Life on Venus?

Many of you will have seen the story widely reported in the media of the discovery of the gas phosphine in the clouds of Venus - if not, you can find the story here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-54133538. On Earth phosphine is produced by bacteria and it has led to the interesting speculation as to whether there could be… Continue reading Life on Venus?

Surveying the Cosmos – Part II

In a previous post  I talked about the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), a large telescope being built in Chile which will spend 90% of its time surveying most of the sky a total of  1000 times over a 10 year period (in the remaining 10% it will revisit areas of specific interest).  In this… Continue reading Surveying the Cosmos – Part II

11-12 August 2020 – the Perseids

The night of  11/12  August will be the peak of the Perseids, one of the most famous prolific meteor showers. Meteors (also known as shooting stars) are bright streaks of light caused by small lumps of rock or metal called meteoroids hitting the Earth's atmosphere at a very high speed (in the case of the Perseids… Continue reading 11-12 August 2020 – the Perseids

First American crewed spaceflight since 2011

On May 27, SpaceX's Dragon 2 capsule will launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket  sending NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station. The lift-off will mark the return of orbital human spaceflight from the USA for the first time since the Space Shuttle retired in 2011. To mark this event… Continue reading First American crewed spaceflight since 2011

The Brightness of Venus

Anyone, even the most casual observer,  looking at  the evening sky in the last month will have noticed the brilliant white planet Venus shining in the west. Often known as the Evening Star, Venus is the third brightest natural object in the sky after the Sun and the Moon. In this post I’ll talk about… Continue reading The Brightness of Venus