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I have a new article posted on my Guardian Across the Universe blog:


"The largest ever 3D map of the universe strengthens astronomers’ belief that three quarters of the cosmos is made of an unknown substance: ‘dark energy’


It is hard to know whether it’s a success or a failure but modern astronomy tells us that almost three quarters of the universe is in the form of an unknown substance called “dark energy”.


Add to this the “dark matter” that astronomers are still searching for without success, and we think we live in a Universe where only two percent of it is the familiar atoms that make up you and I, stars and planets.


Worse still is the fact that no one has a clue about the true nature of the “dark energy” or how such a substance could come into existence. There is no hint of it in any known laboratory physics experiment. So whatever it is, the dark energy is too weak to be felt on small scales. Its effects are only visible when accumulated over billions of light years.


The latest attempt to gain insight into its nature was released on 14 July and presented as the largest map of the universe. ..."


Read the full story here.

I have a new piece published on my Spacewatch column for The Guardian:


"The astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are having a busy time unpacking supplies. This week, two uncrewed cargo ships arrived just two days apart from one another. ..."


Read the full story here.

I have a new article posted on my Guardian Across the Universe blog:


"Stars and planets form in clouds of dust and gas called nebulae. One of the nearest is the Orion Nebula. This new image has been taken at infrared wavelengths and sees more deeply into the nebula than ever before. 


Peering through the veils of dust and gas, it reveals not just stars but many more planetary mass objects than expected.


Lead scientist Holger Drass, Astronomisches Institut, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, says, “Our result feels to me like a glimpse into a new era of planet and star formation science." ...”


Read the full story here.

I have a new piece published on my Spacewatch column for The Guardian:


"Nasa’s Juno mission is spending its first week in orbit around Jupiter. This giant planet is more than 11 times the diameter of Earth.


Having travelled for more than 1.7bn miles through the solar system, Juno was captured by Jupiter’s gravity at 03:18 GMT on 5 July after an engine burn that lasted 35 minutes. ..."


Read the full story here.

I have a new piece published on my Spacewatch column for The Guardian:


"Twinkle is a small mission with big ambitions. Designed to reveal the chemical composition, weather and history of planets orbiting distant stars, it will involve building and launching a space telescope before 2019. ..."


Read the full article here.

I have a new article published on my Spacewatch column for The Guardian: 


"After 186 days in orbit, British astronaut Tim Peake will make the descent to Kazakhstan where he will be trained to live with gravity once more ..."


Read the full story here.

I have a new article published on my Guardian blog, Across the Universe:


"The European Space Agency’s technology-testing mission LISA Pathfinder is working five times better than its design specification, opening Einstein’s gravitational universe for investigation from space


It has taken just two months of space-based experimentation for scientists and engineers to know that the European Space Agency’s technology testing mission LISA Pathfinder is far exceeding its design requirements.

The results mean that Europe could now begin building a mission to detect gravitational waves from space. ..."


Read the whole article here.

I am thrilled to say that my new book, The Unknown Universe: What We Don't Know About Time and Space in Ten Chapters, is out on 10th September.

I have a new radio programme broadcast by BBC Radio 4 today at 15:30om. From the BBC website:


"Astrophysicist and science writer Dr Stuart Clark asks whether our increasing reliance on computers in scientific research is becoming an obstacle to progress.

I have a new article published on my Across the Universe blog at The Guardian.


"Physicists are growing confident of detecting ephemeral ripples in the universe, and they are gearing up to engage the public in the discovery.



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