Astronomy Cast Ep. 500: 500th Episode!

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!

Astronomy Cast now available via Amazon’s Alexa!

You can now enable the Amazon Astronomy Cast skill on your Alexa enabled device (in the US now, Canada soon)!
You just log into your Alexa dashboard, go to the Skills, and look for “Astronomy Cast.” Or, even easier than that, just say “Alexa, enable Astronomy Cast!”

You can tell Alexa to skip episodes, back up or jump forward within the same podcast for a certain number of minutes, and many other commands.

Here’s a video from another podcast, The School of Podcasting, that shows you how it works!

And Amazon really care about Ratings and Reviews – so make sure to Rate / Review the Alexa skill for us!

Annual Atlanta Star Party Coming Soon!

If you happen to be attending DragonCon or just live near Atlanta, come and listen to some fantastic speakers and help do astronomy research and education at the Annual Atlanta Star Party!

What: Since 2009, this annual charity event celebrates science and space, and brings people together for a great cause.

When: August 28, 2014, 7:00 p.m.

Pamela Gay and the crew at the 2013 Atlanta Star Party. Credit: Bruce Press
Pamela Gay and the crew at the 2013 Atlanta Star Party. Credit: Bruce Press

Who: Astronomers Pamela Gay, Nicole Gugliucci and Derek Demeter will be speaking at the event.

Where: The Emory University Math and Physics Department hosts the celebration at The Emory Math & Science Center, 400 Dowman Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322.

Why: Proceeds from the Star Party go to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and CosmoQuest. And, as always, we throw this party in memory of Jeff Medkeff, the “Blue-Collar Scientist.”

Family fun at the 2012 Atlanta Star Party. Credit: Bruce Press.
Family fun at the 2013 Atlanta Star Party. Credit: Bruce Press.

Tickets can be bought at http://atlantastarparty.com/tickets/ and you can share the promo code STARRY2014 for $5 off.

There is also a silent auction already started at: http://atlantastarparty.com/silent-auction/

New Podcasts: Precession and Acceleration

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.

313: Precession

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.

Click here to download the episode.

Or subscribe to: astronomycast.com/podcast.xml with your podcatching software.

“Precession” on the Astronomy Cast website, with shownotes and transcript.

314: Acceleration

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.

Click here to download the episode.

Or subscribe to: astronomycast.com/podcast.xml with your podcatching software.

“Acceleration” on the Astronomy Cast website, with shownotes and transcript.

And the podcast is also available as a video, as Fraser and Pamela now record Astronomy Cast as part of a Google+ Hangout (usually recorded every Monday at 3 pm Eastern Time):

Podcast: Accretion Discs

When too much material tries to come together, everything starts to spin and flatten out. You get an accretion disc. Astronomers find them around newly forming stars, supermassive black holes and many other places in the Universe. Today we’ll talk about what it takes to get an accretion disc, and how they help us understand the objects inside.

Click here to download the episode.

Or subscribe to: astronomycast.com/podcast.xml with your podcatching software.

“Accretion Discs” on the Astronomy Cast website, with shownotes and transcript.

And the podcast is also available as a video, as Fraser and Pamela now record Astronomy Cast as part of a Google+ Hangout (usually recorded every Monday at 3 pm Eastern Time):

Podcast: Death of a Spacecraft

The Spirit Mars Exploration Rover 'died' in 2010. Credit: NASA

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).

Click here to download the episode.

Or subscribe to: astronomycast.com/podcast.xml with your podcatching software.

“Death of a Spacecraft” on the Astronomy Cast website, with shownotes and transcript.

And the podcast is also available as a video, as Fraser and Pamela now record Astronomy Cast as part of a Google+ Hangout:

Podcast: Planetary Motions in the Sky

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.


Click here to download the episode.

Or subscribe to: astronomycast.com/podcast.xml with your podcatching software.

“Planetary Motion in the Sky” on the Astronomy Cast website, with shownotes and transcript.

And the podcast is also available as a video, as Fraser and Pamela now record Astronomy Cast as part of a Google+ Hangout:

New Podcast Series: Space Stations

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:

Ep. 296: Space Stations, Part 1 — Salyut and Skylab

Ep. 297: Space Stations, Part 2 — Mir

Ep. 298: Space Stations, Part 3 — International Space Station

Ep. 299: Space Stations, Part 4 — Future Space Stations

Or subscribe to: astronomycast.com/podcast.xml with your podcatching software.

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+.

Enjoy Several New Podcasts at 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).

Astronomy Cast Ep. 279: The Hubble Constant


When Edwin Hubble observed that distant galaxies are speeding away from us in all directions, he discovered the reality that we live in an expanding Universe. Hubble worked to calculate exactly how fast this expansion is happening, creating the Hubble constant – which astronomers continue to refine and reference in their research.

Click here to download the episode.

Or subscribe to: astronomycast.com/podcast.xml with your podcatching software.

“Hubble Constant” on the Astronomy Cast website, with shownotes and transcript.

And the podcast is also available as a video, as Fraser and Pamela now record Astronomy Cast as part of a Google+ Hangout:
Continue reading “Astronomy Cast Ep. 279: The Hubble Constant”