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I have a new story published by ESA:


“ESA’s orbiting X-ray observatory XMM-Newton has re-discovered an ignored celestial gem. The object in question is one of the youngest and brightest supernova remnants in the Milky Way, the corpse of a star that exploded around 1000 years ago….”


Read the full story for free here.

I have a new story posted over at ESA:

“The joint ESA/NASA solar mission Ulysses has forever changed the way scientists view the Sun and its effect on the surrounding space. The mission’s major results and the legacy it leaves behind have been presented today at ESA Headquarters in Paris, in view of the impending conclusion of the mission on 1 July 2008.”

Thanks to the cover story I wrote for the BBC Sky at Night Magazine’s June issue about Tunguska, I will be lecturing at the National Space Centre in Leicester on 28 June about the Tunguska Event.  Come along and say hi.


More details about the Centre itself can be found by clicking here.

I had a superb evening at the Royal Society Book Prizes last night, accompanied by my special guests Nicola Clark, my wife and business partner; Peter Hingley, the Royal Astronomical Society’s librarian; Peter Tallack, my agent; Caroline Priday, the book’s publicist.

I have a new story published by ESA:


“Astronomers have used ESA's gamma-ray observatory Integral to study a very special neutron star system: Hercules X-1. They may have detected individual X-ray emitting regions on the neutron star’s surface, resolving details on a celestial object only 20 km across at a distance of 15 000 light-years…”


You can read the full story for free here

I have the cover story on BBC Sky at Night’s July issue:


“Imagine a time when there was nothing: no stars, no planets, no galaxies.  Nothing to shine light into the Universe, just darkness and vast clouds of gas that will one day coalesce into the familiar celestial objects around us.  Welcome to the cosmic dark ages, the most mysterious of all the cosmic realms.

“The ESA/NASA SOHO spacecraft has just discovered its 1500th comet, making it more successful than all other comet discoverers throughout history put together. Not bad for a spacecraft that was designed as a solar physics mission. …”


You can read the full story here for free.

I have a new story published over at ESA:


“The first thing an alien race is likely to hear from Earth is chirps and whistles, a bit like R2-D2, the robot from Star Wars. In reality, they are the sounds that accompany the aurora. Now ESA’s Cluster mission is showing scientists how to understand this emission and, in the future, search for alien worlds by listening for their sounds. …”

You can read the full story here for free.

There is a new story published over at ESA that I helped out with:


“Scientists and engineers are preparing ESA’s Mars Express for several close fly-bys of the Martian moon Phobos. Passing within 100 km of the surface, Mars Express will conduct some of the most detailed investigations of the moon to date.”

Read the full story for free here.

I have a new story published over at ESA:


“XMM-Newton has discovered an exploding star in the Milky Way. Usually that would be important in itself, but this time there is a special twist. Calculations show that the explosion must have been clearly visible to the unaided eye but was missed by the legions of star watchers around the planet.”


Read the full story for free here.



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