Astronomy

Exoplanet Discovery and Other Space Mysteries

Mar 17, 2017
An illistration of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system, which contains seven Earth-like planets.
R. Hurt, T. Pyle / NASA/JPL-Caltech

Today at 11am. 

NASA recently discovered seven Earth-like exoplanets orbiting a star 40 light years away from Earth. Any one of the planets could possibly harbor life, but the three outermost planets lying in the star's "habitable zone" have the most likely chance. Whether they do or don't, this discovery will give scientists insight about the conditions under which life is able to evolve. We'll talk about this discovery and other space news this hour with a panel of guests.

Exoplanet Discovery and Other Space Mysteries

Mar 2, 2017
An illistration of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system, which contains seven Earth-like planets.
R. Hurt, T. Pyle / NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA recently discovered seven Earth-like exoplanets orbiting a star 40 light years away from Earth. Any one of the planets could possibly harbor life, but the three outermost planets lying in the star's "habitable zone" have the most likely chance. Whether they do or don't, this discovery will give scientists insight about the conditions under which life is able to evolve. We'll talk about this discovery and other space news this hour with a panel of guests.

Guests:

A small, faint star relatively close by is home to seven Earth-size planets with conditions that could be right for liquid water and maybe even life.

The discovery sets a record for both the most Earth-size planets and the most potentially habitable planets ever discovered around a single star.

Foundation for Appalachian Ohio

An astronomy park dedicated to the late U.S. Senator and astronaut was in the making almost two years before his passing last December. Now, the site will serve as a tribute by inspiring future generations of night sky gazers and explorers.

Some physicists, mind you, not many of them, are physicist-poets.

They see the world or, more adequately, physical reality, as a lyrical narrative written in some hidden code that the human mind can decipher.

Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire that killed three astronauts during a routine test on the launchpad. The accident shocked NASA as the agency was rushing to meet President Kennedy's 1961 challenge to have men on the moon by the end of the decade.

The test was a dress rehearsal for the Apollo 1 crew — Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. The ultimate goal was to check out the command module, NASA's first three-man spacecraft that would take astronauts to the moon.

Unexplained, short radio bursts from outer space have puzzled scientists since they were first detected nearly a decade ago.

The elusive flashes — known as fast radio bursts, or FRBs — are extremely powerful and last only a few milliseconds. The way their frequencies are dispersed suggests they traveled from far outside our galaxy. About 18 have been detected to date. They've been called the "most perplexing mystery in astronomy."

People think of black holes as nightmare vacuum cleaners, sucking in everything in reach, from light to stars to Matthew McConaughey in the movie Interstellar. But, in real life, black holes don't consume everything that they draw in.

The 24 juniors and seniors in the astronomy class at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Va., sink into plush red theater seats. They're in a big half-circle around what looks like a giant telescope with a globe on the end. Their teacher, Lee Ann Hennig, stands at a wooden control panel that has enough buttons and dials to launch a rocket.

Terrorist attacks, hurricanes, a divisive U.S. election, Brexit — 2016 has not been easy. With the year coming to an end, we thought it was time to get some serious perspective — from the scale of the entire universe.

We're tackling big questions: what scientists know, and what they have yet to learn.

So before you ring in another year, take a moment to contemplate the billions of years that led to 2017 and the billions more yet to come.

On Feb. 20, 1962, John Glenn blasted off into space and became the first American to orbit Earth. Behind the scenes, thousands of engineers and mathematicians worked tirelessly to make NASA's Friendship 7 mission a success. Historical photos show them as white men in crisp white shirts and ties — but we now know there's more to that picture.

Summer Stargazing

Jun 30, 2016
Pexels

The warm summer nights make ideal stargazing conditions to explore the wonders of the galaxy. This hour, we'll discuss what there is to see in the night sky this time of year and recent astronomical news.   

Exploring the Night Sky

Apr 12, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

From unknown supermassive black hole discoveries to the new evidence that two million years ago supernova debris showered Earth — there is no shortage of exciting astronomical news. This hour, we'll talk explore the latest findings and ways to enjoy the night sky this spring.

Backyard Astronomy and Stargazing

Oct 20, 2015
Halfblue / Wikimedia Commons

Whether you're a professional or a do-it-yourselfer, fall is the best time to be an astronomer. With water on Mars, meteor showers in November, and a supermoon in October, now is a great time to explore the night sky. Join us this hour for more information about stargazing and how to be a better astronomer. 

Stargazing in the Spring

Apr 14, 2015
Palomar Observatory Sky Survey / NASA, ESA and AURA/Caltech

Every spring brings changes: trees blooming, birds chirping--and stars and planets shifting place in the night sky as the Earth moves in its orbit. Join us this hour for information about stargazing and exciting opportunities to see Venus, Jupiter, and more.

Your Guide to the Night Sky

Oct 21, 2014

11:00

It’s been a big week for astronomy here in central Ohio! Those who were up at the wee hours may have caught the peak of a meteor shower.  And soon the new moon will block out most of the sunset in a partial solar eclipse. As the autumn sky cools, stargazing heats up.  We'll talk about the best ways to enjoy the night sky this season.

Guest

TEDx Columbus: Out There

Oct 3, 2013

11:00 Many NPR listeners are familiar with the TED Radio Hour, which features talks with innovators from across disciplines. This hour we'll talk to TED's national host, and the founder of TEDx Columbus, Cap City's local TED spinoff, about their upcoming conference.  We'll also hear from two featured speakers who will share the latest ideas in their fields. Guests

11:00 Explore everything about star gazing and the winter night sky this hour on All Sides. Join us to talk about that and much more with true astronomy expert Tom Burns. Guest

10:00 Are you intrigued by the night sky? Do you find stars fascinating and spend time gazing at stars at night? Join us on this hour of "All Sides" as we talk about stars. Guest

  • Tom Burns (Director, Ohio Wesleyan University's Perkins Observatory)

Pledge Package Tom Burns Backyard Astronomy Pledge Options:

10:00 Are you intrigued by the night sky? What's your favorite constellation? In this hour of "All Sides," we'll be talking about the stars. Guest

  • Tom Burns (Director, Ohio Wesleyan University’s Perkins Observatory)

Event Four Family Four Passes to Perkins Observatory

Tom Burns: Exploring the Night Sky

Jun 8, 2011

Learn how to explore the night’s sky this hour with a true astronomy expert. What summer stars will you come by during these clear, warm nights? Guest

Tom Burns: Stars and Planets

May 5, 2011

Learn how to explore the night's sky this hour with a true astronomy expert. Guest

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An Interview With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Mar 10, 2011

Astrophysicist and NOVA ScienceNOW host Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about the newest discoveries in science and technology that allow us to explore different spaces and even different worlds. Neil deGrasse Tyson (born October 5, 1958) is an American astrophysicist, science communicator, the Frederick P.

Ohio Wesleyan University Perkins Observatory director Tom Burns teaches us some backyard astronomy.

Space Exploration

Nov 15, 2010

The achievements of NASA astronauts from Project Mercury, the Apollo lunar landings, to the Space Shuttle Program, with The Ohio State University physics and astronomy professor Terrence Walker and Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle physics postdoctoral fellow Michael Stamatikos.

The Summer Solstice

Jun 24, 2010

Backyard astronomer and Perkins Observatory director Tom Burns explains the summer solstice.

Backyard Astronomy with Tom Burns

Dec 30, 2009

As we contemplate the end of one year and the beginning of the next, learn how to do some astronomy in your own backyard, with Perkins Observatory Director Tom Burns.