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Meet Pillownaut Heather Archuletta

Walkabout the Galaxy

Release Date: 01/13/2021

Two Odd Balls: Charon and Arrokoth show art Two Odd Balls: Charon and Arrokoth

Walkabout the Galaxy

Journey with us to the far reaches of the outer solar system where we take a closer look at two small objects explored by New Horizons: Pluto's moon Charon and the Kuiper Belt Object Arrokoth. Charon's atmosphere goes through dramatic seasonal pulses that may explain its odd, reddish polar cap, while Arrokoth has the density of a fluffy snowbank 30 km long. There's some crazy stuff out there.

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Noxious Fumes from Stars and Moons show art Noxious Fumes from Stars and Moons

Walkabout the Galaxy

What does Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io have in common with one of the largest stars in the galaxy? Both are belching sulfur compounds, though for very different reasons. We learn about sulfuric outgassing on Io and the incredible hypergiant star VY Canis Majoris and its huge stellar eruptions. Plus, the European Space Agency is building a probe to hideout in space hoping to catch a passing rogue or long period comet. Join us for all that, plus space news and trivia.

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The Galactic Gamma Ray Background from Pulsars show art The Galactic Gamma Ray Background from Pulsars

Walkabout the Galaxy

Pulsars are becoming the astrophysical version of big collisions for planetary scientists: they are explaining, perhaps, more and more things. Tune into this episode, where we welcome back Adam LaMee, to discuss the origin of a diffuse gamma ray glow from galactic central park as possibly due to a large population of pulsars. Also, don't forget the trivia and fake sponsors!

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Space Haboobs and Martian Haboobs show art Space Haboobs and Martian Haboobs

Walkabout the Galaxy

The astroquarks talk haboobs. Unfortunately Jim is not with us to giggle, but Dr. Katariina Nykyri joins Strange and Charm to explain space weather and magnetospheric slingshots, and the Perseverance rover provides new insights into the generation of those famous Martian dust storms. Or haboobs.

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Yes MegaCon There IS a Black Hole show art Yes MegaCon There IS a Black Hole

Walkabout the Galaxy

Live from MegaCon 2022 in Orlando, we team up with space reporter Brendan Byrne to discuss the image of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, great discoveries in store with JWST, and the Mars Insight lander going out with a quake, if not a bang.

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Lunar Plants and Micronovae show art Lunar Plants and Micronovae

Walkabout the Galaxy

A new type of nova has been confirmed. One million times fainter than a nova, these thermonuclear runaway explosions are confined to the polar regions of white dwarf stellar embers. Closer to home, researchers at the University of Florida have grown plants in lunar soil returned from the Apollo missions. Supply your own fertilizer. We have astro-historical-etymological trivia and sponsor message. 

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Gravitational Redshift and Sci-Fi Body and Time Shifts show art Gravitational Redshift and Sci-Fi Body and Time Shifts

Walkabout the Galaxy

Light gets redder as it climbs out of gravitational holes, and a star near the black hole at the center of the Milky Way conveniently demonstrates this beautifully. Join us for a discussion of gravitational redshift, a sci-fi discussion of time travel and body shifting, and a bit of Messier trivia.

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Mapping the Early Universe in HD show art Mapping the Early Universe in HD

Walkabout the Galaxy

As Top Quark likes to say, "You wouldn't understand: it's an early universe thing". That's why he's so excited that there's a new window into the goings on at the dawn of time by using HD. No, not high definition displays, but Hydrogen Deuteride! Oh boy, do we have fun with Deuteride on this episode. We also take a look at the crazy shuffling of planets in our own solar system, and much more.

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Planetary Decadal Survey with Almost no Uranus Jokes show art Planetary Decadal Survey with Almost no Uranus Jokes

Walkabout the Galaxy

Science marches onward, and the next steps in planetary science aim towards the seventh planet from the Sun, which shall not be named, and Saturn's little moon with a big ocean, Enceladus. Join us for a review of the new directions for planetary science research in the next decade, space news, and Uranus trivia.

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The Cosmic Significance of Tiny Things show art The Cosmic Significance of Tiny Things

Walkabout the Galaxy

Tiny fragments of the dinosaur-killing asteroid may have been found, preserved in amber, and new analysis of old data reveals a tiny, but potentially profound error in the mass of one of the fundamental particles, the W boson. It's not all small, as we also take a look at the largest comet nucleus and the most powerful laser.

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More Episodes

We welcome special guest Heather Archuletta, a NASA pillownaut, who tells us what it's like to spend weeks simulating space travel in a slightly inverted bed. While time may have seemed to slow down last year, the Earth has actually been speeding up a bit. We'll explain it all, along with news from our neighboring star, sleep trivia, and nerd news as we kick off the third annual Year of the Astroquarks.