The Star Spot

Feature Guest: Terry Kucera

We see it there in the sky every day of our lives. And yet our own local star, the sun, is still in many ways a mystery. What causes the solar cycle? How does the sun’s outer atmosphere, the corona, reach a staggering temperature of over 1 million degrees. And could a really big solar storm turn back the clock on our technology and civilization? You’ll never look at the sun the same way again after we’re joined here The Star Spot by NASA astrophysicist Dr. Terry Kucera

Current in Space

As we focus today's feature interview on the Sun, Tony reminds us not to forget about the moon, and he competes for our attention with a startling new conjecture that rivals the mainstream theory for the origin of our close companion.

About Our Guest

Terry  Kucera is an astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Solar Physics Laboratory. She is Deputy Project Scientist for STEREO, the Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory. STEREO is the third mission in NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Probes program and for the last decade has been revolutionizing our understanding of the Earth-sun system. Dr. Kucera has a PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Direct download: The_Star_Spot_Episode_118_The_Sun_Our_Local_Mystery_with_Terry_Kucera.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT

Feature Guest: Matt Malkan

Was the early universe green? That’s the startling discovery by a team of UCLA astronomers studying the youngest galaxies in our universe. Why green? That’s what I’ll try to find out when Professor Matt Malkan joins us here at The Star Spot.

Current in Space

As 2017 gets underway, Anuj teases us with a trailer for space missions we can look forward to this year. In case that puts us in too ecstatic a mood, Dave quickly reminds us that nothing lives forever, and that includes exocomets which were recently detected dying in a fiery plunge into a far off star. And Tony closes with a mixed message. We’re moving forward with a Europa lander - but the challenges are significant!

About Our Guest

Matt Malkan is Professor of Astronomy at the University of California at Los Angeles. He’s interested in power, cosmological power. Malkan studies the primary sources of energy in the universe and galaxy formation in the early universe.

Direct download: The_Star_Spot_Episode_117_Is_the_Universe_Going_Green.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT

Feature Guest: Suzanna Nagy

Suzanna Nagy is President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s Vancouver Centre. In May 2016 she took advantage of a rare and unusual aerial phenomena - a clear sky in downtown Vancouver - to share the wonders of our solar system with hundreds of people. The event was the transit of planet Mercury in front of the sun. In case you missed it, we’re going to have Suzanna joining us here at The Star Spot to describe her experience and to explain to us how astronomy educators use these naturally occurring marvels to provide others with a way into the world of astronomy.

Direct download: The_Star_Spot_Episode_116.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT