Archive for October, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Cool Club!

Late last week was my first theory lesson at the local astronomy club and I must say that I was impressed.

Apart from earning how to calculate distances and angles and other cool stuff that helps us find our way around the universe the four of us who were there learned how to calculate ” how long the sun still has to burn before it dies” , which is between 7.4 and 12 billion years depending upon how you factor in different unknowns.

We also learned that the power output of the sun is equal to about 4×10 to the power of 15, meaning its like four hundred million billion nuclear power stations! Now that’s pretty powerful.

Thanks our tutor “Didier”  who made it all easy to understand – even though he does speak very fast.  You can checkout Didier’s blog (in French) here.

Oh yeah I nearly forgot. That the words billion and trillion mean different things in different countries (a billion in the US is a thousand million, whereas in the UK and France its a million million. A trillion in the US is a thousand billion but in Europe is generally a billion billion) – confused? You should be! Fortunately it’s simple to remedey by using a standard scientific notaion.

Till later

R

PostHeaderIcon Studying Astronomy

Apologies for the lack of posts this week, the kids had loads of homework and stuff so no time for idle blogging!

So here’s the scoop. I just enrolled on an astronomy course by distance learning with Liverpool John Moores University Astrophysics Research Institute. Checkout this link http://www.astro.livjm.ac.uk/courses/distance.shtml

Now the theory is sorted I am off to research telescopes for the practical FUN bit.

Que the “geek” comments from family and friends – but that’s cool I am thick skinned, and anyway they are only jealous :)

Till net time.
R