Teachable moments in the sky and elsewhere

Huambo, Angola, 2017

Hello, I’m a British astrophysicist and language teacher based in Japan. My interests include solar eclipses, science-fiction films, and other ‘teachable moments’ for science communication.

What is a teachable moment?
Here is a wonderful definition: the occasion when people are “caught by phenomena, events or situations” that create “a need to know and increased motivation to learn.”

Why is this website called Ten Sentences?
It’s a tribute to Abraham Lincoln. His Gettysburg Address is a timeless example of language and communication — and it contains just ten sentences. Lincoln was also a champion of science and education.

Some recent highlights…

timeanddate.com livestream of the July 2019 total solar eclipse.

My selection of the top films about science or scientists for Physics World.

A piece for Sky & Telescope about how narrative helps us make sense of science.



NEVER look at the sun with the naked eye. Even if the sun is 99% covered by the moon, the remaining sunlight is extremely bright and can cause permanent damage to the eye. (The only time it is safe to view a solar eclipse with the naked eye is during the few short minutes or seconds of totality during a total eclipse.)