It’s fifty years today since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped out on the surface of the Moon. I was a kid when it happened, but I remember it as yesterday – watching the wobbly image of Armstrong, on TV, as he made his way across the lunar surface. Looking back, we can see through … More Dreams of humanity: fifty years on
I find it incredible to think that this week has marked the fiftieth anniversary of the flight of Apollo 11 – the first landing on the Moon. Half a century: and yet, in many ways, it seems like yesterday. I was a kid at the time. Back then space was the place, as Sun Ra … More A half century since Apollo 11: a personal memoir
Hurrah for the Apollo 50th anniversary – and here’s how Apollo 11 came close to disaster on landing #Apollo50 #Apollo11 … More Hurrah for Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary!
The problem with going to Mars (of which the Moon, I am told, is a part) is that it’s not just a long way off, it’s also kind of desolate. No atmosphere to speak of. Barren. Waterless, except a bit. Was once a fertile place. Then it suffered climate change. All that was about three … More Let’s go to Mars (of which the Moon is a part)
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.
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
The arrival of OSIRIS-Rex around asteroid Bennu at the end of 2018 is all sorts of exciting. Well, apart from the rather lame acronym the probe’s been saddled with. But other than that, it’s got plenty of promise. Bennu was discovered in 1999 and isn’t very large – just 300 metres across. Its interest comes … More All sorts of exciting with OSIRIS-Rex
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!
On 1 January 2019 the New Horizons probe – the one that whipped past Pluto in 2015 – will encounter another outer solar-system body: 2014 MU69. Informally it’s become known as Ultima Thule. The neat part is that this body wasn’t even known when New Horizons was launched in January 2006. Back then, the probe … More New Horizons and Ultima Thule – the bonus mission