Weekly Space Hangout: Nov 7, 2018 – Colin Stuart ‘s “How to Live in Space”

Hosts:
Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain)
Dr. Paul M. Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter)
Dr. Kimberly Cartier (KimberlyCartier.org / @AstroKimCartier )
Dr. Morgan Rehnberg (MorganRehnberg.com / @MorganRehnberg & ChartYourWorld.org)

“Tonight Fraser interviews Colin Stuart, author of How to Live in Space, which is available now. Visit https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/580109/how-to-live-in-space-by-colin-stuart/9781588346384/ for information about buying your own copy.

Colin is a science speaker and author, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. He has written articles for the London Mathematical Society and the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, and has spoken to more than 250k people about the wonders of the universe in which we live.

You can learn more about Colin by visiting his website at http://www.colinstuart.net/”

Announcements:

If you would like to join the Weekly Space Hangout Crew, visit their site here and sign up. They’re a great team who can help you join our online discussions!

If you’d like to join Dr. Paul Sutter and Dr. Pamela Gay on their Cosmic Stories in the SouthWest Tour in August 2019, you can find the information at astrotours.co/southwest.

We record the Weekly Space Hangout every Wednesday at 5:00 pm Pacific / 8:00 pm Eastern. You can watch us live on Universe Today, or the Weekly Space Hangout YouTube page – Please subscribe!

Weekly Space Hangout: Oct 31, 2018 – David Dickinson

Hosts:
Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain)
Dr. Paul M. Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter)
Dr. Kimberly Cartier (KimberlyCartier.org / @AstroKimCartier )
Dr. Morgan Rehnberg (MorganRehnberg.com / @MorganRehnberg & ChartYourWorld.org)

David Dickinson discusses his new book, written with Fraser, called The Universe Today Ultimate Guide to Viewing the Cosmos. Find out more about the book here – https://www.universetoday.com/139658/our-book-the-universe-today-ultimate-guide-to-viewing-the-cosmos/

Announcements:

If you would like to join the Weekly Space Hangout Crew, visit their site here and sign up. They’re a great team who can help you join our online discussions!

If you’d like to join Dr. Paul Sutter and Dr. Pamela Gay on their Cosmic Stories in the SouthWest Tour in August 2019, you can find the information at astrotours.co/southwest.

We record the Weekly Space Hangout every Wednesday at 5:00 pm Pacific / 8:00 pm Eastern. You can watch us live on Universe Today, or the Weekly Space Hangout YouTube page – Please subscribe!

Our New Book is Out! Everything You Need to Know to Become an Amateur Astronomer

The Universe Today Ultimate Guide to Viewing the Cosmos by David Dickinson with Fraser Cain

It seems really surreal to say, but after about a year of work, our book is finally out. It’s called The Universe Today Ultimate Guide to Viewing the Cosmos: Everything You Need to Know to Become an Amateur Astronomer.

It was written by our own David Dickinson, who provides the majority of amateur astronomy news here on Universe Today. David had been writing more and more complex sky guides here on Universe Today over the last few years, and about a year ago, we pitched the idea of a comprehensive book on amateur astronomy to our friends at Page Street Publishing. They were the same group that published books for two other Universe Today writers: Nancy Atkinson and Bob King.
Continue reading “Our New Book is Out! Everything You Need to Know to Become an Amateur Astronomer”

Weekly Space Hangout: Oct 24, 2018 – Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder

Hosts:
Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain)
Dr. Paul M. Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter)
Dr. Kimberly Cartier (KimberlyCartier.org / @AstroKimCartier )
Dr. Morgan Rehnberg (MorganRehnberg.com / @MorganRehnberg & ChartYourWorld.org)

Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder is a blogger and Theoretical Physicist who researches quantum gravity. She is a Research Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies where she leads the Analog Systems for Gravity Duals group.

Dr. Hossenfelder just finished writing her first book “”Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray”” which is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Math-Beauty-Physics-Astray/dp/0465094252

Announcements:

If you would like to join the Weekly Space Hangout Crew, visit their site here and sign up. They’re a great team who can help you join our online discussions!

If you’d like to join Dr. Paul Sutter and Dr. Pamela Gay on their Cosmic Stories in the SouthWest Tour in August 2019, you can find the information at astrotours.co/southwest.

