Citizen Science: Rebuilding Scientific Trust in the Public

They walked a small distance each day through the bush, much less than the English settler would have liked; he had somewhere to be and his Aboriginal guide wasn’t getting him there fast enough. Until, one day, his guide stopped to feel the moisture in the air, measure the surrounding temperature and contemplate the wind. He … More Citizen Science: Rebuilding Scientific Trust in the Public

A Pig’s Ear

Today marks the least romanticised time in the human history of bodily organs. Throughout the ages there have been multiple theories as to the importance of our inner machinery, questioning where lies the “fleshy seat of the soul”? Fundamentally, the line between life and death seems a physical one. Dead bodies do not move, bleed … More A Pig’s Ear

First Ever Pictures of Planet Formation – really a very big deal

The theory of planetary formation is both holy and holey. Here is an incredibly rough guide. Interstellar cloud Beginning with a huge interstellar cloud of gravitationally bound ice, dust and gas… The cloud is pulled together by gravity and begins to spin. Think of spinning on a swivel chair – as you bring your knees … More First Ever Pictures of Planet Formation – really a very big deal

Rule 30

Cellular Automata Rule 30 is one example of cellular automata (CA): abstract, mathematical, with very simple conditions; when applied, they create patterns of huge variety. These automata have uses in computing, video games, security, occur naturally in nature and were only discovered in the 1940’s by Stanislaw Ulam and John von Neumann. CA are made … More Rule 30

November’s Sky

November retained it’s name from the Roman calendar where it was the ninth of ten months, ‘novem’ meaning nine in Latin. The sky this month is really very sparkly: filled with galaxies including our nearest neighbour, the Andromeda galaxy deep within Pisces, and globular cluster 47 Tucanae and the Small Magellanic Cloud in Tucana.  Andromeda – … More November’s Sky

Kids and Logs

No matter how you answered that question, you first made the assumption that numbers can be mapped on to space. Middle: a point or position at equal distance from the sides, edges or ends of something. I’ll take a stab in the dark and say that you said 5 is directly in the middle of 1 … More Kids and Logs

October’s Sky

October is the tenth month of the year, obviously. Previously the eighth month in the Roman Calendar, October kept it’s name after January and February were added. The sky this month has the well known characters Aquarius and Pegasus, but the other constellations in the October sky are relatively unknown, faint affairs. Aquarius – The Water Bearer Aquarius … More October’s Sky

September’s Sky

The early Latin calendar was split into 10 months, September being the seventh, and so its name comes from the Latin for seven, ‘Septem’. The September sky has only a few deep sky objects hidden amongst its particularly animal heavy imagery: most notably the Dumbbell planetary nebula, in the Vulpecula constellation. … More September’s Sky