Author Archives: telescoper

Social Physics & Astronomy

When I give popular talks about Cosmology,  I sometimes look for appropriate analogies or metaphors in television programmes about forensic science, such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation which I watch quite regularly (to the disdain of many of my colleagues and friends). Cosmology is methodologically similar to forensic science because it is generally necessary in…Read More…

Last days on the Ice

Originally posted on SPIDER on the Ice:Four of the last five of the SPIDER crew– Don, Ed, Sasha, and I– are slated to leave the Ice tomorrow morning. That means this is probably my last blog post– at least until SPIDER 2! It has been an incredible few months, but I can’t say I’m…Read More…

The Dormouse

Just spent an extremely enjoyable Saturday morning on the Sussex University campus for one of our Applicant Visit Days; there’ll be several more of these occasions over the next few months and I only hope we have such glorious weather for the others! I thought I’d celebrate the fact that it all went well by…Read More…

  • Posted in Uncategorized
  • Tagged Humphrey Lyttelton, Jazz, Keith Christie, NFJO, Royal Festival Hall, The Dormouse, Wally Fawkes

Graduation Engagement

Yesterday I took part in the Winter Graduation ceremony for students in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) at the University of Sussex; as Head of School it was my very pleasant duty to read out the names of the graduands as they passed across the stage at the Brighton Dome, where the…Read More…

  • Posted in Uncategorized
  • Tagged Education, graduation, The University of Sussex

Warmer and wetter. But not as wet as I thought.

Originally posted on Protons for Breakfast Blog:The Global Mean Temperature Anomaly compared to the average during the years 1951 to 1980. The data shows that 2014 was the hottest year on record. A link to the data source is shown at the end of this post. Last week I wrote about how 2014 was…Read More…

Je Suis Charlatan

This week’s Private Eye cover is spot-on about the hypocrisy of certain political leaders whose professed support free speech in France differs markedly from what goes on in their own country…Read More…

  • Posted in Uncategorized
  • Tagged Charlie Hebdo, Free Speech, politics

Andromeda in High Resolution

This afternoon I gave three hours of lectures on the trot, so I’m now feeling more than a little knackered. Before I head home for an early night, though, I thought I’d share this amazing video produced by the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Survey (or PHAT, for short), which is a Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Multi-cycle…Read More…

  • Posted in Uncategorized
  • Tagged Andromeda Galaxy, astronomy, HST, hubble space telescope, M31, Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury, PHAT,


“She can’t be unhappy,” you said, “The smiles are like stars in her eyes, And her laughter is thistledown Around her low replies.” “Is she unhappy?” you said– But who has ever known Another’s heartbreak– All he can know is his own; And she seems hushed to me, As hushed as though Her heart were…Read More…

  • Posted in Uncategorized
  • Tagged Poetry, Sara Teasdale, Snowfall

Cosmology – Confusion on a Higher Level?

I’ve already posted the picture below, which was taken at a conference in Leiden (Netherlands) in 1995. Various shady characters masquerading as “experts” were asked by the audience of graduate students at a summer school to give their favoured values for the cosmological parameters (from top to bottom: the Hubble constant, density parameter, cosmological constant,…Read More…

I wish I knew how it would feel to be free..

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  • Posted in Uncategorized
  • Tagged I Wish I knew How it would feel to be free, Jazz, Nina Simone
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