The fascinating rhythm of the sun and the moon

Fascinating rhythm You’ve got me on the go Fascinating rhythm I’m all a-quiver Fascinating Rhythm (George & Ira Gershwin, 1924) The motions of the sun and the moon across the sky will create a fascinating rhythm in 2019, producing five different kinds of eclipses. There will also be a rare-ish transit of Mercury. The firstContinue reading “The fascinating rhythm of the sun and the moon”

Getting ready for three Japanese eclipses in the next 18 months…

“OK, so if the earth is here…” In 2019 Japan will experience two partial solar eclipses. The first comes at the start of the year, on the morning of Sunday 6 January 2019. The second comes at the end of year, on the afternoon of Thursday 26 December 2019. Six months after that, on 21Continue reading “Getting ready for three Japanese eclipses in the next 18 months…”

Astronomy beyond sight

Our favourite astronomy professor Richard Gelderman (Western Kentucky University) and I have produced two stories for EarthSky about astronomers who are exploring the universe through hearing and touch. In Listening to the patterns of the universe, Richard talks to Wanda Díaz Merced (International Astronomical Union) about using ‘sonification’ to find signals hidden in large dataContinue reading “Astronomy beyond sight”

The complicated relationship between science and sci-fi

How important is the science in science fiction? I talked to three big thinkers – physicist and philosopher David Deutsch, film-maker Olga Osorio, and scientist turned novelist Gianfranco D’Anna – for a piece in Physics World. Link: https://physicsworld.com/a/the-complicated-relationship-between-science-and-sci-fi/

On awareness and understanding of different cultures

Image: Takobou/Wikimedia Commons The dynamic Keisuke Tabata, of Kobe Shinwa Women’s University, will be talking about our recent Japan-Indonesia-China-Vietnam project at the annual convention of the Japan Association for Educational Media Study in November. The convention is being held at Kagoshima University on the island of Kyushu. Our project involved an online movie read-through withContinue reading “On awareness and understanding of different cultures”

Sublime eclipse images on timeanddate.com

Once again, timeanddate.com put together an amazing global team to cover the lunar eclipse on Friday night/Saturday morning. Company CEO Steffen Thorsen provided sublime telescope images from Santorini in Greece; Matt Woods at the Perth Observatory, and Jerome Jooste at the Old Republic Observatory in Johannesburg, gave us absolutely stunning pictures from Australia and SouthContinue reading “Sublime eclipse images on timeanddate.com”

Longest lunar eclipse until 2123

We are entering an eclipse season… The moon’s orbit around the earth is slightly tilted. This means that – for most new moons and full moons – the earth, moon and sun are not aligned, and there is no eclipse. About every six months, however, the moon’s tilted orbit lines up with the earth’s orbitContinue reading “Longest lunar eclipse until 2123”

Helping people become better language-learners

My University of Shiga Prefecture (USP) colleague Dr Maki Taniguchi and I have been awarded a scientific research grant by the Japanese government. The grant (kakenhi number 18K00874) is worth 1.56 million yen over three years. The goal of our research is to help people become better language-learners through personal goal-setting. Our “toolkit” is CEFR-J,Continue reading “Helping people become better language-learners”