SoT 325: We Just Like Meerkats

March 16, 2019

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall

[00:00:57] As the world becomes more and more urbanised, we hear a lot about the dangers to wildlife from humanity’s sprawl. But new research finds Australia’s koalas may actually be less stressed in cities – provided adequate green spaces are provided.
[00:07:43] For the first time ever, a spacecraft built by a private company and designed to carry people has docked with the International Space Station. The success of SpaceX’s “Crew Dragon” sets the stage for an alternative to the Russian-made Soyuz capsules.
[00:19:54] Researchers have been looking at the family dynamics stressed meerkat mothers. They’ve found the daughters become more helpful – at their own expense – but the sons don’t.
[00:25:28] Two new papers provide even more weight to the Planet Nine hypothesis – that a large planet, more than ten times the mass of Earth, could be lurking on the distant edges of our solar system, well beyond the orbit of Pluto.

This episode contains traces of the NASA stream and enthusiastic commentary of the SpaceX Crew Dragon module being opened in space for the first time.