The Star Spot

Our guest today is Professor Sarah Symons who joins Justin Trottier at The Star Spot to enlighten us about ancient Egyptian sophisticated conceptions of the night sky. The conversation ranges from understanding the intimate interplay between the supernatural and the scientific, to the practical uses of the stars for such purposes as predicting the flood of the Nile, and to the role of special classes of stars in ancient Egyptian myth and ritual. 

Dr. Symons shares her enthusiasm in detailing how the night sky was at the centre of Egyptian religion. Pharoahs sought to transform themself into celestial beings, while the very body of one goddess formed the foundation of the Egyptian conception of celestial regularities. To close their conversation, the two reflect on why ancient Egypt continues to catalyze so much wild and crazy pseudoscentific and pseudoastronomical theorizing.

In Current in Space we discuss the illuminating findings from the nineth collection of UFO files recently turned over by the British government, then prepare for the August 6th landing of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover by exploring the many unique attributes of this most exciting mission to the red planet.

Direct download: TheStarSpot_Ep9-SarahSymons.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30pm EDT

Our guest today is Professor Marten Van Kerkwijk who joins The Star Spot to discuss the physics of astronomy. With host Justin Trottier, the two focus on the intersection of astronomy and physics, how astronomical discoveries inform our understanding of physics, and how physical theories help explain and direct astronomical research. Within this topic, Dr. Kerkwijk shares his unique insights into a whole host of objects like transients, white dwarfs, magnetars, neutron stars, supernovae and even a bit on dark matter.

In Current in Space we cover the ongoing travels of Voyager, the first human-made object poised to cross into interstellar space. We describe the Geoflow series, designed to use experiments aboard the International Space Station to study events far of in the core of the Earth. Finally in our new Entertainment section, host Justin Trottier provides his review of Ridley Scott's science fiction summer blockbuster Prometheus.

About our guest: Dr. Marten Van Kerkwijk obtained his Masters and PhD from the University of Amsterdam. He worked as a Hubble Fellow at Caltech, then a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Cambridge, before joining the faculty of the University of Toronto in 2003. He was part of a team that discovered a solar system consisting of the smallest body to orbit a star at the furthest distance. He’s been interviewed by several Canadian TV networks on a broad array of astronomy topics.

The Star Spot invites listeners to send in their thoughts on any of the news and variety pieces we cover, as well as our interviews, or send in ideas for topics we should cover. Email starspotpodcast@gmail.com


For full information please visit the official website of The Star Spot at www.starspotpodcast.com

Direct download: Ep8-MartenVanKirkwijk.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT

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