An irreverent and informative tour of the latest, greatest and most interesting discoveries in astronomy.
Captain Kirk Goes to Space and Other Oddities
55:23So much going on: Shatner goes to space, the astroquarks ponder time travel, Tunguska may have been a near miss, free neutron decay holds the key to the universe, Fast Radio Bursts become more puzzling, and Strange Quark absolutely does not want any tortoises or any creatures at all, for that matter, to be harmed! Join us and special guest Dr. Hannah Sargeant for all this, Captain Kirk trivia, and more.
47:04The intrepid New Horizons spacecraft has discovered close binary comets in the Kuiper belt, and the Lucy mission is getting ready to explore binary trojan asteroids sharing Jupiter's orbit. It's all about small bodies, including just how late we can nuke an inbound asteroid and live to tell the tale.
Centaurs and Rocky Clouds
51:04Comet 29P is on an odd, distant orbit, between Jupiter and Saturn, and like a fidgety child sent to the corner, it keeps having unpredictable outbursts. In other planetary systems, the numerous hot jupiter class of planets seem to have a uniform nighttime temperature due to the presence of clouds of rock droplets. Maybe a good name for a song: Rock Droplet? And we'll check in on the latest in Dark Energy news.
The Psychohistory of Astroquarks
45:27We discuss not one but two galactic civilizations (Dune and Foundation) coming to screens big and small this Fall. Life being a central part of most civilizations, we discuss some interesting new observations of biomolecules in space and review the bizarre menagerie of hypothesized exotic stars. Join us for all that and an Asimovian trivia.
Taking the Measure of the Universe with Quasars
45:43Quasars, those incredibly bright and distant sources powered by supermassive black holes, may have a trick to their radiation that let's us use them as standard candles. We'll dive into that and take a dive in close to the Sun with the Parker Solar Probe to learn about its discoveries of new populations of dust in the inner solar system. Plus, impactor trivia, and how long would you want to stay in space?
The Mind Blowing Wave Particle Duality of Light
49:04Light's odd way of behaving both like a particle and a wave is nothing new, but a cool new experiment shows that it's not an either/or but a continuum of gradations from wave to particle. The universe has some crazy stuff going on. We use the wave nature to take a look at an odd transient phenomenon at the core of the Milky Way and for Top quark to embarrass Strange quark at trivia.
Odd Galaxies and Odder Planets
44:44We explore dwarf galaxies with no star formation and dwarf planets with a clue to a lurking object in the outer solar system. But first Top Quark is stumped by a non-stumper stumper, and our trivia takes us out to the largest structures in the universe. Catch up on all the latest news with the astroquarks, and have fun at the same time.
Hycean Worlds and Nudging Asteroids
44:52Will we find extraterrestrial life on Mars, Europa, or an exoplanet like Earth? Or will it be on an entirely different kind of planet, larger than the Earth, smaller than Neptune, and with planet enormous quantities of water? These hydrogen-rich ocean worlds, or hycean worlds, may be habitable. And to keep our own planet habitable, we may need to think about gently nudging asteroids off a collision course rather than blasting them to smithereens.
Saturn's Chewy Center and the Milky Way's Broken Arm
51:08Saturn's rings are so amazing that they have helped us learn that Saturn's core is a sludgy-soupy beast that doesn't have a sharp boundary. And the waves in the rings are like the Milky Way's spiral arms, one of which has a clump at an odd angle that may be similar to some clumps we see in Saturn's rings! The astroquarks are here to help you fit it all together. Plus, how fast can you walk on the Moon? You might be surprised.
The Missing Astroquark
37:03The Galaxy is in turmoil. At the galactic council MEGACON, the forces of Cosplay, Comics, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Gaming, and more have gathered to restore balance and reason to society. The Astroquarks have lost one of their trio: Top Astroquark. As Charm and Strange struggle to fight the forces of chaos and unreason, the bearded SPACE WHISPERER Brendan Byrne of WMFE arrives on a beam of radio waves to complete the triad and allow the Walkabout the Galaxy to continue… Plus Artemis, Mars, JWST, and Olympic Space Trivia!