Astronomy: Curiosity, Ryugu

Weekend Variety Wireless 01/07/2018
Credit: File.

Curiosity rover has taken a selfie showing Mars’ landscape at present.

Astronomer Dr Grant Christie joins Graeme Hill to talk the latest in Astronomy.

Curiosity could be facing the threat of the dust storm that has had Opportunity hunkered down in the Endeavour Crater.

Gaia Satellite put up by the European Space Agency (ESA) has been systematically measuring fundamental properties like the position and motions of 1.9 billion stars.

There has been a second data release of the huge survey, which Dr Christie predicts will rewrite most of the books of Astronomy.

“This video beautifully shows the audacious scope of this project”, he says.

A Japanese probe closes in on the Ryugu asteroid.

“It looks like the knob off a 1930’s gas stove”, Graeme jokes.

With such weak gravity around the asteroid, it will be a delicate process to be caught in its orbit.

The sample return method will see very primitive material pre-dating the formation of the solar system.

Oumuamua is the first known visitor from another solar system.

Apparently it’s a comet yet it doesn’t strictly parallel to what we understand of comets in our solar system - it appears and behaves uniquely.  

Also, Saturn’s rings are highly visible at current. Being very high in our sky, close in proximity and having tilted rings, Dr Christie insists getting your hands on a telescope to see the fine detailing.

Plus, there is discussion on general relativity and deep physics theories.

Listen to the full interview 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.