Sunday, 29 May 2016


I am have been watching a few World Science Festival talk shows regarding the search for Earth like exoplanets, finding out about the chemical composition of their atmospheres, how to detect if life is there as well as imaging said planets.

Of course this involves the aforementioned James Web Space Telescope, JWST, along with a follow up telescope that involves the start shade I mentioned in a previous post.

I pictured doing something very similar in my head, about targeting a start with a powerful telescope and blocking out the light so that any planets reflecting the stars light would show up optically.

I am confused how they did not think if this earlier but was likely down to having the technology. I imagine that one or more scientists had the same idea I did but had to wait until the technology was both possible in theory, then available and finally cheap enough?

An very interesting and in depth talk ...

Thursday, 26 May 2016


Every now and then when I want to speak a little about exoplanets there is always something I want to point out but which I always forgot, or at least I think I have, to mention.

I have been well aware of the fact that they have used the dimming effect of stars as their planets are an in transit in relation to our view of the stars and their planets.

I was watching this video on YouTube about Earth like exoplanets and I wondered whether or not something that keeps occurring to me gets mentioned, either by the scientists or some bright spark in the audience.

I am over 48 minutes into watching this talk and it has not occurred yet.

Checking for the dimming effect is great but it cannot rule out the existence of planets because any start you might be looking at may have its planetary orbits perpendicular, or at 90 degrees, to our view of that star and you cannot change that.

The longer it has taken for me to remember to remark about this fact the longer I have gone and the more minutes watched of some episode or other on exoplanet astronomy that it never gets mentioned.

What is exciting though is the things I am hearing about that I was not aware of. I had always found it ridiculous, even as a child, that we could not image the planets. It was always stated that we would not be able to do that and I thought this statement preposterous.

I have often spoken in discussions that with a strong enough telescope you simply need something top block out the light of the actual star itself. A tiny shade.

I then hear that they were creating something like this recently, albeit not tiny at a shade measuring ... hmm was it 30 or 100 metres across? I think it was 100?

Then is saw another short video on YouTube about them coming up with a smaller way of blocking out the stars light.

I had long known about the James Webb Telescope and it turns out there are other things in the pipeline too?!

That is very cool.

I just hope that my sporadic and unpredictable health issues do not prevent me from being around to witness this?

After all I might come back as a religious nut in my next like that has no appreciation for science and astronomy?

Perish the thought.

Thursday, 19 May 2016



I watched a very interesting programme, think it was a National Geographic one, yesterday.

It was about what would happen if a nearby star became a Neutron star and headed into our solar system, though technically it does not even have to be within it to wreak havoc.

A Neutron star is the result of a star going supernova within certain mass parameters. Does not become a brown dwarf after is red giant phase and nor does it become a black hole.

In effect it is one of the ways in which a star is dying, so is a dying star. But its mass has collapsed to such a density, hard to imagine, that it sends out two beams of material extremely high in dangerous particles that are radioactive. Think something that has the same effect as standing next to a nuclear bomb going off but the source that could be hundreds of thousands of miles away.

But the beams go in just two directions so it is possible the beams might miss us, even though a neutron star

Now the programmes itself talk to scientists while having mock ups of what would happen and makes it interesting.

There is a funny part in what happens towards the end regarding one of the ships they built you just have to watch.

I will also add that though they gather scientists and theoretically talk about the possible ways to power a spacecraft, anti-matter or nuclear, I will stress that this is for like ... now!

They also state that they suggest that there would be a 70 to 80 year margin between detection of the oncoming catastrophe and the event taking place. So what you should, or would, happen in those 75 years.

In other words, silly scientists, that they make a big case for how dangerous anti-matter would be but this is if it was to bee discovered imminently.

If, say for argument sake something like this was discovered in 15 to 25 years time ... well ... a lot could have happened technology wise between now and then and there could be come surprise major advancements in handling a material as volatile as anti-matter. Which, to be frank, is about as volatile as they come.

Of course it does not take into account what the military establishments of the world might be hiding by way of technology which could come out of the woodwork and be used?

I would state that I would be quite calm about it all and sensible and I know I would not get onto either ship! And that's OK. Lol.

Still an interesting programme and the first one I ever put in my favourites...

Tuesday, 10 May 2016


Well this is getting both extremely interesting and exciting.

It would appear that the Kepler telescope is now speeding up in its discovery of Earth sized worlds inhabiting other solar systems?

NASA just announced the largest number of discovered worlds, known as Exo planets (extra solar planets), in one announcement than they have since the searches started.

The level of increase is quite something and one cannot help but wonder what the next few announcements will be like?

Then in 2020 we have the James Webb Telescope going into orbit, fingers crossed and provided there are no further delays?

