Akatsuki – a second chance – Updated (7 Dec 2015)

This an update to my original post from 4 December. In a press release today the Japanese space agency JAXA confirmed that the smaller rocket motors had fired as planned and the Akatsuki is now in orbit round Venus.  The announcement (http://global.jaxa.jp/press/2015/12/20151207_akatsuki.html) went on to say: "The orbiter is now in good health. We are… Continue reading Akatsuki – a second chance – Updated (7 Dec 2015)

Akatsuki – a second chance – 7 December 2015

On 7 December 2010, after a six month journey, the Japanese spacecraft Akatsuki (named after the Japanese word for dawn) arrived at Venus after a six month journey.  It was only the second spacecraft launched since 1989 to visit the Earth's sister planet and, if it had succeeded in orbiting Venus, it would have had… Continue reading Akatsuki – a second chance – 7 December 2015

The Steady State Theory

This post, the latest in my series about cosmology, talks about the Steady State theory. This is an  elegant alternative theory to the Big Bang, which was very popular among astronomers in the 1950s, but  is now obsolete. What is the Steady State Theory? The Big Bang theory states that the Universe originated from an… Continue reading The Steady State Theory

Ultimate Fate of the Universe

This post, which is the latest in my series on cosmology, is about the ultimate fate of the Universe, a subject which has engaged scientists, philosophers and religious leaders for centuries. There are many possible endings to the Universe, but the outline I will present here, which is sometimes called "The Big Freeze", is the most commonly held… Continue reading Ultimate Fate of the Universe

The Future of humanity

As described in my previous post (The Future of the Sun), in about 5 billion years time the Sun will swell up to at least 100 times its current diameter and this will make the surface of the Earth far too hot to sustain life. What Sunrise might look like when the Sun is a red… Continue reading The Future of humanity