Chemiluminescence is the technical term given when a chemical reaction gives off light!

In year 8 we study the ‘signs that a chemical reaction has taken place’. One of the signs that a chemical reaction has occurred is that it gives off energy – typically this energy is in the form of heat, but in a few cases the energy given off can be light! Different colours are made by different amounts of energy.

Check out these chemiluminescent reactions that our science club team recently experimented with:

Just in case it’s not obvious – don’t try this at home! See here for more details about why and the details behind how glow sticks work.

This week in Science (19th of May)

Stem cells:
Climate change:

(Article and image from ‘ScienceisAwesome‘ Facebook group)

This week Australian scientists discovered the brain forms new circuits after damage to compensate for lost function, found out more about a protein that could protect against cancer, revealed that bacteria can become resistant to disinfecting nano silver and found the genes that help the lotus flower regulate its temperature like a mammal.

Read more:
→ Brain rewires after injury:
→ Protein that protects against the big C:
→ Bacteria becomes resistant to nanosilver: via UNSW
→ Lotus genome reveals secrets:

(Image and article from ‘ScienceAlert‘ Facebook group)



Folding@home uses your excess computing power to help scientists at Standford and universities around the world to better understand and find cures for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and many forms of cancer. This means that from home, you can run a small program in the background on your computer that will contribute towards curing cancer – at no cost to you beyond your regular computer usage!

You can find more information here about:

  • the science behind protein folding and it’s link to various diseases
  • how you can help
  • download and run the program
  • help with getting started.

If you decide to join the cause and put your wasted computer resources to a good use, you can join the new WCCS team by inserting our team ID (224373) into your client when prompted!

This Week in Science – 29/4/13

Last week Australian scientists proved chocolate keeps people calm, developed a material that soaks up oil spills, created an elastic patch that repairs heart tissue and found that iron could guide bird migration. Catch up on all the top Australian science news from the past week:

→ Keep calm, eat chocolate:
→ Nanosheets soak up oil spills: via ABC Science
→ Elastic patch heals damaged hearts:
→ Iron could guide bird navigation:

(article from ‘ScienceAlert‘ facebook group)

This Week in Science – April 29 – May 5, 2013:

•Smallest movie ever made here:
•Sea horse armor inspires engineers here:
•New insect-eye-like-camera here:
•Bioengineered windpipe here:
•Bionic ear here:
•Anti-matter falling up here:
•Harvard robotocists fly RoboBee here:
•Saturn’s seasonal magnetosphere here:
•Vega launches here:
•Climate change causing painted turtles extinction here:
•Black hole birth observations here:
•New species of mole rat here:

(Article from ‘The Science of Reality‘ facebook group)

New Saturn images

“This was taken in the near infrared, just outside what the eye can see, displayed in false color so we can see it—in other words, the storm isn’t really red, it’s just displayed that way. In these filters, low clouds look red and higher clouds are green*. I love the festoons, swirls, and delicate-appearing structures in the vortex. However, wind speeds there are about 500 kilometers per hour (330 mph) so it’s hardly a gentle breeze!

This storm sits centered on Saturn’s north pole, and now that Saturn’s northern hemisphere is approaching summer, it’s only recently begun seeing sunlight for the first time since Cassini’s arrival in 2004. I suspect the low angle of sunlight helps aid the contrast and beauty of this picture.”

Check out Phil Plait‘s blog on for an explanation of this larger image showing the storm inside a strange hexagonal system and Saturn’s rings in the background: