Tag Archives | BBC Sky at Night magazine


Exploring the Dynamic Sky

It ranks among the most important images ever produced by astronomers. The Hubble eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) showed that an incredibly small patch of sky in the constellation Fornax, thought to have nothing in it, was in fact filled with thousands of distant galaxies, the earliest of which had formed within half a billion years […]

Continue Reading ·

From Planet Killer to Discoverer

Mike Brown is famous as the man who ‘demoted’ Pluto from being the Solar System’s ninth planet. Could he now have found evidence for its replacement? We spoke to him to find out. Since 1988, astronomers have detected more than 2,000 planets orbiting distant stars, and it’s a sign of how common this process has […]

Continue Reading ·

Isaac Newton; Pocket Giants

Some 300 years before Stephen Hawking wrote A Brief History of Time, an earlier holder of the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge published a book which, according to author Andrew May, proved just as fashionable to own, if not necessarily to read or understand. That book was Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica […]

Continue Reading ·
Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 17.01.27

25 Years of the Hubble Space Telescope

Since its launch on 24 April 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has taken over a million observations. These images can now be found on everything from phone cases to cinema screens. To celebrate its 25th anniversary BBC Sky at Night put together this special edition full of images from the telescope – and I helped […]

Continue Reading ·

Direct to Low-Earth Orbit

When Space Shuttle Atlantis made its final landing at the Kennedy Space Center, on 21 July 2011, NASA’s iconic Space Transportation System was already 15 years beyond its originally planned service life—thanks in part to the delayed construction of the International Space Station (ISS). Despite this significant extension, the agency did not have a successor […]

Continue Reading ·

Dealing with the Deluge

  Computers have long played an important role in astronomy. It’s just that, back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the word was originally applied to people rather than machines—specifically to the men and women who, during daylight hours, carried out repetitive calculations and measurements derived from some of the earliest photographic surveys […]

Continue Reading ·
Opening double spread of Dark Skies Recognised; showing Kilder Observatory

Dark Skies Recognised

As two more sites in northern England and Scotland earn Dark Sky status, Paul F Cockburn hears how they achieved the award. Light pollution has been a growing problem for the past century, which has seen our view of the night sky obscured by the glow of artificial lighting. One ongoing response to light pollution […]

Continue Reading ·