Phil Ritchie

Phil Ritchie

Phil Ritchie is a Melbourne-based journalist.

Phil is a Melbourne-based journalist with an affinity for science and technology. Before interning at Cosmos he wrote for The Weekly Review, VICE Australia and Catalyst, and edited Third Watch News.

  • This is how drones will take over the planet

    From flying taxis to oceanic garbage collectors, Phil Ritchie surveys a selection of the latest a...

    When we think of drones right now, a handful of applications spring to mind: spying and surveillance; raining down he...

    May 10, 2017
  • Seasonal quirks on the solar system’s giant planets

    In this second of two parts, Phil Ritchie looks at how seasons transpire at the gas giants, Jupit...

    Saturn's striking polar hexagon is thought to be seasonal.NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science InstituteIn the inner so...

    November 3, 2016
  • How the seasons shift on Mercury, Venus and Mars

    What happens to our neighbours in the solar system?

    As summer approaches in the southern hemisphere and the weather cools in the north, be thankful that our planet’s til...

    November 2, 2016
  • How cosmic rays may nourish and nurture alien life

    The discovery of a dark-dwelling bacterium prompted one astrobiologist to think: could similar mi...

    Could microbes that munch on molecules broken down by cosmic rays live underground on planets throughout the universe...

    October 23, 2016
  • Genesis project – a plan to seed life on other planets

    A German physicist envisions giving life a leg-up by sprinkling planets with microbes from roboti...

    An artist's impression of Epsilon Eridani, a solar system similar to our own. Planets such as these, within a star's ...

    September 19, 2016
  • Do goldfish really grow to the size of their tank?

    The size of their watery home is only part of the story.

    A common theory about fish is that their size is somehow based on the volume of water they inhabit, and to a new owne...

    September 19, 2016
  • Stamp out household fuels to help fix China’s air pollution woes

    Restrictions on major sources of pollution may need revision following research that points to a ...

    Household coal stoves, such as this traditional piece of kit in northern China, contribute a huge amount to local air...

    June 28, 2016
  • Juno enters Jupiter’s gravitational clutches

    The gas giant's gravitational reach now has more pull on the spacecraft than the Sun's. Phil Ritc...

    An artist's rendering showing NASA's Juno spacecraft making one of its close passes over Jupiter. Juno will slot into...

    June 1, 2016
  • Lightning strikes in super slow motion

    What appears to be an instant flash is actually a two-pronged approach. Phil Ritchie explains.

    Lightning travels at around 350,000,000 kilometres per hour – almost a third of the speed of light – making it appear...

    June 1, 2016
  • Inflatable room blown up on space station

    Astronauts can look forward to extended habitats – both in Earth orbit and on Mars (if everything...

    The space station now hosts the new fully expanded and pressurised Bigelow Expandable Activity Module attached to the...

    May 31, 2016
  • Sea life infiltrates Antarctica – with a little help from kelp

    A barrier blocking foreign marine species from reaching Antarctica is not as impassable as once t...

    Kelp is able to circumvent the Antarctic Polar Front and get to Antarctica. CERIDWEN FRASER, ANURafts of seaweed can ...

    May 26, 2016
  • Beer packaging safe for sea life to eat

    Phil Ritchie reports on one brewery's efforts to reduce the number of harmful plastic rings that ...

    Marine life needs no longer suffer side effects from irresponsible beer packaging disposal, thanks to a small US brew...

    May 24, 2016
  • Spider silk inspires new super-stretchy nano-wire

    The sticky coating of spiders' webs has remarkable properties that can create a 'liquid wire' cap...

    Scientists have created five synthetic 'liquid wires' that mimic the mechanics of spiders' silk.OXFORD UNIVERSITYThe ...

    May 18, 2016
  • Scientists dig up carrot genome

    Found: the gene responsible for the vegetable's bright orange colour and nutritional clout. Phil ...

    The full genetic code of the humble carrot's been unravelled – and it reveals how carrots accumulated orange caroteno...

    May 10, 2016
  • Cafe to construction site: coffee grounds can be used to build roads

    A concoction of used coffee grounds and waste from iron production is as strong as cement. But do...

    Virginie Boutin / EyeEm / Getty Images Here's another reason to enjoy that morning coffee: the used gro...

    May 4, 2016
  • Earth home to a trillion species

    A new study relying on the most comprehensive datasets yet suggests there may be much more divers...

    Strands of the Streptomyces coelicoflavus soil bacteria and chains of round Streptococcus bacteria in a soil sample. ...

    May 3, 2016
  • Why NASA plans to crash a spacecraft into an asteroid

    Bruce Willis can relax: European and North American space agencies have joined forces to prevent ...

    An artist's impression of the Asteroid Impact Mission taking notes as the Double Asteroid Redirection Test crashes in...

    April 28, 2016
  • Global ‘greening’ mops up carbon dioxide – but for how long?

    Researchers have attributed vegetation growth to the tune of 18 million square kilometres primari...

    Increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have boosted plant growth so much that it's as if a green conti...

    April 27, 2016
  • Why feeling sick and sad go hand in hand

    Research shows how the immune system affects emotions.

    Feeling a bit low seems to go hand in hand with being under the weather. But your brain might be wired to get sad whe...

    April 20, 2016
  • Demand for short-headed dogs drives health problems

    The past three decades has seen increased demand for brachycephalic dogs – those with short, wide...

    Short-skulled dogs such as this French bulldog can experience a range of health problems. – Westend61/Getty Images ...

    April 6, 2016
  • Fossilised spider relative could make silk, but not spin it

    A discovery in a French mine provides insight into the evolution of modern-day spiders. Phil Ritc...

    A 3-D rendering of I. Brasieri, an ancient relative of modern-day spiders. – R.J. GARWOOD ET AL/PROCEEDINGS OF THE RO...

    March 29, 2016
  • Nano-coated material cleans itself with light

    Stain-busting nanoparticles remove stains in half an hour – but don't throw away your washing...

    Dribbled pasta sauce down the front of your white shirt? One day you might only have to stand under the nearest lamp ...

    March 28, 2016

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