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  • richardmitnick 10:18 am on January 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , CSIROscope,   

    From CSIROscope : “Robots of the future: it’s about to get weird” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope

    9 January 2019

    The word “robot” was coined almost a hundred years ago by Czech writer Karel Čapek, to refer to the artificial life forms in his play “Rossum’s Universal Robots”. Ever since humanoid shaped robots have dominated concepts of what a robot should look like.

    Think of Star War’s C3PO, The Terminator, The Iron Giant, or even Marvin the Paranoid Android from “Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy”.

    In the real world there are also machines like Boston Dynamic’s incredibly agile “Atlas”. Or Sophia, the first robot to receive citizenship.

    More often than not though our shape isn’t the best one for robots faced with challenging assignments in extreme environments.

    In a just published paper [Nature Machine Intelligence] our scientists have offered a bold glimpse into what the robots of the future could look like – and it’s not “Robby the Robot”.

    Robot evolution revolution

    Our Active Integrated Matter Future Science Platform (AIM FSP) says that within 20 years robots could look unpredictably different. Scientific breakthroughs in areas like materials discovery, advanced manufacturing, 3D printing, and artificial intelligence will allow robots to be designed from the molecular level up to perform their specific mission. Resulting in unusual and unexpected shapes, limbs and behaviours.

    2
    An artist’s impression of a robot for use in the Amazon. Based on tree crawling lizards and gecko, it would have articulated legs for more flexibility and climbing.

    Central to this all is a concept known as Multi-Level Evolution (MLE). It argues that robots should be taking their engineering cues from the one tried and true design philosophy that’s survived millennia on Earth: evolution.

    Evolution has seen animals undergo incredibly diverse adaptation to survive challenging environments. It creates effective solutions that are often totally different to any a human engineer would come up with. Kangaroos, for instance, probably wouldn’t have made it off the drawing board but have survived and thrived for eons in Australia.

    How would MLE work?

    A robot’s mission, as well as details about the relevant terrain and environment, would be entered into a computer. It would then run algorithms based on evolution to automatically design robots.

    The computer would do this by exploring a diverse range of materials, components, sensors and behaviours. Advanced, computer based modelling could rapidly test prototypes in simulated, “real world” scenarios to decide which works best.

    Once that’s done 3D printing and other technologies would be used to create and physically test prototype robots.

    The end result? Small, simple, highly specialised robots that can automatically adapt to their environment and are tough enough to survive their mission.

    3
    An artist’s impression of an ocean, coastal or river based amphibious robot. It would travel in water like an eel, but have legs in order to crawl and climb.

    Do the robot

    Say, in the future, you need to design robots for environmental monitoring in extreme environments. They’d all need to move across difficult landscapes while gathering data. Eventually, to avoid polluting the environment, they’d have to return to base or degrade away to nothing. How could you do this?

    MLE would come up with remarkably different results, depending on the terrain, climate and other factors.

    To cope with the Sahara Desert a robot would need materials designed to survive punishing heat, sand and dust. Given the amount of sun the Sahara receives the robot could be solar powered, and slide across sand dunes. The harsh UV light could also be used as the trigger to eventually wear the robot away.

    In the Amazon a robot would have entirely different challenges to face. Thick, low lying vegetation and fallen trees would hamper its movement so it would need to be flexible enough to climb over or go round obstacles. It could perhaps be powered by biomass such as the leaves covering the jungle floor, and degrade with humidity.

    4
    An artist’s impression of an Antarctic based robot. Turtle like, it would be strong and robust for extreme conditions. It could also suit desert applications.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SKA/ASKAP radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Mid West region of Western Australia

    So what can we expect these new radio projects to discover? We have no idea, but history tells us that they are almost certain to deliver some major surprises.

    Making these new discoveries may not be so simple. Gone are the days when astronomers could just notice something odd as they browse their tables and graphs.

    Nowadays, astronomers are more likely to be distilling their answers from carefully-posed queries to databases containing petabytes of data. Human brains are just not up to the job of making unexpected discoveries in these circumstances, and instead we will need to develop “learning machines” to help us discover the unexpected.

    With the right tools and careful insight, who knows what we might find.

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

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  • richardmitnick 10:02 am on January 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), , Australia and Antarctica, CSIROscope, Did a hotspot break up your relationship?, , Lithosphere (the Earth’s crust and upper mantle), , , , , Seamounts (underwater volcanic mountains)., Smoke in the water,   

    From CSIROscope: “Did a hotspot break up your relationship?” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope

    7 January 2019
    Sophie Schmidt

    1
    Women make up 85% of scientists on this voyage of RV Investigator, which is being led by the University of Tasmania.

    RV Investigator Australia

    We’re back out on the waves on board RV Investigator serving up live science plucked fresh from the high seas – and what a voyage it’s been! Since departing Hobart just after Christmas, we’ve been busy sailing for science – not in pursuit of freaky abyssal fish, nor whale watching or shipwrecks – this time we’ve set out for the love of rocks.

    Yep, you read it correctly. The Chief Scientist, Dr Jo Whittaker from the University of Tasmania is leading a team of geologists on a two-week voyage to undertake research into one of those huge, soul-searching kind of break ups. Think less Ariana and Pete (hello, millennials, are you reading CSIROscope?) and more Australia and Antarctica.

    We’re hoping that we might get the closure we need by investigating an area hundreds of kilometres off the coast of Tasmania brimming with seamounts (underwater volcanic mountains).

    All of this drama went down like, 35 million years ago, so we should really be over it by now, but according to Jo, it’s vital that we understand what happened in Antarctica’s past in order to predict its future.

    2
    Jill, CSIRO summer scholar student (right) has been busy mapping seamounts as part of our Geophysical Survey and Mapping (GSM) team.

