Archive | October 2007

Astrophysicist Replaces Supercomputer with Eight PlayStation 3s

The PS3 may be finding a new calling in the realm of science and research. I’m not sure that this is the most cost-effective way as surely an inhouse built machine would be cheaper but eitherway its pretty cool: []

I’m published! :-)

My paper about radio emission from exoplanets has now been published, so as you can tell I’m pretty pleased biggrin.gif
The abstract can be found [here] but if you don’t have a subscription to mnras you can’t view the paper, however, you can find the pre-published version (not many changes) [here]

Movie of NASA’s Sites on Mars for Future Landings & Search for Ancient Life

The University of Arizona-based HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) team has released 143 colour images and a movie of possible landing sites for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory. Take a look at the over one potential Mars Science Laboratory landing site in Nili Fossae, at 21 degrees north latitude and 74 degrees east latitude.

The Case of the Aging Galaxy

Today’s APOD includes a wonderful picture of the galaxy I Zwicky 18. It is an odd one which was originally believe to be one of the youngest galaxies on record but recent pictures by the Hubble space telescope have confirmed that there is an old population of stars but there has been a vast amount of recent star formation – making it appear young.
galaxy Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Aloisi (ESA & STScI)

FAS convention last sat

Last Saturday was the Federation of Astronomical Societies annual convention and once again I was one of the organisers, gosh how time goes by. It was again another hectic day for me having to be there to do all the setting up and running around but I think it was worth it as we had about 100 people along on the day for a day of astronomy talks and a large trade fair. Our 3 main speakers (I did give a talk but was only a short one) were: Prof Mike Cruise (University of Birmingham), Prof Phil Diamond (Jodrell Bank) and Prof Colin Pillinger (OU). All gave excellent and enjoyable talks.
Lizzie and Heather were once again on duty meeting people:
Colin Pillinger gave the last talk of the day:
and it all took place at the wonderful Birmingham and Midland Institute:

50 years of space in pictures

I recently came across a rather interesting look back at the first 50 years of the space age on the ESA webpages – []. It has some absolutely breathtaking images. Some of the images are truly inspirational and a lot of them really remind me what I find astronomy so fascinating.

50th anniversary celebration at Jodrell

I had the great honour and pleasure of being along for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the dawn of the space age at Jodrell bank last Thursday. It was a great experience and was great to hear Prof Sir Bernard Lovell speak about his wonderful telescope – humble as ever. He spoke wonderfully well and was so inspiring:
I obviously tried to take a few photos, here is one of the Lovell telescope casting a shadow onto itself:
and with the moon (bottom right)
the smaller scopes have fun with the birds:
at the zenith
oh and a case of “my dish is bigger than yours” biggrin.gif

50 years of Jodrell

Today is the 50th anniversary of the start of the space race and I have the chance to be at the celebrations at Jodrell bank, now thats cool! It should be quite an interesting and fun day – I’ll post some pics later.