Planetary Radio • Jan 13, 2015

Dr. J and the World’s Biggest Telescope

Please accept marketing-cookies to listen to this podcast.

Download MP3

On This Episode

20150113 joe liske thumbnail

Joe Liske

Acting Programme Scientist for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), and host of Hubblecast for European Southern Observatory (ESO)

Joe Liske, host of Hubblecast, is also the top scientist on the European Southern Observatory’s European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), now under construction on a Chilean mountaintop. “Dr. J” tells us what this largest ever telescope will help us discover. Emily Lakdawalla has updates on the Akatsuki and Chang’e missions. Bill Nye shares his thoughts about the latest SpaceX launch to the International Space Station. Bruce Betts looks back at the Huygens lander on Saturn’s moon Titan for this week’s What’s Up.

European Extremely Large Telescope deploying lasers for adaptive optics
European Extremely Large Telescope deploying lasers for adaptive optics The E-ELT will make extensive use of adaptive optics to achieve images of remarkable sharpness. In this artist’s view the future 39-meter telescope is shown using lasers to create artificial stars high in the atmosphere. These are used as part of the telescope’s sophisticated adaptive optics system to remove much of the blurring effect of the Earth’s atmosphere.Image: ESO/L. Cal&ccedil;ada/N. Risinger (<a href=""></a>)

Related Links:

This week's prizes are the beautiful and informative Year in Space Desk and Wall Calendars.

This week's question:

To the nearest half-hour, how long did it take the Huygens probe to descend from the top of Titan’s atmosphere to the surface?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at [email protected] no later than Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

Besides Galileo (the man, not the spacecraft) who was the first person to discover a moon circling another planet? (Not Earth’s moon, but you might earn extra points if you tell us who discovered that moon, too. Also, a Nobel prize.)


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

How many rockets carried humans into orbit in 2014?


Four rockets carried humans into orbit in 2014.