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My latest piece for Across the Universe has been posted:

 
"Any day now, the thousandth exoplanet discovery will be logged, but Earth's twin is not among them. Where are the habitable planets and why can't astronomers find them?

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

“Europe's Mars exploration ambition passes a milestone with a successful trial of ESA's ExoMars rover in the Chilean desert

I have a new article published today on the BBC Future website:

“Why a probe passing our planet on its way to Jupiter might end a decades-old mystery, and reveal something completely new about gravity.

I have the cover story on BBC Focus magazine, issue number 260, this month:

“This year could go down in history as the one when a revolution in our understanding of the Universe truly began. The Planck space observatory, located 1.5 million km from Earth, is shedding new light on the story of the Universe, from its inception 13.8 billion years ago to the present day. In this month's Focus, find out how Planck's discoveries are rewriting the history of our cosmos.”

I have a new article published in New Scientist [issue 2935 21 Sept 2013]

 

Gravity ripples: The race to catch the next wave

 

IT RESEMBLED the Oscars, only with physicists rather than actors. Three hundred of them were gathered in a ballroom in Arcadia, California; another 100 were connected by video link. All of them were waiting for the opening of an envelope.

I have a new post on the Guardian's Across the Universe about Voyager 1 leaving the magnetic field of the Sun, defining the edge of the solar system:

Voyager 1 has left the building, by which I mean the solar system. A historic milestone in exploration has been reached and the hero is a spacecraft

On Wednesday 11 September I spent the evening in Newcastle at the Great North Museum: Hancock surrounded by The Royal Photographic Society's astounding international scientific photography exhibition. The images all around the walls were taken from medical, astronomical and environmental disciplines and are truly works of art.

During the reception, part of the British Science Festival, it was announced that I had been awarded the 2013 European Astronomy Journalism Prize and that Sandra Kropa and Jonathan Amos had been highly commended. The prize-winning article was When the dust unsettles, published by New Scientist, in August 2012 so I share this honour with the editors and subeditors who brought this to print and my PA who checks things before I submit them.

 

Sandra Kropa's piece was published on Paul Sutherland's Skymania. In the photo, Sandra and I are standing with Terry O'Connor from STFC.

 

The prize, which sadly is only for me, is a week in December visiting the telescopes in Chile. I have been there before in 2002 so I am hoping to see the progress achieved over the last decade.

Click the read more button below to see the press release.

 

I am delighted that I will once again contribute to this successful function, now firmly established in the UK astronomical events calendar.

 

Organised by the North Essex Astronomical Society , it takes place all day (9-5) and this year it is in Colchester. There are stands selling all sorts of items, talks on a variety of subjects by some very interesting people and, most of all, hundreds of like-minded people to chat to about the night sky and the universe.

There's a new piece on my Guardian online blog, Across the Universe:


How many other inhabited planets are there? It's a question that fascinates scientists and lay people alike. A new equation may help weigh up the possibility

I have an article published in this week's (2929 10 August) New Scientist magazine:

Solar superflares: A new danger from the sun


SOMETHING with almost unimaginable power hit Earth in AD 775. Europe was in the grip of the dark ages, yet the skies were alight. "Fiery and fearful signs were seen in the heavens after sunset; and serpents appeared in Sussex, as if they were sprung out of the ground, to the astonishment of all," recorded the 13th-century English chronicler Roger of Wendover.



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