Category Archives: Astronomy

Transitory Mercury

I wasn’t sure I was going to get to see today’s celestial encounter. The forecast was for blanket cover by early afternoon and the blue skies of the morning had largely filled with cloud by lunchtime, when the transit was due … Continue reading

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Mars Attacks (the senses)

Last night on Twitter someone posted a ‘selfie’ taken by the Mars Curiosity rover. It’s quite a photograph, particularly since it captures a fantastic piece of human technology amidst the landscape of another planet. The detail is what makes the … Continue reading

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Tripped up by the light fantastic

Yesterday I went to Mars. I stood on the surface and gazed at the dusty red ground, illuminated as far as the pink horizon by sunlight weakened from a journey that is a 100 million kilometres longer than the distance to … Continue reading

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Passing By

I was determined not to miss the transit of Venus today. Life’s too short. But this week I have relocated to St Raphael in the south of France for a conference on picornaviruses and had to leave my telescope behind. Despite … Continue reading

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Fabulous night

Tonight, at the end of an exhausting day, I have few words, but it was beautifully clear so I have taken some pictures of the night sky. And made a short film. The photographs are by no means exemplary. The … Continue reading

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Rings of Saturn

It has been a beautifully clear and sunny day – perfect weather for a barbecue. We dined and chatted with our guests as the afternoon turned to dusk and then the stars began to wink in the night sky. After … Continue reading

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Sun Spot

I have been working my way around the solar system with my telescope. The moon was easy to spot. And Jupiter and Saturn were not so very difficult to find, though they proved to be beyond my photographic capabilities. Over the … Continue reading

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Moon Boon

It cannot have escaped your attention this past weekend that the Earth was treated to a supermoon. The correct terminology for this felicitous event is a perigee syzygy, but the reasons for the interesting nomenclature need not detain us. The … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Blogging, History of Science, Science | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Small and Very Far Away

As Father Ted might have explained it to Dougal, this one is very small: Atom but that one is far away. Mars (NASA) And yet it is the distant planet and not the nearby atom that seems to excite the … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Protein Crystallography, Science | Tagged , , , | 54 Comments

Snapshots of 2010

I wasn’t going to do a review of the year’s blogposts but, on the off-chance that the recent move to the shiny new site at Occam’s Typewriter has attracted some new readers, I thought I would provide a brief guide … Continue reading

Posted in AltMed, Astronomy, Blogging, History of Science, Libel Reform, Protein Crystallography, Science, Science & Politics, TV review | 5 Comments

Cosmos and Kapoor

Having delighted in Jacob Bronowski’s The Ascent of Man earlier this year, I sat down to watch Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, which several commenters had recommended to me. You can read what I thought of it in my guest post at … Continue reading

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Guardian of Science

Some of you may not have heard of last week’s launch of a new science blogging site by the Guardian newspaper. They have a core group of regular bloggers — Jon Butterworth, Dr Evan Harris, Martin Robbins and NN’s own Grrlscientist … Continue reading

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