Astronomy: Meteorite diamonds & Da Vinci Glow

Weekend Variety Wireless 21/04/2018
Sunrise Sand Dunes on Mars. Credit: NASA.

Scientists have examined a slice from a meteorite found on Earth that contains large diamonds formed at high pressure. 

Does anyone know if there's an astronomer in the house?

Astronomer Dr Grant Christie joins Graeme Hill to talk about meteorite diamonds and the "Da Vinci Glow".

The study shows that the parent body from which the meteorite came was a shattered planetary embryo of a size of Mercury to Mars.

An Australian-led group of astronomers working with European collaborators has revealed the "DNA" of more than 340,000 stars in the Milky Way, which should help them find the siblings of the Sun, now scattered across the sky.

New models predict that Phobos, Deimos compositions will be similar to Mars but dry. A planned mission to Mars in 2024 will explore these two small bodies and be able to test this theory. 

Also, five hundred years ago, Leonardo da Vinci proposed an outlandish theory explaining why the Moon's surface still glows after lunar nightfall. 

Turns out, his idea was essentially correct, and this week is a great time to see the "Da Vinci Glow." 

This was decades before Copernicus published his theory that all our planets orbited the Sun - rather than everything orbiting the Earth (Ptolemy).

What would it look like to fly over the North Pole of Jupiter

Listen to the full audio with Dr Grant Christie above.

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