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Solar System Revelations, and the World’s Biggest Telescope Threatened?

Arecibo Observatory telescope platform

Air Date: 11/17/2015
Run Time: 28:50

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Topics: New Horizons, Dawn, dwarf planets beyond Neptune, asteroid 1 Ceres, radio telescopes, Rosetta and Philae, Pluto, comets, Charon, asteroids, comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Planetary Radio, Pluto's small moons, conference report

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Emily Lakdawalla returns from the annual Division for Planetary Sciences meeting with big news from around the solar system. Then we talk with science journalist Traci Watson about the departure of the great Arecibo radio telescope’s Director and the funding challenge that could shut down the observatory. Bruce Betts says the Leonids meteor shower is upon us. Bill Nye is on book tour this week.

The 1000-ft Arecibo radio telescope

H. Schweiker / WIYN and NOAO / AURA / NSF

The 1000-ft Arecibo radio telescope

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Trivia Contest

This week's prizes are a lovely Planetary Radio t-shirt and a set of 2016 Year In Space Desk and Wall Calendars!

This week's question:

What were Pete Conrad’s first words spoken as he stepped out of the Lunar Module onto the surface of the Moon?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, November 24th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What was the only space shuttle mission that experienced a main engine failure yet still made it to its planned orbit?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

Prior to the International Space Station, what was the record for continuous human habitation in space?


The longest continuous human presence in space before the International Space Station was 9 years and 358 days on the Soviet/Russian space station MIR.


No trivia contest spoilers please!

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