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Skywatch

WYPR

SkyWatch hosts conversation highlighting news from the world of astronomy. Listen in via your computer or MP3 player as they bring the latest discoveries down to Earth. SkyWatch also includes HubbleWatch, a round-up of news from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

SkyWatch hosts conversation highlighting news from the world of astronomy. Listen in via your computer or MP3 player as they bring the latest discoveries down to Earth. SkyWatch also includes HubbleWatch, a round-up of news from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
More Information

Location:

United States

Networks:

WYPR

Description:

SkyWatch hosts conversation highlighting news from the world of astronomy. Listen in via your computer or MP3 player as they bring the latest discoveries down to Earth. SkyWatch also includes HubbleWatch, a round-up of news from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Language:

English


Episodes

Episode 460: HubbleWatch for July 2013

7/31/2013
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Hubble maps a double-star system’s outbursts, and a fortuitous alignment of stars will allow us to search for planets around our nearest stellar neighbor. Hubble Maps 3-D Structure of Ejected Material Around Erupting StarRare Stellar Alignment Offers Opportunity to Hunt for Planets

Duration: 00:06:19


Episode 458: Proxima Centauri's Planets?

7/4/2013
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At a distance of 4.2 light-years from Earth, Proxima Centauri is just 0.2 light-years from the more-distant binary star Alpha Centauri A+B. These three stars are considered part of the triple-star system that is closest to Earth, although right now Proxima Centauri is the closest of the three stars. Astronomers would like to know if Proxima has any planets around it. Because Proxima is the closest star, there is a chance in the next two years that as the star passes in front of more...

Duration: 00:01:00


Episode 456: Perigean Tides

6/20/2013
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High tides happen every day, but some are higher than others. Some of the highest tides, called “perigean high tides,” occur when the Moon is closest to Earth in its monthly orbit. When coastal storms take place during these tides, major flooding can result. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on perigean tidesThe Watchers on perigean tidesNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on spring tidesScience@NASA on an earlier perigee Moon

Duration: 00:01:00


Episode 455: Comet ISON Draws Near

6/13/2013
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A new comet discovered in September 2012 is on its way for a close approach to the Sun and perhaps a brilliant appearance in Earth’s skies late in 2013. Called Comet ISON, it will be closest to the Sun in November 28, 2013 and could become visible by eye even in broad daylight. Science@NASA on comet ISONBad Astronomy on the Hubble observations of ISONEarthSky predictions for comet ISONHubbleSite news release on comet ISON

Duration: 00:01:00


Episode 454: Hydrogen Clouds in the Neighborhood

6/6/2013
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Radio observations of the region between the two spiral galaxies nearest our own, Andromeda and Triangulum, have verified the presence of hydrogen gas clouds. The clouds are hard to find, since they are mostly composed of ionized gas that is difficult to detect. There is a trace of neutral hydrogen mixed in the clouds, and that material could be observed. The origin of the material is not completely clear – was the gas always there or did it get ripped out during a close encounter of the...

Duration: 00:01:00


Episode 453: Same Source for Earth and Moon Water?

5/30/2013
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New research tells us that water located deep inside both Earth and the Moon may have come from the same source, and that source is likely ancient meteorites, similar to the asteroids now populating the asteroid belt. Science Daily on the discoveryNature.com discusses the topic

Duration: 00:01:00


Episode 452: Traces of Rocky Materials on White Dwarf Stars

5/23/2013
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Astronomers have discovered signs of rocky debris in the vicinity of white dwarf stars in the Hyades star cluster. It's possible that the debris indicates the presence of Earth-sized planets in the neighborhood. HubbleSite news release on the discovery

Duration: 00:01:00


Episode 451: HubbleWatch for May 2013

5/17/2013
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Hubble studies a strange, ancient visitor to our galaxy. Join HubbleWatch for a discussion of the "Methuselah star" HD 140283, a fast-moving star with a long and odd past. Hubble Finds Birth Certificate of Oldest Known Star

Duration: 00:01:00


Episode 450: Life's Building Blocks in Space

5/17/2013
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Using new technology, researchers have discovered an important pair of pre-biotic molecules in interstellar space. The new discoveries indicate that some basic chemicals are key steps on the path to life and may have formed on dusty ice grains floating between stars. National Radio Astronomy Observatory news release on the discoveryThe Daily Galaxy discusses the discoveryNASA on meteorites and life's components

Duration: 00:01:00


Episode 449: Chemistry for Life on Europa?

