Episode 65: ISRO – The early years

The Indian Space Research Organisation formally came in to being in 1972. By then, India had been developing its space program for almost a decade. The first launch to space from Indian soil was a two stage Nike-Apache rocket supplied by USA with a  sodium  payload from France. The rocket delivered a vertical trail of sodium […]

From Dying Stars to the Birth of Life – Book Review

Title: From Dying Stars to the Birth of Life: The New Science of Astrobiology and the Search for Life in the Universe Publisher : Nottingham University Press Author: Jerry L Cranford ISBN : 978-1-907284-79-3 Price: £24.99 [237 pages hardcover] Subtitled as “The new science of astrobiology and the search for life in the universe”, this […]

Episode 35: 22nd July 2010: Dr Edgar Mitchell – Apollo 14

A man playing golf on the moon is one of the images permanently etched into the collective memory of humanity’s first exploration of the moon. The so called “golf player” was Alan Shepard the guy with him was Dr Edgar Mitchell whilst Stuart Roosa orbited the moon in the command module. Today, Ed Mitchell, two […]

Episode 33: January 27th 2010 : Ptolemy’s Almagest

If you had the task of gathering all of humanity’s knowledge of cosmology in one place, how would you do it? Answers to questions such as, How big is the Earth? At what date and time will the Moon be full again? What makes the Sun shine? How old is the Universe? Today a good […]

Episode 26: Antikythera Mechanism

Everyone who comes across the Antikythera mechanism goes through a phase initially of disbelief and then the awe inspiring realisation that something almost from another world actually exists in ours. Imagine William Shakespeare writing Hamlet using a laptop. Surely a ridiculous proposition he was about 300 years too early for that. He didn’t but today’s […]

Episode25:Science and Religion

Science is the product of human intellect, creativity and imagination. It helps answers the profoundest of all questions. Where did life come from? How old is the Earth? What is the structure of the universe? How did humans come to be? As the history of science shows, as it progresses so does the nature, accuracy […]

Episode22:Interstellar Dust

As episode 21 indicated, the power of science fiction to motivate the imagination is perhaps as strong as science itself. 1957 is known for the launch of Sputnik but it was also the year that the scientist Fred Hoyle published a science fiction novel called The Black Cloud. One of its readers in Italy would […]

Episode20:European City of Culture – Astronomy in Liverpool

As the European city of Culture, Liverpool has more than its fair share of activities this year. Many have an astronomy connection. In today’s episode Andy Newsam from Liverpool John Moores University, Joanne Coleman from the British Association for the Advancement of Science talks about the Science Festival between 6th and 11th of September and […]

Episode17:Gamma Ray Astronomy

As the most energetic photons, gamma rays are rare, difficult to observe, require special telescopes & detectors, and not many of them make it to the surface of the earth anyway. So why is gamma ray astronomy important? Its not an area of astronomy that amateurs usually dip even their big toe in and something […]

Episode16:Astronomy – A cultural perspective

You can’t think of Darwin without Wallace, Laurel without Hardy. In UK astronomy there is no more an enduring and familiar partnership than Henbest and Couper. Nigel and Heather have been writing, broadcasting, supporting and publicising astronomy for decades. Their most recent project is a series of daily radio programs for BBC Radio4 called Cosmic […]