rockym93 dot net

Text

This is a selection of stuff I've written elsewhere. You can find stuff I've written here on my blog.

Highlights Reel

If you're not sure where to start, try one of these.

A brighter future: how whitening the Wheatbelt could cool the climateHow whitening the Wheatbelt could cool the climate Why are astronomers deleting galaxies from their data?Why are astronomers deleting galaxies from their data? The secret life of Perth trafficThe secret life of Perth traffic Two many tails: What happens when regeneration goes wrong?Two Many Tails: What happens when regeneration goes wrong?

2021

Professor Richard Hobbs: life at the frontier of restoration ecology

10 September 2021 - Particle
WA Science Hall of Fame inductee Professor Richard Hobbs explains how putting fragmented ecosystems back together is a lifetime of work.

Dr Arman Siahvashi: The next hydrogen-eration

21 August 2021 - Particle
I meet Arman Siahvashi, joint winner of the 2021 Early Career Scientist of the Year

Associate Professor Ed Litton: helping medicine get better

20 August 2021 - Particle
I meet Ed Litton, joint winner of the 2021 Early Career Scientist of the Year

QRacking the code: what’s inside a SafeWA code?

12 August 2021 - Particle
I ask a data scientist what's actually in a COVID-19 check-in code.

Will AI leave human astronomers in the stardust?

28 July 2021 - Particle

A brighter future: how whitening the Wheatbelt could cool the climate

15 June 2021 - Particle
How lighter crops could be used reflect more light and heat away from the ground.

Fringe worlds: spotting a new planet from the suburbs of Perth

9 March 2021 - Particle
Astronomy is one of the few fields where amateurs can still contribute. We meet one of them.

Underwater Understory: The south-west forest you’ve never heard of

26 February 2021 - Particle
Deep in Australia’s southwest is a hidden hotspot of biodiversity.

Climbing the koala’s family tree

26 January 2021 - Particle
Koalas are one of Australia’s most beloved marsupials. How can DNA help bring them back from the brink of extinction?

Why is Wave Rock shaped like a wave?

22 January 2021 - Particle
It's because of water, but probably not in the way you'd expect.

2020

Catching waves: Inside the race to spot colliding black holes

12 November 2020 - Particle
Gravitational waves arrive slightly earlier than light, making them an early warning system for astronomy.

Two many tails: What happens when regeneration goes wrong?

30 October 2020 - Particle
How does a lizard end up with more than one tail?

Simone Harrington: riding the waves of emotion

2 October 2020 - Particle
I chat with Simone Harrington, 2020 Aboriginal STEM Student of the Year.

Professor Steven Tingay: answering the big questions

2 October 2020 - Particle
I chat with Professor Steven Tingay, 2020 WA Scientist of the Year.

Preventing the aquokkalypse: How DNA could save a species

11 September 2020 - Particle
DNA sequencing isn't for "backing up" extinct species - it's for stopping them going extinct at all.

Why are astronomers deleting galaxies from their data?

28 August 2020 - Particle
If you want to see the oldest stuff in the universe, you have to delete the new stuff first.

Wheelie Weird: electric vehicles that are cooler than cars

20 August 2020 - Particle
This story was an excuse to find some people with electric rideables and ask if I could have a go.

How to build an electric racecar

20 August 2020 - Particle
A local student motorsport team goes all-electric.

Crater investigators: Exploring Mars from afar

6 August 2020 - Particle
I meet a WA scientist working on the data from NASA's INSIGHT probe.

Taking tech from the outback to outer space

30 July 2020 - Particle
Mars and the outback have more in common than just the colour of the dirt.

What are the ingredients for a sweet sunset?

19 June 2020 - Particle
Grace asked me if it was possible to predict a good sunset. I decided to find out.

The motion of the ocean: tracking plastic pollution in our seas

8 June 2020 - Particle
A whole lot of plastic ends up in our oceans. Once it's there, where does it go?

How to take awesome photos of space without leaving Earth

29 May 2020 - Particle
We asked participants from this year's Astrofest astrophotography exhibition how to get started taking photos of the night sky.

What about us? Why humans don’t live underground (much)

20 May 2020 - Particle
The human interest capstone to a living-underground-themed week on Particle.

The secret life of Perth traffic

31 March 2020 - Particle
Going behind the scenes at Main Roads WA.

Keeping an ear on the Swan River’s dolphins

26 March 2020 - Particle
Every dolphin has a 'signature whistle' which helps their pod keep track of them. What if we could tune in too?

