#134 – August 2023


This month we have a packed show, with stories about the European space agency launching a new space telescope to study The Dark Universe. India going to the moon with Chandrayaan-3, astereroid boulders, a key ingredient for life just 1 billion years into the Universe’s history, measuring a crater with highway seismology, hot lava piles on the moon, and a farewell to Ariane 5.

We discuss observing meteor showers in our monthly skyguide and we ask the important question- where would you let superman take you in the solar system?

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How to grow a supermassive black hole with Dr Becky Smethurst


Once a year, astronomers descend upon an unsuspecting UK city in the greatest gathering of astronomically curious minds: the National Astronomy Meeting, otherwise known as NAM (no, not that ‘Nam, though it is quite the battle of the minds). Jen was lucky enough to attend this year and this episode is the first in a series of talks recorded at NAM 2023. 

We’re delighted to bring you the expertise of none other than Dr Becky Smethurst of Oxford University (you may know her as Dr Becky on Youtube). In this talk, Dr Becky teaches us how to grow a supermassive black hole – and it’s not as easy as you think! Always picture a black hole as a gigantic hoover, sucking up everything that dares to stray too close? Think again…

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#133 Awesome Astronomy July 2023


It’s a summer vacation special with Jeni in the mountains of South America astronomising at altitude and visiting the Vera C Rubin telescope as well as obstech.

 

We have an interview with a Vera Rubin Observatory astronomer as well as a skyguide and an astronomy news round up.

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Interview with Dr Kathy Thornton


We chat to Dr Kathy Thornton, nuclear physicist turned NASA astronaut who went on to fly on four Space Shuttle missions. Dr Thornton flew for over 40 days and completed over 21 hours of EVA, including the famous operation to fix the blurry Hubble Space Telescope. We talk about her life as an astronaut, the Hubble fix and that fateful day in mission-control on Columbia’s last re-entry.

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#132 – June 2023 Awesome Astronomy


This month Jeni and Paul talk about the recent supernova in galaxy M101; volcanic exoplanets; the growing observational evidence putting the current Big Bang theory under strain and the history of water on both Earth and Mars.

There is discussions on alien contact; exoplanet detection and how long it would take to accelerate to the speed of light.

Paul does a summer reading book review with three space books to keep you entertained on the beach this summer.

Jeni has a look at the Juice mission, Axiom 2, future space station plans and a round up of launches.

This months skyguide includes discussion noctilucent clouds and deep sky in the centre of our galaxy.

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Skylab 50 – Interview with Astronaut Jack Lousma


To celebrate the Skylab 50th anniversary here is one our favourite astronaut chats from 2012 where we caught up with Skylab 3 and STS-3 astronaut, Jack Lousma. Jack was also capcom during Apollo 13 and he tells us about taking that ominous ‘Houston, we’ve had a problem’ call and how they solved each life-threatening issue in sequence to get the astronauts back alive. He talks about missing out on flying Apollo 20 to the moon, being a crew member on the Skylab space station and taking one of the first space shuttles out for a test drive.

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#131 – May 2023 Awesome Astronomy


This month Paul and Jeni in astronomy news talk about new data on the M87 blackhole, the architecture of planetary systems, the hottest stars, an impact crater in France and how Mars might not have been oxygen rich.

In exploration news there is the latest on  JUICE and they welcome an old friend back to the show to talk about Starship.

There is a review of the recent AstroCamp where the team witnessed one of the biggest geomagnetic storms of recent times and saw one of the most impressive Auroral displays while standing on a Welsh mountain.

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Interview with Joshua Western CEO of Space Forge


Jeni visits Space Forge for an update on their mission to build reusable satellites to manufacture materials that that are impossible on the ground.

She talks to CEO Joshua Western about that fateful launch from Cornwall on Virgin’s Cosmic Girl, how they are getting ready for their next test aboard a Falcon 9, their re-entry tech nicknamed ‘Mary Poppins in Space’ and the company’s future plans to scale up the manufacturing process from grams to tons!

 

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#130 – April 2023 Awesome Astronomy


In this episode Jeni and Paul talk about exoplanet atmospheres, the latest thinking on solar system visitor Oumuamua, Vigin Orbits woes, Relativity’s 3D success, and the oldest orbiting satellite.

There is the sky guide for April, a discussion about what new telescope Jeni should buy and listener emails as well as Paul’s miserable weather and Jeni’s gala dinner talk for International Women’s Day.

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Interview with Solar Astronomer Professor Robert Walsh


Paul takes time out from outreach at the Festival of Tomorrow at the Swindon STEAM museum to chat with Professor Robert Walsh of the University of Central Lancashire, who with artist Alex Rinsler has created a giant representation of the Sun as an outreach and art project that uses the data of the Solar Dynamics Observatory.

They talk about solar science, the coronal heating problem, sounding rockets, space missions professor Walsh has been involved with, space weather and why he has his own Sun.

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