This is my new blog, dedicated to my various astronomy and science outreach activities, and some of the weird and wonderful people and things I encounter along the way.
The blog’s name comes from a common refrain I hear in phone calls I receive as an astronomer: “I wouldn’t normally call, but I saw this bright light in the sky this morning…” is how they often begin. The answer is usually Venus, but for many people, this is not good enough. Thankfully I’ve only ever had one person get a bit aggressive, but he soon got sick of me and I haven’t heard from him since.
The other query I often get is about Nibiru, a “brown dwarf” which is supposedly entering the Solar System on a collision course with Earth. THIS IS NOT REALLY GOING TO HAPPEN. Funnily enough, the first time I was asked about this about 15 years ago, it was a large comet, the next time a planet, then a brown dwarf… and recently someone asked me if I knew anything about a red dwarf coming this way. The internet has a lot to answer for.
I should say that I welcome these queries: it’s a chance to set the record straight, and it shows that people are genuinely interested in space and astronomy. But sometimes I wish I had a pre-recorded message I could play…