Science Podcasts

Naked Astronomy episode

Mon, 25th Feb 2013

Captivated by Comets

Comet Hale-Bopp as it flies over the sky of Pazin in Istria, Croatia (c) Philipp Salzgeber -

2013 looks like a good year for comets! We find out where these balls of dust and ice come from and what to expect from Pan-STARRS and ISON.  Plus, the close fly-by of Asteroid 2012 DA14, the fireball that exploded over Russia and your space science questions.

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In this edition of Naked Astronomy

Full Transcript

  • 01:25 - Curious About Comets

    Dr Jonathan Shanklin may be better known as one of the men who discovered the hole in the ozone layer. So why the curiosity about comets?

  • 04:12 - What is an asteroid made of?

    Hi, I love the shows and podcast them weekly. I recently read a news story about sending a spacecraft to impact an asteroids to see if it would alter it's path and possibly avoid an impact with the earth. My question is: What is an asteroid made of and could it cont...

  • 07:28 - From where do comets get their water?

    Where does the ice and water come from that makes up the comet? Do water molecules exist in space?

  • 08:29 - How did Earth get its water?

    Hi Firstly, keep up the great work in putting out the Astronomy Podcast. I have only recently discovered the Podcast and am currently working my way through previous episodes. Anyway, back to my question. We live is an amazing Solar System in which nothing surprises me any...

  • 15:21 - How quickly will a comet evaporate?

    How long does it take for a comet to completely 'melt' away from repeated exposures to the Sun? (Composition and size would certainly have something to do with it, I'm sure) Will there come a time when all the comets are gone from the Solar System because they have sublimated?

  • 17:56 - Mars Simulated in Morocco

    This month has seen the MARS2013 simulation underway in a desert in the Northern Sahara...

  • 21:19 - What is escape velocity?

    Hello naked scientists, I love your show. My name is David, I'm from Vancouver Canada What does escape velocity refer to exactly. It seems that if I have a tall enough ladder, i could climb up at any velocity and escape earths gravitation field, kind of like the space elevator...

  • 26:11 - What is the speed of gravity?

    Dear naked scientists, I have a hypothetical question concerning gravity. If the sun were to somehow vanish, would the earth instantly fly out of orbit or would it stay in orbit for a little while? Bastiaan Bargmann (San Diego)

  • 30:42 - Origins of Cosmic Rays

    Since their discovery cosmic rays have been a mystery. Now, an orbiting gamma-ray telescope has managed to identify their source...

  • 36:47 - Asteroids & Fireballs: News from the RAS

    It's been an unusual few weeks in astronomy - not only have we had a close fly-by of Asteroid DA14, but also a fireball in Russian skies...

  • 46:35 - Comets: What to expect in 2013

    With C/2011 L4 Pan-STARRS in March and ISON in December, 2013 is looking to be a good year to put comets in your calendar...

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