We record the Weekly Space Hangout every Wednesday at 5:00 pm Pacific / 8:00 pm Eastern. You can watch us live on Universe Today, or the Weekly Space Hangout YouTube page – Please subscribe!

Astronomy Cast Ep. 502: No Touching: Determining Composition of Worlds Remotely

We’re not learning that the vast majority of potentially habitable worlds out there are actually icy moons like Europa and Enceladus. Good news, there are hundreds, if not thousands of times more of them than worlds like Earth. Bad news, they’re locked in ice. What have we learned about water worlds and their potential for habitability?

We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 3:00 pm EST / 12:00 pm PST / 20:00 PM UTC. You can watch us live on AstronomyCast.com, or the AstronomyCast YouTube page.

Visit the Astronomy Cast Page to subscribe to the audio podcast!

If you would like to support Astronomy Cast, please visit our page at Patreon here – https://www.patreon.com/astronomycast. We greatly appreciate your support!

If you would like to join the Weekly Space Hangout Crew, visit their site here and sign up. They’re a great team who can help you join our online discussions!

Weekly Space Hangout: Oct 17, 2018 – Paul Geithner, Deputy Project Manager, JWST

Hosts:
Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain)
Dr. Paul M. Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter)
Dr. Kimberly Cartier (KimberlyCartier.org / @AstroKimCartier )
Dr. Morgan Rehnberg (MorganRehnberg.com / @MorganRehnberg & ChartYourWorld.org)

Paul Geithner, Deputy Project Manager – Technical for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center where he focuses on technical oversight, and the resolution and verification of technical issues. Paul last visited us on October 7, 2017, almost two years ago to the day, and tonight joins us to give us an update about JWST.

You can learn more about Paul by visiting https://jwst.nasa.gov/meet-geithner.html

Announcements:

If you would like to join the Weekly Space Hangout Crew, visit their site here and sign up. They’re a great team who can help you join our online discussions!

If you’d like to join Dr. Paul Sutter and Dr. Pamela Gay on their Cosmic Stories in the SouthWest Tour in August 2019, you can find the information at astrotours.co/southwest.

We record the Weekly Space Hangout every Wednesday at 5:00 pm Pacific / 8:00 pm Eastern. You can watch us live on Universe Today, or the Weekly Space Hangout YouTube page – Please subscribe!

Weekly Space Hangout: Oct 10, 2018 – Sean Carroll

Hosts:
Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain)
Dr. Paul M. Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter)
Dr. Kimberly Cartier (KimberlyCartier.org / @AstroKimCartier )
Dr. Morgan Rehnberg (MorganRehnberg.com / @MorganRehnberg & ChartYourWorld.org)

Dr. Sean Carroll is a blogger, author, and theoretical physicist at Caltech where he investigates dark matter/dark energy, modified gravity, and multiple other topics in cosmology, field theory, and gravitation.

In addition to having written several books (most recently “”The Big Picture”” https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/bigpicture/), Sean has recorded lecture courses for The Great Courses, as well as producing many other online video and audio lectures.

In 2004, Sean launched his blog (https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/) and in July, 2018, announced his newest venture, his Mindscape Podcast (https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/)

You can lean more about Sean on his webpage: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/

Announcements:

If you would like to join the Weekly Space Hangout Crew, visit their site here and sign up. They’re a great team who can help you join our online discussions!

If you’d like to join Dr. Paul Sutter and Dr. Pamela Gay on their Cosmic Stories in the SouthWest Tour in August 2019, you can find the information at astrotours.co/southwest.

We record the Weekly Space Hangout every Wednesday at 5:00 pm Pacific / 8:00 pm Eastern. You can watch us live on Universe Today, or the Weekly Space Hangout YouTube page – Please subscribe!

Weekly Space Hangout: Oct 3, 2018 – Dr. David Warmflash

Hosts:
Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain)
Dr. Paul M. Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter)
Dr. Kimberly Cartier (KimberlyCartier.org / @AstroKimCartier )
Dr. Morgan Rehnberg (MorganRehnberg.com / @MorganRehnberg & ChartYourWorld.org)

This week’s special guest is Dr. David Warmflash. Dr. Warmflash is an astrobiologist and science writer. He received his M.D. from Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine, and has done post doctoral work at Brandeis University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Johnson Space Center, where he was a NASA astrobiology training fellow. He has been involved in science outreach for more than a decade, including having collaborated with The Planetary Society on studying the effects of the space environment on small organisms.

