Eclipse of the supermoon

Eclipse of the supermoon

It's not often, in southern England, that we get the chance to see a total eclipse of the Moon. But in the early hours of Monday 28th September, I was lucky enough to witness a triple lunar event. Not only was it a total lunar eclipse, it was the largest supermoon of 2015 (being closest to Earth on … Continue reading Eclipse of the supermoon

A mysterious binary star

Magnetic binary stars

An enormous magnetic binary star system has been discovered by Canadian PhD student, Matt Shultz of Queen’s University, Ontario. The object is unusual because giant stars rarely have magnetic fields; and giant binary stars with magnetism are even less common, accounting for only about 2% of stars in the Milky Way. The discovery was made using … Continue reading A mysterious binary star

Cosmic cappuccino

Mars south polar ice cap

Just released by the European Space Agency (ESA), this stunning image shows Mars's southern polar ice cap, as rarely seen before. This is a permanent feature, composed of frozen water and carbon dioxide, and is 3km deep in places. It looks flat in this amazing image, but is in fact a mixed terrain of peaks, troughs and … Continue reading Cosmic cappuccino

Chasing the eclipse

partial solar eclipse

Melanie Davies writes about the 2015 solar eclipse - the last one visible from Europe for more than a decade On the morning of Friday 20th March 2015, we’ll be in for an astronomical treat… an eclipse of the Sun. A total solar eclipse happens roughly once a year somewhere in the world, but we … Continue reading Chasing the eclipse

Close encounter of the first kind

Finally, a much-anticipated astronomical event that didn't leave us disappointed! The close encounter of Comet Siding Spring with Mars on 19th October 2014 resulted in some great imagery and, hopefully, some interesting science to come. Siding Spring passed a mere 87,000 miles above the red planet: less than half the distance between the Earth and … Continue reading Close encounter of the first kind