#33 – March 2015

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The Discussion: A final check-in with the Helium Tears team before they release their camera laden balloon to the edge of space and a free Awesome Astronomy competition to let you get involved in this adventure.

The News: This month we take a look at a star that zipped through our solar system during human history, get excited about the Dawn spacecraft’s close up views of dwarf planet Ceres, bid a sad farewell to Leonard Nimoy and look forward to this month’s solar eclipse.

The 5 Minute Concept: This month Paul takes a look at the most recognisable and unmissable object in the night sky: the moon. But how much do we actually know about our nearest celestial neighbour? Until the 1950s, actually, barely anything.

The Interview: Dr Joe Liske from the European Southern Observatory returns to the show for this series of interviews telling us about ESO’s groundbreaking telescopes. This time it’s the turn of the revolutionary Very Large Telescope.

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:

  • What’s the closest solar system to ours and could we ever explore it? Hedley Johnson in Des Moine, Iowa via email.
  • What’s the oldest surviving space probe still transmitting data to Earth?David Blanchflower in Newcastle Upon Tyne via Twitter (@DavidBFlower).

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