    Smoke in the water

    Seamounts are caused by mantle plumes – basically, the homewreckers of the lithosphere (the Earth’s crust and upper mantle). Mantle plumes are an up-welling of extra-hot molten rock (magma) from the mantle below and they can seriously mess stuff up. They can cause the Earth’s crust to weaken and rise up through the sea floor, creating big structures such as seamounts and large underwater plateaus, like the Kerguelen Plateau in the Southern Ocean.

    While a mantle plume more or less stays put over time, tectonic plates can continue to drift over it, resulting in seamounts sprouting up in chains across the seafloor. A mantle plume can also cause the Earth’s surface to be uplifted.

    Jo thinks that if we can determine the age and the order in which the seamounts we are studying sprouted as a result of the Balleny mantle plume, we’ll get a better understanding of the role this plume played in this epic break-up.

    “Antarctica underwent a dramatic change 34 million years ago going from Tasmanian rainforests to a glaciated state,” says Jo.

    “Around the same time, it’s thought that the Tasman Gateway, separating Antarctica from Tasmania, opened up.”

    “This research is all about determining whether the mantle plume played a role in opening the Gateway.”

    3
    Voyage Chief Scientist Jo Whittaker inspects the contents of the latest geological treasure haul.

    Rockin’ n rollin’

    Faced with the prospect of a dry ship on New Years’ Eve and oscillating bouts of sea sickness – compounded by my baseline understanding of geology (which has marginally improved), it’s been a seamount-shaped learning curve catching up on the science above and below decks.

    RV Investigator operates 24 hours a day (eye-masks issued on board say “good science doesn’t sleep but good scientists do”) and being on board this world-class research vessel feels like living inside a big, heaving, cooperative sea creature, fuelled by the enthusiasm and smarts of the crew, scientists and support staff on board.

    2
    (In case you can’t tell) Tom, PhD student from University of Tasmania is excited to find some fresh basalt, because it will clue us in to the age of one of the seamounts.

    Much to one geologist’s delight, we occasionally dig up sediment. Popping this under the microscope can reveal a catalogue of million-year-old microfossils including the remnants of coral and plankton which can be dated.

    Everyone is connected on board by some advanced and not so advanced technology. It’s not unusual to wake up to a message from a scientist at 2am posting a photo from another ‘gorgeous dredge’ or to find napkins passionately scribbled with geological diagrams lying around the ship’s galley.

    4
    RV Investigator has advanced multibeam systems that can map to full ocean depth.

    Navigating the unknown is, of course, made much easier with detailed maps and our geospatial mapping team has been constantly collecting seafloor data in rotating 12-hour shifts. The maps are used to decide which part of the seamount we’d like to sample. The ship’s winch is then used to lower a dredge down to thousands of metres below the ocean surface to sample along the top of the seamount.

    Enough about us, though – let’s jump into a quick recap of why we’re here.

    Australia and Antarctica – a lava story
    When things were good, they were really good

    We don’t know how long Tasmania and Antarctica shacked up together before separating around 100 million years ago but their relationship goes back at least 500 million years (New Zealand came along for the ride too #itscomplicated).

    But their issues only became bigger and bigger

    At some point, maybe around 80 million years ago, tension rose to the surface. The Balleny mantle plume, a hotspot, appeared on the scene and fired up seamount after seamount in progressive chains. After being so close for so long, Antarctica and Tasmania started to drift apart.

    They decided their problems were just too big to solve

    At first, Tasmania started to back off slowly, at a rate of a few millimetres or so per year.

    Then, around 35 million years ago, rapid uplift of the crust saw Tasmania start zipping north at around 7 centimetres per year. It was time for Tasmania to move on, and leave the hotspot and Antarctica behind.

    Antarctica turned pretty frosty post-split

    Around 34 million years ago Antarctica became increasingly cold – icy, if you will – and the happy memories of the flora and fauna it once shared with Tasmania became a thing of the past. Perhaps Tasmania still carried a flame as it moved north – after all, its rocks, landforms, soils and vegetation are all by-products from a long-term relationship with Antarctica.

    As continental drift accelerated, the sea floor widened enough to form a gateway (opening) for colder waters to start circulating around Antarctica. We call this the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), which thermally isolates Antarctica and helps keeps it cold.

    It’s possible that the uplift of the seafloor could have led to the opening of the Tasman Gateway – and the related onset of the ACC. Determining how and when the seamounts formed in this region will help us better understand the evolution of the ACC.

    5
    Emily is an Australian teacher on board under our Educator on Board Program. When she’s not assisting scientists with preparing samples, she’s coming up with new geological slants for the school curriculum.

    Get your rocks off (the dredge and into the lab)

    Even though things have cooled off, we still have some lingering questions to be answered. Did continental drift alone cause the Tasman Gateway to open, leading to Antarctica’s progressively cold state? How drastically did the Balleny mantle plume affect the seafloor over time?

    Out here, Jo’s looking for those answers in the rock samples, which she describes as ‘geological time capsules’– they’ll be dated and analysed back at the lab.

    “All of the data we’re collecting will be used to train better models used to predict what will happen to Antarctica’s future coastline and the melting of its ice sheets.”

    “We’ll understand how the Tasman gateway opened – and whether or not the mantle plume played a major role in the glaciation of Antarctica.”

    6
    Scientists are seeking to join the dots to better understand this chain of seamounts that stretches across the Tasman Sea.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SKA/ASKAP radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Mid West region of Western Australia

    So what can we expect these new radio projects to discover? We have no idea, but history tells us that they are almost certain to deliver some major surprises.

    Making these new discoveries may not be so simple. Gone are the days when astronomers could just notice something odd as they browse their tables and graphs.

    Nowadays, astronomers are more likely to be distilling their answers from carefully-posed queries to databases containing petabytes of data. Human brains are just not up to the job of making unexpected discoveries in these circumstances, and instead we will need to develop “learning machines” to help us discover the unexpected.

    With the right tools and careful insight, who knows what we might find.

