OU telescope

A Transient Perspective

Last Monday, the Open University astronomers set up their telescopes on the Mulberry Lawn to observe the transit of Mercury. The forecasters had predicted a nice sunny spell in the afternoon and, as usual, they were absolutely spot on. Of course, you can watch this sort of event live on the web, or look at…

NEW PORTRAIT SANTA

Festive Fun

It was a bit of a shock last week to find that the Open University had decided to go all festive. Christmas already! Oh no! Not yet, surely? But yes! In the Berrill Cafe the staff are now wearing pixie hats, Santa is in his grotto and the air is filled with the sound of…

pottery

It’s complicated

It’s not easy trying to figure out the origin and early evolution of the Solar System using just a bunch of smashed up space rocks. A bit like trying to study an ancient civilization when all you have are a few bits of broken pottery and a rusty broach. Yes, making sense of the meteorite…

asteroid collision retouch

Not so ordinary after all

In a recent post we talked about ordinary chondrites. Why “ordinary”? Well that’s because we have so many of them, nearly 46,000 individuals according to the Meteoritical Bulletin database, or 87% of all officially classified meteorites. No wonder some people think they are a dull. But familiarity can and does breed contempt. They are important samples…