The Write Stuff

  In The film The Right Stuff there is a scene that really caught my imagination. Following a spectacular crash there is an inferno of flames. The ambulance crew stares in disbelief as a figure walks stoically out of the swirling smoke. One of the crew says to the other “is that a man?” And after…

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…