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How some of the most fascinating discoveries in astronomy were made by accident

For those of us on the outside, scientific discoveries can often appear to be neat, tidy and well thought out in advance. Theorists come up with a hypothesis on a chalkboard and then it’s up to the experimentalists to attempt to prove their theories right or wrong through observation. But this isn’t always the case, especially when it comes to astronomy. In this episode we catch up with Chris Lintott, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Oxford and a presenter on BBC’s Sky at Night to talk about his book Our Accidental Universe. He tells us about the many unexpected discoveries astronomers have made almost by accident, and how with a bit of luck, and the right kind of eyes, the mysteries of the Universe are hiding in plain sight, just waiting to be discovered. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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