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).

Episode 55.5: Four Moving For-ward

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. 

Episode 55: Exoplanets, Exits, and Exciting New Directions

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. 

Episode 54: Dusting off the Disks

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.

Episode 53: Lethargic Lads and Ladies

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).

Episode 52: Spectacular Stellar Streams

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.