Archive | Planets

Special Alert: Go See Comet McNaught

There’s a big bright comet visible in the sky right now. Listen to this special alert, and then go outside right at sunset to see Comet McNaught with your very own eyes. You’ve got to move quickly, as it’ll be lost in the glare of the Sun. Don’t worry, it’ll reappear shortly, and could be […]




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Ep. 17: Where does the Moon Come From?

We take the Moon for granted, but its effect on the Earth is very important; possibly even critical for the formation of life. But where did it come from? Did the Earth and Moon form together? Or did the Earth capture a wayward Moon? Or was there a more catastrophic cause to this lunar mystery? […]




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Ep. 8: Meteor Showers. Yes, the sky is falling.

Dress warmly, gather some friends and family, and head outside to watch sand burn in the upper atmosphere. There’s nothing like a good meteor shower. Fraser and Pamela explain this beautiful phenomenon: what causes them, the best storms and showers to watch for, and different types of meteors you might see. Download Episode 8: Meteor […]




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Ep. 3: Hot Jupiters and Pulsar Planets

You have lived on the Earth all your life, so you’d think you know plenty about planets. As usual though, the Universe is stranger than we assume, and the planets orbiting other stars defy our expectations. Gigantic super-Jupiters whirling around their parent stars every couple of days; fluffy planets with the density of cork; and […]




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Ep. 2: In Search of Other Worlds

Look down at your feet. There… you’re looking at a planet. Now look into the night sky and you should be able to spot a few more. After that, spotting additional planets becomes really hard, especially when you’re trying to find them orbiting other stars. This week we discuss the techniques astronomers use to locate […]




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Ep. 1: Pluto’s Planetary Identity Crisis

Pluto. It’s a planet, then it’s not. This week we review Pluto’s history, from discovery to demotion by the International Astronomical Union. Learn the 3 characteristics that make up a planet, and why Pluto now fails to make the grade. Download Episode 1: Pluto’s Planetary Identity Crisis (12.6 MB)




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