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The Skyentists

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Location:

Australia

Language:

English

Contact:

+61293724898


Episodes

022 - Harvard Computers

2/21/2019
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In this episode of The Skyentists, Kirsten Banks and Ángel López-Sánchez talk about women in astronomy and, in particular, the fundamental and still not well known work that a group of women, the "Harvard Computers", made between late 19th Century and early 20th Century. They provide an overview and summary of the achievements that Williamina Fleming, Antonia Mauri, Annie Cannon, Henrietta Leavitt and Cecilia Payne got in Astronomy and how, in some way, they provided the key ideas for the...

Duration:00:45:36

021 - Pursuing New Horizons

2/7/2019
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In this episode our Skyentists, Ángel López-Sánchez and Kirsten Banks, describe NASA's New Horizons spacecraft: the first mission to the Pluto system and the Kuiper Belt, in the outskirts of our Solar System. They summarize the main objectives of the mission, the instruments on board of New Horizons, and the results that this small spaceship has provided so far. These include amazing surprises in Pluto and Charon (Pluto's largest moon) and the recent flyby of the transneptunian object 2014...

Duration:00:55:47

020 - Fly me to the Moon

1/23/2019
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This episode of "The Skyentists" brings the very first guest to the show. We invited our guest to describe the project they are conducting regarding observing the Moon... Well, our guest actually doesn't say too much at the end, but our Skyentists, Kirsten Banks and Ángel López-Sánchez, can't stop talking. They provide some general overview of what we know about Earth's natural satellite and a summary of the lunar exploration, including some "fun facts" about the Moon brought by Kirsten....

Duration:00:47:08

019 - Planet Up!

1/9/2019
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For the first episode of The Skyentists in 2019 astronomers Ángel López-Sánchez and Kirsten Banks jump into the exciting field of finding planets around other stars. They provide a summary of the observational techniques used by astronomers to discover exoplanets, emphasizing the two main methods: the transit (or mini-eclipses) method and the radial velocity or doppler shift (or "wobbly") method. They also characterize the general properties of the almost 4000 exoplanets already discovered...

Duration:00:56:35

018 - Telescopes and Apps

12/27/2018
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In this episode our Skyentists, astronomers Kirsten Banks and Ángel López-Sánchez, recommend some good Apps for Astronomy as well as give some few advises if you are considering getting your first amateur telescope. Indeed, Kirsten is very excited (although a bit sleepy) as she just bought a very new telescope and she was able to see comet 46P/Wirtanen! In "Space News" Ángel talks about a very interesting discovery in asteroid Bennu by NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission and Kirsten reminds us that it...

Duration:00:50:40

017 - Landing on Mars

12/12/2018
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This is another long (59 minutes!) episode of The Skyentists, where astronomers Ángel López-Sánchez and Kirsten Banks talk about Mars with the excuse of the successful landing of NASA's InSight mission. But, how easy is landing on Mars? Actually, not at all, and to show this they play the game "landing on Mars" enumerating the failure or success of every mission humans have sent to the Red Planet. Ángel also talks a bit about the Viking program and Kirsten about the rovers Spirit,...

Duration:00:59:25

016 - Rendezvous with Hyakutake

11/28/2018
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In this episode our Skyentists, astronomers Kirsten Banks and Ángel López-Sánchez, talk about comets and meteor showers. Ángel tells some few "old stories" about enjoying the big comets of 1996 (Hyakutake), 1997 (Hale-Bopp) and 2007 (McNaught), as well as the very amazing meteor shower of the Leonids in 1999. Kirsten, however, is sad because she has not had the chance, yet, to see any bright comet or a very active meteor shower. We also mention famous object ʻOumuamua, the very first...

Duration:00:45:16

015 - Asteroid Attack!

11/14/2018
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In this episode of "The Skyentists", astronomers Ángel López-Sánchez and Kirsten Bank talk about the minor bodies of the Solar System: asteroids, comets, meteoroids, and trans-neptunian objects. They explain the difference between a "meteorite", a "meteor" and a "meteoroid" as well as provide a global overview of the content of the Solar System and the many kind of objects we are finding in its outskirsts. In "Space News" we talk about the recent observations of the Small Magellanic Cloud...

Duration:00:43:20

014 - Halloweeny Astronomy

10/30/2018
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This is a very special episode of "The Skyentists", where astronomers Kirsten Banks and Ángel López-Sánchez answer many "spooky" astro-questions, including what is the scariest thing in the Universe. Of course, this is an excuse to talk about Halloween and the origins of this festivity that, yep, it is very related to Astronomy. Plenty of feedback (and auto-feedback) is also answered in this episode. In "Space News" we talk about the new citizen science project "The Hunt of Galaxy Clusters"...

Duration:01:19:23

013 - Season Wars

10/25/2018
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And we are back! In this first episode of Seasons 2 of "The Skyentists", episode thirteenth, astronomers Ángel López-Sánchez and Kirsten Banks try to define what "Seasons" are. It is easy following the astronomical definition, but not so when considering other arbitrary conventions. Do other planets have seasons? Of course they do! For "What's up" they invite us to observe NGC 253, the Sculptor galaxy, or the Silver Coin galaxy, which is visible even with binoculars. Kirsten introduces the...

