Sunday Photos: The solar system and the Large Size Telescope

March 4, 2019

On Saturday I brought up my model solar system for my clients. The sun is too small. to be in scale with the planets, it ought to be 4m in diameter, but that’s rather inconvenient to fit in the car. The first four planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) are marbles and too small to see in the photograph, but the girl in the foreground is holding up the Earth….


Rosetta and the comet

The Rosetta space craft
July 23, 2014

  Rosetta is a robotic spacecraft built by the European Space Agency which is due to reach comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in August. It’s the first mission designed to both orbit and land on a comet. The Rosetta space probe orbiter, which features 12 instruments, will orbit 67P for 17 months and is designed to complete the most detailed study of a comet ever attempted. In November 2014 the Philae robotic lander,…


Comet Pan-STARRS

Comet Pan-STARRS Credit: Science@NASA
March 12, 2013

  Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) was discovered in June 2011. At that time it was a long way from the sun and very faint. Now it’s closer to the sun than the Earth, and it’s bright enough to see with the naked eye. This week you can see comet Panstarrs (C/2011 L4) near the horizon in the west, about 40 minutes after sunset. It’s close to the moon, so the…


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.