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I have a new story published on my Across the Universe blog over at The Guardian.

"Curiosity's science mission is under way. After watching Mars' moon Phobos pass the Sun, the rover is now eyeing up its first rock (called Jake) for analysis

It is with great pleasure that I announce the publication of the Finnish edition of The Sky's Dark Labyrinth. Taivaan Labyrintti is published today by Moreeni. Click here for more details. 

The Italian edition, L'oscuro labirinto del cielo, is coming in November.

I have a new story published on my Across the Universe blog over at The Guardian.

"Let the science begin! Curiosity begins its quest to determine whether Mars was once habitable, metre by metre, rock by rock

From time to time, I intend to feature posts by other writers on my Across The Universe blog over at The Guardian. They will either complement or balance my own views. This is the first one. Today, NASA celebrates its past with a memorial for Neil Armstrong. Here, Google's Zahaan Bharmal informs us of something amazing, also happening today, on the International Space Station that points to the future.

I have a new story published over at New Scientist.

"MOMENTS after the big bang, the primordial soup of subatomic particles congealed into a few light elements, such as hydrogen, helium and lithium. But there's a problem: models of the big bang indicate that there should be much more lithium than we see today. Are our theories wrong?

I have a new story published on my Across the Universe blog over at The Guardian.

"The Dawn spacecraft leaves asteroid Vesta today and Nasa is throwing a farewell party online on Saturday. Everyone is invited but how many will attend?

I have a new story published on my Across the Universe blog over at The Guardian.


"The Paralympics opening ceremony placed science firmly at the centre of UK culture and enthroned Newton's apple. So, who cares if the story is not really true?


It's been a good week for science. Thanks to the Paralympics opening ceremony, a billion people around the world watched the UK put scientific achievement at the centre of our nation's cultural identity. In a science-inspired show, one of the most striking images was the representation of apples falling to the ground.

In popular myth, an apple fell on Newton's head and implanted the theory of gravity in his brain. It should go without saying that the truth is somewhat less Monty-Pythonesque. For one thing, Newton never said the apple hit him. ..."


You can read the full story here.

As usual, my autumn lecture programme is full and exciting. I'm visiting a number of great places and festivals both in the UK and beyond.

I'd like to highlight three upcoming festivals.  First is the British Science Festival on 7 September in Aberdeen, where I'll present my talk twice. Then I'll be making an appearance at Grantham's Gravity Fields Festival on 27th September. Thirdly is a recent booking at the Wigtown Book Festival on October 6th. I hope to see some of you at these or others of my talks.
Check out all of my upcoming talks and signings here.

I have a new article published over on my Across the Universe blog for The Guardian.

"Nasa may be taking the 'easy option' by funding another trip to Mars when it could be sailing the methane seas of Titan.

Just a few weeks ago I was worrying about the future of Mars exploration. Now I'm thinking, 'Mars - again?'

I have a small news article published in New Scientist.

"Did monster black holes pull the first galaxies together, or were they born inside those galaxies? It's a long-standing mystery. Now a new analysis of the gravitational ripples from colliding black holes could reveal the answer by helping astronomers reconstruct a crash rather than just surveying its aftermath. ..."

You can read the full article here.



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