Helix @ CSIRO

Get your hands on science

24 April 2015
by beth
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Name Pluto

A gold spaceship above a planet.

Image: Artist’s concept of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft as it passes Pluto and Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, in July 2015.
Credit: NASA

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 for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) lets you vote on a long list of possible names. Continue Reading →

21 April 2015
by David
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Hyperbolic paper craft

You will need

scissors, sticky tape, hepatgons.

You will need these items.

  • Scissors
  • Sticky tape
  • Lots of heptagons – you can download a sheet to print out in pdf or Word document.

What to do

  1. Cut out the heptagons. You need eight heptagons to make the first basic shape that you can tape more heptagons onto.
    Someone has sticky-taped heptagons to two sides of another heptagon.

    Start sticking heptagons to each side of the centre heptagon.

    Continue Reading →

17 April 2015
by beth
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Scats track quokka cuisine

A quokka smiling.

Image: Living on an island means that resources are limited for quokkas.
Credit: ©istock.com/charmedesign

Even though it has the cutest smile in the marsupial world, quokkas still need a good supply of food, water and rest spots to survive.

The biggest population of these adorable marsupials live on Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth in Western Australia. Continue Reading →

17 April 2015
by David
0 comments

We have ten IMAX Humpback Whales 3D tickets to give away!

A whale juming out of the water.

Credit: Barbara MacGillvray

There are some exciting changes happening this year. In July, Scientriffic magazine and The Helix magazine will be joining forces to create a new magazine called Double Helix. To celebrate the launch of our new magazine, we’re giving away ten tickets to see Humpback Whales 3D

From 23 April, head along to IMAX Darling Harbour to see Humpback Whales 3D on the world’s largest cinema screen. Narrated by Ewan McGregor, the film transports you into the underwater world of these awe-inspiring mammals. Whale song will fill the theatre and the majestic creatures appear life-size on screen as they leap, twirl, lunge and splash.

For your chance to win one of ten IMAX double tickets to see Humpback Whales 3D, email us a poem about the humpback whale to sciencemail@csiro.au. Entrants need to be able to get to the IMAX theatre in Sydney.

Entries close midnight on Friday 24 April 2015

Continue Reading →

10 April 2015
by beth
0 comments

Scientists revive Brontosaurus

iStock_000049090026_596pxHave you ever heard of the Brontosaurus? This giant dinosaur pops up in books, movies, television shows, in fact, almost everywhere! Even when it was thrown out by scientists, we didn’t want to let it go from our collective imagination. The good news is that this much-loved dinosaur is back.

The history of the Brontosaurus is long and colourful. Over 100 years ago, there was a race to discover new dinosaurs, known as ‘the bone wars’. Paleontologist O.C. Marsh found many new dinosaurs during this time – in 1877 he described the Apatosaurus and in 1879, the Brontosaurus was greeted as a newly found dinosaur.

Continue Reading →

27 March 2015
by beth
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Biggest ever asteroid impact found in Australia

An asteroid high above the Earth.

Image: Newly discovered impacts suggest an asteroid broke up and hit the Earth over 300 million years ago.
Credit: ©istock.com/SIYAMA9

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 →

20 March 2015
by beth
0 comments

Robots explore underwater volcano

A piece of pumice covered in spnges and molluscs.

Image: Rebecca Carey has found pumice rock from the underwater volcano washed onto Tasmania’s shores.
Credit: Rebecca Carey

When mysterious lumps of pumice stone washed up on beaches in Tasmania, Australia, Rebecca Carey knew that they must be coming from an underwater volcano.

Rebecca is a Tasmanian volcanologist (someone who studies volcanos), and she had been tracking the travelling pumice for more than a year. Continue Reading →

13 March 2015
by beth
0 comments

Space weather on Friday the 13th

Three images of explosions on the Sun.

Image: NASA captured the images of three mid-level solar flares from 7–9 March 2015. They all came from the same active region on the surface of the Sun.
Credit: NASA/SDO

A minor geomagnetic storm was forecast for around midday (Australia time) Friday the 13 of March. The storm is a result of three solar flares from the Sun that occurred earlier this week.

The coronal mass ejections from these solar flares may strike a glancing blow to the Earth this Friday, according to scientists from the Space Weather Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States. Continue Reading →