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 - 26 June 2020

Astronomical discoveries continue. Two recent stories here: a new type of object has been discovered - a grey hole? Plus a beautiful new X-ray image of the universe. If you want a look try this website: http://www.sci-news.com/astronomy/erosita-x-ray-universe-08555.html

Looking up - 19 June 2020

A host of telescopes and astronomers, including importantly, SALT up in Sutherland, have contributed a little more to our understanding of how a particular class of neutron stars go about their business of sucking the living daylights out of their companion stars. Here Dr David Buckley, and astronomer at the South African Astronomical Observatory here in Cape Town, describes recent observations.

Looking up - 12 June 2020

Scientists are continuing with their strange experiments, trying to understand our weird universe. Here Kechil mentions a couple of recent experiments with entanglement and quantum states, one taking place on the International Space Station.

Looking up - 05 June 2020

I'll give you seconds after the start so you have a decent idea where the cuts should be made.

Erase after she says "nice and hot and sunny now" (0:47) until I say "now tell us about this project"
Erase after she says "that was supposed to be in 2020" (2:29) to (2:41) when she says "the idea was to have"
Erase after I say "in this current situation" (3:30) to when she says "well it was actually an idea of .." (4:03)

If this isn't enough please let me know and I'll give you some more you can erase.

Looking up - 29 May 2020

Let us not worry about the South Atlantic Anomaly, but it's true that the Earth's magnetic field is weakening and that this gigantic area of low magnetic activity between Africa and South America may be splitting into two. What the implications are for us mere mortals is unclear, but nothing will happen very quickly.

Looking up - 22 May 2020

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the Music of the Spheres, well there's more music to be had in space. Recently astroseismologists have started understanding two types of special star - Delta Scuti stars, which pulsate in complex ways. Modelling the behaviour of these types of stars helps to unravel their mysteries.

Looking up - 15 May 2020

There's plenty going on in the space industry. China is testing its new rocket which will be used to construct its third crewed space station. The UAE is building a Mars orbiter, and Space-X is testing rockets and components to service and take astronauts the International Space Station. If you have a spare $500M you too can be part of the thrill of space travel as Virgin Galactic is being partly sold off to provide funds for other ailing tourist businesses

Looking up - 08 May 2020

Many people of science through the ages have tried to come up with a general theory of everything. In ancient times it was thought that a creator would have made everything according to common laws and patters. The Harmony of the Spheres is a term you may have heard of, as many musicians have borrowed this term for their compositions, but you may not have known where it came from. This brief show will reveal the connection.

Looking up - 01 May 2020

Not all satellites get in the way of astronomy. Some are in fact telescopes themselves, pointing outwards towards the heavens, taking images right up until the dawn of light. The Hubble Space Telescope turned 30 this last week, and earlier this year the Spitzer Space Telescope was decommissioned. What happens to space telescopes when they are no longer functioning?

Looking up - 24 April 2020

Last Wednesday a further 60 satellites were launched as part of SpaceX's Starlink project. Eventually many thousands of these small satellites will ring the Earth, providing Internet access to almost the entire globe. This is however problematic, as they interfere with astronomy given their light pollution. Willie Koorts shows us how to image the 'String of Pearls' in his youtube videos which you can find on https://www.youtube.com/user/SterremanWillie/videos.

Looking up - 17 April 2020

How is the current pandemic affecting astronomers and space missions? Are astronomers still able to work? How are the astronomical establishments responding to the crisis? Are rockets being launched into space? Fear not, this is not about the C-word and mentions no graphs or statistics, but describes how the scientists and engineers are affected - or not.

198 episodes

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