Feathers, a bowling ball and a vacuum chamber

Check out these videos of Galileo’s infamous thought experiment in action. Most people are taught about this experiment in school science lessons. Two objects, one heavier than the other, are connected by string and then dropped from a height. The … Read more

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Stacking optical spectra of galaxies

Here’s a short animation showing the effects of stacking up spectra. Measuring the intensities and equivalent widths of emission lines can be tricky in galaxy spectra where the signal-to-noise (S/N) is low, mostly due to difficulty in determining the baseline … Read more

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Role of hydrogen in the Evolution of Galaxies

I recently returned from an amazing trip to Malaysia. The conference I attended in Kuching covered many different aspects of hydrogen’s role in galaxy evolution, from its link to star formation and chemical evolution, to the impact of accretion, outflows … Read more

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Imaging the Moon with an iPhone

…attached to a 12-inch diameter telescope! Studying the night sky has been a passion since long before heading to university to study astrophysics. I’ve collected a number of telescopes over the years, including a 3-inch Cassegrain, 8-inch Dobsonian, and some … Read more

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Galaxies in 3D across the Universe

Nearby galaxy studies are increasingly shifting from using global, integrated measurements to spatially-resolved observations available thanks to technological improvements in IFU 3D-spectroscopy and radio interferometry. We’re into the second day of the IAU Symposium 309, Galaxies in 3D across the … Read more

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An emerging sacrifice

Time is flying by, and I now find myself settled into my current position. I’m enjoying my research, working with the UGent group, and living in Ghent (the beer is truly excellent). In short, these days I really cannot complain … Read more

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The SPICA Mission

SPICA will be proposed as the next generation far-infrared space mission. After the success of the Herschel Space Observatory, particularly from the huge leaps in knowledge gained from the PACS and SPIRE spectroscopic observations, the next space mission should seek … Read more

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Gas properties from Herschel FIR spectroscopy

I’ve had a great time studying how far-infrared (FIR) lines probe interstellar gas properties. This week, I attended the 69th Dutch Astronomy Conference, held in Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands. I presented a poster based on the latest work from my next … Read more

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IC 2531 imaged with Faulkes Telescope

New data taken by schools will help us better understand dust in galaxies. Edge-on spiral galaxies like IC 2531 are used by astronomers to study a lot of interesting properties as they offer us the best opportunity to determine the … Read more

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Tom Hughes, Chartered Physicist

I’m very pleased to be awarded Chartered Physicist status by the Institute of Physics! Chartered Physicist (CPhys) is a professional qualification awarded by the Institute of Physics (IOP). To paraphrase the IOP webpage, CPhys represents the highest standards of professionalism, … Read more

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