Radio and Podcasts

Pythagorean-Astronomy: ExoMars and Galaxies

Posted on 27 October 2016 by Chris North

A lot has happened this month – ESA got a spacecraft into orbit around Mars, but sadly lost the Schiaparelli lander, China launched two new taikonauts to their space station, and the Swarm mission uncovered details from Earth depths. Edward Gomez and I discussed these, and more, this month (though before the full nature of
Read more


Pythagorean Astronomy: Rosetta & OSIRIS-Rex

Posted on 26 September 2016 by Chris North

This month sees the start of one mission and the end of another. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission launched at the start of the month to go and study asteroid Bennu, and even bring back a sample to Earth. Meanwhile, the end of the month sees the finale of ESA’s Rosetta mission, which has spent two years studying comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. With
Read more


Artist's impression of Proxima b

Pythagorean Astronomy: Proxima b

Posted on 26 August 2016 by Chris North

After a few weeks of rumours, the announcement of the discovery of an Earth-size (maybe!) planet around the Sun’s nearest neighbour has caused quite a stir. The planet is more massive than the Earth, but probably not by much, and sits in a location where liquid water could (at least in principle), exist on it’s
Read more


Pythagorean Astronomy: The Origins of Black Holes

Posted on 30 June 2016 by Chris North

On 15th June 2016 the LIGO collaboration released more detections of gravitational waves. As with the first detection, announced back in February, these gravitational waves were emitted by pairs of black holes, spiralling together and merging, But of course, those black holes need to come from somewhere, and in this case it’s thought to be the deaths of
Read more


Pythagorean Astronomy: New worlds

Posted on 26 May 2016 by Chris North

This month’s focus is on two different stories, but both involving the same spacecraft: Kepler. Edward Gomez and I discuss a result from the outer edge of our Solar System, regarding the icy world that goes by the catchy name of “2007 OR10”. By combining information from the Kepler Spacecraft, now in the second phase
Read more


Pythagorean Astronomy: Interplanetary explorers

Posted on 29 April 2016 by Chris North

In this month’s instalment, Edward Gomez and I chat about interplanetary explorers to the icy worlds of Pluto and Ceres, and Cassini’s capture of interstellar dust as it passed through the Saturn system. And, of course, we look ahead to May’s Transit of Mercury, which we’ll be viewing with members of the public and school groups here
Read more


Pythagorean Astronomy: to Mars – and Beyond!

Posted on 31 March 2016 by Chris North

March 2016 saw the launch of the first part of Europe’s two-part mission to Mars. The mission, called ExoMars, comprises the “Trace Gas Orbiter” – the part that’s just launched – and a large rover, which launches in 2018. The orbiter will sniff the atmosphere to test for evidence of past  – or maybe even present – life. Elsewhere
Read more


Pythagorean Astronomy: In conversation with Mark McCaughrean

Posted on 27 August 2015 by Chris North

On Monday 24th August, Cardiff was treated to a public talk by Prof Mark McCaughrean, Senior Science Advisor in the European Space Agency’s Directorate of Science and Robotic Exploration. Mark spoke about the Rosetta mission, which has been studying comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for the past year, including the landing of Philae on the comet’s surface amid huge media attention.
Read more


Pythagorean Astronomy: New Horizons at Pluto

Posted on 30 July 2015 by Chris North

On 14th July 2015 the New Horizons probe whizzed past Pluto, providing our first ever close-ups of this tiny world at the edge of our Solar System. This month, Edward Gomez and I discuss why Pluto is so fascinating, and what the first few images have told us. We also chatted about this month’s other
Read more


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
Read more