Articles on Astronomy

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You wouldn’t believe what modern telescopes can do. Professor Fumolatro/Flickr

Will we ever see the Big Bang?

Last week, scientists set a new distance record, seeing a burst of gamma-rays from a star that exploded when the universe was only 520 million years old. The light from this distant source has been travelling…
Amelia Fraser-McKelvie (centre) with supervisors Dr Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway (left) and Dr Kevin Pimbblet (right). Image courtesy of Monash University

Student solves ‘missing mass’ riddle

An undergraduate astrophysics student at Monash University has detected some of the universe’s “missing mass”, solving a…
The universe teems with energy and matter we don’t understand. stuant63/Flickr

Adventures in the dark side of cosmology

In questioning the fundamental nature of the universe, cosmology regularly grabs the public’s attention. But in an era in which we are observing deeper and more widely than ever before, our knowledge of…
Is it a plane? No, it’s Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics. William West/AFP

Superman returns – but who’s looking after his water?

Watching films such as Superman Returns or The Day after Tomorrow, you would have seen dramatic sequences of surging water and crumbling buildings. While doing so, mathematics was probably the last thing…
Is your stress from Venus, your pressure from Mars? Not likely.

Altered mind this morning? Hehe, just blame the planets

Today, and for the next month, four major planets are aligned above us: Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter. Are we interested? Of course we are. From the very beginning of human history we’ve been obsessed…
There’s something happening, but it’s way above your head. bluedharma/Flickr

Look out, world, the planets are aligning

Four planets – Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus – will be aligned at dawn tomorrow. What does this mean? Should we be running for the hills? You’d be forgiven for thinking so. A search on Google or YouTube…

Spacemen’s hardening arteries

Exposure to cosmic radiation may be detrimental to astronauts’ arteries, according to a study by University of Alabama at…
Scientists believe dark matter makes up 23% of the universe. NASA

New chatter on dark matter

Dark matter has worked its way back into the news in the last few days with the completion of a detection experiment in a tunnel deep under the Italian Alps. Researchers from Columbia University used a…
Are CSIRO’s ASKAP antennas in Boolardy a precursor to greater things? By Ant Schinckel, CSIRO

Hip hip hooray for the (Aussie?) Square Kilometre Array

We know a lot about what the universe looks like and how it works. But what we’ve been able to figure out about the cosmos is dwarfed by all the things we don’t know. How do galaxies, stars and planets…
Viewed from afar, the Milky Way might appear similar to the galaxy known as NGC 7331. R. Jay GaBany/NASA

Explainer: a beginner’s guide to the galaxy

Where are we within our galaxy? How did our galaxy form? How did it evolve over the aeons? Astronomers have been asking these questions for the past century, and have recently begun discerning the answers…
Hundreds of exoplanets have been discovered, but are we any closer to finding life? AAP

Exoplanets: how the search for life became sexy

In the late 1980s, when I was a young whipper-snapper just starting out as an astronomer, it was quite obvious some fields had an incredibly high profile and others were outré. The sexy ideas at the time…

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