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

Thank you to everyone who submitted to our sonification challenge this year! Stay tuned to hear from the winner before too long. This year’s challenge was focused on astronomy sonification for education, based around Episode 60. If you haven’t heard it, go back and listen to our own sonifications and the interview we have with the folks from Sensing the Dynamic Universe about how they teach using sonification. To learn more about our sonification challenge, you can visit this page.

Episode 64: Our Take on Landmark Papers Part II

We’re back with more of the most important papers in our subfields. Sabrina tells us how Karl, an engineer at Bell Labs, became the father of radio astronomy and stole her heart through time and space. Kiersten couldn’t pick just one paper so she choses a review article and gives it a favorable review on our own little a[s]b revue program.

The gang really struggles on the space sound and then decides it just might be okay to peak in grad school.

Episode 63: Our Take on Landmark Papers Part I

In this week’s episode, we take a deeper look into Alex and Will’s research through two landmark papers in their field. Will pulls out a strip chart to teach us about how Neptune’s atmosphere looked in the 1960s (and why it’s still important today). Alex gives us a deeper look into explosive transients and presents a paper on supernovae from the early 1970s that reveals the power of fermi estimation and a little intuition. Meanwhile, Sabrina kicks off a conversation about the ethics of research and faces the reality of not being able to check every line of source code from the simulations she uses. See you next episode for Kiersten and Sabrina’s turn!

Episode 62: Skeletons and Monsters

Halloween is in the air! Get ready for a spoooooky episode where we take a stroll through the haunted side of the Universe. Alex takes us on a trek through a graveyard to investigate the skeletons the Milky Way is hiding – and no, we’re not talking about the candy! Then Will tells us a ghost story about the old blue monsters hiding under our extragalactic beds, but don’t worry too much. He reassured us that they only eat dust. 

Episode 61: What’s the Tea on JWST? 

The gang is back! In this episode, we take a trip to the largest and the smallest astronomical scales to learn about all the exciting new ways that JWST is transforming the field in its first 100 days. Sabrina zooms out to find some sparkly galaxies and catch a glimpse into the  dazzling high-redshift Universe. Then Kiersten zooms into JWST’s first directly imaged exoplanet to figure out why it’s making us all so hungry. We round out the episode with an interview from York University Professor Sarah Rugheimer, who tells us all about the science to get excited about in the years to come.

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. 

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!