#100 – October 2020 Part 2


The Discussion: The publication of Jeni’s new research paper, a review of Netflix shows Challenger and Away (sublime and ridiculous).

The News: Rounding up the space exploration news we have:

  • ESA and JAXA’s future infrared space telescope cancelled
  • Mercury-bound Bepi-Colombo is passing Venus – with sensors…
  • Get ready for next month’s launch of China’s epic Chang’e 5 moon mission.
  • A change in crew for Boeing’s creed Starliner test flight to the ISS
  • NASA’s shiny new plan for Artemis and human exploration of the moon
  • A gallop through SpaceX’s achievements

Main news story: Astrophysicists scoop up Nobel Prizes again this year.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum: The ultraviolet and X-ray parts of the spectrum. How these telescopes were developed and became ever more powerful.

Q&A: If you had to choose just one mission or big science experiment to proceed in your remaining lifetimes, what would you choose and why? Victor Carroon, London, UK via email.

#100 – October 2020 Part 1

The Discussion: Helping us celebrate our 100th(ish) episode, we have a live(ish) audience to join in with us. Anna Lanteri from Gröningen University discusses a new Zooniverse citizen science project, called Space Fluff where you can soon classify dwarf galaxies. And Tom Bridgman from the Goddard Space Flight Centre tells us about NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio.

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

  • Astronomers find an exoplanet in another galaxy using x-rays
  • A group of underground liquid water reservoirs found on Mars
  • The first exoplanet observed around a white dwarf star
  • Asteroid Vesta litters other asteroids

Main News story: We are finally out of solar minimum and the sun will get more active again.

The Sky Guide: This month we’re taking a look at the constellation of Cetus with a guide to its history, how to find it, a couple of deep sky objects and a round-up of the solar system views on offer in October.

Guide to the Electromagnetic Spectrum: In this series we take a look at the electromagnetic spectrum, what, it is, what is shows us and why it’s so important to astronomers. This month we explain the x-ray part of the spectrum and its relevance to astronomy.

#99 – September 2020 Part 2

The Discussion: No time for discussions, we’ve important news to discuss!

The News: Rounding up the space exploration news we have:

  • Rocket Lab lowering the cost of small launches
  • SpaceX accelerating development of super heavy lift
  • Vera Rubin Telescope takes a step closer

Main news story: A new detection raises the distinct possibility of life in Venus’ upper atmosphere.

The Interview: Jeni talks to Dr Emily Drabek Maunder, a co-author on the paper that demonstrates phosphine in concentrations that we can only currently attribute to microbial life in the atmosphere of Venus.

#99 – September 2020 Part 1

The Discussion: This month Jeni’s latest paper has a journal reviewer prior to publishing, we take a look at the critical science of cow-cats and a listener brightens our day

 

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

  • Damage to the Arecibo observatory and the prognosis
  • Hubble Helps Uncover the Mystery of the Dimming of Betelgeuse
  • Mars’ water deluge during its habitable phase
  • The search for the missing matter in the Milky Way

Main News story: The US National Science Foundation report on the impact of satellite constellations on astronomical science.

 

The Sky Guide: This month we’re taking a look at the constellation of Cygnus with a guide to its history, how to find it, a couple of deep sky objects and a round-up of the solar system views on offer in August.

 

Guide to the Electromagnetic Spectrum: In this series we take a look at the electromagnetic spectrum, what, it is, what is shows us and why it’s so important to astronomers. This month we explain the ultraviolet part of the spectrum and its relevance to astronomy.

 

The Interview: A 5 minute preview of the hour chat with Fraser Cain of Universe Today and Astronomy Cast. This will be released in full as a podcast extra later this month.

 

#98 – August 2020 Part 2

The Discussion:

  • Jen on the radio discussing the Perseids
  • Starlink satellites flaring over our heads
  • TV shows From the Earth to the Moon and For All Mankind
  • Sputnik V
  • Jeni’s latest paper is submitted for journal review
  • Submit your experiences of how diversity is perceived in the amateur astronomy community at tinyurl.com/y28ebdu2

 

The News: Rounding up the space exploration news we have:

  • Protecting other worlds from our germs and bugs
  • Space Force’s Star Trek-esque logo
  • The Curiosity rover celebrates its 8th year on Mars
  • New Zealand’s Rocketlab pursue reusability
  • Skyrora begin rocket testing in Iceland
  • SpaceX’s Starship prototyping and testing continues

Main news story: America gets back to launching people into space

Q&A: Will the James Webb Space Telescope actually launch and will it still be worth launching? Lana Visser from Heerenveen in the Netherlands.

