Astronomy Podcasts

Listen to great podcasts with interviews and discussions associated with astronomical news and theories.

Cheating in Sports Lance Armstrong, the New England Patriots, steroids in baseball - Neil deGrasse Tyson investigates cheating in sports alongside co-hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O'Reilly, Dr. Lee Igel, PhD from the Tisch Institute of Global Sport, and behavioral scientist Lisa Shu, PhD. StarTalk Radio
571-Comet Groeller My Catalina Sky Survey teammate Hannes Groeller was asteroid hunting, in the constellation of Hydra, with our 60 inch telescope on Mt. Lemmon, Arizona when he discovered a rather distant comet. On its current path it cannot get closer than four times the distance to our Sun from us, making it a very faint fuzzy ball with a tail in our night sky. Travelers In The Night
Moon and Spica Astronomers have discovered more than 4,000 confirmed planets in star systems other than our own. And the list is likely to grow by thousands more in the years ahead. One system where we're not likely to find planets is Spica, the brightest star of Virgo. StarDate
Black-Hole Generators In popular culture, a black hole is always a destroyer. It pulls apart stars and planets and gobbles up the pieces. And that certainly does happen. In fact, astronomers watched a black hole destroy a star as big as the Sun early last year. Yet it might be possible to put black holes to work for less-destructive purposes. StarDate
Death of a Star A year ago, astronomers watched the death of a star. For three months, the star blazed vividly as it was pulled apart by a black hole. At its peak, the dying star shined tens of billions of times brighter than the Sun. The dying star was discovered on January 29th. StarDate
Episode 243: Ad Astra Per DARPA Spaceflight news— Astra Space obtains launch permits — Three polar launches from Kodiak — DARPA launch from Wallops — Challenge seeks two launches from different locations with little foreknowledge of payload Short & Sweet— Virgin Galactic’s second spaceship passes important milestone. The Orbital Mechanics
Can Your Gut Leak In Space? Probably. Here's What That Means For Astronatus Space travel could cause a leaky gut. A new medical study found that microgravity reduces an important barrier in the stomach which could mean nasty germs could get inside Astronaut’s bodies on deep-space missions. We’ll chat with UC Riverside medical researcher Dr. Are We There Yet?
Liftoff 115: A Mannequin is Not an Astronaut 2020 is here, as are updates on the James Webb telescope and SLS. NASA has inducted some new astronauts and the star Betelgeuse is getting weird. Liftoff
91 - January 2020 Part 2 The Discussion: New Year resolutions, veganism, a little spoiler-free chat about the latest/last Skywalker movie and the new series of Dr Who, before some listeners’ emails. Awesome Astronomy
59E-71-Martian Women Currently, women are exploring the planet Mars. Dr. Joy Crisp is the Deputy Project scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory. Nicole Spanovich is the Curiosity Mars Rover Science Operations Team Chief. Travelers In The Night
Accretion Disks A black hole can be one of the darkest objects in the universe and one of the brightest. In fact, some black holes can outshine the entire galaxy of stars that surrounds them. A black hole itself is truly black. Stuff can fall in, but nothing can come back out - including light. StarDate
Cosmic Queries - ALIENS! with Jake Roper Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice explore aliens in film with YouTuber Jake Roper including E.T., Men in Black, The Blob, The Thing, War of the Worlds, WALL-E, Contact, Arrival, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and more. NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons and All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free. StarTalk Radio
Critics Robert Goddard is known as the "father" of American rocketry. Yet his contributions to the field are less than they might have been. Goddard did most of his work in secret - he didn't collaborate outside his own team, and he didn't publish many results. StarDate
Moon and Regulus The surface of the Moon is dotted with a score of lakes, even more seas, plus assorted bays and marshes. But there's only one ocean: the Ocean of Storms. It's part of a large basin that's one of the biggest features on the entire Moon. The "watery" features are actually vast plains of volcanic rock. StarDate
RAS On the evening of January 12th of 1820, 14 "gentleman astronomers" met over dinner at Freemason's Tavern in London. By the time the last brandy was quaffed, they'd established a society for studying and promoting astronomy. Today, it's one of the leading astronomy groups in the world: the Royal Astronomical Society. StarDate
570-Catastrophic Wreckage Recently a group of high inclination asteroids hiding in Jupiter's shadow have been identified. Encounters with the giant planet's gravity could cause some of them to experience orbital changes making them a threat to Earth. Stay tuned. Travelers In The Night
Penumbral Eclipse This year will offer up some great skywatching sights, including a brilliant showing by Mars, and the closest encounter between the planets Saturn and Jupiter in centuries. But it won't offer good eclipses. There are no total lunar eclipses visible anywhere on the planet. StarDate