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:58 pm on December 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , CSIROscope, How to sift through the millions of galaxies buried within terabytes and terabytes of data, Meet our space sifter-Tim Galvin, , Tim’s role is trying to see how machine learning can help solve particular problems   

    From CSIROscope: “Meet our space sifter” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope

    20 December 2018
    Nikki Galovic

    1
    Tim Galvin has a big job ahead of him sifting through the masses of data generated by our world-leading ASKAP telescope

    One of our Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder [see below] (ASKAP) teams is preparing to produce a catalogue of 70 million galaxies. That’s a pretty solid number – it’s actually more data than has ever been detected by all radio telescopes across the entire history of radio astronomy. If you want to split hairs, it’s about 25 times the number of galaxies ever detected.

    ASKAP is actually a precursor to the SKA which is a big international project to build the world’s largest radio telescope. Construction is due to start in the 2020s in Australia and South Africa. And that will mean even more data.

    What to do with all that data?

    So how to sift through the millions of galaxies buried within terabytes and terabytes of data? There’s a big project fittingly called The Evolutionary Map of the Universe (also known as EMU – cute!) and they have this challenge ahead of them.

    ASKAP EMU Evolutionary Map of the Universe

    All that data can’t be waded through by humans alone and that’s where Tim Galvin from our Astronomy and Space Science team comes in.

    Tim’s research group, which also involves the Western Sydney University and other institutions, is working to solve that data deluge with machine learning: training an algorithm to sift the supernovas from the Moon dust.

    “We’ve never been so deep across such a large surface of the sky. We’re going to have way too much data,” Tim said.

    Tim’s role is trying to see how machine learning can help solve particular problems. He’s working on an algorithm called ‘self-organising maps’ which will help organise different types of radio sources they’re seeing in the data surveys.

    “We only want to have to worry about the cool interesting stuff. But we’re still figuring out what the ‘important’ data will look like.

    “We’re at a special time where technology can do very cool things – that even ten years ago you would have said ‘no way’ to.

    “For example, the idea that you could get affordable disks to store 30 or 40 terabytes of data – or CPUs capable of churning through that data.

    “It’s a really cool time to be at CSIRO with big data instruments, because we’re getting to the point where we can make big strides in problems that we used to think were just too big to solve,” he said.

    Fields of vision

    ASKAP is made of 36 identical 12-metre wide dish antennas that all work together as one telescope. The antennas have unique CSIRO-designed phased array feed receivers – each one creates 36 individual beams on the sky – traditional receivers have one beam. These special receivers effectively give astronomers a wide-angle lens on the Universe with a field of view of 30 square degrees – huge!

    Tim’s vision is the opposite. He has a visual impairment called Choroideremia (sometimes abbreviated to CHM) which makes it like looking through a tunnel.

    “It’s a visual impairment that I’ve had all my life. It’s a progressive condition – so it gets worse over time.

    “My left eye is more or less gone – I can’t read or see with it, but thankfully my right eye has a really strong field of vision at the centre.

    “Day to day, I can still read a computer screen easily. I have large text and colour schemes to help recognise what I’m reading, and generally the accessibility tools on most systems are exactly what I need. I’m pretty lucky.

    “If I’m away from the computer, though – even doing simple things like walking around the office – that’s when I have to be quite careful.

    Long-term, there’s no formal treatment for Choroideremia, and Tim will likely go completely blind. The timeframe on that is not clear but there are some promising trials from different treatments happening around the world.

    2
    Don’t you hate it when you get so much data from your super-powerful telescopes that you have to build a fleet of robot brains to interpret it?! Credit: Alex Cherney/terrastro.com

    A room full of geniuses

    When we ask our staff what they love most about working at CSIRO, there’s a pretty common response: the people. You can be in a room full of geniuses any day of the week. Sometimes you might be the smartest person in that room and sometimes you’re learning new and amazing things. Tim is no different.

    “The more people I talk to, the more I realise how much there is that I just don’t know.

    “It’s pretty common for me to walk out of a talk – and think ‘Okay, there’s five words I’m going to need to look up on Wikipedia.’

    “Even within your field of expertise there’s going to be a hell of a lot of stuff you don’t fully grasp – it gives you something to work towards, and it makes me feel pretty hopeful.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SKA/ASKAP radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Mid West region of Western Australia

    So what can we expect these new radio projects to discover? We have no idea, but history tells us that they are almost certain to deliver some major surprises.

    Making these new discoveries may not be so simple. Gone are the days when astronomers could just notice something odd as they browse their tables and graphs.

    Nowadays, astronomers are more likely to be distilling their answers from carefully-posed queries to databases containing petabytes of data. Human brains are just not up to the job of making unexpected discoveries in these circumstances, and instead we will need to develop “learning machines” to help us discover the unexpected.

    With the right tools and careful insight, who knows what we might find.

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:02 pm on December 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Climate change is intimately linked to our oceans, CSIROscope, Fish are helping feed a hungry world, industry and future research, , Oceans are the lungs of our planet, Piping hot marine research delivered to your door, The data we collect about biodiversity informs policy, We don’t know much about what dwells in the deep blue   

    From CSIROscope: “Piping hot marine research delivered to your door” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope

    1
    Every biodiversity surveys discovers new life in our oceans. Credit Asher Flatt.

    Did you order some world-class marine research? On 12 December 2014, our resolute research vessel Investigator was commissioned into service, delivering a flexible blue-water research platform for collaborative marine research in Australia.

    3
    RV Investigator

    Four years and forty voyages on, we‘re serving up four reasons why the marine research we deliver flavours your world.

    1) Oceans are the lungs of our planet

    Every breath you take, every move you make, the oceans have contributed more than half of your oxygen. In fact, marine photosynthesisers such as phytoplankton, are estimated to produce up to 80% of the world’s oxygen.

