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Ep. 164: Inside the Atom

We've talked about the biggest of the big, now let's focus in on the smallest of the small. Let's see what's inside that basic building block of matter: the atom. You probably know the basics, but with ever more powerful particle accelerators, physicists are revealing particles within particles, announcing new discoveries all the time.

Ep. 162: Edwin Hubble

You might know the name "Hubble" because of the Hubble Space Telescope. But this phenomenal observatory was named after one of the most influential astronomers in modern history. Hubble discovered that galaxies are speeding away from us in all directions, leading to our current understanding of an expanding Universe. Let's learn about the man behind the telescope.

Ep. 160: Eclipses

Every now and then, the Moon destroys the Sun. Okay, not destroys, covers. Well, not really covers, but from here on Earth, sitting inside the shadow of the Moon, that's what it sure looks like. These events are called eclipses, or more precisely, transits and occultations. Show More Summary

Ep. 158: Pulsars

Imagine an object with the mass of the Sun, crushed down to the size of Manhattan. Now set that object spinning hundreds of times a second, blasting out powerful beams of radiation like a lighthouse. That's a pulsar, one of the most exotic objects in the Universe.

Ep. 155: Dwarf Stars

We think we live near an average star, but that's not the case at all. Compared to most stars in the Universe, the Sun is a giant! Let's look at the small end of the stellar spectrum, to stars with a fraction of the size and mass of our own Sun. There are many ways that a star can get small, and they lead dramatically different lives and deaths.

Ep. 153: Dark Skies

If you live in a city, it's possible that you've never seen the Milky Way with your own eyes. To really appreciate everything the night skies have to offer, you've got to get out of the city, away from the lights, where the skies are really dark. Show More Summary

Ep. 150: Telescopes, the Next Level

We've explained how to get into astronomy and buy your first telescope. Now we're going to take things to the next level and get you drooling about bigger and better telescopes. If you're serious about astronomy, what kinds of telescopes will give you the best bang for big bucks?

Ep. 149: Constellation Program

It's been more than 40 years since humans first set foot on the Moon. But plans are in place to return humans to the surface of the Moon, and maybe even to asteroids and the planet Mars. New rockets, landers and flight technology are all under development. Show More Summary

Ep. 147: How to Be Taken Seriously By Scientists

For those non-scientists trying to get their original ideas accepted by the scientific community, you've got to have thick skin. It might seem like there's a vast conspiracy, or a general attitude that drives away original, but unorthodox ideas. Show More Summary

Ep. 145: Interstellar Travel

In science fiction it's easy to hop into your spaceship and blast off for other stars. But the true distances between stars, and the limits of relativity make interstellar travel almost impossible with our current technology. What would it really take to travel from star to star, exploring the galaxy?

Ep. 144: Space Elevators

If you want to travel into the Solar System, you have to get off the Earth. Traditionally, that meant blasting off in a rocket. But there's another strategy for escaping the Earth's gravity. Climb to the top of an extremely tall tower, and just jump away. Show More Summary

Ep. 143: Astrobiology

We know there's life in the Universe. We see it all around us here on Earth. But is there life anywhere else? By studying the extremes that life can take here on Earth, scientists are learning just how hardy and adaptable life can really be. Show More Summary

Questions Show: Avoiding the Heat Death, Orbiting Galaxies, and the Dangers of Space Radiation

Will robots be able to avoid the heat death of the Universe? Can galaxies orbit each other like binary stars? And what are the dangers of space radiation to astronauts on the Moon? If you've got a question for the Astronomy Cast team, please email it in to and we'll try to tackle it for a future show. Show More Summary

Ep. 141: Volcanoes, Hot and Cold

You're familiar with volcanoes, eruptive vents where hot magma escapes the Earth's interior – sometimes with disastrous effects. But did you know that volcanoes have shaped many of the planets and moons in the Solar System, not justShow More Summary

Questions Show: Galileoscope, Black Hole Time, and What Exactly is Energy?

How can you get a Galileoscope of your very own? What happens to time inside a black hole? And what exactly is energy anyway? If you've got a question for the Astronomy Cast team, please email it in to and we'll try to tackle it for a future show. Please include your location and a way to pronounce your name.

Ep. 140: Entanglement

One of the most amazing aspects of quantum mechanics is quantum entanglement. This is the strange behavior where particles can become entangled, so they're somehow connected to one another – no matter the distance between them. Interact with one particle and the other reacts instantly; even if they're separated by billions of light-years.

Ep. 179: Mysteries of the Universe, Part 2

Today we tackle more thrilling mysteries of the Universe. And by tackle, we mean, acknowledge their puzzling existence. Some mysteries will be solved shortly, others will likely trouble astronomers for centuries to come. Join us for part 2.

Questions Show: Telescope Suggestions, Black Hole Energy, and Universal Time

What starting telescope equipment does the Astronomy Cast team suggest? How much energy does a black hole generate? And how do we measure time outside the Earth? If you've got a question for the Astronomy Cast team, please email it in to and we'll try to tackle it for a future show. Please include your location and a way to pronounce your name.

Ep. 139: Energy Levels and Spectra

Last week we took a peek into the tiny world of quantum mechanics, and its unintuitive, but very accurate mathematical predictions. And although we all appreciate the physics lesson, you're probably wondering what this all has to do with astronomy. Show More Summary

Questions Show: Ice in Space, Expansion of the Universe, and Death from the Skies

Another week, another batch of questions. If ice disappears in your freezer, how can it last in space? How can the Universe be expanding faster than the speed of light? And what is the risk from a coronal mass ejection in an airplane? All this and even more questions. Show More Summary

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