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In episode 73:
*The universe has over twenty times more galaxies than previously thought
There are at least two trillion galaxies -- twenty times more in the observable universe -- than previously estimated. The findings are based a new study of data from the Earth orbiting Hubble Space Telescope and other ground and space based observatories.
*How Pluto paints its largest moon red
Pluto’s binary partner and largest moon Charon owes its unusual reddish polar colouring to methane gas escaping Pluto’s atmosphere and becoming trapped by Charon’s gravity -- eventually freezing on to its cold, icy surface. The findings resolve a long standing mystery which began in June 2015, when the cameras on NASA’s approaching New Horizons spacecraft first spotted the strange reddish polar region on Charon.
*Square Kilometre Array software tested on one of the world’s fastest super computers
Prototype software designed to manage data from the Square Kilometre Array telescope is being tested on the world’s second fastest supercomputer in China. Once installed on the SKA the complete system will process raw observations of distant stars and galaxies and turn them into data that can be analysed by astronomers around the world.
*China launches two taikonauts on a month long space mission
China has successfully launched two taikonauts on a month long mission into orbit. The Shenzhou 11 spacecraft blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert to rendezvous and dock with the Tiangong 2 orbiting laboratory launched last month.
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