We’ve always assumed that habitable planets would need to be like Earth; a terrestrial planet orbiting a sunlike star. But now astronomers have been discovering planets in the habitable zone around very much non-sunlike stars. What strange places could be habitable?
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A recent image from the South African Meerkat telescope blew our minds. It was a high resolution image of the center of the Milky Way, showing delicate filaments and other structures. What was so mind blowing is that this was an image from a radio telescope. Today we’re going to talk about why this was such an accomplishment and what the future holds for radio astronomy.
Pulsars are the rapidly spinning degenerate husks of dead stars, turning hundreds of times a second. But they’re also handy clocks, spinning with such certainty and accuracy that astronomers can use them for all kinds of stuff. We might even use them to navigate the cosmos.
In a rare moment of weakness, Pamela has decided she’s open to the possibility that a future exists. That missions, telescopes and spacecraft are going to be built and they’re going to do some science. Today we’ll talk about what we’re looking forward to before she changes her mind and ruins Fraser’s naive optimism for the future.