Category Archives: News

Falcon Heavy: About to Launch!

Tomorrow, at 1:30pm EST, we are hopefully going to see another milestone in modern spaceflight as SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket makes its first launch from Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida. Admittedly, there is no guarantee that the … Continue reading

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Manchester

Today has been a dark day. As I write this, 22 people are confirmed dead from last night’s Manchester Arena suicide bombing, one of them an eight-year-old girl. Any terrorist attack is a awful, frightening thing, but it causes a … Continue reading

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New Horizons: Pluto Revealed

Eight months after Philae landed on a comet, and four months after Dawn went into orbit around Ceres, space history is once again about to be made. Today, having travelled for nine and a half years, and over three billion miles, the … Continue reading

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(Almost) Total Eclipse of the Heart

In 1760, a French astronomer named Guillaume le Gentil set out to India with the intention of observing the 1761 transit of Venus – that is, Venus moving over the Sun from Earth’s perspective. A great number of astronomers at … Continue reading

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Goodbye to Dippy

I love going to London – and one of the things I’ve always loved most about it is the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Most times that I go to London, I try to make time to take a look … Continue reading

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Update: landing on a comet and reaching 25,000 words

On Philae I spent Wednesday constantly checking for updates on the progress of the Philae comet lander, with the BBC happily setting up a live feed to make it easy. It was a day of tense moments: first we had to … Continue reading

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Good luck, Rosetta and Philae!

Tomorrow, I’m going to be keeping a close eye on the news. Tomorrow, around 4pm GMT, we will hopefully be receiving confirmation that the European Space Agency have actually landed a spacecraft on a comet. The probe Rosetta, which went … Continue reading

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A Sad Reminder: Going Into Space Still Isn’t Safe

I was shocked and saddened to check the news on Friday night and learn that Richard Branson’s planned sub-orbital rocket plane SpaceShipTwo had crashed on a test flight, killing one of its pilots and injuring another. Obviously, this tragedy is going to … Continue reading

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A Great Dinosaur Enigma Solved!

I maintain a healthy interest in palaeontology these days, but looking back to the dinosaur-obsessed days of my childhood, I’m amazed just how much our knowledge of dinosaurs has changed. Things I thought I knew then are totally out of … Continue reading

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Live birth in prehistoric reptiles – a new discovery

Very interesting news on BBC Nature today about this paper by Ryosuke Motani et al., published about a new ichthyosaur fossil. Ichthyosaurs were marine reptiles that lived in the sea at the same time as the dinosaurs. They were so … Continue reading

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