Robot Arms and Space Toilets Shuttle astronaut Mike Mullane recounts stories of space sexism, toilets and M and Ms in the first Space Boffins podcast of 2020. Naked Astronomy, from the Naked Scientists
Mars and Antares The pre-dawn sky might have you seeing red for the next few weeks - or at least reddish orange. That's because two colorful pinpoints of light will sweep past each other. One of them is Mars, the Red Planet. And the other is its "rival," Antares - a red-supergiant star. StarDate
Double Horn The Moon pays a call on one of the horns of the bull tonight. As night falls, the star Zeta Tauri is quite close to the right or upper right of the Moon. It's so close that you might need to blot out the Moon with your hand to see it. Zeta Tauri represents the tip of one of the horns of Taurus, the bull - at least in western mythology. StarDate
Episode 242: DOWNLINK - Dr. Martin Elvis Spaceflight news— ISRO confirms plans for Chandrayaan-3 — Chandrayaan-2 imagery Short & Sweet— SpaceX plans a moveable tower for pad 39A — Christina Koch breaks a record — Early signs of the Clean Space age: Iridium announces willingness to pay for third party cleanup of failed satellites Interview: Dr. The Orbital Mechanics
Booze In Space? The Storied History And Bright Future Of Alcohol In The Final Frontier Alcohol has long been a staple of our cultures and civilizations but is there a place for it in space? Author Chris Carberry explores this history and future of booze in space in his new book Alcohol in Space: Past, Present and Future. Are We There Yet?
Ep. 554: Big Telescope Controversy in Hawai'i This week we're live at the American Astronomical Society's 235th meeting in Honolulu, Hawai'i. We learned about new planets, black holes and star formation, but the big issue hanging over the whole conference is the protests and politics over the new Thirty Meter Telescope due for construction on Mauna Kea. Astronomy Cast
58E-70-NASA Mars Spacecraft Prepare For A Close Flyby Robert McNaught discovered a comet as it was traveling northward from under the plane of the Earth's orbit. He was observing at the Siding Spring Observatory in New South Wales Australia. This object was tracked by telescopes all around the world and named Comet C/2013 A1. Travelers In The Night
AaS! 119: Is String Theory Worth It? How did String Theory get started? What has made the idea so popular over the decades? Can we ever truly have a theory of quantum gravity? What is supersymmetry, the landscape, and the AdS/CFT Correspondence? What do holograms have to do with this? How many dimensions do we live in? Ask a Spaceman!
Moon and Aldebaran Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, contains hundreds of billions of stars. So no matter where you point a telescope, you're going to see many of those stars. And they can appear so close to each other that it's hard to tell if they're related, or if they just happen to line up in the same direction. StarDate
SEASON PREMIERE: A Conversation with Tim Ferriss For our Season 11 premiere, Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down for a one-on-one conversation with author, entrepreneur, and investor Tim Ferriss to explore the writing process, neuroscience and psychedelics, marine biology, science fiction, and more. Photo Credit: StarTalk. StarTalk Radio
Clam Beads You don't have to look into the sky to learn about Earth's interactions with the rest of the solar system. Sometimes, all you need are some ancient clam shells. Fossil shells found in Florida suggest that it was pounded by one or more big space rocks a couple of million years ago. StarDate
Episode 176: Second Genesis, with Jay Melosh Feature Guest: Jay Melosh If we should find creatures crawling around Titan or swimming under the ice sheets of Europa or Enceladus, they will almost certainly turn out to be the result of a second genesis, those creatures truly alien in the most profound sense. The Star Spot
Close to the Sun Break out the umbrellas, the swimsuits, and the sunscreen. Sun and Earth are closest for the entire year today, so we're getting a little extra warmth from our favorite star. Earth is at a point in its orbit called perihelion - a word that means "closest to the Sun." We're about a million-and-a-half miles closer than the average distance. StarDate
91 - January 2020 Part 1 The Discussion: As we begin the new decade we struggle to find a consensus on whether it actually is a new decade. We discuss the busy Xmas period and thank any listeners who helped Dartmoor Skies reach their funding target for a new telescope. Then we take a look at a few listeners’ emails and tweets. Awesome Astronomy
Land of the Supergiants A land of supergiants soars across the south on winter nights. Orion is one of the more prominent constellations. That's because the seven stars that outline the hunter's body are all current or future supergiants - the biggest, brightest, and heaviest of all stars. StarDate
