#108 – June 2021 Part 1


The Discussion:

  • Buying and selling astronomy kit
  • A possible resolution to the Wiltshire Audio Anomaly

 

The News: Rounding up the astronomy news in February, we have:

  • Heavy metal vapours detected around comets
  • A weird supernova
  • Seafloor volcanoes on Europa

 

The Sky Guide: This month we’re taking a look at the constellation of Ophiuchus 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 June.

 

Q&A: What’s the difference between a nova and a supernova? From our good friend Steven Age in Derby.

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#107 – May 2021 Part 2


The Discussion:

  • Farewell to Michael Collins
  • Jeni back on the radio, other podcasts and TV – cc/crhxtz
  • Listeners’ emails

 

The News:

  • Blue Origin prepares to take space tourists
  • The launch of China’s new Space Station & falling space debris
  • Can you help the Royal Astronomical Society find the UK’s moon trees? cc/rrhxtz
  • SpaceX reaches a production/economic milestone with a 10th reuse of a Falcon 9 booster

The big news story: NASA awards and then pauses the contract to develop the next lunar lander.

 

Moons of the Solar System: Our show segment exploring the discovery, exploration and our knowledge of the solar system’s moons. And we move onto Saturn’s enigmatic satellites, Titan and Enceladus.

 

Q&A: ‘What is the future for Hubble once the JWST launches and could there be new servicing missions with the development of the SpaceX Starship‘ From our good friend Mark de Vrij in the UK.

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#107 – May 2021 Part 1


The Discussion:

  • Binocular observing
  • Do you want Ralph’s 115 triplet refractor & goto mount?
  • The Wiltshire Audio Anomaly
  • Listeners emails on historical images and refractor rivalry

The News: Rounding up the astronomy news in February, we have:

  • An update on that life on Venus story
  • Life around Proxima Centauri is in for a blast
  • More data to add to the universe’s expansion rate conundrum
  • Was Oumuamua really an interstellar comet?

Main News story: The US’ Fermi National Accelerator follows CERN with a muon discovery that also hints at a big anomaly in the Standard Model of Physics.

The Sky Guide: This month we’re taking a look at the constellation of Ursa Major 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 May.

Q&A: I’m getting into my 50s, and hearing Ralph say what good times we’re in as regards gaining knowledge of the Universe leads me to wonder…. what will I be around for? From our good friend Peter Jeal from London, UK.

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#106 – April 2021 Part 2


The Discussion:

  • The ‘Wiltshire Audio Anomaly’
  • 20% off the book Vera Rubin – A Life for US listeners using url: hup.harvard.edu/exhibits/HX7578
  • @StargazerRob’s alternative astrophotographer of the year award
  • Listeners’ emails

The News:

  • April Fools research papers
  • Commemorating 60 years since Yuri Gagarin’s 1st Spaceflight
  • An update on @NASA’s Mars Ingenuity copter
  • Rounding up @SpaceX’s metal toilet roll tube developments & explosions
  • NASA’s Artemis program update and presidential priorities for NASA
  • Cluttered & congested orbits leading to satellite collisions

Moons of the Solar System: Our show segment exploring the discovery, exploration and our knowledge of the solar system’s moons. And we move onto Jupiter’s 75 less fashionable moons.

Q&A: ‘How are satellite licences awarded and by who? And can/should they make requirements of companies to make them responsible for their space junk and their impact on ground based astronomy?‘ From our good friend Matt Rayment in London, UK.

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#106 – April 2021 Part 1


The Discussion:

  • Jen finally becomes Dr Jen – bow down pitiful Earthlings!
  • Binocular astronomy
  • Get the book Vera Rubin – A Life by Jacqueline and Simon Mitton with 25% off by emailing cs-books@wiley.com, and quoting the discount code H0350 (mentioning Awesome Astronomy probably wouldn’t go amiss too)
  • Emails from listeners correcting a possible error and posing a teasing question about US refractors.

