Entries tagged "astronavigation"

Astronavigating with the BBC

2014-01-07

UPDATE: The piece I did with Mark Thompson was broadcast on BBC Stargazing Live on BBC2 last night. It will be available on iPlayer for a for a short time. Inevitably TV is short of time, so it ended up being a very brief introduction to some ideas. For those who are interested, below is a much more detailed explanation of the nuts and bolts of what happened on that boat that night. The following piece was first published in Navigation News: Astronavigating with the BBC It was cold…

Astro Photo Quiz

2012-01-05

This really is one of the best astronomical photographs I have ever come across. It is amazing even before you notice that the sea is glowing with bioluminescent algae.Congratulations Sim on taking this fantastic photograph and allowing me to share it and thanks Mark for sending it my way.To celebrate this great pic, I thought a little quiz would be fun. Or to be more precise, several shades of the same question...To make this more interesting I'm going to give you the opportunity to test yourselves at the level you feel most comfortable with. Anyone who has been on my…

Astronavigation and Devastation

2010-08-06

My thanks to William Goble for bringing my attention to a extraordinary piece of navigation history.Although standard practice in aerial navigation at the time, it is now remarkable to consider that the most powerful weapon in the history of warfare was guided using the stars. The Enola Gay dropped its atomic bomb payload on Hiroshima after an 1800 mile flight where the aircraft's position was checked using the stars. From the Guardian article:'Van Kirk's role was navigator: "We did things the old-fashioned way: celestial navigation, telling your position by the stars. We had a dome up top of the…

Lion King Astronavigation

2009-02-09

Reading the kids their bedtime story is one of the great escapist tactics. Being transported to worlds filled with Power Rangers and Megazords, or preferably something more 'Winnie-the-Pooh-like' is a pretty good way of switching off for the day.Occasionally the tactic backfires. When the stories become deeply mythological it can take me closer to one aspect of my work. Last night the Lion King started to get a bit celestial...Mufasa looked up at the starry sky and said, "The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars. So whenever you feel alone,…