Walkabout the Galaxy

Disappointed that we don't have jetpacks and flying cars? Dr. Amanda Hendrix joins the Astroquarks to suggest an alternative: colonize Saturn's moon Titan, where a thick atmosphere and weak gravity mean we could all just fly like birds! Really! But, wait, there's more! Tune in to this episode of Walkabout for discussions of nearby moons and planets to colonize, space trivia and more.

Direct download: Fly_Me_To_The_Moon_Of_Saturn.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 2:31pm EST

Stars have a voracious appetite, gobbling up most of the stuff in their immediate neighborhood, leaving just a few scraps to make planets. Sometimes, though, even the planets do not escape the stellar maw. In this episode of Walkabout, the astroquarks discuss a neat observation that shows a star likely gobbled several rocky worlds at some point in its past. Plus, help NASA name a Kuiper Belt Object, and find out the link between the planet eater and Greek mythology in this episode's trivia.

Direct download: Kronos_the_Planet_Eater.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 9:41pm EST

That asteroid is rogue, and that's hyperbolic, but not hyperbole. The astroquarks welcome Dr. Dan Durda to discuss the first detection of a planetary object passing through our solar system that definitively came from another planetary system. All those Star Trek episodes where there is a wandering planet or comet or asteroid in space are now officially validated! 

Direct download: Rogue_Asteroid.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 11:12am EST

If two neutron stars collide in a galaxy 130 million light years away and no one has a gravitational wave observatory to detect it, does it make a sound? Well, that's a silly question, but it happened, and not only was this cosmic catastrophe observed in the high energy light it emitted, but the rippling of spacetime was detected as well. Astronomy now has two independent ways of observing energetic events, and for the first time, something was seen using both techniques: electromagnetic waves (light) and gravitational waves. Join the astroquarks to hear about the first "kilonova" observed this way and what it has to do with your gold jewelry.

Direct download: To_Kilonova.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 7:53pm EST

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