Asteroids

141: Eyes on the back of your head with Dr. Tholen

Dr. Dave Tholen  talks about near-Earth asteroids. He explains why they can be difficult to observe, and how he manages to spot them anyway. He also tells the story of a particularly famous asteroid that he discovered, and sets the record straight about its name.  Hear the performance of "Pirates of the Caribbean"  here .  Image:  Graphic  showing the path of asteorid 99942 Apophis changing after a close pass with Earth.

Dr. Dave Tholen talks about near-Earth asteroids. He explains why they can be difficult to observe, and how he manages to spot them anyway. He also tells the story of a particularly famous asteroid that he discovered, and sets the record straight about its name.

Hear the performance of "Pirates of the Caribbean" here.

Image: Graphic showing the path of asteorid 99942 Apophis changing after a close pass with Earth.

135: Linking asteroid observations with Dr. Holman

Dr. Matt Holman, head of the  Minor Planet Center  in Cambridge, Massachusetts, stops by to talk asteroids. The Minor Planet Center handles about a hundred thousand asteroid observations a night, from observatories all around the world. He talks about the difficulties in linking asteroid observations, and the discovery of the first interstellar asteroid, 'Oumuamua.  Image: A collage of images of the asteroid Gaspra, taken by the Galileo spacecraft.  Credit: NASA/JPL.

Dr. Matt Holman, head of the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, stops by to talk asteroids. The Minor Planet Center handles about a hundred thousand asteroid observations a night, from observatories all around the world. He talks about the difficulties in linking asteroid observations, and the discovery of the first interstellar asteroid, 'Oumuamua.

Image: A collage of images of the asteroid Gaspra, taken by the Galileo spacecraft. Credit: NASA/JPL.

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.

Bonus episode: I wrote a book!

As part of the 2016  TED Fellows  class, I got to meet cool people and I got to talk about asteroids. My TED talk is now online ( watch it here! ) and the companion book, “Asteroid Hunters”, by me, is now available in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and India. There’s also e-book and audiobook versions. This bonus episode contains an excerpt from “Asteroid Hunters”.  “Asteroid Hunters"  is available at  Amazon ,  Barnes & Noble ,  IndieBound , and as an  iBook . An audiobook version will also be available.

As part of the 2016 TED Fellows class, I got to meet cool people and I got to talk about asteroids. My TED talk is now online (watch it here!) and the companion book, “Asteroid Hunters”, by me, is now available in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and India. There’s also e-book and audiobook versions. This bonus episode contains an excerpt from “Asteroid Hunters”.

“Asteroid Hunters"  is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and as an iBook. An audiobook version will also be available.

85: Risk, hazard, and threat: the importance of language with Dr. Billings

Dr Linda Billings  talks about the importance of clear communication across the expert/non-expert boundary. She describes the difference between the words “risk”, “hazard” and “threat,” as applied to near-Earth objects and gives advice to scientists who want to communicate their research accurately.  Communicate with Linda on  Twitter .

Dr Linda Billings talks about the importance of clear communication across the expert/non-expert boundary. She describes the difference between the words “risk”, “hazard” and “threat,” as applied to near-Earth objects and gives advice to scientists who want to communicate their research accurately.

Communicate with Linda on Twitter.

Episode 47: Punching an asteroid with Dr. Walsh

Dr. Kevin Walsh  visits the show to talk about a new NASA mission that will launch later this year:  OSIRIS REx ! This spacecraft will visit an asteroid, grab a bit of surface material, and return the material to Earth for further study. Dr. Walsh talks about the mission and explains how you can help scientists pick the best place on the asteroid for the spacecraft to grab a sample.

Dr. Kevin Walsh visits the show to talk about a new NASA mission that will launch later this year: OSIRIS REx! This spacecraft will visit an asteroid, grab a bit of surface material, and return the material to Earth for further study. Dr. Walsh talks about the mission and explains how you can help scientists pick the best place on the asteroid for the spacecraft to grab a sample.

Episode 46: Spacecraft no bigger than a breadbox with Dr. Asphaug

Professor  Erik Asphaug  stops by the show to discuss  AOSAT-1 , a tiny spacecraft that will contain experiments to study the surface of asteroids. AOSAT-1 will rotate once every minute, creating a force inside that exactly mimics gravity on an asteroid. We discuss how AOSAT-1, a  cubesat , is being designed and built, and how it may launched from the space station in a “ cubesat cannon ”.

Professor Erik Asphaug stops by the show to discuss AOSAT-1, a tiny spacecraft that will contain experiments to study the surface of asteroids. AOSAT-1 will rotate once every minute, creating a force inside that exactly mimics gravity on an asteroid. We discuss how AOSAT-1, a cubesat, is being designed and built, and how it may launched from the space station in a “cubesat cannon”.