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. 

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.

Episode 56: Overpowered in the Universe

In this episode, Sabrina teaches Will gamer lingo and the gang applies it to astronomy. Alex discusses a class of super-charged supernovae with bumpy and clumpy physics, and Sabrina shows us how to use pulsars to upgrade our data security (once we figure out how to uninstall Norton Antivirus). Then we discuss whether objects in the universe really can be OP (overpowered) and Alex begins to question if he ever really understood the definition (spoiler: he didn’t).