Your Science Out There - Volcanoes are present across the Earth, from the barren wastes of Antarctica to densely populated regions in Europe, Asia and the Americas, and are both spectacular and deadly. But what makes a volcano erupt, and how deadly might that eruption be? By creating a mini-volcano in the lab, we can get a better understanding of what was going on in the magma chamber just before a volcanic eruption.
Your Science Out There - Mars today is colder than Antarctica and drier than the Sahara — but scratch just beneath its dusty red coating and tales of a different planet emerge. The young Mars of three billion years ago was an Earth-like place of rain, rivers, and perhaps even oceans. Though long-gone, the rocks remember. In the lab, and through a simple understanding of chemistry, we can listen to what they have to say.
Your Science Out There - During the Cretaceous period (145 to 66 million years ago), the world was very different! It was hotter, with more rainfall, and dinosaurs would have roamed the lush wetlands and forests that existed in the UK. Understanding these past warm worlds can help us better understand how our planet has changed over time, and even give us clues about how our climate may change in the future. Using the chemistry of minerals preserved in rocks from this time (like rocks from Sussex and Dorset), we can work out past rainfall patterns.
It took over a billion years for life to transition from simple eukaryotic cells, like primitive algae, to simple animals like sponges or jellyfish. But, why did it take such a long time? Watch these animations created with Oxford Sparks to answer this question and also to visit to the Stromboli volcano.