    The problem is, we don’t fully understand how changes in our oceans are impacting on phytoplankton populations. We know factors like ocean temperature and iron levels are important but we need better data on ocean inputs and dynamics to better understand ocean productivity.

    Research we deliver includes study of ocean properties to look at what makes for happy phytoplankton and, as a result, healthy ocean food webs and oxygen production.

    2) Fish are helping feed a hungry world

    Give a man a fish and feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and he will contribute towards a global fish catch estimated at over 120 million tonnes per year. The global harvest of fish has increased dramatically to meet the demands of growing populations, with recent studies estimating that four million fishing boats ply our oceans.

    For effective and sustainable fisheries management, we need to know about the size, distribution and health of fish populations, something that is poorly understood for fisheries globally (but slightly better for Australian waters).

    Our research contributes to the better management of fisheries through study of population sizes, changes and movements. This helps inform government and industry to manage fisheries so our increasing demand for fish doesn’t outstrip what our oceans can sustainably supply.

    2
    Investigator delivers piping hot marine research from ice edge to equator.

    3) Climate change is intimately linked to our oceans

    When the winds of change blow, we need to look to our oceans for answers. Our oceans help regulate the global climate by absorbing heat (possibly 90% of heat from global warming) and chemicals such as carbon dioxide.

    To understand and predict climate change, we need to understand the interaction between ocean and atmosphere, including how currents move energy and regulate temperature, and how chemicals are absorbed into the ocean.

    The research we deliver helps plug gaps in our knowledge by enabling long term ocean monitoring as well as targeted research into complex ocean systems that are poorly understood. The end result, more and better data, leading to better models and better predictions.

    4) We don’t know much about what dwells in the deep blue

    Imagine if every time you walked out the door you discovered a new species! Well, that’s what happens nearly every time we undertake biodiversity surveys in our oceans. We find new fish new corals, new molluscs, new worms, new algae – you name it, we find it. And then name it!

    A good reason to study and understand biodiversity is because it influences productivity. Recent studies have found that diverse fish communities are more productive and resistant to the impacts of climate change. For effective and sustainable management of our marine environment, we first need to know what’s down there.

    The data we collect about biodiversity informs policy, industry and future research. A recent report into life found in the Great Australian Bight, including during biodiversity surveys by RV Investigator, found 400 new species. This knowledge is already being used to better inform planning for future development in the region.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SKA/ASKAP radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Mid West region of Western Australia

    So what can we expect these new radio projects to discover? We have no idea, but history tells us that they are almost certain to deliver some major surprises.

    Making these new discoveries may not be so simple. Gone are the days when astronomers could just notice something odd as they browse their tables and graphs.

    Nowadays, astronomers are more likely to be distilling their answers from carefully-posed queries to databases containing petabytes of data. Human brains are just not up to the job of making unexpected discoveries in these circumstances, and instead we will need to develop “learning machines” to help us discover the unexpected.

    With the right tools and careful insight, who knows what we might find.

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:27 pm on December 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , CSIROSat-1 CubeSat, CSIROscope   

    From CSIROscope: “Good things come in small packages, satellites included” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope

    5 December 2018
    Tanya Griffiths

    1
    Artist Impression of CSIROSat-1 CubeSat. Credit: Inovor Technologies

    What’s roughly the size of a toaster but much more useful for Earth observation? Nanosatellites – aka CubeSats. Weighing in at just over one kilogram, CubeSats have a base size of 10cm x 10cm x 10cm. But because every scientist ever is a fan of Lego® building blocks, they’ve also made the cube base stackable so you can add expansion packs. And we’re adding a new breed of these miniature, low-cost satellites to our Earth observation capabilities.

    CubeStats are often used to demonstrate new technology to test new science, new concepts and new infrastructure. A customised selection of scientific instruments carry out specific research and miniaturised electronics conduct and communicate the scientific findings. What also makes these little cubes so versatile is that they can be grouped together into “constellations” to provide advanced mission concepts. Their size and weight also add to their appeal as they can piggy-back a ride with other larger cargo heading up to the International Space Station, where they are launched into orbit around Earth. They generally have a short life-span – lasting about a year or two before their power components fail, and they burn up when they re-enter Earth’s atmosphere, but during their lifetime they provide a valuable science data collection. And this is where they punch well above their weight. CubeSats are rapidly evolving and pushing the research boundaries. Their “tech demonstrator” status means they are a viable option for trialling new scientific approaches and pilot infrastructure. And just recently two CubeSats did something no other CubeSat has done before – they travelled to another planet! In the recent InSight lander mission to Mars, two CubeSats developed by NASA accompanied the lander on its journey to the red planet. This was an amazing demonstration of their capability and potential to support the scientific exploration of interplanetary missions. It signalled a game changer for the scientific and technical scope of these low-cost, mini spacecrafts.

    Eye spy with my little space eye

    This week we took another step forward in expanding our stable of assets in Earth observation with the acquisition of a bespoke CubeSat with infrared sensing capability, the first of its kind in Australia.

    Known as CSIROSat-1, the new satellite will allow researchers to ‘see’ features that can’t otherwise be seen using optical satellites. This will be valuable for detecting bushfires through smoke, studying cloud formation and the development of tropical cyclones and much more. CSIROSat-1 is expected to support our approach to overcoming some of the challenges in monitoring the Australian landscape such as remote locations, areas of low population density and challenging environments. The development of our CSIROSat-1 is also a team effort – being built and assembled by South Australian space start-up Inovor Technologies. This research is supported by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund and in-kind contributions from collaboration research partners UNSW Canberra Space, Australian National University and Defence Science and Technology Group.

    For Australia, and our fledgeling space industry, this technology, along with the recently launched NovaSAR satellite, will be a valuable asset to our space technology portfolio.

