Blog Archives

The planet that ought not to be there

On April 7, 2014

At the end of March, the international scientific journal Nature published a paper announcing the discovery of a new dwarf planet in the outer reaches of our Solar System. This made a lot of people very excited. It also made a lot of astronomers very confused.

Forming the first objects in our solar system

On November 22, 2013

Embedded in the meteors that orbit our star are the oldest objects formed in the solar system. As the first solids to condense out of the gaseous nebula that surrounded the young Sun, their appearance is key to understanding the formation of terrestrial planets such as the Earth. Unfortunately for those wishing to unlock our […]

Why scientists need software engineers

On August 2, 2013

 I build telescopes. This is what I tell people, if they should show the slightest interest. It usually instils just enough awe and sometimes a little jealousy; astronomy is the vocational equivalent to astronaut for the vertigo-sufferer. Of course I don’t build telescopes all on my own. At times, I’ve commissioned everything from optics to […]

Australian astronomy is older than you might think

On April 4, 2013

Hello from Sydney! Welcome to my blog that will cover physics and issues affecting physicists, with an Antipodean slant. I’m a rare breed: a medical physicist turned science writer. In my clinical career I’ve done everything from plan complex radiation therapy treatments to decontaminate radioactive toilets. I arrived in the harbour city seven years ago […]