#75 – September 2018 Part 2




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The Discussion: Lt Col Dave from Florida gives us his more informed take on Space Force.

The News: In the new revamped show format we have 3 minutes to round up the astronomy news stories you might have missed:

Jeni:

  • An incredible Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter image of Aristarchus Crater
  • New life in the Kepler spacecraft

Ralph:

  • ESA’s Aeolus weather data spacecraft launches
  • NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft enters its science phase
  • China’s Chang’e 4 lander headed for the far side of the moon

The big news story:

  • The Parker Solar Probe on its way to ‘touch the sun’

The Debate: In this section the team debate a pressing question or issue in astronomy or space flight and in this inaugural debate, Ralph takes on Jeni to make arguments for what should be the next big human spaceflight destination: Moon or Mars?

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 powering rovers on Mars:

Will ExoMars be able to survive dust storms? From Mike in Florida

Extra: AstroCamp Autumn 2018




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In this podcast extra episode, we go a step further than just talking about astronomy and look forward to a long weekend of practical astronomy.

This episode discusses the value of star parties and whets your apetite for Awesome Astronomy’s AstroCamp event in the Welsh Brecon Beacons International Dark Sky Reserve.

Come share the eyepiece with us, enjoy a talk from the UK Space Agency’s Libby Jackson and win some astronomy prizes!

#75 – September 2018 Part 1


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The Discussion: Jeni returns after getting the flu, Paul’s science shows were a wash out at Camp Bestival and Ralph gets a great email about a telescope library service.

The News: In the new revamped show format we have 3 minutes to round up the astronomy news stories you might have missed:

Jeni:

  • New Gaia data shows us the distance and shape of familiar objects like never before
  • India’s Chandrayaan-1 finds water ice in the moon’s north and south pole craters
  • The Andromeda Galaxy’s dwarf companion was canibalised by a galactic collision

Ralph:

  • An ultra-hot 4,000ºC exoplanet
  • An ultra compact dwarf galaxy with a huge supermassive black hole
  • Astronomy favourite Albireo isn’t a binary star after all

The big news story:

  • New Horizons spacecraft confirms Voyager data on the Heliosphere

The Skyguide:

  • Jeni runs through some top facts about the planet Neptune
  • Paul tells you where to find it and what you can expect to see
  • Ralph runs through the autumn equinox, the constellations Cygnus & Lyra and visiting comet 21P Giacobini Zinner
  • Paul finished with this month’s moon phases

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 astronomical time travel:

I’m still trying to get my head around if bigger telescopes looking at the same thing as my 6 inch reflector are seeing it at a different time or in just more detail. Take the Whirlpool Galaxy for example, can it be seen at different stages in its existence? From Peter Coates in the UK.

Episode 75 Part 2 on space exploration comes out in the middle of the month.

Extra: Chewin’ the fat with a Nobel Laureate




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In this podcast extra episode, Jeni teams up with our good friend Dr Chris North from the Pythagoras Trousers podcast to speak to Caltech’s Linde Professor of Physics and Nobel Laureate Barry Barish. In this interview we discuss:

  • The early days of experimental particle physics
  • Building the advances in technologies for today’s experiments and detectors
  • The fear of failure creating resistance to building LIGO
  • Wanting to collect direct detections of signals from the Big Bang
  • The first detection of gravitational waves
  • The pomp, circumstance & minutiae of a Nobel Prize award
  • Post Nobel science influence
  • Advice for people wanting a career in STEM

Sky Guide August 2018




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What to look out, and up, for in August.

With no Jeni this month, Ralph & Paul pick their highlights for this month’s skies; starting with the solar system objects on offer to observers and imagers:

  • Mars just past opposition as impressive as last month
  • A round up of the other planets on view
  • The Perseid Meteor Shower peaking on 12/13th August

Next up, we take a deep sky pick from our list of favourites for this time of year:

  • Open clusters Messier 11 & Messier 26 in Scutum
  • Globular cluster NGC6712 & planetary nebula IC1295 in Scutum
  • Peculiar galaxy NGC7727 in Aquarius

And we finish this sky guide with August’s moon phases.

Extra: Space Force




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In this podcast extra episode, there was only one thing playing on all our minds – Space Force. What is it? Why is it? What will it look like? Just like us, I’m sure you’ll be none the wiser after this in-depth look into:

  • President Trump’s plan to create the US Space Force
  • The lesser known Welsh Force
  • The International Space Treaty
  • A few diversions into the future of aircraft technology

#74 – August 2018




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The Discussion: Jeni cares so little for our listeners that she didn’t even bother to show up this month (except for the interview section) and with no discipline Paul’s defacing valuable space artefacts and the emails to the show take a plunge south.

The News: The news section gets a revamp with a quick round up of the space exploration and astronomy news, covering:

  • The United Kingdom’s new spaceports
  • Japan’s Hayabusa 2 mission to return asteroid samples
  • New optics on ESO’s Very Large Telescope
  • 10 more moons discovered on Jupiter and volcanoes on Io
  • The latest data from ESA’s Planck mission
  • A rare extra solar neutrino discovery

The Interview: Jeni talks to Josh Borrow from Durham University’s Institute of Computational Cosmology about their simulations of the universe using supercomputers – and how you can make and control your own universe (yes, for reals!) at galaxymakers.org

The 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 the eventual fate of the dying star Betelgeuse:

When Betelgeuse goes kabloom, what’s the best estimate of what will be left, neutron star, pulsar, magnetar or black hole? From Martin Bradshaw in Accrington UK,

#73 – July 2018




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The Discussion: Jeni tells us about her more recent astronomy conferences in Eastbourne and Copenhagen. Paul gives us a round up of his astronomy outreach with interesting facts from and a rooftop star party. And Awesome Astronomy gets in deeper than intended with the Alan Bennet/Thora Hird gag that far outstayed its welcome.

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

  • AMI in the Sky with Diamonds!
  • Farewell Apollo 12 moonwalker, Alan Bean
  • An old mystery about our moon is solved
  • Has the Mars Opportunity rover bitten the dust?

The Interview: This month Jeni speaks to Dr Tana Joseph about the MeerKAT telescope and how outreach is impacting science in South Africa.

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 solar physics:

Will the Parker Solar Probe really touch the surface of the sun and what science will it do? Mark De Vriij in Poland

Sky Guide July 2018




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What to look out, and up, for in July.

With no Jen this month (she’s off sciencing), it’s just Paul & Ralph’s highlights for this month’s skies; starting with the solar system objects on offer to observers and imagers:

  • Mars at its most favourable opposition since 2003
  • Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto
  • A super-long lunar eclipse

Next up, we take a deep sky pick from our list of favourites for this time of year.

  • Ralph – Messier 16, The Eagle Nebula
  • Paul – NGC 6822, Barnard’s Irregular

And we finish this sky guide with July’s moon phases.

Extra: Galaxies, Work Placement Opportunities & Diversity in Science.




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In this podcast extra episode, released during Pride month, we return to this April’s European Week of Astronomy and Space Science where we spoke to Dr Ashley Spindler to find out more about:

  • Galaxy evolution, the evolution of galaxy structures and star formation from the MaNGA project using Sloan Digital Sky Survey data
  • South East Physics Network placement opportunities for post graduate students
  • The challenges and obstacles that still exist for the LGBT community in the workplace and education efforts to make science environments more open and welcoming to all people.

Ashley can also be found at @Ashley_Nova_ on Twitter.