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The Urban Astronomer Podcast

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The Urban Astronomer podcast is the audio version of the popular Urban Astronomer website, which has been sharing news and information about space science and astronomy since the year 2009. The website has undergone several facelifts, and changes in editorial style and focus over the years, but it's always stayed true to its principles of honest science presented simply, without oversimplifying.

The Urban Astronomer podcast is the audio version of the popular Urban Astronomer website, which has been sharing news and information about space science and astronomy since the year 2009. The website has undergone several facelifts, and changes in editorial style and focus over the years, but it's always stayed true to its principles of honest science presented simply, without oversimplifying.
More Information

Location:

South Africa

Description:

The Urban Astronomer podcast is the audio version of the popular Urban Astronomer website, which has been sharing news and information about space science and astronomy since the year 2009. The website has undergone several facelifts, and changes in editorial style and focus over the years, but it's always stayed true to its principles of honest science presented simply, without oversimplifying.

Twitter:

@uastronomer

Language:

English


Episodes

Podcast #35: Itumeleng Monageng

10/3/2018
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Welcome to episode 35 of the Urban Astronomer Podcast! This week we have a full show for you, with our main feature being an interview with South African astronomer Dr Itumeleng Monageng. We also continue our series on the physics behind the evolution of a star from gas cloud to black hole. And finally, my new co-host Clem Unger brings us updates on current space missions. Itumeleng Monageng Itumeleng is a post-grad researcher working for the South African Astronomical Observatory and...

Duration:00:39:37

Podcast #34: The Equinox Show

9/23/2018
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Welcome to this special Equinox edition of the Urban Astronomer Podcast! This episode I share the microphone with Clem Unger for the first of a quarterly series. Clem has been on the show before, and he'll be back every equinox and every solstice. In this episode We start with a look at coming attractions in the sky over the next three months. Clem discusses the state of current asteroid missions OSIRIS-Rex and Hayabusa 2 Allen and Clem butt heads over whether Pluto should have stayed a...

Duration:00:44:27

Podcast #33: Jean-Pierre Grootaerd

9/12/2018
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Welcome to the 33rd episode of the Urban Astronomer Podcast. This is a special release, featuring an interview that I recorded for ScopeX, the biggest astronomy and telescope event in South Africa. Jean-Pierre Grootaerd, through SSVI (which translates in English to Stars Shine for Everyone), has donated a pair of 90mm refracting telescopes to ScopeX, for us to hand over to whoever is best able to use them to advance science education in South Africa. Since he isn't able to come to South...

Duration:00:24:26

Podcast #32: Dr Nicole Gugliucci

8/17/2018
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Welcome to the 32nd episode of the Urban Astronomer Podcast. This episode features an interview with Dr Nicole Gugliucci, whom long time listeners of astronomy podcasts should recognise from her work with Cosmoquest, and her many appearances on various shows in the 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast. This is quite a long-running interview, so we didn't have time to include the next segment of our supernova story. We'll pick that up next week instead, with the thrilling tale of what happens when...

Duration:00:55:36

Podcast #31: Clem Unger talks about OSIRIS-REx

7/15/2018
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Welcome to the 31st episode of the Urban Astronomer Podcast. This episode features an interview with Clem Unger, an ambassador for the OSIRIS-REx mission who lives in Australia. This is followed by the next part of our series on the evolution of stars, taking us one step closer on our journey to seeing where supernovae come from. Clem Unger A few weeks back, I spoke to Clem Unger, who lives in Australia and serves in his spare time in the ambassador program for the OSIRIS-REx mission,...

Duration:00:43:17

Podcast #30: Stellar Evolution and Nuclear Fusion

6/21/2018
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Welcome to episode 30 of the Urban Astronomer Podcast. This week's episode features the 2nd part of our look at how stellar evolution can lead to a supernova explosion, inspired by listener requests to present more serious science and physics explainers. Last time we looked at the formation of a stellar nursery, so today we look inside that nursery at the birth of a new star. For fans of the interviews with people who have some connection to astronomy in South Africa, the next episode will...

Duration:00:28:25

Podcast #29: Stellar evolution – from gas to star

5/23/2018
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Welcome to episode 29 of the Urban Astronomer podcast. As you know by now, we mainly feature interviews with people connected to South African astronomy. But since we had no guests lined up for this episode, we decided it was time to keep a promise we'd made a month ago to listener Andrew Botteril, from KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa. Andrew is a fan of the show and had asked that we feature a little more basic science, explaining some of the physics behind the astronomy. So, we're...

Duration:00:14:22

Podcast #28: Stella Kafka

4/23/2018
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Welcome to Episode 28 of the Urban Astronomer Podcast. This episode features an interview with Dr Stella Kafka, current director of the AAVSO (American Association of Variable Star Observers). I met Dr Kafka at the 2018 Symposium of the Astronomical Society of South Africa, where she delivered several excellent talks on the AAVSO and citizen science. I was so impressed by what she had to say that I just had to invite her onto the show. Amazingly, she beat me to the punch by approaching me...

Duration:00:44:23

Podcast #27: Tides and Flerfers

3/20/2018
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Welcome to the 27th episode of the Urban Astronomer Podcast! This is a special episode where I break from tradition and try for something completely new: Unscripted content, delivered solo, with just a few notes to guide me! In the first segment, I explain how tides work, and in the second I muse on what makes Flat Earther's reject established scientific knowledge. I recently got back from the 2018 Symposium of the South African Astronomical Society, where I plugged this podcast in a talk...

