Astronomy Podcast Enters Sixth Year — And We’d Love For You To Contribute!

If you love talking about space — and as a reader of Universe Today, I really hope you do — there’s an awesome podcast for you to add to your playlist. 365 Days of Astronomy puts out an astronomy-themed episode every single day of the year, covering everything from recent discoveries, to folklore, to community events.

If you’ve got a microphone and a desire to contribute, or have at least some coffee money to contribute to charity, they’d really love to hear from you as they enter a sixth (sixth!) year of operation. More details are below the jump.

Full disclosure here: Universe Today is a big supporter of 365 Days of Astronomy, and I’ve been contributing podcasts myself since last year. It is an awesome experience. Pamela Gay (who oversees the project through her astronomy education organization, Cosmoquest) is inspiring to work for as she is a tireless supporter of bringing the joy of space to the general public.

Nancy Atkinson (a fellow contributor and UT senior editor) joked to me today, “It’s kind of like the Mars rovers — the Energizer Bunny of podcasts.” And it’s through your support that we can keep going, and going, and going. Here’s the official press release with information about contributions:

The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is a project that will publish one podcast per day, for all 365 days of 2011. The podcast episodes are written, recorded and produced by people around the world.

365 Days of Astronomy will continue its service in 2014! This time we will have more days available for new audio. Have something to share? We’re looking for content from 10 minutes long up to an hour! Since 2009, 365 Days of Astronomy has brought a new podcast every day to astronomy lovers around the world to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy. Fortunately, the project has continued until now and we will keep going for another year in 2014. This means we will continue to serve you for a 6th year.

Through these years, 365 Days Of Astronomy has been delivering daily podcasts discussing various topics in the constantly changing realm of astronomy. These include history of astronomy, the latest news, observing tips and topics on how the fundamental knowledge in astronomy has changed our paradigms of the world. We’ve also asked people to talk about the things that inspired them, and to even share their own stories, both of life doing astronomy and science fiction that got them imagining a more scientific future.

365 Days of Astronomy is a community podcast that relies on a network of dedicated podcasters across the globe who are willing to share their knowledge and experiences in astronomy with the world and it will continue that way. In 2013, 365 Days of Astronomy started a new initiative with CosmoQuest. We now offer great new audio every weekend, while on weekdays we serve up interesting podcasts from CosmoQuest and other dedicated partners. We also have several monthly podcasts from dedicated podcasters and have started two new series: Space Stories and Space Scoop. The former is a series of science fiction tales, and the latter is an astronomy news segment for children.

From the universe to the solar system, we’ve had an interesting journey, especially the ostensibly legendary comet ISON which finally ended its days by breaking apart and vaporizing. We hope we won’t end like ISON did! As for 2014, we will have more available days for new podcasts.

A widefield view of Comet ISON, taken from New Mexico Skies at 11h 59m UT using an FSQ 106 ED telescope and STL11K camera on a PME II mount. 1 x 10 min exposures. Credit and copyright: Joseph Brimacombe.
A widefield view of Comet ISON, taken from New Mexico Skies at 11h 59m UT using an FSQ 106 ED telescope and STL11K camera on a PME II mount. 1 x 10 min exposures. Credit and copyright: Joseph Brimacombe.

For this upcoming year, the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast is looking for individuals, organizations, schools, companies, and clubs to sign-up for their 5 – 60 minutes of audio for the new daily podcast which will be aired on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. As for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we will air audio podcasts from CosmoQuest and partners’ Google+ hangouts. We’ll also post the matching video submissions on our YouTube Channel.

We will once again continue our quest in the podcasting arena, but we need your support to be a success. The project is now accepting financial support from individuals as well as organizations to cover our audio engineering and website support costs. The podcast team invites people and organizations to sponsor shows by donating to support one day of the podcast. It costs us about $45 per show. For your donation of $30, a dedication message will be announced in the beginning of the show. For a $15 donation a sponsorship message will be heard at the end of the show. Alternatively, for a $100 donation a sponsor may request a dedication message at the end of a whole week of programs. These donations are essential to cover the price for editing and posting podcasts.

