Astronomy, podcasts, Pythagorean Astronomy

Pythagorean Astronomy: out with the old, in with the new

Two images of Betelgeuse from the Very Large Telescope in Chile. Image credit: ESO/M. Montargès et al.

Betelgeuse is still misbehaving, though we’re starting to get more information in from new observations by some of the largest telescope. Astronomers are narrowing in on the possible explanations. Chris, Edward and Claudia discuss what the implications might be.

While the dimming of Betelgeuse isn’t anything to do with aliens, the SETI programme is still going with a new project designed to focus on planets around stars that might be able to detect Earth’s presence. And in the centre of our galaxy there’s another hint of a mysterious object – an “intermediate mass black hole” being orbited by a bunch of gas clouds.

In space missions, it’s out with the old and in with the new. NASA’s Spitzer mission has ended, after over a decade and a half in space. Meanwhile, ESA’s Solar Orbiter mission has launched and got underway – after a slightly bumpy start!

Finally, Christina Coch has returned to Earth from the International Space Station, after a record-breaking spaceflight. What are we learning from such long duration space flights?

An extended edition of an original broadcast on 27th Feb 2020 as part of Pythagoras’ Trousers on Radio Cardiff.