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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Dr. Matt planck-ing alongside supernovas: April 2nd, 2013

Show Notes: April 2nd, 2013 UTC

Hosts: Jesse, Paul, Sophia, Ryan (only for curiosity corner)
Special Guest: Dr. Matt Johnson
Title: Dr. Matt planck-ing alongside supernovas

April Fools everyone! The internet was a-buzz with multiple april fools pranks, including the astronauts on the International Space Station. Cmdr Hadfield and company welcomed a new visitor on board! Special guest Dr. Matt Johnson, professor at York University and the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics, helped us understand the Planck data release a little better. It’s 1/100th the normal luminosity of a type 1a supernova, we shall call them ‘mini-supernovae.’ Thanks very kindly to our special guest, and to all you listening.

See below for podcast and show notes.

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Sneak Peak: April 1, 2013

Happy April everyone! Today is Easter Monday but we are going LIVE at 9 pm EDT. Tune in at Astronomy.FM to hear Jesse, Ryan, Paul, and Sophia chat about space, the universe, and everything! Tonight we have special guest Matt Johnson joining us to chat more about the new results from the Planck Telescope.

As always, join us in our live chatroom where York Observatory staff members will be posting (hopefully) live photos taken from our on campus telescope.

The Sequester Walks The Planck: Mar 26 2013

Show Notes: March 26th, 2013 UTC

Hosts: Paul, Jesse, Lianne
Title: The Sequester Walks The Planck

A little extra time on the show tonight allowed us to pontificate on the political strife in the United States. The sequestration has caused a massive amount of public funding cuts, including NASA public outreach and education. Of course the Planck Telescope delivers its news that Universe is slightly older than we once thought. Paul, ‘the dean,’ gripes over his failing Aussie cricket team (but mostly off-air). Astronomy Night in Canada starts with York Universe, thanks for listening! See our show notes and podcast below.

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