#99 – September 2020 Part 1

The Discussion: This month Jeni’s latest paper has a journal reviewer prior to publishing, we take a look at the critical science of cow-cats and a listener brightens our day

 

The News: Rounding up the astronomy news this month we have:

  • Damage to the Arecibo observatory and the prognosis
  • Hubble Helps Uncover the Mystery of the Dimming of Betelgeuse
  • Mars’ water deluge during its habitable phase
  • The search for the missing matter in the Milky Way

Main News story: The US National Science Foundation report on the impact of satellite constellations on astronomical science.

 

The Sky Guide: This month we’re taking a look at the constellation of Cygnus with a guide to its history, how to find it, a couple of deep sky objects and a round-up of the solar system views on offer in August.

 

Guide to the Electromagnetic Spectrum: In this series we take a look at the electromagnetic spectrum, what, it is, what is shows us and why it’s so important to astronomers. This month we explain the ultraviolet part of the spectrum and its relevance to astronomy.

 

The Interview: A 5 minute preview of the hour chat with Fraser Cain of Universe Today and Astronomy Cast. This will be released in full as a podcast extra later this month.

 

#98 – August 2020 Part 2

The Discussion:

  • Jen on the radio discussing the Perseids
  • Starlink satellites flaring over our heads
  • TV shows From the Earth to the Moon and For All Mankind
  • Sputnik V
  • Jeni’s latest paper is submitted for journal review
  • Submit your experiences of how diversity is perceived in the amateur astronomy community at tinyurl.com/y28ebdu2

 

The News: Rounding up the space exploration news we have:

  • Protecting other worlds from our germs and bugs
  • Space Force’s Star Trek-esque logo
  • The Curiosity rover celebrates its 8th year on Mars
  • New Zealand’s Rocketlab pursue reusability
  • Skyrora begin rocket testing in Iceland
  • SpaceX’s Starship prototyping and testing continues

Main news story: America gets back to launching people into space

Q&A: Will the James Webb Space Telescope actually launch and will it still be worth launching? Lana Visser from Heerenveen in the Netherlands.

#98 – August 2020 Part 1

The Discussion: This month astrologers are getting upset about their tattoos; why the Babylonians are at fault for ruining the majesty of astrology; Jeni spreads the astronomy word on the BBC; her latest research paper nears peer review; Paul continues promoting space education in schools and we have a chat about sparking science interest in kids.

The News: Rounding up the astronomy news this month we have:
– ESO image two gas giants orbiting their star
– Have we solved the mystery of why the sun’s atmosphere is hotter than the surface?
– Using old methods as new measures of the age of the universe
– Another way to measure the Hubble constant suggests there may be something a bit strange with our part of the universe or we need new physics to explain it
– Unravelling how supermassive black holes form.

Main News story: The latest on Comet NEOWISE and how to see it for yourself

The Sky Guide: This month we’re taking a look at the constellation of Aquarius with a guide to its history, how to find it, a couple of deep sky objects and a round-up of the solar system views on offer in August.

Q&A: What’s the dumbest misreported science you’ve ever seen in a newstory? From our good friend Brochyn James.

#97 – July 2020 Part 2

The Discussion:

  • What Einstein would have made of an iPhone
  • The goods and ills of social media
  • Free teaching for teachers to teach space and astronomy
  • Jeni talking Pluto on the BBC
  • A trip down technology Memory Lane
  • And get out and look at Comet Neowise!

 

The News: Rounding up the space exploration news we have a Mars launch window and NASA storming ahead with Artemis plans so this month is all about the moon and Mars:

  • The Kennedy Space Centre takes delivery of rocket engines for their SLS rocket
  • Funding for more SLS moon rockets
  • A new lunar rover to help plan human missions
  • New modules for the lunar orbiter
  • NASA innovation funding for new long duration mission capabilities
  • United Arab Emirates’ Mars orbiter launching this month
  • China’s Tianwen-1 Mars mission with an orbiter, lander and rover

Main news story: Getting ready to launch the biggest ever rover to Mars

 

The Electromagnetic Spectrum: The visible light part of the spectrum. How telescopes were developed and became ever more powerful.

 

Q&A: Do you think we will see humans space exploration beyond Mars in our lifetimes? Pieter Johnson @Nascothornet on Twitter.

#97 – July 2020 Part 1

The Discussion: This month Jeni’s getting frustrated with the politics of peer review, Paul’s seen an uptick in noctilucent cloud hunting and public interest in astronomy in general during lockdown. We ask ‘Is Starlink actually a good thing for astronomy outreach and public engagement?’, while Paul wonders if Elon Musk is aware of the fate of the Duke of Buckingham. And we delve into listeners’ emails about the future of AstroCamp in a pandemic and collaborations with other podcasts.

The News: Rounding up the astronomy news this month we have:

  • Have gravitational waves revealed the first ‘Black Neutron Star’?
  • Jen sees the error of her ways about Betelgeuse’s recent dimming
  • Odd white spots on Saturn’s moon Titan could be dried up methane lake beds
  • Hunting for the first ever stars in the universe
  • CERN’s next generation supercollider

Main News story: Has NASA discovered parallel universes?

The Sky Guide: This month we’re taking a look at the constellation of Sagittarius with a guide to its history, how to find it, a couple of deep sky objects and a round-up of the solar system views on offer in July.

Guide to the Electromagnetic Spectrum: In this series we take a look at the electromagnetic spectrum, what, it is, what is shows us and why it’s so important to astronomers. This month we explain the visible part of the spectrum and its relevance to astronomy.

