Science Podcasts

Naked Astronomy episode

Tue, 24th Jul 2012

Finding Impossible Stars

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

When does the impossible become possible?  Researchers have found Red Dwarf stars that simply shouldn't exist, so in this month's Naked Astronomy we find out how theory needs to catch up with observations.  Also, how do citizen scientists advance astronomical research, and why isn't the Earth a watery world?  Plus, we take on your space science questions, and find out what to look out for in the night skies this month...

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In this edition of Naked Astronomy

Full Transcript

  • Figure 1: An artist's view of a planet around a red dwarf star (c) NASA and STScI on

    01:13 - Finding the Impossible

    In a lucky accident, researchers have found pairs of binary stars that current theories predict simply can't exist...

  • 13:14 - Has the universe always been flat?

    Hello Dr Chris. Firstly thanks for excellent programs. Have been following them for the last 2-3 years via podcast (thanks technology) and find them both informative and amusing. The flatness of universe is conditioned by the density, and Omega is measured as one = Flat. ...

  • 14:33 - Will the moon escape to another planet in the solar system?

    The Moon is moving 3.8 cm further away from the Earth every year. I would like to know if the Moon, some day, will collide with another planet in our solar system? If yes is, is there any calculation to know when and with which planet will it collide? Thank You Edison

  • 18:46 - Why Earth isn’t a Watery World

    Despite thinking of Earth as a “Blue Planet”, models of solar system formation suggest Earth should be much wetter than it is. Now, new understanding of how planets form explain why we’re not all underwater...

  • Orionid meteor striking the sky below the Milky Way  (c) Brocken Inaglory -

    27:29 - Dark Galaxies, Bright Skies: News from the Royal Astronomical Society

    We hear about the galaxies with no stars and make a date with a meteor shower...

  • 36:10 - Cassini Science helps Understand Landslides on Earth

    Massive landslides on Saturn’s moon Iapetus, as studied by the Cassini mission, can be "an excellent laboratory" to help us to understand a rare type of landslide seen down here on Earth and on Mars...

  • 43:39 - Do black holes on the periphery move into the centre of a galaxy?

    If black hole is born at the edge of a galaxy, is it eventually pulled into the centre? If so, wouldn't it create a visible distortion as it falls to the massive black hole in the centre? Or does dark matter maintain a balanced galaxy? Thanks, Paul

  • Hanny's Voorwerp and IC 2497 taken by Wide Field Camera 3 of the Hubble Space Telescope. (c) NASA, ESA, W. Keel (University of Alabama), and the Galaxy Zoo Team

    45:34 - Citizen Scientists - How Volunteers Further Scientific Research

    Many thousands of people have given their time and energy to projects like Galaxy Zoo - classifying galaxies in images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. But how does this help to further scientific research?

  • 56:27 - How does Ganymede's magnetic field arise?

    How do astronomers think Ganymede's magnetic field arises?

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