Looking Up

FINE MUSIC RADIO  |  Podcast , ±5 min episodes every 1 week  |  Broadcast schedule  | 
Five minutes at the end of each week explores the big and the small questions in astronomy, cosmology, and space science. Hosted by Kechil Kirkham, no subject is too big or too small, and experts are regularly brought on board to illuminate and excite. Cape Town is the place to be for astronomy, with some of the largest telescopes in the world housed or being built not too far away. Looking Up takes advantage of the shoals of scientists and engineers working on the planet’s most advanced astronomy projects, who live and work right here in the Mother City. Kechil has recently acquired an MPhil in Space Studies at the University of Cape Town, and works in South Africa’s space industry on the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope.

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Looking up - 26 Nov

Invisibility: could it be made a reality? Well not unless you want to be turned into a gas and cooled down to absolute zero. But recent experiments have inched towards this, and could solve problems of information leakage in quantum computers

Looking up - 19 Nov

Who was Vera C Rubin and why does she have a major telescope named after her? Here to tell us is the author of a recent biography of this important astronomer, Jacqueline Mitton. She herself is an astronomer from Cambridge, UK and her book is available from loot and is called Vera Rubin: A life by Jacqueline Mitton and Simon Mitton. It is published by Belknap Press, an imprint of Harvard University Press, ISBN 9780674919198

She is giving a talk via zoom at the local astronomy society on 24th November at 19:30 which you are welcome to join. Here are the joining instructions:
Meeting ID: 896 4578 5875
Passcode: 006588

Looking up - 12 Nov

One of the delights of living in this part of the world is the Karoo night skies. Enjoy them at their best by visiting the Leeuwenboschfontein Observatory and you can find details of where it is and when the observatory is open to the public on https://www.leeuwenboschfontein.co.za/pages/lbf-astronomical-observatory/

Looking up - 29 Oct

The Sky Guide Africa South 2022 is now available at bookshops. Published by Struik Nature it is a terrific little book for anyone wishing to know what's up.
It's conference season, but many of the usual conference goers are staying at home, and it's not just because of covid. Sending things into the atmosphere is bad.

Looking up - 15 Oct

The European and Japanese space agencies have sent craft Bepicolombo to investigate Mercury, and after 3 years it's arrived. Kechil describes something of this interesting mission. Also, fun in space! Star Trek's Captain Kirk has finally actually gone into space, plus the Russians are making a film aboard the International Space Station.

Looking up - 08 Oct

NASA is to soon launch a new mission called Lucy to examine the Trojan asteroids which circle around Jupiter. It's a 12-year mission, and will find out about the formation of the outer planets, amongst other things we don't know about yet.

Looking up - 01 Oct

Dr Sudanshu Barway, formerly of the South African Astronomical Observatory and now at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, talks about an extraordinary observation of 3 merging galaxies each with supermassive black holes. These will eventually collide, but thankfully not for a very long time.

Looking up - 24 Sept

A new gravitational wave detector has observed a couple of wobbles. Is this some new exotic phenomenon in deep space or is it something going on in the instrument? We don't know. Even if we could discount discrepancies inside the detector we still wouldn't know for sure! Mysteries abound.

Looking up - 17 Sept

What is SpaceX up to now? Well at this moment a crew of 4 is hurtling around planet Earth to raise money for a children's hospital, among other things. And they are all wearing SpaceX spacesuits. I want one!

Looking up - 10 Sept

Following our series of controversial topics in space, Kechil now faces extra-terrestrial mining. Coming soon at an asteroid near you!

Looking up - 03 Sept

Advertising in space! Continuing with the theme of controversial projects in space, Kechil interviews Dr Francois Malan about one particular project. Don't worry, you aren't going to be looking up into the night skies above Cape Town and seeing flashing lights.

269 episodes

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