Light pollution and the fight for darker skies

When was the last time you saw a starry sky? Last night? A week ago? If you live in a big city, odds are it wasn’t recently. A few hundred years ago, before the industrial revolution and the plague of light pollution, things were different. Anyone could look up at the sky at night and […]

Heaven’s Above! Handover interview

Heavens Above! is the astronomy section of the Sci@StAnd site. This month, we see the handover of this section from the current author John Weaver to the new author, Kate Gould. So Kate, tell me a bit about yourself: Well first off, I’m a first year here at St Andrews and like a lot of […]

From Europe to Europa – in search of life

From the earliest astronomers to the space race of the late 21st century, space exploration has always had one question in mind: is there life elsewhere in the universe? Although numerous exoplanets (planets located outside of our solar systems) offer habitable zones, scientists at ESA and NASA are looking a bit closer to home. Europa, […]

March 2016 – The James Webb Space Telescope: Our New Eyes in the Sky

Heavens Above! is the astronomy section of the Sci@StAnd website, updated each month to highlight a particular phenomenon in the night sky. Last month, we examined the origin of our nearest cosmic neighbour, the Moon. In this issue, we will discuss the formal successor to Hubble, the James Webb Space Telescope. 2018 will mark the […]

February 2016 – The History of Our Moon

Heavens Above! is the astronomy section of the Sci@StAnd website, updated each month to highlight a particular phenomenon in the night sky. Last month, we examined the lives of violent galaxies. In this issue, we will discover the origin of our nearest cosmic neighbour, the Moon. Everyone is familiar with the Moon. Its colours and […]

January 2016 – Violent Galaxies

Heavens Above! is the astronomy section of the Sci@StAnd website, updated each month to highlight a particular phenomenon in the night sky. Last month, we examined some of the largest stars in our galaxy. In this issue, we will discuss the most violent acts of galaxies. When we peer into the vastness of space, we […]

November 2015 – The Largest Stars in Our Galaxy

Heavens Above! Heavens Above! is the astronomy section of the Sci@StAnd website, updated each month to highlight a particular phenomenon in this month’s night sky. Last month, we discussed the mystery of dark energy and how it shapes our universe. In this issue, we will discover the largest stars known to exist. When we look […]

Shine: St Andrews Celebrates the International Year of Light

In December 2013 the UN General Assembly announced that 2015 is the International Year of Light and Light Based Technologies. [1] There are over 85 countries involved and more than 100 partners from these, committed to developing this initiative. This program was set up in order to celebrate innovations in light science, as well as […]

October 2015 – The Mystery of Dark Energy

Heavens Above! Heavens Above! is the astronomy section of the Sci@StAnd website, updated each month to highlight a particular phenomenon in this month’s night sky. Last month, we profiled three prominent astronomers of the Renaissance and their discoveries. In this issue, we will discuss the mystery of ‘dark energy’ and how we believe it exists.  […]

Water on Mars – what is the significance?

Yesterday (28th September 2015), Jim Green, the director of planetary science, confirmed that “under certain circumstances, liquid water has been found on Mars”. But what does this mean in terms of science, the habitability of Mars, and humanity’s future with the red planet? What did NASA find? Firstly, let’s discuss what NASA has found on […]

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