An edited version of the following article appeared in the November 2014 edition of The Geoscientist Space Oddity Could our planet, with its complex biosphere, be one of the weirdest places in the entire Universe? Such a view swims against the Copernican tide of the last half-millennium but, as I’ll argue in this feature […]
(An edited version of this post appeared in The Conversation on June 23 2014) Dire warnings of imminent man-made climate disaster are constantly in the news but predictions of the end of the world have been made throughout history and have never yet come true. Natural climate change has always been with us, whether it’s […]
Never perform a calculation unless you already know the answer. Complex calculations are prone to human error but the simplest way to know whether the resulting answer is daft is to have a rough idea of the solution before you start. That’s where “back of an envelope” calculations come in handy.
Not so much a Blog as a catalogue of the known exoplanets that are the smallest, biggest, nearest, furthest and so on. Data is largely taken from the Exoplanet Orbit Database, the Extrasolar Planet Encyclopedia and from the Open Exoplanet Catalogue although I also use published papers, NASA websites and other sources.
The issue of man made global-warming seems far removed from questions of exoplanet habitability but there is a close link. A planet whose climate is highly sensitive to greenhouse-gas changes is also a planet that responds strongly to increasing heat from its aging star; and it’s hard for such a world to remain habitable for long. […]