Scale of the Universe

This is a fantastic, scrollable Universe explorer written in Flash. Learn just how big - and small - everything is. Marvellous.

Sex in Space

Ever considered the idea of sex in space? The 100-mile high club? You know, that thing James Bond does in Moonraker. A friend of mine was musing about this on Twitter today and it got me thinking. Astronauts spend a long time in an enclosed space with a limited number of people. They are obviously... Continue Reading →

Faster Than a Speeding Cyclist

After a particularly awful few days of bus commuting, I have been considering the merits and pitfalls of my method of travel to work. Mostly I began by trying to figure out whether the effort put into cycling to work would be worth any saved time or inconvenience. Rather astonishingly, my average speed on the... Continue Reading →

Solar System by Numbers

Had a bit of fun this weekend creating these oh-so-factual images of the Sun and Planets. There are up to 10 numbers used to create each image - each one giving a characteristic of that particular world, such as the orbital period in years or the mean surface temperature. These were all made on my... Continue Reading →

Ways to End the World

A friend recently asked me how I think the world might end. It’s a good question - lots of fun too, as a scientist. There seem to be countless ways to bring the world to an end - but here are some of the best ones we came up with. Feel free to add your... Continue Reading →

Glowing Samples

I’ve not much to say about this other than that it is a very cool image. I took it on Wednesday during Cardiff University’s Dragonfly Day. As well as making our own spectrometers there was also an experiment to deduce the contents of several mystery cups. All were white or see-through liquids. Using just their... Continue Reading →

Make Your Own Spectrometer

Note: This experiment involves sharp objects and should only be performed by children if under supervision. As long as care is taken, this is a fun experiment with effective results. It can be done without the razor blades, but the results are not as good. Spectrometers are used, like prisms, to spread light out into... Continue Reading →

Measure the Speed of Light Using Your Microwave

Astronomers studying star formation, like myself, use telescopes that can see though the pretty, optical exteriors of nebulae into the dark interiors where very cold dust radiates in the submillimetre and microwave regimes. Microwaves, fall on the electromagnetic spectrum, between radio waves and infrared waves. They are usually around the size of a few centimetres... Continue Reading →

Line Up

Here’s a great image of all the bodies in the Solar System in order of size. It only goes down to a diameter of 200 miles - otherwise it would get very silly indeed. Note that several planets fall after several moons in the rankings. also note the small collection of dwarf planets and transneptunian... Continue Reading →

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