Podcast Extra: Gravitational Waves




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For anyone who’s still a little fuzzy or confused by the enormity of the recent detection of gravitational waves by the LIGO facility, we’ve recorded a special podcast extra to shed some light on the impossibly complex world of General Relativity, interferometry detectors and gravitational waves themselves.

This podcast extra should explain in simple terms:

  • What gravitational waves are
  • Why they’re so important
  • How they were detected
  • What this means for the future of physics & astronomy

With special thanks to LIGO, the National Science Foundation and Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy.

Awesome Astronomy – 2015 End of Year Show




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This pantomime episode contains some mild bad language and puerile humour

Join us for our yearly round up of our favourite stories & events from 2015 and discuss the most exciting space missions and astronomy events coming up in 2016.

This festive season we welcome you back to our secretive Cydonia bunker – the scene of each Earth invasion attempt – as we share a brandy on the moon and give you a glimpse of the lives of our Earthling slaves at Yuletide.

As tradition now dictates, we round off the show with the best gaffes and outtakes from 2015.

So, happy holiday season, thank you for downloading as listening to us in 2015 and we look forward to spending 2016 with you too.

Ralph. Paul, Jen, John & Damien

Podcast Extra – Jeni Millard on faint galaxy structures




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During this spring’s AstroCamp event, hosted by the Awesome Astronomy podcast team, our new presenter, Jeni Millard, gave another of her inspiring talks.

We were treated to a history of the much neglected Aboriginal dark sky folklore as we got tour of some of the most interesting objects in the southern hemisphere’s sky.

Then we head off into the world of professional astronomy at the Australian Astronomical Observatory as we find out how Jen helped with the science that will enable the Huntsman Eye to investigate faint structures of galaxies using arrays of off-the-shelf Canon camera lenses and sensors.

Podcast Extra: Project Helium Tears Debrief




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Matt Kingsnorth from the Project Helium Tears debriefs us on his balloon launch to the edge of space, capturing images of the Earth, taking Awesome Astronomy listeners’ names onboard and filming a Star Wars X-Wing fighter against the black of space in May 2015.

Quite by surprise, the onboard cameras even managed to capture images of the moon and a meteor streaking through the atmosphere below!

The video (which you can see at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7ub0mFVDV0) went viral with more than 400,000 views.

Please help Project Helium Tears achieve Objective 3 by tweeting:

#HeyJJ Can @MattKingsnorth & @TurboBungle come to the Force Awakens VIP Première @Bad_Robot? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7ub0mFVDV0

Podcast Extra: AstroCamp Autumn 2015


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The Discussion: An introduction to star parties and enjoying practical astronomy under pristine dark skies away from the city.

As the podcast crew run the AstroCamp star party, which many listeners attend, in the Brecon Beacon’s international dark sky reserve twice a year, we take you through the events, tutorials and workshops we run to help you hone your stargazing skills and win astronomy prizes from the Tring Astronomy Centre.

The Sky guides: In readiness for 3 nights of stargazing in the Welsh valleys, Ralph, Paul and John list five objects to look out for this time of year. If you’re not coming to AstroCamp, these are still great night sky treats to try and locate wherever you are in the northern hemisphere.

  • Ralph lists his three top choices for beginner astrophotographers, armed only with a DSLR camera and a telescope, and two night sky photographic opportunities for those with just a DSLR.
  • Paul runs through five deep sky treats for visual astronomers in September and throughout autumn. There’s also a couple of tricky ones to test your skills and help develop your averted vision.
  • John runs through the night sky objects available a little closer to home this month as he runs through the best of the solar system objects – planets, comets and safe solar observing.

Podcast Extra: Sci-Fi Wars #4 – Movies

Matt & Phil from Project Helium Tears return to the bunker for this final episode in the Sci-fi Wars series to appeal for your votes for the best movie.

We’ve let catured Earthling slave Damien out of the dungeon to add his favourite too.

This is the last in a four part podcast extra series to discover the best sci-fi TV series, book and film over the next three days.

Your votes count at www.awesomeastronomy.com/scifiwars

Podcast Extra: Sci-Fi Wars #3 – Books

Matt & Phil from Project Helium Tears & captured Earthling slave Damien join us in the bunker in this 3rd episode in the Sci-fi Wars series to appeal for your votes for the best book.

This is the third in a four part podcast extra series to discover the best sci-fi TV series, book and film over the next three days.

Your votes count at www.awesomeastronomy.com/scifiwars

Podcast Extra: Sci-Fi Wars #2 – TV Shows


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Matt & Phil from Project Helium Tears join us in the bunker in this 2nd episode in the Sci-fi Wars series to appeal for your votes for the best TV series.

We’ve let catured Earthling slave Damien out of the dungeon too to add his favourite too.

This is the second in a four part podcast extra series to discover the best sci-fi TV series, book and film over the next three days.

Your votes count at www.awesomeastronomy.com/scifiwars

Podcast Extra: Sci-Fi Wars #1


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Matt & Phil from Project Helium Tears join us in the bunker to kick off this Sci-fi Wars series by discussing what makes a sci-fi.

We’ve let catured Earthling slave Damien out of the dungeon too to add more perspective.

This is the first in a four part podcast extra series to discover the best sci-fi TV series, book and film over the next four days. Your votes count at www.awesomeastronomy.com!

Podcast Extra – AstroCamp Spring 2015




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A podcast extra episode to get you in the mood for the biannual dark sky weekend run by the podcast crew. We have renowned comet and asteroid hunter Nick Howes joining us to talk about the nature and history of comets and we’ll be giving away loads of astronomy prizes in our astronomy quizzes. And of course, 3 nights of enjoying the wonders of truly dark skies in the Welsh Breacon Beacons’ International Dark Sky Reserve.

If you’re not coming to AstroCamp in May 2015, there’s still a sky guide in this episode to give you stargazing inspiration wherever you are.