Posts tagged with: astronomy

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-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-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-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

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

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

Exocast-44c: Can we ever image the surface of an exoplanet?

On this episode we ask the question: Can we ever image the surface of an exoplanet? Once we get all the definitions out of the way, like ‘what do we mean by map?’ and ‘what do we mean by surface?’, we take a deep dive into the realm of instrumentation to discuss the possibilities and limitations of our upcoming and near-future exoplanet imaging technologies. We touch on some of the avenues that astronomers & engineers

Exocast-43 d: Exoplanet news

In the final of three mini-exocasts we will release this month, we cover some of the notable happenings in exoplanet science over the past month. On this episode we cover new planets from the TESS mission, a novel technique for detecting exoplanets using radio emission, and the end of the very productive KELT survey after 17 years. We also revisit K2-18b, which hit the exoplanet headlines last year after water vapour was definitively detected in

Exocast-42b: Special Guest Dr Stephen Kane

Our final bite-size episode for this month features Andrew, Hannah, and Hugh chatting with Dr Stephen Kane, Associate Professor of Planetary Astrophysics in the Departments of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Riverside. Stephen tells us a little about his need to use all exoplanet detection techniques, his love for our hot and cloudy next-door neighbour Venus, and he tries to sneak two planets into our adopted exoplanet list, before settling on one

Exocast-42c – Water in the Universe

In the second of three mini-casts this month, Hannah, Hugh, and Andrew gather around the virtual table to discuss that weird and wonderful molecule: H2O! The importance of water to our lives is undeniable, but in this show we chat about what makes water so chemically unusual and important in the study of astrophysics, exoplanet astronomy, and astrobiology. http://media.blubrry.com/exocast/www.exocast.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/exocast_42_feature_water_jan2020-1.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: RSS

Exocast-40b: Brett Morris talks starspots & astrobiology, the #ExoCup2019 is underway, plus exoplanet news

Hugh chats with his colleague at the University of Bern Dr. Brett Morris about starspots and their effect on exoplanet detection and characterisation, his experience with an astrobiology mission right here on Earth, and he recounts an exciting day in Bern earlier this year. Andrew discusses the labels we apply to the worlds we find, and the gang debates the usefulness of the terms for exoplanet science. And Hannah reads ADS so you don’t have

Exocast-37b: Live at TESScon, an intro to planetary protection, & the month in exoplanet news

Quizmaster Hugh takes to the conference hall at the 1st TESS Science Conference (TESSCon) to test the attendees’ exoplanet knowledge! Andrew compiles a (not very) top secret report-out on planetary protection. And Hannah covers this month’s news including the detection of an exoplanet magnetic field, new planets from TESS, a Kepler-load of 350 new candidates, as well as advances in exoplanet population statistics and atmospheric characterization. http://media.blubrry.com/exocast/www.exocast.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Exocast-37b_v1.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: RSS

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