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”

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/

Coming soon to a sky near you: a teachable moment

There are 100 days to go until the next eclipse… On January 31st 2018 a total lunar eclipse will produce a red full moon for people in parts of Asia, Australia and the Pacific, and North America. Image: Juan Carlos Casado Why does the moon turn red? The earth – a rocky planet about 13,000Continue reading “Coming soon to a sky near you: a teachable moment”

Mystery of the moon’s tilted orbit

I’m extremely grateful to the brilliant planetary scientist Kaveh Pahlevan, who shared some wonderful thoughts in this interview for EarthSky. “When a crime happens, investigative police quickly arrive on the scene and try to preserve the evidence. In the case of the moon’s origin, there was a violent event, but there were no witnesses, andContinue reading “Mystery of the moon’s tilted orbit”

How a solar eclipse made Einstein famous

Images: Wikimedia / CC-PD-Mark We all know the genius on the left. But who is the genius on the right…? My latest article for Sky & Telescope magazine asks: “Why do some great scientists become household names, whereas others do not? Why, these days, does everyone in the world know who Einstein is (and whatContinue reading “How a solar eclipse made Einstein famous”

“A need to know and increased motivation to learn”

“For cranking motivation levels up to eleven, nothing says ‘teachable moment’ like a solar eclipse…” Sky & Telescope magazine has an article about our science outreach project in Angola :) http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/stargazers-corner/a-teachable-moment-when-the-moons-shadow-came-to-angola/

Africa gets ready for another sun and moon show

Mail & Guardian Africa has published a piece about next weekend’s African eclipse, and our Angolan “Global Communication and Science” project. Africa gets ready for another sun and moon show Graham Jones | Mail & Guardian Africa | 17 February 2017 Six months after Africa played host to a spectacular eclipse of the sun, itContinue reading “Africa gets ready for another sun and moon show”