Watch Live Webcast: Secrets of the Universe’s First Light

The BICEP telescope located at the south pole. Image Credit: CfA / Harvard

Just a month ago came the news of the first direct evidence of primordial gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of spacetime — providing the first direct evidence the Universe underwent a brief but stupendously accelerated expansion immediately following the Big Bang.

This almost unimaginably fast expansion when the Universe was only a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second was first theorized more than three decades ago, and the announcement last month was so monumental that some are comparing it to the discovery of the Higgs boson.

On April 18, 20:00 UTC (3 pm EDT, 1:00 pm PDT, two of the scientists who made this groundbreaking discovery will come together for a conversation with two of the pioneering leaders of the field. Together, they will examine the detection of a distinctive, swirling pattern in the universe’s first light, what the swirl tells us about that monumental growth spurt, and the many implications on the way we understand the universe around us.

You can watch below:

The hangout will include members of the BICEP2, which made the discovery, as well as two notable scientists in this field, John Carlstrom and Michael Turner.

Watch Live as Asteroid 2012 DA14 Whizzes Past Earth

The orbital path of asteroid 2012 DA14 as seen face on (top) & near edge on (bottom). (Credit: JPL Small Body Database Browser).

Want to keep tabs on asteroid 2012 DA14 as it whizzes past Earth tomorrow (Feb. 15)? NASA TV and several online astronomy outlets will be tracking this asteroid as it makes its record-setting close shave. This marks the first time there has been an asteroid of this size passing this close that we’ve known a year beforehand. No, there’s no chance it will hit us, but it will come within 27,630 kilometers (17,168 miles) from the surface of the Earth, inside the ring of geosynchronous satellites girdling our planet Earth. It will closest to Earth at 2:25 p.m. EST (19:25 UTC).

Find out how you can watch on TV or online as this 50 meter- (164 feet-) wide space rock goes by:

NASA Television will provide commentary starting at 2 p.m. EST (11 a.m. PST, 19:00 UTC) on Friday, Feb. 15. This flyby will provide a unique opportunity for researchers to study a near-Earth object up close. You can either watch the feed below, or on your own television if you get NASA TV, or online here.

Video streaming by Ustream

The half-hour broadcast from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., will incorporate real-time animation to show the location of the asteroid in relation to Earth, along with live or near real-time views of the asteroid from observatories in Australia, weather permitting.

If you are planning to try and observe this asteroid yourself, here’s our detailed article about how to do it.

Here are other webcasts that are planned:

Virtual Telescope Project, Italy

Astronomer Gianluca Masi from the Virtual Telescope Project will provide live views of asteroid 2012 DA14 from Ceccano, Italy, beginning at 5 p.m. EST (2200 GMT). You can watch at this link.

Bareket Observatory, Israel

The Bareket Observatory in Israel will have a free live webcast of the 2012 DA14 asteroid flyby on Friday from at 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST (19:00 to 20:39 UTC).

Here’s the link to this webcast.

“The observatory will offer a special live view of the close approach, using a remote telescope coupled with a cooled CCD camera, accessible via the Internet,” said the observatory team.

Slooh Space Camera, Africa and Arizona

The Slooh Space Camera webcast will provide views of the asteroid from observatories in the Canary Islands (off the west coast of Africa) and in Arizona. They will also be viewable on iOS and Android mobile devices. Just go to the Slooh website on your device.

Slooh’s webcast will begin on the 15th at 6 p.m. PST / 9 p.m. EST / 02:00 UTC (2/16). The webcasts will feature real-time commentary by Slooh Space Camera’s Paul Cox, astronomer Bob Berman of Astronomy Magazine, and Matt Francis, the manager of Prescott Observatory at Embry-Riddle University in Arizona.

Here’s the link to the Slooh Space Camera website.

Live Webcast from American Museum of Natural History Today: Beyond Planet Earth

The American Museum of Natural History in New York will soon be opening up a new exhibition called “Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration,” and they are live-streaming a special public program at 12 Noon EST (17:00 UT), that includes NASA astronauts Mike Massimino and John Grunsfeld, crew members on mission STS-125 to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, and is hosted by Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson and Curator Michael Shara.

The discussion will focus on themes from Beyond Planet Earth, the STS-125 mission, and the temporary laser art installation From The Distant Past. For more information see the AMNH website, and watch a teaser video of “Beyond Planet Earth” below.

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Watch the Final Shuttle Launch Live

Free desktop streaming application by Ustream

Spacevidcast is live from Kennedy Space Center and will be providing up-to-the-minute commentary by guest experts throughout the launch countdown webcast. Viewers will also be able to call in and ask questions about astronauts, engineers, and the whole launch process in general via social stream. You can watch here, and participate in the social stream/chat below.

You can also watch live on NASA TV via the web. also has a live webcast.

NASA just released a new app to watch the launch on an Android phone.
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