Monthly Archives: October 2017

Pythagorean Astronomy: Gravity and Light

[Cross posted from the Cardiff Physics Outreach blog]

Artist’s impression of the collision of two neutron stars. Image credit: NSF/LIGO/SSU/A.Simonnet

On 16th October a huge team of astronomers announced to the world that they had detected, for the first time, gravitational waves and light from the same event. That event was the collision of two neutron stars in a galaxy around 130 million light year away. The signal was first detected by the LIGO and Virgo gravitational wave detectors, and less than two seconds later by the Fermi gamma ray satellite.

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Pythagorean Astronomy: Cassini’s Grand Finale

[Cross-posted from the Cardiff Physics Outreach blog]

Cassini at Saturn. Image credit: NASA

The 15th of September marked the Cassini spacecraft’s final plunge into Saturn’s gaseous atmosphere. This grand finale marked then end of a 20 year journey, 13 of which were spent orbiting Saturn, studying the ringed planet and its extended family of moons. Here in Cardiff, Dr Emily Drabek-Maunder has been closely following Cassini, and working with some of its data. This seemed like an ideal time to gather Emily’s thoughts on the remarkable mission. Continue reading