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All five bright planets come together in the morning sky

Mercury rises out of the early morning glow to complete the full set of five bright planets. Museum Victoria/Stellarium, CC BY-SA

For the first time in more than 10 years, it will be possible to see all five brigh


Originally published in The Conversation.

Not so science fiction after all, the internet could out-evolve humanity

Beware the digital evolution. Pixabay, CC BY

Living things accumulate and reproduce information. That’s really the driving principle behind life, and behind evolution.


Originally published in The Conversation.

How not to write about science

This is what happens when science writing gets too turgid. Shutterstock

Amid the many calls for scientists to engage with the general public, there are some who feel that scientists ought to remain aloof and disconne


Originally published in The Conversation.

A case of mistaken identity for Australia's extinct big bird

Australia is renowned for once being home to a group of gigantic birds known as the mihirungs. These birds are distantly related to waterfowl and included the impressive Dromornis stirtoni, the largest bird ever known on the planet at about 450kg in weight.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Governments undermining encryption will do more harm than good

Western governments are threatening to undermine the encryption that keeps our online communications private. Shutterstock

Western governments, notably the UK and the US, are pushing the software industry to open “backdoors” into our encrypted communications.


Originally published in The Conversation.

How to find a meteorite that's fallen to Earth

A bright fireball lit up the night sky around Kati Thanda (Lake Eyre South) in South Australia on November 27, 2015.

But how to find the impact site of that meteorite? And how can we know where in the solar system the object came from?

Thankfully, a new meteorite tracking system we’ve installed in Australia has enabled us to answer these questions, helping us better understand the history and composition of our solar system.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Charles Darwin's evolutionary revelation in Australia

View of Port Jackson, Fort Macquarie and part of Sydney Cove, in 1836. Govett, William Romaine/National Library

One hundred and eighty years ago today, on January 12, 1836, HMS Beagle entered Sydney Harbour with the 26-year old Charles Darwin on board.


Originally published in The Conversation.

What's up with Twitter, in fewer than 10,000 characters

There's already a lot you can say on Twitter in 140 characters. Flickr/Manuel Schmalstieg, CC BY

The internet erupted in outrage last week at The Conversation.

Shooting the moon: the search for ultra high energy neutrinos

The moon can be used to help in the hunt for high energy particles. Flickr/Neil Hall , CC BY-NC

In 1991 physicists first detected a cosmic ray – a high-energy particle from space – with


Originally published in The Conversation.