#27 – September 2014

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The Discussion: Sirius Astronomy and The Knowledge Observatory’s educational outreach and preparation for our dark sky observing weekend in Wales: AstroCamp.

The News: In the news we have the latest on the European Space Agency’s ambitious Rosetta spacecraft as it settles into it’s science program at Comet Churyumov Gerasimenko; details of the science payload for NASA’s ‘Curiosity 2’ Mars rover; revealing images of the Pluto system from the New Horizons spacecraft; China’s lunar orbit & spacecraft return mission and turbulent happenings on Uranus (sorry).

The 5 Minute Concept: Distant radio sources that reveal unknown monsters from the past, unleashing hell from afar. In this month’s 5MC, Paul takes us billions of light years away from home to explain one of the brightest and most energetic objects in the universe. Quasars.

The Interview: This month we return to the most exciting current space mission. In an attempt to understand the life of comets and unlock the secrets of the birth of the solar system, Ralph speaks to the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission Project Scientist, Matt Taylor.

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 Venus rotate retrograde? Dave Bood from Scarborough, UK & Beatriz Caicedo, Guatemala .
  • With the idea that all that is the universe originated in a speck with the big bang, and that the universe is expanding, how is it that things such as galaxies collide? Kurt Green, Chicago Illinois via email.
  • How much would my 20 stone (280lbs) wife weigh on each of the planets in the solar system? Darren Knight .

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