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Preview: You'd Prefer an Astronaut

You'd Prefer an Astronaut

Weekly radio show which covers the latest news and views on the cosmosWeekly source of the latest news and view on the cosmos

Last Build Date: Thu, 02 Oct 2014 21:00:27 PDT


Volcanoes outside the Solar System

Sat, 04 Dec 2010 06:00:05 PST

Volcanoes are prevalent inside the Solar System - and not just on Earth. Venus has them, so do some of the moons of Jupiter, and Mars had them. But can we detect volcanoes outside our Solar System? According to this study, it is possible. Wow.(image)

The Everbrightening Supernova Remnant

Fri, 03 Dec 2010 06:00:05 PST

Did you think that the light from explosions decreases with time? That makes sense, right? Think again. Recent optical (Hubble), radio, and X-ray images of SN1987a have found that is getting brighter with time. The reason why is that, as the material ejected in this explosion expands, it sweeps up more and more of the surrounding material, heating them up such that they emit light in these wavelengths. In fact, very recently the ejecta collided with dense gas released by the star about 20-30 years before it exploded, causing it to light up. Go here to read more. Enjoy!(image)

Solar Flares and You

Thu, 02 Dec 2010 06:00:07 PST

Solar flares are pretty much known to cause aurorae, power outages, satellite problems, etc. But they can change how elements decay? Really? Apparently so. Go here to read more. So weird....(image)

The Age of the Solar System

Wed, 01 Dec 2010 06:00:16 PST

Maybe a little bit higher than previously thought. Go here to read about the latest measurement.(image)

The End of the Lone Astronomer

Tue, 30 Nov 2010 06:00:09 PST

At least according to this book. I'm not too sure of this, but it is an interesting argument.(image)

How strong is Gravity?

Mon, 29 Nov 2010 06:00:07 PST

As explained here, we don't know the answer to this question as much as we would like.(image)

Ouch! The Light!

Sun, 28 Nov 2010 06:00:02 PST

Please don't shine it at my telescope, it hurts. Go here to read about the latest problem regarding light pollution.(image)

Elliptical Crater

Sat, 27 Nov 2010 06:00:02 PST

Huh? Go here to see a stunningly weird picture from Mars.(image)

How to make a supermassive black hole

Fri, 26 Nov 2010 06:00:03 PST

Apparently, the recipe is:
Step 1 - Crash two galaxies together
Step 2 - Wait for the two smaller black holes at the center of these galaxies to merge together, during which time lots of gas falls into them.
Step 3 - Go to Step 1.

Figuring this out was not as simple as it looks. Go here,
here, and here, and here to learn more.(image)

A WISE picture

Thu, 25 Nov 2010 06:00:03 PST

Well, at least a picture taken by the WISE satellite. Go here to see the very pretty picture. Enjoy!(image)

Poor Jupiter

Wed, 24 Nov 2010 06:00:08 PST

Hit by another asteroid. Well, I guess that is the downside of being the most massive planet in the Solar System. Go here to read about it and see the damage.(image)

Pulsars and the Solar System

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 06:00:10 PST

Pulsars are the most common type of neutron stars, objects more massive than the Sun but about the size of your favorite major city. The Solar System is well, our Solar System. How can you use one to study the other? Gravity. Go here to read how.(image)

Asteroids giving birth

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 06:00:10 PST

To a baby asteroid, of course. Mainly by budding - i.e. spinning so rapidly some rocks shoot off and orbit the parent. So cute! Go here and here and here to learn more.(image)


Sun, 21 Nov 2010 06:00:03 PST

Well, I posted a link to an editorial essentially blasting NASA's SOFIA project. Here is an article describing all the pretty impressive science it will hopefully accomplish. Enjoy!(image)

The Sun and You

Sat, 20 Nov 2010 06:00:03 PST

Not surprisingly, activity of the Sun has a large impact on the properties of the Earth. The most prominent example are solar flares, which cause aurorae and can significantly damage satellites. A less prominent, but just as important example, is the uppermost atmosphere, which is ionized by UV radiation from the Sun. Not surprisingly, as UV radiation from the Sun drops, so does the thickness of this layer. To learn more, go here. Enjoy!(image)

Double trouble

Fri, 19 Nov 2010 06:00:13 PST

Kepler recently discovered not one but two transiting planets orbiting the same star. Now, this isn't that surprising - many stars with multiple planets have long been identified (e.g. our Sun and Solar System), and since transiting planets are a result of favorable geometry (the planets happen to pass between us and their central star) and most planets orbit a star in the plane on the sky (one important reason why Pluto is no longer considering a planet by most astronomers). one would even expect this to happen. It is cool, never the less. Read more about it here and
here and here and here and here, with an audio report (courtesy of NASA) here.(image)

Media Files:

The Sun is really just another star

Thu, 18 Nov 2010 06:00:13 PST

Now, while that is far from a provocative statement, it is always nice to get confirmation that other stars are truly like the Sun. Go here to read about how this is the case.(image)

U2 and NASA make a video

Wed, 17 Nov 2010 06:00:05 PST

Go here to look at the final results. Let me know what you think. Enjoy!(image)

7 Little Planets orbitting one star

Tue, 16 Nov 2010 06:00:02 PST

How like the Solar System you are! (Sort of.) Go here and here to learn more.(image)

Another possible site...

Sun, 14 Nov 2010 06:00:05 PST

.. where life could have possibly maybe might have existed on Mars way back when. Go here for more information.(image)

The moon is shrinking!

Sat, 13 Nov 2010 06:00:03 PST

Well it is. Very slowly. Because it is still cooling from its formation. Go here and here to read why astronomers think this is the case.(image)

Ancient star formation

Fri, 12 Nov 2010 06:00:14 PST

Go here to read how galaxies in some of the earliest known galaxy clusters in the universe are producing stars at a much higher rate than now. Interesting...(image)

Dawn on an asteroid

Thu, 11 Nov 2010 05:55:00 PST

Literally. NASA's Dawn satellite will hopefully land on the asteroid Vesta soon. Go here to read more, or listen to it here. Enjoy!(image)

Media Files:

The nature of dark energy

Wed, 10 Nov 2010 06:00:10 PST

Astronomers have used many different methods to try and figure out the nature of dark energy: the mysterious substance comprising roughly 70% of the total energy in the universe and responsible for accelerating its expansion. These including measuring the distance to Type Ia supernovae, measuring the mass of galaxy clusters, the clumping of galaxies, and not strong lensing of more distant galaxies by nearby galaxy clusters. Read more about it here and here and here. Hopefully all these methods keep on agreeing.(image)