Miles O’Brien and the This Week in Space team have produced a new edition of their video space news cast. Included in the cast: the space nation awaits direction from President Obama, Endeavour gets ready to deliver a room with a view, how an abandoned McDonalds is being used to restore closeups of the Moon, a space telescope finds new planets, plus an interview with Hubble-Hugger-In-Chief John Grunsfeld.
With a combination of alien invasion and British invasion, a new video series provides an amusing way to learn about different aspects of astronomy and space. “Teapots from Space” was created by UK astronomers Edward Gomez, Jon Yardley and Olivia Gomez, and these vodcasts convey lots of science in a short and entertaining package.
“The aim of the series to make astronomy a bit more light hearted but still give a good representation of the science,” said Edward Gomez, from Cardiff University. “I took a lot of inspiration from Douglas Adams when I wrote the episodes, and so the Teapots are like a cross between a sci-fi B-movie and Douglas Adams’ ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.'”
The Teapots come to learn about Earth and the humans that inhabit it. They abduct human scientists who explain all the questions the Teapots have about astronomy, technology and space. But before sending them back to Earth, the scientists’ minds are wiped so they don’t remember the abduction. Sometimes, disembodied robot astronomers provide the answers. Don’t worry, though: no astronomers were harmed in the making of these “potcasts.”
“There are lots of vodcasts available in the world of science but I wanted to make some which were fun and accessible but did not turn down the volume on the science,” Gomez said. “The idea of the Teapots from Space came into being as a vehicle for telling different scientific stories. Nothing is taken too seriously, but the science is all correct.”
Currently there are four episodes available, and another should be released soon. The first episode is about space junk while #2 is about the Herschel and Planck spacecraft; episode 3 is about how to spot (and abduct) astronomers, and the newest episode is about supernovae.
So, settle in on a comfy chair for some afternoon tea and tasty biscuits to watch Teapots From Space.
The same team that recently has been providing innovative live online coverage of space shuttle launches is now “airing” a weekly space news round-up show. “This Week in Space” is hosted by former CNN anchor and space correspondent Miles O’Brien. It also features veteran journalist David Waters, and is brought to you via Spaceflightnow.com.
I had the chance to chat with Miles briefly a while ago, and asked him if this was the type of space coverage he had always wanted to do. He said, “Yes, definitely! I am enjoying this immensely.” His enthusiasm is obvious in this new online show.
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