    Being an Australian designed, controlled and operated CubeSat, it will offer the advantages of an optimised data stream customised for Australian users and near-real-time data access via Australian receiving stations. Good things really do come in small packages.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SKA/ASKAP radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Mid West region of Western Australia

    So what can we expect these new radio projects to discover? We have no idea, but history tells us that they are almost certain to deliver some major surprises.

    Making these new discoveries may not be so simple. Gone are the days when astronomers could just notice something odd as they browse their tables and graphs.

    Nowadays, astronomers are more likely to be distilling their answers from carefully-posed queries to databases containing petabytes of data. Human brains are just not up to the job of making unexpected discoveries in these circumstances, and instead we will need to develop “learning machines” to help us discover the unexpected.

    With the right tools and careful insight, who knows what we might find.

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:58 am on November 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ACC- Antarctic Circumpolar Current, , CSIROscope, ,   

    From CSIROscope: “Explainer: how the Antarctic Circumpolar Current helps keep Antarctica frozen” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope

    16 November 2018
    Helen Phillips
    Benoit Legresy
    Nathan Bindoff

    The Antarctic Circumpolar Current, or ACC, is the strongest ocean current on our planet. It extends from the sea surface to the bottom of the ocean, and encircles Antarctica.

    It is vital for Earth’s health because it keeps Antarctica cool and frozen. It is also changing as the world’s climate warms. Scientists like us are studying the current to find out how it might affect the future of Antarctica’s ice sheets, and the world’s sea levels.

    The ACC carries an estimated 165 million to 182 million cubic metres of water every second (a unit also called a “Sverdrup”) from west to east, more than 100 times the flow of all the rivers on Earth. It provides the main connection between the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

    The tightest geographical constriction through which the current flows is Drake Passage, where only 800 km separates South America from Antarctica. While elsewhere the ACC appears to have a broad domain, it must also navigate steep undersea mountains that constrain its path and steer it north and south across the Southern Ocean.

    1
    Scientists deploying a vertical microstructure profiler (VMP-2000), which measures temperature, salinity, pressure and turbulence, from RV Investigator in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, November 2018. Photo credit: Nathan Bindoff.

    What is the Antarctic Circumpolar Current?

    A satellite view over Antarctica reveals a frozen continent surrounded by icy waters. Moving northward, away from Antarctica, the water temperatures rise slowly at first and then rapidly across a sharp gradient. It is the ACC that maintains this boundary.

    2
    Map of the ocean surface temperature as measured by satellites and analysed by the European Copernicus Marine Services. The sea ice extent around the antarctic continent for this day appears in light blue. The two black lines indicate the long term position of the southern and northern front of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

    The ACC is created by the combined effects of strong westerly winds across the Southern Ocean, and the big change in surface temperatures between the Equator and the poles.

    Ocean density increases as water gets colder and as it gets more salty. The warm, salty surface waters of the subtropics are much lighter than the cold, fresher waters close to Antarctica. We can imagine that the depth of constant density levels slopes up towards Antarctica.

    The westerly winds make this slope steeper, and the ACC rides eastward along it, faster where the slope is steeper, and weaker where it’s flatter.

    Fronts and bottom water

    In the ACC there are sharp changes in water density known as fronts. The Subantarctic Front to the north and Polar Front further south are the two main fronts of the ACC (the black lines in the images). Both are known to split into two or three branches in some parts of the Southern Ocean, and merge together in other parts.

    Scientists can figure out the density and speed of the current by measuring the ocean’s height, using altimeters. For instance, denser waters sit lower and lighter waters stand taller, and differences between the height of the sea surface give the speed of the current.

    3
    Map of how fast the waters around Antarctica are moving in an easterly direction. It is produced using 23 years of satellite altimetry (ocean height) observations as provided by the European Copernicus Marine Services. Author provided.

    The path of the ACC is a meandering one, because of the steering effect of the sea floor, and also because of instabilities in the current.

    The ACC also plays a part in the meridional (or global) overturning circulation, which brings deep waters formed in the North Atlantic southward into the Southern Ocean. Once there it becomes known as Circumpolar Deep Water, and is carried around Antarctica by the ACC. It slowly rises toward the surface south of the Polar Front.

    Once it surfaces, some of the water flows northward again and sinks north of the Subarctic Front. The remaining part flows toward Antarctica where it is transformed into the densest water in the ocean, sinking to the sea floor and flowing northward in the abyss as Antarctic Bottom Water. These pathways are the main way that the oceans absorb heat and carbon dioxide and sequester it in the deep ocean.

    Changing current

    The ACC is not immune to climate change. The Southern Ocean has warmed and freshened in the upper 2,000 m. Rapid warming and freshening has also been found in the Antarctic Bottom Water, the deepest layer of the ocean.

    Waters south of the Polar Front are becoming fresher due to increased rainfall there, and waters to the north of the Polar Front are becoming saltier due to increased evaporation. These changes are caused by human activity, primarily through adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, and depletion of the ozone layer. The ozone hole is now recovering but greenhouse gases continue to rise globally.

    Winds have strengthened by about 40% over the Southern Ocean over the past 40 years. Surprisingly, this has not translated into an increase in the strength of the ACC. Instead there has been an increase in eddies that move heat towards the pole, particularly in hotspots such as Drake Passage, Kerguelen Plateau, and between Tasmania and New Zealand.

    We have observed much change already. The question now is how this increased transfer of heat across the ACC will impact the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet, and consequently the rate of global sea-level rise.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SKA/ASKAP radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Mid West region of Western Australia

    So what can we expect these new radio projects to discover? We have no idea, but history tells us that they are almost certain to deliver some major surprises.

    Making these new discoveries may not be so simple. Gone are the days when astronomers could just notice something odd as they browse their tables and graphs.

    Nowadays, astronomers are more likely to be distilling their answers from carefully-posed queries to databases containing petabytes of data. Human brains are just not up to the job of making unexpected discoveries in these circumstances, and instead we will need to develop “learning machines” to help us discover the unexpected.

