In the show this time, Dr Stefan Soldner-Rembold talks to us about the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, Dr. Amit Tagore tells us about weak gravitational lensing and your astronomical questions are answered by George in Ask an Astronomer.
Jodbite with Dr. Amit Tagore
Interview with Dr Stefan Soldner-Rembold
Stefan Rembold-Soldner is the head of the particle physics group at Manchester University. He is working on DUNE (Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment) where beams of neutrinos generated at Fermilab in Chicago are detected by equipment deep underground in a South Dakotan gold mine. The experiment will further our understanding of how and why neutrinos mutate from one type to another. DUNE should also be able to detect neutrinos from relatively nearby supernovae and give us a better understanding of the dying moments of supergiant stars.
Ask an Astronomer
George answers your astronomical questions: Metalenses, photon directionality and the frequency of comet visitation
- Mark asks, "How will the new Metalens developments help astronomy?"
- John wants to know if photons have a preferred direction
- Eleanor asks "How often can we see comets?"
Odds and Ends
- Enceladus, Saturn's sixth largest moon and Benjamin Shaw's favourite astronomical object, has recently been reported to host molecular hydrogen. Cassini recently discovered molecular hydrogen within the plumes coming out of Enceladus's polar ice volcanoes. This suggests that water under Enceladus's icy surface is reacting through hydrothermic processes. On Earth, similar environments may be observed deep in our oceans, and are excellent energy sources for simple organisms. Hydrothermic processes occurring on Enceladus provide further evidence for potential life existing on this enigmatic moon.
- While millions of people plan to observe the solar eclipse in 2017 from the ground on August 21st, two scientists intend to take to the air in a pair of converted B57 bombers to observe the eclipse as part of NASA's Airborne Science Program. The eclipse will follow a path from Oregon to Georgia and on the ground the duration of totality for this eclipse is ~ 2.5 minutes but by flying as fast as they can along the track of the shadow the NASA team hope to extend the duration to ~ 3 minutes. (Some eclipses can last as long as ~7.5 minutes - but not this time). By flying at 50,000 feet, high above the blurring effect of most of the atmosphere, and any adverse weather, the NASA team plan to use High Definition / high frame rate cameras to observe not only the solar corona, but to study Mercury and search for Vulcanoids close to the sun as well. For more background.
- Due to depleting fuel reserves, the Cassini mission has begun its final orbits before being launched into Saturn's atmosphere. The probe must be prevented from contaminating environments that are suitable for living organisms, such as Enceladus and so must be destroyed before it powers down, to prevent the tiny possibility that it will hit a moon in the future and introduce bacteria that stowed-away from Earth. Cassini will undertake a series of orbits that take it ever closer to Saturn, including flying between the planet and the inner edges of the rings. On the 15th September, Cassini will burn up in Saturn's clouds sendin backg as many measurements as it can while we say goodbye.
|Interview:||Dr Amit Tagore with Monique Henson|
|Interview:||Dr Stefan Soldner-Rembold with Ian Evans|
|Ask An Astronomer:||Dr. George Bendo and Benjamin Shaw|
|Presenters:||Benjamin Shaw, Minnie Mao and Tom Scragg|
|Editors:||Sally Cooper, George Bendo, Ian Evans and Benjamin Shaw|
|Website:||Benjamin Shaw and Stuart Lowe|
|Cover art:||A total eclipse of the Sun by Saturn taken by Cassini. CREDIT: NASA/ESA|