Walkabout the Galaxy

Space Reporter Brendan Byrne from WMFE 90.7, home of NPR in Central Florida, joins the Astroquarks to look at NASA's new exploration programs for the Moon and Mars. We have our first listener contribution with the pronunciation of the Mars 2020 Landing Site, and Jim goes off on Fahrenheit AND Celsius. Do not get him started! Plus space news and trivia and more.

Direct download: Jim_Goes_Off_on_Fahrenheit.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 11:31am EST

A long time ago a galaxy very close by plunged through the Milky Way, and a trail of dark matter from that miniature galaxy is passing through us all right now, including Dr. Brad Sandor who joins the astroquarks to talk dark matter, the Mars InSight lander, the Mars 2020 rover, Venus's atmosphere, lots of space news, and trivia. So much spacing going on in this episode! It's a real walkabout the galaxy.

Direct download: Dark_Matter_Hurricane.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 9:03pm EST

In our first letter-themed episode, the Astroquarks check in with Ryugu, Bennu, Ultima Thule, and Oumuamua, while Jim contemplates muumuus. We also talk about dynamically trapped dust clouds near the Earth to make Addie happy, and we have a truly embarrassing sponsor. We're sincerely sorry, but you'll enjoy all the U's, from asteroids, to missions to a U-themed trivia. We do it all for you!

Direct download: Its_All_About_U.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 10:52am EST

We almost called this "Everything you wanted to know about alien sex with Dr. Michael Wall", but it's not alien sex with Mike Wall, it's Mike Wall telling us about alien sex! A senior writer with Space.com and author of the new book Out There, Mike joins the astroquarks to talk about aliens, paranormal beliefs, and an exotic type of star called a dark star. Plus space news, trivia, and it turns out the astroquarks are really interested in three-way alien sex.

Direct download: Everything_You_Wanted_to_Know_About_Alien_Sex.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 3:28pm EST

In this wide-ranging episode, the gang takes a look at the recently launched BepiColombo mission to Mercury and why it takes so long to get to such a relatively near planetary neighbor. On the astrophysical front, the relatively cool stars that host most of the observed exoplanets in our corner of the galaxy are prone to large solar flares. The astroquarks discuss the implications for extraterrestrial life, and that brings us back to Europa, an ocean world orbiting Jupiter whose surface may be punctuated by tall ice spires called penitentes, also seen in snow and ice on Earth. Plus trivia, space news, and, as always, a new sponsor!

Direct download: Fireballs_and_Penitentes.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 4:28pm EST

Candy Hansen, veteran of Voyager, Cassini and Mars missions and head of the JunoCam on Juno at Jupiter joins the astroquarks to talk about the edge of the solar system. The astroquarks discuss what the edge of the solar system is, plus stars from other galaxies, space trivia and superhero news. 

Direct download: Where_No_Podcast_Except_This_One_Has_Gone_Before.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 10:52pm EST

Planet 9 is Pluto, but Planet X is back in the news with the discovery of another object in the deep and distant recesses of our solar system, nicknamed the Goblin! It adds another piece of evidence to the idea that a big planet-y thing is lurking our there. So the astroquarks start Halloween season off with a Goblin-themed episode with a planetary Goblin and goblin trivia. Get your spook on, plus a multitude of asteroid hoppers and news from the surface of Mars in the latest episode of Walkabout the Galaxy, the only one that is this actual episode!

Direct download: Of_Goblins_and_Planets.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 2:36pm EST

It would take a falcon huge episode to cover all the space news this month, so the astroquarks take a crack at it. From Space-X's latest plans for a crewed lunar flyby mission to the Japanese Hayabusa-2 mission's landers on the asteroid Ryugu, to the latest news about the missing matter in the universe, this episode has it all. It's falcon huge.

Direct download: The_Big_Falcon_Episode.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:39pm EST

The astroquarks have your bases covered, from Juno's discovery of a magnetic nubbin at Jupiter (check your Friends references) to confirmation of the decay mode of the Higgs Boson to what does it matter anyway because we're all living on the Holodeck! Adam LaMee joins us again to thwart us with a taste of our own quark-thwarting questions. Plus comet trivia and your sponsor. 

Direct download: An_Exthwartation_of_Quarks.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 10:48pm EST

Zoe Landsman, "b" astroquark, joins Josh, Jim, and guest Adam LaMee to talk about an ancient (or very young, depending your point of reference) galaxy that's popping off stars so fast we almost called this the Pop Off episode. Plus Adam turns the tables on the astroquarks, updates and trivia on the Mars rovers, plugging leaks in space with your thumb, and the solar cycle.