    With the right tools and careful insight, who knows what we might find.

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:00 am on November 6, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1983–2018 in scientific illustration, CSIROscope, Early programs morphed into the familiar Adobe Photoshop Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw. They radically changed my world. We went from black-and-white to full colour, In a black-and-white world the tools of trade for a scientific illustrator were pencil pen Letraset – sticky letters for labeling illustrations, In the mid 1980's computers arrived in our Entomology graphics departments, New approaches such as 3-D scanning 3-D printing CT scanning and the amazing new software packages required to process this new type of data are developing, Pen to pixel, Pencil drawings were converted to ink using Rotring pens, The first technology to produce a change in these methods was a large static camera called a Process Camera, The video camera gave way to high-resolution digital cameras with automated focusing software culminating in the Visionary Digital BK system widely used in ANIC today   

    From CSIROscope: “Pen to pixel, 1983–2018 in scientific illustration” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope

    1 November 2018
    Anne Hastings

    1
    In a black-and-white world, the tools of trade for a scientific illustrator were pencil, pen, Letraset – sticky letters for labeling illustrations, and stippling – a technique used to represent light and shade in an ink drawing. These old methods give way to pixels, full colour, digital controls, Bézier curves and text tools.

    When I started here at CSIRO in the early eighties, pen, pencil and ink were the tools of trade for a scientific illustrator. How things have changed!

    An illustration began with the specimen under the microscope. A camera lucida attached to the side of the microscope reflected the image of the insect onto a piece of paper. Here the hand of the illustrator holding the pencil could be seen superimposed over the specimen. The insect could then be traced, ensuring complete accuracy. Evidence suggests that Vermeer employed a similar trick for his Dutch Interiors.

    Often the legs, wings and body of the insect were twisted and tangled. This required each component to be drawn separately, untangled and re-joined to produce a well conformed drawing.

    Pencil drawings were converted to ink using Rotring pens. These pens held a quantity of black ink in the same way a syringe holds fluid. Pens with nibs of specific thickness were available and using these, the outline of the pencil drawing was traced through a transparent medium — either drafting velum, or by employing a light-table. Making a tonal drawing to feature the specimen as a three-dimensional object was easy with pencil but tricky with pen. With pen, you used a technique called stippling — a method that involved building up the tone by making small individual dots of ink at different densities. This was a time-consuming process.

    The first technology to produce a change in these methods was a large static camera called a Process Camera; it was about 1900 mm wide, 1400 mm high and 900 mm deep. The camera was housed in a large dark room, along with chemical developers and a clothes line for hanging up the developing images. It produced a hard copy called a bromide.

    2
    John Lawrence and Anne Hastings preparing Beetles of the World, to be published on a CD-ROM. This was our second digital product after Beetle Larvae of the World. Partly visible over John’s shoulder is a video camera, on top of a microscope. We used this camera to create the visual content for the interactive identification key and information system for Beetles of the World.

    Using this camera, a toned pencil drawing was photographed through a fine screen that converted the pencil tones into stipples in the way that black-and-white photographs were prepared for newspaper publication. Although still time consuming, it was an improvement over the time taken to stipple an ink drawing.

    Then, in the mid 1980s, computers arrived in our Entomology graphics departments. They brought two new approaches: a pixel-based program called “Digital Darkroom” and a Bézier curve program for drawing mathematically determined curves and lines, thus making them independent of pixels and resolution.

    These early programs morphed into the familiar Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw. They radically changed my world. We went from black-and-white to full colour, from using the convention of broken inked lines to indicate transparency to having the ability to actually make structures transparent! There was so much to learn and so many new ways of doing things. It was an exciting time for an illustrator.

    The next change was replacement of the camera lucida with a video camera mounted on top of the microscope. The resolution was low, but we could take photographs of sections of the subject matter under high magnification and then stitch the images together to make a high-resolution composite.

    In time, the video camera gave way to high-resolution digital cameras with automated focusing software, culminating in the Visionary Digital BK system widely used in ANIC today.

    John Lawrence, Mike Dallwitz, Matt Colloff, Adam Ślipiński and David Yeates were all influential in the transition of scientific illustration to digital media. One of the early products I worked on with John Lawrence and Mike Dallwitz was Beetles of the World, an interactive key and information system. It was produced as a CD-ROM, a technology now superseded by other digital technologies such as the World Wide Web.

    Interactive identification keys and supporting material could go online. HTML and coding languages to control websites and keys became part of the mix of new tools and skills required by an illustrator.

    In 2018 there is no sign of developments slowing. Three dimensions seems to be the next frontier. New approaches such as 3-D scanning, 3-D printing, CT scanning and the amazing new software packages required to process this new type of data are developing.

    All in all, it has been quite a journey.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SKA/ASKAP radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Mid West region of Western Australia

    So what can we expect these new radio projects to discover? We have no idea, but history tells us that they are almost certain to deliver some major surprises.

    Making these new discoveries may not be so simple. Gone are the days when astronomers could just notice something odd as they browse their tables and graphs.

    Nowadays, astronomers are more likely to be distilling their answers from carefully-posed queries to databases containing petabytes of data. Human brains are just not up to the job of making unexpected discoveries in these circumstances, and instead we will need to develop “learning machines” to help us discover the unexpected.

    With the right tools and careful insight, who knows what we might find.

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:06 pm on October 31, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , CSIRO’s Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, CSIROscope, ,   

    From CSIROscope: “The search for the source of a mysterious fast radio burst comes relatively close to home” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope

    31 October 2018
    Elizabeth Mahony

    1
    Antennas of CSIRO’s Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope first picked up the Fast Radio Burst. CSIRO/Alex Cherney, Author provided.

    Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are just that – enormous blasts of radio waves from space that only last for a fraction of a second. This makes pinpointing their source a huge challenge.

