http://static.libsyn.com/p/assets/6/b/8/8/6b8813e3f0b38255/awesome-astronomy-logo-itunes-01.jpgSky Guide April 2018Ralph, Paul & Jeni What to look out, and up, for in December. Ralph, Paul & Jen pick their highlights for this month’s skies; starting with the solar system objects on offer to observers and imagers: The features visible on Mars Jupiter visible in the morning sky Venus in the evening sky The Lyrid meteor shower Next up, we take a deep sky pick from our list of favourites for this time of year. Ralph – The Beehive and King Cobra open clusters in Cancer Jen  – M82, The Cigar Galaxy, and M81, a starburst galaxy in Ursa Major Paul – A tour of the VirgoRead More →

http://static.libsyn.com/p/assets/6/b/8/8/6b8813e3f0b38255/awesome-astronomy-logo-itunes-01.jpgPodcast Extra: Why do we believe in conspiracy theories?Ralph, Paul & Jeni An extended Hat of Woo if you like, but for this podcast extra episode we dip our hands back into the festering corners of Paul’s hat to take a look at the root causes and the psychology of belief in conspiracy theories. Not why are they wrong but why do humans believe in conspiracy theories at all? Do we shoot ourselves in the foot through our educational policies and methods of teaching? Are we just hardwired to believe in falsehoods, whether more elaborate or more simple than the truth? An extended Hat ofRead More →

http://static.libsyn.com/p/assets/6/b/8/8/6b8813e3f0b38255/awesome-astronomy-logo-itunes-01.jpgAwesome Astronomy #69 – March 2018Ralph, Paul & Jeni The Discussion: Jeni and her Welsh brethren suffered an Earthquake and Ralph takes a look through listeners emails which prompts a discussion about the range of educational outreach that AweAst listeners undertake. The News: Rounding up the space and astronomy news this month we have: A new and pointless star ‘graces’ our night sky We wave goodbye to the concept of the Late Heavy Bombardment Astronomers publish results on the oldest supernova detection Astronomy Concept: We delve into the wide array of visual observation and astrophography filters in response to John Lonergan’s request. Q&A: Listeners’ questionsRead More →

http://static.libsyn.com/p/assets/6/b/8/8/6b8813e3f0b38255/awesome-astronomy-logo-itunes-01.jpgSky Guide March 2018Ralph, Paul & Jeni What to look out, and up, for in March. Ralph, Paul & Jen pick their highlights for this month’s skies; starting with the solar system objects on offer to observers and imagers: Prepare for this year’s Mars opposition as it increases in brightness Jupiter at 21 degrees in the pre-dawn sky Bright Venus, Mercury and the moon in conjunction on 18th March Comet 2016 R2 PANSTARRS in Perseus A lunar conjunction with the Hyades Cluster and occultation of Aldebaran. Next up, we take a deep sky pick from our list of favourites for this time of year: Ralph – Messier 81Read More →

http://static.libsyn.com/p/assets/6/b/8/8/6b8813e3f0b38255/awesome-astronomy-logo-itunes-01.jpgPodcast Extra: SpaceX and the Future of SpaceflightRalph, Paul & Jeni This Awesome Astronomy episode is inspired by last week’s incredible SpaceX launch and listeners’ requests to talk a bit more about SpaceX and the advances in commercial spaceflight. In this Podcast Extra, we’re joined by spaceflight aficionado Gavin Price (@pilliarscreatio) to discuss: The inaugural Falcon Heavy launch and what it achieved Was the launch awesome or all hype? How good is the Falcon Heavy really? Will Falcon Heavy or Elon’s next ambitious rocket make NASA’s rocket redundant? How about other organisations? (ULA/Arianne/Blue origin etc) Where do the commercial companies leave the likes of Soyuz?Read More →

http://static.libsyn.com/p/assets/6/b/8/8/6b8813e3f0b38255/awesome-astronomy-logo-itunes-01.jpgAwesome Astronomy #68 – February 2018Ralph, Paul & Jeni The Discussion: Friend of the show and lecturer at Jeni’s Cardiff University, Dr Ed Gomez is launching a Kickstarter project to create and distribute a children’s comic book to encourage children to take an interest and career in science. Jeni tells us about Ada’s Adventures in Science, which you can give your support to at http://kck.st/2DI43hg. Paul suffers the adverse effects of being travelling science salesman and Ralph reads out some listeners’ emails – including one interesting email that suggests ‘Kim Jen Un’ may be getting into peoples’ heads. The News: Rounding up the space andRead More →

