Archive | November 2007

Lost data on ebay

You may be aware that the UK government has lost two cd’s containing 25 million people’s personal info… oh well you might say but if you are cunning you might think that sticking them online might be a way to make some money: [], biggrin.gif

The TeX showcase

Ever wanted to see what you can do with TeX? (if you don’t know what TeX is then its a typesetting program that makes your work look swish). Then take a look at the TeX showcase – []. – possibly a very useful tool

I recently came across the project and I have to say that this could turn into one of the best online astronomy tools I’m aware of. The basic idea is that if you have an image of the night sky then the online software will determine where you are looking and what objects you have in the field of view. That’s quite cool and I’m not sure there is any other software that can currently offer this, well not without having to specify certain points. I’m not entirely sure how this is going to work (and it is currently only an alpha release) but it does look very promising. The blurb from their front page emphasizes that this is not just aimed at the professional astronomy – “If you are a professional or amateur astronomer and you’ve ever had an image of the sky whose location or coordinates you did not know—or did not trust—then is for you.”. I’m now quite eager to play with a release candidate.

Dusk at the University of Birmingham

Last night the sky looked so wonderful out of my office window so I decided that I should go and take a couple of pictures of it! I’m quite pleased in how the sky has come out with the Aston Webb building and the University clock tower in the foreground.

Wonderful Terapix image

I have just come across the wonderful Terapix image taken in 2004 – wow! The image was obtained with “Megacam”, a giant 36-CCD camera mounted at prime focus of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) on Mauna Kea. It just blows me away, to give you a quick glimpse see below and you should take a look at the actual image [here]
TERAPIX is funded by the French national research agency (CNRS/INSU), the Programme National de Cosmologie (PNC), the Service d’Astrophysique of the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA), the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris (IAP), and the European FP5 RTD contracts “Astrowise” and “AVO” (Astrophysical Virtual Observatory)

Weekend in Wales

This weekend I spent in Wales, well Porthcawl to be exact, with my lovely young lady. I went to Bridgend to give a talk on exoplanets and stayed on for a really relaxing weekend. The sunset on Sat night was fantastic and I took a couple of pics…

Vale Fireworks 2007

Every year the University of Birmingham host a fireworks display to celebrate Guy Fawkes night… like always I went and here are a bunch of pics I took (more can be found [here])