This week in space/astronomy history:
1. Gerald A. Soffen (February 7, 1926 – November 22, 2000) Viking (Mars) mission manager, he moved from a successful NASA project scientists to NASA educator. He now has a crater on Mars named after him.
2. Luna 9 (3 February 1966) made the first soft landing on the Moon (or first soft landing on any other object in the Solar System). 12th attempt. Operations lasted for about 3 days. Part of the Soviet Union’s Luna programme, it was another first for the Russians… so would they get the “ultimate” first and put the first human on the Moon? Interesting side story: the Russians initially delayed releasing images from the surface – but apparently used the internationally-agreed system for transmitting newspaper images. Jodrell Bank picked up on these signals, and so British newspapers picked up the images and distributed them worldwide! Motivations? Russians wanted higher quality pictures from Jodrell Bank but wouldn’t admit to asking for them… or Russian scientists didn’t want Russian politicians to politicize the event???
3. STS 41B, Space Shuttle Challenger, launched February 3 1984, saw the debut of the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU). Astronaut Bruce McCandless flew the MMU. The MMU flew only 3 flights before being retired.
Episode 177, December 9, 2013 Hosts: Jesse, Harrison, Rob B., Rob C. Title: Shine on Chang’e Moon
The first show in a while where we didn’t mention Australia once! (Paul wasn’t on). The Robs, Harrison, and Jesse tackled, what must be, the most wide range of topics the show has seen to date. Ranging from moons of Jupiter, the Star of Bethlehem, all the Milky Way’s super massive black hole and recently discovered jet. It’s been 37 years since a soft landing on the Moon and 41 years since Gene Cernan’s last steps. China’s Change’e lander is currently orbiting the Moon and will go for soft landing December 14th. Stay tuned for that! Thanks for listening all, show notes and podcast below.
Hosts: Jesse, Pat, Rob B., Harrison Title: Weird Quasars Have Extra Suck
A busy night with lots to talk about on ‘the Universe.’ Live guest, friend of the show, and all around good guy Randy Attwood joined the crew to chat about his new venture: Earthshine Astronomy and Space Science Org. This is a group that focuses on astronomy outreach in the Greater Toronto Area. York Universe host Dr. Patrick Hall was also on this evening, and chatted about his new discovery that was getting some ‘rounds on the internet. Hold onto your butts.
Title: The Spectacular York Universe 150th Episode Extravaganza Time: Starting 8 pm EDT (12 AM UT) – Ending 10 pm EDT (2 am UT) Hosts: Paul, Ryan, Jesse, Lianne, Ted, Harrison, Sophia, Rob, John, and George
This episode was broadcast live via webcam to our Online Public Viewing (OPV) chatroom!
York Universe (originally named ‘Live from YorkU’) has been on the air for 3 years and counting. A multitude of hosts have been through our camp, and all of them have helped shape York Universe into the wonderful product that you hear today. Today we celebrate our 150th episode. A large milestone, and one we thought worth marking with a special show! We’ve invited back past hosts, organized a fun trivia challenge (for hosts AND listeners), and designed some debate discussion. To accommodate all the additional content we also broadcast a full 2 hour program (instead of our usual 1 hour).
Thank you to all our hosts and volunteers, thank you to astronomy.fm, and thank you very much to all our listeners without whom our show wouldn’t exist!
Hosts: Ryan, Jesse, Lianne Title: Stars Will Find a Way
Paul takes a rare (and much deserved) night off from the York Universe broadcast. Dark matter has been all over the major news outlets; we chat about the recent AMS and SuperCDMS data, and their hints at dark matter. It appears Dr. Ian Malcolm was right (…sort of), ALMA has found stars forming close to Sagittarius A* (our Milky Way’s supermassive black hole), and CFHT has helped discover stars forming in the tidal tail of galaxy being torn apart. Ryan’s ‘What’s the latest?’ podcast debuts tonight! You should check it out. Thanks for listening everyone. Show notes and podcast below.
NOTE: We go live at 8 pm EDT (Tuesday at 12 am UT ) next week! So make sure to tune in! Continue reading →