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Doctor Who the Astronomer July 7, 2011

Posted by Marie in 365 Days of Astronomy, Doctor Who, The Jodcast.
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I love Doctor Who. And I love learning about our universe.  So I love these two podcasts!

Megan Argo is a professional radio astronomer, who is also a major contributor to one of my other favourite astronomy podcasts, The Jodcast.

Megan has now made two short stories available via the 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast, in which she allows the Doctor himself to explain events which happened in our universe as if he (and we!) were actually there.  Of course, the Doctor probably was there …

Anyway, do spend a few minutes to listen to these podcasts – they’re as cool as bow-ties and fezes!

Doctor Who and the Silver Spiral

Impact!

Close to the Sun, but still cold? January 3, 2011

Posted by Marie in 365 Days of Astronomy, Meteorwatch, Sun.
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I have discovered that at 7pm today (January 3rd), the Earth will be the nearest to the sun that it gets all year.

So why is it so cold??!!

I won’t even begin to explain in any detail, because I’m not capable, but thanks to the links below, I can understand that it is because up here in the frozen north, we are tilted away from the sun and being as close as we are going to be for the year doesn’t warm us up any 😦

This first link helped me understand a little, and suggests an experiment with a left-over Christmas satsuma to provide a visual aid to explain.

365 Days of Astronomy – Why winter is so cold

This one has a good image which helped me, too.

meteorwatch

2011 – a year of looking up December 31, 2010

Posted by Marie in 365 Days of Astronomy, Look up, The Jodcast.
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For most of my life, I’ve had an amateur fascination with the universe, stars, planets etc.  When I say amateur, what I actually mean is total beginner, because I have no background in science whatsoever.  You can’t count my failed attempts at school many years ago, which was the last time I ever formally tried to understand anything scientific.  I remember watching Carl Sagan’s series Cosmos on TV when I was young and being amazed by his descriptions of the vastness of our universe, and our place in it (more about Cosmos later).  I’ve held this fascination ever since, and I love watching TV programmes and listening to podcasts on this theme, even though I still don’t always understand everything!

In November 2009, I went to a live recording of The Jodcast, a fab astronomy podcast produced by astronomers based at the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank .  2010 then found me watching the BBC’s Wonders of the Solar System and catching up with myriad 365 Days of Astronomy podcasts (and others) and although often overwhelmed, still loving the experience of discovery.

Therefore, my challenge for 2011 is to feed my fascination, and to blog about this experience of discovery.  By this time next year, I want to be able to look up and know even more about what I see, understand a tiny fraction of what’s up there.  And hopefully have some fun learning!

I hope you’ll follow me on my journey.

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