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June/July 2018 Extra: Sequence-Breaking

June/July 2018 Extra

Originally titled 'Friends of Neutron Stars'. In the show this time, we talk to Dr. Anna Watts about thermonuclear bursts on neutron stars, Benjamin Shaw tells us about a glitchy pulsar in this month's JodBite, and your astronomy questions are answered by Mateusz Malenta in Ask an Astronomer.

Extended JodBite with Benjamin Shaw

One of our Jodcast veterans, Ben is now making his first appearance on the other side of the mic. He discusses a recent paper he and Manchester colleagues published (available on arXiv), detailing the largest ever glitch observed in the Crab pulsar. The exact nature of the pulsar and mechanism behind the glitches are still unclear - but it's almost certainly not like a cup of tea. We also have the chance to reflect on his time as one of the executive producers of the Jodcast.

Interview with Dr. Anna Watts

Dr. Anna Watts (Associate Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Amsterdam) talks to the Jodcast about nuclear explosions on the surface of neutron stars in binary systems. Such explosions provide ways of exploring the equation of state of the star, including the possibility of strange matter deep in the interior. Anna also talks about her work on the development of future X-ray satellites with NASA, ESO and JAXA.

Ask an Astronomer

Mateusz Malenta answers your astronomical questions:

Odds and Ends

An ongoing interstellar mystery is that of anomalous microwave emission (AME), with a previous candidate emitter, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) now no longer a main suspect. However, some new detective work seems to point the finger at nanodiamonds - tiny carbon crystals coated in hydrogen, embedded in young stellar disks.

Earlier this month, NASA announced that the Curiosity rover had discovered organic molecules on the surface of Mars. Whilst exciting, this is NOT the announcement that life has been discovered. We discuss the importance of this discovery, and how it might relate to the simultaneous announcement of atmospheric methane cycles.

In other news, Curiosity's sister rover, Opportunity is covered in dust and has gone to sleep as a dust storm the size of Asia has blotted out the Sun. Opportunity shut down, sending out this tweet to illustrate just how bad the storm was. Will Opportunity survive? We just don't know.

Show Credits

JodBite:Benjamin Shaw and Jake Staberg Morgan
Interview:Dr. Anna Watts and Tom Scragg
Ask An Astronomer:Mateusz Malenta and Eunseong Lee
Presenters:Rachael Ainsworth, Emma Alexander and Josh Hayes
Editors:Naomi Asabre Frimpong, Mark Kennedy and Jake Staberg Morgan
Segment Voice:Mike Peel
Website:Jake Staberg Morgan and Stuart Lowe
Producer:Jake Staberg Morgan
Cover art:The heart of the Crab Nebula. CREDIT: NASA, ESA

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