Next Episode of The Sky at Night is
Our team of astronomers tell us what's on view in the night sky. From comets to quasars, there is always something fascinating to discuss in the Universe.
The Sky at Night goes behind the scenes at the European Space Agency as the Rosetta mission reaches its conclusion and the spacecraft is crashed into the surface of comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. For nearly two years the Rosetta spacecraft has been in orbit, studying the comet at close range and returning extraordinary pictures. But now the the mission must end and the project scientists have decided to have one final attempt at studying it at close range. On September 30th the spacecraft - with all its instruments running - will be crashed into the surface of the comet. Its aim is to get the best ever view of the mysterious pits on the comet's surface, pits whose walls are thought to have been undisturbed for over 4 billion years. Chris Lintott will be in mission control with the scientists as they watch the pictures come in from the spacecraft's dive towards the surface. Maggie Aderin-Pocock will be investigating how the mission has transformed our understanding of comets.
The Sky at Night team investigates the ongoing hunt for life on Mars. It is one of the great scientific questions of our time, but are we any closer to finding an answer? As well as uncovering the cause of the recent crash of the Schiaparelli lander, the team looks at the next missions designed to hunt for life on the red planet - from a rover designed to drill deep into the surface, to the orbiter sniffing for signs of methane in the atmosphere. Adam Rutherford joins the team to ask if we have been deliberately avoiding the most likely places to find life on Mars.
The Sky at Night team looks back on the major stories of the year and sees how they have developed since they hit the headlines. 2016 has been a remarkable year in many ways, but one area in which it has been particularly good is in space science. There have been new missions to Jupiter and Mars, planets have been found on the outskirts of the solar system and around our nearest neighbouring star, and the discovery of gravitational waves has potentially given us a new way of investigating the universe. What has the Juno probe discovered at Jupiter? Has Planet 9 been found? And are we any closer to finding Earth-like planets elsewhere in the galaxy?
All good travel guides need a map, and the team unveil the most detailed 3-D map of the Milky Way ever produced. A map that reveals that there may be 50 per cent more stars in the galaxy than we previously thought. American astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson gives us a guided tour of the strangest stars we have ever observed, and we discover that the Milky Way may already be colliding with our neighbouring galaxy, Andromeda.
Patrick Moore(Patrick Moore)
Maggie Aderin Pocock(Maggie Aderin Pocock)
Lucie Green(Lucie Green)
Chris Lintott(Chris Lintott)
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