The 365 Days of Astronomy podcast is heard by 5,000 listeners per day and by 2013 we have surpassed 6,8 million downloads. In 2009, the project was awarded a Parsec Award as “The Best Infotainment” podcast and a year later, in 2010-2012, it was nominated for the “Best Fact Behind the Fiction” award.

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast to Continue for its 4th Year in 2012

I’m going to put on a different hat here and post something about the “other” website that’s been keeping me busy for the past three years, the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast. Our team is proud to announce that the podcast is continuing for another year in 2012. So, if you’ve been considering contributing a podcast to the 365 Days of Astronomy but just haven’t gotten around to it yet, here’s your chance.

I’ve said this before, but as far as we can tell, 365 Days of Astronomy is the most popular and successful user-generated podcast ever, as each podcast is heard thousands of times. If you’re looking to share your experiences, thoughts, feelings, discoveries, or anything about space and astronomy, this is an opportunity to find your voice and an audience to listen.

The past three years I’ve been the Project Manager for 365 Days, but we’ve hired a new PM, Avivah Yamani, an educator and writer who is involved extensively with astronomy communication to the public, so she’s perfect for the job! I’m not going anywhere, and am now an advising producer for the show.

How can you get involved? Visit the 365 Days of Astronomy’s “Join In!” webpage for more information. Below is our official press release:

The award-winning 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is proud to announce the project will continue for yet another year – its fourth consecutive year — and is now accepting sign-ups for participants for more podcasts in 2012.

365 Days of Astronomy is a legacy project of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA), and in 2009 was a major project of the IYA. All the podcast episodes are written, recorded and produced by people all around the world.

“During the past three years, we’ve shared astronomy with the world, and we’ve heard from many different voices in astronomy – from professionals and amateurs to those who just enjoy the all the incredible discoveries and beautiful images of our Universe,” said Nancy Atkinson, who is now an advising producer for the project.

During the previous years, 365 Days of Astronomy published one podcast for every day of the year. In 2012, the podcast will combine new podcasts with “encore” editions of popular past shows.

The 365 Days of Astronomy podcast is now looking for individuals, organizations, schools, companies and clubs to submit 5 – 10 minutes of audio for the “new” daily podcasts which will air Monday-Friday. Participants can sign up to record just 1 episode or up to 12 episodes (one per month.)

People from every continent except Antarctica have submitted podcasts the past three years, and the 365 Days of Astronomy team encourages a more diverse population from even more countries to sign up for 2012.

To help facilitate that, 365 Day of Astronomy has a new Project Manager, who is based in Southeast Asia.

“We are hoping to increase our international voices, and have hired Avivah Yamani as our new project manager to help us in this goal,” said Dr. Pamela Gay, Executive Director of Astrosphere New Media, which is “home” to the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast. “As in previous years, we are looking to sign up a variety of participants, from amateur astronomers, classroom teachers and students to scientists, science bloggers and big media companies.”

2012 continues the Year of the Solar System, which marks an unprecedented flurry of robotic exploration of space, and is the perfect opportunity for more of the public to become involved in creating podcasts to share astronomy with the world.

The 365 Days of Astronomy has gained a wide audience, and each podcast is heard by 3,000 – 10,000 listeners. The project was awarded a Parsec Award in 2009 for “The Best Info-tainment” podcast in 2009, and was nominated for the “Best Fact Behind the Fiction” award in 2010.

The project is also asking individuals and organizations for financial support.

The podcast team also invites people and organizations to sponsor the podcast by donating $30 to support 1 day of the podcast, with your dedication appearing at the start of the show. For just $360, it is possible to sponsor 1 episode per month. Alternatively, you can also have a dedication message at the end of the show for a week, for a donation at the $100 level. These donations will help pay for editing, and posting of the podcasts.

For more information visit:

365 Days of Astronomy: http://365DaysOfAstronomy.org.

Astrosphere New Media: http://www.astrosphere.org/

Year of the Solar System: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/yss/index.cfm

365 Days of Astronomy Now More Than 1,000 Days

September 27 2011 was the 1,000th day since the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast was instituted on 1 January 2009, the International Year of Astronomy – and due to a puzzling publishing hiccup the 1,000th episode played on September 28 2011.