#98 – August 2020 Part 1

The Discussion: This month astrologers are getting upset about their tattoos; why the Babylonians are at fault for ruining the majesty of astrology; Jeni spreads the astronomy word on the BBC; her latest research paper nears peer review; Paul continues promoting space education in schools and we have a chat about sparking science interest in kids.

The News: Rounding up the astronomy news this month we have:
– ESO image two gas giants orbiting their star
– Have we solved the mystery of why the sun’s atmosphere is hotter than the surface?
– Using old methods as new measures of the age of the universe
– Another way to measure the Hubble constant suggests there may be something a bit strange with our part of the universe or we need new physics to explain it
– Unravelling how supermassive black holes form.

Main News story: The latest on Comet NEOWISE and how to see it for yourself

The Sky Guide: This month we’re taking a look at the constellation of Aquarius with a guide to its history, how to find it, a couple of deep sky objects and a round-up of the solar system views on offer in August.

Q&A: What’s the dumbest misreported science you’ve ever seen in a newstory? From our good friend Brochyn James.

#97 – July 2020 Part 2

The Discussion:

  • What Einstein would have made of an iPhone
  • The goods and ills of social media
  • Free teaching for teachers to teach space and astronomy
  • Jeni talking Pluto on the BBC
  • A trip down technology Memory Lane
  • And get out and look at Comet Neowise!

 

The News: Rounding up the space exploration news we have a Mars launch window and NASA storming ahead with Artemis plans so this month is all about the moon and Mars:

  • The Kennedy Space Centre takes delivery of rocket engines for their SLS rocket
  • Funding for more SLS moon rockets
  • A new lunar rover to help plan human missions
  • New modules for the lunar orbiter
  • NASA innovation funding for new long duration mission capabilities
  • United Arab Emirates’ Mars orbiter launching this month
  • China’s Tianwen-1 Mars mission with an orbiter, lander and rover

Main news story: Getting ready to launch the biggest ever rover to Mars

 

The Electromagnetic Spectrum: The visible light part of the spectrum. How telescopes were developed and became ever more powerful.

 

Q&A: Do you think we will see humans space exploration beyond Mars in our lifetimes? Pieter Johnson @Nascothornet on Twitter.

#97 – July 2020 Part 1

The Discussion: This month Jeni’s getting frustrated with the politics of peer review, Paul’s seen an uptick in noctilucent cloud hunting and public interest in astronomy in general during lockdown. We ask ‘Is Starlink actually a good thing for astronomy outreach and public engagement?’, while Paul wonders if Elon Musk is aware of the fate of the Duke of Buckingham. And we delve into listeners’ emails about the future of AstroCamp in a pandemic and collaborations with other podcasts.

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

  • Have gravitational waves revealed the first ‘Black Neutron Star’?
  • Jen sees the error of her ways about Betelgeuse’s recent dimming
  • Odd white spots on Saturn’s moon Titan could be dried up methane lake beds
  • Hunting for the first ever stars in the universe
  • CERN’s next generation supercollider

Main News story: Has NASA discovered parallel universes?

The Sky Guide: This month we’re taking a look at the constellation of Sagittarius with a guide to its history, how to find it, a couple of deep sky objects and a round-up of the solar system views on offer in July.

Guide to the Electromagnetic Spectrum: In this series we take a look at the electromagnetic spectrum, what, it is, what is shows us and why it’s so important to astronomers. This month we explain the visible part of the spectrum and its relevance to astronomy.

Q&A: What are arc seconds? How do we know how far away things are like planets and galaxies? What’s the measuring system? From our good friend Jeremy Hanson.

#96 – June 2020 Part 2

The Discussion:

  • Struggling to get the media excited about astronomy
  • How history will record the clusterf**k that is 2020
  • Skyrora looking to join the smallsat launch market
  • SpaceX’ Teletubby costumes

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

  • Starship prototype goes Kablooey
  • Britain returns to rocketry
  • Goodbye to Japan’s ISS resupply spacecraft
  • The European Space Agency look to ‘natural resources’ for moonbases
  • Virgin Orbit attempt to slash the cost of launching to Low Earth Orbit
  • NASA chooses 3 commercial consortia to develop lunar landers

Main news story: American commercial crewed launches have finally arrived

Q&A: Will the Lunar Gateway be visible from Earth? From Alex Bell @BLT_Astro on Twitter.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum: The near and mid-infrared part of the spectrum. How it became so important for astronomy and by whom.