• All posts by Adi

    Adi

    About Adi

    Aditya Chopra is a PhD student at the Planetary Science Institute at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. His research areas include astrobiology and planetary science with the focus of his PhD research being the examination of elemental abundances in different life forms and their environments to gain insight into the origin and evolution of life. He says astrobiology provides great satisfaction to his confused soul - he could be a chemist one minute and then be culturing microbes the next and if the stars are out, he enjoys zooming into the heavens above!

  • Does My Moon Look Big In This?

    It happens at least once every month. Sometimes, rarely, it happens twice a month. It’s when lunatics roam the streets and when drivers get distracted by what they see up there in the sky. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s a FULL MOON.

    Yesterday, inspired by the beautiful sight of the Moon outside my window and soon after reading about impact craters on the different hemispheres of the Moon, I wanted to find out if there were others around the world who were also thinking about the Moon. It turned out there were lots of people tweeting about

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  • Random Sample: Periodic

    We begin this week with what might seem to be a collection of random videos and stories that lead us from earthly elements to stellar spectacles. Individually, they are all interesting but there is also a common thread… Can you identify the “periodic” feature in all the stories?

    The NEW Periodic Table Song (In Order)
    You have probably heard the Elements song by Tom Lehrer or heard a rendition of that song by Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter). There have been a number of other interesting takes on it

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  • A new way to see the good old views

    I have always wondered if there will ever be a day when we shall be able to control time and space. You know, fast forward things we experience, then slow them down… Zoom into our world and then zoom back out simply with a two-finger pinch? For the time being at least, such control of our everyday experience seems to be in the realms of science fiction. But I recently discovered three new web-based visualization apps that can give us a feel for how useful such control would be for scientists.

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  • When bugs talk

    Microbes make the world go round. There are more microbial cells on you and in you, than your own cells – in fact 99% of them are not human! Some members of our microbiome enable us to digest the food we eat while others play an essential role in maintaining our immune system that fights off other pathogenic microbes. They are central to biogeochemical cycles of elements such as carbon and nitrogen and they have been doing so for billions of years. Anyway, to cut a long story short, you and I wouldn’t be alive without them!

    Checkout the

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  • A new Pope and a new particle – is it déjà vu?

    Habemus Papam et Deus Particular – We have a Pope and the God particle.
    The news bears an eerie likeness to Dan Brown’s plot in Angels and Demons.

    Last week two important events took place. In the Vatican, the College of Cardinals were guided by the Holy Spirit (or so the legend goes) to choose Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. As the world learned more about Pope Francis (who as it turns out is a chemistry graduate), not far from Rome, in

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  • The next best thing

    In recent days, Curiosity has been busy with self-inspections and calibration of its instrument suite. It has clocked about 150 meters and continues to work in good health.

    You might have already seen some photos of the red planet from this or past missions but prepare to be amazed by this impressive panorama.

    The Mars Science Laboratory might only sport a 2 Mega Pixel camera (so that it can send it photos in a reasonable time frame back to Earth), but thanks to the clever people at NASA and photographers like  Andrew Bodrov,

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