We’ve got two new podcasts from the Astronomy Cast team of Dr. Pamela Gay and Fraser Cain: Ep. 313: Precession, and Episode 314: Acceleration.
The Earth is wobbling on its axis like a top. You can’t feel it, but it’s happening. And over long periods of time, these wobbles shift our calendars around, move the stars from where they’re supposed to be, and maybe even mess with our climate. Thank you very much Precession.
Put that pedal to the metal and accelerate! It’s not just velocity, but a change in velocity. Let’s take a look at acceleration, how you measure it, and how Einstein changed our understanding of this exciting activity.
In our previous episode, week we explored the various ways spacecraft can die. But this week, we explore the spacecraft (and the scientists) who never give up, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. We’ll look at clever solutions to potential spacecraft catastrophes.
So many of the forces in space depend on equilibrium, that point where forces perfectly balance out. It defines the shape of stars, the orbits of planets, even the forces at the cores of galaxies. Let’s take a look at how parts of the Universe are in perfect balance.
In the end, everything dies, even plucky space robots. Today we examine the last days of a series of missions. How do spacecraft tend to die, and what did in such heroes as Kepler, Spirit, and Galileo (the missions… not the people).
Even the ancient astronomers knew there was something different about the planets. Unlike the rest of the stars, the planets move across the sky, backwards and forwards, round and round. It wasn’t until Copernicus that we finally had a modern notion of what exactly is going on.
Sometimes a trilogy needs four parts! The Astronomy Cast team of Fraser Cain and Pamela Gay have taken a look at the history and modern era of space stations, as well as peering into the future at some space station concepts still in the works. You can listen to this four-part series at the Astronomy Cast website, or at the links below:
And the podcast is also available as a video, as Fraser and Pamela now record Astronomy Cast as part of a Google+ Hangout. You can see their latest Hangouts at the Astronomy Cast YouTube page. They record most Mondays at 18:00 UTC (3:00 PM EDT, 12:00 PDT) at Google+.
The mighty Arecibo Radio Observatory is one of the most powerful radio telescopes ever built – it’s certainly the larger single aperture radio telescope on Earth, nestled into a natural sinkhole in Puerto Rico. We’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the construction of the observatory with a special episode of Astronomy Cast.
Astronomy Cast has recently uploaded several new podcasts, and while we normally post them separately here on Universe Today, since there are a number of them arriving at once, here’s a list of the new ones:
We’ve recently had a ‘changing of the guard’ at Astronomy Cast as far as getting things posted to the AC website and getting podcasts loaded to the feed, and are now getting caught up. But as you probably know, Fraser and Pamela now record Astronomy Cast as part of Google+ Hangouts. You can watch them record live at Google+ (they usually record on Mondays at 12 noon Pacific time) or at the AstrosphereVids You Tube channel (where you can watch past Hangouts as well).
Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. These are the seasons we experience here on Earth as our planet completes an orbit around the Sun. But what’s going on? Why do we experience such different temperatures and weather over the course of 365 days? Do other planets experience the seasons like we do?
We’ve all seen the classic science fiction space explosions, full of flames and loud sounds. Beautiful on the screen but, totally lacking in any kind of… science. What’s wrong with science fiction? What would chemical and nuclear explosions really look like? What would we hear? And what are some natural explosions that nature detonates in space?