Host: Fraser Cain (@fcain) Special Guest: This week we welcome Stephen Fowler, who is the Creative Director at InfoAge, the organization behind refurbishing the TIROS 1 dish and the Science History Learning Center and Museum at Camp Evans, Wall, NJ. Guests: Jolene Creighton (@jolene723 / fromquarkstoquasars.com) Morgan Rehnberg (cosmicchatter.org / @MorganRehnberg )
We’ve spent the last few weeks talking about different ways astronomers are searching for exoplanets. But now we reach the most exciting part of this story: actually imaging these planets directly. Today we’re going to talk about the work NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has done viewing the atmospheres of distant planets.
You’ve probably heard the trope about how aliens have been watching old episodes of “I Love Lucy” and might think these are our “historical documents”. How far have our signals reached? Television transmissions expand outward from the Earth at the speed of light, and there’s a trope in science fiction that aliens have learned everything […]
One doesn’t take two cubesats and rub them together to make static electricity. Rather, you send them on a brief space voyage to low-earth orbit (LEO) and space them apart some distance and voilà, you have a telescope. That is the plan of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center engineers and also what has been imagined by several […]
A research team led by Caltech astronomers of Pasadena California have discovered an ultraluminous X-ray (ULX) source that is pulsating. Their analysis concluded that the source in a nearby galaxy – M82 – is from a rotating neutron star, a pulsar. This is the first ULX source attributed to a pulsar. Matteo Bachetti of the Université […]
When you look into the night sky, you’re seeing tremendous distances away, even with your bare eyeball. But what’s the most distant object you can see with the unaided eye? And what if you get help with a pair of binoculars, a telescope, or even with the Hubble Space Telescope. Standing at sea level, your […]
Gaia, ESA’s long-anticipated mission to map the stars of our galaxy (as well as do a slew of other cool science things) is now tucked comfortably in its position in orbit around Earth-Moon L2, a gravitationally stable spot in space 1.5 million km (932,000 miles) away. Once its mission begins in earnest, Gaia will watch about […]
After 10 years in space — looking at so many galaxies and stars and other astronomy features — the Spitzer Space Telescope is being deployed for new work: searching for alien worlds. The telescope is designed to peer in infrared light (see these examples!), the wavelength in which heat is visible. When looking at infrared […]