1000 Things You Didn’t Know About the Universe #5: Seeing Aurora Means the Sun Isn’t Killing You

Welcome to a new series of posts that will characterize 1000 amazing facts about the Universe.  There is so much out there that we have yet to learn, and every day, astronomers across the globe are using their research to reveal the deepest secrets of the cosmos.  This series will look at the strangest, coolest, most exciting facts that we have discovered in hundreds of years of modern science. Fact #5:When you see an aurora in the sky, it is a sign that you are being protected by the Earth and not being blasted with solar radiation. The Sun; A...

Doing Exoplanet Chemistry From Earth

Exoplanets are light years away, hidden by their parent stars, and barely detectable.  Yet even though most have never been directly imaged, we can study the light from the parent star as the planet passes in front of it, and use this information to learn about the planet’s size and composition, especially if it has an atmosphere.  Once you know a little bit about how big and dense a planet is, and the major elements that form it’s crust and atmosphere, you can do a lot of Chemistry to figure out what it should be made of and how these...

The Expanse of Time – Galaxies, Evolution, Lifetimes

Have you ever seen those amazing composite images that people will post, showing the same picture every day or every year for a long period of time.  We see how children age, how people transform their bodies, and how their day to day experiences, though seemingly small, add up to incredible changes as the years go by.  I personally love time-lapse photography, representing a long period of time in a shorter instance.  For me the beauty is showing those changes that are subtle in human experience and communicating them in a way that shows how significant they are when we...

Motivation Monday: Smile – You’ve got it Good!

I woke up at 5:30am this morning.  It sucked. It was pitch dark but I had to get out and beat traffic.  I fed the cats, got dressed, had breakfast, then drove to the gym for a 6am workout.  Still dark.  Finished my workout, had a shower, got back in the car, still dark out, and drove to work, sitting in traffic.  People were cutting each other off, tailgating, and doing everything from eating to putting on makeup in the car.  This is a normal day driving in Toronto, and I was thinking about how people curse and complain and...

Non-Expert Post: Biology: Human DNA Shows 40 MY Battle between Primate and Pathogen

I am an astronomer, and have spent vast amount of my time studying Space and Astronomy, and even a bit of Planetary Geology.  As a Science communicator and someone interested in how the world works, all types of Science fascinate me, and sometimes stories pop up that are really interesting to me.  It also helps that the current exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre is about the Brain.  This has me spending a lot of time learning how the Brain works and how it has evolved over the generations that led to our current human brains and bodies. So in the...