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Spacepod

Hear stories about the alien moons orbiting other planets, of cold stars, and the future of space exploration. Dr. Carrie Nugent chats about an amazing part of our universe with a scientist or engineer. Spacepod is the podcast that gives you an inside look into space exploration and astronomy.
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Spacepod
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Mar 10, 2019

Dr. Alicia Lanz talks about the history of astronomical instrumentation, starting with the first telescope. She describes some bizarre historical telescopes and shares a surprisingly inspirational story about bubbles in glass.

 

Feb 24, 2019

Professor Katelyn Allers talks about how you can discover small cold stars! She is a member of the Backyard Worlds project, which is a collaboration between astronomers and citizen scientists. This project searches for brown dwarfs, which are some of the closest objects to our solar system.

Feb 10, 2019

Brent Barbee returns to the show to talk about deflecting asteroids. He explains how an asteroid might react to an impact, and also talks about the proposed DART mission, which would change the orbit of a small asteroid moon.

Jan 27, 2019

Dr. Solange Ramirez returns to the show to talk about her new position as Project Manager of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey V. Amount other things, the project will study over six million stars and how black holes change over time. These millions of measurements will be made using a robotic telescope system that is currently being built.

Jan 13, 2019

Rob Seaman of the Catalina Sky Survey talks about time, and why you need to know the time to discover asteroids and comets. He explains how he installed a highly accurate clock, and makes the case that "natural time" is better than "cold, heartless atomic time."

Dec 30, 2018

Dr. Dave Tholen talks about near-Earth asteroids. He explains why they can be difficult to observe, and how he manages to spot them anyway. He also tells the story of a particularly famous asteroid that he discovered, and sets the record straight about its name.

Dec 16, 2018

The James Webb Space Telescope hasn't launched yet, but scientists already have plans to use it. Dr. Kartaltepe talks about how she'll use it to study galaxies. She's interested in the first galaxies that ever formed, as well as galaxies at a wide range of distances from Earth.

Dec 2, 2018

Urey Prize winner Dr. Francesca DeMeo stops by the show to talk about her asteroid research. She explains what a differentiated asteroid is, and tells us about her asteroid classification system. She also shares a new result, and explains how it may change the way we think about solar system formation.

Nov 18, 2018

Dr. Matthew Payne talks about his exoplanet research, which involves looking for periodic dimming in stars. We discuss the Kepler and TESS space telescopes, and he explains why he's so interested in measuring the masses of exoplanets.

Nov 4, 2018

Dr. Joanna Carey talks about her research on our home planet, Earth. She explains how the climate change we're experiencing is ten times faster than any in geologic history. We also discuss why small changes in carbon emissions today will make a huge difference to the future climate, and things everyday people can do to mitigate the damage.

Oct 21, 2018

Dr. Alejandro Soto returns to the show to talk about how lakes on Titan and on Earth influence the nearby atmosphere. He talks about how lakes create breezes that allow for sailing on Earth, and how the situation changes on Titan.

Oct 7, 2018

Dr. Matt Holman, head of the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, stops by to talk asteroids. The Minor Planet Center handles about a hundred thousand asteroid observations a night, from observatories all around the world. He talks about the difficulties in linking asteroid observations, and the discovery of the first interstellar asteroid, 'Oumuamua.

Sep 23, 2018

Dr. Luisa Rebull returns to the show to describe new research with the Kepler space telescope. Her ingenious study takes advantage of Kepler's strengths, and has produced results that stump theorists. Dr. Rebull explains why this data has given her "a whole new appreciation for post office workers."

 

Sep 9, 2018

Dr. Sebastiano Padovan talks about the planet closest to the sun, Mercury. He compares the evolution of planets to movies, and says that understanding a planet's history from its current state is like trying to figure out the plot of an entire movie from a single snapshot. He also explains why Mercury is "a favorite" of scientists who do computational modeling.

Aug 26, 2018

Tim Thompson, former JPL scientist and member of the Mt. Wilson Institute Board of Trustees, talks about the Mt. Wilson Observatory. He explains why he doesn't operate the Mt. Wilson telescopes himself, and tells us why astronomers hate the twinkling of the stars. This episode was recorded on location, and Tim talks about the many public events offered at Mt. Wilson.

Aug 12, 2018

Dr. Ingrid Daubar returns to the show to tell us about the InSight mission to Mars. InSight carries a seismometer and a self-hammering heat probe, and will explore the interior of the planet. She tells us what it was like to be at InSight's launch, and explains how the mission's landing site was selected.

Jul 29, 2018

Dr. Shohini Ghose talks about quantum entanglement, which she describes as an "amazing, weird handshake across space and time." She tells us about quantum information science, which finds useful applications for the weird quantum qualities of particles.

Jul 15, 2018

Dr. Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil talks about her amazing discovery-- a galaxy with both an inner and outer ring. The existence of such a galaxy had not been predicted before she discovered it, and there's no theory yet that can explain how such an unusual object was created.

Jul 1, 2018

Dr. Michele Koppes returns to the show to talk about her experiences studying glaciers in the field. She describes what a glacier sounds like at night, and why a good glaciologist is generally handy with a soldering iron.

Jun 17, 2018

Dr. Rosalie McGurk talks about her quest to find pairs of black holes. She explains how she used several different telescopes to solve this problem, narrowing the list of potential candidates from hundreds of thousands to about twenty.

Jun 3, 2018

Dr. Tom Connor stops by the show to talk about massive galaxy clusters and the CLASH project. We talk about naturally occurring gravitational "telescopes" that allow us to see even farther into space, and Dr. Connor makes some fun analogies to cupcakes and crime bosses.

May 20, 2018

Dr. James Tuttle Keane discusses why Pluto probably has a huge underground ocean. To make this discovery, he used images of Pluto taken by the New Horizons spacecraft, computer simulations, and good old-fashioned pen and paper.

May 6, 2018

Dr. Barbara Cohen returns to the show to talk about meteorite collecting in Antarctica. These trips, which involve weeks of camping on the ice, provide invaluable scientific samples. She talks about what it's like to search for the rocks that "don't belong" in the frozen desert.

Apr 22, 2018

To celebrate Earth Day, Dr. Kate Marvel talks about models of Earth's climate. She compares many models to learn more about the way our climate works, and how it might change in the future. She also offers advice for those of us who may feel overwhelmed by climate change.

Apr 8, 2018

Dr. Patrick Michel talks about comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, which was visited by the Rosetta spacecraft. This comet's shape was puzzling. It looked like it had survived a collision, but how could a fragile icy comet survive a high-energy impact? A new study by Dr. Michel and his team sheds light on this mystery.

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