Interstellar travel: how to spot a ‘starman’ going by

Massive objects moving at near light speeds do not occur naturally in the universe as we know it. If we detect such objects it is a reasonable to assume they are artificial artifacts from advanced intelligent life. This according to Garcia-Escartin and Chamorro-Posada, authors of a recent paper, is a low-cost, sure-fire way of searching …

The perils of space exploration: last flight of space shuttle Columbia

The 28th and last flight (STS-107) of the space shuttle Columbia was ten years ago. Launched on January 16, 2003 Columbia was destroyed at about 0900 EST on February 1, 2003 while re-entering the atmosphere after its 16-day scientific mission. The destruction of the shuttle killed all seven astronauts on board. An illustrious career Columbia …

Apollo 17: last men on the moon

After kangaroo hopping back to the lunar rover, Eugene and Jack drove back to the lunar module, Challenger. There they dusted each other off and loaded the last of their 100kg of lunar rock samples. Jack cleaned up inside While Eugene parked the rover a kilometre and a half away so the takeoff could be …

The astronauts who put the USA on the moon

The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 into an elliptical low Earth orbit on October 4, 1957. This surprise precipitated the space age and triggered the space race. The success ushered in new technological, political, military, and scientific developments. On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first person in history to leave the Earth’s atmosphere …

My mega grab-bag of astronomy resources for teachers, students, telescope beginners and space fans

Whether you are a parent, teacher, student or simply an interested enthusiast, here are a number of interesting sites, podcasts, and social media people for you to draw on as you get going in amateur astronomy. Podcasts provide an amazing resource – all free. Most are available via iTunes, the original publishers’ websites, or a raft …

Weekly Science Picks

It’s been an interesting week for science news, and I’ve been lucky enough to be asked to give this week’s science picks! This made me spend a little while sipping contemplatively on a cup of vanilla iced coffee and wondering where to even start… The articles I’ve selected are, of course, slanted towards my own …

Weekly Science Picks

“La rentrée!” Paris — first week of September. It’s when the city reignites again, everyone comes back from holiday and gets back to work, and — more importantly — kids go back to school. In celebration of “le bon retour” my first pick comes from right here on Australian Science. Kelly Burnes’ musings on the …