#68 – February 2018

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The Discussion: Friend of the show and lecturer at Jeni’s Cardiff University, Dr Ed Gomez is launching a Kickstarter project to create and distribute a children’s comic book to encourage children to take an interest and career in science. Jeni tells us about Ada’s Adventures in Science, which you can give your support to at http://kck.st/2DI43hg. Paul suffers the adverse effects of being travelling science salesman and Ralph reads out some listeners’ emails – including one interesting email that suggests ‘Kim Jen Un’ may be getting into peoples’ heads.

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

  • An update from Cassini on the strange orbits of Saturn’s moon Janus and Epimetheus and a look at a research paper shedding light on the ring they create around the gas giant.
  • We mourn the loss of yet another Apollo astronaut as we say goodbye to John Young with a look back at his NASA career.
  • Recent analysis of Martian meteorites and current Martian atmospheric constituents tempers our optimism that Mars had a long history of habitability.

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 take a look at the end of our galaxy as we know it:

In 2 million years or so, when we merge with Andromeda, would you notice anything much different from Earth? Or just another Milky Way type structure in the night sky, assuming we merge at an angle? Sean Mulcahy from Yorkshire, UK via Twitter (@sfgmulcahy)

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