Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The 10 weirdest physics facts, from relativity to quantum physics

All the matter that makes up the human race could fit in a sugar cube
Atoms are 99.9999999999999 per cent empty space. As Tom Stoppard put it: "Make a fist, and if your fist is as big as the nucleus of an atom, then the atom is as big as St Paul's, and if it happens to be a hydrogen atom, then it has a single electron flitting about like a moth in an empty cathedral, now by the dome, now by the altar."
If you forced all the atoms together, removing the space between them, crushing them down so the all those vast empty cathedrals were compressed into the first-sized nuclei, a single teaspoon or sugar cube of the resulting mass would weigh five billion tons; about ten times the weight of all the humans who are currently alive.
Incidentally, that is exactly what has happened in a neutron star, the super-dense mass left over after a certain kind of supernova.

How To Choose A Beginner Telescope

How To Choose A Beginner Telescope

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Welcome to the brand new SAAO Website

Welcome to the brand new South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) Website

This site is the first phase of an exciting revitalisation of our web presence.

Future plans include multilingual content, real-time upload of event happenings, etc.

Please enjoy your visit.

KMTnet Site Live View - Sutherland, South Africa

KMTnet Site Live View - Sutherland, South Africa

"Journey into the Universe"

Source: CCTV
"Journey into the Universe" (working title 'Dark Matter') on CCTV
 This is a 30 minute doccie I made for Faces of Africa on Chinese TV earlier this year.

The film follows radio astronomer Nadeem Oozeer and cosmologist Bruce Bassett as they journey to the SKA site in Carnarvon, in order to understand how the Square Kilometre Array telescope will shed light on mysteries of the Universe such as its origins, Dark Matter and Dark Energy.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Asteroid 1998QE2 Fly-by - SAA Observatory

On May 31, 2013, asteroid 1998 QE2 passed by Earth, at a distance no closer than about 5.8 million kilometers, or about 15 times the distance between Earth and the Moon. The asteroid, which was discovered on the 19th August 1998, by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) programme in the US, is thought to be about 2.7 kilometers long. It is not a threat to Earth however, as astronomers are certain that the asteroid will pass by rather uneventfully. Although the asteroid will not be visible with the naked eye as it will be too faint, it will be visible using a small telecope.

For more information visit

Sunday, 2 June 2013

1998 QE2 Close aproach

And there she goes! Asteroid 1998 QE2 video captured by Jonathan Bradshaw (Astrojunk) complete with meteor and satellite zooming past! Nabbed 31st May during closest approach. -Suzy.