Archive | Forces

Ep. 503: Gravity Mapping

The Earth looks like a perfect sphere, but down here on the surface we see that there are mountains, rivers, oceans, glaciers, all kinds of features with different densities and shapes. Scientists can map this produce a highly detailed gravity map of our planet. And it turns out, this is very useful for other worlds […]

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Ep 488: Dark Energy: 2018 Edition

The updates continue. Last week we talked about dark matter, and this week we continue with its partner dark energy. Of course, they’re not really partners, unless you consider mysteriousness to be an attribute. Dark energy, that force that’s accelerating the expansion of the Universe. What have we learned? This show was recorded Monday, 4/23/2018. […]

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Ep 487: Dark Matter: 2018 Edition

Last week, we gave you an update in particle physics. This week it’s time to see what’s new in the world of dark matter. Spoiler alert, we still have no idea what it is, but maybe a few more ideas for what it isn’t. We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 3:00 pm EDT […]

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Ep 485: Docking, Refueling, and Transferring

This episode was recorded on Wednesday, March 21 at 6:30 pm EDT / 3:3 pm PDT / 22:30 UTC. It’s one thing to get to space. But once you’ve made it there, what do you want to do? You’ll probably want to dock with another space ship, deliver cargo, refuel. Today we’ll talk about how […]

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Ep 484: Transfer Orbits and Gravitational Assists

This episode was recorded on Tuesday, March 20 at 8 pm EDT / 5 pm PDT / 0:00 UTC Wednesday. If you want to get around in the Solar System, you’ll want to take advantage of natural gravitational speed boosts and transfer orbits. Whether you’re heading to the outer Solar System or you want to […]

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Ep 483: Stopping in Space

This episode was recorded on 3/8/2018 at 4:00 pm EST/ 1:00 PST/ 21:00 UTC! It’s one thing to get from Earth to space, but sometimes you want to do the opposite. You want to get into orbit or touch down gently on the surface of a planet and explore it. How do spacecraft stop? And […]

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Ep 482: Alternative Ways to Space

Getting to space is all about rockets, but people are trying to figure out other methods that could carry payloads to orbit and beyond. Railguns, airplanes, tethers and more. Today we’ll talk about alternative methods of spaceflight. We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 3:00 pm EST / 12:00 pm PST / 20:00 UTC. […]

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Ep. 442: Destroy and Rebuild Pt. 6: Magnetic Pole Reversal

If we look back into the geologic record of the Earth, it appears that our planet’s magnetic field flips polarity every few hundred thousand years or so. Why does this happen? When’s it supposed to happen next? Is it dangerous? We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 1:30 pm Pacific / 4:30 pm Eastern […]

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Ep. 437: Destroy and Rebuild, Pt. 1: The Torino Scale

We love to destroy the universe, and also rebuild it. Today we begin a new series where we destroy and rebuild. Let’s talk about some existential threats we face, and ways we could recover, starting with the sword of Damocles hanging over our head: killer asteroids! We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 1:30 […]

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Ep. 391: Entropy

Have you ever been doing thermodynamics in a closed system and noticed that there’s a finite number of ways that things can be arranged, and they tend towards disorder? Of course you have, we all have. That’s entropy. And here in our Universe, entropy is on the rise. Let’s learn about entropy in its specific, […]

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