My mind simply liquefies when I try to predict what, or precisely how many, discoveries would have been announced by the time the JWT is in orbit?!

One hundred more Earth sized planets announced in one go. Now just waiting for the spectral interferometer announcements that simply have to come with ever greater detail?

It's always been a theory of mine that life would be found among the stars we could see with our naked eye. But that life that had developed as far as we had our slightly further might be a little further afield than what our eyes can detect without help.

That's always been how I thought it would turn out, even as a child. I never had any doubts life was out there and even had a few ideas of life would have evolved.

I even started writing a sci-fi novel that I managed to plan out over four books. It's rather infamous among friends and family that I reached for chapters in then my life was turned upside down and kept being turned at regular intervals that I never got back to working on.

I still have those five chapters I did write.

I just never got around to adding to them in any way, shape or form. I did, however, make some rough sketches of the spacecraft in the stories.

Maybe one day I will be in a position to go back to them and get them finished?

One day.

Hmm, maybe by 2020? Lol, yup that would be kind of fitting ... provided the James Webb Telescope goes to that year and it works?

Once again I have to cross my f.... oh wait? Better crossed my toes?!

Kepler telescope discovers 100 Earth-sized planets -

Saturday, 7 May 2016


This was my first attempt at anything like this with any kind of photography equipment.

But after realising you could actually see Jupiter's Galilean moons with the naked eye, when your really lucky and the sky is very clear, not tonight though, I longed to do this.

I am sure I can do much better in the future in a few weeks when I have learnt what I need to and acquired a remote control for the shutter release.

This is using my Nikon Coolpix P900.

Yes just the camera on its own, I tried using the Fireworks setting!

Was a quick rush job to be honest, was laying on my bed, remembered Jupiter was about, checked the skies through my window, threw on some shorts, insect repellent and ran down stairs!

I am waiting for the day we see our first images of EXOPLANETS! I mean real images where you can make out the finer details, or some, and the colour.

Yeah you just know it is coming, sooner rather than later I hope. Looking forward to seeing what the James Webb Telescope can do!

Bugged me that I was so tired and it was so late. I wanted to mess around with the setting but due to some branches I was having difficulty getting it in shot and was right up against the front wall to my house!

I will do some research and film it later in the night, around midnight I think would be good in the next couple of days?

Hmm, have to check to see which moon is which?

Just imagine for a moment ... life could exist on, Io, one of those little bright points in the video?

You would never have thought this possible twenty years ago, filming another world that could have life on it from something you can buy in your local store?

Oh, well OK , yes PC World in Enfield did not have this P900 ... but I could have ordered it to be delivered to that store. Instead a got on a bus, climbed some horrible stairs and collapsed against a wall toying with the idea of phoning '999' just so I can get my hands on this camera as soon as possible!

Oh end be able to check the box for tell-tale seals.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016


I have just read a mind blowing report on a solar system outside our own.

In fact they found something that's not only way beyond what I thought was possible currently but way, way beyond my own imagination. This was the distance the planet was from its parent star. When I state the distance and compared it to our solar system please remember that this actually does orbit it's parent star.

This is not a discovery showing signs of my theory that there us an abundance of star-less planets roaming interstellar space. Quite possibly intergalactic space too.

The star is one trillion kilometres from its parent star. To put this into some perspective this, as states in the report, is three times the distance from its star than Pluto is from our own sun!

It's also a fair bit more massive than Jupiter and at a guesstimate of 12 to 15 times the mass of our own largest gas giant calling it a Super Jupiter really does not do it justice.

If they had used Ancient Greek mythology instead of Ancient Roman you could have called it Kronos?

Hmm I wonder if Ancient Roman mythology has an equivalent of the father of the Greek Gods, Zeus, Neptune and Hades? Probably not, have to remember to look it up.

Hmm maybe for planets outside out own system they could use Ancient Greek mythology for the names along with a letter, parent star linked, and number?

Now despite the fact that they are finding planets ... sorry dwarf planets and possibly a proper planet further out than Pluto I never imagined finding anything at half that distance from the sun at all. Not even one third the distance. Not still orbiting the sun at any rate.

It turns out they have found several planets at an unimaginable distance from their parent stars but this is by far the furthest found this far. I somehow missed these other discoveries, odd because I use news apps.

I think I might look up a news app specific to astronomy, cosmology and astrophysics?

Good to see these discoveries coming in and seems bordering on thick and fast.

This will just increase over the next year or two and then, I now read, the long awaited James Webb Telescope will get launched.

The James Webb Telescope is not only the successor to the Hubble Telescope but one that will itself located extra solar planets, or planets outside our own solar system.

