Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Newsround's end of year round-up at 5pm on 17 December included reports on natural disasters, the rescue of miners in Chile, and this on UK politics -

Ore: Back at home the race was on to pick Britain's next Prime Minister in May's General Election. None of the parties got enough votes to win, so they had to team up. Eventually the Conservatives agreed with the Liberal Democrats to form a coalition government. That meant that Labour leader Gordon Brown had to leave Downing Street so David Cameron could move in as the new PM. Since then the coalition government's announced plans to cut public spending by £81 billion over four years.

Newsround was back today after its winter break. The first flagship bulletin at 5pm this evening was presented by Sonali & Ore. There were six news stories -

1] Floods in Australia - 1'54"
2] The Ashes - 0'31"
3] Solar eclipse - 0'33"
4] Quadrantid meteor shower - 1'54"
5] Dead birds in Beebe, Arkansas - 1'40"
6] Romeo Beckham on 'best dressed' list - 0'19"

The meteor shower story included a live report from Hayley at Jodrell Bank. Her report might have confused those who don't understand the difference between a radio telescope and an optical telescope -

Hayley: Hi guys. Yes I'm at one of the world's largest telescopes. But I tell you what - we probably won't need that tonight, as the sky is going to be filled with a firework display of shooting stars. And providing those clouds keep away, then we all should be able to see them .....

Hayley was also at Jodrell Bank last month for a report on meteors, broadcast on 10 December 2010 -

Hayley: If you want to go meteor hunting, then this is the place to be. It's Jodrell Bank in Cheshire, where they've got one of the world's biggest telescopes. It's not unusual to see shooting stars on a clear night .....

Even an optical telescope would be useless for observing shooting stars, because they move through the Earth's atmosphere much too quickly. A radio telescope, like the one at Jodrell Bank, is used for detecting radio waves far out in the universe. Nevertheless Jodrell Bank carries out a wide range of research in astrophysics.

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