In this Thai-themed special, we talk to Prof. Boonrucksar Soonthornthum about NARIT, Princess Sirindhorn's visit to JBO and Thai/Manchester collaboration, Eamonn Kerins and Supachai Awiphan tell us about the SPEARNET collaboration in this month's JodBite, and your astronomy questions are answered by George Bendo in Ask an Astronomer. Some additional footage of the visit (in Thai) is available here (autoplay video at link).
JodBite with Eamonn Kerins and Supachai Awiphan
Nialh talks to Dr. Eamonn Kerins and Dr. Supachai Awiphan, co-PIs of the SPEARNET collaboration between the University of Manchester and the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT). The group is looking ahead to the era of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), with the aim of finding and characterising the planets that are most amenable to the technique of transmission spectroscopy, using a global network of small telescopes.
Interview with Prof. Boonrucksar Soonthornthum
Jodrell Bank has had some more high-profile visitors - HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, along with representatives of the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT). We were lucky enough to catch Prof. Boonrucksar Soonthornthum, a former director of NARIT, to talk about the founding of the organisation, the princess' visit and what the future holds for Thai astronomy. He also recounts the long history of astronomical collaboration between Thailand and the University of Manchester, including the adventures of one Sir Arthur Schuster...
Ask an Astronomer
George Bendo answers your astronomical questions:
- Uranzaya asks: "How was the first telescope created, and why?"
- David Findlay asks: "Can you explain the equivalent of visual magnitude as applied to radio astronomy? Is there an equivalent to limiting magnitude with radio telescopes?"
- Graham asks: "Now that we know gravitational redshift occurs, does this also mean that the speed of light is not necessarily a constant?"
Odds and Ends
Josh, Nialh, and Joel discuss one of only two successful soft landings of a spacecraft on an asteroid, recently executed by the Hayabusa2 mission to the asteroid Ryugu. Moreover, the team discusses the interesting, and unique system which the rovers deployed to Ryugu used to traverse its surface.
Is artificial intelligence the future? Well when it comes to astronomy, it certainly seems so. With the size of data sets ever increasing, gone are the days of sifting through data manually. However, the latest developments in machine learning offer a clever alternative.
In this vein a team at the University of California have used novel machine learning techniques to detect 72 new Fast Radio Bursts (FRB) from FRB 121102, also known as the repeater due to it being the only known FRB which emits repeated bursts. The observations by the Green Bank Telescope had previously been analysed by classical algorithms which discovered 21 bursts over the period observed. This exemplifies the necessity to move forward in our approach, as the machine learning analysis yielded about four times as many observed FRBs from the same data set.
Live long and prosper: have we found Vulcan? Josh discusses the discovery of a planet orbiting the star 40 Eriadni A, despite never having seen an episode of Star Trek in his life.
|JodBite:||Eamonn Kerins, Supachai Awiphan and Nialh McCallum|
|Interview:||Prof. Boonrucksar Soonthornthum and Jake Staberg Morgan|
|Ask An Astronomer:||George Bendo and Eunseong Lee|
|Presenters:||Josh Hayes, Nialh McCallum and Joel Williams|
|Editors:||Emma Alexander, Adam Avison, George Bendo and Jake Staberg Morgan|
|Segment Voice:||Tess Jaffe|
|Website:||Jake Staberg Morgan and Stuart Lowe|
|Producer:||Jake Staberg Morgan|
|Cover art:||HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (C) and delegation, including Prof. Boonrucksar Soonthornthum (third from left) and our own Prof. Mike Garrett (second from right), during the visit to JBO on 5th July 2018. CREDIT: Howard Barlow|