Plastic fragments washed onto Schiavonea beach in Calabria, Italy, in a 2019 storm.
Alfonso Di Vincenzo/KONTROLAB /LightRocket via Getty Images
New research suggests that an effective way to locate and track large concentrations of microplastics in the ocean could be from high in the sky.
Megaconstellations threaten to affect the quality of stargazing.
As thousands of new satellites enter Low Earth Orbit, it's important to consider their potential impact, including possible environmental damage in addition to hindering the work of astronomers.
Mars northern polar cap, photographed by the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission.
New results show why and how water is disappearing from Mars atmosphere.
Stocktrek Images, Inc. / Alamy
Earth observation satellites can measure millimetre changes in sea level and track deforestation in near-real time.
It’s unlikely falling space junk will destroy property or kill a person.
Petrovich9/iStock via Getty Images
Chances are small that space junk will destroy property or harm a person, and existing space law could deal with such an event. But current law doesn’t address the bigger problem of space pollution.
China’s Long March 5B rocket, part of which will plummet back to Earth in the coming weeks.
China’s Long March 5B rocket, after a successful blast-off in April to deliver a space station module, is now on track to crash-land somewhere with a latitude between New York and New Zealand.
Earth orbit is filling up with satellites and space junk. Technological fixes can only go so far to deal with the problem.
Modern computing allows to spot isolated trees and shrubs in semi-arid areas, facilitating research on the evolution of vegetation cover.
Advanced techniques allowed our research team to build an open database of billions of individual trees and challenge some common perceptions about vegetation in arid and semi-arid zones.
Satellites affect your life every day.
Satellites impact our lives in many different ways, and some of these may surprise you.
Virgin Orbit/Greg Robinson
Ten small satellites were launched from 11km above Earth's surface.
Congestion in the sky.
The shift toward mega-constellations is a challenge for global space governance.
A shooting star during the Perseid meteor shower. Soon, thousands of satellites will crowd the night sky.
SpaceX’s satellites will populate the night sky, affecting how we observe the stars. And this is just the beginning of private satellite mega-constellations.
A partial lunar eclipse above the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire in 2019.
Peter Byrne/PA Archive/PA Images
Radio telescopes are incredibly sensitive to phone network interference.
Satellite technology and machine learning are helping track down illegal and environmentally damaging ‘dark fleets’ of fishing boats.
Light trails left in the sky (photographed with a long exposure time), by Starlink satellites, seen from New Mexico, USA.
By 2025 Elon Musk wants to launch 12,000 satellites and corner the global Internet market. What will be lost is earth-based astronomy, the idea that space belongs to us all and the beauty of a starry sky.
A weather buoy floats in Lake Michigan.
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t just disrupted our lives. It has also challenged the way we forecast the weather.
Two CubeSats, part of a constellation built and operated by Planet Labs Inc. to take images of Earth, were launched from the International Space Station on May 17, 2016.
SpaceX and other companies are rushing to put thousands of small, inexpensive satellites in orbit, but pressure to keep costs low and a lack of regulation leave those satellites vulnerable to hackers.
The now defunct Infrared Astronomical Telescope was one of the satellites involved in the near-collision.
Two defunct satellites passed within metres of one another, prompting renewed focus on the dangers of space debris. But with many satellites treated as military secrets, how do we track the hazards?
The electromagnetic spectrum we can access with current technologies is completely occupied. This means experts have to think of creative ways to meet our rocketing demands for data.
Free space optical communication will allow the same connectivity in space we already have on Earth. And this will provide benefits across a number of sectors.
Spaceports close to the equator are ideal for low-orbit launches. Currently there are only two, both in South America.
India may soon follow in the footsteps of Asian space giants China and India, after the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) announced a plan to build a spaceport in Papua.