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!
Our astro[sound]bites family has grown! New co-hosts Kiersten Boley and Sabrina Berger join Alex Gagliano and Will Saunders as the four moving forward. From now on, you’ll be hearing from three of us in each episode, so get ready to mix and match your favorite a[s]b combo pack.
In this mini-episode, we get to know our new co-hosts a little and share some of the things we’re excited about in the coming year. We also learn that Kiersten’s voice is smooth as silk, Sabrina definitely doesn’t hate radio astronomy, Will is ready to be a 3am disc jockey, and Alex sleeps soundly at night, unafraid of the carnivorous cosmos.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. In her final episode as co-host, Malena reflects on her graduate school experience, research interests, and celebrity crushes. Will brings us Malena’s research to unlock the mysteries of planet formation through interstellar aliens, and Alex shifts the conversation and stacks together Malena’s results on the hunt for Planet 9. He also spends way too long making the space sound.
We recorded this episode a few months ago and are dusting it off today. We’re leaving a bit of dust though, because that’s what makes debris disks so exciting! Malena tells us about a disk that is both beautiful in appearance and in its scientific potential to reveal planetary dynamics. Alex tells us about a disk that might have as much water as the solar system, but unfortunately none of it is liquid (or confirmed). Will brings us a space sound that makes the episode a little more trashy.
What’s the opposite of high-energy astrophysics? In today’s episode, we recognize the unsung heroes of astronomy: the low-energy, sleepy objects that keep on chugging in spite of it all. Will describes recent findings that the Sun is a bit sleepier than its peers, Alex Illustr(is/ates) how galaxy cluster fly-bys can make an ultra-diffuse galaxy a little more chill, and Malena delivers an uncharacteristically non-thematic space sound. To top it off, we learn about the slowest song ever written (hold your applause until the end).
In this episode, the gang really struggles to come up with a title (and Will manages to still get it wrong in the outro). More importantly, we are joined by PhD student Sophia Lilleengen, who tells us about her research into stellar streams and dark matter in the Milky Way, as well as her career in astronomy so far. Malena presents research about a quirky stellar stream and wonders if it could contain the answers to everything, all of it.
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!