The Discussion: You’d be forgiven for thinking we recorded this episode drunk – but we assure you, we weren’t. And you’ll have to forgive us for our crappy audio and shameless national stereotyping!
But in this show, recorded from our dark sky star party in the Welsh Brecon Beacons, we discuss the event, Jeni’s talk on exoplanet research and we take a look at listeners’ emails.
The News: Rounding up the space and astronomy news this month we have:
- A fresh look at the age and high metallicity of an observable star cluster
- Australia takes the plunge and announces the creation of its own space agency
- Research giving hints of water on planets in the TRAPPIST 1 system
Hat of Woo: Paul’s festering Hat of Woo gets another airing as we take a look at the end of the world on 23rd September as planet Nibiru collides with Earth (or the beginning of The Rapture, if the world doesn’t end). Assuming you’re reading this or listening to the podcast, the world clearly didn’t end!
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 consequences of discovering life on another planet to planetary exploration:
“Let’s say the next Mars rover that is tweaked to find life on Mars finds some microbial life what impact would that have on the whole Mars exploration plans? I cannot imagine that one can send a crew of astronauts to Mars’ surface and avoid contamination. If Mars is declared some sort of reserve shouldn’t we then shelve all these plans? Clemens Unger, Melbourne Australia