Walkabout the Galaxy

We never get tired of Einstein being right, and once again his general theory of relativity is up to the challenge. The astroquarks take you on a tour to the black hole at the center of the Milky Way for another test of Einstein's theory of gravity, while closer to home the Japanese Hayabusa-2 mission has successfully grabbed some more asteroid rubble. Dr. Zoe Landsman, aka Beauty Astroquark, joins Josh and Jim on this walkabout with spaceships being propelled by sunlight, nerd news, and Apollo trivia.

Direct download: When_Light_Climbs_Out_of_a_Hole.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 10:09am EST

A thousand bonus Trekkie points for getting the reference of the title of this episode, and another 1000 points for connecting it to our main science topic (spoiler alert): voids in space. Space is very empty, and some parts are emptier than others. Giant voids are helping us narrow down the rate of expansion of the universe. NPR's Brendan Byrne, space reporter for WMFE 90.7, joins us to give a peak behind the scenes of NASA's plans to send people to the Moon, plus some physics-y space trivia and much more.

Direct download: Where_Silence_Has_Lease.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 10:46pm EST

Supermassive black holes lurk in nearly every galaxy, and stellar-mass black holes are making news with mergers that we see with our gravitational wave observatories. But what about the black hole middle class? And just how massive are these things anyway? Plus, Hollywood director and astroquark brother K.C. Colwell ("Deep Impact", "The Mummy", "The Wolverine", "The Walking Dead") joins the astroquarks to talk about science and special effects in movies. And we honor the 50th anniversary of the amazing achievement of Apollo 11 with bonus Apollo trivia. 

Direct download: Houston_the_Astroquarks_have_Landed.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 10:27am EST

We're going back to Saturn! NASA has selected the Dragonfly mission to the planet-moon Titan to explore its atmosphere and carbon-rich chemistry with a dual quadcopter capable of flying several km at a time. Work continues on the Europa Clipper mission to Jupiter's own Ocean World. The astroquarks catch you up on these new missions, plus some nerdy sci-fi trivia, Josh mangles French, and, as always, be sure to listen through to the end for a unique and surprising outro to the show. 

Direct download: Dragonfly_Me_to_the_Moon_of_Saturn.mp3
Category:Science -- posted at: 7:20pm EST