As a prolific freelance science communicator, David has had numerous articles published, his most recent being “”Should the Moon be Quarantined?”” which appears in the current issue of Scientific American (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/should-the-moon-be-quarantined/).

You can find David on Twitter (@CosmicEvolution)

Announcements:

If you would like to join the Weekly Space Hangout Crew, visit their site here and sign up. They’re a great team who can help you join our online discussions!

If you’d like to join Dr. Paul Sutter and Dr. Pamela Gay on their Cosmic Stories in the SouthWest Tour in August 2019, you can find the information at astrotours.co/southwest.

We record the Weekly Space Hangout every Wednesday at 5:00 pm Pacific / 8:00 pm Eastern. You can watch us live on Universe Today, or the Weekly Space Hangout YouTube page – Please subscribe!

Weekly Space Hangout: Sept 15, 2018: Live from AC500 Weekend!

Hosts:
Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain)
Dr. Pamela Gay (astronomycast.com / <a href=”https://cosmoquest.org/x>cosmoquest.org / @starstryder)
Dr. Kimberly Cartier (KimberlyCartier.org / @AstroKimCartier )
Dr. Morgan Rehnberg (MorganRehnberg.com / @MorganRehnberg & ChartYourWorld.org)

Astronomy Cast, the show Fraser cohosts with Dr. Pamela Gay, celebrated their 500th episode the weekend of Sept 15-16, 2018. We recorded this episode live at the Recess Brewery in Edwardsville IL that weekend, with a live audience!

Announcements:
The Weekly Space Hangout will return regularly in October!

If you would like to join the Weekly Space Hangout Crew, visit their site here and sign up. They’re a great team who can help you join our online discussions!

We record the Weekly Space Hangout every Wednesday at 5:00 pm Pacific / 8:00 pm Eastern. You can watch us live on Universe Today, or the Weekly Space Hangout YouTube page – Please subscribe!

Our Book: The Universe Today Ultimate Guide to Viewing the Cosmos

The Universe Today Ultimate Guide to Viewing the Cosmos by David Dickinson with Fraser Cain
The Universe Today Ultimate Guide to Viewing the Cosmos by David Dickinson with Fraser Cain
The Universe Today Ultimate Guide to Viewing the Cosmos by David Dickinson with Fraser Cain

Have you ever wanted to get into the hobby of astronomy but don’t know where to start? It can be challenging, especially with the bewildering array of telescopes, objects in the night sky, and techniques. Our new book, The Universe Today Ultimate Guide to Viewing the Cosmos, is all you need to get started.

It’s written by David Dickinson, the Universe Today reporter who covers skywatching and astronomical events, with additional material from Fraser Cain, publisher of Universe Today, co-host of Astronomy Cast and host of the Guide to Space. There are also over a hundred photographs from contributing amateur astronomers, showing you what’s possible with some gear, skill and lots and lots of patience. And an additional forward from Dr. Pamela Gay, co-host of the Astronomy Cast podcast.

In the book you’ll learn:

  • How to find your way in the night sky.
  • Choosing and using a variety of astronomy gear.
  • Following the Moon and the planets across the sky.
  • Finding the deep sky objects: nebulae, galaxies and star clusters.
  • What to see in the sky from season to season over an entire year.
  • Finding modern wanderers, like satellites, space stations and more.
  • Observing comets, asteroids and meteor showers.
  • Safely observing the Sun.
  • Astrophotography.
  • The top astronomy events from 2019 – 2024
  • Real science you can do and protecting the night sky.

Click here to buy a copy from Amazon. Or Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound.

Due to be published on October 23, 2018.

Author Dave Dickinson writes:

After years of discussing the idea, and about a year’s worth of essays, outlines, revisions and re-revisions, we’re happy to announce that our first full astronomy book comes out on October 23rd, 2018 courtesy of Page Street Publishing.

We’re talking about the Universe Today Guide to Viewing the Night Sky: Everything You Need to Know to Become an Amateur Astronomer. It’s already up available for pre-order on Amazon now, and we jam-packed it full with the very latest tips from the fast-changing world of amateur astronomy.