Duration:02:05:11

012 - Lighting Saturn in Autumn

6/13/2018
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In the twelfth episode of "The Skyentists", astronomers Kirsten Banks and Ángel López-Sánchez talk about the nasty problem of the light pollution, explain why we are still in Autumn (and not in Winter as many Australian and New Zealanders believe) as seasons are defined by Astronomy, and also discuss some of the main results found in Saturn, its rings, and its moons by the Cassini-Huygens mission. For "What's Up!" we have, well, more Saturn! Angel also explains the transition that the...

Duration:00:50:35

011 - Stargazing type-Ia supernovae

6/6/2018
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In this episode we find two very excited Skyentists: Kirsten receives an unexpected birthday gift and Ángel tells us his intense experiences at the Anglo-Australian Telescope trying to observe for his research program while also helping in the TV show "ABC Stargazing Live", 22-24 May 2018. White dwarf stars and type-Ia supernova are the main theme of this episode, but also the amazing contribution of citizen scientists who, inspired by "ABC Stargazing Live", helped to discover not one but...

Duration:00:47:53

010 - Parallaxes with Gaia

5/16/2018
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In the tenth episode of "The Skyentists" astronomers Kirsten Banks and Ángel López-Sánchez share their excitement about the BIG second data release of Gaia. Gaia, which is a small satellite owned by the European Space Agency (ESA), has just provided detailed astrometric and photometric information of around 1.7 billion stars! For many of these stars Gaia has also obtained accurate measurements of the parallax, which is key to derive the distance to the stars. But this is not as easy as it...

Duration:00:49:16

009 - Flashing lights In the sky

5/2/2018
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In this episode our Skyentists Ángel López-Sánchez and Kirsten Bank discuss all the flavors of auroras: what are they, how are they produced, what their colors are telling us, and where to see them. From Sydney? Well, it seems it would be possible for time to time... if it wasn't because of the nasty problem of the light pollution! Thanks Kiama is very close to Sydney, auroras have been seen recently from there! On the second part of this episode, as part of the "What's Up" section, we...

Duration:00:30:33

008 - Weird little galaxy

4/19/2018
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In this episode "The Skyentists", astronomers Kirsten Banks and Ángel López-Sánchez, talk again about galaxies and discuss the mysterious component in all of them: the dark matter. In all galaxies for sure? Very recently it has been announced that a little, faint, fuzzy, low-luminous dwarf galaxy named as NGC1052-DF2 doesn't have any dark matter! Our Skyentists talk about these news and explore what might be happening in this intriguing object. For our "What's Up!" segment we discovered that...

Duration:00:37:34

007 - All about Jupiter

4/5/2018
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The planets are coming! That's right, during the next months Jupiter, Mars and Saturn will be the "stars" of the night sky. But in this episode our Skyentists Ángel López-Sánchez and Kirsten Bank talk just about Jupiter: its breathtaking view through small telescopes, its shrinking Great Red Spot and its very dynamical atmosphere. They also discuss some of the new amazing discoveries that the spacecraft Juno is getting there, including a new understanding of the structure of the giant planet...

Duration:00:35:53

006 - She, Astronomer

3/21/2018
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In this episode we find a very busy Kirsten, who has been abducted by Twitter, and a still sleepy Ángel, just back from his busy observing nights at the Anglo-Australian Telescope. But they are starting a journey to talk about the amazing contributions to astronomy, science and culture that many women have done in the past. Many of these women have been forgotten for centuries, but luckily we're recovering their names and their works now: Enheduanna, Aglaonice of Thessaly, Maria Kirch,...

Duration:00:36:14

005 - Trillions of galaxies

3/6/2018
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The number of galaxies out there? Yep, something around that figure... trillion of galaxies! A very sleepy and astro-jet lagged astrophysicist Ángel López-Sánchez and young but very wise astronomer Kirsten Bank jump into the realm of galaxies! They define their basic properties and classification and discuss the names given in the famous "Hubble Tuning Fork". The "What's Up!" section is dedicated to our all-time favourite nearby dwarf galaxy: the Large Magellanic Cloud. And they also talk...

Duration:00:33:59

004 - Double Sonic Boom

2/21/2018
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In this episode "The Skyentists", astronomers Kirsten Banks and Ángel López-Sánchez, provide their thoughts about the successful first launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket by Space X and the brilliant? idea of Elon Musk of sending a Tesla Roadster car to Mars... because that is exactly what happened... or not? For the "What's Up" segment they talk about the beautiful Pleiades stellar cluster, not to be confused by Ursa Minor! And, yeah, they got some feedback! Although that is still not enough...

Duration:00:35:20

003 - Green Orion

2/7/2018
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Today the "The Skyentists", astronomers Kirsten Banks and Ángel López-Sánchez, describe the famous Orion Nebula in the "What's Up!" section and use it to jump into the basics of how stars are born in galaxies... But first they provide some feedback about the infamous "Super Blue Blood Moon"... that is, last week's lunar eclipse. The impression is that many people around the world were confused about what was really happening because of the hype given by the media. They also answer the...

Duration:00:37:16