There are asteroids and there are comets. But there’s an entirely separate class of objects called centaurs. But instead of half-human, half-horse, imagine an object that’s half comet, half asteroid but 100% interesting.
Astronomy Cast more than 600 episodes ago. Are there any updates? Does Pluto have a chance of regaining planethood again?
Volcanoes can be some of the worst natural disasters we can experience here on Earth, but life wouldn’t even exist without them. What are volcanoes good for anyway?
As you all know, Pamela refuses to talk about any missions which aren’t actually doing science. Well, Perseverance has crossed the line, from fantasy to an actual working rover, scooping regolith and yeeting helicopters. What has the rover accomplished in its first 100 days?
Mars is cold and dead today, but the massive volcanoes tell us what the planet used to be like, millions and even billions of years ago. But how volcanically active is the planet today? That’s what NASA’s Mars InSight lander is there to figure out.
Today, we gaze into the future of space and astronomy. What upcoming missions and events are we excited about?
Pamela has told us in the most flowery terms about the diffuse dust across inner solar system. Leftover from the formation the inner planets. Well, it turns out, she was wrong. Super wrong. Time to update.
Pamela’s always loathed to talk about spacecraft until the mission’s in space and the science is rolling. NASA’s Juno mission just received a mission extension, adding Jupiter’s moons to the menu. Now, finally, we can talk about Juno.
2024 can’t come soon enough. You know, that’s the year when humans will set foot on the Moon again. Don’t you roll your eyes. That’s the plan. Well, unless the plan changes. But my point is, explorers going to the Moon will need to be concerned about all kinds of hazards, like dust, radiation and gigantic moon worms.
We’ve talked about water on the Moon many times here on Astronomy Cast, but there have been a bunch of big updates, thanks to new research from NASA and others. Today we’re going to give you an update on the state of water on the Moon and the plans to take advantage of it.
All eyes are on the Moon. We’re going back, this time to stay… right? One of the best resources on the Moon will be the lava tubes that crisscross the subsurface of the Moon. These can provide protection from space, and a look into the geologic history of the Moon. And they can be enormous.
With a sample of asteroid Bennu firmly inside OSIRIS-REx’s return capsule, it’s time to bring this treasure home so scientists can study the composition and history of the space rock. But it’s not the only sample return mission out there, with Japan’s Hayabusa2 mission also bringing asteroid debris home. Today, let’s talk about the missions and what we’ve learned so far.
Have you heard the big news? Of course you have, evidence of phosphine on Venus which could be a biosignature of life on our evil twin planet. There have been a lot of surprising stories about Venus, so let’s get you all caught up.
Every two years or so, Mars lines up nicely with the Earth. It only takes two minutes to communicate with rovers, you can see the polar ice caps in a small telescope, and it’s the best time to send spacecraft to the red planet.
As amateur astronomers, we curse the Moon every month. Seriously, why doesn’t someone get rid of that thing? This week, something occurred to us. What if we actually pointed our telescopes at the Moon? What would we see?
We imagine the asteroid belt as the place where all the rocks hang out in the Solar System, but there are two huge bands of asteroids that orbit the Sun with Jupiter called the Trojans. And soon, we might actually get a chance to see them up close.
Discovering comets is one of the fields that amateurs can still make a regular contribution to astronomy. But more and more telescopes are getting found by spacecraft, automated systems and machine learning. This week, we’ll talk about how comets are discovered and how you can get your name on one.
A brand new telescope has completed on Maui’s Haleakala, and it has just one job: to watch the Sun in unprecedented detail. It’s called the Daniel K. Inouye telescope, and the engineering involved to get this telescope operational are matched by the incredible resolution of its first images.
Our series on Universe weirdness marches on. This week we take a look at the habitable zone, and how things aren’t as simple as we thought.
How old are Saturn’s rings? They could be brand new, or they could be as ancient as the Solar System itself. Planetary scientists thought they knew the answer thanks to new data from Cassini, but new ideas are calling even that into question.
Ancient peoples had no light pollution, and they knew the night skies very well. In fact, they depends on them to know when to plant and when to harvest. Today Pamela talks about the archeoastronomical sites of the American Southwest. In this episode we mentioned...
Today we push our aging curiosity out into the Solar System to ask that simple question: how old is it and how do we know? What techniques do astronomers use to age various objects and regions in the Solar System?
People always want to know how old everything is. And more specifically, they want to know how we know how old everything is. Well, here at Astronomy Cast, it’s our job to tell you now only what we know, but how we know what we know. And today we’ll begin a series on how we know how old everything is.