Naked Astronomy

Naked Astronomy episode

Mon, 24th Sep 2012

Excitement about ALMA

ALMA prototype-antennas at the ALMA test facility. (c) ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

How can we see stars as they first come into being?  This month, were looking at ALMA the Atacama Large Millimetre Array possibly the most complicated telescope to date, that promises to peer into star forming regions.
Plus, we chat to some of the winners of the 2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, and find out what it takes to start taking pictures of the heavens.

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In this edition of Naked Astronomy


  • ALMA prototype-antennas at the ALMA test facility. (c) ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

    01:09 - The Atacama Large Millimetre Array

    ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimetre Array, will probe previously unseen parts of the universe, sheding some light on star formation and the birth of planets...

  • The distant exoplanet TrES-2b, shown here in an artist's conception, is darker than the blackest coal. (c) David A. Aguilar (CfA)

    11:28 - Exoplanet Roundup

    Exoplanets seem to be discovered almost every day, so we take a look at three of the most interesting recent examples...

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

    18:45 - Building Better Detectors

    How can we build better detectors, to make the next generation of radio telescopes even better?

  • Fixed tripod mounted camera star trails - astrophotography (c) Akiyoshi's Room

    27:37 - The Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2012

    Ever looked up at a pristine night sky, and wanted to take that image home with you, to forever remind you of our place in the universe? Sadly, its not as simple as pointing a camera upwards and pressing the button taking photos of objects in space or astrophotography is...

  • Comet McNaught (c) Fir0002

    34:00 - News from the RAS

    We get the latest news from the Royal Astronomical Society...

  • 42:39 - Can you generate light with a radio antenna?

    I understand that light and radio are very much the same kind of thing. Yet the equipment we use to generate visible is very different from that which we use to generate radio. Why is that? Could you generate visible light from apparatus similar to that used to transmit radio? I....

  • 49:16 - Why do all planets orbit in almost the same plane?

    Why do all planets revolve around the Sun in almost the same plane?

  • 54:44 - Is light blue-shifted by gravity?

    Dear Naked Astronomers, When we send probes into space, we use gravity assists to speed it up. If a photon of light were to pass by a large body, such as Jupiter, instead of going faster (since the speed of light is constant), could the beam get blue shifted?

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