Pythagorean Astronomy

Pythagorean Astronomy: Radio astronomy close-up

Posted on 28 June 2015 by Chris North

Radio telescopes are normally used for looking at very distant objects thousands, millions, or possibly even billions of light years away. But to do that, they have to look through the Earth’s atmosphere. For some radio astronomers the distorting effects of our atmosphere are an annoyance, but earlier this year Australian astronomers using the Murchison
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Pythagorean Astronomy: Solar System round-up

Posted on 28 May 2015 by Chris North

It’s a busy year in the Solar System for robotic explorers, with New Horizons on the way to distant Pluto, Dawn orbiting Ceres in the outer asteroid belt, and Rosetta and Philae accompanying comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it makes its closets approach to the Sun. This month Dr Edward Gomez and I chat about these missions,
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Pythagorean Astronomy: End of the Messenger

Posted on 30 April 2015 by Chris North

The Messenger probe arrived in orbit around Mercury in March 2011, after a 7 year journey to the innermost planet in our Solar System. It mapped the entire surface of this tiny planet, of which we’d seen less than half from the previous mission back in the 1970s. Far from being a dry, inert ball
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Pythagoras’ Trousers: Making the Invisible, Visible

Posted on 2 April 2015 by Chris North

In this special documentary as part of the Pythagoras Trousers radio series, Rhys Phillips visits his alma mater, Cardiff University’s School of Physics & Astronomy, to find out about a new generation of detectors being developed to help see things in the far infra-red part of the spectrum. With contributions from Chris North, Peter Hargave,
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Pythagorean Astronomy: ExoMars

Posted on 19 December 2014 by Chris North

It has been announced that the UK will lead the design and build of Europe’s next rover to Mars. Part of the European Space Agency’s ExoMars programme, this robotic explorer will drill down up two metres to search for signs of microbial life beneath the Martian surface. To find out about the rover, its mission, and the challenges
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Pythagorean Astronomy: Adventures of Philae

Posted on 27 November 2014 by Chris North

Chris North On 12th November 2014, the Philae lander separated from its mothership, ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft, and made history by making the first ever soft landing on a comet. It wasn’t quite as soft as hoped, with Philae experiencing more than its fair share of ups and downs, but it provided an nerve-wracking few days
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Pythagorean Astronomy: MAVEN to Mars

Posted on 5 November 2014 by Chris North

In late September, two new missions arrived ion orbit around Mars. One was India’s first mission, the Mars Orbiter Mission, while the other was NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft. MAVEN’s goal is not to study the surface of the planet but its atmosphere, with the aim of determining how it is changing and how it may have changed in the
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