Chris North and Edward Gomez discuss the latest events from around the Solar System. Hayabusa 2 has successfully hopped down onto the surface of Ryugu, meanwhile an Israeli lander has been launched to the Moon, where it will also hop about. Further afield, there are new clues to the origin of Neptune’s odd little moon Hippocamp.
Down hear on Earth, the LOFAR radio telescope array has produced the first phase of its survey, containing a third of a million galaxies. With this just being 10% of the full LOFAR survey, and much larger telescopes being planned, this is just a taste of what awaits the future of radio astronomy.
February 2019 also saw the official end to the Opportunity, the Mars rover which landed on Mars 15 years ago, and was last heard from in June 2018. But there was also good news about the future of Mars exploration, as ESA announced the name of its first Martian Rover, due for launch in 2020: Rosalind Franklin. The rover is being built here in the UK, and systems engineer Paul Meacham explains what the current status of the project is, and how the legacy of Opportunity has impacted the mission.
An extended edition of an original broadcast on 28th February 2019 as part of Pythagoras’ Trousers on Radio Cardiff.