Weekly News Round-Up 29.06.13

Hello again. Sorry we’re a little late this week with the news update. It was (yet again) another busy week in the lab. We’re also busy trying to get organised for next weekend’s Live From Jodrell Bank events. Michael and Katie started making a volcano yesterday – there are some pictures of their masterpiece on our Twitter feed. An alternative way of recycling the free Metro newspapers I pick up on the tram every morning! Hopefully the paper mache will dry out over the weekend so we can paint it early next week…

It seems to have been rather a quiet week in the world of earth and planetary science, or else we’ve missed all the interesting news!

 

Escape from the Solar System

NASA’s Voyager spacecraft is getting very close to leaving our Solar System, and could be in interstellar space any day. But no-one knows exactly when it will reach the edge of the Solar System, it might not be for a few more years.

Voyager launched in 1977, and has travelled 18.5 billion km from Earth. The data that Voyager is sending back (which takes 17 hours to get here) show that the flow of particles from the sun is very very small, whereas over the last year it has been detecting a marked increase in particles from interstellar space. This suggests that Voyager’s departure from our Solar System is imminent… You can read more about this on the BBC News website.

 

Two Round-The World Trips for Chelyabinsk Shockwave

In February of this year a meteorite hit the Russian town of Chelyabinsk. In a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters, a team of scientists used a series of sensors primarily set up to detect nuclear tests trace the shockwave twice around the Earth. The explosive energy of the impact was equivalent to 460 kilotonnes of TNT, making it one of the most energetic events ever reported.

 

Live From Jodrell Bank

Just (another!) reminder that the first two transmission of this year’s Live From Jodrell Bank are next Saturday and Sunday, 6th and 7th July. We will be in the Science Arena on both days (and on the 30th and 31st August too) with a selection of activities including a meteorite impacting experiment, a chance to design your own space mission, and of course the volcano which will be erupting on a regular basis.  I think a limited number of tickets are still available.

Of course this means I will have to get up early on Saturday and Sunday. I think I might be about to discover that mornings don’t just only existed Monday to Friday, but they actually happen on Saturdays and Sundays too. Hmm…

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About Sarah Crowther

I'm a Post Doc in the Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry group. I study xenon isotope ratios using the RELAX mass spectrometer, to try to learn more about the origins and evolution of our solar system. I look at a wide range of samples from solar wind returned by NASA's Genesis mission to zircons (some of the oldest known terrestrial rocks), from meteorites to presolar grains.
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