Astronomy in the city – a gravitational wave special

We held a special Astronomy in the city event yesterday to celebrate the announcement of the first direct detection of a gravitational wave last week. It was insane how after less than a week we had a completely sold out event, with 460 sign ups! So it was fantastic that we were able to make…

The first direct detection of gravitational waves

Gravitational waves are ripples in space and time, emitted by asymmetrically accelerating sources such as black hole binaries. They were first predicted by Einstein, 100 years ago and is the only theory of his yet to be proven. Yesterday was a big day for Gravitational Wave astronomy, the laser interferometer gravitational wave observatory (LIGO) announced…

How to get a job in Astronomy

I’ll be finishing my PhD soon and as this approaches, let me tell you this… STRESS. I should be focussing on writing up right now, NOT worrying about the stability of my future. But if you find yourself in a similar situation then hopefully this post can come in helpful. When I first started my…

My review of the Martian – Beware of spoilers!

Last night, I was invited to an expert panel screening of the Martian, complementary of The Odeon and the British Interplanetary Society. Overall I really liked the movie. It is a feel good movie, with a great soundtrack. It is educational and the CGI of Mars was beautiful (in particular the dust devils!). Most importantly…

Astronaut Andreas Mogensen

Earlier this week I visited ESA’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne, Germany. I’ve been very fortunate for this to be the 3rd time I have been to facility. The last time was pretty cool – I mean, it’s not every day you get a personal tour by ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, especially whilst he’s…

3 nights as an astronomer

  I had the rare opportunity to go observing on the 4m Blanco telescope on Cerro Tololo, Chile. The telescope itself was built in the 70’s so its mind blowing that it is still functional today. This telescope like many other similar oldies are constantly given new life with the instalments of new instruments. Right…