Looking Up

FINE MUSIC RADIO  |  Podcast , ±5 min episodes every 1 week, 1 day  |  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 - 15 March 2019

Professor Matthew Bershady is bothered once again by Kechil with questions about what the universe is made of. So much of it is undetectable by our instruments, yet we have to use our intelligence and knowledge of the laws of physics to infer what's going on.

Looking up - 08 March 2019

What is the universe made of? Well about a quarter of the matter of the universe, we think, is matter we can't detect with any of our instruments today. It has mass but is invisible. Prof Matthew Bershady of the Universities of Cape Town and Wisconsin tries to explain Dark Matter and how we use hydrogen gas in galaxies to infer its existence. This is one of the big puzzles astronomers are grappling with today.

Looking up - 22 February 2019

Professor Paul Groot talks to Kechil about the mysteries of Gamma Ray Bursts, what are they and something about the history of their detection and his involvement in that history. You may find out something new about black holes.

Looking up - 15 February 2019

Things that go bang in the night - Astronomer Professor Paul Groot talks again to Kechil about exotic stars and black holes that orbit around each other. The universe is a fascinating place.

Looking up - 08 February 2019

As humans we have several senses with which to make sense of our environment. In Astronomy it's the same: we use different instruments to find out more about the same object or phenomenon, and this is called multiwavelength astronomy. It's all the rage now, and to tell us more about it is Professor Paul Groot from the Universities of Cape Town and Radboud in The Netherlands.

Looking up - 01 February 2019

I feel sorry for the dinosaurs. It seems that Saturn's rings were only created during the time they stomped and flew about the Earth, some 10-100 million years ago. Latest data analysis from the Cassini mission proves this to be the case.

Looking up - 18 January 2019

There are many new large funky telescopes coming online at the moment and one of them is the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope in Chile. This is like a giant sophisticated camera taking thousands of pictures of the night sky each night. The really interesting thing is what it's looking at. Jeff Kantor who has been working on this project for many years talks to Kechil about this new telescope and one of the things its designed to detect. Astonishingly, it will look 13 billion years into the past.

Looking Up - Kechil Kirkham

Up to the minute updates on two missions: Ultima Thule (23 March 2018 podcast) and the Chinese lunar Chang'e-4 mission which has just landed (25 May 2018 podcast).

Looking Up - 21 December 2018

Galaxies are not arranged in a nice grid formation in the sky, nor are they random. Galaxies form part of very large-scale structures or clusters, and some of these clusters are pretty massive. At least two known superstructures lie in the zone of avoidance, where it's difficult to see as the Milky Way obscures the background galaxies. Professor Renee Kraan-Kortweg of the University of Cape Town talks about the Great Attractor and the Vela Supercluster, solving puzzles about how galaxies are moving in space.

132 episodes

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