#65 – November 2017

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The Discussion: Britain shows that it won’t just roll over and let America take the lead in intimidating academic freedom and Jen recounts her gravitational waves research conference in Brighton in October.

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

  • Astronomers make the 1st observation of a neutron star collision
  • Astronomers discover a missing chunk of the universe
  • 3D videos of aurora that you can see at http://www.iap.fr/aurora3d/

The Interview: This month Cardiff University’s Professor Mark Hannam tells us more about the recent observation of colliding neutron stars and this window into a new realm of astronomy.

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 Drake Equation:

“It strikes me that the Drake equation sets the probability of life at either (1) pretty close to zero – in which case surely we’d be worth a visit. OR (2) very numerous – in which case there’s every chance alien life might be driving past on their annual holiday. Or somewhere in between!

I think I’m saying that, yes overall I agree with the saying “seeing is believing”, but at the same time I don’t taking not seeing as proof of non existence. I’ve never seen a Polar Bear (you don’t in Leeds) but I’m pretty sure they are out there.”

John Levett in Leeds, UK

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