To understand historical dating you need to understand calendar systems, and to understand those you need some basic astronomy. I find it a fascinating and pervasive subject that rewards you with a deeper understanding of the world around you. This year I hope to share some of what I've learned as part of the International Year of Astronomy.

The first thing I've put together is a short podcast about the enigmatic 'Equation of Time'. You'll be able to hear it on Sunday 25th January as part of the IYA's 365 Days of Astronomy daily podcast. As a Scotsman I was quite pleased by the synchronicity of the broadcast date as this also marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of our national poet Robert Burns.