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Naked Astronomy episode

Fri, 25th Feb 2011

Kepler 11 - A Unique Extrasolar System

Artist's conception of a simultaneous transit of three planets before Kepler-11 observed by NASA's Kepler spacecraft on Aug. 26, 2010. (c) NASA / Tim Pyle

In this month's Naked Astronomy, we explore the unique system of six planets orbiting the star Kepler 11, and find out what to expect from the James Webb Space Telescope.  Plus news of the runaway star spotted by WISE - the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, a STEREO view of the whole Sun and how a galaxy spotted at a redshift of 10 can teach us about star formation in the early universe.

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In this edition of Naked Astronomy

Full Transcript

  • 01:47 - WISE Spots Runaway Star

    NASA's WISE mission, or Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, has spotted the bow shock of a runaway star...

  • 04:26 - STEREO Sees the Whole Sun

    NASA's STEREO mission - a pair of twin probes monitoring the Sun, have now reached 180 degree separation, allowing us a full view of the whole Sun for the first time...

  • 07:45 - Stardust Investigates Comet Tempel 1

    The mission Stardust-NExT, to study comet Tempel 1, made it's closest ever flyby, observing the surface of the comet in unprecidented detail...

  • 10:43 - Weighing the Black Hole in M87

    Astronomers using the Gemini telescope have "weighed" the black hole at the centre of the M87 Galaxy. They found it to be mass of 6.6 billion Suns, the largest ever measured for a black hole using a direct technique...

  • 21:43 - Can a rotating ship simulate gravity?

    If we are to make extended human trips into space ie to Mars or even further - one idea to ensure humans survive zero gravity conditions was to have a space ship that revolved and that would create artificial gravity. I thought gravity was related to the mass of a body not whethe...

  • 25:21 - Why don't galaxies that are not rotating collapse?

    I have a question for the Naked Astronomers - Why don't galaxies that are not rotating all collapse? I believe that Spiral Galaxies rotate but elliptical galaxies do not. I understand the universe can / is expanding because of the energy of the big band, but would expect al...

  • 27:51 - The Unique System of Kepler 11

    NASA describes Kepler as their first mission capable of finding Earth-size planets around other stars – and it’s doing a very good job. In the journal Nature earlier this month, NASA scientists announced the discovery of a unique system of 6 stars orbiting very close to their p...

  • 41:34 - Is hawking radiation more to do with energy than mass?

    I was listening to the most recent episode of Naked Astronomy and in particular I noted Andrew Pontzen's response to the question from David Walker about whether there was a bias as to whether a particle or an antiparticle fell into a black hole in the particular depiction of Haw...

  • 44:46 - Could extremophile bacteria survive on Mars?

    I learned about extreme forms of bacteria living in an absence of sunlight in caves with sulfuric acid, and I was wondering, could that life be sustained on Mars? Thanks! Isaac Lee Grade 9

  • 48:28 - The James Webb Space Telescope

    The James Webb Space Telescope, planned for launch in 2014, will be NASA's scientific successor to Hubble. With a larger mirror and infrared observing capabilities, it is hoped that the James Webb will be able to image and study the objects that Hubble wasn't able to. Louise O...

  • 54:18 - How can we be sure about the age of the universe?

    If the Universe is expanding faster than the speed of light then that would mean certain objects exist now that will never be seen here on Earth   If scientists measure the age of the Universe by observing galaxies/objects that they can see then how can they be sure of the age ...

  • 58:18 - Where matter slows light, is spacetime affected?

    Hi Naked Scientists, A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I have been reading Dr Brian Cox's excellent book Why E=MC^2, which introduces spacetime and special relativity, with my 11 year old son. So far I have been able to answer most questions, and I have certainly...

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