The News: Rounding up the astronomy news in February, we have:

  • UCL researchers unravel the mystery of the Antikythera mechanism
  • The Event Horizon Telescope improves the image of a supermassive black hole by revealing its magnetic fields
  • Confirming the existence of the furthest major solar system object
  • An exoplanet that lost its atmosphere and then gained another one!

Main News story: CERN’s LHC spots a quirky quark that hints at a big anomaly in the Standard Model of Physics

The Sky Guide: This month we’re taking a look at the constellation of Coma Bereneces 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 April.

Q&A: You mentioned recently that a comet was a long period comet? What does this mean? How do we know if a comet is a long period comet? From our good friend Arliss Evans in Texas, USA.

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#105 – March 2021 Part 2


The Discussion:

  • Vaccination cometh to Awesome Astronomy
  • The UK’s unorthodox meteor sample return mission
  • A listener’s email follow up to last month’s Q&A

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

  • SpaceX launch and land a 13 storey Starship
  • Japan joins NASA’s moon programme
  • NASA releases its science goals for Project Artemis
  • Northrop Grumman begins work on NASA’s Mars sample return
  • The OSIRIS-REx mission prepares for May asteroid departure

Moons of the Solar System: Our show segment exploring the discovery, exploration and our knowledge of the solar system’s moons. And we move onto Jupiter and the four Galilean moons, Io, Europa, Ganymede and Calisto. Jupiter’s other moons next month.

Q&A: ‘Do you think the first crewed Mars mission will be to land or would it make any sense to do an Apollo 8 (or indeed 10) stylee close approach?‘ From our good friend Alex Bell in Bath, UK.

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#105 – March 2021 Part 1


The Discussion:

  • Paul becomes the new Vice President of Wycombe Astronomical Society
  • Jen gets a date for her PhD viva
  • Jen promoting NASA’s Perseverance rover on the BBC
  • Get ready for Teentech Live on 5th March
  • Emails from listeners highlighting the good and bad in Awesome Astronomy

 

The News: Rounding up the astronomy news in February, we have:

  • The Cygnus X-1 black hole must be much bigger than we thought
  • A single neutrino detection reveals a super-supermassive blackhole
  • Was the impact that killed the dinosaurs an asteroid or comet?
  • Earth’s regular magnetic pole reversals may be catastrophic to life

Main News story: A return to the mythical Planet 9 and a new paper casting further doubt on the evidence in favour of an undiscovered massive object in the outer solar system.

 

The Sky Guide: This month we’re taking a look at the constellation of Gemini 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 March.

 

Q&A: Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was some sort of collective effort to digitise and share the historic astronomical records held in observatories’ glass plates? From our good friend Tony Horton in the UK.

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Podcast Extra: How to Become an Astronaut


As the European Space Agency gears up to opening its next recruitment campaign from 31 March to 28 May 2021, we take you through:

  • The entry requirements
  • The selection process
  • The missions successful candidates are expected to fly
  • The first astronaut recruitment trawl for candidates with physical disabilities

If you want to take a look and see if being an astronaut suits you, go to www.esa.int/YourWayToSpace

If you want to apply, applications should be submitted to the ESA Careers website, from 31 March, at https://www.esa.int/About_Us/Careers_at_ESA

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#104 – February 2021 Part 2


The Discussion:

  • Correcting the orbits of Jupiter’s moons
  • Welcoming Galaxy Rise’s Dustin Ruoff onto the Podcast Crew
  • Causing terrorism scares with telescopes

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

  • NASA provides more details for its lunar space station plans
  • China’s space station plans
  • Turkey look to become a spacefaring nation
  • The European Space Agency looks for more astronauts
  • The UAE’s Hope Mission & China’s Tianwen-1 make it into Mars orbit

Moons of the Solar System: Our new show segment exploring the discovery, exploration and our knowledge of the solar system’s moons. And we begin with Mars’ moons, Phobos and Deimos.

Q&A: ‘Will commercial ventures, render SLS useless at some stage?‘ From our good friend Steven Sean Spyvee in Leeds, UK.

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