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Planetary science

Planetary science

Watching planet birth, citizen science and a quantum love song

05 Jul 2018 James Dacey

In the latest episode of Physics World Weekly, we’re joined by the astronomer and science communicator, Chris Lintott. A presenter on the BBC TV show The Sky at Night, Lintott discusses the story that broke this week that astronomers have captured the first images of a planet still in its formation. PDS 70b is a gas giant 370 light-years from Earth, which was imaged using an instrument of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile.

When Lintott last featured in a Physics World podcast back in 2015, he spoke about the Zooniverse – the citizen science platform he co-founded, which enables the general public to help scientists crunch through data sets. Lintott gives an update on the Zooniverse, which has expanded significantly during the past three years and currently offers nearly 90 projects, spanning the sciences, arts and humanities.  Lintott believes the combination of human insight and machine learning is emerging as a very powerful scientific tool.

Playing out this week’s show is a song inspired by quantum mechanics, sent by one of our listeners. If you enjoy the podcast then you can subscribe via iTunes or your chosen podcast app.


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