This unique citizen scientist project will hopefully stumble on through to the end of 2011, but if anyone wants to see it have a life after that your support and contributions are needed today – and every day after that.

365 Days of Astronomy Needs a Little Help From Their Friends

As many of our readers know, I also work with the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast. This award winning daily podcast that was supposed to last for only one year — the International Year of Astronomy — is now in its third year. Unfortunately, the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast is in trouble due to a lack of funding and audio. We’ve done over two and a half years — 959 podcasts so far — all on a shoestring and by the generous donations of audio and funds by our listeners. But things are looking a little grim, and we’d at least like to make it to the end of the year. As Pamela Gay said in her blog post about this, “At a certain level, it is hard to walk away from something feeling like it is halfway done. This is the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast, and we’d like to complete the 2011 calendar year.”

Each 365 Days of Astronomy podcast gets at least 3,000 downloads — some get as many as 10- 15,000 downloads. It’s a wonderful way to have your voice heard, your story told. As Phil Plait has mentioned, 365 DoA is a great venue to not only educate people about astronomy, but to get them personally involved. If you would, please consider submitting audio or making a donation to help us keep a good thing going. We know times are tough, but will appreciate any help you can provide.

Thanks!

Podcast: A Look at NASA’s Future Through an Astronaut’s Eyes

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While at the 2011 Lunar Forum last month, which was sponsored by the NASA Lunar Science Institute, I had the chance to talk with NASA astronaut Dr. Yvonne Cagle. I asked her how she sees NASA’s future without the space shuttle as well as her view of commercial space companies providing access to the ISS. We also talked about the challenges of doing medical procedures in zero-g and more.

You can listen to the podcast on today’s episode on the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast. Here’s the link to the website where you can listen, or you can download the episode here.

Stunning Planetary Portraits and Spacescapes

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We’ve featured many space images here on Universe Today that have been produced by imaging enthusiasts who take raw images from a mission or spacecraft and refine them into what many consider works of art. Michael Benson has taken this activity to a level “above and beyond” by creating exhibits, books, and movies portraying the images taken by our robotic emissaries to the solar system.

“Travelers hurrying through Concourse C of Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC may be in danger of missing their flight because of a stunning and attention-grabbing exhibit of Benson’s work in the walkway there,” said Bob Hirshon from the American Association for the Advancement for Science (AAAS), who interviewed Benson on today’s 365 Days of Astronomy podcast. Above is an example of Benson’s work, a Voyager image of Europa hovering in front of a tempestuous Jupiter.

Since 1995 Benson, through his company Kinetikon, has produced a series of books, exhibitions, films, and photographic prints which explore the intersection of art and ideology and feature planetary landscapes and galactic vistas.

“Experiencing Benson’s work, you get the feeling that it comprises a kind of travel log—the way Anselm Adams’ photos give you a sense of the photographer visiting exotic locales and waiting patiently for the light and shadows to hit exactly right before snapping his photo,” said Hirshon, artistically describing Benson’s images. “But of course, Benson can’t really visit his locations.”

Benson said this type of work is not hard, but it’s not easy either. For example, the image above is created from about 60 raw frames assembled by Benson over a period of months. “I would like to think that that picture will kind of take its place as a key image in the history of exploration, because it’s such an extraordinary image,” Benson said.

Some other examples of Benson’s work:

Night Side of Saturn, Cassini, October 28, 2006. 2011 Credit: NASA; JPL/Kinetikon Pictures. Used by permission.

Of this Cassini image of Saturn, Benson said: “The only way to really see it in its full glory is to do the image processing. And when I put that picture together, I felt extraordinarily privileged, you know because I realized that I was probably the first human being to see it in color, the way it would be seen if we were there, because I doubt any planetary scientist went into that data and did what I did, it took about two days of work. And so I had this feeling of privilege, almost like I was exploring space myself, to see that extraordinary thing.”

Transit of Io, Cassini, January 1, 2001. 2011 Credit: NASA; JPL/Kinetikon Pictures. Used by Permission.

