• Taking Py-SPHViewer for a spin

    It’s now been 9 months since starting my PhD, and after a lot of introductory reading, required masters modules and code familiarisation I have now started doing my first simulations. I completed an early run a few weeks back and have been doing tests to make sure everything looks as...


  • Nick Bostrom: Astronomical Waste

    Stumbled across this speculative, I assume slightly tongue-in-cheek, paper from Nick Bostrom, published back in 2003, where he calculates the “opportunity cost of delayed colonisation of the local supercluster”. He calculates that for every second that we postpone being in control of the huge stellar energy sources of our host...


  • Cataloguing Stars from the Moon's Surface with LUT

    Whilst browsing the arxiv today I stumbled across a data release from a pretty unique telescope. Until today I was completely unaware of its existence, but in fact the Lunar-based Ultraviolet Telescope (LUT) reported is first results last year and has now studied enough stars (86,467) to warrant its own...


  • Image Classification with Principal Component Analysis

    I recently got involved with a hack day at the University of Sussex, working on a challenge proposed by Deckchair, a company that provides high quality webcams for businesses around the world. They routinely capture some amazing images, such as lightning strikes and fireworks displays, but these are currently identified...


  • They think it's all over, but we can still take this to penalties

    As a remain supporter, today’s events have been hard to swallow. The majority of my online social network appears to support Remain, and so far there has been a lot of anger expressed. Scottish independence is back on the agenda, and many of those areas that voted remain are pondering...


  • Getting started with Ethereum

    Ethereum is the new kid on the cryptocurrency block, and I recently got involved by buying up some Ether. I’ve since made ~£15 on my modest investment in about a fortnight, and have consequently made detailed plans for what I will spend my inevitable millions on. But, given how volatile...


  • Log-normal fitting and Q-Q plots in R

    This week I had the pleasure of fitting a log-normal distribution to some pretty big data. Since I already had code to read in the data in R, that’s what I used to do the fit. A bit of googling predictably threw up about twenty different ways of doing it,...


  • Survey Bias

    A quick overview of two of the main biases seen in astronomical surveys Eddington Bias is introduced by measurement error. If you measure a collection of different sources that all have the same intrinsic luminosity, your observations will show a scatter introduced by the measurement errors. This isn’t too much...