What is astro[sound]bites?

Four 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!

Astro[sound]bites Sonification Challenge 2022

It’s time for our next sonification challenge! This year for our Astro[sound]bites Sonification Challenge 2022 we’re focusing on astronomy sonification for education. In Episode 60, we learned all about how sonification can be used as a tool for learning. We’ve made some of our own sonifications, so now we’re passing the torch to you. To learn more about our sonification challenge, you can visit this page. We can’t wait to hear your sonifications!

Episode 60.5: Sabrina Hosts a Press Conference

We’re herded into a crowded auditorium for a press conference held by our very own Sabrina Berger. The breaking news? We’re going on break! But not just that, we’re launching our second sonification challenge! This challenge is focused on using sound for instruction, so submit a sound that teaches us about an astronomy concept in two minutes or less. Click the link below for details. To get inspired, we hear from Jendaya Wells, a music major at Lincoln University and a member of the team using sonification to explore data from the upcoming Vera Rubin Observatory! Both her and her sonifications are very bright. 

Episode 60: An Ear for Education (Sonification 2)

It’s time for our jam-packed sonification sequel, which includes two interviews, 5 (!) space sounds, and a critical fourth “i” for how sonification is used in astronomy! We’re first joined by Paul Green and Afra Ashraf, the creators of the new sonification project Sensing the Dynamic Universe. Then Sarah Kane, a senior undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania, joins us to talk about her journey in astronomy and sonification while being legally blind. We round things out by listening to kilonovae, radio interferometers, and the atmosphere of Uranus! Is there anything we didn’t discuss? 

Episode 59: Staring into the Voids in the Universe

Is it Halloween yet? This week, Alex, Kiersten, and Sabrina zoom out to stare at the spookiest voids on the most massive scales. Alex tells us how we can use baryonic acoustic oscillations, or BAOs – the astrophysical counterpart to the delicious buns – to study the shapes of these voids. Sabrina turns up the power for her space sound, and we turn on the lights while listening to Kiersten describe a chilling cold spot in the CMB.

Episode 58: Funky Fluids

To take a break from the summer heat, Sabrina, Will, and Kiersten don their floaties and take a dive into some space fluids. Sabrina plays in the sandbox of granular instabilities, explaining how solids can behave like fluids. Then Will teleports everyone to a planet with an ocean where you’re guaranteed not to get a sunburn, but getting zapped by galactic Cosmic Rays™ might be worse. 

Episode 57: Hot Planet Summer

Break out your swim suits and fire up your Weber Spirit II 3-Burner Liquid Propane Grills, it’s summer vacation for those of us in the states! With their time off, Will, Kiersten, and Alex take a trip around the solar system in search of the best sunbathing spots. Will takes us to a molten Earth in search of the planet’s first “little dudes”, while Kiersten surfs on metallic Venusian lava flows. Alex made our road trip playlist, but it’s more ominous than we wanted.

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.

Sonification Competition 2021!

Our first sonification competition is now complete! Congratulations to winner Misty Bentz for her sonification “Fantasy on Active Galaxies.” Hear our interview with Misty and her sonification in Episode 40. Congratulations to runner-up Tharindu Jayasinghe for his sonification “The Loudest Heartbeat Star,” which you can hear in Episode 41. Huge thanks to everyone who submitted!