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The Incredible Shrinking Planet - Mercury - SpaceTime with Stuart Gary Series 19 Episode 69

5 Oct 2016, 08:42 UTC
The Incredible Shrinking Planet - Mercury - SpaceTime with Stuart Gary Series 19 Episode 69
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Hi...Stuart here with the Show Notes for Series 19 Episode 69. Remember, you can find enhanced Show Notes, including photos to accompany this episode at http://www.bitesz.com/spacetime-show-notes

*The incredible shrinking planet Mercury
The planet Mercury is shrinking according to a new analysis of data gathered by a NASA spacecraft. The findings are based on a series of small previously undetected cliff-like tectonic structures on the planet’s surface known as thrust fault scarps.

*Rosetta’s grand finale
After a journey lasting over 12 and a half years Rosetta’s mission is finally over. Rosetta discovered over 60 molecules, 34 of which had never been found before on a comet. These include oxygen and the amino acid glycine, a basic building block of life. It also confirmed that Earth’s water probably didn’t come from comets – but rather asteroids.

*Solar Minimum on its way
Over the last few days AR2597 -- the last remaining sunspot group on the surface of our local star the Sun – disappeared. The blank solar face – the fourth this year -- is a sign that the Sun’s 11 year solar cycle is now heading towards Solar Minimum.

*Skywatch October
Well you’ve probably heard of a blue moon – the rare occurrence of a second full Moon in the one calendar month – but have you ever heard of a black moon.

*New super heavy lift launch vehicle
Blue Origin have announced details of a new super heavy lift launch vehicle. Blue Origin have leased Space Launch Complex 36 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida for their new rocket which could be flying by 2020.

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