117: Guardians of (a very small part of) the galaxy with Dr. Fast

Dr. Kelly Fast tells us about the Planetary Defense Coordination Office, which finds asteroids before they find us. She talks about a recent exercise involving the tiny asteroid 2012 TC4, where asteroid hunters across the world coordinated to observe this object on a recent fly-by. We also talk about ‘Oumuamua, the first interstellar asteroid ever discovered.

Dr. Kelly Fast tells us about the Planetary Defense Coordination Office, which finds asteroids before they find us. She talks about a recent exercise involving the tiny asteroid 2012 TC4, where asteroid hunters across the world coordinated to observe this object on a recent fly-by. We also talk about ‘Oumuamua, the first interstellar asteroid ever discovered.

114: The densest stuff in the universe slamming together at the speed of light with Dr. Kanner

Dr. Jonah Kanner talks about LIGO’s spectacular detection of two neutron stars merging together. This merger was not only detected by gravitational wave detectors in the US and Europe, it was also seen by many telescopes across the world and in space. This new discovery will help unlock many longstanding mysteries in astronomy and fundamental particle physics.  

Dr. Jonah Kanner talks about LIGO’s spectacular detection of two neutron stars merging together. This merger was not only detected by gravitational wave detectors in the US and Europe, it was also seen by many telescopes across the world and in space. This new discovery will help unlock many longstanding mysteries in astronomy and fundamental particle physics.

 

113: Belt and suspenders spacecraft with Julie Webster

Cassini’s spacecraft operations team manager, Julie Webster, stops by the show to reflect on Cassini. We chat about the time Cassini dove through Titan’s atmosphere, how Julie monitored thousands of channels of telemetry at once, and how she’s happy that she doesn’t have to spend her time thinking through worst-case scenarios (or “awfulizing”) now that the spacecraft is no more.

Cassini’s spacecraft operations team manager, Julie Webster, stops by the show to reflect on Cassini. We chat about the time Cassini dove through Titan’s atmosphere, how Julie monitored thousands of channels of telemetry at once, and how she’s happy that she doesn’t have to spend her time thinking through worst-case scenarios (or “awfulizing”) now that the spacecraft is no more.

Julie's view of her desktop while she was monitoring Cassini's telemetry. Credit: Julie Webster

Julie's view of her desktop while she was monitoring Cassini's telemetry.

Credit: Julie Webster

Cassini's loss of signal, as described by Julie on the show. Credit: Julie Webster

Cassini's loss of signal, as described by Julie on the show.

Credit: Julie Webster

105: Tectonic fabric with Dr. Donnellan

Dr. Andrea Donnellan stops by the show to talk about GeoGateway, a website that combines different datasets to help geologists. She explains how rocks move like silly putty, and recounts the time a lone cloud masqueraded as tectonic motion. Bonus music at the end is “Glorious Dawn” by Colorpulse. Hear more rad science tunes at www.symphonyofscience.com. Image: Portion of GeoGateway data.

Dr. Andrea Donnellan stops by the show to talk about GeoGateway, a website that combines different datasets to help geologists. She explains how rocks move like silly putty, and recounts the time a lone cloud masqueraded as tectonic motion.

Bonus music at the end is “Glorious Dawn” by Colorpulse. Hear more rad science tunes at www.symphonyofscience.com.

Image: Portion of GeoGateway data.