The exoplanet podcast

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Recent Episodes

October 27, 2021

Exocast-55b: ExoCup2021

That’s right it is that time of year again where the Exocast team pit planet against planet in the Twitter poll show-down: ExoCup! In this episode Andrew, Hugh, and Hannah look at the rundown of exoplanets that were mentioned the most in the past year of research publications and the top 23 join last years ExoCup2020 winner WD-1856b to fill out the first 24 exoplanets in Pots 1, 2, and 3. They then take a

October 8, 2021

Exocast-54c – Exoplanet News

The exocast team covers the latest news in Exoplanets including a critical look at the so called “Hycean” worlds recently proposed to be the best places to look for life, a detailed run-down of the Elements magazine issue on “Geoscience beyond the solar system”, and some new and refined exoplanet measurements and discoveries.

September 29, 2021

Exocast-54b: Observing Exoplanets from the Ground

In this episode the exocast team discuss how we observe exoplanets from the ground, how different it is from space, where we put the telescopes and why. The team start by sharing their journeys to telescopes around the world to make observations, and discuss the different bands in the atmosphere that we observe in. The main difference between ground- and space-based observatories is their size, the instruments on some of the ground-based observatories are room

August 5, 2021

Exocast-53 c – Exoplanet News

As always, the exocast team covers a few extraordinary recent exoplanetary results in Exocast-53 c: First off, Hannah briefly describes the problem with (and solution to) NASA Hubble’s elderly on-board computer Andrew details a few interesting results that emerged from the 2021 Goldschmidt conference, including updates on the bombardment of the early Earth, ancient methanogenic fossils, gasses trapped in diamonds, and new constraints on snowball earth. Hugh describes the ESA CHEOPS mission, and its serendipitous

July 29, 2021

Exocast-53b: Interview with Elizabeth Tasker

In this episode the Exocast crew are excited to talk with expert science communicator, JAXA space scientist, and master of computer simulations, Professor Elizabeth Tasker. During the hour long discussion we talk about how Elizabeth transitioned into planetary research from a degree and PhD in galactic simulations, the journey from the UK to the US, Canada and now in Japan. Where the idea for her popular science book The Planet Factory came from and why

June 28, 2021

Exocast-52c: Exoplanet Paper News & Reviews

In Exocast-52c Hugh, Andrew, and Hannah take us through three reviews of papers that have been recently published in the planetary/exoplanet literature.

June 21, 2021

Exocast-52b: Why is Venus important for exoplanets?

In this episode the Exocast team discuss Earth’s twin planet, Venus, and its link to exoplanetary science. We start with an overview of the past, present and future of Venusian exploration, from the first Soviet probes to the three newly-selected missions (DAVINCI+, VERITAS and EnVision) which will explore the atmosphere and surface of Venus more thoroughly than ever before. Then we turn to the open questions about Venus – its potential ancient habitability, the lack

May 4, 2021

Exocast-51b: Interview with Mark Marley

In this episode the Exocast gang are joined by veteran exoplaneteer Dr Mark Marley from NASA Ames. During a nearly hour-long discussion, we probe Mark’s experience of early exoplanet discovery and characterisation efforts in the 1990s, his work on clouds and atmospheric circulation models, ‘ice’ giants, brown dwarfs, his leadership role with the LUVOIR space telescope concept, as well as his cheerleading efforts during the Exocup.

April 18, 2021

Exocast-50c: Monthly Exoplanet News

In this month’s news rundown Hugh, Hannah, and Andrew provide a summary of three interesting papers that appeared on their radar during February/March 2021: Hugh takes a look at The Chemical link between stars and their rocky planets by Vardan Adibekyan and others. Andrew summarises Lithologic Controls on Silicate Weathering Regimes of Temperate Planets by Kaustubh Hakim and team. Hannah dons a thermal raincoat to cover Water on hot rocky exoplanets by Edwin Kite and Laura

April 5, 2021

Exocast-50b: Why do we study exoplanets?

In this months discussion Hugh, Hannah, and Andrew discuss the question: Why do we study exoplanets? The team take a look at their own personal motivation and how they each came study exoplanets, as well as diving into the technological applications of astronomy, and the philosophy behind the big questions in astronomy. Astronomy has been at the root of huge technological advances, from the X-ray machines at the airport, to the development of computer languages,

March 8, 2021

Exocast-49c: Monthly Exoplanet News

For the second exocast news for 2021 Hannah talks about the physics of raindrops in planetary atmospheres, Hugh explores the color possibilities of the Kepler Photometric data, and Andrew discusses the role of chance in the habitability of the Earth as an exoplanet

March 5, 2021

Exocast-49b: Interview with Diana Powell

The exocast team interview cloud and dust expert Diana Powell (UC:Santa Cruz) about her work on protoplanetary disks and clouds in exoplanet atmospheres. The team also welcome CI Tau b to their adopted planets.

January 25, 2021

Exocast-48b: What is the point of the Habitable Zone!?

In this months episode Exocasters Hugh Osborn, Hannah Wakeford, and Andrew Rushby attempt to answer the question they posed last year: What is the point of the Habitable Zone?

Did you predict this if so we could use your help!
December 13, 2020

Exocast-47c: #ExoCup2020 the Summary

The Exocast team tackle the goings on of the #ExoCup2020 twitter competition to crown the exoplanet champion of 2020.

January 29, 2021

Exocast-48c: Monthly Exoplanet News

For the first Exocast News of 2021, Hugh talks about the Direct confirmation of Beta Pic c, Hannah discusses simulating the photochemical haze of hot Jupiter HD189733b, and Andrew takes us through the science and drama surrounding the detection of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus

October 26, 2020

Exocast-47 b: The #Exocup2020 live draw!

In this special episode after a long summer break, the Exocast team performs the draw for the upcoming Exocup – the foremost exoplanetary competition in which 32 twitter polls will comprehensively and uncontroversially* decide on the world’s favourite exoplanet. * This may be wishful thinking http://media.blubrry.com/exocast/p/www.exocast.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Exocup_2020_v1.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: RSS

kepler-90 planetary system
July 20, 2020

Exocast-46b: Interview with Moiya McTier

This month Hugh, Andrew, and Hannah talk to astrophysicist, folklorist, and science communicator Moiya McTier. Moiya is an NSF graduate researcher at Columbia University in New York City and works to understand exoplanets from a galactic perspective. The Exocast team talks to Moiya about work from measuring the topography on an exoplanet by the effect that mountains and other features have in transit, all the way up to how the stars in the Milky Way

July 9, 2020

Exocast-46 d: Exoplanet News from May & June 2020

This month Hannah, Hugh, and Andrew go through the slew of exoplanet papers from discoveries, characterisation, and astrobiology

June 12, 2020

Exocast-45c: how many exoplanets are there?

In this episode, the team sits down to ponder the question how many exoplanets are there? At first, this might seem like a relatively straightforward question that can be answered by NASA’s Exoplanet Archive, but it becomes more daunting when considering, for example, the biases and limitations of our instruments that affect our ability to even detect and characterise many planets, how we define a ‘planet’, and whether or not we have surveyed enough stars

June 2, 2020

Exocast-45b: Special Guest Dr Baptiste Journaux

This month Andrew, Hannah, and Hugh chat with Dr Batiste Journaux (Research Associate in the Department of Earth and Space Science at the University of Washington) about all things icy and the role of different ices in our Solar System and exoplanets.

The exocasters

Meet the three podcasting exoplanet astronomers
Andrew Rushby
Andrew Rushby
Hannah Wakeford
Hannah Wakeford
Hugh Osborn
Hugh Osborn