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Magazine issue 2745
I have the cover story on New Scientist this week.
“PHOBOS is a name you are going to hear a lot in the coming years. It may be little more than an asteroid - just two-billionths of the mass of our planet, with no atmosphere and hardly any gravity - yet the largest of Mars's two moons is poised to become our next outpost in space, our second home.

I have a new story published by ESA: 
“ESA’s Herschel observatory is back to full operation following the reactivation of its HIFI instrument. HIFI, having been offline for 160 days while engineers investigated an unexpected problem in the electronic system, is now perfectly placed to resume its study of forming stars and planets. ...”

To read the full story click here

I have a new article published over at ESA:
“ESA and NASA are inviting scientists from across the world to propose instruments for their joint Mars mission, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. Scheduled for launch in 2016, the spacecraft will focus on understanding the rarest constituents of the Martian atmosphere, including the mysterious methane that could signal life on Mars. ...”

To read the full story, click here.

I have a new story published over at ESA:

“Five years ago today, ESA’s Huygens probe descended to the surface of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Today planetary scientists from around the world have gathered in Barcelona to discuss the legacy of Huygens and to consider future Titan exploration missions. ...”

To read the full story, click here.

First of all, Happy New Year to all readers.  During the course of 2010, I shall be bringing you even more stories and content for this website, so do stay tuned. But let me begin the year with an announcement, which is that I have reached an agreement with the European Space Agency to become their Senior Editor for Space Science.  I have worked with ESA as a writer for almost a decade now, and it is an absolute pleasure that this opportunity to become part of the editorial staff presented itself.  Expect to see an increase in the number of ESA stories I post on this website!

I have a new story published over at ESA:

“Herschel has peered inside an unseen stellar nursery and revealed surprising amounts of activity. Some 700 newly forming stars are estimated to be crowded into filaments of dust stretching through the image. The image is the first new release of ‘OSHI’, ESA’s Online Showcase of Herschel Images. ...”

To read the full story, click here.  To visit the online showcase of Herschel images, click here

There is a special Christmas promotion from Quercus Publishing and to offer my book Galaxy at an amazing 70% discount.  You pay just £7.50 (and delivery is free) for a book that usually retails at £25.  Hurry though; this offer will only last until Christmas.


Place your order here

I was invited back to the BBC studios to talk to Quentin Cooper on Material World.  Our subject this time was NASA’s new infrared telescope, WISE.  WISE stands for Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer.  This mission will map the entire sky at infrared wavelengths over the course of the next nine months.


You can listen to a podcast of the episode here

I have a new story posted over at ESA:
“ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray observatory is celebrating its 10th anniversary. During its decade of operation, this remarkable space observatory has supplied new data for every aspect of astronomy. From our cosmic backyard to the further reaches of the Universe, XMM-Newton has changed the way we think of space. ...”


Read the full story for free here

New Scientist 2737
I have a story in New Scientist this week about a controversial problem that is unique to cosmology.  
“COSMOLOGISTS are doing the happy dance. The European Space Agency's Planck mission is busy surveying the cosmic microwave background, aka the "echo" of the big bang, and in 2013 will release a feast of data that promises to deliver profound new insights into the origin of the universe.



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