Science

Illuminating the history of light video

Peter Wothers hopes to capture young people's interest in chemistry through his often-spectacular experiments, including coloured flame, in this case using copper.

The successes and failures of people's attempts to bring forth light inspired a public lecture series.

How the woolly mammoth thrived

Fragile stuff: The chances of locating a complete mammoth genome are slim.

Exhaustive genetic probe of bygone Ice Age giants shows how they adapted and thrived for eons in the cold.

Rocket launchpad for NZ? video

Computer generated image of proposed rocket launch site, owned by Rocket Lab, for Bayleys Rd, Kaitorete Spit, near Birdlings Flat in Canterbury.

A remote Canterbury paddock could launch New Zealand into the space race.

Warm seas hint at severe drought

Meteorologists are closely watching warm Pacific oceans that reflect the buildup to the El Nino behind the drought of 1997-98.

Ocean temperatures could mean a repeat of the infamous summer of 1997-98.

Jupiter and Venus align over NZ video

Venus and Jupiter huddle over Dunedin on Tuesday evening, the pair will be visible again on Wednesday night if skies are clear.

Star-spotters were treated to a sight of two bright stars on Tuesday evening - but they were actually Venus and Jupiter.

Mind-melting sun eruption video video

Material blasting out from the side of the sun, as viewed from a Nasa spacecraft.

Footage shows the magnitude of the sun storm that caused stunning auroras on earth.

Don't worry about asteroids

There's no need to send Bruce Willis up to destroy asteroids; experts believe any ones large enough to cause Armageddon have already been found.

There's no need to send Bruce Willis; any asteroids big enough to cause Armageddon have already been found.

How to pat your cat

We're no scientists but that is NOT how you pet you cat.

Cats are touchy things at the best of times. But now science has worked out how best to stroke them.

Space photo captures Galapagos lava

Taken from the Terra satellite, the Nasa picture is a false-colour image with lava generally appearing as black or charcoal and vegetated areas in red.

A picture taken from a satellite looks down the barrel of a volcano soon after it erupted violently.

South Island catches glimpse of Pluto

Telescope in Lauder, central Otago where National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research scientists viewed the Pluto occultation.

The South Island proved the place to be to catch a rare glimpse of Pluto.

Why today has one extra second

Tonight, the official atomic clocks that keep Universal Coordinated Time will once again read 23 hours 59 minutes and 60 seconds.

Leap years come round like clockwork, but leap seconds are a bit unpredictable, and can cause trouble online.

Probing 'final milliseconds' of rocket

An unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket explodes, about two minutes after liftoff on Sunday, destroying a cargo ship bound for the International Space Station.

SpaceX officials will meet daily with Nasa and the air force in hopes of quickly learning what caused rocket bound for space station to disintegrate.

Space race nears finish line video

Car-maker Audi has thrown its support behind the German team, the Part-Time Scientists and their lunar rover prototype, Asimov.

Sixteen teams from 13 countries have 6 months to secure a ride to the moon and Google's $44m prize.

Goldfish as big as dinner plates

Goldfish removed from an Alberta storm pond include one about 25cm long.

Giant wild goldfish turning up in Canadian waterways are alarming wildlife agencies.

Lake vortex could swallow a boat

Giant Intake Vortex LAke Texoma VIDEO Massive Intake Vortex Swirled in Oklahoma’s Lake Texoma.

A huge vortex 'capable of sucking in a full-sized boat' forms on a lake in the United States.

Rocket explodes after Florida launch video

The rocket exploded about two minutes after liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

A rocket carrying supplies for the space station has blown up, in the latest in a string of mishaps.

Supercomputer takes on cancer

IBM's Watson, the supercomputer of Jeopardy! fame, is training to become the world's first artificial-intelligence expert in cancer.

"They keep telling me it will not replace me," one oncologist says. "But I am pretty sure it will replace me."

Orca discovery excites scientists

An Antarctic  killer whale surfaces in front of Dr Regina Eisert.

Killer whales have been tracked on a 4900km journey from Antarctica to Northland.

Cracking poppies' gene secrets

Sap oozes from poppies after they are scratched to get opium from them in a village about 500 km north of Kabul, Afghanistan, in this 2006 file photo.

Researchers are unravelling how poppies produce morphine - which could lead to traffickers producing "home brew" opiates.

Anger, disgust and fear: just what kids need video

Meet Sadness, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Joy - the surprisingly realistic stars of Pixar's latest hit, Inside Out.

Is the cutting-edge brain science behind hit movie Inside Out all it's cracked up to be?

Significant Discovery for Wendy video

Nasa astronaut Wendy Lawrence wants to inspire women to take on new challenges and work in traditionally male roles.

Space movies, health effects and zero-gravity toilets - all is revealed by Nasa astronaut Wendy Lawrence.

Space station gets its own HoloLens video

An astronaut tries out Microsoft's Hololens in zero-gravity as part of Project Sidekick.

A pair of Microsoft's augmented reality headsets to be delivered to the International Space Station this weekend.

Scientists ready for brief view of Pluto

An artist's impression of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft encountering Pluto and its largest moon, Charon.

If Tuesday morning is set to be chilly, spare a thought for scientists gathered near Alexandra preparing for a brief glimpse of Pluto.

NZ to miss solar storm impact

Fraser Gunn's Aurora timelapse animation is made up of 1868 images at exposure 15 seconds f/2 ISO 3200

Solar storms this week have power grids in the United States and Europe on high alert, though New Zealand will likely avoid those effects.

Aurora stuns in South Island video

Toi Whakaari NZ drama school student Georgia Pringle snapped this photo of the Aurora Australis while on holiday in Invercargill on Tuesday.

A solar storm this week has led to fantastic views of the Aurora Australis around the country.

Meet the little sea oddball

An artist's painting of Hallucigenia sparsa.

It was a creature so strange that experts literally could not make heads nor tails of it.

Big solar storms trigger alerts

Twin solar storms could threaten power grids in North America and Europe this week.

Power grids across North America and Europe have been on high alert all week as two massive solar storms batter Earth.

Sea lion now endangered

Sea lions with their pups on Enderby Island in the sub-Antarctic Auckland Island chain. Experts say, now the species is endangered, squid fishing in the area should be reduced to prevent bycatch deaths.

Conservation group blames fishing, but seafood industry says disease is main factor.

Medical marijuana good - and bad

The study reviewed 80 randomised trials that included nearly 6500 people.

It's beneficial for some medical conditions but not for others - could lead to an increased risk of psychosis, research shows.

The cannons of Waterloo

Historical re-enactors play out the Battle of Waterloo in 2015.

The 19th century cannon was a brutal weapon. Roger Hanson traces the weapon's history and mechanics in the 200th anniversary year of the Battle of Waterloo.

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