Category: podcasts

Exocast-65 b: Launching #ExoCup2022

It’s everyone’s favourite time of year. No, not because of halloween, leaf-peeping or mulled wine – because it’s #ExoCup season! Yes, for the sixth time, Hannah, Hugh & Andrew will use the power to twitter polls to let the public decide which single exoplanet deserves to wear the crown as the people’s champion for 2022. In this special episode, we reveal the planets chosen for the 2022 edition – including 24 from the exoplanet literature,

Exocast-64c: Exoplanet News

In this episode the team cover some of the latest exoplanet news stories. This month Hannah summarises the most recent exoplanetary science coming out of JWST’s early release science programs; Andrew tells us a bit about the habitability of Enceladus’s subsurface ocean, and Hugh talks about a new observation of compositional differences for planets around M-dwarfs.

Exocast-64b: Interview with Dr Naomi Rowe-Gurney

This month Hannah, Andrew, and Hugh are joined in the virtual Exocast studio by planetary scientist Dr Naomi Rowe-Gurney. Naomi is a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Howard University in the USA where she works on all things Ice Giants (Uranus and Neptune) in particular looking at them with JWST. The perfectly timed episode follows on from newly released images of Neptune taken with JWST that Naomi had been working on and we discuss the future of Ice Giant science with JWST and a mission to Uranus. After a health giggle session over an excessive use of the word “Uranus” we dive into the science of what a mission to the planet could help us reveal and what makes the Ice Giants so unique.

Exocast-63 c: Exoplanet news

We cover this month’s most exciting exoplanetary (and solar system) news: Andrew tells us about details of the proposed “Venus Life Finder” mission which would go beyond ESA & NASA’s selected Venus missions to directly sample for organic molecules in the temperate regions of Venus’ atmosphere using an interplanetary balloon! Hugh talks about how analysis of the multi-planet systems found by Kepler is still revealing new insights, in this case how chains of planets appear

Exocast-63b: How do planets form?

Hugh, Hannah & Andrew turn their attention to a simple question with a very complicated answer: our favourite! This month we are pondering how planets form. What do we know about planet formation from the Earth, observations from our Solar System, and of distant exoplanetary systems? Where are the gaps in our understanding of the processes involved? Do the theories and models of planet formation hold up to observational scrutiny? We might not be able

Exocast-62c: Exoplanet News

The latest news hot off the Exocast news desk for July/August 2022, another exciting month for exoplanet science: Andrew takes some time to discuss the life and influence of Dr James Lovelock, the co-originator the Gaia Hypothesis, who died recently. His news this month takes the form of two independent but neatly connected papers on the topic of ‘chirality’: ‘The Chiral Puzzle of Life’ by Globus and Blandford, and ‘Directional Aspects of Vegetation Linear and

Exocast-62 b: Interview with Dr. Knicole Colón

This month Hannah, Andrew & Hugh are joined by NASA Goddard’s space telescope expert, Dr. Knicole Colón. Fresh from her NASA TV appearance unveiling JWST’s first exoplanet spectrum to the world, the JWST Deputy Project Scientist for Exoplanet Science gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the big day, as well as how the team got JWST ready for science. She also discusses the ongoing TESS mission searching for new planets, as well as the Pandora

Exocast-61c: Exoplanet News

The latest news hot off the Exocast news desk for June/July 2022, a very exciting month for exoplanet science: Hannah gives us a run-down of some of the long-awaited first images from JWST, including a spectrum from the atmosphere of WASP-96b from the NIRISS instrument showing clear water features. The team try (and fail) to contain their giddiness at the prospect of entering a new era of exoplanet astrophysics. Andrew takes to the theory literature

Exocast-61 b: Observation vs Theory, which is more important?

Hugh, Hannah & Andrew pick sides to debate astronomy’s deepest divide. Are you with Hugh on the side of the observers, who insist that it is only with new telescopes, instruments and data that we can reveal physical properties of exoplanets and develop our understanding of the universe. Or are you, like Andrew, on the side of the theorists, who ensure that we can deeply understand the physical properties of exoplanets by doing experiments and

Exocast-60c: Exoplanet News

The latest exoplanet news hot off the Exocast news desk: Hannah gives us a run-down of the Exoplanets IV conference held recently in Las Vegas, at which both her and Hugh were in attendence, including summaries of interesting sessions and presentations. Hugh presents a great new paper from Panahi et al. 2022 entitled “The Detection of Transiting Exoplanets by Gaia” that demonstates the Gaia spacecraft’s ability to contribute to exoplanet detection. Andrew keeps things in

Exocast-60b: Interview with Dr Jennifer Burt

In this episode of Exocast the team are fortunate to be joined in the virtual studio by Dr Jennifer Burt, NASA/JPL’s Extreme Precision Radial Velocity Investigation Scientist, for an extreme discussion of the radial velocity technique for finding and characterising exoplanets. Jenn gives us a comprehensive and enthusiastic rundown of the method, US and European RV surveys, supporting current and future photometric missions with RV follow-up, and an update on new technology and instruments that

Exocast-59c: Exoplanet News

Join us for this months news episode where the Exocast team delve into new discoveries, characterisation, and astrobiology investigations to learn all about the latest research being published in exoplanets. Andrew takes us through some new astrobiology work “Metabolically diverse primordial microbial communities in Earth’s oldest seafloor-hydrothermal jasper“ from Papineau et al. 2022 Hannah covers the latest in characterisation with “A New Analysis of 8 Spitzer Phase Curves and Hot Jupiter Population Trends: Qatar-1b, Qatar-2b,

Exocast-59b: What are planetary atmospheres made of?

This month Hugh, Hannah, and Andrew go back to basics to discuss the diversity and complexity inherent in the study of planetary atmospheres. Exocast-59b touches on how we define an atmosphere and takes a sojourn through the varied and beautiful atmospheres of the Solar System, as well as a journey back through time to consider the long evolution of the atmosphere of our planet. How does an atmosphere form and change over time, cling to

Exocast-58b: Interview with Dr Megan Schwamb

In this episode the Exocast team talk with Dr Megan (Meg) Schwamb about her work from the solar system to distant exoplanets and citizen science. The show is jam packed with exciting science and enough ice cream analogies to build an Exocast Parlour. We discuss in detail the process of going from a strange looking light curve posted in PlanetHunters Kepler to publication and bonafide planet, how you can track ice formation at Mars’ poles, and take a look to the farthest reaches of our solar system to ask what is out there and what does that mean for our planets formation history. Meg also inducts PH-1b into the Exocast Adopted Planets family.

Exocast-57b: How big can an exoplanet be?

This month Hugh, Hannah and Andrew discuss a deceptively simple question about the limits of planetary size… Exocast-57b takes you from measurements of exoplanet radius and mass, the difficulty with the IAU definition of planets, to the formation of brown dwarfs and stars. They even dive into the importance of size on habitability, the size limits of a rocky world compared to a gaseous world, some of the stand out candidates for the “biggest” exoplanet,

Exocast-56b: Interview with Mark McCaughrean about JWST

In this episode the Exocast gang chat with Dr Mark McCaughrean, who is a Senior Advisor for Science & Exploration at the European Space Agency (ESA), as well as a James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Science Working Group Interdisciplinary Scientist, about the recent launch, deployment and commissioning of JWST. Mark shares scientific and personal highlights of his long involvement with the telescope, his experience of JWST’s launch from French Guiana on Christmas Day 2021, and

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

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.

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