Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

Jupiter's red spot
June 12, 2013

  Jupiter’s Great Red Spot was discovered by the English scientist Robert Hooke in 17th century. It lies very close to the giant planet’s equator and its major axis is 40,000 km (twice the diameter of the Earth. We now know that it’s a hurricane, which rotates anticlockwise with wind speeds around the edge of up to 400 km / sec. Photo taken by NASA’s Voyager 1 space probe.


A stunning photo of Saturn

Saturn and its rings backlit, taken by NASA's Cassini mission on Sept. 15, 2006
June 7, 2013

  This wonderful photo of Saturn was taken by NASA’s Cassini mission on Sept. 15, 2006. The sun is behind the planet, giving a wonderful view of the rings. Even more spectacular, you can just see the Earth at the left.


Curiosity is sitting on a stream bed

Rounded gravel fragments, or clasts, up to a couple inches (few centimetres), on dry stream beds on Mars and Earth Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS and PSI
September 30, 2012

  The Mars rover Curiosity is driving over a dried-up stream bed. Looking at the gravel under Curiosity, NASA scientists say the water must have flowed about 1 m/s and been somewhere between 10 cm and a metre deep. That’s a lot of water, although it was probably billions of years ago.


Goodbye, Neil Armstrong

I was 7 years old when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the moon. My parents were always strict about bedtime, especially when I had to go to school in the morning. This was the only exception that I can remember. Mum got us up at about 2 am to watch the landing live, and I’ve very grateful to her. “That’s one small step for a man, one giant…

August 26, 2012

Complete Success!

Curiosity is safely down on the surface of Mars, and sending NASA low resolution images. Everything worked perfectly. She can now get on with finding out if Mars was ever friendly for life. The nerds just took gold in the 560 billion metres. La curiosidad esta viva sobre la superficie de Marte, y envíando imágenes de baja resolución a la NASA. Todo funcionó a la perfección. Ahora puede seguir adelante…

August 6, 2012

Curiosity Landing on Mars

  Curiosity, also known as the Mars Science Laboratory, will touch down on Mars at 6:31 (BST or La Palma local time). I hope it won’t crash into Mars hard enough to create a new impact crater. Mars is currently on the opposite side of the sun to Earth, and radio signals from Mars take 14 minutes to reach Earth. That’s far too long for the engineers at NASA to…

August 4, 2012