Photo of the week: the zodiacal light

October 16, 2018

It’s a funny thing, but the photos look very different on the desktop computer to the laptop – I hope this looks reasonable on your computer or phone.. You can only ever see the zodiacal light in really dark places, in the east about an hour before dawn, or in the west an hour after sunset. I took this photo from my balcony. It’s caused by dust in the plane…

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Photos of last week: The lunar eclipse

August 5, 2018

Better late than never, right? It’s now almost a year since I bought my new DSLR. The Pentax K 70 is supposed to be good for night photography, but I haven’t done nearly as much of it as I wanted. It seems like almost every night, either I’ve been exhausted, or I’ve had to get up early, or there’s been high clouds or Sahara dust. So I made an extra…

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Switching the stars on

April 22, 2018

I was quite worried about stargazing on Friday, because I was out of practice and the weather report was distinctly dodgy. Actually it all went well. I particularly enjoyed the little kids who were looking through a telescope for the first time. Witha bit of luck I set someone on their first steps to enjoying science. I was hoping to show people a crescent Venus (yes, it goes through phases…

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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
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