From Galileo to Gaia: January 6, 2014

Show notes for Episode 180, January 6, 2014
Hosts: Paul, Jesse, Rob C.
Title: From Galileo to Gaia

After long and restful vacation (read: too short and not enough turkey), the York Universe hosts are back to chat about the most recent and awesome space and astronomy stories. Today SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket containing a payload to Geostationary transfer orbit. Two planets move to opposite sides of our sky. And StScI released a great video of the light echoes created by RS Puppis, a Cepheid variable star. Hold onto your butts, show notes and podcast below.

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York Universe Ice Storms the Airwaves: December 23, 2013

Show notes for Episode 179, December 23, 2013
Hosts: Rob B., Harrison, Jesse, Lianne
Title: York Universe ice storms the airwaves

Broadcasting from beneath a 200km layer of solid ice, the York Universe crew proves that life can exist on Europa, since it still exists in similar conditions here in Toronto. They recap the most interesting and exciting stories of 2013, with too many to list here.

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Chris Hadfield Inspires the World (and beyond): December 16, 2013

Episode 178 Show notes for December 16, 2013
Hosts: Hugh, Lianne, Paul
Title: Chris Hadfield Inspires the World (and beyond)

This week in space/astronomy history:
1.  December 17 1903: First sustained powered airplane flight, by Orville Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
2. December 14th 1972 — Humankind leaves the moon for the last(?) time.
3. Sir Joseph John “J. J.” Thomson, OM, FRS[1] (18 December 1856 – 30 August 1940)  Born in Manchester England.  Credited with the detection of the electron (1897)

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Shine on Chang’e Moon: December 9, 2013

Episode 177, December 9, 2013
Hosts: Jesse, Harrison, Rob B., Rob C.
Title: Shine on Chang’e Moon

The first show in a while where we didn’t mention Australia once! (Paul wasn’t on). The Robs, Harrison, and Jesse tackled, what must be, the most wide range of topics the show has seen to date. Ranging from moons of Jupiter, the Star of Bethlehem, all the Milky Way’s super massive black hole and recently discovered jet. It’s been 37 years since a soft landing on the Moon and 41 years since Gene Cernan’s last steps. China’s Change’e lander is currently orbiting the Moon and will go for soft landing December 14th. Stay tuned for that! Thanks for listening all, show notes and podcast below.

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Dinosaurs: The Original Citizen Scientists! November 25, 2013

Show notes for episode 176
Hosts: Paul, Rob B., Ryan, Pat
Title: Dinosaurs: The Original Citizen Scientists!

The anniversary of the first Australian satellite is approaching, which makes our resident Australian smile. Comet ISON is continuing to stay in the headlines (first it outbursts, now it might be fragmenting). Ryan and Rob were at the Science Teachers Association of Ontario (STAO) conference; they fill us in on everything from critical thinking to Steve Spangler. Asteroids, comets, and dinosaurs (the original citizen scientists)…we could talk about this stuff for hours (but don’t worry…we don’t). Thanks for tuning in, podcast and show notes below.

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Weird Quasars Have Extra Suck: November 18, 2013

Show notes for the 18th of November 2013

Hosts: Jesse, Pat, Rob B., Harrison
Title: Weird Quasars Have Extra Suck

A busy night with lots to talk about on ‘the Universe.’ Live guest, friend of the show, and all around good guy Randy Attwood joined the crew to chat about his new venture: Earthshine Astronomy and Space Science Org. This is a group that focuses on astronomy outreach in the Greater Toronto Area. York Universe host Dr. Patrick Hall was also on this evening, and chatted about his new discovery that was getting some ‘rounds on the internet. Hold onto your butts.

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Jen Visits JPL – The Centre of the Universe!: November 11, 2013

Show notes for the 11th of November 2013 (Lest we forget)

Hosts: Paul, Lianne, Hugh, Jen
Title: Jen Visits JPL – The Centre of the Universe!

This week in space/astronomy history:

1. November 13, 1971 – Mariner 9 becomes first spacecraft to orbit Mars.

2. November 16, 1974 – The infamous message to M13 globular cluster via Arecibo observatory. This was part of a ceremony to mark the reopening of the famous radio observatory.

3. November 12, 1833 – The Great Leonid Meteor Shower

4. November 14, 1797 – Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, Kt FRS is born (he died February 22, 1875). He was a British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularisedJames Hutton‘s concepts of uniformitarianism (the idea that the earth was shaped by the same processes still in operation today).

