.Astronomy 5: What’s Next?

As the fifth .Astronomy came to a close on Wednesday, I felt as I always do at the end of these meetings: tired, emotional and super-excited. It’s hard to explain the energy at these events. There is something almost magical in the air as the participants ‘click’ (usually about an hour in) and then begin […]

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The Real Orbiting Frogs

Don’t worry I’m not about to start a reality show. You might have seen the picture that’s been circulating of a frog being catapulted from the launchpad of LADEE, the spacecraft is making its way to the Moon now to study dust in the lunar exosphere. This amazing image has prompted several people to suggest […]

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Summer Sights

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 […]

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Astronomy and Computing: A New Journal

A new journal begins today, Astronomy and Computing, covering the intersection of astronomy, computer science and information technology. This journal is desperately needed in my view and I wish it every success. The timing is interesting as many people at the intersection of these research areas are skeptical of old-style journals and the current state […]

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That’s No Supermoon

The periodic mention of a ‘supermoon‘ in the news cycle is starting to annoy me. A supermoon is simply not that much bigger than any other Moon!  It’s apparently just perceptible but by no means would you call it ‘super’. Annoyingly though, observation of the so-called supermoon is wrapped up in another effect: the Moon Illusion. This means that […]

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