Gusts in the Headwind

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.

Exoplanet Hunting: A Search for New Worlds

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.

Looking at Clouds in the Sky is More Complex Than You Think

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.

Glaciers and Ice Sheets in a Warming World

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.

Surviving the Journey: Protecting astronauts from space radiation

Outside the protective cocoon of the Earth’s magnetic field is a universe full of damaging radiation. NASA’s Artemis Missions aim to establish humanity’s first long-term presence on the Moon in 2024, so experimental physicist Dr Gail Iles is investigating ways to overcome the radiation factor so that astronauts can survive long journeys, or even live indefinitely, in space.