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Stuart here with the Show Notes for Series 19 Episode 51:
* X marks the spot at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy
New evidence suggests there’s an enormous X-shaped structure made of stars within the central bulge of the Milky Way Galaxy.
The discovery helps scientists better understand how the Milky Way was formed and how it’s evolved ever since.
*New questions about how gullies are formed on Mars
A new study claims liquid water flowing over the surface of Mars isn’t responsible for the recent formation of gullies on the red planet. The new findings are based on data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft which shows no mineralogical evidence for abundant liquid water or its by-products associated with the gullies.
*Huge fire ball was space junk
A huge fireball seen burning up in the night skies over Las Vegas was most likely Chinese space junk rather than a meteor. Large regions of California, Nevada, and Utah were treated to the spectacular light show last week when the giant fireball streaked across the sky.
*Five Years Post-Launch, Juno Is at a Turning Point
Five years after departing Earth, and a month after slipping into orbit around Jupiter, NASA's Juno spacecraft has reached the turning point on its highly elliptical orbit around the solar system’s largest planet. On July 31 Juno reached the farthest point in its orbit around Jupiter.
*NASA Orders Second SpaceX Crew Mission to International Space Station
NASA has taken another step in its efforts to return human space flight to American soil – ordering a second post-certification mission for the SpaceX’s Dragon V2 capsule and Falcon 9 launch vehicle. The order of a second crew rotation mission from SpaceX, paired with the two ordered from Boeing CST100 starliner will help ensure reliable crew rotation flights from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida to the International Space Station as well as longer duration deep space missions using Orion capsules on deep space missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
*First vinyl record played in near space
Humans have achieved another important first – the playing of a vinyl record on a turntable at the very edge of space. With the album on the turntable and the record player set on repeat – the gondola was sent aloft on a high-altitude balloon to a height of 28,000 metres – higher than the cruising altitude of a U2 spy plane.
*New generation top secret spy satellite launched
A new top secret spy satellite has been launched amid a curtain of secrecy for the National Reconnaissance Office. The clandestine mission is believed to have placed a new-generation Quasar data-relay satellite into an inclined geosynchronous orbit 35,888 kilometres above the Earth.
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