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.
How are your sunglasses like the stars, planets, and galaxies that comprise our universe? Not only do they look cool – they’re also no stranger to polarization! In today’s episode, Will describes a mysterious transient lurking within our own galaxy, while Malena shares how baby magnetic fields might have polarized the baby Universe. Alex guides us through a trashy symphony of delightful debris, showing that even space junk can be eerily beautiful.
Pop the champagne and blow out the candles, it’s our fiftieth episode!! To celebrate, we’ve prepared a list of fifty different paths that you can take with a degree in physics or astronomy. What’s the difference between soft money and hard money? What does Sir David Attenborough think about the moon? How do you really pronounce the word “potpourri”? Listen to this episode to have two of these questions answered. Want to be on the show? Want to hear more about a certain career? Fill out our career survey here! Every submission gets an a[s]b sticker: https://forms.gle/NfJjUVKBQk4KBQDw7
Alex and Malena sit down for a gourmet meal and Will, with curved mustache and slicked hair, pours the wine. Alex enjoys his star cluster soup as he tells us about the state-of-the-art in star formation simulations. The gang then enjoys a space sound entremet (served chilled) before moving onto a main course of freshly seared planet. Malena explains how we might tell if a sun-like star has dined on a planet, and shockingly enough, we learn that these stars like to eat. Malena also tells us all about the kind of puns she’d like to make…but she doesn’t actually make them.
We’re kicking off the new year by spinning a record from a few months back, about all the ways that rotation teaches us about the universe. Malena describes a few energetic stars lurking around the Main Sequence, and Will keeps his opinions about MOND to himself. Alex brings us home with an orchestral sonification to rival Stravinsky’s best.
In today’s episode, we learn all about the clues that Kevin has benevolently placed within the Universe to teach us about the graceful and multifaceted field of galaxy evolution. Alex describes how much the galaxies of today can learn from their wise, high-redshift ancestors through Lyman-alpha emission, while Will segues into the mysterious properties of one of the most nearby aged galaxies. Malena shares a snazzy sonification of a hidden neighbor, as well as her school bus seating habits.