Astronomy Cast

by Astronomy Cast · · · · 84 subscribers

Take a facts-based journey through the universe.

It's time, once again, for Astronomy Cast to go on hiatus. You've got a couple of months on your own to explore the night sky. Before we say goodbye, though, we'd like to make a few suggestions.

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Tags: google hangout, skeptic, interesting, space, mars, astronomy, science

Older Episodes

575 Ep. 575: Observing the Moon June 22, 2020
As amateur astronomers, we curse the Moon every month. Seriously, why doesn't someone get rid of that thing? This week, something occurred to us. What if we actually pointed our telescopes at the Moon? What would we see?
574 Ep. 574: Trojan Asteroids June 15, 2020
We imagine the asteroid belt as the place where all the rocks hang out in the Solar System, but there are two huge bands of asteroids that orbit the Sun with Jupiter called the Trojans. And soon, we might actually get a chance to see them up close.
Not only have astronomers discovered thousands of exoplanets, but they're even starting to study the atmospheres of worlds thousands of light-years away. What can we learn about these other worlds, and maybe even signs of life.
We're all looking forward to the next generation of exoplanetary research, where we get to see pictures of planets directly. But astronomers are already making great strides in directly observing newly forming planets,
571 Ep. 571: Extreme Binaries May 26, 2020
We're familiar with regular binary stars. Two stars orbiting each other. Simple. Of course, the Universe has come up with every combination of things orbiting other things. And this week we look at the extreme version of this.
570 Ep. 570: Discovering Comets May 18, 2020
Discovering comets is one of the fields that amateurs can still make a regular contribution to astronomy. But more and more telescopes are getting found by spacecraft, automated systems and machine learning. This week,
Every year, more and more people are making their way to space. Some private citizens have already gotten their astronaut wings, paying for a trip to space out of their own pocket. What are the ethical implications of this as the costs of spaceflight c...
The key to surviving in space will be learning how to live off the land. Instead of carrying all your fuel, water, and other resources from Earth, extract them locally at your destination. It's called In Situ Resource Utilization and if we can figure t...
Space is really far away, so when you send a satellite out into the void, that's pretty much the last you're going to be able to work on it. And if anything goes wrong, too bad, you're out a satellite. But a new test has shown that it's possible to …
It's hard to believe it, but we survived another trip around the Sun. Now it's time to take the whole journey all over again, but with new news. Let's take a look at some of the space and astronomy stories we're looking forward to in 2020.
Huge surveys of the sky are finding more and more planets, stars and galaxies. But they’re also turning up strange objects astronomers have never seen before, like Boyajian’s star. Today we’re going to talk about some unusual objects astronomers have d...
The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation is the earliest moment in the Universe that we can see with our telescopes, just a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang itself. What will it take for us to be able to fill in the missing gap?
Powerful observatories like Hubble and the Very Large Telescope have pushed our vision billions of light-years into the Universe, allowing us to see further and further back in time. But there are regions which we still haven't seen: the Cosmic Dark Ag...
Last week we gave you an update on the formation of elements from the Big Bang and in main sequence stars like the Sun. This week, we wrap up with a bang, talking about the death of the most massive stars and how they seed the Universe with heavier ele...
The Universe started out with hydrogen and helium and a few other elements, but all around us, there are other, more proton-rich elements. We believe these heavier elements formed in stars, but which stars? And at what points in their lives?
Few sciences have been able to take advantage of the power of computers like astronomy. But with all this computing power, you might be surprised to learn how important a role humans still play in this science.
Before we discovered other planets, our Solar System seemed like a perfectly reasonable template for everywhere. But now we see massive planets close to their stars, which leads you to the question, how does it all get there.
Things used to be so simple. Comets were snowballs from the outer Solar System, and asteroids were rocks from the inner Solar System. But now everything's all shades of grey. Astronomers have found asteroids that behave like comets and comets that beha...
Once again, another place where the Universe is going to make this difficult for us. Proving, once and for all that there's alien life on another world. It should be straightforward, look for biosignatures,