Duration:00:29:58

Podcast #26: Neville Young

2/14/2018
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This is the 26th episode of the Urban Astronomer Podcast, where we get back to our original focus of interviewing people involved in South African astronomy. Whether they're professional or amateur, South African, or merely visiting to do astronomy under our clear skies through our world-class observatories, we want to talk to them. In this episode, we chat with Neville Young. Neville Young Neville has been a member of the Pretoria center of the Astronomical Society of South Africa since the...

Duration:01:04:03

Podcast #25: Clyde Foster at ScopeX 2017

1/30/2018
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Welcome to the 25th episode of the Urban Astronomer Podcast, which is also the 1st episode of 2018. Happy New Year! Over the past few episodes, I've been running a series of public lectures that I recorded at ScopeX 2017. ScopeX is an annual telescope and astronomy expo held every year at the Military History museum in Johannesburg. This is the last lecture in the series, on the topic of the Apollo Program. Clyde Foster was the speaker. News Next year's ScopeX will be held on 15 September...

Duration:00:55:15

Podcast #24: Willie Koortz at ScopeX 2017

12/31/2017
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Welcome to Episode 24 of the Urban Astronomer Podcast, and a Happy New Year to each and every one of you. This episode features the keynote lecture from ScopeX 2017, delivered by Willie Koortz. Willie is an electronic technician working for the South African Astronomical Observatory, and is one of South African astronomy's more interesting characters. ScopeX Lecture In his talk, he discusses South Africa's role in the early days of the Space Age, looking at professional-amateur...

Duration:00:45:40

Podcast #23: Phila Sibandze at ScopeX 2017

12/14/2017
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Welcome to episode 23 of the Urban Astronomer Podcast! This week we feature the third in our series of public lectures given at ScopeX earlier this year, which was presented by Phila Sibandze of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA). Phila Sibandze Phila works for SANSA as an earth observation scientist, and his talk was titled "A journey through the life of a satellite". In it he walked us through the process of designing, building, launching and operating a satellite, with a...

Duration:00:41:20

Podcast #22: So you want to be an astrophysicist (Guest Episode by Paul Sutter)

12/5/2017
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Welcome to episode 22 of the Urban Astronomer Podcast. We're in the middle of a series of public lectures given by various speakers at ScopeX, earlier this year, but this episode is a break from all that. Some time ago, I was listening to Paul Sutter's excellent "Ask A Spaceman" podcast and he did an episode on what it takes to become an astrophysicist like him. Since one of the reasons the Urban Astronomer podcast exists is to encourage young South Africans to consider astronomy as a...

Duration:00:41:32

Podcast #21: Lee Annamalai at ScopeX 2017

11/25/2017
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Welcome to episode 21 of the Urban Astronomer Podcast! This week we feature the second in our series of ScopeX lectures, and plug an exciting new citizen science project. Next week we'll be bringing you the third lecture in the series, although we might sneak in a special guest episode before then! Lee Annamalai Lee spoke in his capacity at the CSIR (Center for Scientific and Industrial Research), where he manages their Earth Observation ICT systems group. He spoke about plans to use...

Duration:00:33:54

Podcast #20: Edwin le Grange at ScopeX

11/7/2017
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Welcome to the 20th episode of the Urban Astronomer Podcast, featuring a public talk given by Edwin le Grange at ScopeX 2017. This episode has been a long time coming, because I'm doing something new that I've never done before and it's taken me way longer to figure out that I'd really anticipated, but I finally got there, we're here, and your patience is about to be rewarded. As you'll know from previous episodes, the annual ScopeX telescope and astronomy expo happened at the usual venue...

Duration:00:40:31

Podcast #19: Michele Dougherty

10/9/2017
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Welcome to the 19th episode of the Urban Astronomer Podcast, featuring an interview with Cassini mission scientist Dr Michele Dougherty. We've been up to so much since episode 18, with probably the biggest job being hosting an hour segment about podcasting to a developing market, on the International Podcast Day 30 hours continuous celebrations. Thanks to the guys at IPD for inviting us, and especially thank you to Richard, Chantelle and Andrew from the NAG gaming podcast who shared that...

Duration:00:24:22

Podcast #18: Simon Fishley

9/25/2017
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Welcome to the 18th episode of the Urban Astronomer Podcast! This week we interview Simon Fishley, the head of IT at the South African Astronomical Observatory, about the work he does to support the scientists and their data. Hurricane Harvey Podcast Pack I can't believe it's been three weeks since the last episode of the Urban Astronomer podcast, although it actually hasn't been that long. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, I recorded a special episode for the Hurricane Harvey Podcast Pack....

Duration:00:32:42

Podcast #17: Patricia Skelton

9/1/2017
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This 17th episode of the Urban Astronomer Podcast might be a little late, but it's extra long to make up for it! A few weeks back, I took a drive out to the Unisa observatory meet up with my old astronomy teacher, Patricia Skelton, to have a few words about South Africa's role in astronomy, her own astronomical research, and her best advice for students and learners who're thinking of a career in astronomy. Links Patricia Skelton Unisa Observatory Unisa's College of Science, Engineering...

Duration:00:55:48

Podcast #16: Photographing Space with Tanja and Cory Schmitz

8/16/2017
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In this 16th episode of the Urban Astronomer Podcast, I finally get to interview two of the people whose astrophotography I've most admired since I first pointed my camera skywards: Cory and Tanja Schmitz. They were already accomplished photographers before they came together to create their website, Photographing Space. I strongly recommend it as a great place to find tips to improve your space images. They invited me over to their home a few months ago, back when the podcast was first...

Duration:00:55:24