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It is with great pleasure that I announce the launch of my astronomy blog for The Guardian. Across the Universe will be a mixture of comment, analysis and musings on the ever changing world of astronomy and space science. I also hope to include coverage of astronomy in culture.



I've written for The Guardian a couple of times before (here, here and here for example) and my first posting is all about the upcoming attempt to land Curiosity on Mars.


"Early on Monday morning, NASA's Curiosity rover will attempt a hazardous landing on the Martian surface. It will take seven minutes from the capsule hitting the top of the atmosphere at six kilometres per second to the van-sized vehicle being placed gently on the ground.


A heat shield to withstand heating to 1600 degrees centigrade, the largest and strongest supersonic parachute yet built, and finally a new piece of kit called the Sky Crane will all be used.

The Sky Crane is a retro-rocket platform and has been attracting considerable attention because it's bold and dangerous. Even NASA are calling the entry, descent and landing 'Seven Minutes of Terror' ..."


You can read the full post here. Check back on Sunday for a post about life on Mars, and then again on Monday, when I'll analyse Curiosity's landing - whether it's a success or failure.

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