Spaced Out – never out of space!

Astronomy Educator David Britten features on the fortnightly Spaced Out segment on 95bFM Drive where he chats all things space science, Stardome and stargazing. 

To keep up to date on these headlines make sure to have a listen around 4:40pm Tuesdays fortnightly (or catch up on it later here). Then check back here on ‘Spaced Out – never out of space!’ every two weeks to see the headlines summarised, as well as anything else that you need to know to ensure you remain the most knowledgeable person in your friend group! 

Spaced Out has been broadcast fortnightly since July 2011 – read more here

Podcast archives of Spaced Out at bFM can be found here

Spaced Out is part of the 95bFM Drive show with Johnny and Big Hungry, 4-7pm weekdays – read more here


13 October 2020

Fourth woman to win Nobel Prize for Physics



Astronomers seek help against satellite megaconstellation threats

The cycle of Earth/Mars close passes

There’s too much gold in the unive

Boulders on Bennu shed new light on asteroid’s history

Self-eating rocket’ technology gets a boost

So little cosmic matter, but it really matters see here and here

NASA’s new toilet ready for use in space

Mars Opposition 2020

Where does space start?

Rocket Lab first US launch scheduled for October



Biosignature discovered high in atmosphere of Venus here

Read more here   See further articles here and here   

Rocket Lab secretly launched their first satellite on last launch

3200 megapixel camera

How to see Uranus at night this week without a telescope

Mice with missing gene could help stop astronauts losing bone and muscle mass in space

Law of gravity works down to at least a twentieth of a millimetre

New quantum paradox throws the foundations of observed reality into question

Laser light bounced off lunar orbiter. Read more about this here and here

Fastest spinning white dwarf star

Rocket Lab returns to space after launch failure

Earth’s core solid for a billion years

Citizen scientists discover 95 cool brown dwarfs

Thousands of ‘blanets’ might orbit supermassive black hole

Massive wildfires threaten historic Lick Observatory

Amazon’s constellation of more than 3,200 satellites approved

Schoolgirls discover Mars-crosser asteroid

Rocket Lab planning mission to Venus

Arecibo Radio Telescope seriously damaged after cable break

NASA to discontinue using racist nicknames for astronomical objects

Ceres’ bright patches caused by upwelling salty water

Strange Betelgeuse dimming caused by giant stellar belch

Dark-energy map provides both answers and problems

SpaceX updates 59-year-old splashdown

Rocket Lab identifies and fixes fault from mission failure

Early Mars may have had ice sheets, not running water

Quiet Earth during Covid-19 lockdowns

Space thruster just 1 cm across

Three missions to Mars in two weeks, from the UAE, China and NASA: Hope   Tianwen  Perseverance

NASA re-counts Apollo EVAs to reach 300th space walk

NASA sets new planetary protection rules

Astronaut Stephanie Wilson may be first woman to step onto Moon in 2024

Revolutionary table-top gravitational wave detector design

Orbiting astronaut had a blood clot

NASA space toilet challenge – further reading here

Rocket Lab launch failure: payloads lost

Massive star suddenly vanished

Exoplanet is rare exposed planetary core

Recent significant dimming of Betelgeuse caused by huge starspots

Super precise centre of Solar System measurement technique

Nuclear propulsion rules in space changed

4,000th comet detected by SOHO

Nottingham astrophysicist calculates 36 alien civilizations exist in our Galaxy

Basic model of the Universe may need a revamp

Russian space head discusses Russian space program and future plans

New Horizons probe images shifted star positions

Astronomers find missing matter in the Universe

Mars had and will have rings

Pluto’s atmosphere is collapsing fast

Earth’s intelligent life is probably ‘rare’

Parker Solar Probe fifth solar flyby

Debate on weight of the Universe

Petition against politicization of Space

US manned spaceflight returns to orbit – further reading here

Europa water plumes discovered

Celestial vermin

Virgin Orbit test flight fails to reach orbit

Mars colonists may need modified DNA

First re-startable solid rocket fuel breakthrough

Sixty years of laser technology

NZ astronomers find Earth-like planet – further reading here and here

Heaviest uncontrolled re-entry since 1991 passes over Central Park on way to Atlantic annihilation

Exploding Sun – astronomy blog

Head of Russian human spaceflight programme dies after Covid-19 positive test – further reading here

Richard Branson to sell stake in Virgin Galactic to prop up other businesses

Possible resolution of biggest discrepancy in cosmology

Tom Cruise plans filming aboard ISS

Hubble Space Telescope 30th anniversary – further reading here, here, here and here

Big disappointment as Comet Atlas disintegrates

European Mars Rover launch delayed till 2022

Meteor shower in early May

May the 4th Star Wars Challenge (check Stardome Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for details)

More than 120 of largest telescopes now closed because of pandemic

NZ Rocket Lab catches Electron rocket mid-air with helicopter

50-Year anniversary of Apollo 13 drama – further reading here and here

Black hole that bends light back on itself

Trump signs executive order promoting exploitation of lunar resources – further reading here

