In September 2015 the Advanced LIGO detectors in the USA made the first detection of gravitational waves from two black holes colliding at close to the speed of light. This discovery was the first astrophysical result to come from a century of theoretical and experimental efforts to take the predictions of Einstein's General Relativity to build a new field of observational astronomy.
On 19 October 2017 an Interstellar Object was spotted passing through our Solar system, the first of its kind to be discovered. With little warning, astronomers had only a few days to study it before it became too faint for detailed investigation, even when using the world’s largest telescopes. Studies revealed a body that matched some of our expectations, but that differed significantly in other aspects. This talk will cover how it was discovered, and what we have learned so far.
Planetary drilling is more difficult than drilling on Earth. Low gravity reduces the possible weight-on-bit, and freezing conditions can seize the bit downhole. Furthermore, to reach any depth, it will be necessary to assemble the drillstring in-situ, which is a challenging task for robotic systems.
News, the Sun, the Moon, the Stars and an Introduction to Erin Higgins, all in 20 minutes!