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Talked to John Stewart today from the BBC’s World Service for the science programme Science in Action. The programme is available for a limited time here. The Carrington flare story begins at 6 mins 43 secs.

I have a new story published over at ESA:


“ESA's XMM-Newton orbiting X-ray telescope has uncovered a celestial Rosetta stone: the first close-up of a white dwarf star, circling a companion star, that could explode into a particular kind of supernova in a few million years. These supernovae are used as beacons to measure cosmic distances and ultimately understand the expansion of our Universe. ...”


Read the story for free here

Interviewed today for a Wired.com article by Alexis Madrigal. You can read that great article here


I was also interviewed by The Sun newspaper about the Carrington event.  They printed a five-paragraph story on page 25. I was described as a “Brit scientist” – I quite like that, makes me sound Brit-popish.

150 years ago today, amateur astronomer Richard Carrington witnessed a solar flare, the first time such a phenomenon had been observed. It triggered the largest solar storm in history, wiping out navigation and communications around the nineteenth century world. It also led to me writing The Sun Kings.


Join me on Twitter (@DrStuClark) for minute by minute updates of what was happening on that fateful day back in 1859, and the chance to Tweet me your questions. Search for the hashtag #solarstorm.

I have a new story published over at ESA:
“Mars may not be as dormant as scientists once thought. The 2004 discovery of methane means that either there is life on Mars, or that volcanic activity continues to generate heat below the Martian surface. ESA plans to find out which it is. Either outcome is big news for a planet once thought to be biologically and geologically inactive. ...”


Read the story for free here.

I have the cover story in Focus this month:

 
“With no warning, the lights go out. A sudden loss of electrical power has struck the whole country. Air traffic control goes offline, hospitals switch to back-up generators and as you wait it out at home a stunning aurora dances in the sky above your head.

The 40th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landings this year coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Carrington event, the fiercest solar storm to have ever struck the Earth. So it seems fitting to muse on a link between extreme solar events and the Moon landings. That link is astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who may be the luckiest astronaut alive.

New Scientist 2716
I share the cover this week on New Scientist as part of their Apollo’s Unfinished Business special feature.  My article is about how the legacy of the Apollo Missions might yet give us our first real insight into string theory:


“EACH clear night when the moon is high in the sky, a group of astronomers in New Mexico take aim at our celestial neighbour and blast it repeatedly with pulses of light from a powerful laser. They target suitcase-sized reflectors left on the lunar surface by the Apollo 11, 14 and 15 missions, as well as by two Russian landers.

I was published in The Times today as part of their special issue commemorating the Apollo Moon landings.  I wrote their summary of the science to come out of Apollo:


“Apollo may have been conceived as a political vehicle during the US-Russian Cold War, but nonetheless the missions provided a spectacular hoard of science that continues to reward researchers today. The lunar rocks alone have become the foundation stones on which our modern understanding of planetary formation is built...”


You can read the full article for free here. Then, check out the entire Apollo special here

Another good thing to report:  the July issue of the BBC’s Sky at Night magazine has given my latest book, Galaxy, a five star review and made it their Book of the Month.  Thanks guys!  Check out their July issue in shops now.



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