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September 2009 Extra: The Dish

September 2009 Extra

In this show Megan talks to Robert Hollow (ATNF) about Pulse@Parkes, we put your astronomical questions to Dr Roy Smits, get a summary of recent spacecraft news, hear about the Station Fire at Mt Wilson and round-up the feedback we've received since the last show.


Megan talked to Robert Hollow (ATNF, CSIRO) about Pulse@Parkes which gives high school students a chance to control the Parkes Radio Telescope and do real science in real time. During the interview they mentioned the Parkes webcam and the PULSE@Parkes Twitter feed. More details can be found in the PULSE@Parkes paper.

Ask an Astronomer

Mark puts listener questions to Roy Smits.

Odds and Ends/Mission Updates

NASA have released the first images from the recently refurbished Hubble Space Telescope. These stunning pictures include multiwavelength images of a planetary nebula, 100,000 stars in a globular cluster and colliding galaxies. The new instruments on board the HST are much more powerful and sensitive than before, as seen when comparing these new images with older ones.

Astronomy Picture of the Day recently showed a very pretty image of Supernova Remnant E0102-72.

Images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment instrument on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are being used to look for the Mars Polar Lander which disappeared in December 1999 during its descent onto the Martian surface. The only way to know why the spacecraft failed is to find it so join in the search and help to solve a 10 year mystery!

The brains behind Galaxy Zoo are launching Moon Zoo to classify and measure the shape of features on the lunar surface using images from NASA's LRO.

Contact was lost with India's first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 at 0130 (IST) Saturday 29th August and the mission was terminated soon after. However, despite spending less than a year in orbit around the Moon, Chandrayaan-1 managed to map nearly all of the lunar surface and it has been said that the mission achieved around 95% of it's scientific objectives. It is expected that the data will take between 6 months and 3 years to analyse.

Over the past month the historic Mt Wilson Observatory near Los Angeles was threatened by the Station Fire as can be seen in this video. If you want to help Mt Wilson with resources to take care of cleanup and further preparation and mitigation activities, you can contribute to the Fire Recovery Appeal.

Show Credits

Interview:Robert Hollow and Megan Argo
Ask An Astronomer:Dr Roy Smits and Mark Purver
Presenters:David Ault, Megan Argo, Jen Gupta, Stuart Lowe and Roy Smits
Editors:Sarah Bryan, Roy Smits, Stuart Lowe
Segment voice:Danny Wong-McSweeney
Website:Stuart Lowe
Cover art:The Parkes Radio Telescope Credit: Megan Argo, Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy

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