Solid, liquid, gas. The three states of matter are something I first explored in primary school and water was the best example. You can easily see water frozen in your freezer, and it spews as a gas from your kettle. But if you mess with these normal states, you can do some fun and strange […]Read More Supercooled Water and Towers of Ice
Here’s a really simple and fun experiment to do at home: make glowing jelly (or jello, American friends)! The method is really easy – you’re just making jelly – but you do need some kind of UV light source to see the effects. It’s a very simple idea: you make jelly but use a 1:1 mixture […]Read More How to Make Glowing Jelly
I have given a lot of talks over the past few years and I’ve seen more than I can count. This year I saw one of the worst presentations ever – literally in my life I’m pretty sure I’ve not seen one as bad – and I’ve also seen some of the best. I’m starting […]Read More On the Awfulness of PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi and Everything Else
Once you have a Meade ETX-90 Telescope aligned and ready to go (no small feat, at times) you can see some pretty cool objects in the Summer sky. Saturn is currently riding high, and the rings are at a lovely angle – but that’s about it for the Solar System as I’m not willing to […]Read More Summer Sights
Smile for the camera… in space! In fact it’s cameras as two spacecraft will be taking images of the Earth tonight – there might still be time to get your hair done. The two spacecraft are Cassini and Messenger and although you’ll not even be a pixel in this image – the concept is quite […]Read More The Earth Is Being Photographed Tonight: Say Cheese!
I thought it would be fun to ask Twitter what space fact they would tell kids aged 7. Today I spoke to a class of young children about the Solar System and managed to get a few of these into my hour. I rather enjoyed the various responses and thought they might inspire more in turn. […]Read More Cool Space Facts for Young Children
Highlights from this years’ Ig Nobel Awards for achievements that first make people laugh and then make them think: MEDICINE PRIZE: Emmanuel Ben-Soussan and Michel Antonietti for advising doctors who perform colonoscopies how to minimize the chance that their patients will explode. LITERATURE PRIZE: The US Government General Accountability Office, for issuing a report about […]Read More Ig Nobel Awards 2012
Walking trough the park today we were caught by a heavy rain shower that literally came out of the clear blue sky. Whilst dashing through town to our car we spotted a spectacular rainbow. In fact it was a double rainbow, which many people will be familiar with. The lower (primary) bow was interesting though, […]Read More Different Rainbows
I returned last night from a trip to Norway to see the aurora. I posted previously about my stint as a Trip Scholar for the excursion on a Hurtigruten vessel, organised by the Oxford Alumni Office. It was a fantastic trip. As well as the Northern Lights we got to see some incredibly beautiful parts […]Read More Norway and the Aurora
The magnetic fields of the inner Solar System animated for your geomagnetic-storm-predicting needs.Read More Awesome figure alert!