What's new

astronomical and space sciences posts

The heart of Pluto News

by David, 10 November 2017 | 0 comments


Sputnik Planitia is a gigantic, ice-covered area, one thousand kilometres across. This large, pale basin makes up one half of the famous ‘heart’ shape on Pluto’s surface. Despite its size, the Sputnik Planitia was discovered recently, and it only got its name this year!

Continue reading The heart of Pluto

A wiggly photo shoot for the Moon

by David, 19 July 2017 | 0 comments

A wiggly photo of a cratered surface.

If humans return to the Moon, they will need good maps. Luckily, one plucky little spacecraft has been making them. For the past seven years, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been painstakingly photographing almost all of the Moon’s surface. But the mission has not always gone to plan. One day, a photo came out…

Continue reading A wiggly photo shoot for the Moon

Making bricks on Mars News

by David, 25 May 2017 | 0 comments

An illustration of an underground Mars base.

If you’ve ever dreamed of living on Mars, you’ve probably realised you’ll need a place to live. That’s one reason to be excited about Martian brick research being conducted by scientists in the United States. Recently, a team showed that it’s actually quite easy to make bricks out of Mars dirt. But how did they…

Continue reading Making bricks on Mars

Cool stars and comfy planets News

by David, 17 March 2017 | 0 comments

Is there life on other planets? It may seem like we’re alone in the universe, but there’s still hope. The race is on to find signs of life on Earth-like planets, which have atmospheres and liquid water on the surface. Recently, it was announced that scientists have discovered seven planets orbiting nearby star TRAPPIST-1, each…

Continue reading Cool stars and comfy planets

New dish helps spaceships phone home

by David, 22 December 2016 | 0 comments

Voyager, Pathfinder, Cassini. Humanity has sent out dozens of plucky little space probes to explore our solar system. But when these robots need to call home, who’s listening in? Luckily for them, NASA has three deep space communication complexes scattered around the world. One of them is right here in Australia, operated by CSIRO. And…

Continue reading New dish helps spaceships phone home

Gravity makes the Earth age slowly

by David, 15 June 2016 | 0 comments

It’s a science fiction horror story – a young astronaut takes a year-long mission closely orbiting a black hole. When he returns home, thousands of years have passed and everyone he has ever known has been dead for centuries. Is there a hint of truth to this terrifying tale? This imaginary astronaut’s story is a…

Continue reading Gravity makes the Earth age slowly

Where on Earth am I? Activity

by David, 2 March 2016 | 0 comments

NOTE: This activity is written for people in the southern hemisphere. Northern hemisphere mathematicians can still do this activity, but they will need to swap north and south. You will need Long, straight stick (a broom handle is perfect) 1 metre string Plasticine Compass Tape measure Pair of compasses Pens, ruler, A3 paper (or two…

Continue reading Where on Earth am I?

How big is the Sun? How big is the Moon? Activity

by David, 14 May 2015 | 0 comments

You will need: A small coin Some blu-tac A ruler A tape measure Two pieces of paper A pin An assistant To measure the Moon: This activity is a lot easier when the moon is full, and when it is rising or setting.

Continue reading How big is the Sun? How big is the Moon?


Name Pluto

by , 24 April 2015 | 0 comments

The New Horizons spacecraft has begun sending back images of the much loved dwarf planet. As it gets closer, we will see features on Pluto’s surface for the first time. Craters, canyons, mountains will appear in New Horizons’ images. But what shall we call them? A crowd-sourced naming campaign held by NASA and SETI (Search…

Continue reading Name Pluto

Biggest ever asteroid impact found in Australia

by , 27 March 2015 | 0 comments

Deep underground in the centre of Australia is evidence of the biggest asteroid impact in the Earth’s history. It wasn’t just a single impact, but a twin strike from a meteorite that may have split into two as it plummeted towards Earth.

Continue reading Biggest ever asteroid impact found in Australia