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News and Events | Issue 4, 2020



Ice, not rivers, may have covered ancient Mars

The surface of Mars was scarred by glaciers, not free-flowing rivers as previously thought. UBC researchers analyzed more than 10,000 Martian valleys, using an algorithm to uncover evidence of extensive subglacial erosion.






Earth-like planets could be common in our galaxy

There may be as many as one Earth-like planet for every five Sun-like stars in the Milky Way, according to new estimates by UBC astronomers. The work could inform our understanding of planet formation and the hunt for extraterrestrial life.






Understanding the biology of cannabis

Due to historical prohibition, much of the chemistry and biology of cannabis remain a mystery, and we need to do more to crack its secrets. “In the end it’s just a plant and we can’t manage it better if we don’t understand it as fully as we understand potatoes or corn,” explains UBC botanist Jonathan Page.


Black hole merger



We may have spotted a black hole-neutron star merger

Astrophysicists have detected the merger of a black hole with a mystery compact object—the most asymmetric gravitational-wave source yet observed. It’s difficult to tell whether the smaller object was an incredibly light black hole or a heavy neutron star.



Online science


UBC Homecoming 2020 Join our virtual celebration featuring an all-star line-up of UBC notables, familiar faces and surprise guests.
September 25-27




Generations at Work
In this free webinar, participants will learn how to better communicate with and work with diverse generational groups.
October 1



Woman with laptop


Investigating UFO Videos
Pseudoscience debunker Mick West delves into videos of flying saucers and science communication challenges.
October 1



Atacama Cosmology Telescope



How old is our universe?

New data provided by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope indicate our universe is around 13.8 billion years old, matching the measurements made by the Planck satellite in 2015






Keep watching the skies

According to a UBC study, the Antarctic Plateau offers the best spot on the planet for telescopes. The combination of high altitude, low temperature, and long periods of continuous darkness makes it an exceptional location.



Howard Soon



Helping kids become sea smart

“Over 30 of the species I’d studied or interacted with would go extinct within my lifetime,” says Elaine Leung (BSc ‘04). The biologist founded Sea Smart to help children understand the importance of ocean conservation.








Moving science and engineering outreach online

It was a strange summer for the science outreach community at UBC as activities shifted online. Our dedicated coordinators explain why creating online outreach opportunities for youth isn’t as simple as just digitizing curricula. Some activities, such as Saturday clubs, are continuing this fall.



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