Helix @ CSIRO

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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
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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
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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 →

27 February 2015
by beth
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Lasers and drones measure up forests

A laser scan image of the Tasmanian measurement team. Credit: Peter Scarth.

A laser scan image of the Tasmanian measurement team.
Credit: Peter Scarth.

Drones, lasers, planes and liquid nitrogen were all called in to measure the growth of a Tasmanian forest.

Sometimes measurement can be a little more exciting than you might think. Recently, researchers brought together by the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network [TERN] used a range of high-tech instruments to measure 25 square kilometres of Tasmanian forest. Continue Reading →

20 February 2015
by beth
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Plastic world

Most of Australia’s ocean plastic comes from littering.  Credit: ©istock.com/tanukiphoto

Most of Australia’s ocean plastic comes from littering.
Credit: ©istock.com/tanukiphoto

Each year, around 16 plastic bags full of plastic enters the oceans for every meter of coastline – but where is it coming from?

Chris Wilcox, a researcher at CSIRO, used maths to find out how much plastic countries around the world are throwing into the oceans. It turns out it’s a lot.

“In 2010, if you turned all the plastic we threw in the oceans into cling film, it would cover the whole of Australia 1.6 times,” he says. Continue Reading →