• Exoplanets Lurking in Dusty Disks Reveal Their Secrets

    A disk of gas and dust around a star some 450 light-years from Earth had astronomers puzzled. When observations of the star HL Tauri revealed a glowing disk split by crisp bands, some assumed unseen planets were carving out paths as they orbited. But new simulations suggest a more complex picture. Those gaps may actually result from gravitational tugs of planets elsewhere in the disk, even outside of the disk, and learning to read these patterns could speed the detection of currently hard-to-find planets.

  • Canadian astronomer spots 'visitor' from beyond our solar system

    No, it's not an alien, but we may have just been visited by something that originated beyond our solar system. For the first time, astronomers have observed something passing through our solar system that has likely travelled light years to get here.

  • Western researcher unearths hottest rock on record

    It was a stroke of serendipity that led to Michael Zanetti’s discovery of the hottest rock on Earth. In 2011, Zanetti, now a postdoctoral researcher in Earth Sciences at Western, was on an analog mission with Earth Sciences professor Gordon Osinski at 28-kilometre-wide Mistastin Lake crater in Labrador – a Canadian Space Agency (CSA)-funded endeavour using the impact structure as a test bed for exploration strategies and field equipment for use on the moon and Mars.

  • NSERC backs Western research projects

    As avian malaria and other parasites continue to spread northward into new habitats, wildlife health experts are sounding the alarm of potential threats to global health up and down the food chain, according one Western researcher.