It would be ironic to discover life on Venus before we found out about it on Mars but scientists insist for now that is “just phosphine”.
The Brashear Telescope is a masterpiece of the Victorian age technology. It stands 9 m tall with a refracting lens of 18 inches (45.72 cm) across. And it is getting a new home in Tekapo, New Zealand. The Brashear Telescope was built in 1894. The mount was built by the company Warner & Swasey Co …
This podcast has been recorded by us here from New Zealand for Space Place at Carter Observatory and the Jodcast, for the December night sky 2018. The Jodcast is a volunteer podcast about astronomy set up by astronomers based at the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank but aims to cover astronomy carried out all over the Earth and …
In New Zealand, Space Starts with Sheep; a new season is about to open for exoplanets as scientists discover an efficient method to predict microlensing; Earth’s Moon to be used as a giant radio telescope; “Hello, Andromeda calling”, gravitational waves might be used to carry information; 1500 km long water cloud appears on Mars after the planet-wide storm from last month, while InSider probe has only one month left hurling through space, and will land on Mars in November; scientists narrow down the landing sites for Mars 2020 rover; change of plans, why not land among the clouds of Venus? Hubble and Chandra telescopes have been repaired, mostly by switching them on and off and stay tuned for the position of Uranus in the sky.
Riding on Elon Musk’s muscle power earthlings are preparing to invade the Moon again. There they will find that some of its craters have been renamed to honour the Apollo 8 mission, the first to orbit our natural satellite 50 years ago. Venus is hailed by the Parker Solar probe that swings by it, Jupiter’s Moon Europa has 15 meters ice spikes on the surface and Saturn’s rings are not just water nor all the lost airline luggage. Mars has to resign to the idea that earthlings have figured out how to grow plants on it. Not even perchlorates can stop them. And last but not least, New Horizons is unstoppable going towards Ultima Thule.
This week, the European Space Agency announced that radar data collected by ESA’s Mars Express point to a pond of liquid water buried under layers of ice and dust in the south polar region of Mars. There is a long way between finding liquid brine pools on Mars and finding life. However, there might be a similar place on Earth, the Blood Falls in Antarctica that originate from a hypersaline brine groundwater environment that supports an anaerobic microbial ecosystem sustained by chemical energy. Professor Ian Hawes from Waikato University explains the importance of the discovery from Mars.
A really quick round up of the week in space including a black hole swallowing a star, the Mars dust storm and Hayabusa’s journey to Ryugu.