Maybe by then it may get one of its first jobs at looking at our ninth planet, if it exists and if they have pinpointed it's location by the time the scope is in orbit? There is certainly plenty of time for them to scan the heavens for this elusive wanderer of the outer reaches of the solar system.

It's odd as I'm beginning to feel that astronomy may be about to enter a golden age, or at least new one.

What with the New Horizons mission to Pluto along with the discover of these extra solar planets, stars of masses of 150 times that of our own sun and the James Webb Telescope I think many, many discoveries are just around the corner.

Solar systems with two dozen planets or more and that we can actually see? Oh just how cool does that sound?! :)

It's odd because I feel that computers and more specifically computer chips are about to enter a new golden age later in the year.

The lithography of three main chips is going to shrink considerably from 28 nanometres to 14 and 16 nanometres and unlike the long wait of five years or more fit this one they are already predicting 10 nanometres and now 7 and even 5 nanometres and ask of these by 2020.

These are for one set of CPUs along with two GPUs, Central Processing Unit and Graphics Processing Unit, along with the possibility of the graphics chips being able to be out to the task of normal committee workloads along with the Central Processing Units? This is known as HSA. These chips going into computers, servers and workstations at home or in the laboratories over time will make some big changes.

Many more things will become possibly over the next few years.

Hmm starting to wonder if any other of my areas might start to appear going into a golden age? I would settle for silver and even bronze!


Hopefully a couple of other blogs I write might bring in yet another golden age about the same time, or within the next four years at least?

I feel pretty confident that I can!


Astronomers discover largest solar system -

Thursday, 21 January 2016


Nice to see a story in the list that does not involve one on a certain British astronaut.

Not only have I seen the first, out one of, space exploration report that does not involve Tim Peake but it's a real shocker.

Well... to be honest it's one I've expected all my life up until they started spotting many other Pluto like planets. Sorry, dwarf planets. Once they found the fourth large dwarf planet that resided in the Kuiper Belt I had given up hope.

I had read and deep in the back of my mind loosely stored several reports for a case of a much larger body out there that were sound in their theorising.

I had remembered, on reading these reports, of claims that something perturbed the natural paths of distant objects in space.

Well now it seems that they have discovered the perturbed paths of enough objects to theorise that there is indeed not only another planet of some kind but a much larger one too.

An artist impression of this ninth planet have emerged with something looking like Neptune but darker.

Funny how they still do this despite how much Pluto shocked everyone.

I also wonder about some reporting of a gas giant planet?

Maybe it's possible the the pressure on a gas giant to some degree prevents said gases from being frozen? Like that on other Kuiper Belt bodies?

It's a very exciting piece of reporting and I hope that somehow they manage to spot it by telescope in the not too distant future.

I've also been of the belief that there exists planets between stellar systems without an orbit to any particular stellar object. In fact I've shared thought the universe is littered with them and think the discovery of this fact may well partly answer a long outstanding puzzle in astronomy. That of the ratio of matter in the universe, which is not quite right.

Now when I learned many years ago about where elements in the periodic table come from I realised that the planets were formed by a different star other than the sun.

In which case there must be many more out there if the sun was able to capture all that it did?

As it is being discovered that many other stellar systems are home to their own planets this is helping my long held theory.

I also had always theorised that most of the stars had their own planets. This was when you were considered a nut-job for thinking more than a few percent had planets. In fact I think it was once believed that none of the visible stars had any planets.

Today the universe is showing the narrow minded scientists that both stars and planets exist, or even exist in relation to reach other, where it was believed to be impossible. Stars measuring 150 times the mass of our sun and Super Jupiters very close to their parent star.

I also wonder what they will name these interstellar planets of they ever discovered them? Pluto being demoted the way it was does not bode well fit them being called planets.

But not being classed as planets will quite literally turn the very naming convention on its own head!

This is because and provided memory serves me correctly, the word 'planet' means wanderer due to the visible planets path across the night sky. In other words different to the stars.

Well I don't know about you but that literal term would be an exact match for homeless planets wandering interstellar space? The Kuiper Belt objects paths not following the elliptical plane, or that of the rest of the planets, also fits this naming convention.

Well all except for those that recently got to decide what a planet actually is.

In fact I think it's safe to say that of there was any argument it was to give a new name to all those currently classed as planets. Because now we understand them they have long since ceased to be the wanderers that they once were.

Wasn't much of a debate as far as I can tell. Lol.

Still I look forward to reading further reports on this new body and how it is much sooner rather than later.

Telescopes have progressed so far in recent times that you have to wonder, along with hope, that it will indeed be sooner rather than later?

Fingers crossed.

Case made for 'ninth planet' -