Universe Guide

Universe Guide Blog Articles Archive 10

Astronomy vs. Astrology28/03/2015 18:00

Someone recently said of me that I was into astrology when he actually meant astronomy and I had to correct him. I thought I`d explain it here for those who are interested. Astrology is the study of the twelve or thirteen constellations or as they are more commonly known, starSigns of the Zodiac that are supposed to indicate what the future lies for you. I say twelve or thirteen because in the whole, its twelve but some see there being thirteen, the thirteenth is Ophiuchus. What constitutes a Zodiac sign is a constellation that appears when the sun goes down of an evening. The Zodiac periods are for when astrology was first invented however as our solar system moves round the milky way, the periods are out of sync which is why there is a thirteenth sign.

Astronomy is the study of the Stars, the planets and everything that is out there, to discover what we don`t know. Astronomy allows us to look into the future but not in the same way as Astrology does, i.e. on a non-personal level, e.g. see what stars might go supernova. Astronomy also allows us to look into the past, see the evidence of The Big Bang, the beginning of the universe, the widely recognised theory of how the Universe started. When we look at Stars light years away, we are looking at how things were years ago, for example, when we look at Rigil Kentaurus which is about 4 light years away in the constellation of Centaurus, we are looking at it as it was four years ago. Rigil Kentaurus is better known as Alpha Centauri, the second closest star to Earth after the Sun. Astronomy is also but not limitied to looking for Aliens and Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) which can harbor life like ours. Astrology is just limited to the Zodiac signs whereas Astronomy is so vast. Astrology does use the paths of the planets such as Jupiter and Saturn to determine what the fortune holds but they don`t study the planets themselves.

There`s no harm in looking reading about your star sign, I do it whenever I can, hoping the star sign says you will win the Lottery. If the star sign for Taurus said you`ll win the lottery and every Taurian will be rubbing their hands with glee but astrology won`t apply to everyone. If it did say a Taurian would win, there`s nothing to say a Libran or a Scorpion wouldn`t also win. Astrology also guides their followers to who they are best matched with. Astrologers group the Zodiac into one of four elemental groups and within those groups, people are best suited with being of the same type. (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) . Water Signs ( Cancer, Scorpius, Pisces). Earth Signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricornus) and Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius)

Cosmology and Astrophysics are other terms that apply to Astronomy and nothing to do with Astrology. Its hard to get a definitive idea of what the difference is of Astronomy and Cosmology is, when looking at inspiriation, there is a blurred separator between the two and hard to put into words. Astronomy, Cosmology and Astrophysics is all about looking at the fundamentals of space, what is our there, why things happen etc.


New James Bond Trailer for Spectre Released28/03/2015 17:12

The first official trailer for the new James Bond film `Spectre` has been released. The story follows James Bond as he tracks down a mysterious organisation called Spectre after receiving clues from his past. James` mission takes him from Mexico to Austria then Rome, Italy and Morocco. Although the order of the countries that Daniel Craig will visit as James Bond is not certain, the only thing certain is that he will start in Mexico during a festival known as `Day of the Dead`. The festival is normally held around 31st October, Halloween to the rest of the Christian world.

The film marks the return of Spectre, the terrorist organisation that was headed up Ernst Stavro Blofeld who wants to start World War 3 between the UNITED STATES and Russia. Whilst Stavro never got into space unlike James Bond in Moonraker, he wasn`t averse to using space technology such as in You Only Live Twice to further his aims. Whilst there is no space in this film, there might be subtle space references like there was in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

The film has continuity with the other films where Vauxhall Cross, the Headquarters of M.I.6. is still damaged and marks the return of Mr White, the leader of Quantum, the criminal organisation that appeared in the first two Daniel Craig Bond films but disappeared in Skyfall.

Spectre is just one of four spy films that is due out in 2015, the others being Kingsman, Spooks - The Greater Good and Mission Impossible V - Rogue Nation. Spectre is the latest in the long line of 007 movies that the other films will have to catch up.

