Frank Drake and the Drake equation

I was saddened to find out about the recent death, at the age of 92, of Frank Drake, one of the pioneers of SETI. One of the things he is most famous for is the equation bearing his name which estimates the number of intelligent civilisations in our galaxy, the Drake equation. As a tribute… Continue reading Frank Drake and the Drake equation

Fake Astronomical Images

A friend of mine, the active amateur astronomer Colin Henshaw, brought the following photograph to my attention. It appears to show the Moon rising over Mossel Bay in South Africa. Although it was passed off as a genuine image, for reasons which Colin pointed out, it is a fake. If you study the Moon, it… Continue reading Fake Astronomical Images

June 21 2022 – the solstice

This year, the June solstice will fall on 21 June.  As most people know, In the northern hemisphere, it is the day of the year 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… Continue reading June 21 2022 – the solstice

Effects of Large Satellite Constellations on Astronomy

  Many of you will have seen the images back in 2019 which showed  long ‘trains’ composed of up to sixty SpaceX Starlink satellites crossing the sky in a straight line. These pictures hit the headlines not only because of the number of satellites, but because of their brightness. A 'train' of SpaceX Starlink satellites,… Continue reading Effects of Large Satellite Constellations on Astronomy

The equinox 20 March 2022

In 2022 March 20 is the date of the March equinox and is also the first day of spring (or the first day of autumn if you're one of my readers in the Southern Hemisphere). In this post I’ll talk about the equinoxes and discuss the commonly held, but incorrect, view, that they are the… Continue reading The equinox 20 March 2022