Chang'e-1 - new mission to Moon lifts off

24 October, 2007

The Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) launched a bold new mission to the Moon today. Chang’e-1 blasted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre, Sichuan, atop a Long March 3A rocket.  Chang’e-1 represents the first step in the Chinese ambition to land robotic explorers on the Moon before 2020.

 

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Tags: The Moon
 

New isotope molecule may add to Venus’ greenhouse effect

10 October, 2007

Planetary scientists on both sides of the Atlantic have tracked down a rare molecule in the atmospheres of both Mars and Venus. The molecule, an exotic form of carbon dioxide, could affect the way the greenhouse mechanism works on Venus.

 

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Tags: Venus Mars
 

Gamma-ray lighthouse at the edge of our universe

03 October, 2007

There is a gamma-ray lighthouse shining from the edge of our universe. Astronomers have discovered it using ESA’s orbiting gamma-ray observatory, Integral. Now, they must work hard to understand it.

 

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Tags: Integral
 

Sun Kings lecture at the Glasgow Science Centre on Thursday 4 October

01 October, 2007

I will be lecturing at the Glasgow Science Centre on Thursday 4 October in the ScottishPower Planetarium. Their contact details are:

 

50 Pacific Quay
Glasgow, G51 1EA
Phone: 0871 540 1000
Email: admin@gsc.org.uk
Website: www.gsc.org.uk

Hope to see you there!
Image: Kenny Muir


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The Scotsman: A tale of the Sun and how modern astronomy began

29 September, 2007

I was the guest columnist in the The Scotsman newspaper today.  I was asked to write about The Sun Kings as a preview of my lecture at the ScottishPower Planetarium in Glasgow this coming week.


If you don’t have access to the newspaper, the article was reproduced on line.  You can read it here but you need a subscription.


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Explosion reveals tiny magnetic island

27 September, 2007

ESA’s XMM-Newton has provided new insight into puzzling celestial objects known as magnetars. Thanks to the orbiting X-ray observatory, astronomers have traced powerful explosions to a region just beneath a magnetar’s surface.

 

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