The Cycle of Exploration: A look into the cyclical nature of astrobiology

The Cycle of Exploration: A look into the cyclical nature of astrobiology

Life began the moment that information molecules started to reproduce and evolve via natural selection. But how did this actually happen? While we don’t have a time machine, we can look to other worlds in the solar system and beyond to uncover the secrets of life’s beginnings. Consequently, the closer...

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Asteroids

Asteroids

Asteroids are rocky worlds revolving around the Sun, also known as planetesimals; they are the remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago, that are too small to be called planets. Most of this ancient space rubble can be found orbiting between...

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Earth’s Swansong

Earth’s Swansong

The Sun will go blackEarth sink in the sea,Heaven be stripped of itsbright stars;Smoke rage and fire, leapingthe flameLick heaven itself.-The Deluding of Gylf Strange times are upon us, we seem beset by continuing problems with our inability to respect and harness our planet’s limited resources. Climate change, carbon emissions,...

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How Big is the Universe?

How Big is the Universe?

The Universe is a big, big place. Getting your head around mind-bendingly big and unimaginably small things is really hard, our brains just weren’t built to do it. To survive as a human, all evolution required of our ancestors was the ability to outrun and outwit predators long enough to...

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Titan: the moon raining plastics & flowing with lakes of liquified natural gas

Titan: the moon raining plastics & flowing with lakes of liquified natural gas

Roughly the size of the planet Mercury, Titan is the largest moon of Saturn and the second largest moon in the solar system after Jupiter’s moon Ganymede. Wrapped in a thick, frothy orange atmosphere made primarily of nitrogen and a bit of methane, Titan is the only other place besides...

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Night Blight

Night Blight

In December 2013 I wrote a piece in KCW Today called Night Blight, about light pollution in the UK. Given the results of recent research into this problem, the question is are we succeeding? According to Brett Seymoure, a behavioural ecologist at Washington university in St Louis a leading member...

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Kaboom SN2006gy Brightest Blast Ever

Kaboom SN2006gy Brightest Blast Ever

In a distant galaxy NGC 1260, some 250 million light-years away, occurred the most powerful explosion ever seen anywhere. Named SN2006gy, this supernova certainly stands apart. It was so energetic, it’s often called a hypernova or quark-nova. It was quickly observed by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and large ground based...

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Generation Mars: Should we stay, or should we go?

Generation Mars: Should we stay, or should we go?

Since ancient astronomers first looked to the heavens, man has harboured a fascination with Mars. Named for the Roman God of war, the icy red planet has ignited the human imagination for centuries. Popular culture brims with imaginings of the planet and its secrets. From ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, to Bowie’s ‘Life...

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Venus: Our toxic twin

Venus: Our toxic twin

Last month we looked at the genesis of the Earth, and the UN’s Global assessment Report that human society is in jeopardy from the accelerating decline of the Earth’s natural life support systems. This month I think we should look at what was once upon a time considered to be...

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