Welcome to your Astrophysics Podcasts: Hear from a different special guest each fortnight, & the latest astro news

Astrophiz 28 – Fiona Panther ‘Supernovae & Positrons’. Dr Ian Musgrave ‘What’s up Doc!’


Our feature interview is with Fiona Panther who is a PhD student and the Joan Duffield Scholar at the Australian National University’s Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics in Canberra, Australia. Fiona is using computational astrophysics and working on using peculiar supernova to try and understand how positrons are created in excess in our Galaxy. Fiona also explains Fermi Bubbles

Dr Ian Musgrave in our regular feature, ‘What’s up Doc?’ tells us what to look for in the night sky this week using naked eye, binoculars or telescopes, and all the action is currently down near the horizon.

In the news:
NASA, working with Spitzer, Hubble and the ESO’s VLT, have just announced that 7 exoplanets have been discovered in the habitable zone around TRAPPIST-1, a dwarf star only 39 light years away.
Galaxies being stripped of their star-forming matter

Astrophiz 27: Dr Amanda Bauer – Galactic Evolution & Sky Surveys

Astrophiz 27 out now on iTunes and Soundcloud.

Our first feature interview after our fabulous break is with Dr Amanda Bauer, who has just been appointed as the new Head of Education and Public Outreach at the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope which is high up in the mountains in Chile in South America.
Amanda has worked at the Max Planck Institute and on the famous Sloan Digital Sky Survey and she now specialises in Galactic Evolution and Astronomical Outreach.

Dr Ian Musgrave in our regular feature, ‘What’s up Doc?’ tells us what to look for in the night sky this week using naked eye, binoculars or telescopes. Comet 45P and Vesta observations.

In the news:
Our milky way is being pushed and pulled around every which way, Orphan Black Holes and a ‘Red Nova’ predicted for 2022.

Astrophiz 26 (Episode10 REPRISED): Exoplanet Proxima b overhype is demolished by Dr Elizabeth Tasker


While we are on our summer holiday break we are reprising a few of our previous episodes. Listen as Dr Elizabeth Tasker debunks the over-hyped ‘habitability’ claim for Proxima Centauri b, and explains what we actually know about this nearby exoplanet.

Dr Nadezhda Cherbakov explains the ‘Radio Window’ Part 11 and for Aurora Hunters she plays the sounds of Jupiter’s Auroras from NASA’s Juno mission.




Astrophiz 25: (Episode 11 REPRISED) Vera Rubin Special


Astrophiz25: Episode 11 REPRISED – Vera Rubin Special, out now on iTunes and Soundcloud.

This week over our summer break, on the heels of the sad news of Vera Rubin’s passing, we reprise the segment from Episode 11 which features Dr Nadezhda Cherbakov, where she tells us about Vera Rubin’s historic discovery of Dark Matter and how she is still being denied a well-deserved Nobel Prize.

Astrophiz 24: Solstice Special & Cuberider Launch with Solange Cunin


Astrophiz 24 is out now on iTunes and Soundcloud.
Solstice Special and Cuberider Liftoff.

Feature interview: We interview Solange Cunin, CEO of Cuberider, an Edutech company which has just launched 100 experiments up to the ISS via JAXA, stoking the dreams, imagination, hard work and Python coding of hundreds of Australian students and teachers from 54 schools. Congratulations! More info at cuberiderDOTcom

Dr Nadeshzda Cherbakov Skypes in from Tver in Russia to tell us more about stellar evolution and explains the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram

Dr Ian Musgrave in ‘What’s up Doc?’ tell us what to look for in the night sky this week using naked eye, binoculars or telescopes.

In the news: 6 brief items and we elaborate on solstices

See you next on February 9 2017. Happy Holidays everyone!

The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram


Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram. Credit: ESO

Drill down a little here:
CSIRO: Introduction to stellar evolution

Astrophiz 23: Meet Asteroid Hunters Daniel Bamberger and Guy Wells. Astrophotographer Dr Ian ‘Astroblog’ Musgrave


Feature Interview: Daniel Bamberger & Guy Wells, who have set up the rapidly expanding and recognised Northolt Branch Observatory, explain how they image and verify orbits of asteroids and other NEOs. (Near earth Objects)

Dr Nadezhda Cherbakov has been incommunicado, so we will have to wait for next week to look at the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram

“What”s Up in the Sky this Week” with Dr Musgrave: The planets of the morning sky, the evening sky and the Geminids meteor shower under a full moon.

In the News:
1. The Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR), the antennas are receiving radio signals that have travelled billions of years to get here, from the depths of the cosmos. 

2. Another citizen science project turns up remarkable pulsar science via the einstein@home project.

3. Daniel Ung, a Masters student at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, has won the 2016 FEKO Student Competition, with implications for SKA and the MWA, the Murchison Widefield Array.

Astrophiz 22: John Sarkissian Part II @Parkes Dish Chases Gravity Waves with Pulsars, Aliens & FRBs – Nadezhda on Stellar Evolution


In Part II: We interview Operations Scientist John Sarkissian at the CSIRO Parkes Radio Observatory. He explains how the ‘Spider Dipoles’ that make up the Murchison Widefield Array in remote Western Australia contribute to SKA, how Parkes chase down gravity waves and has detected most of the world’s FRBs (fast radio bursts of unknown origin), after being distracted by ‘perytons’ and microwave ovens. And yes, ‘The Dish’ is searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence in the international SETI ‘Breakthrough Listen’ project. We’re not saying they’re searching for Aliens ….. but Aliens!

Dr Nadezhda in Part I of Stellar Evolution explains how the mass of a star determines its evolutionary path, and next week we will look at the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram

“What”s Up in the Sky this Week” for Northern Hemisphere observers and astrophotographers, and for Southern Hemisphere Listeners, December is the best time to see the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Small Magellanic Cloud. We also expose Procyon and curse the moon for demolishing the Geminids Meteor Shower

In the News:

1. The Spiderweb galaxy
2. Imaging a Black Hole Event Horizon
3. ICRAR tells us the Universe is slowly becoming less energetic (Well, who isn’t 😉

Astrophiz 21: Prof Lawrence Krauss on Quantum, Dark Matter. Dr Cherbakov on Cosmological Redshift


(Photo: Steve Payne)

Astrophiz 21 is out now on Soundcloud or subscribe in iTunes

Professor Laurence Krauss at the Australian Skeptics Convention talks of Sc-fi, Quantum Mechanics, Matter, Anti-matter and Dark Matter, Black Holes and Hawking Radiation

Dr Nadezhda tells us about Henrietta Leavitt, Edwin Hubble and Cosmological Redshift

“What”s Up in the Sky this Week” for Northern and Southern Hemisphere Listeners

In the News:

The Hermes/Galah Galactic Archeology Survey, a Citizen Science project to observe 3 rapidly approaching comets, and the ICRAR Gleamoscope is now available to observe the sky in radio technicolours

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