Archive for the ‘Astronomy’ Category

The Sky At Night

The Sky At Night

Part of the cultural milieu for many a British person, myself included, even if it was only by his appearances on television quiz shows, amateur astronomer, author of many books, and musician, he’s composed three operas, Sir Patrick Moore was born March 4th, 1923 in Middlesex and currently resides in Sussex. He is an acknowledged expert on the moon and was sought out for his advice and knowledge and particularly his Lunar maps by space agencies in Russia and America. Chiefly known as the presenter of The Sky At Night, a long running astronomy programme on BBC television, it was first broadcast in 1957. Patrick Moore has single-handedly inspired an interest in astronomy and space science among the British public, thereby helping to spread an awareness of science in general.

Sir Patrick Moore in 1961

Sir Patrick Moore in 1961

The uplifting nobility of Sibelius’s At The Castle Gate, the first part of his Pelléas et Mélisande suite, which is used as the opening and closing theme music for the show heightens ones anticipation of the wonders very shortly to be seen and heard, at the same time causing the familiar yet exciting sensation that one will, in a few seconds. be authoritatively informed by a knowledgeable and encouraging educator. Then Patrick Moore’s presentation begins and the minutes seem to whiz by until the inevitable conclusion and Sibelius brings things to a close. But the three quarters of an hour or so between the opening and closing credits hold one spellbound by what is an unfailingly fascinating subject, as Sir Patrick enthusiastically conveys it.

Moon Map by Patrick Moore

Moon Map by Patrick Moore

Bad Astronomer Phil Plait

Bad Astronomer Phil Plait

Another must visit fun science site is Bad Astronomy created by author and astronomer Phil Plait the Bad Astronomer and champion of reality. Not only does he post great science articles but he also makes informative entries in his capacity as a tireless campaigner against the nuttier elements of society. The insanity of the anti-vaccination morons, Young Earth Creationists and the numbskulls who deny man ever landed on the moon are subjected to a healthy dose of reality and are soundly debunked by the Bad Astronomer.

Phil Plait comes across as a friendly and enthusiastic communicator who desires only that mankind continues in its adventure into realms scientific, for the benefit of all. To that end, he rightly reveals the harm that idiotic thinking and slavish devotion to senseless ideas and ideals, for which there exists not the slightest shred of evidence, can cause. Unmissable truth. It’s what the web’s for.