Friday, December 26, 2008

A humble tour of astronomy

Given the plethora of sites on the web devoted to International Year of Astronomy, both professional and amateur, what is the point of yet another? Well, my intention here is to basically just provide regular short podcasts on key themes in astronomy aimed at a general audience, which are not either overly specialist or overly hyped. The IYA official websites can handle all the orchestral music and video shots from Hawaiian mountain tops, whilst I just ditch the pretensions and try my best to give a flavour of why I find the subject fascinating.

I'm an ex-professional and not one of those keen amateurs who spends every last cent on the latest computer-controlled telescope for their home observatory and I have other pastimes that prevent me from obsessing over the latest planetary configuration. In fact, if, like me, you'd like to spend a bit of time, but not too much, trying to get to grips with the subject and would love, in an ideal world, to sit out all night star-hopping, but would rather give it a go for 5 or ten minutes before nipping in for a warm drink and a good night's sleep - then you've come to the right place!

Join me as 2009 kicks off for the first of my programmes, which I aim to (heroically) produce each month. I promise you'll learn something about space, telescopes and the aesthetics of astronomy - but not too much that your head will hurt. How does that sound? Is it a deal?

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