Ep. 169: The Fermi Mission

Posted on Feb 5, 2010 in Astronomy

Last week we talked about Fermi the man, now we’re going to talk about Fermi the space telescope. That’s right, Enrico Fermi made such an impact in the astronomy and physics community that he got a space telescope named after him. Let’s take a look at what this mission will do, and its discoveries so far.

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Ep. 160: Eclipses

Posted on Nov 11, 2009 in Observing

Every now and then, the Moon destroys the Sun. Okay, not destroys, covers. Well, not really covers, but from here on Earth, sitting inside the shadow of the Moon, that’s what it sure looks like. These events are called eclipses, or more precisely, transits and occultations. They occur whenever one object passes in front of another from a 3rd perspective. They’re beautiful and exciting, and deliver a tremendous amount of science as well.

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Ep. 159: Planet X

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 in Our Solar System

Astronomers have been searching for the mysterious Planet X for hundreds of years. It was the search for a theoretical planet beyond Uranus that turned up Neptune, and then again for Pluto. And even now there are some astronomers who think there’s a more distant planet out there. Oh, and there are a bunch of pseudoscience cranks trying to freak people out about the end of the world. Don’t worry, we’ll make time for them too, but first let’s start with some real science.

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Ep. 152: Binary Stars

Posted on Sep 28, 2009 in Astronomy, Stars

Did you know that our Solar System is a rarity with its single star. Astronomers believe that most star systems out there actually contain 2 or more stars – imagine seeing a sky with 4 suns. These binary and multiple star systems are a great target for new astronomers, and the dynamics of multiple stars keep astrophysicists busy too. Let’s take a look at what it would be like to live on Tatooine.

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Ep. 151: Atmospheres

Posted on Sep 24, 2009 in Planets

Take a quick breath. There, that’s what we’re going to talk about today – the atmosphere. And not just the Earth’s familiar atmosphere, but the strange, exotic and deadly atmospheres we find in the Solar System and surrounding extrasolar planets.

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Ep. 148: Astronomy and New Media

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 in Astronomy

Astronomy is one of the scientific fields that have been completely shaken up by new media. The Internet has enabled communication between researchers in a dramatic new way, creating new collaborations, removing obstacles, and drawing in an army of enthusiastic volunteers to help with research. Let’s take a look at how new media is helping change astronomy, and how you can get involved.

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