Nasa's Opportunity rover finds Martian water appropriate for the origin of life

07 June, 2013

I have a new post on my Across the Universe blog for the Guardian :

Nasa's Opportunity rover is celebrating 10 years on Mars by finding its best evidence yet: that the planet was once habitable

Opportunity has made one of its greatest scientific discoveries so far. Clay minerals in a rock called Esperance clearly indicate that neutral water flowed across the rock some time in the first billion years of its existence.

The rock was found near Endurance Crater, and took seven attempts to analyse because it was partially covered in Martian dust…

You can read the full article here.

Add a comment

June's special events

05 June, 2013

During June I've been invited to speak at three special events. It's a particularly exciting month for me. Over the weekend of 14th we are visiting Langholm in southwest Scotland. It was the home of the Armstrongs, whose most famous family member was Neil who walked on the Moon.

I'll be delivering an appreciation of the life and work of Neil Armstrong at the memorial service on the Friday evening, in front of representatives of the US, UK and Scottish governments. Then I'll be giving a talk on the Saturday about what the astronauts left behind on the Moon, specifically the mirrors that are still being used today to carry out an extraordinary experiment into the nature of gravity.

A friend who lives there tells us that shop displays are getting into the spirit and that there is a buzz of excitement about the town. Neil Armstrong visited the town with his wife in 1972 to receive the honour of Freedom of Langholm and we are looking forward to meeting people who remember that day. Have a look on the church's website here. And the Buccleuch Centre's here.

On 24th I'll be giving a talk about science at an event called The Salon for the Historic Royal Palaces at Banqueting House in Whitehall, London. For the entire evening everyone present will be pretending it is 1649 - so this will be a talk without my laptop and illustrations! I'll be explaining where science was at that time, what big ideas were coming forward and how they was changing the mindsets and experience of those under Cromwell's rule in London. Find out about the Salon here and Banqueting House here.

My third exciting challenge is to ask: Is science becoming too complicated? to a room at The Ivy containing a hundred people from the worlds of politics, journalism and the arts who like to 'think as they drink'.  Other speakers on 30th include the artist Peter Kennard and the chairman of Sotherby's, Lord Dalmeny. In addition, there will be poetry from Greta Bellamacina and comedy from Rich Wise, Tony Law and Celia Pacquola. This is a lunch experience called Sunday Wise and they have been meeting monthly for about a year. It promises to be a thought-provoking, fascinating afternoon. You can buy tickets here.

Amongst these special events I will also be returning to the astronomers in both Wycombe (19th) and Spalding (21st) who always make me so welcome. This year I'll be talking about my Sky's Dark Labyrinth trilogy of novels dramatising the lives of the men who changed our perspective of the universe.

Add a comment

Nasa's Curiosity 'hitting full stride' in lead-up to Mount Sharp mission

05 June, 2013

I have a second post this week on my Across the Universe blog for the Guardian :

Nasa's Curiosity rover is approaching the biggest turning point of its mission so far. Soon it will begin the year-long drive towards its primary objective: Mount Sharp

Expect the pace of the Curiosity mission – and presumably the discoveries – to start picking up. Until now, NASA has been going deliberately slowly so that it understands how to do things most efficiently with the rover. Now, it's growing more confident.

"We're hitting full stride," said Mars Science Laboratory project manager Jim Erickson of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California in a news telecon today...

You can read the full article here.

Add a comment

Space radiation results should spark manned Mars mission debate

03 June, 2013

I have a new post on my Across the Universe blog for the Guardian :

Nasa data shows radiation doses would be so high on a manned Mars mission that we must now debate the ethics of deep space exploration – or wait decades to develop safer technology

It is time for idealism about missions to Mars to end. Going there with current technology would carry a significant risk of harmful radiation exposure.

This was made clear at last Thursday's teleconference of results from the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) onboard Nasa's Curiosity rover.

During the rover's cruise to Mars between December 2011 and July 2012, RAD showed that an astronaut would clock up the same radiation dose in a day that the average American receives in a year. If you exclude medical dosages, it would be 10 times more than the average American.

Taking these numbers at face value, the radiation from a 500-day round-trip to Mars would exceed Nasa's current safety guidelines...

You can read the full article here

Add a comment

Il sensorio di Dio published in Italy

24 May, 2013

The second volume of The Sky’s Dark Labyrinth is now out in Italy, published by Dedalo.

From their website: “Genio, idee rivoluzionarie e scoperte epocali si scontrano con debolezze umane, rivalità e segreti inconfessabili nell’ instabile e travagliata Inghilterra della Restaurazione. Nell’ avvincente romanzo di un grande autore scientifico, un ritratto accurato e molto umano dei padri della scienza moderna.”

You can read more about it here.

Dedalo published the first volume, ‘L’oscuro labirinto del cielo’ in November 2012. You can read about that here.

They also published my book, Le Grandi Domande: Universo. More details here.

Add a comment

Silverlock Book Reviews: The Day Without Yesterday

17 May, 2013

My thanks to Lucy Jones for her review of The Day Without Yesterday.

She concludes, ‘Clark’s series serve as a discussion of science and society in a fictionalised form, crossing genre boundaries successfully, and prompting serious thought which is alarmingly relevant to today. Highly recommended reading for anybody with an interest in history and science.’

You can read the full review of The Day Without Yesterday here.

I also discovered that she generously reviewed The Sensorium of God last year, too.

She says, ‘This novel is well worth a read, whether you have read The Sky’s Dark Labyrinth first or not. It doesn’t lack for drive or plot, and yet is much more sophisticated than a great many other books on the market.’

You can read the full review of The Sensorium of God here.

Add a comment

Page 14 of 108

<< Start < Prev 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Next > End >>