Walkabout the Galaxy
BepiColombo mission, Mercury, solar flares, Europa, Jupiter
Astrophysics and Astronomy | Physics
In this wide-ranging episode, the gang takes a look at the recently launched BepiColombo mission to Mercury and why it takes so long to get to such a relatively near planetary neighbor. On the astrophysical front, the relatively cool stars that host most of the observed exoplanets in our corner of the galaxy are prone to large solar flares. The astroquarks discuss the implications for extraterrestrial life, and that brings us back to Europa, an ocean world orbiting Jupiter whose surface may be punctuated by tall ice spires called penitentes, also seen in snow and ice on Earth. Plus trivia, space news, and, as always, a new sponsor!
There's no better way to scratch that itch you just can't get to than spotting a fireball in the sky. Much more fun than the other version, fireballs outshine the planets for a few seconds while blasting through the earth's upper atmosphere. Big blazing fireballs have so much energy that they can punch through any barrier, shattering windows and causing general havoc and discomfort. So exercise extreme care around fireballs, but remember that fireballs help give birth to planets by spraying them with new stuff. Fireballs: Finger Lickin' Good.
© Joshua Colwell, All Rights Reserved
Length of Episode
Colwell, Joshua; Dove, Adrienne; and Cooney, James, "Fireballs and Penitentes" (2018). Walkabout the Galaxy Podcast. 63.