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Spacepod

Hear stories about the alien moons orbiting other planets, of cold stars, and the future of space exploration. Every week, 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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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 25, 2016

Dr. Kanner talks about gravitational waves, which were detected for the first time by LIGO last year. He explains how studying neutron stars with gravitational waves can tell us how everyday elements like gold came to be.  

Dec 18, 2016

Dr. Abby Fraeman returns to the show to talk about Opportunity, the rover that won’t quit. Along with its sister rover, Spirit, Opportunity has discovered Mars rocks that could have only formed in the presence of water.

Dec 11, 2016

Eric Rice talks about systems engineering and we drink what turns out to be the most disgusting beverage yet. He talks about what it is like to control a spacecraft, and explains why predicting what can go wrong with a spacecraft is a lot simpler than predicting what can go wrong at a wedding.

Dec 4, 2016

Dr. Joe Masiero returns to the podcast to talk about asteroid families, which are groups of asteroids that astronomers think are fragments from ancient collisions. He describes how he identifies these families, and how this work can help us understand how the solar system used to be millions of years ago.

Nov 27, 2016

Dr Debbie Weiser explains the importance of building an early warning system in the US before a major earthquake hits. Even a few seconds warning is enough to stop elevators, pause surgery, and give peace of mind to everyday folks experiencing aftershocks. To support this program, contact the California Governor’s office or your congressional representatives.

Nov 20, 2016

Dr. Debbie Weiser talks about human-made earthquakes on my favorite planet, Earth. She explains how seismologists try to distinguish between natural earthquakes and those caused by human activity, and why the earliest seismometers in California were installed by astronomers.

Nov 13, 2016

Dr. Driss Takir stops by the show. He explains how he looks for water that’s molecularly bound up in the rocks on asteroids. He also tells us about the Hayabusa-2 mission, which will put rovers on the the surface of asteroid Ryugu.

Nov 6, 2016

Dr Jennifer Scully talks about the geology of Ceres and Vesta, two large asteroids in the main belt that have been visited by NASA’s DAWN mission. She’s talks about the experience of getting to know each and every crater, and why the first images from Ceres surprised some people.

Oct 30, 2016

Dr. Shantanu Naidu tells us about planetary radar. Using large telescopes in California and Puerto Rico, he bounces radio waves off of asteroids and “listens” for the return signal. With this technique, he’s discovered moons on several asteroids.

Oct 23, 2016

Dr. Sona Hosseini talks about spectroscopy, a technique that allows scientists to determine what celestial bodies are made of. She’s developing new spectrometer that will allow her to look at an entire planet, or comet, all at once.

Oct 16, 2016

Dr. Dave Reitze, the  Executive Director of LIGO, talks about how each source of noise at LIGO must be meticulously accounted for— from wolves howling, to tidal flexing of the Earth’s surface, to the motion of the atoms in the observatory’s mirrors.

Oct 9, 2016

Dr. Dave Reitze, the  Executive Director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) talks about the extraordinary detection of gravitational waves earlier this year, and the incredible engineering that made it possible.

Oct 2, 2016

Dr. Varoujan Gorjian thoroughly debunks a misconception he hates— the idea that black holes suck. Find out what would happen to the Earth if our Sun was suddenly replaced with a black hole of the same mass, and why is is so challenging to send a probe to Mercury.

Sep 25, 2016

Dr. Marja Seidel stops by the show to talk about galaxy evolution. She also talks about a unique outreach effort she co-founded, called Cielo y Tierra, that shares science with remote communities.

Sep 18, 2016

Dr. Andrew Benson talks about dark matter, the mysterious stuff that makes up most of the mass of the universe. Andrew explains how we can learn about dark matter, even though we don’t yet know what it is.

Sep 11, 2016

Dr. Kevin Schlaufman tells us about exoplanets that orbit around their stars in an unusual manner. He also explains what his research says about the Earth’s fate when our sun dies, billions of years from now.

Sep 4, 2016

Dr. Betts talks about LightSail, an exciting mission to test new technology from The Planetary Society. This is a special joint episode with The Orbital Mechanics podcast.

Aug 28, 2016

Dr. Cynthia Hunt talks about the Carnegie Observatories’ astronomical glass plate collection. The Carnegie collection includes historic plates that recorded the moments astronomers made groundbreaking discoveries.

Aug 21, 2016

Director Dr. John Mulchaey stops by the show to talk about the history and future of the Carnegie Observatories; the place “where the universe was discovered”. This episode is the first of a series on current research at Carnegie.

Aug 14, 2016

Dr. Matt Siegler talks about ice on the Moon, and what it can tell us about the Moon’s past. He also tells us about an experiment that uses astronaut-collected lunar soil.

Aug 7, 2016

Project Manager Suzy Dodd tells us about the continuing missions of the Voyager spacecraft. These spacecraft are still collecting unique and valuable data, and Suzy explains how engineers hack the spacecraft to extend their lifespan.

Jul 31, 2016

Master of Disaster Mika McKinnon talks about how she injected real science into the sci-fi series “Stargate”. We discuss how she balanced accuracy and entertainment, and how she influenced the way scientists were portrayed on that show.

Jul 24, 2016

Jan Chodas stops by the show to talk about her experience working on several pioneering NASA missions, including Galileo, Cassini, the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, and Juno. Note: this was recorded before Juno successfully entered into the orbit of Jupiter.

Jul 17, 2016

Professor Rita Economos talks about her research into magma on Earth. She recounts some of the adventures she’s had searching for rocks, and explains why Earth’s volcanoes appear to be unique in the solar system.

Jul 10, 2016

Dr. Rachael Beaton and I try “Grass Jelly Drink” and talk about one of the major fundamental constants of the universe; the Hubble Constant. She explains what it is and why she and her colleagues are trying to measure it better than it ever has been measured before.

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