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

There's a new comet in the sky: Here's how you can see it

If you’re willing to get up early this week, you’re in for a magnificent sight: an early morning comet.

Astronomers bolster case for potential of life on one of Jupiter's moons, Europa

New research by NASA scientists lends further support to the theory that, beneath the thick, icy crust of Europa, the Jovian moon's interior ocean could be habitable.

Astronomers detect another form of mysterious, repeating radio burst — it's probably not aliens

Fast-radio bursts have puzzled astronomers for more than a decade. Now a new type of these powerful-yet-brief bursts of radio waves that traverse the vast expanse of intergalactic space has been discovered. Their source is still unknown.

Canada can hit climate targets without ruining economy, economists and climate experts say

A new study suggests that CO2 emissions could drop by seven per cent in 2020 due to global COVID-19 shutdowns. But going forward, cutting emissions won't require stalling the economy, say economists and climate experts.

Telescope sees 'baby planet' forming around distant star

Astronomers using European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) have captured the birth of a planet around a star 520 light-years away.

Tagish Lake meteorite that fell in northern B.C. contains clues as to how life may have arisen on Earth

A team of Canadian and U.S. researchers has found a meteorite that fell in British Columbia 20 years ago may shed some light on how life could have been brought to Earth.

Mixed messages, frustration with lockdowns fuel some skepticism about pandemic

Skepticism about the coronavirus pandemic is not widespread, but psychologists say there are several reasons some people have doubts - including inconsistent messaging about public health measures and frustration with prolonged shutdowns of the economy.

'Badass' astronauts ready for historic test launch to space station taking precautions amid pandemic

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are ready to make history as they prepare to become the first two Americans to launch from U.S. soil since 2011.

Exoplanet orbiting nearby star 'disappears'

In 2008, NASA announced that a new exoplanet was found orbiting a star 25 light-years away. But now it seems to have vanished. It turns out that it likely wasn’t a planet at all.

Hubble Space Telescope celebrates 30 years in space

After a rocky start, the Hubble Space Telescope transformed the way we see our universe. On Friday, it celebrates its 30-year anniversary in orbit around Earth.

Potentially habitable Earth-like planet found hidden in old satellite data

About 300 light-years from Earth lies a planet that is unlike any other ever discovered: one that is similar to our home both in terms of size and temperature and that lies within its host star’s habitable zone.

'It's heartbreaking': Homeless during pandemic left out in the cold — figuratively and literally

With most shelters full and operating at a lowered capacity to adhere to physical distancing rules, some cities including Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto, are putting up the homeless in hotels. But advocates say there are too few beds and not enough being done.

Biodiversity loss and wildlife trade are making pandemics like COVID-19 more likely, experts say

The destruction of natural habitats are making it easier for pathogens, like the novel coronavirus, to cross into humans, scientists say.

Global lockdowns might reduce CO2 emissions but won't halt climate crisis, scientists say

The worldwide shutdowns are having a deep economic impact, but it might appear as though there could be a silver lining: reduced CO2 emissions. Scientists say that it's not that simple.

Will COVID-19 become a seasonal disease like the flu? It's too early to tell, experts say

As governments around the world try to turn the tide on the spread of COVID-19, doctors are wondering if the disease will truly be eradicated or if we’ll see it become endemic, a seasonal infection like the flu and common cold.