Space and science and stuff.

Side blog for science-y stuff.

Personal blog

Woop starting uni again tomorrow! Finally!


New Horizons image of Jupiter and Io

On Tuesday I am going to the largest planetarium in the world. I am very excited.


Dark Matter Distribution in the Abell 901/902 Supercluster

Astronomers assembled this photo by combining a visible-light image of the Abell 901/902 supercluster taken with the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope in La Silla, Chile, with a dark matter map derived from observations with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The magenta-tinted clumps represent a map of the dark matter in the cluster. Dark matter is an invisible form of matter that accounts for most of the universe’s mass. The image shows that the supercluster galaxies lie within the clumps of dark matter.

Hubble cannot see the dark matter directly. Astronomers inferred its location by analyzing the effect of so-called weak gravitational lensing, where light from more than 60,000 galaxies behind Abell 901/902 is distorted by intervening matter within the cluster. Researchers used the observed, subtle distortion of the galaxies’ shapes to reconstruct the dark matter distribution in the supercluster.

Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble

Fun Fact


Americans spent about $7 billion on potato chips in 2012.  We spent just under $18 million on NASA.  That’s less than half of 1% of the national budget.  

If this bothers you, you can and should write your Congressional representatives.


The Milky Way and Andromeda, From under a tree.

Source: OM3N1R (reddit)

I’d really like to organise a trip to Galloway forest park sometime during the next year, weather permitting. It’s just so difficult to organise observing trips in Scotland, the weather is so unpredictable!

Anyone on here been there before? Any advice?

I have my timetable for next year. During term 2 on Tuesdays I have a physics lecture on campus finishing at 11 and my astronomy labs, which are at the observatory 3 miles away, start at 11.

So I’m guessing that during term 1 we’ll be working on teleportation during the physics labs.


Heartening news of the day: Stanford’s Maryam Mirzakhani becomes the first woman to win the Fields Medal, the “Nobel Prize of mathematics.” In some distant galaxy, Maria Mitchell’s heart is bursting with joy.

viwan themes