How to find life on other planets

22nd April 2017

The spectra of the Sun showing spectral lines.

Scientists have found thousands of planets outside of the Solar System, many of which are thought to be habitable. The next step is to search for signs of life. »

Solar sails and ancient aliens

11th March 2017

Image of a solar sail in space.

Scientists at Harvard University have recently suggested that intelligent life forms in another galaxy may have used interstellar spacecraft billions of years ago. Their paper, co-authored by Manasvi Lingam and Abraham Loeb and entitled ‘Fast Radio Bursts from Extragalactic Light Sails’, has just been published in The Astrophysical Journal. »

Crystal gemstones and the search for alien life

26th February 2017

Photograph of a person surrounded by giant crystals.

Crystals are objects with atoms that are arranged periodically. This can be seen on a large scale as they form natural cubes, triangles, or more complex symmetrical shapes like snowflakes. Many crystals are minerals. »

What are facts?

16th February 2017

Photograph of the Earth taken from the International Space Station.

A theory will never become a law; theories and laws are two separate things. Both have been thoroughly tested, and so both are often referred to as facts. »

A Brief History of Dinosaurs

17th January 2017

Photograph of a Shoebill bird.

In the 20th Century, most people thought that all dinosaurs were lizard-like and extinct. We now know that dinosaurs are not lizards and that birds are a type of dinosaur. Scientists now refer to modern birds as avian dinosaurs and to extinct dinosaurs as non-avian dinosaurs, many of which had feathers and beaks. »

The Impossible Engine

1st December 2016

Photograph of the International Space Station.

Last month, NASA officially announced that they've tested British engineer Roger Shawyer’s controversial spaceship engine known as the EM Drive. They found that it appears to work, despite the fact that it appears to contradict the conservation of momentum, making it as impossible as a perpetual motion machine. »

The new alien water hole: How aliens could use lasers for both communication and cloaking

6th August 2016

Photograph of the Yepun Telescope emitting a laser.

In a paper published in MNRAS last month, astronomers David Kipping and Alex Teachey showed how we could cloak the Earth using lasers. We could also do the opposite, and use lasers to broadcast our presence. If we can do this, then presumably any other intelligent, technologically advanced species can do this too. »

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The Star Garden is a science news and education website run by Dr Helen Klus.

How we came to know the cosmos explains the simple discoveries we made in prehistoric times, and how we built on them, little by little, until the conclusions of modern theories seem inevitable. This is shown in a timeline of the universe.

The Star Garden covers the basics for KS3, KS4, and KS5 science revision including SATs, GCSE, and A-level physics.