Q&A: What are arc seconds? How do we know how far away things are like planets and galaxies? What’s the measuring system? From our good friend Jeremy Hanson.

#96 – June 2020 Part 2

The Discussion:

  • Struggling to get the media excited about astronomy
  • How history will record the clusterf**k that is 2020
  • Skyrora looking to join the smallsat launch market
  • SpaceX’ Teletubby costumes

The News: Rounding up the space exploration news this month we have:

  • Starship prototype goes Kablooey
  • Britain returns to rocketry
  • Goodbye to Japan’s ISS resupply spacecraft
  • The European Space Agency look to ‘natural resources’ for moonbases
  • Virgin Orbit attempt to slash the cost of launching to Low Earth Orbit
  • NASA chooses 3 commercial consortia to develop lunar landers

Main news story: American commercial crewed launches have finally arrived

Q&A: Will the Lunar Gateway be visible from Earth? From Alex Bell @BLT_Astro on Twitter.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum: The near and mid-infrared part of the spectrum. How it became so important for astronomy and by whom.

#96 – June 2020 Part 1

The Discussion:

  • The wonderful generosity of amateur astronomers
  • trying to get the name Pair Instability Supernova changed to your suggestions
  • Jen’s talk for Café Scientific, which you can watch here
  • Jeni talking about SpaceX’ historic crewed flight with the BBC
  • History 101 and looking forward to Space Force on Netflix
  • What beginners should and shouldn’t do to get started in stargazing

The News: Rounding up the astronomy news this month we have:

  • The first galaxies seemed to form in about half the time we originally thought
  • Finding the nearest stellar mass black hole to Earth
  • How normal or unusual is our sun?
  • A star orbiting a black hole like Mercury does to the sun
  • More gravitational waves from a black hole merger

Main News story: Capturing a huge exoplanet – or a low mass star – forming in Auriga.

The Sky Guide: This month we’re taking a look at the constellation of Serpens with a guide to its history, how to find it, a couple of deep sky objects and a round up of the solar system views on offer in June.

Guide to the Electromagnetic Spectrum: In this series we take a look at the electromagnetic spectrum, what, it is, what is shows us and why it’s so important to astronomers. This month we explain the near infrared part of the spectrum and its relevance to astronomy.

Q&A: Is there life on Mars? From our good friend Dave in Australia.

#95 – May 2020 Part 2

The Discussion: Ralph channels his inner Churchill, while Jen goes on about Tiger King and her upcoming Cafe Scientifique talk. And we hear from listener Mark Grundy about the Welsh Room in the Cathedral of Learning in Pittsburg.

The News: Rounding up the space exploration news this month we have:

  • China’s mission to Mars and the patch that suggests further ambitions
  • Musings on Starlink visibility and what is being done to help astronomers.
  • Commercial Crew Launch 27th May
  • News about disaster and success at SpaceX with Starship

Main news story: NASAs proposals for how Artemis Moon missions will work and go much further than Apollo

The Electromagnetic Spectrum: The Far IR and Sub millimeter part of the spectrum. How it became so important for astronomy and by whom.

Q&A: A brief return for the Hat of woo dispelling the 5G coronavirus conspiracy From @LynchSeanP  on Twitter.

#95 – May 2020 Part 1

The Discussion: The live recording of our monthly astronomy show to provide a bit of extra entertainment and interactivity while people are cooped up at home sitting out the coronavirus.

We discuss a burgeoning love-hate relationship with Starlink, Jeni being the BBC’s go to person for Starlink and meteor showers, and Apollo 13 filling up Twitter timelines and giving us a bit of a respite from coronavirus

The News: Rounding up the astronomy news this month we have:

  • A round up of astronomy-based April fools gags found in research papers
  • Hubble marks its 30th birthday
  • Fomalhaut b might not be a planet after all
  • Centaurs might well be asteroids from other star systems
  • And Pluto looks to have had a ‘hot start’

Main News story: Earth 2.0 found in old ignored data.

The Sky Guide: This month we’re taking a look at the constellation of Ursa Major with a guide to its history, how to find it, a couple of deep sky objects and a round up of the solar system views on offer in May.

Guide to the Electromagnetic Spectrum: In this series we take a look at the electromagnetic spectrum, what, it is, what is shows us and why it’s so important to astronomers. This month we explain the sub-millimetre and far infrared part of the spectrum and its relevance to astronomy.

Q&A: How do scientists work out the trajectories for putting satellites in orbit around other bodies, or on trajectories that take them past numerous objects? From our good friend Kevin Morgan in the UK.

#94 – April 2020 Part 2

Don’t forget to join us for our live shows on 16th and 27th April at https://www.youtube.com/user/AwesomeAstroPod/videos

(midday PST, 3pm EST, 8pm UK, 9pm Central Europe)

The Discussion: Jen fangirling on The British Interplanetary Society and acing the Soyuz ISS docking simulator at the Student Space Conference; a ramble about Wales; the TV show For All Mankind, our live Q&A show, our poor etiquette and listener shout-outs.

The News: Rounding up the space exploration news this month we have:

  • The impact of coronavirus on current and future NASA missions
  • Some research showing the impact of satellite constellations on astronomy
  • The UK’s space spiders to explore the moon’s lava craters
  • Lockheed Martin developing helicopters to catch spent rocket boosters

Main news story: Is Europe’s ExoMars Rover on borrowed time?

The Electromagnetic Spectrum: The microwave part of the spectrum. How it became so important for astronomy and by whom.

Q&A: Where’s the Tesla Roadster? From @TJRobinson on Twitter.