#23 – May 2014

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The Discussion: Astronomy in the late 18th Century and the increased sense of hope we, as amateur astronomers, get from the work of early astronomical observations.

The Field Report: This month we record from the Herschel Museum of Astronomy in Bath, England and take a tour of the Georgian townhouse to investigate the many objects, telescopes and handwritten observations of William and Carline Herschel.

The News: In the news, we have more exciting inferences about the watery composition of Saturn’s moon Enceladus; a new moon forming in the outer rings of Saturn and a round up of the current tally in exoplanetology.

The 5 Minute Concept: In the 5 Minute Concept, Paul sits in the very spot where William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus and explains the Herschels’ contribution to astronomy.

The Interview: This month, Paul speaks with the curator of the Herschel Museum of Astronomy, Debbie James, about the life and works of the Herschels, the museum and Georgian life.

Q&A: Listeners’ questions via email, Facebook & Twitter take us on a journey into the astronomy issues that have always plagued our understanding or stretched our credulity. This month Ralph & Paul answer:

  • Why does the planet Uranus spin on its side? Thea Hutchinson from London, UK via email
  • How did Caroline Herschel record her observations? Eric Emms @EmmsStarGaze in London, UK via Twitter & email

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