The Sun – you might think we’d know quite a lot about this thing already, given how important it is for the sustaining of life on Earth, and well… given just how noticeable it is in the sky. All throughout history, the Sun has represented a cornerstone in mythology, worshipped (and rightly so) by many civilisations. Over the past two weeks we’ve started to scrape away at the surface of what there is to understand about the Sun, but the simple truth is that, despite our everlasting efforts, there’s so much more yet to uncover about this mystical being.
Nebulae are one of the most beautiful wonders in the sky, a blend of colours and hues in a painting drawn upon the canvas of interstellar space. As Sherlock Holmes famously once said, ‘You see, but you do not observe.’ Today I will teach you how to not just see nebulae, but how to observe them. There will be many pretty pictures to follow, many of which will be familiar to avid stargazers.
When ancient astronomers looked up to the skies, they found comfort in knowing that the stars and the planets would remain unchanging; they were anchored foundations that represented stability in the universe… but not for long.
This totally isn’t an opportunity to list the amazing names that scientists have given telescopes (seriously though, these are actual names for cutting-edge telescopes which involve hundreds, if not thousands of scientists in collaboration and which yield a deeper understanding of our universe).
Children, gather round. I hope you’re sitting comfortably because it’s time for another of Harvey’s storytime posts. Lean back on a deckchair and take your eyes to the skies. This week, we’re exploring the hidden wonders of the universe.
A few weeks ago, myself and Yanhao partook on a school trip to a little place called Jodrell Bank. There rests one of the world’s largest radio telescopes – the Lovell Telescope, a whopping 76.2m in diameter. Now, you may be wondering, “Why do they need a 76.2m diameter telescope to listen to Classic FM? Is the sound quality really that much better?”. The answer is yes, the sound quality is a lot better, but fortunately that’s not what scientists are using the telescope for. No, at Jodrell Bank, they’re listening out for the music of the cosmos…