Author Archive | susie

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Ep. 341: 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Pamela has a day job, remember? As an astronomer? Recently the 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference occurred in the The Woodlands, Texas. Pamela and guest astronomer Sondy Springmann will let us know about the big announcements made at this year’s conference. Download the show [MP3] | Jump to Shownotes | Jump to Transcript (more…)

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Ep. 340: Wernher von Braun

When the United States helped defeat Germany at the end of World War II, they acquired the German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun. He had already developed the German V2 rocket program, and went on to design all the major hardware of the US rocket program. This week, we talk about von Braun’s life and […]

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Ep. 339: Space Conspiracy Theories

Yes, we actually landed on the Moon. No, aliens didn’t crash land at Roswell. What is it about space exploration that leads to so many conspiracy theories? We’ll try to get to the bottom of these conspiracy theories, poke holes in their ridiculous ideas and help you build your baloney detection kit. Download the show […]

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Ep. 338: Copernicus

It’s safe to say that the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus shook up the whole Universe. Well, our understanding of our place in the Universe. It was Copernicus who came up with the heliocentric model, placing the Sun at the center of the Solar System, with the Earth as just another planet. Download the show [MP3] […]

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Ep. 337: Photometry

There’s a lot you can learn by just staring at an object, watching how it changes in brightness. This is the technique of photometry, and it has helped astronomers discover variable stars, extrasolar planets, minor planets, supernovae, and much more. Download the show [MP3] | Jump to Shownotes | Jump to Transcript (more…)

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Ep. 336: Units of Measure

How heavy is a kilogram, how long is a second? How warm is a degree? We measure our Universe is so many different ways, using different units of measurement. But how do scientists come up with measurement tools which are purely objective? Download the show [MP3] | Jump to Shownotes | Jump to Transcript (more…)

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Ep. 335: Photoelectric Effect

Pop quiz. How did Einstein win his Nobel prize? Was it for relativity? Nope, Einstein won the Nobel Prize in 1921 for the discovery of the photoelectric effect; how electrons are emitted from atoms when they absorb photons of light. But what is it? Let’s find out. Download the show [MP3] | Jump to Shownotes […]

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Ep. 334: Chelyabinsk

Around this time last year a space rock crashed into the Earth above Chelyabinsk, Russia. It brightened the skies for hundreds of kilometers, broke windows and injured many people. Let’s look back at the event. What happened, and what did we learn? Download the show [MP3] | Jump to Shownotes | Jump to Transcript (more…)

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This artist concept illustrates how a massive collision of objects, perhaps as large as the planet Pluto, smashed together to create the dust ring around the nearby star Vega. New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope indicate the collision too

Ep. 333: When Worlds Collide

Just take a look at the surface of the Moon and you can see it experienced a savage beating in the past. Turns out, the whole Solar System is a cosmic shooting gallery, with stuff crashing into other stuff. It sure sounds violent, but then, we wouldn’t be here without it. Download the show [MP3] […]

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Ep. 332: Stellar Collisions

Out here in the Milky Way’s suburbs, stellar collisions are unheard of. But there are places in the galaxy where stars whiz past each other, and collisions can happen. When stars collide, it’s a catastrophic event, and the stellar wreckage is visible half a galaxy away. Download the show [MP3] | Jump to Shownotes | […]

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