Columnists

Jon Culshaw's adventures on Kepler 452b continue
 
Still on Kepler 452b, Jon experiences his first instance of exoplanetary pareidolia.
 
Jon scouts out Earth’s ‘bigger, older cousin’, Kepler 452b

Jon scouts out Earth’s ‘bigger, older cousin’, the remarkably similar Kepler 452b.

Exoplanet Excursions: October 2015

Jon retakes the helm of the Cruiser Globe, and almost immediately wishes he hadn’t.

Exoplanet Excursions: September 2015

Jon travels to a red dwarf star in Leo to view an ice giant that is slowly spiralling into its stellar host.

Exoplanet Excursions: July 2015

Jon contends with the clouds as he journeys to a Titanic gas giant in Centaurus.

On 20 March I left my spaceship, the Perihelion, in the garage and boarded an ocean-going vessel, MS Boudicca, to see the total eclipse of the Sun from the surface of planet Earth. But as the morning began under leaden skies with stinging wind and sleet, I couldn’t help feeling that I’d chosen the wrong craft.

Exoplanet Excursions: June 2015

Jon heads to what may be the most Earth-like world we know of, Gliese 677 Cc.

There’s a fascinating trinary system in the constellation of Scorpius called Gliese 677, the three stars of which orbit together around a common gravitational centre. It sounds rather graceful.

Exoplanet Excursions: May 2015

Jon pays a visit to the vast rings spinning around the brown dwarf J1407b.

There’s an intriguing star in the constellation of Centaurus, about 90 per cent the mass of the Sun. It glows at a magnitude of +12.3, so it is visible to a telescope from southern latitudes.

Exoplanet Excursions: April 2015

Jon takes his brand new spaceship on a test flight to beautiful Kepler 438b.

For this trip, I’m going to need a bigger spaceship.

Exoplanet Excursions: March 2015

What could be better than an eclipse? An eclipse with added volcanoes, obviously.

Having witnessed two glorious exostellar eclipses in recent excursions, perhaps we ought to complete the trilogy in honour of the hugely anticipated total solar eclipse that’s set to occur over the Faroe Islands on 20 March. 

Exoplanet Excursions: February 2015

Jon tracks down another alien eclipse – this time involving a mighty gas giant

As 20 March approaches I find myself thinking more and more about pristine, clear skies for nature’s most spectacular sight, the total solar eclipse that will be visible from the Faroe Islands.

Jon’s eclipse-chasing desire leads him to Piscis Austrinus for an interstellar perspective.

One of the most spectacular coincidences on Earth is the very fact that total solar eclipses take place: that the Sun is both 400 times larger than the Moon and 400 times further away from us.

 

Jon journeys to one of Pluto’s compatriots, a dwarf planet in our own Kuiper Belt

Having pushed the Cruiser Globe to its limits recently, I’m mindful to stay more local this excursion.

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