James Bond`s Spectre Film Trailer


Ocean on Mars25/03/2015 17:09

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (N.A.S.A.) have released a paper this month caclulating how much water there was once on Mars. Their calculations have been to say that there was once an ocean bigger than the Arctic Ocean on Earth. The picture below is an artists impression of what the Ocean might have looked like covering the northern area of the planet. It doesn`t look much but had the water stayed around, there might`ve been life like there is on our Planet Earth instead of the dead lifeless planet it is now. Nasa believe the water could`ve been at least a mile deep at points. The new estimate is based on detailed observations made at the European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope in Chile, and the W.M. Keck Observatory and NASA Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii. With these powerful instruments, the researchers distinguished the chemical signatures of two slightly different forms of water in Mars++++--½++----¼+++ atmosphere. One is the familiar H2O. The other is HDO, a naturally occurring variation in which one hydrogen is replaced by a heavier form, called deuterium. More information can be read at their news release. 1

Ocean on Mars


Eclipse-Mania Hits Europe20/03/2015 18:45

The first total Solar eclipse to take place in Europe since 11th August 1999 was marred by a lot of cloud. Those that did manage to see something was in for a treat. The only land places that was able to view totality of the Eclipse was the Faroe Islands and the Svalbard Islands in the Arctic Circle. Those who had travelled to the Faroe Islands were slightly disappointed as there was cloud covering their view. Across United Kingdom, people were able to view the Eclipse but those in the capital London were out of luck due to clouds.

The next major total solar eclipse to occur is the Eclipse that will cover the United States and is being billed as the Great American Eclipse which will take place on Monday 21st August 2017. Those in Ireland and the United Kingdom will see the tail end of the eclipse where it the sun will be obscured by about 40%, nowhere near where it was obscured this time. The American Eclipse will affect nearly the whole country with varying degrees. Those in the North (Boston) way will get 70% totality and those in Miami about 80%. Those in Nashville and Kansas City for example will get the best views of the Eclipse.

The next European Total Eclipse will occur on August 12th 2026 where Totality will be through Spain this time including Barcelona. Given when it is, August, it is expected that weather will be good for it and not cause problems like it did this time. The United Kingdom and France along with Spain will get a good view. However after that date, the next one is not expected in Europe until 2090.

The picture below was taken by Colin in Birmingham.

Eclipse of the Sun seen from Birmingham


Supermoon, I saw you standing alone...17/03/2015 19:34

Ok, the actual words are `Blue Moon, I saw you standing along`, I just thought I`d do a play on the song. Not only do we have an eclipse this Friday for those in Europe but we also have a Supermoon. A Supermoon is when the moon comes closest to the Earth and therefore appearing much bigger and brighter than it would otherwise do. So after the event, in the evening, look at the moon, it should be bigger and brighter, that is if its not cloudy. As for what a Blue Moon is, it refers to a second full moon in a Gregorian Calendar Month.


Elder Scrolls has gone Unlimited17/03/2015 19:11

The Elder Scrolls Online game has now gone Free-To-Play after only less than a year at being subscription based. The game has also gone up to being rated 18 and if you`re are returning to the game, you will be asked that you are ok with that. You`ll need to buy the game if you`ve not already bought it but then how much and when you pay is up to you. You can buy a horse from the store straight away if you are willing to pay for one, no need to level up to a medium level to get one.

The Races are the same as they were before, no additional ones, and there`s a very limited number of classes, four that can be played but at least there`s no Pandarens. Graphic quality is much higher in this game than in World of Warcraft. It does contain everything you would expect from a MMO. The game keeps the same look and feel as Skyrim but on a more massive multi-player scale. On the European servers, there are no language specific realms so chat can contain multiple languages.

