Category Archives: Background Science

Impact Craters on Earth – Bosumtwi in Ghana

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The great thing about being a geologist is that you often get to travel around the world to do fieldwork or visit a museum or attend a research conference. Sometimes the reverse situation happens – when you are on holiday … Continue reading

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Meteorites: photographs of the solar system

Planetary scientists are often found droning on about meteorites, but what makes them so interesting and useful to study? To explain this, we have to understand what a meteorite actually represents to scientists. This can be most easily described by … Continue reading

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The ‘Plutonium Problem’

Hello Readers!  Following the exciting news of the Chang’e 3 successfully landing on the moon, I thought I’d focus a little more on what is powering the little rover as it makes its way over the lunar surface. Chang’e 3 … Continue reading

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#ISON or #ISOFF

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(I want to apologise for the horrific pun I used in the title, I couldn’t help myself!) I was originally going to edit the previous blog post I put up after the NASA hangout last night, but it would appear … Continue reading

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ISON : The Comet of The Century

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By now, I’m sure you will have all heard of ISON (No, it’s not a new gadget from Apple), the sun grazing comet that is being hailed as the comet of the century. Even if the name isn’t familiar to you, … Continue reading

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MAVEN; Where Did Mars’ Atmosphere Go?

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The MAVEN space probe launched today with the goal of unraveling the puzzle of how Mars lost most of it’s atmosphere and liquid water. It is the first space probe dedicated to purely studying Mars’ upper atmosphere, and will shed … Continue reading

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On the Final Frontier: The Voyager Interstellar Mission

Our SEAES undergraduates undertaking a 3 and 4 year degree programme in Earth and Planetary Science complete a 3rd year ‘Planetary Articles’ module, where they are asked to communicate a planetary topic of their choice in a popular science style to a … Continue reading

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Astronomical Answers! – Why hasn’t ET phoned home?

Keeping up with the theme of the unanswerable paradoxes I’ve been asked to explain Fermi’s Paradox. Now, I wasn’t really asked a specific question in this request – and to the submitter of this particular topic, I would definitely not … Continue reading

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Astronomical Answers! – The bright night sky paradox…

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Welcome to the second installment of Astronomical Answers! I can honestly say, you don’t like giving me easy questions to answer- this week I’m going to try explain why the night sky is dark. Or, more precisely, I was asked … Continue reading

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Astronomical Answers! – Poor Pluto…

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This marks the start of a new series of posts, Astronomical Answers; I’ve been asking people for awhile now about the kinds of questions they have about planetary science and space in general. I’ve got a decent collection of questions … Continue reading

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