolcano that formed following a massive eruption more than 20,000 years ago. from www.shutterstock.com

Explosive lies: how volcanoes can lie about their age, and what it means for us

New research shows that carbon dioxide in groundwater can affect the aging of volcanic eruptions. The findings could help predict future eruptions.
Social media sensation Christiaan Van Vuuren (left) on the Logie Awards red carpet last year alongside Irish actress Valene Kane and TV host Matt Okine. Joe Castro/AAP

Social media entertainment could be the future of the screen industry, so let’s not strangle it with regulation

Social media entertainers are creative, entrepreneurial and masters at building the communities that support them. But regulations currently under review could strangle this nascent industry.
Perth air traffic control tower. As a pilot flies towards the destination, the air traffic control tower sends an interrogation signal. The aircraft automatically responds with a series of short pulses that let air traffic control know the identity of the plane and its altitude. © Copyright Airservices Australia

Curious Kids: what’s the history of aircraft squawk codes and how do they work?

Secondary radar is an important tool in the control of aircraft traffic, and helps make air travel safe. It was developed during dangerous times.