Tamriel Unlimited Launch Trailer


The Eclipse this Friday 20th, March 201514/03/2015 10:13

This Friday 20th March, there will be a Total Solar eclipses that we will be visible across Northern Africa, Europe and Russia. How much of the sun will be eclipsed is dependant on where in that area you will be. If you are situated in the Faroe Islands then the Sun will be totally eclipsed by the Moon. The GIF at N.A.S.A.`s will show where`s affected by the Solar Eclipse and by what degree.

In London, providing the weather is good, it is expected to be about 80-90% eclipsed. Even though it is only 80-90%, it will provide a spectacle to see. Unlike at 100%, the sky will not go dark. People in Paris, Berlin and Madrid should all being about so see part of the Eclipse. Looking at the Sun even for a short time and even when eclipsed can cause blindness. It is recommended that you buy special glasses to see the eclipse to protect your eyes. The "Sky at Night" magazine are giving away a free pair of solar glasses, if the magazine doesn`t have them, ask for them when you buy.

If on the other hand, you need more, you can buy them at reputable outlets. The ones I`ve bought to watch with come from Eclipse Glasses and they come in packs of 5+. The only negative thing I can say about them is that they got sent via 2nd class post. They`ve been inundated by requests so get in quick although it may be too late now. I`ve not been paid for mentioning them and have no connections to them, there are other providers out there. 3d Images look like a trading name of Eclipse Glasses. First Light Optics would seem to have sold out.

If you have a telescope or binoculars, do not look at the Sun, it will burn your retinas. If you have special filters then they can be used but not with ordinary filters, you`d need to ask a professional and not chance the gear you have. If you miss the Eclipse, the next one will occur in the UK on 12th August 2026. 1. It will sadly be a partial eclipse again in the UK but people in Northern Spain will get to see Totality.


World of Warcraft Selfie12/03/2015 12:45

After much hoping and fingers crossing, I finally got the in game Selfie Camera and decided to see what the fuss was all about. The first character I got it on was my dwarf. When you line up the photo, you character takes up the centre and you can`t move it so you can`t appear at one side or the other like in real life so you need to work round it. Its more a gimmick than a real improvement to the game. If you get the Mk3, you get more gimmicky things, like filters such as having a black and white photo. There`s an achievement to visit various locations round the continents which awards a title `Field Photographer` but nothing else and the amount of points is quite low, only 5.

Warcraft Dwarven Selfie


Terry Pratchett has met one of his creationsMarch 12th, 2015 20:18 pm

Terry Pratchett, the creator of the Discworld series of books has sadly past away. He had been suffering from Alzheimer`s, a degenetive brain disorder. Although famous for the Discworld novels, he wrote other science fictions stories and recently wrote a number of books with Stephen Baxter entitled The Long Earth, The Long War, The Long Mars with two books in the pipeline. The books will be carried on by Stephen Baxter as the contract for the books was for five books in the series.

In the Discworld series of books, he had a character called DEATH whose name was always in capitals and who spoke in CAPITALS without quotes marking the start or end of a sentance. Some of the tributes on line reference that character and not done in malice.

A number of his book creations have been turned into television productions such as "The Colour of Magic" and "The Light Fantastic" starring "Only Fools and Horses" actor, David Jason as the bumbling wizard Rincewind. Unlike the Harry Potter stories, there was no one character that appeared in every Discworld novel. The stories are shorter than "Lord of the Rings" and a lot easier to read.


'Rogue One' announced as the first Star Wars standalone filmMarch 12th, 2015 20:14pm

During Thursday night, worried people began calling police in Scotland after seeing fireballs streaking through the sky. Some felt it could be a missle attack or a plane crashing to the ground.

The cause of which has not yet been identified but astronomers are keeping an open mind on the situation. Most believe it to be space junk or a small meteorite that finally fell to Earth. It could also be from an Asteroid that got to close to the Earth.

No injuries or damage has been recorded yet.


Newer Articles | Older Articles