Nicole Mortillaro

Senior Reporter, Science

Nicole has an avid interest in all things science. As an amateur astronomer, Nicole can be found looking up at the night sky appreciating the marvels of our universe. She is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and the author of several books.

Latest from Nicole Mortillaro

Mercury will cross the face of the sun. Here's how to watch safely

A rare event will take place on Monday — Mercury will pass in front of the sun, an event called a "transit" that will be visible across the country, should the weather comply.

Organizers of climate-emergency declaration verifying names after 'Micky Mouse' turns up as signatory

One name on a petition signed by 11,000 scientists declaring a climate emergency is raising questions about how carefully the list was vetted: Micky Mouse from the Micky Mouse Institute for the Blind in Namibia.

11,000 scientists sign declaration of climate emergency

Climate emergencies have been declared by countries like Canada, Portugal, Ireland and France, and in cities such as Paris, New York, Toronto and Vancouver. Now a collection of 11,000 scientists from 153 countries is doing the same.

We know plastic bottles are choking our planet. So why are companies still selling them?

Three of the world's largest beverage companies announced this week they're investing $100 million to cut down on the use of new plastic and improve plastic bottle recycling. But if we all agree plastic bottles are a problem, why do companies still sell them?

Is population control the answer to fixing climate change?

The argument some people present is that if there were fewer people on Earth, greenhouse gases would be reduced and climate change could be averted. But experts say population control isn't the panacea some might think.

Interstellar visitor is reddish, new study finds

In a study published on Monday, astronomers have pulled back the curtain on some of the mysteries behind our solar system’s first confirmed interstellar comet.

What is Extinction Rebellion and what are its demands?

On Monday, the activist group Extinction Rebellion blocked bridges across Canada in Halifax, Toronto, Kitchener, Ont., Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria. While the climate action group may have been relatively unknown until now, they’ve been rapidly expanding. 

Comet from another star system is on its way in, and astronomers say to expect more

For the second time in under two years, astronomers have confirmed that we’ve been buzzed by an interstellar visitor, and some experts estimate that we’ll be seeing more of these sorts of objects. 

Climate lessons from the classroom spill into the streets

On Friday, tens of thousands of people — led by youth — marched across Canada in the Global Climate Strike. Many of the children in the streets do not know the details of the science, but they are convinced that they're heading into a different world than the one that exists today.

What an ice-free Arctic really means, and why it matters so much

At Earth's poles, ice and snow is disappearing — and it's transforming our planet. 

Asteroid breakup 466 million years ago may have triggered ice age

Roughly 466 million years ago, an asteroid broke apart almost half a billion kilometres from Earth. And according to a new study published in Science Advances on Wednesday, that event may have played a vital role in shaping life on our planet.

Newly discovered comet may be yet another interstellar visitor

The astronomical community is abuzz with the prospect that a recently discovered comet may actually have come from outside our solar system.

First traces of atmospheric water vapour detected on 'super-Earth' in habitable zone

Roughly 111 light-years away, toward the constellation of Leo, lies a dim star less than half the mass of our sun, with two planets in close orbit. Now, astronomers have revealed that one of those planets has an atmosphere containing water vapour.

Astronomers capture rare cosmic collision that's a chance to 'understand the chemistry of the universe'

It’s a cosmic collision that has astronomers rethinking one of the universe’s most colossal events: the collision of massive stars. But astronomers almost missed it.

Yes, winter is coming. But that's about all the Farmers' Almanac can predict accurately

Worried about the "polar coaster" forecast by the Farmers' Almanac? Don't fret: Forecasting months ahead reduces accuracy and we still have fall to go.