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 28: Blink and You’ll Miss It

We were going to write show notes, but it’s been a little while since we recorded and we forgot what we talked about. I guess you could call our memory…. transient!

In this episode we discuss some of the quickest, most high-energy astrophysical phenomena in the Universe. Will describes a possible explanation for some of the speediest and most mysterious flashes of energy ever detected, while Alex describes a bizarre and brilliant stellar explosion.

Episode 27: Where the Sidewalk Bends

We’re starting off the new year right by getting ahead of the curve! In this topsy-turvy episode, we tackle the stretching and curving of non-Euclidean geometry — where it came from, why it teaches us about black holes and the shape of the universe, and how conformal diagrams help us wrap our minds (and our spacetime) around it all. Alex amazes with ascending audio, Will gives the all-clear to keep eating Pringles and Malena explains how theorists can help save trees.

Episode 26: Surfing on a Dream

Ever experience the last rays of sunlight sparkling across the ocean? In this episode, PhD student Michael Heslar tells us how we can use this twinkling across the methane seas of Titan to study waves, winds, and much more. Plus, Alex brings us an Astrobite using shimmering starlight to help you find your next exoplanet vacation destination!

Episode 25: Beyond A[S]B — Great Advisors, Gap Years, and Getting into Grad School

Please describe a time in your life when you experienced and overcame hardship.

Well, middle school wasn’t great…I stubbed my toe this morning….how much detail are you looking for here??

The decision to apply to grad school can be both thrilling and terrifying. And, just like in research, one question can lead to ten more. Have no fear, the team is here! Will the Worthful helps you find the perfect advisor, Malena the Musicological shares her tips for crafting the perfect personal statement, and Alex the Acaudal weighs the pros and cons of taking a gap year. 

Episode 24: The Stargazing Automata, Part IV

Planets and quenching and stars, oh my! In this finale to our four-part series on machine learning in astrophysics, the team hits the (virtual) road to hear from the experts. Our first stop is Irvine, California, where Tae Baxter teaches us that even galaxies struggle to stay active during quarantine. Next, we’re off to Porto, Portugal, where Ana Barboza uses the planetary ends to justify the k-means. We also make a pit stop for some banana-inspired techno.