Physics at the movies

The November 2019 Physics World is a special issue on “Physics at the movies – the science behind the scenes”. Among the highlights: Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe talks to friend and physicist Jess Wade about what it’s like as an actor to work with visual effects (VFX), from 3D body mapping to green screensContinue reading “Physics at the movies”

Astronomy for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Japan, along with most of the Asia-Pacific region, will miss out on next week’s transit of Mercury. The country will, however, be hosting an International Astronomical Union (IAU) symposium on “Astronomy for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion — a roadmap to action within the framework of the IAU 100th Anniversary”. The event will be held overContinue reading “Astronomy for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion”

How ‘the little stuff’ helps language learners

Later this month the Japanese publisher CosmoPier is bringing out a special magazine on foreign TV dramas that can help people learn English. I was asked to write a piece about the BBC comedy The Office. How can The Office help learners improve their English skills? I quoted the show’s creators, Ricky Gervais and StephenContinue reading “How ‘the little stuff’ helps language learners”

Gracias a San José de Jáchal

Our livestream concluded with an eclipsed sun setting behind the Andes. Thank you to everyone in San José de Jáchal, Argentina, who helped us deliver a fabulous timeanddate.com livestream of last week’s total solar eclipse. The support we received from the Municipalidad de Jáchal was simply incredible; we’re especially grateful to Domingo Martinez and MatíasContinue reading “Gracias a San José de Jáchal”

Wish you were here? 7 chances to experience totality in the 2020s

My latest piece for Physics World is a travel guide to the seven total solar eclipses of the 2020s. Link: https://physicsworld.com/a/wish-you-were-here-seven-chances-to-experience-a-total-solar-eclipse-in-the-2020s/ Luxor, on the banks of the River Nile in Egypt, will enjoy 6 minutes 22 seconds of totality on 2 August 2027. (Image: Mahmoud Algazzar)

The return of the Moondance

In the 22 months since the ‘Great American’ total solar eclipse swept across the USA, we’ve had three total lunar eclipses and four partial solar eclipses. Now, the big Moondance is back… On 2 July a total solar eclipse will take place over the South Pacific Ocean and a narrow strip of Chile and Argentina.Continue reading “The return of the Moondance”

The top five films about science or scientists

To celebrate the Oscars weekend, Physics World asked me to come up with the top 5 films about science or scientists. They span 51 years and include two Stanley Kubricks, one Ridley Scott, one Steven Spielberg, and one film by the not-so-famous Shane Carruth. My top 5, in order of the year of release, isContinue reading “The top five films about science or scientists”

Citizen scientists spot meteorite strike during lunar eclipse

This week’s total lunar eclipse featured a dramatic bonus: shortly after the start of totality, a space rock hit the moon and vaporised in a flash of light. My latest piece for Physics World tells the story… Link: https://physicsworld.com/a/citizen-scientists-spot-meteorite-strike-during-lunar-eclipse/ Can you spot the lunar flash…? Here is a link to the moment of impact onContinue reading “Citizen scientists spot meteorite strike during lunar eclipse”

The moon, the earth’s shadow, and some clouds…

We are enormously grateful to the brilliant teams around the world who supported our live coverage of yesterday’s total lunar eclipse on timeanddate.com. Alas, it seemed like most of the night-time side of earth was covered in cloud… However, we obtained some truly spectacular images from timeanddate’s mobile observatory in Ouarzazate, Morocco, and the GriffithContinue reading “The moon, the earth’s shadow, and some clouds…”