December Night Sky 2020

So the nights are drawing in and in as we get closer to the festive season, and though Christmas might not be quite the same as usual this year, there’s still plenty to celebrate. One great socially distanced activity you can do is stargazing! It’s outdoors and doesn’t require a group, and so you can easily go out and have a wee look up at the stars – just make sure to wrap up warm at this time of year!

Rare Stars – PHL 417 and the V366 Aquariids

By Prof. Simon Jeffery Enter the name ‘PHL 417’ in the public database which tells you nearly everything known about nearly every star in the sky, and you will find an almost blank entry.  It is enigmatically identified as a ‘Blue object’ of the 17th magnitude, or about 200,000 times fainter than the faintest stars visible to the naked eye. It has no other names, and no scientific Read more…

What is a Dinosaur?

Many people’s first memories of learning about meteorites were probably prefaced by “the one that killed the dinosaurs”. This most famous and yet now non-existent meteorite crashed into our planet in Yucatan Pininsula, in what is now modern-day Mexico. In science textbooks there is an ever so familiar artists impression Read more…