Extra: Galaxies, Work Placement Opportunities & Diversity in Science.




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In this podcast extra episode, released during Pride month, we return to this April’s European Week of Astronomy and Space Science where we spoke to Dr Ashley Spindler to find out more about:

  • Galaxy evolution, the evolution of galaxy structures and star formation from the MaNGA project using Sloan Digital Sky Survey data
  • South East Physics Network placement opportunities for post graduate students
  • The challenges and obstacles that still exist for the LGBT community in the workplace and education efforts to make science environments more open and welcoming to all people.

Ashley can also be found at @Ashley_Nova_ on Twitter.

Extra: Farewell Alan Bean

This podcast extra is a re-release of our full length interview with the 4th man to walk on the moon aboard the Apollo 12 mission in 1969.

Alan Bean was not only a fighter pilot, Navy test pilot, astronaut, moonwalker, space station commander and artist, but he was also a very considerate, genuine and self-effacing gentleman. We are hugely saddened by the loss of such a lovely man but heartened that he passed away peacefully surrounded by his family.

In this interview, recorded in October 2015 we discussed:

  • journeying to the moon on a Saturn V rocket
  • your rocket getting struck by lightening
  • the mission’s colourful commander (Pete Conrad)
  • what the moon looked and felt like underfoot
  • the science conducted on the surface of the moon
  • the future of human spaceflight
  • and the Martian Olympics

Farewell Alan Bean. You leave us with only four humans that have memories of walking on the moon but a rich legacy of technological and scientific accomplishments.

Extra: AstroCamp Spring 2018




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Welcome to AstroCamp!

In this podcast extra episode, we welcome you to the practical astronomy arm of the Awesome Astronomy empire, as we take a run through what people can expect at our AstroCamp star party in the Brecon Beacons International Dark Sky Reserve on the extended weekend of 14-17th April 2018.

We also take a look at the social and educational aspects of star parties and round everything off with some of our favourite solar system and deep sky objects visible this spring to observe for yourself.

If you haven’t booked a place yet and would like to come, head over to www.astrocamp.org.uk We’re taking bookings all the way up to the 13th April 2018.

See you under the stars!

Extra: Why do we believe in conspiracy theories?




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An extended Hat of Woo if you like, but for this podcast extra episode we dip our hands back into the festering corners of Paul’s hat to take a look at the root causes and the psychology of belief in conspiracy theories.

Not why are they wrong but why do humans believe in conspiracy theories at all?

Do we shoot ourselves in the foot through our educational policies and methods of teaching?

Are we just hardwired to believe in falsehoods, whether more elaborate or more simple than the truth?

Extra: SpaceX and the Future of Spaceflight




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This Awesome Astronomy episode is inspired by last week’s incredible SpaceX launch and listeners’ requests to talk a bit more about SpaceX and the advances in commercial spaceflight. In this Podcast Extra, we’re joined by spaceflight aficionado Gavin Price (@pilliarscreatio) to discuss:

  • The inaugural Falcon Heavy launch and what it achieved
  • Was the launch awesome or all hype?
  • How good is the Falcon Heavy really?
  • Will Falcon Heavy or Elon’s next ambitious rocket make NASA’s rocket redundant?
  • How about other organisations? (ULA/Arianne/Blue origin etc)
  • Where do the commercial companies leave the likes of Soyuz? (TsSKB-Progress)
  • Where do we see access to space in ten, fifteen, twenty years time?
  • Will Elon make good on his plan to colonize Mars?

Extra: The Last Jedi & Blade Runner 2049




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In this podcast extra episode, we’re joined again by The Essex Space Agency’s Phil St Pier as we take another sideways diversion into science fiction movies as we cast a critical eye over the recent big sci-fi blockbusters:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Blade Runner 2049

This episode is dedicated to Matt & Ali’s arrival of their daughter Evangeline Rosa Kingsnorth.

2017 Xmas Panto




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There’s trouble in paradise as Christmas evening in the Cydonia bunker turns ugly. Alcohol may be the culprit. But equally, the blame may lie with suffering a whole day of pretending to like one another and f***ing Christmas songs!

So, while tensions rise and arguments flare, Ralph, Paul and Jen run through the memorable space and astronomy events of 2017 and look forward to the treats in store for 2018.

Then there’s the small matter of John’s annual outtake reel specifically designed to embarrass the hosts and push the bounds of decency as far as politeness will allow!

Main music courtesy of Star Salzman

Additional free music archive tracks:

  • Silent Night by Hyson
  • Christmas on Mars (Dance Mix) by Spinningmerkaba

Extra: Eyepieces




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In this podcast extra we begin a series, suggested by listener Sean Smith, of explaining the considerations involved in choosing practical astronomy equipment. This first in the series discusses one of the most important items in your amateur astronomy tool kit: Eyepieces.

This discussion takes in:

  • Why eyepieces are important
  • The differences between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ eyepieces
  • Choosing the right price point
  • Our suggestions for good quality cheap and expensive eyepieces

Don’t forget our end of year review and Newtonmass panotmime will be available to download on Christmas Day.

Extra: Neutron Star Merger




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In this podcast extra episode Jeni discusses the recent detection of two colliding neutron stars and their observation in both gravitational waves and all areas of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Jeni chats with Dr Edward Gomez, Education Director at the Las Cumbres Observatory and Cardiff University’s Gravitational Physics Research Group Leader, Professor Patrick Sutton about the historic observations, what we can learn from these events, the future of gravitational wave astronomy and how this new window into the universe can help us improve some of the fundamentals of our knowledge of space and time.

We also put listeners’ questions on these subjects from Raoul Van Eindhoven, @FuzzySemi and @calcomega to Patrick.