In this show we find out about Autumn Moonwatch from Steve Owens and we hear all about the rings and moons of Saturn from Prof. Carl Murray. We put your astronomical questions to Dr Tim O'Brien, get a summary of recent news and events and round-up the feedback we've received since the last show.
Stuart talked to Steve Owens (UK International Year of Astronomy coordinator) about Autumn MoonWatch (24 October - 1 November). The event follows on from the international Galilean Nights (22-24 October) and will give an opportunity to experience of a wide range of public outreach activities, live science events, observing with telescopes, research observatory webcasts and sidewalk astronomy events. If you have an event make sure you register it. If you have a Twitter account make sure you follow #MoonWatch.
The Cassini spacecraft arrived in orbit around the planet Saturn in July 2004. Two years ago, in late 2007, we talked to Professor Carl Murray (Queen Mary University of London) of the Cassini spacecraft imaging team and found out about the discoveries that Cassini had made whilst looking at the rings and moons of Saturn. Stuart caught up with Carl again to get the latest news on Saturn. To start they talk about the recent news of a new ring discovered in observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope. The new ring is huge but very tenuous with material spiralling in towards two-faced Iapetus. They also discuss the F-ring and other interesting features such as edge waves near Daphnes. The ciclops website is a great source of Cassini images.
Ask an Astronomer
Tim O'Brien answers listener questions.
- Richard Jarrold says "I live near Jodrell bank and see it most days. I often wonder whether your radio telescopes operate day and night? And also what difference does the weather make to radio obervatons?"
- Geoff Mutton asks "How old is Sirius?". In answering the question, Tim refers to this paper.
- Paul Gibson says "As far as I can understand, matter that falls into a black hole takes an infinite amount of time to do so, according to a far away observer. Does that mean that all active galactic nuclei will always appear as accretion discs to outsiders?"
- Sean Mulcahy says "Since ancient times when constellations where first imagined by our ancestors, have any of them changed shape so much the perhaps they wouldn't be recognised today if somehow somebody from the past was catapulted forwards 2000 or so years?" Tim describes how asterisms such as The Plough (Big Dipper) can change over time.
Odds and Ends
NASA are having a live tweetup with astronauts on the ISS on the 21st October. It will be too late to register but if you're already signed up let us know how it goes.
National Geographic have produced a representation of Fifty Years of Space Exploration (also on Flickr).
The Vatican is opening an exhibition about Galileo.
During MoonWatch (which is also the same week as Manchester Science Festival) From Earth To The Universe exhibition will be on at the Museum of Science and Industry Manchester. There will also be astronomers from Jodrell taking to the streets of Manchester with telescopes!
|Interview:||Steve Owens and Stuart Lowe|
|Interview:||Prof Carl Murray and Stuart Lowe|
|Ask An Astronomer:||Dr Tim O'Brien|
|Presenters:||David Ault, Adam Avison, and Jen Gupta|
|Segment voice:||Cormac Purcell|
|Cover art:||Saturn at Equinox Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute|