Category Archives: Astronomy

Once Upon a Time and Space…

In my day job I teach history to teenagers.  On one side of my classroom Buzz Aldrin stands sentinel like on the surface moon, flanked by Darwin and the Solar System.  On the other, Georgians rub shoulders with Romans and maps of … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Books, Halley, Kepler, Stuart Clark, The Astronomer's Den, Transit of Venus | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giotto of Filton

It was an exciting moment for many people, but especially for a young boy. It seemed such a daring mission and the fact the probe was not expected to survive made it all the more tantalising.  Which boy doesn’t relish … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, British Space, Comets, Halley, Space Flight, The Astronomer's Den | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hairy Stars

Galileo agreed with Aristotle and thought them to be high atmospheric phenomenon. Burning gas or some such. Ancient texts saw them filled with evil intent or foreboding, a sight unpredictable. In 1066 the appearance of one foretold the fall of … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Comets, Greenwich, Halley, History, Kepler, Telescope, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Asteroid Day

2012DA14. Well I didn’t see it.  Well it was briefly in my scope but the gap in the clouds was so short that I didn’t get a chance to confirm which of the faint white dots was the one.  Oh … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Baker Street Irregular Astronomers, Binoculars, End Of World, meteor shower, Meteorite, The Astronomer's Den, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Where, oh where is the Great Big Bear?

When I was a small astronomer one of the highlights of my early interest was the London Planetarium.  It is one of those trips with my parents that I remember very fondly and still feel the edge of excitement from … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Greenwich, Planetarium, Telescope, The Astronomer's Den | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Incoming!

45 metres long.  About the size of a Boeing 757. 130,000 tons.  Heavier than a fully loaded Nimitz class carrier. 2.5 Megatonnes of tnt equivalent if it hit.  That’s six Polaris missiles worth of bang. Right now it’s heading our way.  … Continue reading

Posted in Asteroid, Astronomy, Baker Street Irregular Astronomers, Binoculars, End Of World, Telescope, The Astronomer's Den | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Getting Started

New year, new hobbies. New series of BBC Stargazing Live. Just this past weekend the Guardian published a story about the rise of Astronomy as a hobby in the UK. How to get started then?  What should you do? How … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Baker Street Irregular Astronomers, Binoculars, M42, Telescope, The Astronomer's Den | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments