Welcome to MacAstrofix ....... Physicist Stephen Hawking has died aged 76 ....... Astronomy Diary for March ........ January Weather Data to Download ........ Three Swarm Satellites Become Four ........ News from Goonhilly........ Check Out the AstrOlympics ........ Skinsuits to Combat Effects of Weightlessness in Space ........ Mars Express Photos of Mars Moons ........ Saturn's Rings Methane Sniffing Around Mars ........ Testing a Submarine for an Alien Ocean ........ NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock ........ Unst in Shetland to aim for space programme ! ......... Interstellar Asteroid is Dark, Red and Very Long ........ Private Mission May Reach Enceladus Before NASA ........ New Study of the Pleiades ........ Atmosphere on the Moon ? ........


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Astronomy Diary for March

Animation Credit: NASA MSFC

Some astronomy highlights for viewing during 

March can be seen here...


What`s in the Shetland Sky in 2018 ?



Weather Today  Mossbank Shetland

                                                                             Live Video Stream and Weather Data


Astro Imaging without a Telescope

Some Suggestions for Binoculars


Free Online Courses

Courses in Astronomy, Physics, Astrobiology and more

starting soon


The Voice of Jupiter 2014

Our first attempt to record Jupiter`s radio emissions

on 20.1Mhz ( June 2014 ) Listen to the files here .


Meteor Shower Camelopardalids 2014

Did you know you can also listen to meteor showers ?

Plots and Audio samples from the Camelopardalids !


Preliminary Report

Hurlers Stone Circles Project - Cornwall

Original Hurlers Story Here !


News from Around the Web

Physicist Stephen Hawking has died aged 76

Image from telegraph.co.uk

Stephen Hawking, cosmologist and author of

'A Brief History of Time' has died at his home in

Cambridge. Tributes have been pouring in. Neil

deGrasse Tyson tweeted "His passing has left an

intellectual vacuum in his wake. But it's not empty.

Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating

the fabric of spacetime that defies measure."

"Remember to look up at the stars and not down

at your feet" Stephen Hawking


News from Goonhilly, Cornwall

Credit: ESA

A new initiative to redevelop part of Goonhilly

Earth Station hopes to provide Europe’s first

deep-space tracking services on a commercial


Three Swarm Satellites Become Four

Credit: ESA

ESA and Canada plan to turn the three Swarm

satellites into a four-satellite mission and hope to

shed  more light on space weather and the

aurora borealis.

Mars Express Photos of Mars Moons

Saturn's Rings

credit: ESA (Deimos and Satrurn)

Mars Express has been circling the Red

Planet for more than 14 years.

See its recentimages of Phobos, Deimos

and Saturn here.


Testing the Deep Space Atomic Clock

Credits: NASA/JPL

In deep space, accurate timekeeping is vital to

navigation, but spacecraft lack precise time -

pieces on board. DSAC is  a small, low-mass

atomic clock prototype based on mercury-ion

trap technology. DSAC is about the size of a

large toaster, but could be made smaller for

future space missions. After 20 years development,

the DSAC test flight next year will take the technology

from the laboratory to the space environment.


Check Out NASA's AstrOlympics

Image: NASA

At the start of the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang,

you can also visit NASA's AstOlympics website to

learn about the physics of space through examples

from olympic disciplines. The project by NASA's

Chandra X-ray Observatory consists of posters,

videos and an informative website.

All materials are free to download from



Testing a Submarine for an Alien Ocean

Saturn's moon - Titan

Image shows near infrared image of Titan from Cassini
Credit: NASA/JPL/Univ. Arizona/Univ. Idaho

Researchers have recreated a Titan ocean in

the lab, to test how a submarine might behave

at -300 degrees F (approx 185 degrees C).

NASA plans to launch a real submarine into

Titan seas in the next 20 years


Methane Sniffing Around Mars


The European-Russian Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO)

is nearing the end of an 11 month braking

manoever in the Martian atmosphere and will

soon begin its mission: to sniff for possible

signs of life


Testing Skinsuits to Help Combat  Effects

of Weightlessness in Space

Image credit: ESA

Researchers at King’s College London and ESA

have worked together to develop a Skinsuit, a

spandex-based garment which squeezes the

body like gravity. It is based on an MIT garment

design changes to improve wearability.

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