Direct download: The_One_That_Should_Have_Been_Sponsored_by_Starburst.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 7:33pm EST

Move over Mars, the Moon wants in on the water game! Attention is focused on the south polar region of the Moon which is both dark (and therefore cold and water-friendly) all the time, and also bright (and therefore solar-panel friendly) all the time. What?! Yep, that's right. The astroquarks are back from summer break to break it all down for you in this episode of Walkabout the Galaxy, plus space trivia and news.

Direct download: When_the_Moon_Hits_Your_Eye_You_Might_Get_a_Little_Wet.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 2:36pm EST

In this week's "water on Mars" there's actual news of a potential liquid water reservoir on the red planet today. Well, more in it, than on it, but that adds it to the icy moons with subsurface lakes. This lake is very cold, so that water must be very salty. The astroquarks bring you up to date, touch on a new verification of general relativity, and most importantly delve into obscure superheroes and super-energetic cosmic rays. Great name for a rock band by the way. Catch it all on this episode of Walkabout the Galaxy.

Direct download: Really_Real_Actual_Water_IN_Mars._Probably..mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 3:16pm EST

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a little neutrino left a very large black hole headed straight for a point in space that would be occupied by the Ice Cube neutrino observatory at the Earth's south pole just in time to detect it! This is the story of that neutrino, Scrabble(TM) competitions, neutrino trivia, and a very embarrassing sponsor message. We're all very sorry about that sponsor message, but they paid, so we honored the contract, okay?!

Direct download: The_Little_Neutrino_That_Could.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 12:49am EST

Objects in our solar system can take pretty torturous paths to get from point A to point B. Nature can scramble the orbits of asteroids, and people can make satellite orbits scramble in just the right way to go from one orbit to another. Strange, Charm, and Top explore the ways orbits change and a new research report that says that most of the asteroids in the inner part of the asteroid belt may be the debris of just five primordial protoplanets that got smashed to smithereens billions of years ago. That's why the new name for asteroids is going to be "smithereens". Plus: nerd news and spaceflight history trivia!

 

Direct download: What_Goes_Around_Comes_Around.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:12pm EST

An ambitious Japanese mission, Hayabusa-2 has arrived at its target asteroid Ryugu. Are-you-good with that? See what we did there? (Ryugu'd? Get it?) Yes, that's the level of discourse on Walkabout the Galaxy, but we also find out about the great science to come from this exciting asteroid sample return mission, and a look ahead to the James Webb Space Telescope, whose launch has been slipped to make absolutely sure that nothing got Ryugu'd while building it. Plus we talk about the science of learning, and un-learning, with our special guest Anna Turner. 

Direct download: Wouldnt_You_Like_to_Hayabusa_Too_.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 3:29pm EST

NASA does many inspiring and amazing things, from fundamental research into the evolution of the universe and the formation of planetary systems, to development of new technologies to enable humans to go to other worlds. They also sponsor research to monitor the Earth and to monitor the space near the Earth for potential impactors. The astroquarks weigh in on their own preferences for NASA's research priorities and discuss the results of a new survey of Americans on the subject. There's also the discovery of new weird stellar objects near the Milky Way's supermassive black hole, updates on Mars' early climate, and space trivia as always!

Direct download: USA_to_NASA__Save_Our_Planet.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 3:54am EST

The astroquarks have often wondered where all our alien friends are hanging out. Maybe they're all just in a different universe? Well, most of those universes are probably duds, and anyway, we'll never know! That's the whole definition of a universe. New research sheds light on the surprisingly small role dark energy plays in the early evolution of a universe, and then there's the question of AntMan and the Wasp: do they conserve mass or not when they shrink? We must know!

Direct download: Wont_You_Be_My_Neighbor_Universe_.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 2:44am EST

It may sound like the title of an astroquark's sex tape, but we actually do have news about a potentially new long-term resident of the solar system captured from another planetary system, and Top astroquark Jim Cooney tells us all about a black hole gobbling up so much stuff that it's the brightest object in the universe! Honorary "Bottom" astroquark Dr. Zoe Landsman joins us to discuss these odd objects, Deadpool and Solo, and asteroid trivia.

Direct download: The_Interstellar_Interloper_and_the_Ravenous_Black_Hole.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 12:34pm EST

We all know Mars is crunchy on the outside, but does it have a chewy center? The NASA Mars InSight mission is en route to the red planet to answer that question. The astroquarks talk about InSight's science and instruments, Han Solo, and Richard Feynman in another wide-ranging episode of Walkabout the Galaxy!

