Here’s the blueprint for a global fireball observatory – and why we need one

Originally published via The Conversation: Bright shooting stars are one of nature’s great wonders. Like the one in the main image, which was visible from Devon in the south-west of England in June, these fireballs are caused by space rocks hitting Earth’s atmosphere. The friction forces them to slow down, producing a tremendous amount of heat at the same time. If the rock is big […]

Help count craters on Mars!

Understanding the accuracy of automation is ever increasingly important – and is the focus of many research projects – including Curtin University student Philip Long. His work is looking at craters on Mars and you can help evaluate the accuracy of an automated crater counting algorithm. Keen? If you go to the website, you’ll see a picture of the surface of Mars. If you […]

‘Sling-shot’ show for NASA spacecraft over Australia

Stargazers will be treated to a rare skyshow when NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft ‘sling-shots’ its way over Australian skies on September 23. Using Earth’s gravity to give it an orbital boost, OSIRIS-REx will rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu in 2018. The Earth flyby will give astronomers and those with high-end cameras a chance to view this rare encounter. OSIRIS-REx is on an extraordinary […]

Solar Eclipse awash with awe

Loving that the internet is awash with the joy of the #SolarEclipse2017! From down on Earth looking up (through your special glasses, of course!) to the 6 incredible humans on the #ISS looking down, we are united in awe of our solar system. Many of our space-based instrumentation even took part, with such gorgeous images like the one above. Image of the […]

Giant Convecting Mud Balls of the Early Solar System

When Prof Phil Bland’s new paper hit the internet with a title of “Giant Convecting Mud Balls of the Early Solar System” published in Science Advances , you know all the science blogs got excited! Give a google of “bland mud balls” and you’ll see just how many ways they tried to describe it pop-sci style… (spoiler alert: it involves “mud” “balls” […]

Taking the (space) rocky road to Mars

Congratulations to Associate Professor Gretchen Benedix for the $1 million grant as a 2017 Australian Research Centre Future Fellow to learn more about past potential for habitability on Mars as well as to select future landing sites! Gretchen is one of the Desert Fireball Network’s rockstars – she gets first dibs on sample analysis and classification of the meteorites recovered – so […]