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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Ep. 29: Asteroids Make Bad Neighbors

This week we’re talking about asteroids. And not just any asteroids, but Near Earth Objects. How do astronomers find these things, why are they buzzing around the Earth, what are the chances we’ll actually get hit, and what would happen if we did get hit? How could we stop them? Episode 29: Asteroids Make Bad […]




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Ep. 28: What is the universe expanding into?

Come on, admit it, you’ve had this question. If the Universe is expanding from the Big Bang, what is it expanding into? What’s outside the Universe? Ask any astronomer and you’ll get an unsatisfying answer. We give you the same unsatisfying answer, but really explain it, so your unsatisfaction doesn’t haunt you any more. Episode […]




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Ep. 27: Questions Show #3

The questions are piling up, so it’s time to get through them. We’ve got a great collection this week. How can our eyes collect so many photons? What’s the speed of gravity? Shouldn’t the light from the cosmic microwave background radiation passed us by?   Episode 27: The Third Question Show (22 MB) 




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Ep. 26: The Largest Structures in the Universe

This week we continue the story of galaxy formation, learning how groups of galaxies come together to form the biggest structures around – galaxy superclusters. And when you look at the Universe at this scale, environment is everything.   Episode 26: The Largest Structures in the Universe (15 MB) 




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Ep. 25: The Story of Galaxy Evolution

Our Milky Way is a complex and majestic barred spiral galaxy. But 13.7 billion years ago it began, like all galaxies, from the elementary particles formed in the Big Bang. How did our galaxy grow from nothing to the hundreds of billions of stars we see today?   Episode 25: The Story of Galaxy Evolution […]




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Ep. 24: The Fermi Paradox: Where Are All the Aliens?

We live in a mind bogglingly big Universe filled with countless stars. We know intelligent life evolved here on Earth. It must be common across the Universe, right? But if there’s life out there, how come we haven’t been visited by aliens yet? Why haven’t we even picked up signals from alien television stations? Where’s […]




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Ep. 23: Counting Aliens With the Drake Equation

If you’re wondering how many extraterrestrials there are in our galaxy, you just have to use a simple equation developed by astronomer Frank Drake in 1961. Just find out how many stars there are, how many support life, how many advanced societies form, and a few other details and we’ll be set. Episode 23: Drake […]




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Ep. 22: Variable Stars

Our Sun has been around for billions of years, and will last for billions more. We’re lucky, it’s pretty stable and regular as stars go, only changing in brightness a little now and then. But there are stars out there that change dramatically; astronomers call them variable stars, and they demonstrate just how bizarre and […]




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