30 years ago we knew for certain of 8 planets in the Solar System. On the 9th January 1992, the first confirmed planet orbiting another star was announced. A planet orbiting another star is called an exoplanet. Their discovery changed the way we think about the universe. Overnight it was proven that our solar system … Continue reading What is an Exoplanet?
What are the Equinoxes?
The Earth orbits the Sun. However, the angle it is orbiting at is tilted. Think of it like a spinning top that is leaning over slightly. The tilt is actually 23.5 degrees and this is what gives the Earth its seasons. The tilt always stays at 23.5 degrees relative to the plane of the solar … Continue reading What are the Equinoxes?
Solar Eclipse 10th June 2021
Warning- Never look at the sun directly with your eyes, optical equipment or camera without adequate filters. Every year the Earth orbits the Sun and every month the Moon orbits the Earth. Every now and then their paths through the sky appear to cross. When this happens, the Moon appears to pass in front of … Continue reading Solar Eclipse 10th June 2021
Sir Isaac Newton
You've probably heard the story of a scientist sitting under an apple tree. Suddenly an apple falls and whacks him in the head. Just then he formulates the theory of gravity. It may not have happened just like that, but the scientist featured in the story is Sir Isaac Newton. He was born on 4th … Continue reading Sir Isaac Newton
What is Light Pollution and Why Should You Care?
If one is lucky enough to live in a rural location you can look up on a clear night and see the Andromeda Galaxy which is 2.5 million lightyears away. That isn't true for those that live in, or close to a town, village or city. From the heart of a city, one would be … Continue reading What is Light Pollution and Why Should You Care?
The International Space Station at 20
This week marks the 20th anniversary since the International Space Station was first inhabited. Let's take a look at what it is and what happens there. The International Space Station is an orbiting space station and laboratory. It was built and is operated by an international consortium of space agencies. The five agencies involved are … Continue reading The International Space Station at 20
Many of us have heard of constellations. Often, one may be familiar with a few of them. But what are they and where did they come from? In general, a constellation is a group of stars that are said to resemble a person, animal, mythological being or object. The thing to remember here is that … Continue reading Constellations Explained
Citizen Science is the term used to describe science conducted by amateurs. In the past all scientists were amateurs. Science was often the hobby of gentlemen scientists who funded their own research. For example Charles Darwin was born into a wealthy family. Nowadays most scientists are professionals. Employed mostly by universities and other research institutes … Continue reading Citizen Science
Hubble Space Telescope Turns 30
Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: NASA The Hubble Space Telescope or HST for short celebrates its 30th birthday this week. The telescope was launched on 24th April 1990. It is named after astronomer Edwin Hubble. The HST is in orbit around the Earth at a height of approximately 540 Km. The advantage of having a telescope … Continue reading Hubble Space Telescope Turns 30
My name is Paul and I want to welcome you to my new blog, The Science Shed. My interests include astronomy, physics, chemistry, computer science and photography. I plan to mostly write about astronomy but I will likely cover some of the other areas along the way as they all overlap. I plan to share … Continue reading Introduction