219 million stars: our new atlas of the visible Milky Way

Posted on Tue 16 September 2014 in astronomy

Over the past decade, my colleagues and I have been working very hard on a mission to create the most detailed atlas ever made of the visible part of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. The result of this labour is a brand new catalogue detailing the properties of no …

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Asteroid (22275) Barentsen

Posted on Tue 22 July 2014 in astronomy

I've had the pleasure to learn that a small piece of the solar system is now named after me: asteroid 22275 has been formally named "Barentsen" by the International Astronomical Union. The announcement was published recently in Minor Planet Circular 88763, which named several dozen asteroids after scientists who have …

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Martian Nyan Cat

Posted on Wed 25 June 2014 in astronomy

Today I participated in the Hack Day at the UK National Astronomy Meeting in Portsmouth. Apart from working on a few silly side projects, my colleagues Jeremy Harwood, Leigh Smith, and I decided to produce a video which might well change the face of astronomy outreach and visualisation forever.

The …

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Mapping the Milky Way's dust

Posted on Tue 03 June 2014 in astronomy

In recent months, my colleagues and I have been working very hard on compiling a massive catalogue which details the position and brightness of roughly 200 million stars located in the northern part of the Milky Way. The catalogue is based on a huge set of images which we collected …

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Getting ready for Gaia

Posted on Tue 06 August 2013 in astronomy

Gaia is one of the most ambitious space missions of the decade. Twitter has a lot of talk about it this morning, after one pundit started using the hashtag #NRFG - "Not Ready For Gaia".

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Footprint of the IPHAS Galactic Plane survey

Posted on Mon 22 October 2012 in astronomy • Tagged with IPHAS

As part of my post-doc at the University of Hertfordshire, I'm helping to calibrate, release and exploit data obtained by the INT Photometric H-Alpha Survey (IPHAS). This is a 1800 deg2 optical survey of the Northern Galactic Plane, carried out in the narrow-band Hα and broad-band Sloan r'/i' …

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