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November 2018 Extra: Falling with hotDOGS

November 2018 Extra

Falling with hot DOGS. In the show this time, we talk to Bernie Fanaroff and Rob Adam about using science to inform policy-makers, and the future of African astronomy, our resident DARA Big Data Science Policy Fellows tell us about their DARA Fellowships in this month's JodBite, and your astronomy questions are answered by George Bendo in Ask an Astronomer.

JodBite with DARA Big Data Science Policy Fellows

We talk to the DARA Big Data Science Policy Fellows

about the month-long DARA Big Data Science Policy Fellowship program they attended in the University of Manchester from the 1st of October to the 31st of October 2018.

Interview with Dr. Bernie Fanaroff

Among astronomers, Dr. Bernie Fanaroff is best known for his work in creating the Fanaroff-Riley classification of radio galaxies. Beyond astronomy, he was involved in the resistance against apartheid for many years, ultimately helping to rebuild South Africa as part of Nelson Mandela's government. We talk to Dr. Fanaroff about how science can (and should) influence the policies of governments, how the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) came to Africa and what he terms "the fourth industrial revolution" - the use of Big Data not just in astronomy, but in all walks of life.

Interview with Dr. Rob Adam

Dr. Rob Adam is currently the Managing Director of the South African Radio Astronomy Observervatory (SARAO), which handles the development of the SKA in South Africa and the precursor projects sited there. Rob has variously worked in the fields of chemical engineering, nuclear and theoretical physics, before moving into astronomy and policy direction. He was also a member of the then-proscribed African National Congress (ANC), and served ten years imprisonment handed down by the apartheid government of South Africa. We talk to Dr. Adam about his work in using science to influence policy (and vice-versa), and the various projects he has helped to deliver over the years.

Ask an Astronomer

George Bendo answers your astronomical questions:

Odds and Ends

After almost a decade, the Kepler space telescope has gone to sleep and won't be waking up. This pioneering telescope paved the way for a new understanding of exoplanets, discovering over 2,500 in its 9 year mission. These planets range from a few potentially Earth-like planets to hot Jupiters, which are so close to their host star that their year is a handful of Earth days and their atmospheres can be hotter than most stars! This is not the end of planet hunting, however. TESS (The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) launched earlier this year and will pick up where Kepler left off, but will be looking to discover over 20,000 new worlds, each of which will be potentially examinable by Earth-based telescopes. The ending of the Kepler mission is not the end of exoplanet science, merely the end of the beginning.

On the 15th November 1988 at 21:46 pm the 300ft Radio Telescope at Green Bank in West Virginia collapsed. Engineers later concluded that a key gusset plate has failed, having not been designed to last the 26 years the telescope had been in operation. Three years later construction started on a new, even bigger replacement, known as the Green Bank telescope. The new telescope took ten years to build and commission and at 100m Green Bank is the second-largest fully steerable dish in the world.

With the 30th anniversary of the events at Green Bank in mind we perhaps should not begrudge the very many months spent on maintenance, repair and upgrade of the Lovell radio telescope at Jodrell Bank over the past few years.

Astronomers using the ALMA telescope have caught a Hot DOG in the act of stripping its galactic neighbours. The Hot Dusty, Obscured Galaxy (hot DOG), an incredibly rare form of quasar, known as W2246-0526 is the most luminous galaxy in the universe and at a distance of 12.4 billion light years meaning the light used to make this set off to us when the universe of a tenth of its current age. The new observations have shown that WW2246-0526 has streams of material flowing toward it from at least 3 nearby galaxies. The number of galaxies being stripped of material and the fact that this is now the earliest know example of material flow between galaxies makes this hotDOG a really interesting source. The amount of material being siphoned off its companions is approximately half their total mass and will allow W2246-0526 to keep it forming stars and feeding its central black hole for hundreds of millions of years. Though such greed may ultimately lead self destruction when the energy in the galactic nucleus becomes sufficient to eject much of WW2246-0526's star forming matter.

On JodWatch, we also briefly report on a recent SETI conference held in Manchester's new Schuster Annexe.

Show Credits

JodBite:DARA Big Data Science Policy Fellows, Naomi Asabre Frimpong and Jake Staberg Morgan
Interview:Bernie Fanaroff, Emma Alexander and Jake Staberg Morgan
Interview:Bernie Fanaroff, Emma Alexander and Jake Staberg Morgan
Ask An Astronomer:George Bendo and Eunseong Lee
Presenters:Adam Avison, Josh Hayes and Tom Scragg
Editors:Naomi Asabre Frimpong, Bin Yu, Tiaan Bezuidenhout, Hongming Tang and Elizabeth Lee
Segment Voice:Tess Jaffe
Website:Naomi Asabre Frimpong and Stuart Lowe
Producer:Naomi Asabre Frimpong
Cover art:Homing in on 'Hot Dogs' CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

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