Human spaceflight in 2021

2021 will be an interesting year for human space flight. Not only is it the sixtieth anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s historic first manned spaceflight, but it will be the first time that a privately operated spacecraft will arrive at the International Space Station (ISS).  This private spacecraft is not just a one-off but will be… Continue reading Human spaceflight in 2021

Chinese Moon samples

Like many of my readers I was pleased to see that the Chang’e 5 spacecraft returned to Earth on 16 December 2020 with around 2 kg of lunar rocks. This great achievement was the first lunar sample return mission for China and is indeed the first time any rocks have been brought from the Moon… Continue reading Chinese Moon samples

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

Short Guide to the Moon – ebook

While others spent lock down perfecting their baking skills or becoming experts in home exercise routines, I have been beavering away revising and reissuing the book I originally wrote about the Moon five years ago.  I am very pleased to  offer this to my readers for free for the next five days, and I hope… Continue reading Short Guide to the Moon – ebook

How tides work

Although the Moon is much smaller and less massive than the Earth its gravitational field still has significant effects on the Earth. The most noticeable of these are tides, the periodic rise and fall of sea levels. High and low tides- Images from Wikimedia Commons     Causes of Tides The average Earth- Moon distance… Continue reading How tides work