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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Astronomers, Astro-physicists and Rock Stars

We Brits are a funny bunch. Not only do our rock stars carry on performing into their dotage. Some actually sashay into alternative high-flying roles.

Take Professor Brian Cox. He started life with a group call D-Ream, which had a number 1 hit in the 1990s with "Things Can Only Get Better".

Now he presents popular scientific TV programmes about the Solar System and the universe. Currently he's hosting Stargazing Live on TV - watched by staff at NASA!

Then there's Dr Brian May. Yes, that one. The one who was with Queen. He left his academic studies to play with that band, but he returned to university in middle age and is now a respected astro-physicist. He too has appeared on the above programme.

I have to take issue with Dr May, nowever. He insists it's possible to stargaze in London.

Yes, maybe if like you one is rich enough to have a proper observatory in the roof or the garden. But trust me, on a bog standard telescope or binoculars standing in the front or back garden, you get to see the moon, the odd glimpse of Venus or Jupiter, and the lights of a distant plane.

That's if there's ever a break in the clouds...


JoJo said...

There's so much light pollution that it's really hard to see the stars in once-rural areas too. i've never been able to figure out how to use a good telescope. I can't ever find anything. I have the little scope all calibrated and lined up with what I want to magnify, then look thru the magnifying lens and it's not there.

val said...

Glad it's not just me! I have two telescopes that cost about £300 each, and some huge binoculars, but focusing wearing glasses is as impossible as focusing without them! So they never come out. Anyway, if a hair moves in the breeze, my neighbours's porch light comes on.

Sandy said...

I guess living out here on the prairie, one takes that for granted! We are blessed with no pollution(except when a farmer not too far from town decides to clean out the barn) and the stars and sky are beautiful most nights! All little kids can find "the Big Dipper" by the time they are four or five yrs. old.

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