As humans increasingly explore space, we will want – and need – to bring plants with us. Plants are critical for keeping space travellers healthy on long missions: exploring deep space, on long stints on the ISS, or setting up a base on the Moon or Mars. Researchers are testing various crops and equipment to figure out how to do this without using a lot of extra hardware or power.
While we cannot directly observe them, every galaxy has its own halo of dark matter, on which familiar, visible matter hangs. Our solar system orbits the centre of our galaxy, while Earth orbits the Sun. As we do this, our motion through the Milky Way’s halo of dark matter creates the Headwind Effect. Dr Grace Lawrence asked whether this Headwind exhibits “gusts” of higher intensity.
It’s not easy to find an planets beyond our own solar system. With few exceptions, we cannot see them directly. Even with the largest, most powerful telescopes, they remain lost in the glare of their host stars. Instead, astronomers like NASA’s Dr Jessie Christiansen search for clues that reveal the presence of unseen worlds as detectives.
It’s not uncommon to have “four seasons in one day” in Melbourne. Our variable weather patterns are driven by conditions moving from west to east and, to some extent, from the Southern Ocean to Australia. These variables control cloud formation and, just like following a cake recipe, change in flavour and form depending on the ingredients you put in.
From remote Antarctica to the towering Himalayas, accelerating ice loss under climate change casts a stark shadow over ecosystems, coastlines, and the equilibrium of our global environment. Glaciologists like Professor Andrew Mackintosh work to understand past glacier and ice sheet changes to improve future predictions – and that future looks bleak.