http://static.libsyn.com/p/assets/6/b/8/8/6b8813e3f0b38255/awesome-astronomy-logo-itunes-01.jpgSky Guide February 2018Ralph, Paul & Jeni What to look out, and up, for in February. Ralph, Paul & Jen pick their highlights for this month’s skies; starting with the solar system objects on offer to observers and imagers: Track Mars’ passage through Scorpius & Ophiuchus Jupiter in Libra gives us a shadow transit and a look at its Great Red spot Dwarf Planet Ceres at opposition on 1st February & Comet Heinze in Pegasus   Next up, we take a deep sky pick from our list of favourites for this time of year: Ralph – Open clusters Messier 67 and the Beehive Cluster in Cancer Jen –Read More →

http://static.libsyn.com/p/assets/6/b/8/8/6b8813e3f0b38255/awesome-astronomy-logo-itunes-01.jpgPodcast Extra: The Last Jedi & Blade Runner 2049Ralph, Paul & Jeni In this podcast extra episode, we’re joined again by The Essex Space Agency’s Phil St Pier as we take another sideways diversion into science fiction movies as we cast a critical eye over the recent big sci-fi blockbusters: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Blade Runner 2049 This episode is dedicated to Matt & Ali’s arrival of their daughter Evangeline Rosa Kingsnorth. In this podcast extra episode, we’re joined again by The Essex Space Agency’s Phil St Pier as we take another sideways diversion into science fiction movies as we cast a critical eyeRead More →

http://static.libsyn.com/p/assets/6/b/8/8/6b8813e3f0b38255/awesome-astronomy-logo-itunes-01.jpgAwesome Astronomy #67 – January 2018Ralph, Paul & Jeni The Discussion: We’re cheering Jeni’s graduation with a first class masters in astrophysics and looking at the PhD options she has as she chases the dream of becoming Dr Millard! Paul & Ralph make preparations for September’s dark sky AstroCamp stargazing event and educate Jeni about computers from the 1980s. The News: Rounding up the space and astronomy news this month we have: Voyager 1 shows it still has the skills and prolongs its own life An update on the extrasolar asteroid that just buzzed our solar system Physicists observe a reversal of the arrow ofRead More →

http://static.libsyn.com/p/assets/6/b/8/8/6b8813e3f0b38255/awesome-astronomy-logo-itunes-01.jpgSky Guide January 2018Ralph, Paul & Jeni What to look out, and up, for in January! Ralph, Paul & Jen pick their highlights for this month’s skies; starting with the solar system objects on offer to observers and imagers: The Red Planet Mars, makes a welcome return to our skies The Quadrantid meteor shower peaks on the night of 3rd/4th January Dwarf planet Ceres is at opposition on 31st January in Cancer Mercury is at greatest wester elongation on 2nd January And comet C/2017 T1 Heinze reaches mag 7-9 on 6th January Next up, we take a deep sky pick from our list of favourites for this timeRead More →

There’s trouble in paradise as Christmas evening in the Cydonia bunker turns ugly. Alcohol may be the culprit. But equally, the blame may lie with suffering a whole day of pretending to like one another and f***ing Christmas songs!   So, while tensions rise and arguments flare, Ralph, Paul and Jen run through the memorable space and astronomy events of 2017 and look forward to the treats in store for 2018.   Then there’s the small matter of John’s annual outtake reel specifically designed to embarrass the hosts and push the bounds of decency as far as politeness will allow!   Main music courtesy ofRead More →

In this podcast extra we begin a series, suggested by listener Sean Smith, of explaining the considerations involved in choosing practical astronomy equipment. This first in the series discusses one of the most important items in your amateur astronomy tool kit: Eyepieces.   This discussion takes in: Why eyepieces are important The differences between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ eyepieces Choosing the right price point Our suggestions for good quality cheap and expensive eyepieces   Don’t forget our end of year review and Newtonmass panotmime will be available to download on Christmas Day. Powered by WPeMaticoRead More →

