Stellar aberration

This post is a bit more technical than usual and discusses stellar aberration, the apparent movement of stars as a result of the motion of the Earth.  It is an interesting case of the application of the scientific method.  Observations were made to test a scientific theory, but unexpected results were found, which in turn… Continue reading Stellar aberration

Solar energy costs

In a previous post I talked about the advantages of solar electricity compared to other renewable source of electricity. In this post I’ll move away from my normal scientific topics and discuss the costs of small scale solar energy and how it compares with other renewables. Whats is 'the LCOE'? When comparing the relative costs… Continue reading Solar energy costs

Advantages of solar energy

As shown in the graph and table below, most renewable electricity is generated by hydroelectric power. Solar energy lies in third place behind wind. Electricity generated from renewable sources. From Our world in data (2018). The ‘Others’ category includes biofuels  (e.g. burning wood, animal and agricultural wastes), geothermal energy and wave/tidal power) Despite only being… Continue reading Advantages of solar energy

Galileo and the telescope

Telescopes are instruments which use multiple lenses to produce magnified images of distant objects. It is unclear who invented the first telescope: lenses had been widely used in Europe to correct poor eyesight since the fourteenth century and I expect that, over time, the telescope was actually invented many times by different individuals, who discovered… Continue reading Galileo and the telescope

196-an unsolved problem

For my latest post I'll move away from my usual topics of astronomy and space travel and I'll talk about an interesting unsolved problem in mathematics which is: 'Is the number 196 a Lychrel number?'. What is a Lychrel number? There is a simple mathematical operator called reverse and add where you take a number… Continue reading 196-an unsolved problem