Dr. Christiansen stops by the show to talk about exoplanets and the Kepler Space Telescope. We share an Australian beverage and she explains how astronomers look for exoplanets, and how the discovery of “hot Jupiters” was a huge surprise to astronomers.
Dr. Lisa Storrie-Lombardi talks about the Spitzer Space Telescope. She tells us how Spitzer made the first observation of light from a planet outside our solar system. She also describes how engineers are constantly innovating, letting Spitzer make better and more sensitive observations.
Dr. Don Yeomans, head of JPL’s Near-Earth Object office until his recent retirement, describes how the field of asteroid discovery has changed over the decades. He recalls when early data indicated that asteroid Apophis had a small chance of hitting the Earth (spoiler alert: today, with more data, we know that Apophis will not hit the Earth).
Dr. Kimberly Litchtenburg explains what it is like to explore Mars with the Curiosity rover. It involves daily discussions with scientists, careful programming, and sometimes, fantastic discoveries, like the discovery of a stream bed that once had enough