StarTalk Sports Edition Series Premiere - Changing the Game, with Arian Foster SERIES PREMIERE: Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with former NFL running back Arian Foster to explore his illustrious NFL career, the rise of science in football, and much more. Co-hosted by Gary O'Reilly and Chuck Nice. NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons and All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free. StarTalk Radio
569-Fossil Ice Recent findings, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research suggests that there is more water locked in the minerals of nearby asteroids, which are easier to reach than the Moon, than could be found in ice deposits near the lunar poles. Travelers In The Night
Quadrantid Meteors A meteor shower that might have been born with the destruction of a comet is at its best tonight. It typically reaches peak rates of about a hundred "shooting stars" per hour - one of the busiest of all meteor showers. But the peak typically lasts no more than a couple of hours, so it's a tough shower to watch. StarDate
Isaac Asimov That's the introduction to a radio play based on a story by Isaac Asimov, one of the most influential science-fiction writers ever - and one of the busiest. He wrote or edited 500 books and thousands of short stories and magazine articles. Asimov was born 100 years ago today, in Russia. StarDate
January 2020: Mid-winter Wonders New Year's resolution: Do more stargazing! The post January 2020: Mid-winter Wonders appeared first on Sky & Telescope. Sky Tour Podcasts
A New Year Thanks to William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar is forever linked with the calendar in the public mind. In the dramatization of Caesar's life, a soothsayer warns him to "beware the ides of March" - the date on which Caesar was assassinated. And today, we're linked to Caesar by the calendar itself. StarDate
A Decade of Commercial Space Innovation Over the last decade, there’s been a change in how things get to space. Since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, NASA has been looking to commercial companies to fill the void. We’ll take a look at the “paradigm shift in the business of space” with The Verge’s senior science reporter Loren Grush. Are We There Yet?
57E-69-Fly Out Of Spaceport America SpaceShipTwo will carry 6 passengers and two pilots and be launched from the 18,000 acre SpacePort America in New Mexico. Travelers In The Night
New Year's Eve New York celebrated New Year's Eve of 1904 with a bang - a fireworks display atop the brand-new offices of the New York Times. The show was repeated over the following couple of years. By 1907, though, the fireworks had been banned. So the Times came up with a new lightshow: a 700-pound ball of iron and wood festooned with a hundred 25-watt bulbs. StarDate
Time Balls Observatories of the 19th century didn't receive government funding. They relied mainly on private donors, although they sometimes had to get creative to pay the bills. The Cincinnati Observatory, for example, sold time - for a thousand dollars a year. StarDate
El Nath Like Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark, the star El Nath has a dual identity. It's the second-brightest star of Taurus, the bull. But it's also the second-brightest star of Auriga the charioteer. Officially, the star belongs to Taurus, so it's also known as Beta Tauri. StarDate
Moon and Venus Venus is a world you wouldn't want to visit. Surface temperatures are hot enough to melt lead. The atmospheric pressure is equal to being almost two-thirds of a mile deep in Earth's oceans. And the atmosphere is made almost entirely of carbon dioxide. StarDate
Deadliest Cosmic Queries Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice answer your fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about death - what's the best way to die, the death of humanity, and the death of the universe - and they explore all the things that could kill us. Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIKEN & GSFC/T. StarTalk Radio
568-Tough Space Rock At its closest point, a small space rock comes to only 1/3 of Mercury's average distance from the solar surface and receives 9 times the amount of solar energy which heats the planet Mercury to 800F. Travelers In The Night
On the Edge Our solar system sits on the edge. It's at the inner edge of a spiral arm - a curving blade of stars and gas that wraps around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. It's known as the Orion Arm because it includes many of Orion's brilliant stars. The stars and gas clouds of the Milky Way form a wide, flat disk. StarDate
281. Dear Cheap Astronomy - Episode 61 - 27 December 2019 It's better than the stereo. Cheap Astronomy
Getting Bigger The Northern Cross stands in the northwest this evening, with the "shaft" aiming roughly toward the horizon. If you have clear, dark skies, you might notice that the cross is embedded in the glow of the Milky Way. This hazy band of light outlines the disk of our home galaxy, which is also known as the Milky Way. StarDate
Ep. 553: What To Look Forward To In 2020 It's hard to believe it, but we survived another trip around the Sun. Now it's time to take the whole journey all over again, but with new news. Let's take a look at some of the space and astronomy stories we're looking forward to in 2020. Astronomy Cast