Dealing with sickness in space – clean, check, isolate, clean, research, clean, … 

How astronauts deal with severe isolation – further reading here

Astronomers quarantined

Satellites visible (naked eye) above New Zealand

Citizen science projects – helping with scientific research from home – further reading here and here

Daylight Saving Time ends 3am Sunday 5 April (move clock back 1 hour)

SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink satellites – total now 360 launched

520 Megapixel camera finds 139 new objects beyond Neptune

New NASA Mars rover named after school student competition

2020 Equinox the earliest in 124 years

Salty space rock solves missing nitrogen mystery

Fossil mollusc shells show days were half an hour shorter 70 million years ago

Obituaries – Katherine Johnson, Mike Hughes, Heather Couper

Servicing private satellites in orbit

China to build a new space station

Earth formed much faster than we thought

Physicist and visionary, Freeman Dyson, has died

Rocket Lab scores Moon mission for NASA

Arrokoth had gentle birth

Fifth batch of 60 Starlink satellites launched – total now 300

Breakthrough Listen releases 2 petabytes of SETI data

Two Russian satellites are stalking an orbiting US spysat

Trump’s 2021 NASA budget proposal axes 2 telescopes, 2 Earth science missions & STEM grants

Will satellite constellations clog the night sky? – further reading here and here

Awesome images from largest solar telescope

The world’s oldest asteroid may have thawed the Earth

Competition for Rocket Lab in Oamaru

Spitzer Space Telescope will shut down on 30th January

NZ Defence Force aims to develop space capability

Material older than the Sun found in Australian meteorite

Milky Way supermassive black hole generates hybrid stars

Largest structure in our galaxy

Treating a surprise blood clot in space

Perihelion Day 2020

Is Betelgeuse fainting a feint, or is it getting ready to explode?

Chinese lander and rover mark one year exploring lunar far side

Chang’e 4 scientific data release

Doug Ellison processed images from Chang’e 4 and Yutu 2

Planets as light as candy floss

Star and exoplanet get official Maori names – further reading here

Space X ‘Space Train’ threat to night sky – further reading here

Enceladus’ tiger stripes explained

Our supermassive black hole may have a companion

Iron meteorites may be hidden under Antarctic ice

Our future if climate change is not stopped

Southland teenager leads project to build satellite

Astronomy from the far side of the Moon

Eric Jackson in memoriam

UFOs – the USS Nimitz UFO Incident – further reading here (Joe Rogan Experience) and here

White House in lockdown over mysterious slow moving blob

Rocket Lab launch mistaken for mysterious UFO

Evidence of first alien planet orbiting a white dwarf star

NASA to shut down Spitzer Space Telescope early next year

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter still providing valuable data

Parker Solar Probe revealing secrets of our Sun

Car accident with creature from outer space

Government funding for NZ space mission control centre – further reading here

Japanese spacecraft heads home with asteroid samples

Voyager 2 data raises questions about interstellar space – further reading here

Supernovas more powerful than anyone imagined

India confirms its Vikram lander crashed on the Moon

Black holes may be completely different to what we thought

The 11 biggest unanswered questions about dark matter

Most massive neutron star almost shouldn’t exist – further reading here

Last transit of Mercury until 2032

Russia keeping cause of ISS hole secret

LRO fails to find India’s ‘Vikram’ lander on Moon’s surface

Nobody knows what gravity is

Dead satellite near miss

Asteroid impact on Jupiter confirmed

Water vapour on super-Earth

India finds lost lunar lander – further reading here and here

Cometary interloper from another solar system

Thousands of tardigrades litter the moon after crash

NASA activates deep space atomic clock

US military assesses strategic value of cislunar space

NASA used to think female astronauts needed makeup


Aussie prospector finds large rare meteorite 4.6 billion years old

Virgin Galactic space port opens for tourists

Bernie Sanders will tell about aliens if elected President

Rocket Lab to catch booster rockets with a helicopter

Rocket Lab eighth flight launches four satellites

Chang’e-4 rover sends stunning photos of Moon’s far side

Another comet falls into the Sun

Satellites launched from NZ will be tracked to monitor traffic and debris

Concern over Starlink satellite failures

Astronomers very concerned about SpaceX’s megaconstellation

Dark sky astro tourism centre opens in Tekapo

Curiosity Rover 7-year anniversary on Mars

European Mars lander suffers parachute damage in test

New Zealand withdraws from Square Kilometre Array Project

TESS space telescope finds its smallest planet so far


2019 Quick Space Highlights

Formation of Ultima Thule in the Kuiper Belt beyond Pluto

Opportunity Rover lost after monster dust storm on Mars

First image of a black hole – further reading here

Night time for first probe on Moon’s far side

Moon crash site found! NASA probe spots Israeli lunar lander crash site

India finds its Vikram lunar lander, but still no signal

Neil Armstrong’s family received $6 million in a secret settlement

20 New moons found orbiting Saturn, bringing total to more than Jupiter

Japanese craft at asteroid Ryugu

NASA craft at asteroid Bennu