Benson’s next project is a book with a working title of “Planetfall,” featuring solar system images taken since the turn of the century, a period of exploration that humankind has never experienced before.

If you’d like to see more of Michael Benson’s work, visit his website at www.kinetikonpictures.com. To read about how he creates his work, click on Exhibits and then “About The Photographs.”

Listen to Hirshon’s interview of Benson on the 365 Days of Astronomy.

Podcast: More From Tony Colaprete on LCROSS

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I had the chance to interview LCROSS principal investigator Anthony Colaprete about the latest findings released from the lunar impact of the spacecraft a year ago, and in addition to the article we posted here on Universe Today, I also did a podcast for the NASA Lunar Science Institute. If you would like to actually “hear” from Colaprete, you can listen to the podcast on the NLSI website, or you can also find it on the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast.

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast to Continue in 2011

If you’ve been considering contributing a podcast to the 365 Days of Astronomy but just haven’t gotten around to it yet, there’s good news: the project will be continuing for another year — its third — in 2011. As far as we can tell, 365 Days of Astronomy is the most popular and successful user-generated podcast ever, as each podcast is listened to thousands of times. If you’re looking to share your experiences, thoughts, feelings, discoveries, or anything about space and astronomy, this is your big chance to find your voice and an audience to listen.

Since it is now the Year of the Solar System, it seemed like a good reason to keep this Energizer-Bunny project from the International Year of Astronomy going for another year. As the Project Manager, I hope you’ll join in, or at least check it out and start listening daily — if you aren’t already. Here’s the official press release:

The award-winning 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is proud to announce the project will continue for yet another year – its third year — and is now accepting sign-ups for participants for another 365 podcasts in 2011. 2011 encompasses the Year of the Solar System, which marks an unprecedented flurry of robotic exploration of space, and is the perfect opportunity for more of the public to become involved in creating podcasts to share astronomy with the world.

365 Days of Astronomy is a legacy project of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA), and in 2009 was a major project of the IYA. For two years now, the project has published one podcast for every day of the year. The episodes are written, recorded and produced by people all around the world. “This podcast gives a voice to everyone in astronomy – professionals, amateurs, and those who just enjoy the amazing discoveries and images of our Universe,” said Dr. Pamela Gay, chair for the IYA’s New Media Group.

The 365 Days of Astronomy podcast is now looking for individuals, schools, companies and clubs to submit 5 – 10 minutes of audio for our daily podcast.

The 365 Days of Astronomy has gained a wide audience, and each podcast is heard by 5,000 – 10,000 listeners. The project was awarded a Parsec Award in 2009 for “The Best Info-tainment” podcast in 2009, and was nominated for the “Best Fact Behind the Fiction” award in 2010.

Participants can sign up to do just 1 episode or up to 12 episodes (one per month, subject to editorial discretion). People from every continent except Antarctica have submitted podcasts the past two years, and the 365 Days of Astronomy team encourages a more diverse population from even more countries to sign up for a particular day (or days) of 2011. A calendar of astronomical events is available on the project’s website to provide ideas but the podcasts can be about virtually any astronomical topic. “We are seeking a wide range of contributions, from simple concepts or how-tos to more in-depth discussions of complex concepts,” said Dr. Gay. “Over the past two years, we received a wide range of contributions, from simple at-home first-time podcasts to highly polished and professional recordings. We expect the same for 2011 and are looking to sign up a variety of participants, from amateur astronomers, classroom teachers and students to scientists, science bloggers and big media companies.”

The project is also asking individuals and organizations for financial support.

The podcast team also invites people and organizations to sponsor the podcast by donating $30 to support 1 day of the podcast, with your dedication appearing at the start of the show. For just $360, it is possible to sponsor 1 episode per month. Alternatively, you can also have a dedication message at the end of the show for a week, for a donation at the $100 level. These donations will help pay for editing, and posting of the podcasts.

For more information visit:

365 Days of Astronomy: http://365DaysOfAstronomy.org.

Astrosphere New Media: http://www.astrosphere.org/

Year of the Solar System: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/yss/index.cfm