Chris North, Sarah Roberts and Mat Allen discuss the launch of Bepi Colombo, which is on its way to study the planet Mercury. Meanwhile, the Hayabusa 2 mission continues its exploration of the asteroid Ryugu, while the Hubble Space Telescope has experienced a problem with its gyros – we discuss what that means for the telescope. (Update: the Hubble Space Telescope is back up and running again). Elsewhere, there are some kilonova lookalikes, and hints at the possible origins of binary neutron stars.
Here on the ground, work is underway to design and build a futuristic telescope – the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Due to be completed in the early 2020s, the telescope will take images of the entire southern sky every three days, revolutionising our understanding of the way the skies change on timescales of days. Dr Amanda Bauer joins us from LSST to explain the project and what it will do for astronomy.