Science Podcasts

Naked Astronomy episode

Fri, 24th Jun 2011

Star Death, STEREO & South Africa’s SKA bid

The aftermath of a large star being consumed by a black hole (c) University of Warwick / Mark A. Garlick

What happens when a black hole rips a star to shreds?  What can a solar science mission tell us about other stars?  And is South Africa prepared for the largest radio telescope ever planned?   This month on Naked Astronomy, we explore a unique gamma ray burst, discover the useful extra info in data from STEREO, and discuss the South African bid for the Square Kilometre Array.  Plus, news of CoGeNT’s search for Dark Matter, Enceladus’ salty sub-surface sea, and clues on the creation of the solar system gathered from the remains of the Genesis mission.

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In this edition of Naked Astronomy

Full Transcript

  • Voyager (c) NASA

    01:13 - Voyager at the Edge of the Solar System

    Data from Voyager 2 shows particles from the solar wind slowing to a halt, perhaps signalling the start of the transition out of the Solar System and into the interstellar medium.

  • Enceladus (c) NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

    04:38 - Enceladus' Salty Sub Surface Sea

    The moon Enceladus sprays out material that makes up Saturn's E-ring. Now, an analysis of particles in the spray suggest they must come from a liquid, salty water below the surface.

  • The distribution of mass in the Hubble Space Telescope COSMOS survey (c) NASA/ESA/Richard Massey

    07:09 - CoGeNT catches Dark Matter

    Results from the CoGeNT experiment back up previous results suggesting dark matter detections...

  • M80 (NGC 6093), one of the densest of the known globular star clusters in the Milky Way galaxy. (c) NASA, The Hubble Heritage Team, STScI, AURA

    10:35 - Dark Matter and Cluster Collisions

    Gravitational Lensing, X-ray and visual imaging come together to show the distribution of mass in colliding galaxy clusters - with some unexpected results...

  • The Sun (c) Eeron80@en.wikipedia

    13:41 - Genesis and the surface of the Sun

    Despite crash landing and contaminating the collection plates, painstaking analysys of solar wind material collected by the Genesis mission shows some isotopic anomalies...

  • The aftermath of a large star being consumed by a black hole (c) University of Warwick / Mark A. Garlick

    18:15 - Tearing a Star Apart

    An unusually bright and long lived burst of gamma rays was detected by the Swift satellite in March this year. It was pretty spectacular and unlike anything ever seen before, and researchers think it was the result of a star about the size of our sun being torn to shreds by a s...

  • 26:23 - How do we know the ultimate fate of Earth?

    Hello Dr Chris! I am thoroughly enjoying listening to the last several years' podcasts during my Ferry Commute and every other reasonable solitary moment I have in the car, during a run or on a walk. Here's my question... I've heard the story that in 2 billion years, the oc...

  • 28:51 - Why do point light sources behave differently from diffuse ones?

    Hi I've just discovered The Naked Scientist and Dr Karl shows.  Superb stuff. I have a question... In photography, by adjusting the f-stop you can alter the exposure for a given shutter-speed.  So for example, a 500mm f2 lens shot at f2 will give the same exposure as a 1...

  • 32:22 - Fact Impact - Galaxies

    Fact Impact: A high-speed run-down of facts about Galaxies

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

    34:50 - Seeing Stars in STEREO

    The STEREO mission has already given us some amazing 3d images of the Sun as well as advancing our understanding of coronal mass ejections – the cause of space weather. But it’s also proved useful for researchers studying other stars, as I found out from Danielle Bewsher from t...

  • 40:17 - What other evidence do we have of the expanding universe?

    Thanks for the podcasts, they're really really great! I've got an astronomy question which has been bugging me for a while.  I'm sure I am missing details and am wrong.  I was hoping you could explain and make me less wrong.  :-) As far as I know, the current best theory is...

  • 43:03 - How do we see light from the distant past?

    We are just now seeing light from galaxies that formed a few hundred million years after the big bang.  I would think that a now-distant galaxy we are observing was relatively close to us at the time it formed.  Why are we only now seeing the light from its formation.  Is it beca...

  • 44:20 - South Africa and the Square Kilometre Array

    The Square Kilometre Array, or SKA, should help us to answer some of the big outstanding questions about our universe. It will either be located in Australia or South Africa. Bernie Fanaroff, project manager for the South African SKA bid, met up with Chris Smith…

  • 52:36 - Could antimatter account for dark matter and dark energy?

    Hello My name is Roy . I am a plumber from Belgium . And I have a burning question. Here goes: As I understand matter and antimatter should be formed in equal amounts when the universe was formed. The antimatter isn't seen but the matter is. Could it be that the a...

  • 55:52 - Why didn't the big bang produce heavy elements?

    Hi Naked Scientists, I downloaded every podcast you guys have put out and have been listening to 2 episodes each day every day at work for months! I'm currently through September of 2009, so I might not hear the answer to this question for quite some time, but this is what I...

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