#76 – October 2018 Part 1

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The Discussion: Paul has snubbed the show to do astronomy on TV so we’re keeping our spirits up with tales of AstroCamp and the inspirational Libby Jackson from the UK Space Agency. Jeni updates us with the progress of her PhD and invites you all along to her Q&A session at Cardiff Book Talk on 22nd October, before Ralph runs through listeners’ emails

The News: With 3 minutes to round up the astronomy news stories you might have missed, we overshoot the time constraints by about 70%:


  • JAXA and NASA are exploring asteroids
  • Jupiter’s magnetic field gives us yet more surprises
  • Saturn’s hexagonal Jetstream appears to be hovering
  • More ‘research’ trying to get Pluto reclassified… again.


  • Hubble & BUFFALO image of gravitationally lensing galaxy cluster
  • An unusual ring of black holes (or neutron stars) in a distant galaxy
  • The galactic wind in the early universe
  • The 3rd Magellanic Cloud.
  • The big news story:
  • TESS finds its first exoplanet, amidst a little astro-controversy.

The Sky Guide: Jeni and Ralph take you through their picks of the night sky in October:

Ralph covers our solar system:

  • October 8th gives us the peak of the Draconids meteor shower
  • October 21st gives us the peak of the Orionids meteor shower.

Jeni takes a look into the deep sky:

  • Messier 33, the Triangulum Galaxy
  • Messier 34, open cluster in Perseus
  • Imaging target, the Heart Nebula in Cassiopeia.

The main event:

  • Uranus reaches opposition on 23rd October and we run through some Uranus factoids and tell you what to expect from the ice giant.

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 look at distance metrics:

Which point in other galaxies do astronomers measure galactic distances to, the galactic core or the edge? From Steve Brown in Yorkshire

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