What causes the northern lights?
If you live in the high latitudes, like Alaska, or New Zealand, you've probably had a chance to see an aurora. Here in Canada, we call them the Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis, but the lucky folks ...
Planets outside our solar system more hospitable to life than thought
A study by astrophysicists at the University of Toronto suggests that exoplanets - planets outside our solar system - are more likely to have liquid water and be more habitable than we thought.
New planetary dashboard shows 'Great Acceleration' in human activity since 1950
Human activity, predominantly the global economic system, is now the prime driver of change in the Earth System (the sum of our planet's interacting physical, chemical, biological and human processes), according ...
Instrument housing produced with 3-D printed mould
3D printing offers engineers various ways to construct hardware that simply could not be built in any other manner – such as this single-piece casing to house an optical instrument for Earth observations.
Isotopic memory of atmospheric persistence
Chemical analysis of some of the world's oldest rocks, by an international team led by McGill University researchers, has provided the earliest record yet of Earth's atmosphere. The results show that the ...
Asteroid to fly by Earth safely on January 26
An asteroid, designated 2004 BL86, will safely pass about three times the distance of Earth to the moon on January 26. From its reflected brightness, astronomers estimate that the asteroid is about a third ...
Meteorite material born in molten spray as embryo planets collided
Asteroids may be a byproduct of planet formation rather than planetary building blocks, according to a recent paper in Nature.
Video: Exciting space missions ahead for 2015
After a very fruitful 2014, there is no time to rest, another busy space year is already underway.
NASA launches sounding rockets into auroras to study atmospheric effects
The interaction of solar winds and Earth's atmosphere produces northern lights, or auroras, that dance across the night sky and mesmerize the casual observer. However, to scientists this interaction is more ...
Are gamma ray bursts dangerous?
If comics have taught me anything, it's that gamma powered superheroes and villains are some of the most formidable around.
Two-faced fish clue that our ancestors 'weren't shark-like'
An investigation of a 415-million-year-old fish skull strongly suggests that the last common ancestor of all jawed vertebrates, including humans, was not very shark-like. It adds further weight to the growing ...
Space debris expert warns about dangers of orbital junk
The emerging problem of floating space junk becomes more and more evident and bothersome. Spacecraft and satellites are currently subject to high-speed impacts by more than 19,000 trackable objects, mainly ...
China plan for unmanned moon landing, Earth return advances
China's bold plan to land an unmanned spaceship on the moon before returning to Earth has moved another step forward with a test craft shifting into lunar orbit to conduct further tests, state media reported ...
Will we mine asteroids?
It's been said that a single asteroid might be worth trillions of dollars in precious rare metals. Will we ever reach out and mine these space rocks? How hard could it be?