#34 – April 2015

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The Discussion: Paul’s been busy with Sirius Astronomy, promoting space and astronomy education at The Big Bang event and schools across the UK, meeting NASA astronaut Michael Fowle and ESA astronaut Jean Francois Clervoy. Ralph’s been arranging astronomy events for London’s Baker Street Irregular Astronomers. Both are excited about the upcoming CosmicCon event in July and they speak with Phil St Pier from the Project Helium Tears team to reveal the winners of their space competition.

The News: This month we take a look at what’s in store for NASA’s Dawn spacecraft now that it’s made it safely into orbit around dwarf planet Ceres, a quick few thoughts on NASA’s New Horizon’s craft as it approaches the Pluto system, Saturn’s moon Enceladus and Jupiter’s moon Ganymede throw us some tantalising clues about their watery interiors and further potential for life, and we round off with news about a huge ocean that covered 20% of Mars’ entire surface.

The 5 Minute Concept: As we enter the Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th anniversary in space, Paul takes a look at this astronomy wonder that nearly didn’t even make it to the launch pad.

The Interview: Paul catches up with Richard Garner, the organiser of CosmicCon, to find out about the astronauts, TV presenters and astronomers we can expect to meet when we get there.

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:

  • Are there any colourful celestial objects that can be seen through a small scope?Matt Kingsnorth Essex UK, via Facebook.

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