The things you can do with an amaterur telescope. Shutterstock/AstroStar

Backyard astronomy opens up a universe

With a little bit of knowledge and a few pieces of equipment you too can look at the night sky and see it as a cosmologist does.
A young Han Solo with Chewbacca. Lucasfilm Ltd

Blasters miss their mark in Solo: A Star Wars Story

A young Han Solo gets to duck from those dodgy blaster shots that mostly miss their mark in any Star Wars movie. How does that happen and what of the rest of the science in Solo: A Star Wars Story?
Galaxy cluster MACS J1149.5+2223 taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. The inset image is the very distant galaxy MACS1149-JD1. ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, W. Zheng (JHU), M. Postman (STScI), the CLASH Team, Hashimoto et al.

A galaxy near the dawn of time gives clue to first light

Astronomers have indirectly spotted some of the first stars in the universe by making their most distant detection of oxygen in a galaxy that existed just 500m years after the Big Bang.
There’s more to e-waste than the discarded monitors, cell phones and other electronics. (Shutterstock)

Everything you know about e-waste is wrong

No amount of post-consumer recycling can recoup the waste generated before consumers purchase their devices.
It’s been 70 years of instant photography, thanks to Edwin Land, on the left. AP Photo

70 years of instant photos, thanks to Polaroid camera

Whether at a family gathering or in a research lab, getting access to images immediately was a game changer. And Land's innovations went far beyond the instant photo.
Bertrand Russell is seen in this 1935 photo. (Creative Commons)

Bertrand Russell & today’s tumultuous world

The work of Bertrand Russell, philosopher, social critic, mathematician and anti-war crusader, are still relevant today. Here's why fans should take in the Russell collection at McMaster University.
Should an algorithm try to guess what gender people are by how they look? all_is_magic/Shutterstock.com

Gender is personal – not computational

It can be unpleasant to be mistaken for someone of a different gender. When an algorithm does it secretly, it's even more concerning – especially for transgender and gender-nonconforming people.
This photo, provided May 10, 2018, by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, shows Israeli missiles in the sky as others hit air defence positions and other military bases in Damascus, Syria. (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)

Bomb shelters matter as much as interceptors

Flashy interceptor systems attract media and government attention. But bomb shelters and warning systems are at least as important in the midst of missile strikes.
Many people are turned away by abusive language on online news sites but new research reveals that only 15 per cent of comments are “nasty.” (Shutterstock)

Online news trolls not as bad as we think

Are online trolls as bad as we think? New research reveals that most online news comments contribute positively to the conversation.
An artist’s illustration of a black hole “eating” a star. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Archived data may hold astronomy’s next big find

Astronomers are gathering an exponentially greater amount of data every day – so much that it will take years to uncover all the hidden signals buried in the archives.
Unfortunately for the intrepid astronauts in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, a Space Odyssey, the HAL 9000 computer knows how to read lips. IMDB

AI talks: The story since ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’

Since Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece debuted in 1968, fictional stories of faulty or malevolent AI are legion. What have recent advances taught us and what might the future hold?

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