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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09
NOV
2018

Looking Up - 09 November 2018

How many planets are there in our solar system and what is the mysterious Planet 9, and The Goblin? There remain many mysteries still in our own astronomical back yard.
02
NOV
2018

Looking Up - 02 November 2018

The Kepler Space Telescope has come to the end of its working life. Kechil gives a round-up of its achievements in looking for planets around distant stars, and reminds us it's not long since we didn't know for sure that there were any other planets in the universe.
26
OCT
2018

Looking Up - 26 October 2018

Don't get hit by an asteroid from outer space! You may be glad to know that Prof. John Tonry and Larry Denneau from the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy are looking out for you. They'll be mounting a telescope in South Africa as part of their project. The ATLAS programme (Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System) surveys the area in the solar system around Earth as an early warning system in case anything threatens our existence. It's highly unlikely that they will find a NEO (Near-Earth Object) but you never know, and then it's up to Tom Cruise to save the day! Or some other method we haven't tested yet to nudge the rock out the way.
19
OCT
2018

Looking Up - 19 October 2018

How do you enjoy astronomy? Kechil Kirkham and Wendy Vermeulen, after watching a thrilling show at The Planetarium, chat about how the public can get involved. In particular there is International Observe the Moon Night at the V&A Waterfront on 20th October, Open Nights at the Observatory on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month (www.saao.ac.za), and of course you are welcome to join the astronomy society by emailing capecentre@gmail.com or come along on the 2nd Wednesday of each month to the Auditorium at the Observatory.
12
OCT
2018

Looking Up - 12 October 2018

Drama in Space!
The failure of the Soyuz capsule as it aborted its mission on Thursday has ramifications for the International Space Station. Fortunately the two astronauts on board the Soyuz launch returned to Earth safely, if a little uncomfortably, but now there are 3 astronauts on board the ageing ISS and no resupply mission as planned. NASA and Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, will have to mak 'n plan!
05
OCT
2018

Looking Up - 05 October 2018

Local telescope MEERKAT to join the search for signs of extraterrestrial technology. Breakthrough Listen is a project run by SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, and SARAO, the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory. Its work will be given a major boost by the powerful MEERKAT telescope. But will they find anything?
28
SEP
2018

Looking Up - 28 September 2018

The life of an astronomer: what do astronomers actually do all day, or all night? Listen to an interview with student Julia Healy, who is performing research (live, on Fine Music Radio!) for her PhD at the University of Cape Town and the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. This recording was taken in Cape Town on the day of broadcast, 28 September, at 9am, after Julia had been observing since 3am. So astronomers do sometimes observe at night, but no longer with eye at an eyepiece, as you will hear.
21
SEP
2018

Looking Up - 21 September 2018

Here it from the top: Kechil interviews the director of Astronomy at the Department of Science and Technology, Takalani Nemaungani. He describes something of his portfolio and what the Dept S&T does with its budget - which is phenomenal. This is a golden age for astronomy and South Africa is at the centre of it all, with the largest telescopes in the world, big data centres in the making, and great success stories.
14
SEP
2018

Looking Up - 14 September 2018

From time to time star-gazers, astronomy enthusiasts and astrophotographers get together in a remote, dark place for a Star Party. These happen all over the world, including in South Africa. Kechil is joined here in Leeuwenboschfontein by John Richards with his telescope, describing the heavenly treasures that were briefly visible before the snow clouds came over. You will hear the sounds in the background of people setting up their telescopes and discussing the night's observing.

If you'd like to know more, take a look at https://southernstarparty.org/
Southern Star Party
07
SEP
2018

Looking Up - 07 September 2018

Kechil visited the Royal Astronomical Society in London recently and spoke to Morgan Hollis about the organisation and its long history, plus its funding of an Astronomical Data exhibition in South Africa, to be developed here in Cape Town.
31
AUG
2018

Looking Up - 31 August 2018

Dr Daniel Cunnama is the Science Engagement officer at the South African Astronomical Observatory and here tells us about his role and aspirations to involve the public - that's YOU - in the wonders of astronomy.
24
AUG
2018

Looking Up - 24 August 2018

Cosmic numbers are astronomical. How do we deal with this big data? Professor Michelle Cluver talks about the Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy and how it will tackle the big data problems right here in Cape Town.

127 episodes

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