#57 – March 2017

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The Discussion: Jeni’s been teaching the teachers of Wales how to include astronomy in their classroom exercises as part of the school curriculum. Ralph takes us on a historical tour of the King’s Observatory in Richmond which was the original Prime Meridian before it found its home in Greenwich. While Paul and Jen have a date this month at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham.

The News: Rounding up the space and astronomy news this month we have:

  • Hubble spies a comet breaking up around a distant white dwarf star
  • A very special exoplanet discovery
  • The Event Horizon Telescope takes aim
  • Isolated extremophiles on Earth help with our search for alien life
  • Is NASA accelerating its manned spaceflight programme?

The Interview: This month we welcome back the European Space Agency’s project scientist on the Rosetta mission to Comet Churyumov Gerasimenko, Matt Taylor, to discuss the end of the mission, the data gathered, the discovery of Philae and what’s next for ESA.

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 we’re tackling a question about the Allais Effect which claims to have observed strange happenings during eclipses:

I need help understanding something called the Allais Effect. This is a phenomenon that supposedly causes pendulums to get funky during solar eclipses Matt Minter, Chicago, Illinois.

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