Sonification Competition 2021!

Every episode contains our famous bi-weekly space sounds. Now it’s your turn. Take a stab at sonifying some data for our astro[sound]bites Sonification Contest. You could win some sweet astro[sound]bites swag! Listen to Episode 33 to learn the benefits of sonification and how we easily sonified our own data. Then check out the contest details and submit your work here.

Black Lives Matter #BlackInAstro

We support efforts made by Astrobites and the astronomy community toward inclusion, anti-racism, and awareness of social justice issues. The Astrobites collaboration is producing a series of posts to capture the latest research on diversity and inclusion, share stories of Black astronomers, and discuss ways to be better allies. Check out the whole #BlackInAstro series. Here in astro[sound]bites we are sharing research of Black astronomers as part of our regular podcast format, as well as working on episodes featuring the voices of marginalized scientists.

What is astro[sound]bites?

Three graduate students bring you cutting-edge research findings in astronomy and connect the dots between diverse sub-fields. Occasionally, we take you beyond new research to highlight stories in the field. Episodes are released every other weekend. Check out a few of our most recent episodes below!

Episode 39: Polarizing Protostars

Billions of years before Van Gogh put paint to canvas and immortalized them forever, the stars in the sky were nothing more than an intricate tangle of magnetic fields and swirling gas. Turn the clock back with us as we learn about the physics of these protostellar systems! Northwestern/CIERA postdoctoral associate Erin G. Cox teaches us about the polarization patterns of Class 0 and Class I systems, and Will gets all turbulated as he discovers how HII regions might drive star formation.

Episode 38: Keep Your Head in the Clouds

Tired of vacations being ruined by cloudy weather? Alex the travel agent can book your next trip to brown dwarf binary 1416B, where it’s always a balmy 2000 degrees and never cloudy. Or maybe a sojourn to a hot Jupiter is more your style? Malena the meteorologist has you covered with your 10-million year forecast: cloudy and lopsided.

In recognition of Juneteenth and the start of #BlackInAstro week, both papers featured in this episode were led by Black astronomers.

Episode 37: How to Date a Star

In this episode, we discuss the varied methods used to determine stellar ages. Alex shares how planetary companions can slow the spin of twirling stars, Will compares the  spectroscopic fingerprints of binary systems (thanks, Barium!), and Malena provides some peaceful pulsations to enjoy on your next afternoon walk.

Episode 36: A Dance with Dark Matter

How can astronomers study something that nobody has ever seen? In this episode, we switch to the dark side to shine a light on one of the biggest questions in all of astrophysics: the nature of dark matter. Malena teaches us how dark matter helps galaxy clusters glow up, and Will takes a journey to the center of the Earth to find prehistoric prints from a big WIMP. Plus, Alex brings us our most romantic space sound yet. 

Episode 35: The Road Less Traveled

In this Beyond episode, we veer off the traditional path to a PhD with three interviews from early-career astronomers who did things a little bit differently. 

Tim Holt shares his transitions from zoology to teacher and, finally, to astronomer. Ashley Walker describes how perseverance helped her to realize her dream as Chicago State University’s very first astrochemistry major. Natalia Guerrero paints a story of her journey leaving a graduate program, taking a leadership role on the TESS team, and reentering academia more inspired than ever.