Archive | April 2007

BBC Mailbox Event this weekend (+next!)

This weekend and next we will be invading the BBC Mailbox’s public space to give a big burst of space based action… including air rockets! Should be fun – if you find yourself wondering past the mailbox on Sunday this week or Sat next come along… we will be being all spacey. Take a look [here] for more.

Star trek like shields discussed…

Well this week at the National Astronomy Meeting has brought up some interesting and at times odd topics. I think by far the oddest was a talk about protecting space craft from energetic particles. The talk itself was not too odd but the subject material and in particular the title would make any serious astronomer cringe. However, the talk did discuss some rather important issues. How do you protect humans in space(?) and yes as many people have speculated in the past the idea of a magnetic field is probably key. This does sound a bit like a star trek tv show but I would argue that it really isn’t. Oh well – I guess it is a way to get people interested. For more see: []

NAM Day 3: the football…

Well then the highlight of the 3rd day really has to be the football tournament. The days talk’s were very interesting, especially the degenerate astronomy session. I was very much looking forward to the football tournament but I did not enjoy being trounced 11-0. Oh well…. I wish I hadn’t pushed myself so much though, I did quite badily hurt both of my legs.. couple of pulled muscles was not nice – and is not nice but at least I am sat down.

NAM Day 2

Well then another year another [National Astronomy Meeting]. This year’s event is taking part at UCLAN in Preston. It started yesterday so not much has occured yet. The exoplanet session was yesterday which of course was quite interesting – I was originally hoping to present a talk in this session but I didn’t get the spot instead I got to present a poster. You can find my poster [here]
(note: its about 2mb in size). I think the funniest moment (ok I’m being a geek) occured when the symbol for the mass of the Earth was replaced with a smile.gif, oh well, at least I laughed.

Riding a bike!

I have never really rode a bike in my life. I think I must have tried as a kid but I never really had any sense of balance. Well a while ago I decided I should learn so I bought a bike. Yesterday I gave it a go, with Lizzie’s help, and managed to stay on for a while. We realised that there were a few issues we needed to fix, we had not tightened the handlebars enough and they moved making it hard to ride. Today, I went over to the park on my own and though I kept looking like I might fall into the lake (consquently having to stop to readjust) I managed to ride quite successfully about the park. I was knackered though, really showing my lack of fitness. Oh well, lots of fun! Why did I not do this as a kid?
14april07 092

New names for the recently discovered satellites of Juputer, Saturn…

The IAU has approved the following new designations and names of
satellites of Jupiter and Saturn:
Jupiter XLIX Kore = S/2003 J 14
Saturn XXXVI Aegir = S/2004 S 10
Saturn XXXVII Bebhionn = S/2004 S 11
Saturn XXXVIII Bergelmir = S/2004 S 15
Saturn XXXIX Bestla = S/2004 S 18
Saturn XL Farbauti = S/2004 S 9
Saturn XLI Fenrir = S/2004 S 16
Saturn XLII Fornjot = S/2004 S 8
Saturn XLIII Hati = S/2004 S 14
Saturn XLIV Hyrokkin = S/2004 S 19
Saturn XLV Kari = S/2006 S 2
Saturn XLVI Loge = S/2006 S 5
Saturn XLVII Skoll = S/2006 S 8
Saturn XLVIII Surtur = S/2006 S 7
The IAU has designated the Uranian ring 1986 U the ‘zeta ring’.

Burton-on-water yesterday

Yesterday I took a journey out with Lizzie’s family to Burton-on-water … I got to meet [Brum], yay!
(it was a shame I forgot to take my proper camera! 😦 )

Astrosoc Camping Trip

Last weekend [Astrosoc] went camping… lots of fun!
We headed down to Maz’s house near Bristol for some clear and dark skies. It was nice and clear but the
blasted Moon stopped it from being too dark. We knew this would be the case so weren’t too bothered.
It was damn cold though, with the wind chill it must have gone under freezing, some decent observing conditions
but not the best to sleep in a tent in! It was hard enough to put the tents up, nevermind sleep in them though…
The first night brought a lovely sunset… (note: the birds, which I stood ages trying to get!)
With the sunset out came the Moon, alowing me to take this nice shot of it over the local Church.
As it became darker the Moon’s full glory was shown and I managed to get quite a few shots (just a select few here) of the Moon via placing my digital camera up against the telescope eyepiece (not the proper way to go about it, but it works!)…
Once we had the Moon we decided to go Planet spotting… and up came Saturn – I saw Saturn with the best view I probably ever have had, shame I couldn’t manage to get the best shot but at least you can tell it is Saturn.
The next day we went out for a drive, starting off at Cheddar Gorge. For this me and Tom decided to become the brave explorers we always knew we were…
After another (cold) and fun nights observing we were heading back to Birmingham… not before some odd antics…