September 22 the equinox

In 2021 September 22 is the date of the September equinox and is also the first day of autumn (or the first day of spring if you're one of my readers in the Southern Hemisphere). In this post I’ll talk about the equinoxes and discus the commonly held view that they are the two days in… Continue reading September 22 the equinox

June 21 2021 – 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. The origin of the word solstice is from two Latin words:  sol, which means Sun, and sistere, to stand still. On the… Continue reading June 21 2021 – the solstice

Dark energy an unexpected finding

I offered recently to write an article for my local astronomy society on the discovery of dark energy.  It is  an expanded version of the blog post I wrote  on the topic last year and, at over 3000 words, it is longer  than my usual posts. I thought it would be of interest to many… Continue reading Dark energy an unexpected finding

The changing pole star

Many people know that Polaris, the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor (The Little Bear), is also known as the pole star. Indeed, the name Polaris itself was invented in the sixteenth century and is derived from the Latin stella polaris -pole star. The location of Polaris - Image credit Wikimedia Commons Polaris is… Continue reading The changing pole star

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?