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

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.


You can read the full story for free here.

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SOHO's new catch: its first officially periodic comet

25 September, 2007

I have a new story published by ESA.


It is nothing new for the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) to discover another comet – it has already found more than 1350. But the latest is a bit different - SOHO had spotted it twice before.


Read the full story for free here

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Tags: SOHO

The Sun Kings: The Passion and the Politics of Science

24 September, 2007

Naomi Pasachoff, Williams College, has reviewed the Sun Kings in the journal Metascience.  “When The Sun Kings came to my attention, what caught my eye was not the title but the back cover’s four enthusiastic endorsements, each by an acquaintance I greatly admire. How could I not want to read ‘‘a fast-paced, beautifully crafted story’’ (Dava Sobel), ‘‘the most gripping and brilliant popular-science history account that I have ever read’’ (Owen Gingerich), ‘‘the tale of intrepid astronomers, across time and cultures’’ (Neil Tyson), the ‘‘illuminat[ion of] the dawn of astrophysics’’ through biographical sketches of scientists who ‘‘blend a passion for their work with the more worldly passions of pride, jealousy, greed, and lust’’ (Bob Kirshner)? Without these blurbs, I might not have picked up Clark’s book. Having read it, I am pleased to add my less illustrious name to the recommenders’ list.

The heart and, for me, best part of Sun Kings is the interwoven stories of the lives of scientific contributors to our still-developing understanding of solar-terrestrial relations…”

The full review can be read here

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The Sun Kings lecture in Cambridge on Tuesday 25th September

22 September, 2007

Don’t forget that I will be in Cambridge at Heffers bookshop to give a lecture about The Sun Kings this Tuesday, 25th September. The time is 6.30 for 7pm. I look forward to seeing as many of you as can make it. If you need further information, Heffers’ contact details are:

31 St Andrews Street
Tel: 01223 568568.

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