By day Penny Smale is a mum to two young boys, living on a rural property in the middle of a farming district in Central Otago. By night, she leaves home, walks the short distance to what is essentially a large outbuilding in a paddock, and fires lasers into the sky. Penny operates a Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) instrument at the Lauder research station in Central Otago. Essentially, she fires lasers into the sky and uses a telescope to measure what comes back.
A new international study using ancient swamp kauri from Northland shows a temporary breakdown of Earth’s magnetic field 42,000 years ago sparked major climate shifts leading to global environmental change and mass extinctions.
Some of the most striking images of lockdown around the world have been the blue skies of cities ordinarily choking in smog. From New Delhi to Los Angeles, Beijing to Paris, the changes were so remarkable they were visible from space.