AstroTalk Episode December 3, 2020

Extinctions, Volcanic Eruptions, Asteroids, and Life Survives on Earth. Aricebo Telescope Dies. Chinag e 5 Returns Lunar Samples to Earth. Primordial Black Holes and Dark Matter.

2:01pm - 2:58pm

Extinctions, ice ages, volcanic eruptions, meteor strikes, and how life survived on Earth. The Aricebo radio telescope collapses in Puerto Rico. The telescope was the largest of its kind when it opened in 1963, and has contributed much to astronomy, from discovering planets, asteroids, and strange radio signals. The telescope cannot be reparied. China's Chang e 5 mission returns lunar samples from the moon, and Japan's Hayabusa 2 mission returns samples from the Ryugu asteroid. The US, the USSR, and China, stand as the only 3 nations to have retrieved lunar soil, and return it to Earth. Primordial Black Holes are now considered to be one option to explain the existence of Dark Matter. The black holes are thought to have come into existence at the Big Bang, but it was previously believed that black holes could only be formed when huge stars die. One way to locate these black holes are to search for SGWs, which are secondary gravitational waves. These SGWs are thought to send a signal that is much fainter than ordinary gravitational waves.