Astronomy: Mars & Easter

Weekend Variety Wireless 31/03/2018
Credit: Astronomy Picture of the Day.

What's that bright red spot between the Lagoon and Trifid Nebulas? It's Mars. This gorgeous colour deep-sky photograph captured the red planet passing between the two notable nebulas.

Ryan Bradley is joined by Dr Grant Christie for an Easter special and to delve into all the Astronomy news for the week.

Easter always falls on a Sunday... and will be between the period of 21st March - 25th April. "The equinox will always lie there," says Dr Chrisite.

Earth is steadily catching up with Mars and in July, the two planets will be closer than any time since 2003. This will give us an excellent chance to view Mars at its best.

Is it a good idea to allow commercial advertising from Earth's orbit?

NASA will delay the launch of its ambitious James Webb Space Telescope by nearly a year, until about May 2020. 

Velikovsky’s Venus controversial 1950 book Worlds in Collision used biblical Old Testament passages to claim that our neighbour world was spawned by Jupiter only 3,500 years ago and nearly struck Earth - twice. 

About 70,000 years ago, a small reddish star approached our solar system and gravitationally disturbed comets and asteroids. Astronomers have verified that the movement of some of these objects is still marked by that stellar encounter.

Dr Ian Griffin, Otago Museum Director, organised another very successful flight south to view the aurora. Check out the video below.

Listen to the full audio with Grant Christie above.

Weekend Variety Wireless with Ryan Bradley in for Graeme Hill, 8pm - midnight Saturdays and Sundays, on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the Rova app on Android and iPhone.