We drew off of decades of experience as an amateur astronomer and science writer, to show you just how far the field has evolved in just a few short decades. When I was a kid growing up as a child of the 70s (1970s that is!), a 6-inch Newtonian was a big ‘scope, Jupiter had twelve moons and we took pictures on plastic strips coated with a gelatin emulsion known as ‘film’. Today, you can purchase a ‘scope and camera rig for your backyard observatory that would be the envy of many a university, and discover comets before bedtime online.

telescopes
Telescopes: large and small. Credit: Dave Dickinson

Why write one more ‘how to get started in astronomy’ guide? Hasn’t it all been done before? Well, our aim was not to write a textbook, but build something new, packed full of actionable information for backyard observers. If you’re a beginner, we’ll show you how to find your way around the sky, how to follow the planets and how things change overhead night to night, season to season and year to year. Even mid- to advanced observers may find out something new in the book, including, for example, how to hunt for and report a new comet discovery and tracking clandestine satellites.

The book is also chock of never before seen photos from dozens of astrophotographers from around the world. These cover the gamut of skill sets, from basic shots of the Moon and planets, to award-winning photos of eclipses and rocket launches. When it comes to astrophotography, our goal in the book was to take the beginner “over the hump” from doing basic star trail shots to deep sky astrophotography, a very steep learning curve to climb. Modern DSLRs, however, have made the entry into basic astrophotography easier than ever before.

lunar eclipse
The stages of a total lunar eclipse. Image credit and copyright: Zheng Zhi

What satellite is that? Want to build a planetary webcam? How about doing interferometry… from your backyard? Each chapter of the book is packed with projects galore. We’ve personally completed every project in the book over the years, (except for the Sun Funnel, which was done by Dr Pamela Gay), and we shared all of our experiences in the book.

Building the Very Small Optical Observatory (VSOO) out of a garden shed. Credit: Dave Dickinson

We also shared our own personal narrative throughout the book, a journey of several decades in amateur astronomy doing star parties, using telescopes, chasing eclipses and observing from around the world. The history of astronomy is a fascinating one, and the roles of professional and amateur astronomers blur, then merge as you travel back in time. We tell some of those fascinating tales in the book, from how we almost ended up with a planet named George, to whether or not Copernicus really saw Mercury, to why deep sky cataloger Charles Messier is buried in the same graveyard as rock star Jim Morrison. These fascinating asides give us insight in just how the largely untold story of the history amateur astronomy played out against the backdrop of human drama over the millennia.

Sun features
Features on the Sun. Image credit and copyright: Paul Stewart, labels by author.

One key challenge with writing a book is the long production trail of often a year or more. You want to write something that’s ageless, but we all want to stuff the very latest facts in discoveries in there, as well. We raced to add in the very latest space news (the passage of interstellar asteroid 1/I ‘Oumuamua through the inner solar system in late 2017 was a good example) all of which threatened to make the book obsolete before it ever hit the shelves. We grew up with seminal classics such as T.W. Webb’s Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes, Guy Ottewell’s annual Astronomical Calendar and Burnham’s 3 volume Celestial Handbook, all essential guides still sitting on our desktop that have stubbornly resisted digitization. We still marvel at these works and pick them up and peruse through them like old friends. It’s our fondest hope that our new book lights the same tiny spark of inspiration as those classics.

The book also contains some unique graphics, from the geometry of eclipses, to just how satellite orbits work and more. We worked hard to give the reader some unique perspectives with these graphics, something you won’t find anywhere else. We can also now say personally, as a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, that doing a simple “wall of words” novel versus text and graphics now feels like only doing half a book!

Eclipse geometry
The geometry of eclipses. Credit: Dave Dickinson.

Hopefully, this book will ignite the spark to get you out and observe, not only on every clear night, but to simply see the wonder and weirdness that surrounds us, everyday. Amateur astronomy is now nearly as much an online pursuit as it is a backyard hobby, and we lead the reader to those essential websites to show you where we’re looking when a new comet is discovered or when the Sun erupts in activity.

What’s next? Well, one aspect we really wanted to do up right was a set of concise constellation charts, covering the entire sky. We had to settle for basic overview charts to familiarize the reader with the sky by seasons and the overall layout of the constellations—otherwise the book would’ve been twice as long (and took twice the time) to write. Our hopes are to create a compendium star atlas for the book… soon.

Be sure to check out the Universe Today Ultimate Guide to Viewing the Cosmos – out October 23rd, now up for pre-order, for inspiration and an introduction to the fascinating world of amateur astronomy.