Spotted on Mars

I didn’t plan to write a sequel to the previous post about Beagle 2. But recently, while visiting the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, we came across a small, but very interesting exhibit. It was all about Damien Hirst’s Beagle 2 spot painting. In fact, it wasn’t really an artwork as such, but a calibration target…

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…

A visit to Bushfield School

On Thursday 15th January I visited Bushfield School in Milton Keynes to give three 50 minute talks to Year 5 students. I started each session off with a quick “fun” quiz about meteorites. Then gave a PowerPoint talk about space rocks that, of course, included videos of the Chelyabinsk fireball. The big event was showing small groups our outreach collection. The…

Just keeping it Fresh

It always makes for a great movie. The lonely scientist in his white coat, working alone in his lab late into the night. There he is, mixing crazy coloured chemicals as part of an insane quest to find some sort of secret elixir. Like Alec Guinness in The Man in the White Suit, or Spencer…