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Dr. Paul Abel, Tuesday, 7-2-13 July 3, 2013

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Dr. Paul Abel, Tuesday, 7-2-13



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Guest:  Dr. Paul Abel.  Topics:  We discussed the BBC Sky At Night Program, astronomy & telescopes, UK observing and more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.   For those of you interested in the opportunity to submit feedback on the NRC congressionally mandated Human Spaceflight Study, please go to www.nationalacademies.org/humanspaceflight.   Please remember that your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).

We welcomed Dr. Paul Abel to the program to discuss the BBC television show, The Sky At Night (www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mk7h).  During the first segment of our 1 hour 31 minute program, Dr. Abel introduced us to the Sky At Night show which was started by Sir Patrick Moore in April 1957.  Dr. Abel described the focus and objectives of the program and we talked about some of their projects including the “Battle of the Forces” tug of war video which is on their website, plus their just completed Summer Solstice program which was filmed at Stonehenge.  We came back to talking about Stonehenge, mythology, rituals, and customs many times throughout the discussion.  I asked Dr. Abel about British commercial space companies such as Surrey Satellite but since they are publicly funded, their focus and goals are different as they address mostly space and science topics.  Dr. Abel talked about the many British astronomical societies plus the overall interest in astronomy and these societies within the UK.  We talked some about human spaceflight, including the Mars One venture.  Listeners asked about astronomy and telescopes and we learned that our guest is not in favor of what he called “go to telescopes.”  Instead, he suggested we should learn how to map the night sky and navigate our way around it with an equatorial telescope.  Listeners also wanted to know about observing and dark skies in the UK.  I asked questions about the relationship of astronomy and theoretical physics.  Another listener asked for a definition of Hawking Radiation.  Comets came up along with their mythology, plus the Kepler Space Telescope and Voyager 1.

In our second segment, Ben asked about SETI in the UK.  This started a rather involved and fun discussion about ET and the search for life using radio telescopes as well as by other means.  Also mentioned in this segment was amateur astronomy as compared to professional astronomy, Star Trek & its devices such as the transporter.  Paul received questions about his home observatory and telescopes.  A possible Europa mission was mentioned and we were both excited about that potential.  I asked our guest about STEM issues in the UK & observing in London’s Regis Park.  Sine we had spent some time talking about the search for life and ET, we talked about some ET sci-fi movies including Contact, Alien, & Star Trek.  As we were about to end, Tim called wanting to ask more about Skylon, a possible UK launch site near the equator, and the emerging UK Space Agency.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email our guest through me.


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