From the new mission to Mercury to super flares on cool stars and ice spires on Europa (you’ll never guess what Top calls them), the astroquarks have your bases covered on the latest episode of Walkabout the Galaxy.
In this wide-ranging episode, the gang takes a look at the recently launched BepiColombo mission to Mercury and why it takes so long to get to such a relatively near planetary neighbor. On the astrophysical front, the relatively cool stars that host most of the observed exoplanets in our corner of the galaxy are prone to large solar flares. The astroquarks discuss the implications for extraterrestrial life, and that brings us back to Europa, an ocean world orbiting Jupiter whose surface may be punctuated by tall ice spires called penitentes, also seen in snow and ice on Earth. Plus trivia, space news, and, as always, a new sponsor!