Archive | Planets

Ep. 422: Geysers

So if you’ve been to Yellowstone National Park, you’ve seen one of the most amazing features of the natural world – geysers. In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about geysers on Earth, and where they might be in the solar system. We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 1:30 pm Pacific / 4:30 […]

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Ep. 410: Planet 9 Facts and Fiction

The discovery of Planet 9 has caused a wonderful, confusing uproar and a flood of misinformation in the news and social media. We’ll sort out what we actually know, what things just aren’t true, and what things might be possible! Download the show [MP3] | Jump to Shownotes | Jump to Transcript (more…)

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Ep. 409: Spin in the Solar System

The Solar System is a spinny place. Everything’s turning turning. But if you look closely, there are some pretty strange spins going on. Today we talk about how everything started turning, and the factors that still “impact” them today. Download the show [MP3] | Jump to Shownotes | Jump to Transcript (more…)

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Pamela facepalm. Photo courtesy Chuck Tomasi

Ep. 390: Occam’s Razor and the Problem with Probabilities

I’m not saying it’s aliens, but it’s aliens. Actually, it’s almost certainly not aliens, or a wormhole, or a multiverse. When scientists discover something unusual, they make guesses about what’s happening. But Occam’s Razor encourages us to consider the probabilities of different events before making any concrete predictions. Download the show [MP3] | Jump to […]

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Credit: NASA/JPL

Ep 387: Water on Mars… Again

Have you heard the big news? NASA has reported that Mark Watney is alive and well on the surface of Mars. No, wait, they’ve reported that there’s water on Mars. Didn’t they already report this? Today we’ll update you on the latest discovery and what this means for the search for life on Mars. Download […]

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Hubble Space Telescope. Image credit: NASA

Ep 386: Orbiting Observers

The atmosphere keeps us alive and breathing, but it really sucks for astronomy. Fortunately, humanity has built and launched space telescopes that get above the pesky atmosphere, where the skies are really clear. Let’s take a look at the past, current and future of orbital observation. Download the show [MP3] | Jump to Shownotes | […]

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Mars Exploration Rover. Image credit: NASA/JPL

Ep 385: Rovers on the Run

Taking pictures of distant worlds is great and all, but the best science happens with boots on the ground. Or in this case… wheels. This week we’ll talk all about robotic rovers and the places they rove. Download the show [MP3] | Jump to Shownotes | Jump to Transcript (more…)

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Voyager 2

Ep. 384: Escaping Probes

The gravity of the Earth is a tough thing to escape, but breaking free from the gravity of the Sun is on a whole other level. But humans have achieved this amazing accomplishment, and right now there are several spacecraft leaving the Solar System and never coming back. Download the show [MP3] | Jump to […]

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Life May or May Not Exist on other Terrestrial Worlds

Ep. 375: The Search For Life in the Solar System

With the discovery of water ice in so many locations in the Solar System, scientists are hopeful in the search for life on other worlds. Guest Morgan Rehnberg returns to Astronomy Cast to explain the best places we should be looking for life. Download the show [MP3] | Jump to Shownotes | Jump to Transcript […]

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Ep. 366: HARPS Spectrograph

Almost all the planet hunting has been done from space. But there’s a new instrument installed on the European Southern Observatory’s 3.6 meter telescope called the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher which has already turned up 130 planets. Is this the future? Searching for planets from the ground? Download the show [MP3] | Jump […]

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