#41 – November 2015

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The Discussion: We welcome astrophysicist Jeni Millard from Cardiff University onto the show as our new co-presenter! We discuss the astronomy lessons, tuition and events we’ve been involved with over the past month and name drop about an Apollo moonwalker we might have interviewed…

The News: This month we take a look at NASA’s completed image collection of the Pluto system from the New Horizons spacecraft; ‘Water on Mars’ get the very first Awesome Astronomy award for Needing Another Sensational Announcement (the acronym is entirely coincidental); we take a look at Brian May’s handling of the estate of dearly cherished Patrick Moore; we despair at the media’s handling of ‘that’ news story about an alien megastucture that isn’t around a star with an unusual light curve; and finish up with the European and Russian coalition to explore habitability on the moon for human colonization.

The 5 Minute Concept: We continue our back-to-basics 5 Minute Concepts season with a discussion prompted by many listener questions about the value and use of filters for astronomical observation.

The Interview: This month we bring you our interview with Dr Kathy Thornton, recorded at Cosmiccon. Kathy is a veteran of four Space Shuttle missions and earns our eternal gratitude for fixing the Hubble Space Telescope after launch and giving it back its sight.

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:

One thing you might want to look at is the increasing number of remotely accessible telescopes for the “ordinary” amateur. Not sure if I get the same satisfaction from a remote image compared to spending some nights in my dome and freezing my ears off to get a good image. Would like to get your take on this… Clem Unger from Mornington Australia, via email

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