Father, son and the changing universe

Father, son and the changing universe

ABOVE: By tracking sunspots, David and Johannes Fabricius showed that the Sun rotates — another nail in the coffin for an unchanging universe. Credit: NASA/SDO/HMI. By David Ellyard WHEN WE THINK OF THE PEOPLE who started modern astronomy, 400 or 500 years ago —...
Dawn of the asteroids

Dawn of the asteroids

ABOVE: The Dawn spacecraft’s ion engine allowed for slow but steady acceleration in order to reach the asteroid belt. Image credit: NASA/JPL. By David Ellyard WE’VE KNOWN OF THE EXISTENCE of ‘minor planets’ or asteroids in the Solar System since the start of the 19th...
The search for Planet X

The search for Planet X

Above: Now classed as a dwarf planet, Pluto was discovered in February 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh. Image credit: NASA/JHU APL/SwRI/A. Parker. By David Ellyard AT A TIME WHEN WE ARE FINDING PLANETS by the hundred orbiting stars other than our own, it is worth recalling the...