How Big is the Universe?

How Big is the Universe?

The Universe is a big, big place. Getting your head around mind-bendingly big and unimaginably small things is really hard, our brains just weren’t built to do it. To survive as a human, all evolution required of our ancestors was the ability to outrun and outwit predators long enough to...

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Titan: the moon raining plastics & flowing with lakes of liquified natural gas

Titan: the moon raining plastics & flowing with lakes of liquified natural gas

Roughly the size of the planet Mercury, Titan is the largest moon of Saturn and the second largest moon in the solar system after Jupiter’s moon Ganymede. Wrapped in a thick, frothy orange atmosphere made primarily of nitrogen and a bit of methane, Titan is the only other place besides...

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Viruses: are they alive?

Viruses: are they alive?

Sometimes, it can help to think about a topic from an objective, scientific point of view. This can help to ease anxieties surrounding the subject. With all the overwhelming influx of news centering around one subject lately, let’s take a moment to get away from Covid-19, and think about a...

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Night Blight

Night Blight

In December 2013 I wrote a piece in KCW Today called Night Blight, about light pollution in the UK. Given the results of recent research into this problem, the question is are we succeeding? According to Brett Seymoure, a behavioural ecologist at Washington university in St Louis a leading member...

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Kaboom SN2006gy Brightest Blast Ever

Kaboom SN2006gy Brightest Blast Ever

In a distant galaxy NGC 1260, some 250 million light-years away, occurred the most powerful explosion ever seen anywhere. Named SN2006gy, this supernova certainly stands apart. It was so energetic, it’s often called a hypernova or quark-nova. It was quickly observed by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and large ground based...

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Generation Mars: Should we stay, or should we go?

Generation Mars: Should we stay, or should we go?

Since ancient astronomers first looked to the heavens, man has harboured a fascination with Mars. Named for the Roman God of war, the icy red planet has ignited the human imagination for centuries. Popular culture brims with imaginings of the planet and its secrets. From ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, to Bowie’s ‘Life...

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Have you ever felt like you were being watched?

Have you ever felt like you were being watched?

Have you ever had the feeling you were being watched? This is not the work of CCTV, nor is it a delusional sense of reality a la Truman Show. This is the age of Big Data, and big data knows you. What exactly is big data? In layman’s terms, it...

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Instagram scraps ‘likes’ over mental health

Instagram scraps ‘likes’ over mental health

In a bid to tackle growing concerns over its dealing with mental health issues, instagram is rolling out a new feature to hide ‘likes’. After being rated as the worst social media for mental health in a study by The Royal Society for Public Health, Instagram is in the process...

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Venus: Our toxic twin

Venus: Our toxic twin

Last month we looked at the genesis of the Earth, and the UN’s Global assessment Report that human society is in jeopardy from the accelerating decline of the Earth’s natural life support systems. This month I think we should look at what was once upon a time considered to be...

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A state of the union for the gaming industry in 2019

A state of the union for the gaming industry in 2019

The video game industry made $108.9 billion in 2017, more than six times the profit turned by the music industry. In fact, in the UK, the BBC reports that gaming is “worth more than video and music combined” –despite the fact that it is the youngest of the three mediums. The UK is...

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