Podcasts in Natural Sciences
Not all that long ago astronomers thought the pursuit of designing and building gamma-ray telescopes was a fool’s errand. Not only was that thinking incorrect, but these instruments have ultimately changed our entire view of the cosmos.
Attempts to understand the origins of the Universe's cosmic rays are woven into the story of astronomy for the last hundred years, but we've only recently acquired the data that may bring the mystery of cosmic rays to a close.
In this iteration of our podcast series Your Universe Today, I spoke with Stanford University physicist Stephan Funk about the history and mystery of Cosmic Rays.
In today's Your Universe Today podcast series, we take a look at the latest experiments being developed by radioastronomers and what the future of the field may hold.
In this podcast, Dr. Matthew Lister shares with us some of the most fascinating facts about quasars and other black hole systems.
Will man ever walk on the surface of Mars? While in some ways, a trip to the Red Planet may not seem all that different from a trip to the Moon, the factors and contingencies that have to be planned for and calculated are far greater and vastly more complex.
In previous podcasts we discussed the modern dark matter problem and how we search for this mysterious substance. But what exactly is dark matter and where will future research take us?
One of the defining characteristics of dark matter is that it does not interact with light. But these electromagnetic interactions are how we traditionally conduct astronomical research – which begs the question, how do we search for dark matter?
Ever since astronomers began to grasp just how massive the cosmos really is, the question of whether there might be life beyond Earth has fascinated scientists and captured the popular imagination. Yet, while the staggering vastness of our universe may increase the chances that there could be life out there somewhere, it also makes the search for alien life akin to looking for a needle in a cosmic haystack.
How did Earth form? For centuries, this question has both puzzled and inspired astronomers. But as we have begun to understand the nature of stars and their formation, we’ve also developed and explored theories about how this process gives rise to planets.
When most people think of a black hole, they tend to envision it as sort of cosmic vacuum cleaner, slowly sucking in and devouring everything in its vicinity. But are black holes really like this? And what would happen if you fell into a black hole? What about a cockroach? What would happen if our Sun suddenly turned into a black hole?
Only a couple decades ago, the mere idea of supermassive black holes – those that are millions or billions of times more massive than our sun – seemed unthinkable to most astronomers. Now, however, we believe that these enormous objects lie at the center of nearly every galaxy in the Universe.
In 1998 scientists measuring the expansion of the Universe made a startling discovery: the expansion is actually accelerating. Prior to this point, researchers had long believed that the influence of gravity would eventually cause the expansion of the Universe to slow down.
In this special edition of redOrbit’s Your Universe Today podcast series, we’re making a minor departure from our usual talks about the frontiers of space exploration. Instead, we’ve decided to take a look back at the history of our world – from outer space of course.
Word of the Day
- A unit of saved energy.
Coined by Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute as a contraction of negative watt on the model of similar compounds like megawatt.