The invisible night sky

Gazing at the night sky with our eyes or telescopes reveals twinkling stars and far away galaxies. But visible light is only a small part of what some of these objects are emitting. Join astrophysicist Jen Gupta to discover views of the Universe at other wavelengths, from familiar objects like our Sun to weird and […]

Why Society Needs Astronomy and Cosmology

‘One day, Sir, you may tax it’: Faraday’s prescient quip when quizzed about the practical value of electricity in 1850 neatly demonstrates that advanced societies cannot afford to stifle scientific curiosity for its own sake – a powerful if serendipitous driver of technological and societal progress. It will be argued that fundamental research into astronomy, […]

Why Society Needs Astronomy and Cosmology

‘One day, Sir, you may tax it’: Faraday’s prescient quip when quizzed about the practical value of electricity in 1850 neatly demonstrates that advanced societies cannot afford to stifle scientific curiosity for its own sake – a powerful if serendipitous driver of technological and societal progress. It will be argued that fundamental research into astronomy, […]

How Common is Life in the Universe

The discovery of exoplanets and of Earth twins will be described, with a review of attempts to estimate the probability of finding life in the universe – for example how many stars do we need to survey to find suitable planets? How much time is needed to generate life? The FERMI paradox: where are the […]

Your Universe

UCL’s festival of astronomy, cosmology, astrobiology and particle physics will feature exhibits, practical demonstrations, telescopes looking at the Sun, Moon and the planets Venus and Jupiter (whether permitting) – not to mention, lectures on the Rosetta comet mission, the Large Hadron Collider and the ALMA array of telescopes.

Surrounded by science

Science is becoming ever more specialised, ever more difficult to understand without being an expert in the field. Science communication offers tools and platforms to make this challenging, yet interesting science accessible to everyone. One of these tools is a 360-degree digital dome. Mario Di Maggio, manager of one of the busiest small planetariums in […]

#Scicom21 Review: Broadcasting Science

This is the first in a series of reviews of the sessions held by the Science Communication Group on 13th September, in celebration of 21 years of the Science Communication MSc at Imperial College. We will be putting up reviews of each session over the next couple of weeks. If you went to the celebrations […]

News round-up: New elements, Olympicene, Venus, SpaceX & Neutrinos

Guest contributor Conor McKeever kicks off our new fortnightly round-up of the key science news of the last few weeks. Two more place cards at the Periodic Table Video: youtube | periodicvideos Scientists have officially named two elements whose discoveries were announced last year. Element 114, first detected in 1999 by scientists at Russia’s Joint […]

50 Years of the Internet

Map of scientific collaborations Guest contributor Julie Gould celebrates the Internet’s Golden Jubilee. There have been significant leaps in our understanding of science and technology in the last fifty years. Some have radically changed our world, such as our sending a man into space and the silicon chip. However, one tool above all has become […]

Science Behind the Photo #33

This detailed photograph of our Moon was taken at the University of London Observatory (ULO), on the amazingly beautiful and intricate Fry telescope. Made by famous telescope manufacturer Thomas Cook in 1862, it was moved to ULO in 1930. It is used often to instruct astronomy students and is mainly used to observe planets, solar […]

HECToR: The 300 million dollar computer

In April 2003 UK’s national hero of informatics, HPCx, was the second most powerful supercomputer in the world, but a new superhero was destined to substitute it within four years: HECToR’s time had arrived. HECToR, whose acronym stays for High End Computing Terascale Resources, started to be under the spotlights in October 2007 and is […]

Calendar: Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2011

9 September 2011 – 5 February 2012 Royal Observatory Greenwich, Greenwich Park, Greenwich, SE10 9NF “The Royal Observatory Greenwich is proud to present Astronomy Photographer of the Year – a free exhibition showcasing some incredible images of the sky. Now in its third year, 2011 has brought some incredible images to the competition and exhibition, […]

You Mars be joking

When Giovanni Schiaparelli tilted his telescope towards Mars in 1877, he was hardly expecting to answer one of humanity’s enduring questions: are we alone in the Universe? Yet, what he found sparked almost a century of heated debate about whether he had done just that. The Italian observed a series of long, straight lines, or […]

Podcast: Episode 3 – Lift off

Science writer and producer Piers Bizony takes a retrospective look at NASA’s Space Shuttle Program, astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell discusses space bacteria and the possibility of extra-terrestrial life and we ask Astronomer Royal Lord Martin Rees if we’ve any hope of getting to the red planet. Presented by Thea Cunningham and featuring reporters Camila Ruz, Thomas […]

A Year in the Life of Neptune

Having started life as a hypothetical planet, it was only recently that Neptune’s precise path through space was confirmed, as it completed its first full orbit since its discovery in 1846. To celebrate this occasion, NASA released some stunning anniversary pictures, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. At the giant planet’s great distance of 30 […]

Podcast: 60 second science: Milky Way blowing bubbles

The Milky Way has been seen blowing a pair of giant gamma-ray bubbles. Measuring 50,000 light-years across and towering above our galaxy, it’s thought the bubbles may have been formed 100,000 years ago by jets of matter created when 100 suns’ worth of material fell into the black hole at the centre of our galaxy. […]