Archive for the Astronomy Category

Trekkies everywhere

Posted in Astronomy, Journal with tags , , , on 06/04/2013 by Jen Healey

… at the Space Centre today.  It was brilliant.


To mark the end of the two-week respite from the dreaded school-run we went to Leicester for a visit at the Space Centre.  A treat in itself, but there was a Star Trek Convention there today.

We ate lunch in the same room as Jean-Luc, saw Klingons (in New Rock boots), green-skinned women and the most amazing Borg dude – it was amazing.  I know that admitting this may well confirm my status as a geek, but it was great to see people enjoying themselves, dressing up and having fun.


This was the closest likeness of the guy we saw today that I could find (photo credit).  He even moved like a drone from time to time, it was genius.

An addition to the fun indoors, we even had some sunshine today, which was a nice change for this ‘spring’.


Beth loves it there, as do I.  Although, she went up to the top of the rocket/building in the lift, but point-blank refused to go back down in it, so we had to take the stairs.  At least we didn’t have to climb up them.


I love that the section on the right is called Thor!  Also, I got to listen to a bit of Bowie at the top, and write ‘Ziggy played guitar’ on a slip of paper for a display that documented what people remember about the moon landing – tee hee.


Wuthering Heights

Posted in Astronomy, Books, Gothic, Journal, Music, Reviews with tags , , , , on 27/08/2012 by Jen Healey

Now, I’ve never been so arrogant as to consider myself as a well-read person, I know I am not.  However, I do try to remedy that whenever I can, particularly when it comes to literature that is considered ‘classic’.  As you may have guessed by the title of this entry, subtle as it is, I recently read ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Bronte, in scary-fast style (for me anyway).  Before now I had tried to read this novel, on more than one occasion, but was never able to get more than a few pages in.  I am really glad that I did not give it up though, as this time I could not put it down, I loved it.

Subsequently my Bank Holiday Monday has sounded like this –

Or if you’d prefer Noel Fielding as Kate Bush, here you go –

I have even started to learn it on my 99p piano, courtesy of YouTube.  I’m sure I’ll get sick of hearing it very soon, but today it’s been all I’ve wanted to listen to, soppy ol’ romantic that I am.  After I’d finished the book, yesterday I had a quick skim through some of the other comments/reviews left by some other members of goodreads, which I found differed wildly to my impression, for the most part.  The only one that I completely agreed with said simply “Ah Heathcliff!” – aches the heart as much as listening to the song gave me chills after I’d finished the story.  I’m as surprised as you, my friends.

My current interest in ‘classic’ art forms is not limited to literature, I’ve also been dipping my toe into classical music – stop falling off your seats!  It is mostly limited to pieces that are considered gothic in mood though.  However, thanks to Beth’s recent interest in astronomy, I have been revisiting Gustav Holst.  Beth loves Jupiter, both the planet and the piece of music, so we are both looking forward to our upcoming visit to the National Space Centre later this week (the second of the summer holidays!).

It’s been a while since we had some ‘dust’ (as hubby puts it) –


As for the gothic classical music, YouTube is also instrumental (punny – no?) in my discovering some pretty amazing stuff.  Check this out, it is a bit long, but pop it on in the background whilst you do something else if you don’t have the time –

Sinister stuff, eh?


Here we are again

Posted in Astronomy, Food, Journal, TV with tags , on 24/08/2011 by Jen Healey

It’s 6:15am and I’ve been up for nearly an hour already.  This is not an isolated incident either, it has been this way since I have stopped feeding my little boy in the mornings.  Yes, I’m weaning him off breast milk finally, he has had a couple of weeks longer than Beth did after all.  It appears that when the sun gets up, so does my son (yawn).  Previously, I’d stumble through to his room and take him back to bed with me, where I would feed him and read until my body and brain decided that we were ready to get up.  But, obviously he is not going to tolerate me trying to wake up this way without a feed.  Therefore, so that he doesn’t wake the rest of the house and I don’t succumb to his demanding my milk, we are up.  This is the lot of a parent, you don’t get to sleep when you want to, you sleep when your children let you.  Sleep deprivation, as I’ve said before, is a form of torture.  Ok, it’s nothing like the early days, when they wake you every few hours, but I like to sleep in the mornings and get up gradually…  I miss it.  I’m a bit grumpy when I’ve not had much sleep, and today this is compounded by my sore throat.

I think that I’ll treat myself to a lovely sit-down when Jakey takes his nap later, rather than do my usual ‘what-can-I-do-with-this-time’ mad rush to get some job or other done.

That said/moaned about, I actually like spending these (relatively) quiet couple of hours just me and my little boy.  Don’t misunderstand me here, I’m not one of those moms who wishes away the school holidays, I love having my daughter at home everyday and I really treasure the 1:1 time I spend with her (at least once a day – bedtime story time).  However, when both my lovely children are up, I can sometimes feel that, when giving attention to one, the other one is feeling left out.  That thought makes juggling the day a bit tricky and I can’t help but think that, since Jakey arrived in our little family, Beth must be feeling a bit like she’s having to get on with doing things on her own a lot more.  But, I guess I have to learn to let go a bit more, as I can’t be there for her every second of every day for the rest of her life, however much I might want to be, for both my children.

The other benefit to getting up with Jacob, is that he doesn’t dictate the television channel that we watch, so I’m free to watch Ken Hom with his ‘singing oil’ and Ace of Cakes, or if I’m not too sleepy, the Universe.  I would be in trouble if I had to try to find something to watch early in the morning without my beloved sky box!

Well I’m off to play with Beth, as it took me until nearly 10am to get this post finished.  Another hazard of being a parent – you often don’t get to finish what you started, in one sitting at least!

So much for having a nice quiet sit-down, I’m so full of it!


Perseids Meteor Shower

Posted in Astronomy with tags on 12/08/2011 by Jen Healey

Just a quick reminder (thanks to BT news on my email homepage) that tonight is set to be the best night to watch the August Perseid meteor shower.  Details here

Image pinched from google

Here’s hoping that neither the moon nor the clouds obscure them too much…


Lunar Perigee

Posted in Astronomy with tags on 19/03/2011 by Jen Healey

Tonight is the night of the latest lunar perigee and I can’t wait to get out there this evening with my binoculars, my camera and my little girl of course.  She’s almost as excited as I am to see the sky tonight, clouds permitting. 

Here’s the best, most concise video I have managed to find on the subject, from NASA. 

And here’s a link to the Sky at Night magazine page on the perigee… 

I hope you all manage to catch a glimpse too.

Picture of the Day

Posted in Astronomy with tags on 07/03/2011 by Jen Healey

My sister Lotte told me about a really cool website that she gets on her iPhone, because she’s a show-off 🙂

Here’s the link to it, it’s the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day, which gives you a different image each day, along with a brief explanation from a professional astronomer…

I have that one and the HubbleSite – Tonight’s Sky on my bookmarks already.

Todays daytime TV

Posted in Astronomy, TV with tags , on 02/03/2011 by Jen Healey

All hail the majesty of Sky TV and a subscription to the Lifestyle and Culture, and the Documentaries, packages.  Without it, daytime television has the power to bring you down, your mood and your IQ!  My morning of feeding and fitting in the odd bit of housework was certainly enhanced by sharing it with the Barefoot Contessa and Man vs Food… 

This is a clip from the show I watched today, which is one of the episodes without the awesome eating challenges, but still good tv.

Then a bit of mind-blowing How The Universe Works… 


Now, given the choice, you’d have to be a bit nutty to choose This Morning and Cash In The Attic over such cool stuff.

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