Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sat, 23rd Jul 2011

The Year in Astronomy

Cats eye Nebula (c) NASA hubble Heritage Team

This week, we look back over the last few months of space science.  We'll hear how scientists search for planets in the glare of their parent star, why a simulated mission to Mars will help us to understand how astronauts will cope with isolation,  and the challenges of communicating astronomy on television.  Plus, what our solar system looks like to a distant observer, and how antique globes tell the story of our understanding.

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:18 - Stopping Starlight to See Planets

    How do we spot planets in the glare of their parent star? Ben Oppenheimer is associate curator of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History, and he studies exoplanets and a type of ‘failed star’ called brown dwarfs...

  • 11:13 - Coping with Isolation - Mars 500

    Should we ever want to visit our astronomical neighbours, we will first need to get over a lot of technological, physiological and psychological challenges. To find out how a long mission isolated from Earth would affect astronauts, Mars 500 invited a number of volunteers to si...

  • 19:16 - Seeing Our Solar System from Space

    What would our solar system look like to extra-solar observers? Dr Chris Stark, from the Carnigie Institute in Washington, has been trying to find out...

  • 27:17 - Colliding Black Holes in Pulsar Data

    Pulsar hunters search for tell tale repeated signals in masses of data - and sometimes they spot something unusual. Evan Keane, from the Max Planck Institute in Bonn, Germany, explains how he's spotted a signal that may originate from colliding black holes, but unless we can ge...

  • 33:36 - The Heat History of the Universe

    Climatologists and geologists have developed a number of ways to estimate the temperature on Earth going back a very long way in Earth’s history – but astronomers would like to know the historic temperature of the entire universe – going back more than 13 billion years. George B...

  • 42:34 - Communicating Astronomy

    How should astronomers go about communicating their work? Mark Thompson is President of Norwich Astronomical Society, a regular on the BBC’s The One Show, and recently was one of the team, alongside professor Brian Cox and Comedian Dara o’Briain on “Stargazing Live!” At this y...

  • 48:21 - Mars Globes & the History of Astronomy

    We visit the Whipple Museum of the History of Science, and discover a collection of Mars Globes and the story they tell of our understanding of the red planet...

 

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