Categories: Weekly Space Hangout

Weekly Space Hangout – Apr. 22, 2016: Mike Simmons highlights Global Astronomy Month

Host: Fraser Cain (@fcain)

Special Guest:
Mike Simmons, Founder and President of Astronomers without Borders (, will be joining us to discuss the 2016 Global Astronomy Month (GAM)! GAM is organized each April by Astronomers Without Borders and is the world’s largest global celebration of astronomy. Find out about the amazing GAM events going on all over the world and how YOU can get involved.


Kimberly Cartier (@AstroKimCartier )
Dave Dickinson ( / @astroguyz)
Morgan Rehnberg ( / @MorganRehnberg )

Their stories this week:
China studies making babies in space

Autopsying Hitomi

Lone Planetary-Mass Object Found in Family of Stars

Ultra-cool polar regions of Venus’s atmosphere

We’ve had an abundance of news stories for the past few months, and not enough time to get to them all. So we’ve started a new system. Instead of adding all of the stories to the spreadsheet each week, we are now using a tool called Trello to submit and vote on stories we would like to see covered each week, and then Fraser will be selecting the stories from there. Here is the link to the Trello WSH page (, which you can see without logging in. If you’d like to vote, just create a login and help us decide what to cover!

We record the Weekly Space Hangout every Friday at 12:00 pm Pacific / 3:00 pm Eastern. You can watch us live on Google+, Universe Today, or the Universe Today YouTube page.

You can also join in the discussion between episodes over at our Weekly Space Hangout Crew group in G+!

Fraser Cain

Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

View Comments

  • Consider me inspired. AWB is just so way double extra groovy cool... Mike Simmons ROCKS! After watching this podcast I checked out the link to "The Sidewalk Astronomers" aka John Dobson and found several other videos. What an inspiration! He is absolutely one of my all time hero's!

    My only connection with John Dobson was back in 1988 when I lived in Willits CA. where I took a temporary job working as an engineering consultant. I saw an ad in a local paper for an 18" mirror for a great price and got all excited about the possibilities. I contacted and made arrangements to meet with one Rodney Hobbs, who lived 30 miles south of Willits in Ukiah CA. Yes he still had a 18" mirror for sale. Did I want to see it? Then come on over! I got there and found the mirror had a small 'divot' in the top surface after being dropped somehow... ergo the low price. The 'fix' was to mask off the defect and use the mirror anyway with a slightly diminished capacity. But I deferred too long and then my job ended, so I lost contact with Rodney and the opportunity to buy that mirror. Dang! During the visit Rodney, a dedicated ATM, mentioned he had several other mirrors under his bed to show me. One of them was a 24" made by John Dobson! NICE! Rodney tested it and found it had an almost perfect figure! I really wanted THAT mirror, but it was not for sale. Oh well..

    Another time, I was driving south along Hwy 101 and saw a scary looking beat up van pass me. Inside was this 'old guy' driving and on the side it said "The San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers". I tried to follow him, but he drove WAY too fast for me and I lost sight of him. THAT was the closest I ever got to meeting John Dobson. To this day I wish I had gone ahead and broken some speed limits to catch up with him to get his attention...

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