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Meet Pillownaut Heather Archuletta

Walkabout the Galaxy

Release Date: 01/13/2021

You Can't Be Darth Serious show art You Can't Be Darth Serious

Walkabout the Galaxy

We explain the polarization of light in the context of the image of the black hole event horizon in M87 and take a new look at the interstellar object Oumuamua and what may have powered its peculiar motion through our solar system. Was it the dark side of the force? Tune in for a Dark Side themed episode to find out.

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The Fifth Element show art The Fifth Element

Walkabout the Galaxy

A supermassive black hole seems to be going on a walkabout its own galaxy, and dust from Mars (or its moons) seems to be going on a walkabout the solar system. We explain how that's possible and how we know about it on this episode which features space news updates and an elemental and historical trivia question.

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Space The Final Frontier show art Space The Final Frontier

Walkabout the Galaxy

If space is the final frontier, where does it begin? That deceptively simple question is one of many topics the Astroquarks ponder in this episode, as well as unusual supernovae, and planets that recycle their atmospheres. There's some other completely random and inappropriate trivia, and some nerd news ranting. In other words, your typical Walkabout the Galaxy.

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Warp Drive! show art Warp Drive!

Walkabout the Galaxy

The astroquarks explain the physics behind Warp Drive and a new solution to Einstein's general theory of relativity. Closer to home, the Moon showers the Earth with sodium atoms, and ancient comets may have provided the carbon necessary for life. Plus, we have a brain-twisting math trivia that unites economics and cosmology. Only on Walkabout the Galaxy.

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Deep Dive Into a Globular Cluster show art Deep Dive Into a Globular Cluster

Walkabout the Galaxy

The search for the elusive intermediate mass black hole (hundreds to thousands of times the mass of the Sun) has instead turned up a cluster of black holes within a cluster of stars. Just a few thousand light years from home, globular cluster NGC 6397 has a swarm of black holes at its core. Hear how astrophysical sleuths figured this out as well as catch up on space news, elemental trivia, and musings on vacation destinations with your friendly neighborhood astroquarks.

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If a Spacecraft Lands on an Empty Planet, Does it Make a Sound? show art If a Spacecraft Lands on an Empty Planet, Does it Make a Sound?

Walkabout the Galaxy

NASA's Perseverance rover successfully touched down on Mars last week, capping a perfect set of three arrivals at the red planet. Dr. David Brain joins us to tell us about the plans for one of those missions, and how it will help us unravel Mars' complicated climate history. Plus, we have a series of Mars trivia questions and a look at what the future holds for Mars exploration.

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Hairy Black Holes show art Hairy Black Holes

Walkabout the Galaxy

The astroquarks debate the relative merits of hair and baldness in the grand context of black holes and the ultimate question of the nature of information in the universe. Not bad for a cheeky title! We also take a look at some ancient craters on the Earth, and the Ham Sandwich Theorem, among others.

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The Surprising Science of Space Dirt show art The Surprising Science of Space Dirt

Walkabout the Galaxy

Dr. Zoe Landsman rejoins the Astroquarks to explain how creating simulated regolith or dirt helps scientists and engineers prepare for missions to the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and Phobos. We also take a look back in time on planet Earth to a continental growth spurt 3 billion years ago. 

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Perseverance, Cache Me While You Can! show art Perseverance, Cache Me While You Can!

Walkabout the Galaxy

Three missions, including two rovers, are arriving at Mars this month. We preview some of the unique aspects of the Mars Perseverance rover, and we explore the curious case of a giant galaxy with, apparently, no central black hole. Hear how merging black holes might use gravitational waves to shoot across the cosmos, plus a poetic sponsor, and the word Scutum is said way too many times.

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The Dark and Distant Rumbles of Spacetime show art The Dark and Distant Rumbles of Spacetime

Walkabout the Galaxy

We go deep on this episode of Walkabout, with new analysis of the lakes on Titan showing the largest may be more than 300 meters deep. In deep space, the long, low rumble of spacetime from interactions of supermassive black holes may have revealed itself in subtle changes in the timing of pulsars. Check it all out, plus find out just how long two shakes of lamb's tail really is. We've got the whole universe covered.

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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.