The Astronomy and Space Science News Podcast
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*Mysterious Fast Radio Bursts linked to a distant dwarf galaxy and maybe a Magnetar
Astronomers are a step closer to finally determining what mysterious powerful energy blasts known as Fast Radio Bursts are. They’ve narrowed down a likely source to a distant ancient dwarf galaxy some three billion light-years away – and possibly to a highly magnetic type of neutron star known as a magnetar.
*Two new missions to explore early solar system
NASA has selected two missions designed to open new windows on one of the earliest eras in the history of our solar system -- a time less than 10 million years after the birth of the Sun. The missions, known as Lucy and Psyche will fly in 2021 and 2013 respectively.
*Two more Near Earth objects discovered
NASA's NEOWISE mission has discovered another two previously unknown Near Earth Objects or NEOs heading for our celestial neighbourhood, including one that further blurs the line between asteroids and comets. One is an object called 2016 WF9 in an orbit that takes it on a scenic tour of our solar system, while the other is a new comet named C/2016 U1 NEOWISE which has a good chance of becoming visible through binoculars.
*Dark Matter pioneer astronomer Vera Rubin dies at 88
One of the great pioneers of Dark Matter – astronomer Vera Rubin has passed away aged 88. Rubin’s pioneering research measuring galactic rotation curves proved there was something fundamentally wrong with sciences understanding of the physics of the universe. Either there was a serious flaw in the laws of gravity or there was a great deal of unseen mass out there -- needed to explain observations of the apparent movement of galaxies in clusters. We now know that missing mass is Dark Matter.
*Military satellite launched on Delta IV rocket
One of the world’s most advanced military telecommunications satellites has been successfully launched into orbit. The eighth US Air Force Wideband Global Satcom system‘s satellite WGS-8 blasted into black skies aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket from Space Launch Complex 37B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida.
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