Pippa Goldschmidt

Worshipping the sun

The Sun is a star that many astronomers assume is only worth studying because of its averageness; it’s middle-aged and middle-sized. Its convenient proximity to us means it can act as a testbed for physics research. But we’re too well-schooled in the Copernican principle to view it as ‘special’ in any way. In contrast, Lucie

The strangest objects we know of

The idea of black holes sounds so quintessentially modern and 20th-century that it may come as a surprise to learn that it originated over 200 years ago; John Michell, a natural philosopher and clergyman, used Newtonian physics to conceive of a star massive enough to prevent even light from escaping its gravitational pull. Marcia Bartusiak’s