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Hello to all the people finding their way to my website after listening to my series Beneath the Night on BBC Radio 3. It is a great pleasure to have you here and I thank you so much for making the programme such a success. The ideas that I explore in the series come from a book that I have been working on for many years and that will be published by Guardian Faber Publishing this autumn. From the back cover:

 

"From stone age to space age, every human who has ever looked up at the night sky has seen the same stars in the same patterns. They reveal our entire history, as well as hinting at our ultimate fate. In Beneath the Night, Stuart Clark investigates this incredible relationship between humanity and the night sky. It is the story of a fascination that has shaped our scientific understanding of the universe; helped us navigate the terrestrial world; given us a place to project our hopes and fears; and provided inspiration for our poets, artists and philosophers. Above all, it is the story of what it is to be human."
 
If you would like to receive updates about the book and my other works, and the various speaking engagements I will be undertaking in support of the book's publication, please let me know via my contact form. Please also send me your responses and thoughts to the night sky, I'd be fascinated to hear them.

 

You can listen again to the series (for a limited time) on the BBC website, or via the BBC Sounds app.

 

An artist's impression of a galaxy.

Are you intrigued by the Universe and want to make more sense of it all? I'm really looking forward to welcoming you to my next lecture:

 

Introduction to The Universe

Monday 25th November 

The Tokenhouse , 4 Moorgate, London, EC2V

Doors: 7pm, talk 7:30pm.

I have a new story published by New Scientist:

 

"A new clue to the existence of a fifth fundamental force of nature may have emerged from a Hungarian laboratory.

 

Attila Krasznahorkay at the Atomki Institute of Nuclear Research, Hungary, and his colleagues have spent years studying the radioactive decay of beryllium-8, an unstable isotope. In 2016, they published details of an odd finding, suggesting it was being caused by a previously unknown particle.

 

Now the same researchers have found another anomaly, this time in an energy transition involving an excited state of the helium nucleus, and say that it points to the same particle. ..."


Read the full article at New Scientist

I have written a new story for the European Space Agency and it features some really cool sound files that turn magnetic waves into audible ones:

 

"Data from ESA’s Cluster mission has provided a recording of the eerie ‘song’ that Earth sings when it is hit by a solar storm.

 

The song comes from waves that are generated in the Earth’s magnetic field by the collision of the storm. The storm itself is the eruption of electrically charged particles from the Sun’s atmosphere. ..."

 

Read the full story and listen to the sound of the Earth's magnetic foreshock here.

I have a new article posted on my Guardian Across the Universe blog:

 

"The largest ever 3D map of the universe strengthens astronomers’ belief that three quarters of the cosmos is made of an unknown substance: ‘dark energy’

 

It is hard to know whether it’s a success or a failure but modern astronomy tells us that almost three quarters of the universe is in the form of an unknown substance called “dark energy”.

 

Add to this the “dark matter” that astronomers are still searching for without success, and we think we live in a Universe where only two percent of it is the familiar atoms that make up you and I, stars and planets.

 

Worse still is the fact that no one has a clue about the true nature of the “dark energy” or how such a substance could come into existence. There is no hint of it in any known laboratory physics experiment. So whatever it is, the dark energy is too weak to be felt on small scales. Its effects are only visible when accumulated over billions of light years.

 

The latest attempt to gain insight into its nature was released on 14 July and presented as the largest map of the universe. ..."

 

Read the full story here.

I have a new piece published on my Spacewatch column for The Guardian:

 

"The astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are having a busy time unpacking supplies. This week, two uncrewed cargo ships arrived just two days apart from one another. ..."

 

Read the full story here.

I have a new article posted on my Guardian Across the Universe blog:

 

"Stars and planets form in clouds of dust and gas called nebulae. One of the nearest is the Orion Nebula. This new image has been taken at infrared wavelengths and sees more deeply into the nebula than ever before. 

 

Peering through the veils of dust and gas, it reveals not just stars but many more planetary mass objects than expected.

 

Lead scientist Holger Drass, Astronomisches Institut, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, says, “Our result feels to me like a glimpse into a new era of planet and star formation science." ...”

 

Read the full story here.

I have a new piece published on my Spacewatch column for The Guardian:

 

"Nasa’s Juno mission is spending its first week in orbit around Jupiter. This giant planet is more than 11 times the diameter of Earth.

 

Having travelled for more than 1.7bn miles through the solar system, Juno was captured by Jupiter’s gravity at 03:18 GMT on 5 July after an engine burn that lasted 35 minutes. ..."

 

Read the full story here.

I have a new piece published on my Spacewatch column for The Guardian:

 

"Twinkle is a small mission with big ambitions. Designed to reveal the chemical composition, weather and history of planets orbiting distant stars, it will involve building and launching a space telescope before 2019. ..."

 

Read the full article here.

I have a new article published on my Spacewatch column for The Guardian: 

 

"After 186 days in orbit, British astronaut Tim Peake will make the descent to Kazakhstan where he will be trained to live with gravity once more ..."

 

Read the full story here.



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