Cool science

  • rainbow in sea spray

    Seeding southern clouds

    12 December 2018

    A mobile air chemistry lab called AIRBOX is hitching a ride on Australia’s icebreaker.

  • An expeditioner lowers a plankton sampling device into the Southern Ocean from the trawl deck of the Aurora Australis.

    An Antarctic silk-and-plankton sandwich

    6 November 2018

    The Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) traps plankton swimming in the ocean between moving sheets of silk.

  • Air bubbles in a thin section of an ice core

    Antarctic ice mission seeks mystery molecules that scrub sky

    23 October 2018

    A world-first international mission will build a temporary lab on the Antarctic ice sheet to reveal how much a natural ‘atmospheric detergent’ cleans the air of harmful trace gases.

  • Children on a quad bike and inside a polar tent.

    A taste of Antarctica

    21 August 2018

    Antarctica came to Hobart in August with Australian Antarctic Program science and operations on display at the Antarctic Festival and the Festival of Bright Ideas.

  • Lloyd Symons (left) and Michael Santarossa in front of computer screens set up to mimic the Aurora Australis science control room and deliver ‘data in real time’ (DiRT).

    Data to the bunk

    28 May 2018

    Expeditioners and crew onboard the Aurora Australis can now get the ‘DiRT’ on what’s happening on the ship, from the comfort of their own bunks.

  • Juarez Viegas (left) and Jeff Aquilina from the US Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program prepare a radiosonde for launch.

    Cloud study success

    14 May 2018

    Six hundred weather balloons and 64 atmospheric instruments helped scientists to collect vast amounts of information on clouds, aerosols and precipitation across the Southern Ocean.

  • A scientist sits on a rock overlooking a bay writing in his field notebook.

    History unlocked with digital publication of Antarctic Field Notebooks

    8 December 2017

    Geoscience Australia is taking the history of Australia's Antarctic science online, with the digital publication of field notebooks documenting the work of our pioneering Antarctic geoscientists from as early as the 1960s.

  • A swarm of Antarctic krill under sea ice.

    Starvation drives krill population cycles

    13 June 2017

    Competition for food in the sea ice zone in autumn drives large variations in the Antarctic krill population.

  • The ANSTO radon detector inside the clean air laboratory.

    Radioactive gas leaks atmospheric secrets

    29 May 2017

    Radioactive radon gas is helping scientists understand the mixing and movement of air in the earth’s atmosphere and the fate of airborne pollutants and greenhouse gases.

  • Dr Sue Cook (right) and two helpers install the GPS and solar panels on the Sørsdal Glacier in 2015–16.

    Sørsdal Glacier dynamics

    21 November 2016

    Follow scientists working to understand what drives ice shelf thinning, in a new weekly blog from the field – the Sørsdal Glacier – starting today.