Why don’t the planets closest to the Sun melt or burn up?

Author: Chris Tinney
Date: 16.08.17
The planets closer to the Sun than the Earth are indeed hotter than the Earth is. But that still doesn’t make them hot enough to melt the rocks that they are made from! Mercury is the small, rocky planet nearest the Sun. The side that faces the Sun has a temperature of around 430℃. Remembering ...

On the origins of environmental bullshit

Author: David Schlosberg
Date: 25.07.17
I grew up in the Long Island suburbs of New York and have vivid memories of running behind the “fog trucks”. These trucks went through the neighbourhoods spraying DDT for mosquito control until it was banned in 1972. I didn’t know it until much later, but that experience, and exposure, wa...

where does money come from?

Author: Fabrizio Carmignani
Date: 19.04.17
If you look inside your parents’ wallets, you’ll see some brightly coloured plastic sheets and some little plastic cards. These plastic notes and cards are “money”, which your parents use to buy food, clothes, and beautiful toys. When I was a child, I used to read The Adventures of Pinocchi...

Why is the sky blue and where does it start?

Author: Duane W. Hamacher
Date: 26.07.17
This is something that parents get asked every day. And it’s a great question, Oliver! Some people think the sky is blue because of sunlight reflected off the ocean and back into the sky. But the sky is blue even in the middle of the countryside, nowhere near the sea! Others think it’s because...

Explainer: a beginner’s guide to the galaxy

Author: Michael J. I. Brown
Date: 7.04.17
Viewed from afar, the Milky Way might appear similar to the galaxy known as NGC 7331. R. Jay GaBany/NASA Where are we within our galaxy? How did our galaxy form? How did it evolve over the aeons? Astronomers have been asking these questions for the past century, and have recently begun discerni...

Does space go on forever?

Author: Tanya Hill
Date: 26.04.17
Space probably does go on forever, but the truth is we don’t know. Not yet anyway. That’s what makes this a great question, because science is all about finding answers to things we don’t know yet. So, what do we know about space? We know it’s big, really big. It’s big enough to contain t...