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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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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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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.

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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.

Macleans

Polar Lander Fails on Mars

No one knows exactly what the surface of Mars is like, but Robert Zubrin has a pretty good idea. At least some of it, he says, is much like a frozen, god-forsaken corner of the Canadian Arctic called Haughton Crater. The terrain is similar - rough-strewn rock on the floor of a crater 16 km across.

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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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Moon

The dark grey lunar surface reflects only 7% of the sunlight it receives (comparable to the reflectivity of black soil). The moon is dominated by thousands of craters, ranging from microscopic pits to gigantic Clavius, diameter 230 km.

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Meteorology

Physical meteorology links meteorology and physics in studies of 3 core topics: electromagnetic radiation, meteorological thermodynamics and cloud physics. Related topics include stratospheric physics, atmospheric electricity, optics and ACOUSTICS.

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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.

Macleans

Space Travel Challenges

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on October 14, 1996. Partner content is not updated.

For mankind, the adventure began at 9:07 a.m. Moscow time on April 12, 1961. A Soviet air force major named Yuri Gagarin blasted into the Siberian sky aboard a five-ton spacecraft and the world marvelled at the astounding news that he had landed safely after circling the Earth in just 108 minutes.

Macleans

Neutrino Project

Most people would no doubt balk at having to stand on the roof of an elevator as it drops slowly into a dark mine shaft sunk more than a mile into the ground. Not physicist Duncan Hepburn, 53, who shrugs off the task as just another part of his job. Some job.

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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.