Looking Up

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.
Weekly English South Africa Places & Travel
363 Episodes
1 – 20

Looking Up - 29 Nov 23 - Professor John Compton talks to Kechil about his latest book

Professor John Compton talks to Kechil about his latest book: Interpreting Earth, A History of Geology through Encounters with Table Mountain. It is full of the history of astronomy and geological exploration in The Cape, and contains many lovely illustrations. It is obtainable by visiting the website https://www.johnscompton.com/ and from…
29 Nov 5 min

Looking Up - 22 Nov 23 - The worthy and wonderful Sky Guide Southern Africa 2024

The worthy and wonderful Sky Guide Southern Africa 2024 is now available in bookshops. You can see a review here: https://assa.saao.ac.za/ and if you scroll down a bit, on the facebook site here: https://www.facebook.com/Astrosocsa. How to buy it, you can find here: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.co.za/book/sky-guide-2024/9781775848677 Also, something about SpaceX's Starship test flight…
22 Nov 4 min

Looking Up - 18 Oct 23 - Kechil interviews director Dane Dodds

There is a new documentary film doing its rounds on the festival circuit called !Aitsa about the people and the place where the big radio telescopes are being operated and built in the northern cape. Kechil interviews the director, Dane Dodds, who is from that area himself, about the film…
18 Oct 4 min

Looking Up - 11 Oct 23 - Migratory bird vagrancy

Migratory bird vagrancy is not a phrase you may ponder often, but it happens, and especially during solar storms which disrupt the Earth's magnetosphere. What else does space weather get up to?
11 Oct 4 min

Looking Up - 4 Oct 23 - Sounds in space!

Sounds in space! The Perseverance Mars rover is the only one to record human audible sounds and return it back to Earth. It looks like in future we may send microphones on other space missions. Odd to think of other planets and moons sounding very different to Earth.
4 Oct 4 min

Looking Up - 13 Sept 23 - What is a Silent Barker?

What is a Silent Barker? Good pub quiz question. It's a special space mission designed to keep an eye on the behaviour of satellites not belonging to the United States, in geosynchronous orbit. Silent Barker was launched last Sunday, Kechil gives us the lowdown.
13 Sep 4 min

Looking Up - 02 Aug 23 - You too can be a scientist

You too can be a scientist and help discover new exploding stars! Follow this link: https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/alex-andersson/bursts-from-space-meerkat It's not difficult, there are just some things computers don't do well at, and one of them is recognising patterns in pictures. Alex Andersson explains all in today's show.
2 Aug 5 min

Looking Up - 05 July 23 - cfah.org.za is the website about Heritage Moons

cfah.org.za is the website about Heritage Moons, detailing moons which are appropriate for the southern hemisphere. The Ariane-5 rocket is launching for the last time tonight, hopefully. This is a true workhorse and has launched into space 116 times since 1996. Do you know what Mars Dune Alpha is? Kechil…
5 Jul 4 min
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