George Conidis is Two Sheets to the Wind: January 27th, 2014

Show notes for Episode 183, January 27, 2014
Hosts: Jesse, Paul, Hugh
Special Guest: George Conidis
Title: George Conidis is two sheets to the wind

We invited York University Ph.D. candidate George Conidis to the show to chat about the local group of galaxies, the local sheet, and finding analogues of those out in the Universe. We also chatted about the supernova in M82, Ceres and Herschel, Chang’e’s challenges, and the local ASX symposium at the University of Toronto. Thanks to Mr. Conidis for joining us on air, and a nod to those of Apollo 1, Challenger, and Columbia. Podcast and show notes below.

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Chris Hadfield Inspires the World (and beyond): December 16, 2013

Episode 178 Show notes for December 16, 2013
Hosts: Hugh, Lianne, Paul
Title: Chris Hadfield Inspires the World (and beyond)

This week in space/astronomy history:
1.  December 17 1903: First sustained powered airplane flight, by Orville Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
2. December 14th 1972 — Humankind leaves the moon for the last(?) time.
3. Sir Joseph John “J. J.” Thomson, OM, FRS[1] (18 December 1856 – 30 August 1940)  Born in Manchester England.  Credited with the detection of the electron (1897)

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Shine on Chang’e Moon: December 9, 2013

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.

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Yutu is on it’s way to the Moon!

Liftoff

Liftoff

In a spectacular launch reminiscent of the Apollo-era missions, China successfully launched a robotic mission to the Moon.

On Sunday at 12:30pm EST (1:30am December 2, Beijing time) China’s space agency launched a modified Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the Sichuan province. Atop this rocket sat the Chang’e 3 lunar lander and a rover named ‘Yutu’ – which means Jade Rabbit, the pet rabbit of the Moon goddess Chang’e.

When the lander touches down in mid-December it will be the first soft landing on the Moon since the Soviet probe Luna 24 touched down on the lunar surface 37 years ago.

A live English-language webcast allowed viewers around the world to follow the launch. The broadcast was provided by China’s state-run television network CCTV.

The three-stage Long March 3B rocket was 55m (185 feet) tall when it launched, or about the height of a 15-story building.

Following separation from the rocket, Chang’e 3 successfully deployed its landing legs and solar panels.

On December 6, Chang’e 3 will fire its engines to enter lunar orbit. This will set up a December 14 landing.

Coincidentally, December 14 is the last day a human was on the moon. This was during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

The Yutu rover is powered primarily by solar panels; however it also has a small nuclear power source to provide heat to its instruments during the Moon’s nights – when the temperature drops to a chilling minus 170° Celsius.

Yutu is 1.5 meters tall and weighs approximately 120 kilograms.

Chang’e 3 is China’s third mission to the Moon. Chang’e 1 and Chang’e 2 were both lunar orbiting missions. They launched in 2007 and 2010 respectively.

This article by Harrison Ruess was originally posted on the Sun News Network

China's Long March 3B rocket launches from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the Sichuan province at 1:30am Beijing time on December 2, 2013. Atop this rocket sits the robotic Chang'e 3 Moon lander and Yutu rover.

China’s Long March 3B rocket launches from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the Sichuan province at 1:30am Beijing time on December 2, 2013. Atop this rocket sits the robotic Chang’e 3 Moon lander and Yutu rover.

China's Long March 3B rocket successful separates its second and third stages.

China’s Long March 3B rocket successful separates its second and third stages.

China's Chang'e 3 is seen moments after successfully separating from its launch rocket on December 2, 2013 Beijing time. The robotic Chang'e 3 mission is on route to a December 14 landing on the Moon.

China’s Chang’e 3 is seen moments after successfully separating from its launch rocket on December 2, 2013 Beijing time. The robotic Chang’e 3 mission is on route to a December 14 landing on the Moon.