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Hi MOM!: November 4, 2013

Show notes for the 4th of November 2013

Hosts: Paul, Ryan, Rob B.
Title: Hi MOM!

This week in space/astronomy history:
1. Nov 6, 1500 – Nicolaus Copernicus observed a Lunar Eclipse while in Rome.

2. Nov 4, 1916 – Walter Cronkite’s birthday. Well known for covering space on television, he famously did 27 hours straight of live television following the Apollo 11 launch. His voice is also widely connected with the Apollo 11 moon landing. For this and other reasons he was the only non-NASA employee or astronaut to receive the Ambassador of Exploration Award on February 8, 2006.

3. Oct 31, 1961 – The second-largest movable dish in the southern hemisphere, the Parkes Observatory, opened on October 31, 1961. The radio telescope has been tracking spacecraft since 1962, beginning with Mariner 2 and continuing with Voyager 2, Giotto, Galileo, and Huygens, among other. Parkes was one of several ground-receiving stations for the Apollo 11 Moon landing, transmitting live video to over 600 million people. Parkes also helped receive signals for Apollo’s 12, 14, 15, and 17, providing emergency assistance for Apollo 13. http://www.csiro.au/science/Parkes-five-decades-of-discovery

4. Nov 3, 1966 – The U.S. Air Force’s Manned Orbiting Laboratory program might have been the world’s first space station. Cancelled in 1969, it was intended to perform classified reconnisance missions in Earth orbit; the laboratory would have hosted two crew members launched aboard a modified Gemini capsule. A prototype of the station was launched on November 3, 1966, on a Titan IIIC rocket, which flew a Gemini capsule previously flown on the Gemini II uncrewed test flight. It was the first space capsule to have flown twice in space. The capsule is currently on display at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile History Museum at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Learn more about MOL here:
http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=1647

5. Nov 2, 2000 – Humanity’s current continuous presence in space began on November 2, 2000, when Expedition 1 boarded the International Space Station.

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Gravity at the End of the Universe: October 28, 2013

Show notes for the 28th of October 2013

Hosts: Jesse, Paul, Rob B., Harrison
Title: Gravity at the end of the Universe

Return of the hosts! Harrison and Rob B. come out of retirement to help Jesse review the movie ‘Gravity,’ even though Paul had not seen it yet (SPOILER ALERT). Dream Chaser successfully completes its test by with a crash, while ATV-Einstein sets to burn up on reentry. The most distant galaxy yet has been discovered at a redshift greater than 7.5, or roughly 13 billion light years away. Thanks for listening! Podcast and show notes below.

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Coming Full Circle: October 21, 2013

Show notes for the 21st of October 2013

Hosts: Ryan, Hugh, Pat
Title: Coming Full Circle

This week in space/astronomy history:
1. October 23, 2013 – Planck satellite shuts off forever! Today (Oct. 21), ESA ordered Planck to run its thrusters to empty. After years hovering at a Lagrange point, the telescope will be put in a ‘parking orbit’ to circle the sun, keeping it away from the Earth and moon for at least several centuries. The last command will be sent Oct. 23. Among other milestones, Planck released a cosmic map in March refining the Universe’s age to 13.82 billion years. (Suggested Reading: Universe Today article)

2. October 24, 1946 – The first photo of Earth from space was taken. The black-and-white photos were taken from an altitude of 65 miles (104 km), above the commonly accepted boundary of space at 100 kilometres, by a 35-millimeter motion picture camera on a V-2 missile launched from the White Sands Missile Range. The rocket-borne camera climbed straight up, then fell back to Earth … the camera itself was smashed, but the film, protected in a steel cassette, was unharmed. (Suggested Reading: Air & Space)

3. October 1923 – First public planetarium show, Deutsches Museum in Munich

4. October 22, 1905 – Karl Jansky born, father of radio astronomy

5. October 22, 2136 BC – The first documented solar eclipse. Two astronomers in ancient China (astrologers, back then) were beheaded for failing to predict a solar eclipse (they were too fond of drink, hence they are informally known as Hi & Ho the drunk astronomers). Identifications of this event have varied from 2165 – 1948 BCE, though the favoured date is October 22, 2137 BCE.  The emperor became very unhappy because, without knowing that there was an eclipse coming, he was unable to organize teams to beat drums and shoot arrows in the air to frighten away the invisible dragon. (Suggested Reading: Astronomy Today article)

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