#69 – March 2018

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The Discussion: Jeni and her Welsh brethren suffered an Earthquake and Ralph takes a look through listeners emails which prompts a discussion about the range of educational outreach that AweAst listeners undertake.

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

  • A new and pointless star ‘graces’ our night sky
  • We wave goodbye to the concept of the Late Heavy Bombardment
  • Astronomers publish results on the oldest supernova detection
  • Astronomy Concept: We delve into the wide array of visual observation and astrophography filters in response to John Lonergan’s request.

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 nature of black holes:

1) I heard in the reporting that the black hole had a physical spin. Does that support the idea that a black hole cannot be a singularity/point since it has a physical spin?

2) The merging black holes lost multiple solar masses in the merging process. If the mass loss wasn’t from outside the event horizons, then what was that huge mass loss mechanism when supposedly “nothing can escape from a black hole”?

3) Can gravitational waves eventually be used by astronomers to probe the interior of a black hole?” Lt Col Dave from Florida USA

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