The red supergiant star Betelgeuse, the ‘shoulder’ of Orion, has been dimming of late. As we saw last week, that’s possibly a sign it might be about to go supernova. Odds are on that won’t happen. But what if it does? One of the actual ways an apocalypse could descend upon Earth is when a … More Will we all die if Betelgeuse goes supernova?
Betelgeuse – the biggest, reddest star in our neighbourhood – has been fading of late. It oscillates anyway, over a defined cycle; but this cycle of dimming is more pronounced than any seen. It’s dropped from being one of the top ten brightest stars in the sky to the 21st. And that, astronomers consider, might … More Is Betelgeuse about to go bang?
I got a new piece of astronomy software the other day, letting me run simulations according to the laws of physics, however implausible the scenario. I thought it might be fun to see what would happen if a rogue orange-tinted dwarf star – smaller than the average star, but not excessively so – was cut … More The Tangerine Peril destroys the Earth!
As part of a series of posts marking Apollo 11’s fiftieth I thought I’d re-post something I penned way back in 2013 on the REAL moon conspiracy – the Russian cover-up of their own failures. I posted a while back about the claims that NASA faked the Apollo programme. This idea is so stupid it doesn’t … More The truth behind the moon landing conspiracy – the real hoax was Soviet
I spotted a thread the other day on Facebook in which someone was screaming about the Moon landings being faked. ‘Wake up!’ this person insisted. ‘The Moon landings were faked.’ Why? Apparently we haven’t been back since 1972 and, according to this person, lack the technology to do so. Well, quite. It was one of … More How my favorite Napier icon proves the Moon landings really happened
Remember Pluto the planet? And then Pluto the not a planet? Well, it’s back. Possibly. Apparently an informal forum held the other week came down in favour of reinstating the ‘planet’ classification. Of course these things carry little weight with the International Astronomical Union. What interests me is the way that the debate over whether … More Pluto might be a planet again. Or not.
It’s been a hot week for science. Thanks to the Event Horizon Telescope, an algorithm created by 29-year old PhD graduate Katie Bouman, and a lot of hard work, humanity got its first photo of a black hole – M87 in the galaxy Messier 87, some 55 million light-years away. It wasn’t made with visible … More The science behind the awesome black hole photograph
There’s growing evidence that not just our Earth but also the solar system we know and love is actually a rarity, as such things go. Many stars, we now learn, have planetary systems. But very few are like ours. That’s a change from even the mid-twentieth century, when we considered our solar system to be … More Our solar system may be unique – let’s look after it
I found it intriguing that reports about China’s Chang’e 4 lander, at work on the far side the moon, kept referring to it being on the ‘dark side’. In a way the epithet is appropriate; the unseen side has been unknown to us for much of human history. And that, reasonably, made it ‘dark’, at … More Seeing you on the dark side of the Moon
Eighteen months on, the Juno mission to probe the otherwise little-known poles of Jupiter is producing incredible dividends. Check this out. This is just so cool on so many levels. One of the things that NASA and JPL have done is to publish the raw Juno-Cam images sent back by the probe, for everyday people … More By Jove, Jupiter’s impressive!