#71 – May 2018

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The Discussion: Jeni, Paul & Ralph survived the wilds of the Brecon Beacon’s AstroCamp festival of astronomy, Jeni gathers a whole heap of astronomy interviews from the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science, and we read out a couple of emails requesting advice on amateur astronomy mounts, berating us for our April Fools’ Twitter gag and asking for more content relevant to the southern hemisphere.

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

  • A galaxy containing no dark matter
  • NASA launches its new exoplanet hunting satellite
  • An exoplanet spotted using amateur astronomy equipment

The Interview: This month Jeni caught up with Dr Jane Greaves & Dr Phil Cigan from Cardiff University to talk about their work finding phosphorus in the Crab Nebula – and why phosphorus is so important to life.

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 atmospheres & the habitability of exoplanets:

I thought red-dwarf stars were typically much more volatile than our g-type star and, as a result, planets in a red-dwarf system would typically be bombarded by solar storms and radiation stripping away their atmospheres and making them unlikely spots for life as we know it to be found. So how is it possible to have atmospheres around rocky planets in the Trappist 1 system? Dave Schlaudt in Michigan, USA

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