The Discussion: Jeni gets her name in lights – well, bold print, as she contributes (what else but graphs) to a published research paper and Ralph takes a look at Ben Cacase’s very own new asterism in the heart of Auriga and reads a defiant message from Michelle of ‘ze resistonce’.   The News: It’s a very rocky month as we round up the following space and astronomy news stories: Earth’s moon had an atmosphere thicker than Mars’ for more than 70 million years Observations suggest Proxima Centauri has a Kuiper Belt and maybe a Oort Cloud A sci-fi like asteroid from another star systemRead More →

What to look out, and up, for in December.   Ralph, Paul & Jen pick their highlights for this month’s skies; starting with the solar system objects on offer to observers and imagers: The Geminid meteor showers peaking on 13/14th December Uranus sitting in the constellation Pisces Mars & Jupiter lunar conjunctions   Next up, we take a deep sky pick from our list of favourites for this time of year. Ralph – A binary star, a planetary nebula and 4 open clusters in Gemini Jen  – The Pleiades open cluster in Taurus Paul – The Crab Nebula supernova remnant also in Taurus   And we finish this skyRead More →

In this podcast extra episode Jeni discusses the recent detection of two colliding neutron stars and their observation in both gravitational waves and all areas of the electromagnetic spectrum.   Jeni chats with Dr Edward Gomez, Education Director at the Las Cumbres Observatory and Cardiff University’s Gravitational Physics Research Group Leader, Professor Patrick Sutton about the historic observations, what we can learn from these events, the future of gravitational wave astronomy and how this new window into the universe can help us improve some of the fundamentals of our knowledge of space and time.   We also put listeners’ questions on these subjects from RaoulRead More →

The Discussion: Britain shows that it won’t just roll over and let America take the lead in intimidating academic freedom and Jen recounts her gravitational waves research conference in Brighton in October.   The News: Rounding up the space and astronomy news this month we have: Astronomers make the 1st observation of a neutron star collision Astronomers discover a missing chunk of the universe 3D videos of aurora that you can see at http://www.iap.fr/aurora3d/   The Interview: This month Cardiff University’s Professor Mark Hannam tells us more about the recent observation of colliding neutron stars and this window into a new realm of astronomy.  Read More →

What to look out, and up, for in November. Ralph, Paul & Jen pick their highlights for this month’s skies; starting with the solar system objects on offer to observers and imagers: A last look at Saturn for 2017 in the early evening sky A very impressive Jupiter/Venus conjunction on the 13th of November The Taurid meteor showers peaking on the 5th and 21st November and the Leonids on the 18th November Comet 2017 O1 ASASSN1 for binocular and telescope observers   Next up, we take a deep sky pick from our list of favourites for this time of year: Ralph – Messier 42, the Orion Nebula inRead More →

In this podcast extra, we discuss the changing value of the Hubble Constant since 2000 – or put more simply, our narrowing down of how quickly the universe is expanding. This discussion takes in: The history of the Hubble Constant Edwin Hubble’s dreadful scatter plot Further attempts to narrow down the universe’s expansion rate Why research papers are awesome and accessible to everyone Powered by WPeMaticoRead More →

The Discussion: You’d be forgiven for thinking we recorded this episode drunk – but we assure you, we weren’t. And you’ll have to forgive us for our crappy audio and shameless national stereotyping! But in this show, recorded from our dark sky star party in the Welsh Brecon Beacons, we discuss the event, Jeni’s talk on exoplanet research and we take a look at listeners’ emails.   The News: Rounding up the space and astronomy news this month we have: A fresh look at the age and high metallicity of an observable star cluster Australia takes the plunge and announces the creation of its ownRead More →

What to look out, and up, for in October. Jeni, Paul & Ralph pick their highlights for this month’s skies; starting with the solar system objects on offer to observers and imagers: Blue/green ice giant Uranus The Orionids meteor shower brings us the debris from Comet Halley Saturn, recently liberated from the perpetual gaze of Cassini A not-to-be-missed conjunction of Venus and Mars on 5th October. Finally, a couple of comets that may be visible Next up, we take a deep sky pick from our list of favourites for this time of year: Paul – Spiral Galaxy NGC772 in Aries. Jeni – Brocchi’s Cluster or The Coathanger Cluster inRead More →