The other big issue at the AAS was the challenge that astronomy is going to face from all the new satellite constellations coming shortly. There are already 180 Starlinks in orbit, and thousands more are coming, not to mention the other constellations in the works. What will be the impact on astronomy, and what can we do about it?
Even though they might be scattered around our planet, astronomers have way to come together to work out issues that face their entire field of study. It’s called the International Astronomical Union, and they’re the ones who work out the new names for stars, and sometimes de-planet beloved Kuiper Belt Objects.
We started out Astronomy Cast with the controversial decision to de-planet Pluto. And here we are, more than a decade later, at the brink of recording our 500th episode when another big decision is coming down from the IAU: whose name goes on the concept that our Universe is expanding: Hubble or Lemaître? It’s a big deal and Pamela knows all about it.
10 years of Astronomy Cast… wow. It’s been a long, fun journey. What are some of our favorite episodes and adventures over the decade we’ve been doing this show.
Pamela has a day job, remember? As an astronomer? Recently the 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference occurred in the The Woodlands, Texas. Pamela and guest astronomer Sondy Springmann will let us know about the big announcements made at this year’s conference.
Pamela’s attending the 39th Lunar and Planetary Sciences Conference, and you know what that means: the Moon… and planets! When you think of the Moon, you think of craters. In fact, that’s a big theme this week at the conference, so Pamela took it as inspiration. Here you go, the week we drove the show into a crater. Wait… there’s got to be a better way to describe this.
Now that you’ve got your career in astronomy, obviously the next goal is to win a Nobel prize. We’re here at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Austin, which is just one tiny step that a person has to take before you get that Nobel prize. Before you get that call in the middle of the night from Sweden, you’re going to need to come with an idea, do some experiments, write a paper, get published and a bunch of other stuff. This week, we’ll tell you all about it.
This is a very different episode of Astronomy Cast. As we mentioned last week, Pamela recently attended the Dragon*Con science fiction convention in Atlanta, Georgia. While she was there, she participated in a special live edition of Astronomy Cast with special guest Dr. Kevin Frazier. Kevin is a NASA scientist, and the science consultant for the TV shows Battlestar Galactica and Eureka. He and Pamela work through physics and astronomy in popular science fiction. What they get right, and what they get wrong… so very wrong.
Once again, Pamela does her duty as an astronomer and joins her colleagues at the American Astronomical Society’s meeting, held in May, 2007 on Honolulu, Hawaii. With all that sand, surf and sun, how did anyone get any science done? Pamela tracked down the interesting stories, and brought them back so we could analyze them.
It’s astronomical society get together time, and we send Pamela to investigate and record. Hear the latest news that will make your text books out of date. Find out where all the dark matter is collecting, the identity of Kepler’s supernova, and new insights into the closest, brightest supernova in recent memory.