Trappist-1 and it’s 7 dwarves

Well squee! NASA announced that the little star TRAPPIST-1 has 7 rocky planets, ranging in size from 40% to 140% of Earth’s mass. They’re all very close to the star, closer than Mercury is to our own Sun, but TRAPPIST-1 is an ultracool dwarf star, with a surface temperature of perhaps 2,500 ºC. Our sun is about 5,500 ºC. This means that several of the planets are in the Goldilocks…

February 23, 2017

Vera Rubin

December 28, 2016

Among all the more famous deaths of 2016, I want to mention Vera Rubin. She was the only person graduating with an Astronomy degree from her class in 1948. She wanted to do her PhD at Princeton, but they didn’t accept women for post grad studies at the time, so she went to Cornell. That’s where she discovered that galaxies didn’t seem to be flying straight out after the Big…


Foundations for the Large Sized Telescope

Digging foundations for the Large Size Telescope, Roque de Los Muchachos, La Palma 17/08/2016
August 17, 2016

  The digger’s started wotk on the foundations for the Large Size Telescope I gather the plan is to dig down 3 m, which is less than I’d thought for such a big structure. But the the MAGIC telescope is very light for its size, so perhaps the LST will be too. Cross posted to


Work starts on the Large Size Telescope

The plaque fro the first stone ceremony for the Large Size Telescope at the Europen Northern Observatory at the Roque de Los Muchachos
July 29, 2016

Work has finally started on the Large Size Telescope. The first stone ceremony was held on October 9th. This week the bushes have been cut down ready for the bulldozers to move in. Like the MAGIC, the LST will be a huge Cherenkov telescope (looking for gamma rays from space) with a mirror 23m across. The larger mirror will enable it to see fainter Cherenkov light, and therefore lower energy particles….