Direct download: Does_Mars_Have_a_Chewy_Center_.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 8:37pm EST

Check out our first literally-titled episode! David Grinspoon, co-author of "Chasing New Horizons", the behind-the-scenes story of the Pluto mission, joins the astroquarks to dish on Pluto the planet, space exploration, Carl Sagan, and Mickey Mouse's dog! 

Direct download: Chasing_New_Horizons_with_David_Grinspoon.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 10:19pm EST

The astroquarks remember Yuri Gagarin's historic first flight in this episode before zooming off to the galactic center to see what's what with the discovery of thousands of black holes packed into the region. Then they zoom out to the galactic halo for a quick distance check on a globular cluster. Hopefully they won't get lost in space!

Direct download: Danger_Astroquarks.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 9:00pm EST

What do Annihilation, Buckyballs, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite and an itsy-bitsy galaxy have in common? They're all topics for the latest walkabout the galaxy with the astroquarks. A small galaxy has been observed with essentially no dark matter (most are mostly made of the dark stuff). Paradoxically, this is very strong evidence for the existence of dark matter. Speaking of things that are hard to see, we'll also check in on TESS, the next space telescope designed to discover lots of Earth-y exoplanets. Join Josh, Addie, and Jim for another whimsical jaunt through the latest news in astronomy and a peak at science fiction.

Direct download: I_Think_I_Stepped_in_Some_Dark_Matter.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 9:54pm EST

The astroquarks discuss the late Stephen Hawking's first major breakthrough in astrophysics: radiation from black holes, now known as Hawking Radiation and what that means about what would happen if you through all the recordings of Walkabout the Galaxy into a black hole. UCF student and astronomer Anna Metke joins Josh and Jim to talk about telescopes near and far, and the giant radio telescopes of the Deep Space Network used to talk to spacecraft across the solar system. 

Direct download: For_Stephen_Hawking.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 5:20pm EST

Some things are hard to see, like black holes. In this episode of Walkabout the Astroquarks discuss a couple of new observations that help us see the earliest stars in the universe and the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. Plus: Josh struggles to understand superhero movies, Jim provides the trivia, and Addie, as always, is Charm. 

Direct download: Magnetic_Field_Ink_Blot_Test_in_Space.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 1:54pm EST

The Astroquarks welcome Dr. Phil Metzger, expert on the use of local materials on the Moon, asteroids, and Mars, to tell us about the prospects for prospecting in space. Find out how to build your Moon home from the space dirt on hand, plus nerd news and space trivia!

Direct download: Print_Me_a_Space_Base_Please.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 8:30pm EST

"Starman" in the Tesla Roadster is headed out past the orbit of Mars, and NASA has some cool new missions in the works for exploration of the solar system. One of those, Mars 2020, is the next high-tech rover for the red planet, and this one will be carrying with it an unusual rock sample. The astroquarks cover that and the two finalists for NASA's next New Frontiers mission, and we'll hear about a new study suggesting lots of interstellar planets in a distant galaxy. Plus, of course, our sponsor, and space trivia!

Direct download: The_One_Sponsored_by_Space_Sex.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 8:51pm EST

It's a satellite theme on this episode, with a sparkly disco ball in space, a long-lost scientific satellite tracked down by an amateur astronomy sleuth, and space trivia about all the junk in space. Join the astroquarks for a quirky quarky tour of our solar system, and some new evidence about the earliest history of life on Earth.

Direct download: I_Could_Swear_I_Left_My_Satellite_in_Orbit.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 9:12am EST

Clues to dark matter may be buried in the relics of the oldest stars in the galaxies. The old stars probably formed when the dark matter did, so their motions are probably similar. The astroquarks discuss what this means for understanding that mysterious stuff, plus using X-rays to navigate spacecraft and yet another peculiar meteorite. Dr. Jonathan Kollmer joins the gang for these topics, as well as a sci-fi trivia and nerd news updates.

Direct download: The_Old_Stars_Tell_Tales.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 8:40pm EST

Thank you Australia for giving us a meteorite called Bunburra Rockhole, and not just because the name is endlessly fun to say, but also because it hints at an origin from a missing asteroid. In this episode of Walkabout the Galaxy, the Astroquarks also take a look at Saturn's youthful rings, the link between star formation and the supermassive black holes in the hearts of galaxies, and space trivia and nerd news.

Direct download: The_One_About_Bunburra_Rockhole.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 9:14am EST

The astroquarks kick off the new year with a look at a clever and challenging new technique to detect gravitational waves created by supermassive black holes in the center of galaxies, and maybe even by the big bang itself. The waves make the Earth's position change, resulting in apparent changes in positions of things we look! Plus: astronomy predictions for 2018, nerd news, and space trivia. 

Direct download: A_Very_Low_Rumble_in_Space.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 10:46am EST

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