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
It’s Anzac day today – the day New Zealand and Australia remember the dead of all their wars. In a way it’s timing is odd. Many nations, certainly Britain and around her former Empire, mark the moment on 11 November, the day in 1918 when the guns finally fell silent on the First World War.… More It’s a century since the first Anzac Day services
About 1.3 billion years ago, two black holes collided – and the whole fabric of space-time rang like a bell. Last September, researchers in the US detected the gravitational ripples. They announced it this week – and THAT, my friends, is awesome news. It’s not just the fact that Albert Einstein predicted them 100 years… More Einstein was right…again. Gravitational waves rule!
I went into a coffee shop the other day intending to buy scones – which they make and sell on the premises. The place was filled with techno-elevator music at shattering volume. I asked for the scones. And then the fun began. Music: THOP THOP THOP THOP Counter goon: Worb blurb wob with your coffee?… More The dangers of talking around loud music
It’s Waitangi Day in New Zealand, the 176th anniversary of the day when a treaty was signed at Waitangi, in the Bay of Islands, between Maori and the British government. It’s widely regarded as modern New Zealand’s founding document. And I figured out a way to make the best hourly rate ever from what the… More The story behind the Treaty of Waitangi
This week’s news in the Astronomical Journal that Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin of CalTech have predicted a ninth planet got the usual barrage of silly media headlines about ‘discovery’. The thing is, Brown and Batygin haven’t found anything. They’ve hypothesised that there’s a planet. And they are not the first to wonder about some… More Planet 9 won’t be as big as Uranus. Really.
So it’s the end of another year. They seem to come around ever faster these days. This year, for various reasons, is one I wouldn’t want to repeat – in our family we’ve called it the ‘year that never stopped giving’, and not in a good way. I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice… More A tumultuous year to wrap up