Space Week: A seven-day tour of the cosmos

Space Week: A seven-day tour of the cosmos

A dying star explodes in a luminous supernova.

Shutterstock / NASA photographs

The universe is filled with wild and great mysteries, scenes of mind-blowing magnificence and extremely highly effective forces. Additionally it is house to New Scientist’s Chelsea Whyte and Leah Crane, who current Lifeless Planets Society. On this new podcast, our two intrepid hosts think about what it could be like in the event that they got cosmic powers to rearrange the universe.

Together with professional astronomers, physicists and planetary scientists, they discover all the things from comparatively benign situations – May we make Pluto a planet once more? Is it potential to show Venus right into a liveable planet for people? – to the downright damaging. Subscribe to New Scientist Weekly for entry to all of our podcasts, together with Lifeless Planets Society, and be taught what may occur if we punched a gap in a planet, chiselled Earth right into a dice, or put out the solar. 

Whilst you’re ready for brand new episodes to drop, try seven of our hottest in-depth articles that discover the photo voltaic system and past. To have a good time the launch of Lifeless Planets Society, we’re making these premium articles free to learn till 25 July. Unlock your entry by clicking via and registering as a consumer.

A cosmic catalogue

What, precisely, is on the market? Discover our stock of the universe, a concise information to all the things we all know of within the cosmos, from stars and planets to galaxy clusters and darkish vitality. Highly effective telescopes have given us a deep take a look at a menagerie of moons and black holes, super-Earths and scorching Jupiters – and supplied a deeper understanding of how the universe works.

Saving Earth from an asteroid

What would we do if scientists detected an asteroid the dimensions of a big constructing dashing immediately in direction of Earth? Determining which cities to evacuate, who to inform and methods to hold the human race going is the aim of planetary defence initiatives. On this article, comply with together with a gaggle of scientists who met in Washington DC to hash out how we’d reply to a cosmic worst-case situation.

Black gap choose-your-own-adventure

Think about your self being pulled into one of many universe’s widespread giants – a black gap. A looming darkness washes over your eyes and your physique is stretched into ribbons, “spaghettified” as scientists name it. However then what? On this choose-your-own-adventure story, you determine. Will you be devoured and evaporate into Hawking radiation? Would your atoms get crushed down and spewed again out in a white gap? Or may you find yourself in one other universe altogether?

Postcards to the celebrities

Since industrial radio started within the Nineteen Twenties, now we have been inadvertently broadcasting our presence to the celebrities. About half a century later, scientists started intentionally sending messages into the universe with the hope that there could be some clever life on the market to obtain them. So what sort of image do aliens have of us? If they’ve ears or eyes, they’ve heard Morse code and seen The Simpsons. They’ve additionally acquired a missive with binary code depicting the double helix of DNA and and perhaps even hummed alongside to Throughout the Universe by the Beatles. Extra not too long ago, researchers have been engaged on an up to date message to ship into the cosmos – however some say there may be potential hazard in revealing an excessive amount of about Earth.

The way to get to Mars

Earth and Mars are worlds aside. The Purple Planet is a frigid wasteland with decrease strain and gravity than our house planet. However that isn’t the one problem for any people hoping to arrange home there. Simply attending to Mars is an endeavour that we will solely confidently set out on after now we have answered some large questions: how can we construct a sufficiently big rocket for the journey, can it carry all of the meals and spare components we would wish to make the months-long journey, and who can we ship as the primary people to set foot on one other planet? And the most important query of all: can we convey them house?

Black holes from the daybreak of time

Because the early universe quickly expanded, space-time unfold out sooner than the velocity of sunshine. Out of this chaos arose primordial black holes. Or did they? These historical black holes have been theorised for many years, and a few scientists assume we might have already noticed them – which might be a monumental discovery. Not solely would they be the primary black holes ever to type, however probably the most attention-grabbing ones within the cosmos. Learn extra to be taught what they might inform us about darkish matter, the accelerating enlargement of the universe and the forces that maintain collectively all the things that exists.

Making a moon base

There was renewed curiosity within the moon for years, with plans for landers and rovers popping out of China, Russia, Japan, India, Europe and personal area firms. However NASA doesn’t simply wish to go go to – the US area company desires to remain. It has plans to collect samples of moon ice and discover exterior the touchdown areas of the Apollo missions from a long time in the past. However first, the astronauts it sends must overcome the challenges of area radiation and harmful moon mud to construct and energy a moon base.


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