The Star Spot

Unless you expect to be alive in 105 years, you won't want to miss the June 5/6 transit of Venus. The appeal of this unique phenomenon has bridged the gap between art and science. It was was basis for a military brass band march, as well as a play and an opera.

One man who will be making the most of this event is renowned transit of venus authority Jay Pasachoff. Jay M. Pasachoff is the Director of the Hopkins Observatory as well as Chair of the Astronomy Department and 
Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy at Williams College. He comments frequently on the status of astronomy and science education, and is the author of textbooks in astronomy, physics, mathematics, and various other sciences.

Pasa­choff has an article in the May 2012 issue of Physics World about transits, and he sits down with Justin Trottier to discuss the history, science, and deep significance, of the Transit of Venus. After exploring the amazing discoveries that can be made from such a deceptively simple event, the two discuss Pasachoff's varied career which has taken him into nooks all over the field of astronomy, then onto science education and the dangers of pseudoastronomy.

More information and details about Transit of Venus events near you are available at  http://venustransit.nasa.gov/

In Current in Space, we discuss blows to the favourd theories of dark matter, a historic flight that could open space to the commercial sector, and surprising plans already underway for mining beyond Earth.

Visit www.starspotpodcast.com for more details.



Direct download: Ep5-JayPasachoff-Final3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT

Our guest today is Victoria Kaspi, the Lorne Trottier Chair in Astrophysics, the Canada Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics and Professor of Physics at McGill University. She earned her PhD working under nobel prize winning astrophysicist Jospeh Hooton Taylor, Jr. and went on to work at MIT, the California Institute of Technology and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory before joining the faculty of McGill in 1999. Dr. Kaspi is a Fellow in the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, the Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences. Her research expertise is in observational studies of neutron stars and pulsars, McGill Pulsar Group. Among other distinctions, she has won the John C. Polanyi Award from the NSERC, the Rutherford Memorial Medal of the Royal Society of Canada, and the Prix Marie-Victorin, the highest scientific award of the province of Québec.


Dr. Victoria Kaspi joins Justin Trottier at The Star Spot to discuss the wide range of exotic afterlife experiences a star may enjoy, including neutron stars, pulsars, magnetars, and quark (or strange) stars. The two also discuss upcoming missions like NuSTAR which will study black holes, supernova explosions, and active galaxy nuclei, as well as SWIFT, primarily concerned with mysterious gamma ray bursts. Dr. Kaspi shares her passion for discovery, why her work connects to the average person, and what new possibilities the future might hold.

In Current in Space, we discuss the case for ancient oceans on Mars, The Jupiter Icy moons Explorer (JUICE), and why two researchers think the safe bet that life exists beyond Earth may need to be rethought.

Visit www.starspotpodcast.com for more details.

Links

http://heasarc.nasa.gov/docs/swift/swiftsc.html

http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/2minutes-2minutes/Kaspi-Kaspi_eng.asp

http://www.technophilicmag.com/mag/qanda/victoria-kaspi

http://www.nustar.caltech.edu/home

http://heasarc.nasa.gov/docs/swift/swiftsc.html

http://www.cifar.ca/victoria-m-kaspi  

http://www.hep.physics.mcgill.ca/~vkaspi/new_web_site/en/index.php

http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~pulsar/


Direct download: VictoriaKaspifinal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT

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