Now that gravitational waves are definitely a thing, it’s time to think about some of the crazy things we can figure out with them. In some cases we’re going to need a gravitational wave observatory - in fact, we've already built one.
Black holes! From Stephen Hawking to Interstellar, black holes are mammoths in the world of science AND sci-fi. But what exactly IS a black hole? Do events happen inside black holes? Are black holes really a hole? Are black holes really black?! Join Gabe on this week’s episode of PBS Space Time as he debunks popular black hole misconceptions, and rethinks what the term, ‘black hole’, even means. Thought you knew what a black hole was? Think again!
2015 • Astronomy
Prof Jim Al-Khalili tackles the biggest subject of all, the universe, through a series of critical observations and experiments that revolutionised our understanding of our world. In this second part, Professor Jim Al-Khalili carries us into the distant future to try to discover how the universe will end - with a bang or a whimper? He reveals a universe far stranger than anyone imagined and, at the frontier of our understanding, encounters a mysterious and enigmatic force that promises to change physics forever.
Last week we covered multiple star systems, but what if we added thousands or even millions of stars to the mix? A star cluster. There are different kinds of clusters, though. Open clusters contain hundreds or thousands of stars held together by gravity. They’re young, and evaporate over time, their stars let loose to roam space freely. Globular clusters, on the other hand, are larger, have hundreds of thousands of stars, and are more spherical. They’re very old, a significant fraction of the age of the Universe itself, and that means their stars have less heavy elements in them, are redder, and probably don’t have planets (though we’re not really sure).
For many years our place in the universe was the subject of theologians and philosophers, not scientists, but in 1960 one man changed all that. Dr Frank Drake was one of the leading lights in the new science of radio astronomy when he did something that was not only revolutionary, but could have cost him his career. Working at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Greenback in Virginia, he pointed one of their new 25-metre radio telescopes at a star called Tau Ceti twelve light years from earth, hoping for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.
On the anniversary of the launch of one of the most successful space mission to Mars, the National Geographic Channel is set to premiere a documentary on the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) also known as Mangalyaan. The MOM, was launched on November 5 in 2013 by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and entered the orbit of the red planet on September 24, 2014. The documentary produced by Miditech captures its enthralling journey of over 650 million kilometeres. In its most daring missions to date, India successfully sent a spacecraft to orbit around Mars, making it the fourth space agency in the world and the first Asian country, to successfully send a mission to the red planet. And they did this in record time, choosing a unique route and on a shoe-string budget, pulling off what is now globally recognised as the cheapest ride to Mars! So how did the (ISRO) scientists, with no previous experience in sending an inter planetary mission, design, develop and successfully launch and navigate Mangalyaan through space? What were the hurdles they faced and what out of the box solutions did they come up with to address those challenges? Using a combination of live action, expert interviews, archive footage and graphic representations the film captures the tension and drama points of the space mission. The documentary also focus on the salient features of the mission, all the drama, excitement, last minute preparations, the countdown and the successful launch.
2017 • Astronomy