Ep. 16: Across the Electromagnetic Spectrum

We see the Universe in visible light with our photon detecting eyes. We can feel infrared heat with our photon detecting hands, and we get sunburns with our ultraviolet photon detecting skin (ouch). But there’s a whole spectrum of photons out there, from radio waves to gamma rays that astronomers use to understand the Universe. […]




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Ep. 15: Questions Show #1

We finally get organized enough deal with several listener questions: isn’t dark matter just regular stuff we can’t see? how can parts of the Universe be expanding faster than the speed of light? what will Betelgeuse look like when it explodes as a supernova? what’s the speed of gravity? All these and more questions are […]




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Ep. 13: Where Do Stars Go When They Die?

We’ve celebrated the birth of new stars, but the stellar lifecycle doesn’t end there. Stars like our Sun will spend billions of years fusing together hydrogen and pumping out energy. And when the fuel runs out, their death is as interesting as their birth. This week Fraser and Pamela trace out this stellar evolution, and […]




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Ep. 12: Where Do Baby Stars Come From?

Most parents have had that uncomfortable conversation with their children at some point. Mommy, Daddy, where do stars come from? You hem and haw, mumble a few words about angular momentum and primordial hydrogen and then cleverly change the subject. Well, you don’t have to avoid the subject any longer. Pamela and Fraser describe formation […]




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Ep. 11: A Universe of Dark Energy

The discovery of dark energy was one of the biggest surprises in astronomy. Instead of a nice, predictable expanding Universe, acted on only by gravity, astronomers turned up a mysterious repulsive force accelerating the expansion of the Universe. Fraser and Pamela explain the evidence for a dark energy, and a few possible theories for what […]




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iPod Issues Fix

Several of you have reported problems getting your iPods to play our show and other podcasts. Unfortunately, the latest version of iTunes has some new features that are making iPods behave oddly when they try to play podcasts that aren’t in stereo. To fix this problem, go into the Settings menu of your iPod and […]




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Ep. 10: Measuring Distance in the Universe

You hear distances all the time in astronomy. This star is 10 light-years away; that galaxy is 50 million light-years away; that Big Bang over there happened 13.7 billion years ago. But how did astronomers actually figure out how far away everything is? It’s not a single measuring stick. Instead, astronomers have built up a […]




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Ep. 9: Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity

It’s all relative. How many times have you heard that? Well, when you’re traveling close to the speed of light, everything really is relative; especially the passage of time. This week, Fraser and Pamela give you the skinny on Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. After listening to a few thought experiments, you too should be […]




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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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