Naked Astronomy

Naked Astronomy episode

Thu, 21st Apr 2011

The National Astronomy Meeting 2011

The Sun (c) Eeron80@en.wikipedia

In this special podcast from the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, we hear how twisted sunspots cause solar flares, how 17th century poetry can put a date on a supernova, and why some pulsars are part-timers.  We'll find out how CANDELS and LOFAR can probe the early universe, while DEBRIS looks for dusty disks around stars.  Plus, we shed light on your solar science questions!

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In this edition of Naked Astronomy


  • The Chromosphere (c) Hinode JAXA/NASA

    01:00 - Twisted Sunspots Cause Solar Flares

    February 2011 saw the largest solar flare in almost five years, and researchers have identified the source - five sunspots rotating and colliding, leading to a huge release of solar energy...

  • Hubble_space_telescope (c)

    05:21 - CANDELS Shed Light on Distant Galaxies

    The CANDELS programme is a major survey of some of the most distant galaxies, at a red shift of greater than 7, and hopes to answer some outstanding questions about the early universe...

  • Cassiopeia A (c) NASA/JPL-Caltech

    09:40 - Identifying King Charles' Star

    The 29th May 1630 is a significant date in British history – the future King Charles the 2nd was born. Later propaganda would claim that his birth was marked by a “noon day star” – a bright object clearly visible during full daylight. Now, Martin Lunn MBE and historian Dr Lila...

  • The Sun in 3D Viewed through STEREO (c) NASA - Animated by Yskyflyer

    18:03 - Solar Orbiter and the Solar Wind

    It's been a busy year for the Sun, and also for Solar physicists! We catch up with Dr Lucie Green to find out what's been happening in solar science, and what to look forward to...

  • 23:50 - Why does mass cause space-time to bend?

    Why does the presence of mass cause space-time to bend?

  • 26:08 - Can the CMB be used as an absolute reference frame?

    Hi Chris, great show , Im hooked. I have a question: The cosmic microwave background (CMB) shows a dipole distribution which is normally subtracted from the data to reveal the underlying "wrinkles" that appear in the public relations images (George Smoot´s "face of god"). This...

  • Composite image of the Crab Nebula (c) Optical: NASA/HST/ASU/J. Hester et al. X-Ray: NASA/CXC/ASU/J. Hester et al.

    31:31 - Part-Time Pulsars

    Not all pulsars pulse persistantly - some are just part timers. Neil Young explains more...

  • global view of the surface of Venus (c) NASA

    38:04 - The Grand Unified Theory of Planetary Atmospheres

    Now, what has our atmosphere got in common with Venus, with its clouds of sulphuric acid? More than you might expect – and the features we do share may help us to understand, and even predict, atmospheres on planets outside our solar system...

  • Radio antennas of the ITS (Initial Test Station) radio telescope in Exloo, Netherlands (c) Svenlafe @ Wikipedia

    45:16 - Looking Out with LOFAR

    The Low Frequency Array, or LOFAR, is a European programme that allows us to observe low radio frequencies with incredible sensitivity and spatial resolution. Andrew Pontzen spoke to Dr Karen Masters...

  • Gaspra Asteroid (c) NASA

    49:52 - Looking for Dusty Disks with DEBRIS

    The Herschel DEBRIS programme, or Disc Emission via a Bias-free Reconnaissance in the Infrared/Submillimetre, can spot clouds of dust from asteroid collisions around stars, helping to understand distant extrasolar systems...

  • 55:28 - Why do sun spots increase temperatures on Earth?

    Hi, Paul from Surrey. I read recently that Sun Spots are the coldest part of the sun and every 11 years they reach their maximum in number. However this is accompanied by warmer temperatures on the Earth.  When Sun Spots are less in number then the Earth is colder. ...

  • 57:45 - How does the plasma in the Sun's core produce the particles that make up the solar wind?

    How does the plasma in the Sun's core produce the particles that make up the solar wind?

  • 58:19 - How did hydrogen become the major component of our Sun?

    Love the show; devote follower for years (and I envy your podcast ratings).   I'm confused by the formation of our solar system: If a supernova left materials for our existence; what helped bring hydrogen and not other materials to the center of our system to form a new sun...

  • 59:51 - Does the Sun smell?

    Hi Guys great program, and just wondering does the sun have any odour? And does space for that matter have any odours /smells. Later.

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