Building any type of infrastructure is challenging, whether it be a house or a skyscraper. The difficulty is only compounded when you are building in the remote desert, a coastal town recently hit by a hurricane, or even an observatory on a high mountain. In some locations, it is difficult and downright expensive to bring […]
When we think of geology, we may think of the Grand Canyon. We imagine layers upon layers of geological strata containing rocks that were formed millions or even billions of years ago. But do we ever think about the geological layer that is being laid down today? How will humankind be remembered in the rocks? […]
Far beneath the Canadian ice cap, isolated from the sun and the wind, lies two entire lakes. These subglacial lakes, recently discovered by Anja Rutishauser and her team, seem like they shouldn’t exist at all. For starters, they have a temperature far below the freezing point of water. This implies that perhaps these lakes are unique […]
Living among the stars has long been a dream of humanity. But as we begin to step off this Earth and colonize other planets, many will argue: do we deserve a second chance? With climate change, over-exploitation of natural resources, and man-made ecological problems on this planet, we should stop and wonder – what can […]
What makes a planet a nice place to live? If it’s too close to its parent star, it would end up a searing hot furnace, like Venus. Too far away, and it would end up a frozen snowball. To be habitable, or at least to host life as we know it, a planet would need […]
Why haven’t we found life on other planets yet? Perhaps it’s because we are some of the first life to develop in the Universe. I talk to Dr. Avi Loeb, chair of the astronomy department at Harvard, about the possibility that life may be much more common in the distant future around small, dim, and […]
Most times, astronomy is limited to passively observing. But not this time. Today, Dr. Dylan Spaulding, a project scientist at UC Davis in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science, talks with us about how he creates high velocity impacts in the lab with a canon, and what this can tell us about planet formation.