#70 – April 2018

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The Discussion: The Beast from the East makes practical astronomy difficult and we take a look at listeners’ emails that accuse us of imperialism, suggest we throw away some solar filters, provide an alternative look at solar system creation and reveal their own astronomy outreach experiences.

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

  • China’s space station is about to fall out the sky
  • Genetic sequencing looks at an alien find
  • Did a year in space alter Mark Kelly’s DNA?
  • More delays to the James Webb Space Telescope
  • A new European Space Agency telescope gets the green light

Famous Astronomer: This month we give you a primer on an upcoming podcast extra on the life of recently departed Stephen Hawking.

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 answering difficult questions:

I live in a part of the World with very strong religious beliefs and often get asked sensitive questions relating to faith and astronomy. I’d be interested to hear your take on this and what “polite” stock replies you give. Stefan Zietara, undisclosed location in the Middle East.

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