Time and time zones

In this post I’ll talk about the measurement of time and the use of time zones throughout the world. This is particularly topical at this time of year.  In the early hours of Sunday 27 October the clocks go back an hour throughout the EU as Europe switches to winter time. The natural day There… Continue reading Time and time zones

Solar energy

The Earth receives more energy from the Sun in a single hour than the whole of humanity consumes in an entire year. In this post I’ll talk about some of the science behind this interesting fact and I’ll also discuss how solar energy is likely to become more important to us in the future. How… Continue reading Solar energy

June 21 2018 – the solstice

This year, the June solstice will fall on 21 June.  In the northern hemisphere, it is the day when there is the most daylight and when the Sun is at its highest in the midday sky.   Sunrise at the solstice at Stonehenge, England - image from Wikimedia commons The origin of the word solstice is… Continue reading June 21 2018 – the solstice

Jupiter at opposition 9 May 2018

On May 9 the planet Jupiter will be what is known as 'at opposition'.  This event, which occurs every 399 days, happens when Jupiter is at its closest to the Earth and at its brightest.  To the naked eye it will be a brilliant white object, three times brighter than the brightest star. Features such… Continue reading Jupiter at opposition 9 May 2018

Kepler’s other achievements

As discussed in my previous post, Kepler's improvement of Copernicus's heliocentric system led to its more general acceptance, and his three laws describing the way planets move are fundamental laws of astronomy. However, this wasn't his only contribution to science. He was one of the greatest thinkers of the seventeenth century scientific revolution and in… Continue reading Kepler’s other achievements