Archive | February 2008

A day out in London

On Saturday I had a day in London, this was primarily for the Federation of Astronomical Societies council meeting but since I got down to London a bit earlier I was able to do a few other things.
I managed to take a quick trip to the London Science Museum. I was actually very pleased with myself over this, navigating a very hectic tube system without my trusty diary map! Its actually pretty easy to get from Euston to South Kensington station and then walking down the huge subway to the Science Museum. The museum was really packed, but I didn’t expect anything less. The only real reason I went in was to take a look at the “new” (well since the last time I was there) space gallery. They actually have rebuilt the University of Birmingham built Spacelab 2, which looks really cool:
spacelab2
oh and they have a lunar lander mock up, which I’m sure will inspire a bunch of kids:
lunar lander
My main task of the day was a trip to the Royal Astronomical Society at Burlington house for the FAS meeting. I won’t bore you with the meeting, like always interesting but heavy going. I managed to take a shot of the RAS’s lovely galaxy window, I’m not sure who this was designed by and the exact name, but it pretty spectacular:
galaxy window
galaxy window 2

Did we really land on the Moon?

This Thursday the University of Birmingham hosts a talk by Dr Martin Hendry (University of Glasgow) titled “Did we really land on the Moon?”.
Did Neil Armstrong really walk on the Moon? Almost 40 years on from Apollo 11 a surprising number of people believe that Armstrong’s famous “One small step” was an elaborate hoax, filmed in secret here on Earth. Conspiracy theorists point to a range of “evidence” to support their claim: waving flags, strange shadows, no stars in the sky, deadly solar radiation.
In this talk, using real Apollo video footage and a series of simple demonstrations, we will take a closer look at the science behind “moon hoax” claims, and ask whether we really did land on the Moon.
If you fancy coming along and would like more information either contact me or take a look at: [www.talkandtelescope.org.uk].

Save physics, forget the cheerleader.

As I’m sure you are all probably aware by now, if you read this blog you are, Physics is facing a massive cut in funding (about £80million, so 4 premiership football players!). The reasons are multiple and you can read many of this elsewhere, such as at [www.saveastronomy.org.uk]. I recommend you taking a read there, it has all the background stuff you need to know. Anyway, yesterday the undergraduates at Birmingham did a sterling job of trying to promote the petition to the UK prime minister.
oppose_cuts
Oh and if you believe that this should be stopped show your support by petitioning the UK prime minister at: [http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Physics-Funding/]

Pictures around the mailbox

On Sunday we went out for lunch at the Mailbox in Birmingham. The mailbox is full of posh shops (I’d never afford anything there!) and restaurants.. oh and the BBC Birmingham centre! Its a really nice place and so was the restaurant, Penny Blacks. Anyway, I took my new camera along and here are a few shots:
The canal side:
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boat on the canal:
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and some interesting graffiti:
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