    Our team recently discovered 20 new FRBs using CSIRO’s Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder in the Western Australian outback, almost doubling the known number of FRBs.

    In follow-up research, published today in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, we have taken one of these new detections – known as FRB 171020 (the day the radio waves arrived at Earth: October 20, 2017) – and narrowed down the location to a galaxy close to our own.

    This is the closest FRB detected (so far) but we still don’t know what causes these mysterious radio bursts that can contain more energy than our Sun produces in decades.

    Waves in space

    As radio waves travel through the universe they pass through other galaxies and our own Milky Way before arriving at our telescopes.

    The longer radio wavelengths are slowed down more than the shorter wavelengths, meaning that there is a slight delay in the arrival time of longer wavelengths.

    This difference in arrival times is called the dispersion measure and indicates the amount of matter the radio emission has travelled through.

    FRB 171020 has the lowest dispersion measure of any FRB detected to date, meaning that it hasn’t travelled from half way across the universe like most of the other FRBs detected so far. That means it originated from relatively nearby (by astronomical standards).By using models of the distribution of matter in the universe we can put a hard limit on how far the radio signal has travelled. For this particular FRB, we estimate that it could not have originated from further than a billion light years away, and likely occurred much closer. (Our Milky Way galaxy is about 100,000 light years across.)This distance limit, combined with the sky area we know the FRB came from (an area half a square degree – or roughly two full Moons across) enormously narrows down the search volume to look for the host galaxy.

    Closing in

    A region of the sky this size typically contains hundreds of galaxies. We used giant optical telescopes in Chile – including the appropriately named Very Large Telescope and Gemini South – to derive distances to these galaxies by either measuring their redshifts directly, or by using their optical colours to estimate their distance.

    ESO VLT at Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).
    elevation 2,635 m (8,645 ft) from above Credit J.L. Dauvergne & G. Hüdepohl atacama photo


    Gemini South telescope, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) campus near La Serena, Chile, at an altitude of 7200 feet

    This allowed us to drastically reduce the number of possible galaxies within the distance limit to just 16.

    By far the closest, and we believe most likely to host the FRB, is a nearby spiral galaxy called ESO 601-G036. This is 120 million light years away – making this FRB host almost our next door neighbour.

    3
    Optical image of the search area from the Digitized Sky Survey (DSS). The circles mark possible host galaxies for FRB 171020, but these are all much further away than the most likely galaxy ESO 601-G036, shown in the lower left as a three-colour image from the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) ATLAS survey. ESO, Digitized Sky Survey and VST-ATLAS, Author provided.

    Part of ESO’s Paranal Observatory, the VLT Survey Telescope (VISTA) observes the brilliantly clear skies above the Atacama Desert of Chile. It is the largest survey telescope in the world in visible light.
    Credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    What is particularly striking about this galaxy is that it shares many similar features to the only galaxy known to produce FRBs: FRB 121102.

    This FRB is also known as the repeating FRB due to its – so far unique – property of producing multiple bursts. This helped astronomers locate it to a small galaxy about more than 3 billion light years away.

    ESO 601-G036 is similar in size, and forming new stars at about the same rate, as the host galaxy of the repeating FRB.

    But there is one intriguing feature of the repeating FRB that we don’t see in ESO 601-G036.

    Other emissions

    In addition to repeat bursts of radio emission, the repeating FRB emits lower energy radio emission continuously.

    Using CSIRO’s Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) in Narrabri, NSW, we have searched for this persistent radio emission in ESO 601-G036. If it was anything like the repeater’s galaxy, it should have a boomingly bright radio source in it. We saw nothing.

    5
    The Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) used in the follow-up observations. CSIRO, Author provided

    Not only did we find that ESO 601-G036 doesn’t have any persistent radio emission, but there are no other galaxies in our search volume that show similar properties to that seen in the repeating FRB.

    This points to the possibility that there are different types of fast radio bursts that may even have different origins.

    Finding the galaxies that FRBs originate from is a big step towards solving the mystery of what produces these extreme bursts. Most FRBs travel much further distances so finding one so close to Earth allows us to study the environments of FRBs in unprecedented detail.

    The hunt for more

    Unfortunately, we can’t say with absolute certainty that ESO 601-G036 is the galaxy that FRB 171020 came from.

    The next big hurdle in understanding what causes FRBs is to pinpoint more of them. If we can do that we’ll be able to work out not only exactly which galaxy an FRB occurred in, but even where within the galaxy it occurred.

    If FRBs occur within the central nuclei of galaxies, this could perhaps point to black holes as their source. Or do they prefer the outskirts of galaxies? Or regions where a lot of new stars have recently formed? There are still so many unknowns about FRBs.

    Several radio telescopes around the world are commissioning systems to pinpoint bursts. Our study has shown that by combining observations from radio and optical telescopes we’ll be able to paint a complete picture of FRB host galaxies, and be able to finally determine what causes these FRBs.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SKA/ASKAP radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Mid West region of Western Australia

    So what can we expect these new radio projects to discover? We have no idea, but history tells us that they are almost certain to deliver some major surprises.

    Making these new discoveries may not be so simple. Gone are the days when astronomers could just notice something odd as they browse their tables and graphs.

    Nowadays, astronomers are more likely to be distilling their answers from carefully-posed queries to databases containing petabytes of data. Human brains are just not up to the job of making unexpected discoveries in these circumstances, and instead we will need to develop “learning machines” to help us discover the unexpected.

    With the right tools and careful insight, who knows what we might find.

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:52 pm on October 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A possible source of gas for the enormous Magellanic Stream that encircles the Milky Way, ASKAP is unrivalled in the world for this kind of research due to its unique radio receivers that give it a panoramic view of the sky, Astronomers expect the SMC will ultimately be gobbled up by our own Milky Way, Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope array, CSIROscope, Dying, not waving: nearby dwarf galaxy running out of gas,   

    From CSIROscope: “Dying, not waving: nearby dwarf galaxy running out of gas” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope

    30 October 2018
    Nicholas Kachel

    1
    A radio image of hydrogen gas in the Small Magellanic Cloud as observed by CSIRO’s ASKAP telescope. Image credit: Naomi McClure-Griffiths et al, CSIRO’s ASKAP telescope.

