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Image for 03/05/2012

Play now 18 mins


18 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 03 May 2012

The European Space Agency has just given the go ahead for its next mission. JUICE, Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, is expected to launch in 2022, and it should arrive at the gas giant in 2030. Michelle Dougherty, Professor of Space Physics at Imperial College London, explains what the mission is all about and why ESA has decided to investigate Jupiter’s moons more closely.

British Weather
The great British weather is wet, this may come as no surprise as it is often portrayed as such but it is making headlines in the UK. The UK has just had the wettest April since records began in 1910, yet some parts of the country are officially in a drought, and recently the records being broken were for dry spells! Is this massive variability evidence of something bigger going on? We ask Dan Williams from the UK Met Office, especially given that the UK is well known for April showers.

Cleaning water with sunlight
Drought conditions in the UK may result in some inconvenience for residents, but they will have access to clean drinking water. This though is not the case in many developing countries, and creating a cheap and easy way of sterilising water is a problem many scientists have studied. Now researchers at the University of Hull in the UK think they may have found a way to do that, using just sunlight. Dr Ross Boyle explains how his method uses sunlight to kill bacteria and even a parasite.

Star Gazing in Afghanistan
A campaign is being launched to bring astronomy to Afghanistan, to schools, orphanages, and refugee camps. The idea is to enable children to learn important basic science, using simple tools like star gazing kits, and drawing on the historical importance of studying the skies in Islam. Christopher Phillips is behind the "Reach for the Stars" project.



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