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Ep. 370: The Kaufmann–Bucherer–Neumann Experiments

One of the most amazing implications of Einstein’s relativity is the fact that the inertial mass of an object depends on its velocity. That sounds like a difficult thing to test, but that’s exactly what happened through a series of experiments performed by Kaufmann, Bucherer, Neumann and others. Download the show [MP3] | Jump to […]

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Fizeau-Mascart2

Ep. 369: The Fizeau Experiment

Light is tricky stuff, and it took scientists hundreds of years to puzzle out what this stuff is. But they poked and prodded at it with many clever experiments to try to measure its speed, motion and interaction with the rest of the Universe. For example, the Fizeau Experiment, which ran light through moving water […]

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Vera Cooper Rubin '48

Ep. 357: Modern Women: Vera Rubin

It’s time for another series. This time we’ll be talking about famous female astronomers. Starting with: Vera Rubin, who first identified the fact that galaxies rotate too quickly to hold themselves together, anticipating the discovery of dark matter. Download the show [MP3] | Jump to Shownotes | Jump to Transcript (more…)

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Space Station Mir, as seen from a departing space shuttle. Credit: NASA

Ep. 297: Space Stations, Part 2 — Mir

Last week we introduced the history of space stations and focused on the US and Soviet stations that were launched. This week we look at one of the longest running missions ever launched: Mir. From its launch and construction to its fiery finale, Mir helped both the Russians and the Americans extend their understanding of […]

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Skylab. Credit: NASA

Ep. 296: Space Stations, Part 1 — Salyut and Skylab

It’s one thing to fly into space, and another thing entirely to live in space. And to understand the stresses and strains this puts on a human body, you’re going to need a space station. In this three-part series, we explore the past, present and future of stations in space, starting with the American Skylab […]

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Tunguska

Ep. 243: Tunguska Event

On June 30th, 1908 “something” exploded over the Tunguska region of Siberia, flattening thousands of square kilometres of forest, and unleashing a force that rivalled the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated. What was it? What could unleash that kind of destructive energy? And will it happen again? (more…)

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Galileo Galilei

Ep. 231: Galileo Galilei

It’s hard to imagine a more famous astronomer than Galileo Galilei. He’s widely recognized as the very first person to point a telescope at the skies and then study what he saw. Galileo discovered the moons of Jupiter, the phases of Venus, and much more. But it was his controversial stance on the nature of […]

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Christiaan Huygens

Ep. 230: Christiaan Huygens

And now we finish our trilogy of Saturnian astronomers and missions with a look at the Dutch astronomer and mathematician, Christiaan Huygens. It was Huygens who discovered Titan, and figured out what Saturn’s rings really are, so it makes sense that a probe landing on the surface of Titan was named after him. (more…)

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Giovanni Cassini

Ep. 228: Giovanni Cassini

Another two parter, coming at you. This week we talk about the Italian astronomer, Giovanni Domenico Cassini, best known for discovering Saturn’s moons and the biggest division in Saturn’s rings. Cassini made many other important discoveries in the Solar System, and in the fields of physics and astronomy. (more…)

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Pamela, a pyramid and a camel.

Ep. 216: Archaeoastronomy

The Sun, Moon, stars and planets are visible to the unaided eye, and so they have been visible to astronomers since before recorded history. Some of the earliest records we do have tell us what the ancient astronomers thought about the heavens, and how they used the changing night sky in their daily lives. (more…)

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