How the Bungle Bungles got their stripes

11 March 2020 - Particle
I asked a geologist how one of WA's weirdest landmarks formed.

One small step: Getting started with astronomy

20 February 2020 - Particle
A beginner's guide to stargazing in the city.

2019

The physics of folding for flight

19 December 2019 - Particle
A quick primer on why different paper plane designs fly differently. With animated GIFs.

Searching for Star Prints

28 November 2019 - Particle
How do you spot a star that isn't there any more?

Zombie a-Perth-calypse: a WA survival guide

7 November 2019 - Particle
Perth is the most isolated capital city in the world. Does that make it the perfect place to ride out the zombie apocalypse?

Dark Matter: Answering your darkest questions

16 September 2019 - Particle
I met up with a physicist to look at cool science toys, geek out abou sci-fi, and see how close we are to figuring out one of the biggest mysteries in modern science.

Behind the scenes: How Satellite Images Get To You

14 March 2019 - Particle
We interact with space every day. Not because we’re astronauts, but because of data we use. But how that data gets to us is kind of an adventure all on its own.

The Ups and Downs of Perth's Space Startups

13 March 2019 - Particle
I catch up with two WA space startups: one that wants to send things to space and another that wants to bring them down.

2018

What goes up doesn't come down: tracking space junk from WA

26 November 2018 - Particle
We’ve been putting stuff in space for over 60 years now. Without air resistance to slow it down, it tends to stay up there - even if it’s not meant to.

Looking for rocket science in unexpected places

23 November 2018 - Particle
You don’t have to leave Australia to be a rocket scientist. In fact, you might not even have to leave your job.

How gold is made in space: Neutron star collisions

19 September 2018 - Particle
There's a long history of finding gold in Western Australia, but these days, we're finding it in slightly different places.

Student Scientist shines new light on black holes

11 September 2018 - Particle
I catch up with one of 2018's Student Scientists of the Year to talk about career paths, astronomy and surprisingly bright black holes.

Spotting bodies from the skies

16 July 2018 - Particle
Get enough maggots in one place and you can spot their heat from a helicopter a kilometre away.

The Australian Space Agency: where are we at?

4 July 2018 - Particle
Everything is kind of up in the air and moving very fast - but if you want to go to space, maybe that's not such a bad place to be.

The Trouble With Rockets

5 January 2018 - Particle
Space is big. Really big. So if we're going to get anywhere, we're going to need more than just rockets.

In 2018 I also did a prac with The Conversation.

2017

Australia's getting a space agency - now what?

16 October 2017 - Particle
In which I chat with the Director General of ESA about what having a space agency means for Australia.

A Wide Field

August 2017 - Careers with Code US
Exploring the role of computer science - specifically, robotics and bioinformatics - in agriculture.

Tag Team

August 2017 - Careers with Code US
Meeting some kids who are building their own GPS enabled cattle tags.

Computer Eyes and Machine Learning

19 June 2017 - Particle
An intro to machine learning and Google's Deep Dream software.

Navigating GPS's Future

May 2017 - KnowHow Magazine & Online
Coverage of a new project by CRCSI and Geoscience Australia, which uses survey points to correct GPS signals and significantly improve positioning accuracy.

Students dive headfirst into robotics

March 2017 - Careers with STEM
I interviewed some seriously smart kids at a robotics competition about how and why they built their robots.

Amazing ideas for apps from tech girls

March 2017 - Careers with STEM
I had some fun making mockups of totally hypothetical apps dreamed up by some girls at a women in tech event.

Keep your eyes on the skies for fireballs

12 March 2017 - Particle
A piece about meteorites, how to catch them, and how citizen scientists can get involved.

In 2017 I also did an internship in Sydney and wrote a thesis. (It was a big year.)

2016

Farming the Final Frontier

June 2016 - Coursework
Can you grow plants in space? How does that even work? And what does that mean for farming down here on Earth?

Sea turtles evolve to suit changing climate

April 2016 - Coursework
An interview with UWA's Dr Nicola Mitchell on how turtle eggs adapt to warmer temperatures.

New Weather Satellite Delivers for WA Forecasters

18 March 2016 - Science Network WA
Data from Japan's incredible weather satellite, Himawari-8, finds its way to rural Western Australia.

2014

The Evolution of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network

20 February 2014 - Risk Intelligence Solutions / Engineers Australia
A recap of a talk by Dr Bruce Ward, engineer on Australia's most powerful radar system.

The CTD Program and Defence Innovation Opportunities for WA

14 July 2014 - Risk Intelligence Solutions / Australian Industry Defence Network
The Department of Defence is a surprisingly large source of research funding. Here's some of the stuff they've kickstarted.

2013

A hive of activity at Scitech

May 2013 - Coursework
A beehive installed in a science centre makes for an excellent conversation starter about the future of insect-kind.

Fiction

I have been known to write the occasional short story. You can find some of them here.