X-ray emissions, detectors, and telescopes: A brief history of X-ray astronomy

Photograph of a supernova remnant.

First published on 7th October 2012. Last updated on 5th June 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

This year marks 50 years since the first X-ray source was discovered outside of the Solar System. This began a race to map the X-ray sky, leading to the discovery of the most extreme objects in the universe. »

Mars One, NASA, and other human missions to Mars: Applications opening soon

Artist's impression of the Mars One settlement

First published on 27th June 2012. Last updated on 5th June 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

Earlier this year, Dutch engineer Bas Lansdorp and Dutch physicist Arno Wielders announced that their company, Mars One, will put four people on Mars by 2023. The catch is that they will have no way to come home. »

Imagining the future: Why society needs science fiction

'Leaving the opera in the year 2000' by Albert Robida.

First published on 3rd April 2012. Last updated on 5th June 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

While there's no single accepted definition of science fiction, science fiction usually deals with worlds that differ from our own as the result of new scientific discoveries, new technologies, or different social systems. It then looks at the consequences of this change. »

The relationship between science and religion: Are there room for gods in science?

Photograph of Star-forming region S106.

First published on 26th February 2012. Last updated on 5th June 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

Science has disproved many specific aspects of religious texts, if they are to be taken literally. The fact that the Earth is significantly older than the bible suggests has been generally accepted since the mid-1800s. »

Where are all the Aliens?: Habitable exoplanets and solutions to the Fermi paradox

Photograph of a star cluster.

First published on 27th January 2012. Last updated on 5th June 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

Last year, NASA Space Scientists predicted that about half a billion planets in our galaxy might contain life. Modern cosmology suggests that the Milky Way formed about 9 billion years ago, about a billion years before the formation of the first habitable planets. »

Armchair Explorers: How members of the public are taking an active role in the search for other worlds

Artist's impression of a habitable exoplanet.

First published on 14th October 2011. Last updated on 5th June 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

The desire to explore our surroundings is part of human nature. It's that which drove our ancestors to leave Africa tens of thousands of years ago, walking across continents, and traversing unmapped oceans in simple rafts. »

Welcome to the multiverse: Discovery of the WMAP Cold Spot and evidence the multiverse has different levels

Photograph of hundreds of bubbles, the camera is reflected in them all.

First published on 13th August 2011. Last updated on 5th June 2017 by Dr Helen Klus

Earlier this month, physicists working in the UK and Canada found evidence that there may be universes beyond our own. Their research, co-authored by Stephen M. Feeney, Matthew C. Johnson, Daniel J. Mortlock, and Hiranya V. Peiris, is to be published in Physical Review D. »

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

How we came to know the cosmos covers the history of physics focusing on space and time, light and matter, and the mind. It 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 science, and A-level physics.