Yet another year zooms past as we tip-toe precariously into 2018, in nervous anticipation of what the year bears and what surprises might be awaiting us. At this time of year, it becomes customary to look back and reflect on the year gone by; the good and bad experiences, the people that have had an influence on your life, the skills and knowledge gained, the goals achieved or narrowly missed. No matter where you stand and what you may be feeling, have comfort in knowing that we have all arrived here together, as fellow humans of the this little blue planet. I think it’s safe to say that we are all just as confused about this whole life thing as the next person. Here at the Nexus we hope that through our weekly scientific posts we are contributing our part to help understand this odd universe we live in just that tiny bit better.
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).