The Star Spot

Feature Guest: Scott Sheppard

Recently astronomers discovered an object further than anything we’ve ever found in our solar system. This dwarf planet lies all the way out in the mysterious inner oort cloud. Today the object’s co-discoverer Scott Sheppard joins guest host Denise Fong here at The Star Spot, to reveal cutting edge findings from the unmapped edges of our solar system.

Current in Space

Anuj introduces us to the CLASS telescope. Never heard of it? You will. And with everyone seemingly fascinated by Jupiter's moon Europa, Tony asks what it would take to actually explore this intriguing world. 

About Our Guest

Scott Sheppard is faculty member in the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institution for Science. He received his PhD from the University of Hawaii. A Hubble Fellow, Sheppard is credited with the discovery of many small moons of the gas giant planets. He has also been part of teams that have discovered comets, asteroids and Kuiper belt objects.

Direct download: The_Star_Spot_Episode_90_Scott_Sheppard.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT

Feature Guest: David Paige

There was once a time when scientists believed that beyond the Earth there lied a largely dry, barren and inhospitable solar system. But now we think there is likely to be liquid water below the surface of Jupiter’s moons Ganymede and Europa, a warm salty ocean below the crust of Saturn’s moon Enceladus and recently NASA confirmed that ancient lakes once flowed on Mars.

As the solar system wettens, are we witnessing a paradigm shift with profound implications in our search for life. To help us answer that question today we're joined at The Star Spot by the self-described “professional ice finder” David Paige.

Current in Space

Did you know human beings are not the only life forms aboard the ISS. Anuj explains. Then Tony builds on last episode's description of a Tatooine-like exoplanet by introducing another Star Wars fan favourite. It seems the Kepler space telescope has discovered an object that is been dubbed the "Death Star" for while it is no battle station it may be just as destructive to nearby planets. 

About Our Guest

David Paige is Professor of Planetary Sciences at UCLA. He is Principal Investigator of the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment, an instrument aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission that is currently orbiting the Moon. He made headlines in 2012 for the discovery of water ice deposits and organic material on Mercury using data collected by the MESSENGER spacecraft. Paige is a world authority on water, ices and volatiles in the solar system.  

Direct download: The_Star_Spot_Episode_89_David_Paige.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:23pm EDT

Feature Guest: Pawel Artymowicz

Star Wars fans will be familiar with the planet Tatooine and its two suns. But as it turns out the majority of stars in the Milky Way galaxy live with a companion. And that’s led scientists to study how multiple star systems form and develop, and whether they can host habitable planets.

To help us understand the behaviour of binary star system and the even more fascinating domain of supermassive binary black holes, the results of merging galaxies, today we're joined at The Star Spot by Pawel Artymowicz


Current in Space

Anuj shares new evidence that has pushed back the origin of life by hundreds of millions of years. Tony explains what measures scientists are using to predict the likelihood that newly discovered exoplanets are in fact habitable. Dave updates us on NASA's big water on Mars discovery with new analysis which is leading us to believe the red planet was much warmer and wetter than we had thought. And The Star Spot goes to the movies... off to Mars to be exact as Denise reviews The Martian.

About Our Guest

Pawel Artymowicz is Professor of Physics and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto. He received his Undergraduate degree in Astronomy from the University of Warsaw and his PhD from the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Toronto he was Associate Professor of Astronomy at the University of Stockholm in Sweden. He was the most cited astronomer in Stockholm from 1994 through to 2004. He has also worked as a Research Assistant at the Space Science Telescope Institute and the Lick Observatory in Santa Cruz, California.

Direct download: The_Star_Spot_-_Episode_88_-_Pawel_Artymowicz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT