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Magnetic Poles

The north and south magnetic poles are the locations on Earth's surface where the planet's magnetic field points straight downwards (at the north magnetic pole) and upwards (at the south magnetic pole). Conventional compasses which move on a horizontal plane are useless near the magnetic poles.

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Nobel Prizes and Canada

The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually for achievements that have significantly benefitted humankind. The prizes are among the highest international honours and are awarded in six categories: physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, peace, and economics. They are administered by the Nobel Foundation and awarded by institutions in Sweden and Norway. Eighteen Canadians have won Nobel Prizes, excluding Canadian-born individuals who gave up their citizenship and members of organizations that have won the peace prize.

Macleans

Nasa's Columbia Shuttle Disaster

FOR LONG MINUTES, the crowd of family, friends, dignitaries and spectators stood at the end of the airstrip in Cape Canaveral, Fla., waiting and hoping for a familiar white speck in the distant blue sky. By the time the countdown clock reached zero, it was clear the reunion would never come.

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Observatory

Of the observatories in use before the invention of the telescope, perhaps the most scientifically productive was that of Tycho Brahe, built 400 years ago on the island of Hveen in the Baltic Sea.

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Quasar

Quasar, a point-like astronomical object which radiates over a wide spectral range. Although the name is a contraction of a "quasi-stellar radio source", these objects also emit light, x-rays and even gamma rays.

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Space Technology

An agreement signed with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) led to the launching of a series of 4 Canadian satellites, beginning with Alouette 1 (on 29 Sept 1962) from the Western Test Range in Vandenburg, California.

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Cosmology

How the world began is a question as old as the human race. It was not before the 20th century, however, that the evolution and large-scale structure of the universe emerged as a well-defined problem of interest to science.

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St Elmo's Fire

St Elmo's Fire is a blue or reddish glow, sometimes with the appearance of a flame, accompanying a powerful electrical discharge from a pointed conducting object in an intense electric field.

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Sonar

Sonar (sound navigation and ranging), method for locating objects by the reflection of sound waves. It is used naturally by such animals as BATS and DOLPHINS to locate food and obstacles.

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Time

Precise timekeeping helped establish and develop Canada. For the past 2 centuries, Canadian exploration, mapping, navigation and transportation have exploited state-of-the-art precise time systems.

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Ozone Depletion

Ozone depletion is a chemical thinning of the OZONE LAYER in the stratosphere or upper atmosphere. Scientists determined in the 1970s that it is caused by ozone depleting substances (ODSs), particularly by the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

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Astronomy

Modern astronomy, however, is more concerned with the physical and chemical nature of matter beyond Earth, where conditions of temperature and pressure, and gravitational and magnetic fields allow astronomers to observe matter under extremes unattainable in terrestrial laboratories.

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Challenger Expedition

The Challenger expedition, the first worldwide oceanographic expedition, voyaged 127 663 km in the Atlantic, Southern, Indian and Pacific oceans between December 1872 and May 1876.

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Satellite Communications

Characteristics A typical satellite consists of a number of repeaters (transponders), each of which provides a large-capacity communication channel. Each transponder has a receiver tuned to a frequency range that has been allocated for uplink communication signals from Earth to the satellite.

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Meteorite Craters

 The solar system contains many objects smaller than the planets (or their satellites) travelling in individual orbits about the SUN; space between the planets also contains myriad dust grains in the micron size range.

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Synchrotron

A synchrotron is a source of brilliant light that acts like a giant microscope to allow matter to be seen at the atomic level. Synchrotron light is millions of times brighter than sunlight and millions of times more intense than conventional X-rays.

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Black Hole

A black hole is an object in outer space whose the gravitational field is so strong that no matter or light can escape. Astronomers believe such regions can form from the collapse of massive stars. Researchers at Canadian institutions have contributed to theories supporting the existence of black holes.