    Even though it’s on an astronomical timeline, a close intergalactic neighbour of ours known as the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) is slowly dying.

    The SMC (named after famous Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan) is about 200,000 light years away, and is one of the furthest objects viewable in our skies with the naked eye. Astronomers from the Australian National University (ANU) and our own team have used our powerful Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope array to capture images of the dwarf galaxy, observing a powerful outflowing of hydrogen gas from it.

    Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the Universe, and is the main ingredient of stars. But for every Sun sized star that the SMC makes, it loses up to 10 times that amount of this star-forming gas due to its (comparatively) weaker gravitational fields. If the SMC loses all its hydrogen it will eventually lose its ability to create new stars, slowly but surely fading into oblivion.

    Thankfully, we’re not talking a Macauley Caulkin post-Richie Rich timeline here: astronomers say the process will take billions of years.

    And it’s not all doom and gloom. This observation has helped confirm simulations developed by theorists on how small galaxies like the SMC might evolve.

    Lead researcher Professor Naomi McClure-Griffiths from ANU said the discovery, which is part of a project that investigates the evolution of galaxies, provided the first clear observational measurement of the amount of mass lost from a dwarf galaxy.

    “The result is also important because it provides a possible source of gas for the enormous Magellanic Stream that encircles the Milky Way,” she said.

    CSIRO co-researcher Dr David McConnell said ASKAP was unrivalled in the world for this kind of research due to its unique radio receivers that give it a panoramic view of the sky.

    “The telescope covered the entire SMC galaxy in a single shot and photographed its hydrogen gas with unprecedented detail,” he said.

    Astronomers expect the SMC will ultimately be gobbled up by our own Milky Way.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SKA/ASKAP radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Mid West region of Western Australia

    So what can we expect these new radio projects to discover? We have no idea, but history tells us that they are almost certain to deliver some major surprises.

    Making these new discoveries may not be so simple. Gone are the days when astronomers could just notice something odd as they browse their tables and graphs.

    Nowadays, astronomers are more likely to be distilling their answers from carefully-posed queries to databases containing petabytes of data. Human brains are just not up to the job of making unexpected discoveries in these circumstances, and instead we will need to develop “learning machines” to help us discover the unexpected.

    With the right tools and careful insight, who knows what we might find.

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:00 am on September 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CSIROscope, , , Picture this: snap the sea for science   

    From CSIROscope: “Picture this: snap the sea for science” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIROscope

    18 September 2018
    Natalie Kikken

    1
    Contributing to water quality monitoring, from the palm of your hand

    Most people often think of water as blue, but in reality, it rarely is. Sometimes it turns brown after a storm, other times there might be floating green things in it, and sometimes there might be a rainbow sheen on the surface. All of that information is invaluable to scientists when assessing the quality of water. So when you see it, snap it, upload it using the Eye on Water Australia app and you can help scientists get a global picture of water quality.

    A simple tool for complex science

    Eye on Water enables you to take a photo of water – both fresh and sea water – and upload it to the app. This helps us monitor changes to Australian waters such as algae blooms, seasonal changes, sediment and salinity.

    Water colour can be seen from space using satellite imagery however it can be easily affected by clouds, lighting and the time of day. The information you capture will feed into a global database to monitor water quality while supporting our extensive research to calibrate in-water measurements with satellite data to understand any changes.

    How does the app work?

    The first step is to grab your mobile and download the free app. Then head to your nearest water source that’s relatively deep – the photo can’t have the bottom of the river or ocean in the shot. Ideally, find a spot where the sun is behind you then snap a photo of water. Make sure we can’t see anything else in the photo, like your feet or your finger! Once you have uploaded your image, you will be asked to compare the colour of the water in your photo to a colour chart and submit it. And that’s your job done – you can now call yourself a citizen scientist! You can even create your own profile in the app so you can keep track of your valuable contributions.

    Hit us with your best shot

    The citizen science images are used to validate satellite imagery acquired by our scientists. This means that any small changes in a water system can be accurately detected and monitored over time, such as heavy rainfall or dredging.

    Users can learn about how regular tidal or seasonal patterns can affect water colour. Recognising specific water colour traits can also educate users on the uniqueness of the waters in their area and the expected and unexpected parameters of a healthy water system.

    Starting young: students leading the water charge

    We have been introducing Eye on Water to community groups, schools and education programs to bring science to life for students. This provides them with hands-on learning tools and scientific knowledge, plus the opportunity to use other water quality methods such as Secchi disks to test water clarity and water properties like pH, salinity, temperature and conductivity. This information can also feed into the app.

    We recently visited the Broome Senior High School Bushrangers Group to conduct water quality testing, and are planning to visit more schools this year.

    Eye on Water Australia is an effective way to capture more data on our oceans which will help us better understand its current conditions, monitor changes and the effect this can have on the future. Make a splash and join us to build on our aquatic knowledge – all from the palm of your hand!

    Get snapping!

    Download the Eye on Water app

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    SKA/ASKAP radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Mid West region of Western Australia

    So what can we expect these new radio projects to discover? We have no idea, but history tells us that they are almost certain to deliver some major surprises.

    Making these new discoveries may not be so simple. Gone are the days when astronomers could just notice something odd as they browse their tables and graphs.

    Nowadays, astronomers are more likely to be distilling their answers from carefully-posed queries to databases containing petabytes of data. Human brains are just not up to the job of making unexpected discoveries in these circumstances, and instead we will need to develop “learning machines” to help us discover the unexpected.

    With the right tools and careful insight, who knows what we might find.

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
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