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{ Category Archives } Science

Reaching for the stars (1)

The nearest star to the sun is Proxima Centauri, about 4.2 light years away and there are another eight within 10 light years. The closest generally accepted exoplanet is Gliese 674b which is 15 light years away. How long before we can get the first photos from a flyby? When can we establish the first […]


I must admit to finding little pleasure in reading material which just plays to my own prejudices. I find it much more stimulating to read things with which I disagree. Of course, they have to be reasonably well-written. Complete drivel has limited appeal. These reflections come from spending an hour listening to Horizon “Which Universe […]

The fruits of the earth (1)

… and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth … replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over … every living thing that moveth […]

Global warming

Idly browsing, I came across a Horizon programme (still available on iPlayer) in which Paul Nurse bemoans the lack of public trust in science, basing his discussion on the case of global warming. I seem to have written about global warming only peripherally – Climategate and wind energy). So perhaps it is worth summarising my […]

Supernova 1987A

This supernova was in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy rotating slowly around our own galaxy, the Milky way. Such nearby supernovae are rare. It is estimated (by counting supernova remnants) that there is a supernova in the Large or Small Magellanic Cloud about every 300 years. Supernovae are exploding stars and it is […]