Space and the Universe
|Group leader:||Colin Brown|
|Meeting Venue:||Members' homes|
|Time:||4th Tuesday of the month at 2:30pm|
New members are welcome. If you would like to know more about our solar system and the wider universe, are interested in the technology of spaceflight, or are intrigued by the occasional space stories that appear in the news, come along to one of our meetings and see whether you would like to join us. Don't be afraid of appearing ignorant. In the face of such a huge and rapidly evolving subject we all feel ignorant, but we're there to learn.
Next meeting: We are currently taking a summer holiday, and expect to start again in October.
Some recent Space and the Universe news stories (September 2019)
We normally have a round-up of stories like these at our meetings. Click on the link numbers (right column) to see each story.
|The black hole at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy has been flaring erratically. Astronomers are trying to find out what is going on.||Link 1|
|A second planet may have been found orbiting our nearest star, Proxima Centauri.||Link 2|
|Astronomers think they have worked out why they see fewer metallic asteroids than are expected to exist.||Link 3|
|Mysterious particles in the atmosphere of Venus seem to have a significant influence on its climate.||Link 4|
|How studies in Chile's Atacama Desert have revealed a possible mechanism for transporting microbial life around on Mars.||Link 5|
|More studies in the Atacama Desert have shown how living organisms could protect themselves from the harsh ultra-violet light on Mars (Video via Twitter).||Link 6|
|A space habitat that offers its inhabitants a generous volume, but which can be packed into a tight space.||Link 7|
|Spaceflight seesm to have a significant effect (article doesn't say if it's bad) on gut bacteria.||Link 8|
|The InSight lander team are still trying to work out how to get its heatflow probe to resume burrowing into Mars||Link 9|
|Video - SpaceX's Starhopper finally takes a short hop, demonstrating its methane-fuelled engine, built to enable Starship to land on the Moon and Mars and then take off again.||Link 10|
|The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Man's first steps on the Moon with a wide-ranging major exhibition covering artistic and religious aspects as well as scientific and engineering ones.||Link 11|
Starts with a brief reference to a recent SpaceX launch, including video of a rocket fairing being recovered for re-use. However the main content is RocketLab's recent volte-face in deciding to pursue re-usability. After discussion of the logic behind the decision and the special challenges RocketLabs will face, there are some interesting comments on the slimming-down now visible in the overcrowded small rocket launcher market.
RocketLab and reusable rockets