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!

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 46: Brown Dwarfs in Unusual Places

Ever misplace a brown dwarf? If re-tracing your astrophysical steps doesn’t help, it’s probably where you least expect to find it. In this episode, Alex and Malena bring us some brown dwarfs discovered in truly unusual locations. Alex sees the glass half full when he tells us how brown dwarfs could explain long secondary periods in red giants, solving a longstanding mystery. Malena guides us to a brown dwarf oasis in the phase space desert and manages to still talk about planets.

Episode 45: Jamming with the GBT

It’s time to talk radio on the radio! In this episode, we explore some of the research beaming out of the world’s largest fully steerable radio dish — the Green Bank Telescope (GBT)! We hear from Brenne Gregory, a Scientific Data Analyst at GBT, about her trek from the rolling hills of Scotland to the heart of the Allegheny Mountains. Will keeps his finger on the pulse of a pair of neutron stars, and Alex listens for a lawn mower at the heart of the Crab Nebula.

Episode 44: Fast and Slow

All speeds are relative — especially in astrophysics. In today’s episode, we learn about the timescales of different transients and explore what the fastest and slowest events can teach us. Alex describes the fastest koala in the universe, Will shares the slowest rotating lighthouse known to date, and Malena tosses in a magnetic curveball to bring us home.

Episode 43: Welcome to the World of Science Communication

Do you enjoy reading and listening to science communication? Are you ready to get involved with it yourself? From chatting with friends to podcasting, blogging to writing magazine stories, the world of SciComm is more accessible and more diverse than you may have thought.

We share some personal stories about how we got started in scicomm and hear from 2 SciCommers who made the leap from being PhD students to full-time communicators. Kerry shares her experience pitching magazine articles and discusses her new job as a Communications Specialist for the American Astronomical Society. Stephanie tells us how she discovered her passion for public outreach and how it led to her dream job as the head of the social media campaign for the Vera Rubin Observatory.

Episode 42: Where Sci-Fi Meets Reality

This is Episode #42, so it might just contain the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. Today we set our phasers to stun and dig into some astrophysics research that brings science fiction one step closer to becoming science fact! Will teaches us what it takes to become a class II civilization on the Kardashev scale, and Malena gently reminds us that we can’t stop the change, any more than we can stop the suns from setting. Plus, Alex has a space sound that’ll leave you all starry-eared.