12-13 August 2019 – the Perseids

The night of Monday 12/13  August will be the peak of the Perseids, one of the most famous prolific meteor showers Meteors (also known as shooting stars) are bright streaks of light caused by small lumps of rock or metal called meteoroids hitting the Earth's atmosphere at a very high speed (in the case of the… Continue reading 12-13 August 2019 – the Perseids

Apollo 11 lunar landing

20 July 2019 is the fiftieth anniversary of the first manned landing on the Moon. Mission Insignia of Apollo 11- Image from NASA   On 21 May 1961 President John F Kennedy made the following address to the United States Congress: 'I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade… Continue reading Apollo 11 lunar landing

Paperback and e-book from The Science Geek on Venus

I have now produced a paperback version of my book on Venus, the planet closest to the Earth in distance, size and internal composition, and the third brightest natural object in our sky after the Sun and the Moon. Topics include how Venus appears from Earth and the fact that Venus’s phases can only be… Continue reading Paperback and e-book from The Science Geek on Venus

American manned spaceflight in 2019

Since the retirement of the Space Shuttle in July 2011, America has been unable to put any astronauts into orbit around the Earth. Instead, it has been in the difficult situation of having to rely on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS). This situation may change… Continue reading American manned spaceflight in 2019

Chinese Moon missions

Like many people, I was very excited to hear the news on 3 January that the Chinese spacecraft, Chang'e 4, had landed as planned in the Von Karman crater on the far side of the Moon. Chang’e 4 in the Von Karman crater. The crater lies in the South Pole-Aitken basin on the far side of… Continue reading Chinese Moon missions