Earth’s comet apocalypse at the hands of Gliese 710

Every so often we’re told that a rogue star or planet known as Niblick or Niburu, or some similar gibberish, is about to cause the apocalypse. Earth’s going to be whacked in 1984, 1987, 1999, 2012, 2018, apparently, with all the effect of a nine-iron on a golf ball, and NASA are hiding the truth … More Earth’s comet apocalypse at the hands of Gliese 710

Why the name of the seventh planet is funny – redux

For your amusement, here’s a post I wrote in 2012 (enter TARDIS sound…) +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I don’t know why the seventh planet out from the Sun is the butt of so many jokes. Well, I do. and it’s lame, lame, lame. So today I’m going to get to the bottom of it, as it were. More … More Why the name of the seventh planet is funny – redux

A list of star systems reached by ‘The Brady Bunch’ broadcasts

It occurred to me the other day that the first broadcasts of The Brady Bunch – which originally aired on US TV in 1969 – have reached the following stars, all 47-48 light years distant: Nu Lupi, Theta Boötis, Asellus Primus, Iota Ursae Majoris, Talita (HR7898), Psi Capricorni, 111 Tauri, Psi Serpentis, Psi Capricorni and … More A list of star systems reached by ‘The Brady Bunch’ broadcasts

Bridge building with Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen. Or, why Stargate can’t happen…

The classical problem with falling into a black hole is a pretty simple one. You don’t come out. Ever. Also, as you go down, you’re turned into spaghetti. Or do you? Albert Einstein’s General and Special Theories of Relativity – both of which have been absolutely proven through every single test ever – tell us … More Bridge building with Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen. Or, why Stargate can’t happen…

Proxima Centauri’s got a planet! Yay, but don’t get too wild yet

I think it’s exciting that we’ve found an Earth-sized planet orbiting the star right next door. Proxima Centauri – the closest star to us besides the Sun. Last week’s announcement of Proxima b by the ‘Pale Red Dot’ project, operating mainly from the European Southern Observatory in Chile, was ‘leaked’ a month or so ago. … More Proxima Centauri’s got a planet! Yay, but don’t get too wild yet

Explaining the electromagnetic spectrum in less than 550 words

It’s intriguing how we always talk about stuff like radio, microwaves, light, x-rays and the rest – as if all these were different things. Well guess what – they’re not. They’re all exactly the same thing. Electromagnetic energy. That’s it, really. Well, there are differences – as we’ll see in this post. But in terms … More Explaining the electromagnetic spectrum in less than 550 words