Okay sci-fi writers, today we’re going to give you a guided tour of building planets. How they form, how they grow, and how things can go horribly horribly wrong.
Ep. 676: Other Things with Rings
We’ve spent a lot of time gushing about Saturn’s rings, but there are other places with ring systems. And not just Jupiter and the ice giants, but asteroids, dwarf planets, centaurs and even exoplanets. Today we’ll gush about them.
Ep. 667: JWST First Science Results
Astronomers came together in January to present their newest research, and not surprisingly, the Winter AAS meeting was heavy on news from JWST. What were some of the new results that were announced?
Ep. 660: Runaway! Runaway! Escaping Stars, Planets & Small Bodies
Moons orbit planets, planets orbit stars, stars orbit within galaxies. It’s orbits all the way down. But occasionally objects can receive a powerful kick that sends them off on a journey, never to return.
Ep. 644: Is Earth… Normal?
Now that we’ve discovered thousands of exoplanets, we’re learning more and more about what kinds of planetary systems there are out there across the Universe. Are planets like Earth unique or totally rare?
Ep. 633: Weirdly Habitable Places
We’ve always assumed that habitable planets would need to be like Earth; a terrestrial planet orbiting a sunlike star. But now astronomers have been discovering planets in the habitable zone around very much non-sunlike stars. What strange places could be habitable?
Ep. 625: End of the Year Review
We’ve reached the end of 2021, and this is the last episode of the year. Let’s look back at the big space events of the last year and talk about what we’re looking forward to in 2022.
Ep. 621: Gas Giants
For the longest time, the only gas giant planets we knew about were Jupiter and Saturn. But now in the age of extrasolar planets, astronomers have discovered thousands of gas giants across almost as many star systems. What new discoveries have been made about gas giants, both here in the Solar System and across the Milky Way?
Ep. 618: Ice Giants
We’re learning more and more about the outer planets of the Solar System. Uranus and Neptune are ice giants, filled with water and other volatiles that we’d consider ice if it was here on Earth. What’s inside these worlds, and what could we expect to find across the Milky Way?
Ep. 617: Hangout-a-thon Episode 2 – Crowdfunding Science
Funding for basic science has always been tricky business, coming mainly from universities, government, companies, or wealthy individuals, but who knows how many fascinating discoveries were never made because of a lack of funding? We now live in an era where regular people can come together to find scientific discoveries.
Ep. 611: What is Required to Confirm Alien Life: Intelligence Edition
Last week we talked about what it’s going to take to confirm basic biological life across the Solar System and the Milky Way. This week, we’ll discuss what it’s going to take to detect intelligent life out there in space.
Ep. 610: What is Required to Confirm Alien Life: Non-sentient Edition
Are we alone in the Universe? It’s one of the biggest scientific questions we can possibly ask. And yet, with rovers on Mars, missions planned to visit Europa and Ganymede. Powerful telescopes able to detect the atmospheres of exoplanets, we’re closer than ever to finding out the answer.
Ep. 600: Looking Ahead
Today, we gaze into the future of space and astronomy. What upcoming missions and events are we excited about?
Ep. 595: Planet Hunting (Updated)
This is going to be another one of those evergreen topics, where we come back to again and again. Finding planets. Every time we talk about this now, it seems like we’ve gained thousands of new planets. Well buckle up, new techniques will grow that by tens of thousands and even millions.
Ep. 586: Life as We Know It: Habitable Exoplanets & Extremophiles
As scientists continue to explore the Earth, they’re discovering life surviving and even thriving in extreme environments. What hints can this give us about what we might find as we search for life on other worlds?
Ep. 585: Super Earths, Mini-Neptunes, Gas Dwarfs
As astronomers are finding even more new extrasolar planets, they’re starting to discover entirely new categories. There are classes of planets out there that we just don’t have any analog here in the Solar System. Let’s talk about them.
Ep. 573: Exoplanet Atmospheres
Not only have astronomers discovered thousands of exoplanets, but they’re even starting to study the atmospheres of worlds thousands of light-years away. What can we learn about these other worlds, and maybe even signs of life.
Ep. 572: Twists in Planet Formation
We’re all looking forward to the next generation of exoplanetary research, where we get to see pictures of planets directly. But astronomers are already making great strides in directly observing newly forming planets, helping us understand how our Solar System might have formed.
Ep. 543: Weird Issues: The Habitable Zone
Our series on Universe weirdness marches on. This week we take a look at the habitable zone, and how things aren’t as simple as we thought.
Ep. 524: Judging Age & Origins, part 3 – Beyond Our System
We learned how to figure out the ages of objects in the Solar System, now we push out into the deeper Universe. What about stars, galaxies, and even the Universe itself? How old is it?
Ep. 521: The Deep Space Network
We always focus on the missions, but there’s an important glue that holds the whole system together. The Deep Space Network. Today we’re going to talk about how this system works and how it communicates with all the spacecraft out there in the Solar System.
Ep. 520: Transients: What They Are and Why They Matter, Part 2
This is our second episode in a two part series where we look at Transients in astronomy. In last week’s episode, we talked about things that change here in our own Solar System. Now we’ll talk about everything else in the Milky Way and beyond.
Ep. 512: Direct Imaging of Exoplanets
Finding planets is old news, we now know of thousands and thousands of the places. But the terrible irony is that we can only see a fraction of the planets out there using the traditional methods of radial velocity and transits. But the new telescopes will take things to the next level and image planets directly.