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A weekly discussion of what's new and interesting in astronomy with astronomer Derrick Pitts and WHHY FM's Dave Heller.

A weekly discussion of what's new and interesting in astronomy with astronomer Derrick Pitts and WHHY FM's Dave Heller.
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Location:

United States

Networks:

WHYY

Description:

A weekly discussion of what's new and interesting in astronomy with astronomer Derrick Pitts and WHHY FM's Dave Heller.

Language:

English


Episodes

Out-of-this-world show

10/16/2017
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This Saturday marks the 94th anniversary of the first public planetarium show given at the German model for The Franklin Institute, the Deutches Museum in Munich. Our planetarium opened on January 1st, 1934 as the second planetarium in the United States, after the Adler planetarium in Chicago (1930). An apocryphal story is that Sam Fels traveled to Europe with Max Adler in the late 20’s where he saw the star projection system. He was so taken with the idea that he ordered one for...

Duration: 00:06:04


Elon Musk wants to get off this planet

10/9/2017
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Elon Musk has released a new proposal for becoming a multi-planet species. He is advocating phasing out Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Dragon in favor of SpaceX’s BFR (Big F*****g Rocket-yes, really) project, which can serve as Mars transport, Lunar transport, ISS transport, and satellite delivery as well as SST Earth transport. The rockets will be reusable, bigger and cheaper to operate than any other rocket system ever. Supposedly. Musk says SpaceX can send the first two to Mars by 2022, and...

Duration: 00:06:00


Mercury runs hot and cold

10/6/2017
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Today, Dave and Dr. Pitts are stopping by the ice craters of Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun. Temperatures on Mercury typically hover around a balmy 800 degrees Fahrenheit, on the side facing the Sun. Yet there are at least 100 billion tons of ice on the little planet. How is this possible? The answer lies in Mercury’s lack of atmosphere. Without an atmosphere, heat is not conducted to the parts of the planet that aren’t getting direct solar radiation. The side of Mercury that doesn’t...

Duration: 00:05:14


Spin Cycle

9/26/2017
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A Netherlands astronomy team discovered a star spinning 42,000 times every minute!

Duration: 00:06:10


Say Goodbye to Summer

9/19/2017
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Dave and Dr. Pitts count down the final days of summer as the Autumnal Equinox approaches.

Duration: 00:05:38


America’s Most Experienced Astronaut

9/11/2017
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Let's sing the praises of NASA superstar Peggy Whitson!

Duration: 00:05:32


Bon Voyager

9/5/2017
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Voyager 1 left Earth 40 years ago, on September 5th, 1977.

Duration: 00:07:33


Following Florence

8/29/2017
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Asteroid Florence will pass Earth on Saturday. At 2.4 miles in diameter, it's the largest since researchers began keeping close tabs on near-earth asteroids.

Duration: 00:06:00


Diminished Daylight in the Dog Days

8/14/2017
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We've now lost 25 minutes off sunsets and 30 minutes off sunrises - that's an hour daylight change already from the solstice.

Duration: 00:06:44


Total Tune-Up

8/7/2017
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Monday's lunar eclipse is the precursor to the August 21 total solar eclipse that will traverse the United States. Saturday is the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower.

Duration: 00:04:41


Follow the Sun

7/31/2017
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We are now just three weeks out from a total solar eclipse traversing the United States.

Duration: 00:06:28


Shine on, you crazy Earth

7/24/2017
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This is a great week to watch the development of lunar phases. Start watching on Monday night, with a barely visible 1.5-day old thin crescent that sets about an hour after the sun; you should see it near the western horizon at 8:30 P.M. On Monday and Tuesday night, you'll have a great display of "Earthshine."

Duration: 00:06:22


Shining Star (but just barely)

7/18/2017
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The smallest star ever just found, called ELBM-J0555-57Ab, is just about the size of Saturn but 300 times as massive. That makes it just 8% of the sun's mass, yet it's just big enough to actually BE a star according to thermonuclear fusion principles

Duration: 00:05:35


It was 20 years ago today…

7/10/2017
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On this date in July 1997, NASA placed the first rover on Mars.

Duration: 00:04:53


You Must Remember This – An Eclipse Is Not Just an Eclipse

6/26/2017
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The August 21st Solar Eclipse is less than 2 months away.

Duration: 00:07:12


Twice Upon a Time…

6/19/2017
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Sun's Original Twin: What happened to it?

Duration: 00:06:34


Some Like it Hot

6/12/2017
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If you're sweating from our current heat wave, be glad you don't live on planet KELT-9, orbiting a blue A-type star 620 light years from Earth.

Duration: 00:04:39


Philadelphiahenge

6/5/2017
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You don't have to trek out to Wiltshire, England to celebrate the summer solstice at Stonehenge. Philadelphia is a suitable site to take in an equinox spectacle.

Duration: 00:05:43


Ring Around the Sun

5/29/2017
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A cosmic debris ring has been observed around a star where a planet has already been directly observed. Plus, the observed lunar inventory in our solar system is boosted thanks to a faraway discovery.

Duration: 00:04:28


Longing for longer days

5/23/2017
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Sunset now comes at 8:15pm, giving us 14 hours and 36 minutes of daylight here at Philadelphia's latitude. We have about four weeks to go and 30 more minutes of daylight to earn on the way to Summer Solstice.

Duration: 00:05:58

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