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Stuart here with the Show Notes for Series 19 Episode 15.
*A spinning gas halo discovered around the Milky Way
Astronomers have been surprised to discover that a halo of hot gas surrounding the Milky Way galaxy is spinning in the same direction and at a comparable speed to the galaxy’s disk. Scientists had thought this enormous reservoir of hot gas remained stationary while the Milky Way spins inside it.
*The Square Kilometer Array reaches another milestone
Scientists have completed another key step in their efforts to build what will be the world’s largest radio telescope, the SKA or Square Kilometer Array. Researchers have successfully tested astronomical verification of a critical sub-system for the giant telescope known as the frequency synchronisation system.
*Farewell to Rosetta’s Philae lander
European Space Agency mission managers have formally switched off the system on the Rosetta spacecraft which provides communications links between the orbiter and its tiny Philae lander. Switching off the system is part of the preparations for Rosetta's end of mission which is slated for September 30.
Scientists figured out last common ancestor of all living things
*Scientists think they’ve worked out the genetic make-up of the last common ancestor of all living things. Researchers found our earliest common ancestor probably consisted of just 355 genes and made its living around superheated deep sea hydrothermal vents about four billion years ago.
*The annual Delta Aquariid Meteor shower underway
The annual Delta Aquariid Meteor shower is at its peak with the best viewing about now because it coincides with a new moon providing darker skies. The shower is best for observed from the Southern hemisphere.
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