Ep. 39: Astrology and UFOs

While Pamela’s away at the American Astronomical Society meeting, we brought in a special guest to help debunk some of the pseudoscience that people mistake for astronomy. Dr Steven Novella from the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe gets to the bottom of astrology and UFOs, and why they’re not real science. Episode 39: Astrology and […]




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Ep. 38: Neutron Stars and their Exotic Cousins

Huge stars become black holes, and small stars become white dwarfs. But medium-sized stars can become neutron stars; exotic objects that overcome the nuclear force holding protons and electrons apart. What was once the size of a star is compressed down to only a few dozen kilometres across. Episode 38: Neutron Stars and their Exotic […]




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Ep. 37: Gravitational Lensing

Astronomers are always trying to get their hands on bigger and more powerful telescopes. But the most powerful telescopes in the Universe are completely natural, and the size of a galaxy cluster. When you use the gravity of a galaxy as a lens, you can peer right back to the edges of the observable Universe. […]




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Ep. 36: Gamma-Ray Bursts

Gamma ray bursts are the most powerful explosions in the Universe, releasing more energy in a few seconds than our Sun will put out in its lifetime. It’s only been in the last few years that astronomers are finally starting to unravel the cataclysmic events that cause these energetic explosions. Episode 36: Gamma-Ray Bursts (14MB) […]




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Ep. 35: Questions Show #4

We know there’s matter, and we know there’s anti-matter. If there’s dark matter, is there an anti-dark matter? How come gravity can escape from a black hole? Do black holes capture dark matter? Can a moon have a moon? Can a planet have two stars? If you’ve had any of these questions, you’ll want to […]




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Ep. 34: Discovering Another Earth

What a week! Astronomers announced the discovery of an Earth-sized planet orbiting the nearby star Gliese 581. We talk about the technique used to discover the planet, the possibilities of finding even smaller planets, and what the future holds for finding another Earth. Correction: At the beginning of the show, Pamela says that Gliese 581c […]




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Ep. 33: Choosing and Using a Telescope

Buying your first telescope can be a nerve-wracking experience filled with buyer’s remorse. This week we discuss the basics of purchasing your first binoculars and telescope. What to look for, how to clean older equipment, and how to use it for the first time. Let’s make sure your first investment in this wonderful hobby is […]




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Ep. 32: The Search for Neutrinos

Trillions of neutrinos are produced in our Sun through its nuclear reactions. These particles stream out at nearly the speed of light, and pass right through any matter they encounter. In fact, there are billions of them passing through your body right now. Learn how this elusive particle was first theorized and finally discovered.   […]




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Ep. 31: String Theory, Time Travel, White Holes, Warp Speed, Multiple Dimensions, and Before the Big Bang

We get questions every week about string theory and topics popularized by science fiction. Here’s the problem. There’s just no evidence. Each of these is based on wonderful and well-formed mathematical equations, or wishful thinking, but they’re very hard (if not impossible) to test in the real Universe. Episode 31: String Theory, Time Travel, White […]




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Ep. 30: The Sun, Spots and All

It’s Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means the Sun is back. But it’s more than just a free heat lamp for your garden, it’s an incredible, dynamic nuclear reaction complete with flares, coronal mass ejections, twisting magnetic fields and the solar wind. Put in your headphones, head outside and enjoy the sunshine while […]




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