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The Urban Astronomer Podcast

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South Africa


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.






Podcast #16: Photographing Space with Tanja and Cory Shmitz

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 Shmitz. 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

Podcast #15: Dylan O’Donnell and National Science Week

Here we are, another week, and it's time to release episode 15 of the Urban Astronomer Podcast. This week's episode features an interview with Australian astrophotographer and science defender Dylan O'Donnell, who landed on my radar after he released a video of an interview with a man who believes that the world is flat. Since flat-earthism seems to be growing in popularity in what is probably the most baffling display of intellectual laziness I've ever seen, and since so many...

Duration: 00:31:14

Podcast #14: The self-interview

Welcome to the 14th episode of the Urban Astronomer podcast, after a long and sustained quiet spell. Now I know how this looks: New podcast pumps out a bunch of episodes, and then loses steam before eventually just going silent one day. We've all seen it, we all know the signs. But don't worry, I've been very busy behind the scenes, lining up a whole stack of interesting people to interview, and you'll be able to hear them all in the coming weeks. We've got some top-shelf astrophotographers...

Duration: 00:31:03

Podcast #13: Mars, ICON CGC and more Mars

Here it is! Episode #13 of the Urban Astronomer podcast! This week we turn our steely gaze upon the red planet Mars, but we haven’t forgotten our promise to share some highlights from our time at the ICON Comics and Games Convention. We even indulge in a little hoax busting, picking a fight with an old scam that just won’t die.The first segment is the next in Cathrine’s series on The Planets. In these recordings, she talks first about the … Continue reading → The post Podcast #13: Mars,...

Duration: 00:17:06

Podcast #12: Interview with Jen Millard

What a week! What with preparing my booth for ICON 2017 and interesting new projects at the day job, it’s taken me this long to finally finish editing and releasing this interview with Jen Millard. I’m hoping you’ll find it well worth the wait, though, as Jen describes a whole new way of studying exoplanets observation that I’d never heard of before. But in case you’re worried about too much high-level technical science talk, don’t worry. She was able to … Continue reading → The post...

Duration: 00:30:27

Podcast #10: Engineering SALT with Deon Bester

Thanks for waiting! Episode 10 of the Urban Astronomer Podcast has finally arrived, and this week we feature an interview with Deon Bester. Deon is an engineer, who worked on the Southern African Large Telescope for many years, designing the control systems that keep the telescope working through the night. In our conversation we cover many topic. Deon’s experience as a test engineer, working with Labview, led to him getting employed by the SALT project. We discuss the teething troubles …...

Duration: 00:23:04

Podcast #8: Venus, KELT-11b and Blood Moon Pregnancies

Welcome to the 8th episode of the Urban Astronomer Podcast! This week, Cathrine continues her series on The Planets with the hottest world in our Solar System: Venus. Allen then reports on the discovery, by a telescope at SAAO’s facility in Sutherland, of KELT-11b, an unusually inflated exoplanet. And finally we look at what is apparently a common question in parts of the world: Is it safe to watch a Lunar Eclipse, while pregnant? This is Cathrine’s second appearance in … Continue reading...

Duration: 00:16:50

Podcast: Interview with Chris Stewart

Welcome to the 4th episode of the Urban Astronomer Podcast! This episode features news about the discovery of an intermediate mass black hole, and the next in our series of interviews with prominent figures in South African amateur astronomy. This weeks guest: Chris Stewart.The black hole discovery is important because up until now, astronomers have only ever detected black holes the sizes of stars, or the sizes of millions of stars. Common sense tells us that there should be black holes …...

Duration: 00:28:12

Podcast: Astrophotography for Mensa

Welcome to the Urban Astronomer podcast. For the third time in a row, you’re getting a show in a totally different format from before: This time, it’s a recording of one of my public lectures on astrophotography. In this case, it’s a talk I gave to the local chapter of Mensa, the world-famous high IQ society. I had gotten to know one of their officers a few years back when we were on the same pub-quiz team, and she contacted … Continue reading → The post Podcast: Astrophotography for...

Duration: 00:49:49

Podcast: Seven earth-like planets

Wow, we finally did it! The podcast is alive, and this is the first episode! In this episode, I cover probably the biggest astronomy news item of the year so far, and also read one of my more recent opinion pieces. I know, you could just read it yourself, but it’s something I feel quite passionate about, and wanted to let you hear it in my own voice. As long-time readers will know, this is something I’ve been threatening to … Continue reading → The post Podcast: Seven earth-like planets...

Duration: 00:24:04