Archive | July 2007

Floods and fires across Europe captured from space

Some quite fascinating (and possibly scary) views of the recent floods across the uk can be found on the [ESA website]

System Administrator Appreciation Day

Today is the [8th Annual System Admin day] so we decided that we would thank our system admin in the astrophysics group at Birmingham with a nice suprise… biggrin.gif
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Black Google Would Save Energy

It is believed that an all white computer screen, such as the Google page, uses 74 watts to display, whereas a black screen consumes only 59 watts and so a black version of google, such as blackle.com would infact save energy! Sounds ok, apart from the eye strain doesn’t it? Well I’m not entirely sure I believe it though as surely this doesn’t apply to LCDs… not sure though, but the Wall Street Journal backs this up here.
Maybe its worth it.. but I think I’d rather not deal with the awkwardness of reading and save energy elsewhere…

Another moon for Saturn..

The Cassini imaging-science team have reported the discovery of S/2007 S 4, a satellite orbiting in the region between Saturn XXXII (Methone) and Saturn XXXIII (Pallene). Preliminary estimates suggest that S/2007 S 4 has a radius of about 1 km. Is a 1km rock really a satellite or just a rock? I’m not sure I know what the IAU definition is of when a rock becomes an orbiting satellite or not… hmmm.

Trip to Jodrell Bank

Today I went up to the home of the UK’s radio astronomy – good old Jodrell Bank. For a British radio astronomer I felt odd saying that this was the first time I had actually been to Jodrell. It is a fantastic site, well worth a trip for anyone interested in astronomy. Since I was actually up for a meeting I forgot to take my camera and you can’t turn your phone on as it causes inteference (so no photos, must be a first for me as of late!). If you fancy a visit take a look [here]. The reason I was up at Jodrell was to find out more about the e-Merlin (Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network ([MERLIN])) legacy projects that will be happening in the not-to-distant future and might well impact on any career I follow after my PhD… it was full of interesting talks and discussion and yes brown dwarfs came up… which got my interest.

iPhone blended!

I bought a blender today, the first time I have ever owned one.. but lets just say if I had an iPhone I would not be putting my blender anywhere near it… unlike this crazy man [Will it blend?] though his ebay auction for the blended bits is currently at $1,000 (US) so looks like he will make a nice profit…

Highlights from my trip to Plymouth

A couple of weeks ago I went on a much needed holiday… to Plymouth cool.gif. Yep I didn’t need the shades as the rain that has blighted the british summer continued, oh well. I still had lots of fun, plus I got to spend 5 days with wonderful Lizzie, I’m sure she might not quite see it that way around… oh I will do these highlights in pictures mostly.
Though there weather was not always great we did get a couple of really nice skies…
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One of the first features that came to my eyes was the lighthouse, moved a considerable distance onto the Hoe for protection…
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I even went up to the top of it…
As our walk continued I realised I probably should not have taken this…
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A rocky beach…
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.. but lizzie seemed to enjoy throwing rocks.. well I did anyway laughing.gif
I love this photo, I feel I have captured Lizzie and rocks quite well..
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In Devon you have to eat pasties (though we didn’t eat here as lizzie would not pose eating a pasty for me… mad.gif)
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What more walking…
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The Merchant’s House, a must visit if you want to learn about the history of Plymouth. It has lots of cool stuff inside, including a whole old chemist with the shop front and all…. some wonderful ladies spoke to me and Lizzie in there, giving us probably the best value for money historical site I have ever been in (it cost just £1.40 each)…
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We also went around the Elizabethan house which was good fun and there is some nice but not completely inspiring gardens..
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..though it did have a water feature…
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.. and some interesting stone work.. is this the Mayflower?
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We also had a look around the cathedral that was devestated in WWII, it now has some modern stained glass windows, I love stained glass windows…
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.. oh and we also went on a boat trip, not quite what Lizzie had in mind but I was more than happy as we went around the docks and we saw the nuclear subs… but I’m not a boat person…
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Oh and we did countless other things, but we really can’t forget the National Marine Aquarium it was great fun, with lots of fishes and the deepest shark tank in Europe!
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In all it was great fun, many other photos can be found on my flickr account or [here]