Celestial Classics: Ceres

Ceres is, like Vesta, a hunk-of-stuff in the asteroid belt that generally falls into the dwarf-planet/minor-planet category. I think, more than Vesta, Ceres is planetised due to its closer orbit to the sun and is the largest object in the main asteroid belt. Indeed it is often considered a proto-planet, essentially a planetary embryo, givingContinue reading “Celestial Classics: Ceres”

Celestial Classics: Vesta

Vesta. No, not what every self-respecting beige-suit wearer from the 70s passed for exotic food, and not a box of matches. Vesta is an asteroid in the asteroid belt (that bit of rocky stuff mainly between Jupiter and Mars’ orbits), the second largest after Ceres, who we will almost certainly talk about later. It isContinue reading “Celestial Classics: Vesta”

Celestial Classics: Introduction

After considering writing an article about ancient astronomy, my cursory research turned up something quite amazing. You won’t believe this, but despite the fact that they didn’t have organised scientific bodies, specific, focussed research grants or even basic telescopy, ancient astronomy was bollocks. In fact just about the only advantage they have over us theseContinue reading “Celestial Classics: Introduction”

The Importance of Perseverance

I’m not talking about in real life. I mean, perseverance has many important uses in real life, if you wish to undergo trials, tribulations and challenges, anyway. If you want an easy life and to not care by all means pass it up, it inevitably leads to suffering. No, I am talking about NASA’s latestContinue reading “The Importance of Perseverance”

Bumbler’s Guide: So You Think You Want a Telescope?

Ya probably don’t. It’s not that nobody wants one, they’re awesome. They’re also the single biggest frustration and disappointment in astronomy in terms of expectation versus reality.

The Moon

Everyone has that overly needy friend, the one who desperately clings to you because they’re so socially inept that they need the protection of another individual. I should know, he’s me. At the same time, that friend absorbs a constant stream of meteorite strikes that actually protect the other friend, but they still think you’re annoying even though they love you – in a way. That’s the Moon. I’m the Moon.

Orion

There are warriors, kings, beasts and myths in our skies. If that kind of thing is your bag then I urge you to delve into Ancient Egyptian religion, because the whole thing is basically one elaborate star chart, it’s glorious. We in the so-called ‘Western World’, though, inherited most of ours from the Greeks, viaContinue reading “Orion”

Bumbler’s Guide to Astronomy 2

RULE 2: SPACE IS CONFUSINGLY BIG, AND REALISING THIS IS LIKELY TO CHANGE YOU. I wouldn’t usually begin with an introduction. I am the kind of person who believes you should confidently integrate and flow your words such that they do not, necessarily, need subheadings. The thing is, gazing at space is weird, and makesContinue reading “Bumbler’s Guide to Astronomy 2”

The Ignorant and Bumbling Beginner’s Guide to Looking at things in Space, from Earth, With Eyes

Confused about stargazing? Not sure where to start? Karl Anthony Mercer explains stargazing from a beginner’s perspective. I am Karl Anthony Mercer and what do I know about astronomy, stargazing and all things cosmic? Nothing. Nada. Zero. Fuck all! Well, that’s not strictly speaking true. I know a few things. Space is huge. Not hugeContinue reading “The Ignorant and Bumbling Beginner’s Guide to Looking at things in Space, from Earth, With Eyes”

Why Mars, anyway?

Some people love Mars. I am not one of them. If you ask me what my favourite planet is, it’s definitely Saturn. It’s massive and floaty and has a huge set of gorgeous rings. Also, it swallowed an entire satellite, which is metal as fuck. Has Mars ever done that? Thought not. (Although landing onContinue reading “Why Mars, anyway?”