Imagine an object with the mass of the Sun, crushed down to the size of Manhattan. Now set that object spinning hundreds of times a second, blasting out powerful beams of radiation like a lighthouse. That’s a pulsar, one of the most exotic objects in the Universe.
Did you know there are 88 constellations in the night sky? Let’s learn about the constellations and other star formations, their history, their connection to the zodiac, and how to find some of them.
This week we’re going to talk about famous stars. But not those boring human ones you read about in People magazine. No, we’re talking about those hot balls of plasma across the distant Universe. The close ones, the bright ones, the massive ones, the giant ones. Let’s get to know some famous stars.
We think we live near an average star, but that’s not the case at all. Compared to most stars in the Universe, the Sun is a giant! Let’s look at the small end of the stellar spectrum, to stars with a fraction of the size and mass of our own Sun. There are many ways that a star can get small, and they lead dramatically different lives and deaths.
This week we step away from our regular programming to bring you a live show from Dragon*Con in Atlanta. Pamela shares the stage with SETI researcher Seth Shostak. Together they discuss the technology and science of searching for intelligence, and answer questions from the audience.
Did you know that our Solar System is a rarity with its single star? Astronomers believe that most star systems out there actually contain 2 or more stars – imagine seeing a sky with 4 suns. These binary and multiple star systems are a great target for new astronomers, and the dynamics of multiple stars keep astrophysicists busy too. Let’s take a look at what it would be like to live on Tatooine – a good movie version of a planet orbiting binary stars.
Take a quick breath. There, that’s what we’re going to talk about today – the atmosphere. And not just the Earth’s familiar atmosphere, but the strange, exotic and deadly atmospheres we find in the Solar System and surrounding extrasolar planets.
Fraser and Pamela recently unleashed their astronomical prowess in a big way with five new episodes of Astronomy Cast. Included are some very thought-provoking topics like astrobiology, space elevators and interstellar travel, not to mention a whole host of other topics covered in a couple of questions shows. So, here’s a chance to immerse yourself in Astronomy Cast!