5/9/2013
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New NASA research shows that hydrogen peroxide is abundant across much of the surface of Jupiter's moon, Europa. If this material could mix into the ocean below the moon’s icy surface, it could be important energy supply for simple forms of life. Keck Observatory news release on the discoveryNASA discusses the findingsNASA’s Europa overview

Duration: 00:04:25


Episode 448: Missing Martian Lander Found?

5/2/2013
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Gone but not forgotten, the Russian Mars 3 lander descended to the surface of the red planet in 1971. This first lander on Mars was meant to take images, but it unexpectedly failed and its transmissions were short-lived. Through the power of citizen scientists, the lander may have been found in images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Data from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) appear to have captured objects on the surface of Mars which are consistent with the...

Duration: 00:04:25


Episode 447: Horse of a Different Color

4/25/2013
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The iconic Horsehead nebula has been the subject of astronomical imagery by amateurs and professionals alike. The region has clouds of ionized hydrogen as well as areas of dark dust that obscure new-forming stars. A new image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope shows new features and hidden stars not seen in the other optical images. A 3D movie of the image gives perspective to the structure of the nebula. HubbleSite news release

Duration: 00:04:25


Episode 446: Closest Star System Found in Century

4/18/2013
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The NASA spacecraft WISE has discovered a pair of stars that is now known to be the third-closest star system to Sun. The last closest system to Earth was discovered in 1916. The newly discovered star pair is composed of two cool “brown dwarfs” 6.5 light years away from our Sun. Penn State news release on the discovery The WISE mission page

Duration: 00:04:27


Episode 445: The Disappearing Van Allen Belt

4/11/2013
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The solar system -- especially the inner part -- is bathed in charged particles from the Sun and cosmic radiation. Several planets with magnetic fields, including Earth, are somewhat protected from the particles because they become trapped high above the surface by magnetic field lines. The Van Allen belts, discovered in the 1950s, are a pair of radiation belts encircling the Earth. Surprisingly, two new NASA probes discovered a short-lived third belt. NASA Science on the discovery of the...

Duration: 00:04:27


Episode 444: Meteors and Asteroids, Oh My

4/4/2013
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The impact of a meteorite in Russia in February 2013 and the flyby of asteroid debris highlights that the solar system is full of rocky material. While the asteroid has been observed for some time, the smaller meteorite was unexpected. Many meteorites hit the Earth each year, but these events indicate how important it is to develop international plans for threat avoidance and early warning systems. Meanwhile, researchers are digging through the meteorite remains to see what they can...

Duration: 00:04:32


Episode 443: Life on Mars Once Possible

3/28/2013
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Rock samples collected in February 2013 by NASA's Curiosity rover show ancient Mars could have supported living microbes. The rover found the soil contains sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon – all elements critical for life. NASA news release on the discoveryMars Science Laboratory page

Duration: 00:04:29


Episode 442: Seeing the Sun Like Never Before

3/21/2013
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In the three years since NASA launched the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), the spacecraft has provided continuous, high-resolution views of the Sun, helping us better understand our star and its influence on us. Among other accomplishments, SDO also has studied the atmosphere of Venus as the planet passed in front of the Sun, and it revealed how a comet’s tail was buffeted by the solar wind as the comet passed near the Sun. Solar Dynamics Observatory missionSDO video of Venus transitNASA...

Duration: 00:04:27


Show 441: Sailing on Sunlight

3/14/2013
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In Arthur C. Clarke's short story "Sunjammer," a spaceship designer develops a spacecraft with a large "solar sail" that propels it through space using radiation pressure from the Sun. In recent years, solar sails have jumped from the pages of science fiction into real life. In 2014, NASA plans to launch its own Sunjammer spacecraft -- the largest solar sail ever sent to space.

Duration: 00:04:31


Show 440: Oh No, Mini-Neptunes!

3/7/2013
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A new study suggests that many of the "super-Earth" planets astronomers have discovered orbiting other stars are probably more like "mini-Neptunes" than like our rocky planet. However, moons orbiting these planets might still hold potential for hosting life.

Duration: 00:04:28


Show 439: Vesta Shaped by Violent Collisions

2/28/2013
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In 2011 and 2012, NASA's Dawn spacecraft orbited the second-largest asteroid in our solar system, Vesta, providing unprecedented views of its surface. Computer simulations based on Dawn's observations suggest that violent collisions with two other space rocks carved out two giant craters on the asteroid and melted Vesta's crust, making it thicker than expected.

Duration: 00:04:25

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