Guest Work

The long hunt for new objects in our expanding solar system

Guest Work Feb 04, 2016

Kevin Orrman-Rossiter, University of Melbourne and Alice Gorman, Flinders University Recognise these planet names: Vulcan, Neptune, Pluto, Nemesis, Tyche and Planet X? They all have one thing in common: their existence was predicted to account for unexplained phenomena in our solar system. While the predictions of Neptune and Pluto proved correct, Nemesis and Tyche probably don’t … Read More

Explainer: what is Guillain-Barré syndrome and is it caused by the Zika virus?

Guest Work Feb 04, 2016

Steven Maltby, University of Newcastle The recent outbreak of Zika virus in South America has been a cause of concern. This is not because Zika itself is a serious condition, but because it is believed to be linked to birth defects when expectant mothers are infected and to a rare but severe and progressive neurological disorder called Guillain-Barré … Read More

The forgotten moon landing that paved the way for today’s space adventures

Guest Work Feb 03, 2016

Mike Cruise, University of Birmingham Crashing into a planet is seldom a good idea. If you’re trying to travel to another world, you’re likely to land at tens of kilometres per second unless you do something serious to slow down. When Neil Armstrong famously became the first man on the moon in 1969, he piloted a lunar module … Read More

Here’s why we don’t have a vaccine for Zika (and other mosquito-borne viruses)

Guest Work Feb 03, 2016

Suresh Mahalingam, Griffith University and Michael Rolph, Griffith University As Zika fear rises, especially in the wake of the World Health Organization last night declaring a state of public health emergency, people are inevitably asking why we don’t have a vaccine to protect against the mosquito-borne virus. Zika is generally a mild illness, causing fever, … Read More

Is our Milky Way galaxy a zombie, already dead and we don’t know it?

Guest Work Jan 29, 2016

Kevin Schawinski, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich Like a zombie, the Milky Way galaxy may already be dead but it still keeps going. Our galactic neighbor Andromeda almost certainly expired a few billion years ago, but only recently started showing outward signs of its demise. Galaxies seem to be able to “perish” – that is, stop turning … Read More

Flat wrong: the misunderstood history of flat Earth theories

Guest Work Jan 29, 2016

Chris Fleming, Western Sydney University For most people, being described as a “flat Earther” is an insult. The idea of the Earth being flat is considered not only wrong, but a model of wrongness, the gold standard of being incorrect about something. This being so, oddly enough, most people described pejoratively as “flat Earthers” do not actually believe … Read More

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