Monthly Archives: June 2008

Alpha Centauri

Surely any astronomer has spent at least some time wondering about Alpha Centauri. Being a tantalisingly close 4.37 light years from us, it really is our next door neighbour. The third brightest star in the sky (excluding the Sun), visible … Continue reading

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Yellow Hypergiants

Yellow hypergiant stars are pretty amazing. They’re one of the rarest types of star in the known universe, with only a handful being known in the entire Milky Way. Classified in spectral class K up to late A, these celestial … Continue reading

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Sun Kwok

We have a visitor! Tomorrow afternoon, our group sees a visit from Hong Kong University’s Professor Sun Kwok. One of the world’s leading authorities on the late stages of stellar evolution, his Interacting Stellar Winds model is the standard theory … Continue reading

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Celestial Classification

Ok, so long story short, I think the IAU are just getting ridiculous with this planet classification thing. It got tiresome some time ago. Now it’s beginning to irritate me. What’s so bad about Pluto being a dwarf planet anyway? … Continue reading

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The Martian Desert

Mars is creepy, isn’t it? The whole planet is essentially a dry butterscotch coloured desert of dunes, boulders and craters. Ice caps of water and carbon dioxide fade with the seasons, huge volcanoes loom in the southern hemisphere large enough … Continue reading

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The Catacombs

Suspicions confirmed. Underneath the science library on campus is a huge great room filled with all sorts of journals, theses and dissertations from years gone by. I had to venture into this place looking for an old copy of J. … Continue reading

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IRAF!

My laptop officially has a working copy of IRAF! Ok, so it isn’t pretty, or particularly easy to use, but it’s pretty much essential for looking at stellar spectra. So now I can do data reduction and analysis from the … Continue reading

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