An orange or an egg? Determining the shape of the world

29 May 2021 9:00 am

Simon Winchester follows the volatile French mission to Ecuador in 1735 to determine the shape of the Earth

Christiaan Huygens – hero of time and space

19 December 2020 9:00 am

This book, soaked like the Dutch Republic itself ‘in ink and paint’, is enchanting to the point of escapism. The…

Gazing heavenwards: the medieval monks who mapped the planetary motions

3 October 2020 9:00 am

We can probably blame George and Ira Gershwin. It was that brilliant duo who, in 1937, penned the memorable lyric…

Believing in big data is equivalent to believing in the stars

18 January 2020 9:00 am

Look up at the sky on a clear night. This is not an astrological game. (Indeed, the experiment’s more impressive…

Earth dying in five billion years I can deal with, but not a world-weary Brian Cox

1 June 2019 9:00 am

When you see the opening caption ‘4.6 billion years ago’, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re watching a programme…

The only thing that baffled Einstein was his own popularity

11 May 2019 9:00 am

On 6 November 1919, at a joint meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Society, held at London’s…

Universal appeal

26 August 2017 9:00 am

Yet another sign that we are living in very strange times: a pair of celebrities, their names made by TV,…

New light on the Sun

26 March 2016 9:00 am

The Sun is a star that many astronomers assume is only worth studying because of its averageness; it’s middle-aged and…

Why it would be absurd to sell off Radio 2 - even if it could do with a refresh

25 July 2015 9:00 am

The idea that Radio 2 should be sold off by the BBC to a commercial rival is as nonsensical as…

Pluto’s moon Charon is secretly a Charlene

25 July 2015 9:00 am

‘What about the moon Tracey?’ asked my husband facetiously when an astronomer on the wireless, talking of Pluto’s moon Charon,…

White dwarfs and neutron stars — stepping-stones to the black hole

30 May 2015 9:00 am

The idea of black holes sounds so quintessentially modern and 20th-century that it may come as a surprise to learn…

Following Galileo’s discoveries, a rugged, cratered moon is depicted (with papal approval) by Ludovico Cigoli in his ‘Assumption of the Virgin in the Pauline Chapel’

Moving heaven and earth: Galileo’s subversive spyglass

11 April 2015 9:00 am

We live in an age of astronomical marvels. Last year Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft made a daring rendezvous with the comet…