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I have a new story published by ESA:

"ESA's Planck mission has revealed that our Galaxy contains previously undiscovered islands of cold gas and a mysterious haze of microwaves. These results give scientists new treasure to mine and take them closer to revealing the blueprint of cosmic structure. ..."

I have a new story published by ESA:

"ESA's Mars Express has returned strong evidence for an ocean once covering part of Mars. Using radar, it has detected sediments reminiscent of an ocean floor within the boundaries of previously identified, ancient shorelines on Mars. ..."

I met up with Neil Denny of Little Atoms to record an interview. As always it was a highly pleasant experience. You can listen to the result here.  You can hear my previous appearances on the show here.

Also congratulations to Neil, who has just been awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to spend a month travelling the US to interview more scientists for the show. I look forward to hearing them.

It will give me great pleasure to  talk at Astrofest this coming Friday, 10th Feb, at 10:35am.  The organisers of the conference have asked me to explain about the Sun's role in climate change on the Earth and other planets.

"It is one of the most contentious subjects in science: what is the Sun's role in climate change on Earth? Thanks to the sudden drop in sunspot numbers since 2008, we now have a way of investigating this vexing question - and solutions are being glimpsed. Also, if we look to the other planets of the Solar System, are we seeing the first hints of climate change on other worlds?"

I will also be signing copies of The Sun Kings, and The Sky's Dark Labyrinth. There will also be advance copies of The Sensorium of God, the 2nd volume in The Sky's Dark Labyrinth trilogy available on the day. My book signings will take place at the Astronomy Now stand at 11:10am on Friday, and again at the same time, same place on Saturday 11th.  See you there!

The best news is that by ordering in advance from Astrofest, you can save 30% on the price of the books. Details of this great offer here.

The pulse project recently asked me to explain to them about the origin of astrophysics in less than five minutes. So I did. You can listen in the player below


I have a new story on New Scientist:

"It's time to declare a ceasefire in the fight to find out whether the constants of nature vary. What was supposed to be a new superweapon in the battle has turned into something of a damp squib.

If you've been following the demise of the failed Russian Mars probe Phobos-Grunt, you may have seen the rather extraordinary claims that America 'shot down' the spacecraft. The story exploded this week with a Russian newspaper publishing more details of the accusations. I thought it would be a good idea to do a little sanity check on these ideas, and New Scientist published the results:

Come and join me in London, next week, on the evening of the 25th January to celebrate the launch of The Sensorium of God, Book II in The Sky's Dark Labyrinth trilogy. I'm thrilled to say that The Science Museum have invited me to launch the book as part of their Lates programme, an adults only open evening at the museum in South Kensington.


The Science Museum have again endorsed The Sensorium of God, as they did The Sky's Dark Labyrinth, recognising that these novels dramatise the stories of the astronomers behind the greatest discoveries in the Universe.


The Sensorium of God follows Isaac Newton, Robert Hooke and Edmond Halley as they pick up the story from the first book and seek to understand why the planets move as they do. This is from the dust jacket:


'It is the late seventeenth century and the movement of the planets remains a mystery despite the revolutionary work of Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei and Tycho Brahe almost a hundred years before.


Edmond Halley - dynamic adventurer and astronomer - seeks the help of Isaac Newton in unravelling the problem, but, though obsessed with understanding the orbits of the planets, Newton has problems of his own. The reclusive mathematician and alchemist has a guilty secret. He stole some of his ideas from Robert Hooke, and the quarrelsome experimentalist is demanding recognition.


While capable of contemplating the loftiest ideals and theories, the three men are just as quick to argue, and their grudges could derail the quest for scientific truth. The men's lives and work clash as Europe is pushed headlong towards the Age of Enlightenment and science is catapulted into its next seismic collision with religion.'


At the Science Museum, I will be presenting two lectures (at 7.45pm, and 8.45pm) and I'll be around for the whole evening 6:45-10pm so come and chat informally. You can find more details here. Also on that page you will find my other bookings across the UK.


Copies of Sensorium will, of course, be available at the Science Museum on the night and I'll be flourishing my signing pen! You can also order the book online here from amazon and here from Waterstone's. I hope to see you at The Science Museum or at one of my other talks.

I'm thrilled to have New Scientist's first cover story of 2012. The article is about the seismic shift that is taking place in our understanding of dark matter.  There is no getting away from the fact that the more observations we take, the less satisfactory our traditional models of dark matter seem to become. This article explores the way astronomers and particle physicists are feeling about this, and what the possible dark matter detections of last year really mean.

The Canadian national newspaper The Globe and Mail has reviewed The Sky's Dark Labyrinth in their Quick Reads column.  The review concludes "Clark spins a fascinating, pell-mell tale of intrigue, ignorance and irrationality in a new Europe struggling to be born."  Needless to say, I am utterly thrilled.

To read the full review click here and scroll to second review.



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