The Discussion: We bid a sad farewell to Apollo pioneer Edgar Mitchell who spent 33 hours on the lunar surface in 1971 on the Apollo 14 mission, celebrate the detection of gravitational waves and Paul regales us with his tales of clear skies for some long awaited eyepiece time.
The News: This month the news is dominated by the death of Apollo 14’s Edgar Mitchell. We bring you the highs of collecting moon rocks and the lows of a retirement spent promoting pseudoscience. We follow this up with more information on the detection by LIGO of the last confirmed prediction of Einstein’s General Relativity, gravitational waves, and what this means for the future of astronomy. And we finish off with the observation by the European Southern Observatory of a flying saucer shaped forming planetary system.
Woobusters: This month we don the tin foil hat of woo to debunk the Nibiru conspiracy theory. The planet predicted to crash into Earth and destroy all life without a shred of evidence to its name!
The Interview: We welcome Canadian Soyuz, Shuttle and Space Station astronaut Chris Hadfield into the chair this month to discuss:
The best and worst things about being in space
The most difficult thing to adjust to in space
What is it about test pilots that lends itself to becoming an astronaut
What was the best aircraft to fly
Is the space station a distraction from deep space missions
What’s the next space destination after the Space Station
What will Chris Hadfield do in retirement
Do you wish you’d been a musician
As a positive person, how do you face the bad things in 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.
If nothing can escape from a black hole, not even light, why in the news today is there talk of ‘jets’ of energy being released by one? And, if nothing can travel faster than light, how can the universe be expanding in excess of this speed and still be accelerating? Jason Paul Smith via Facebook