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Astronomy

Autumn Stargazing

Sep 30, 2019
Halfblue / Wikimedia Commons

A black hole was discovered to be shredding a star 375 million light-years away. 

This phenomenon, known as a tidal disruption, was captured by a series of Ohio State telescopes around the world. 

Tidal disruptions are rare, but even more so are the odds of capturing the trail of gas emissions across the sky, which were seen in the telescopes. 

Today on All Sides, autumn stargazing and exploring the night sky. 

Guests:

A computer-generated image of a black hole ripping up a star. The phenomenon was spotted by a NASA satellite and an Ohio State telescope network.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

A NASA satellite and a network of robotic telescopes at The Ohio State University gave astronomers a look at a black hole ripping up a star. 

NASA is highlighting the legacy of African American women who played a major role in the space race but are only recently getting widespread recognition.

This week, the space agency renamed the street in front of its headquarters Hidden Figures Way.

Hidden Figures is the name of a book and movie that celebrate the contributions of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Its author, Margot Lee Shetterly, was at the unveiling ceremony, along with members of the women's families.

NASA’s Glenn Research Center is playing a key role in the mission to take astronauts back to the moon and on to Mars, Administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a visit to Cleveland Monday.

“The moon is our proving ground for how do we live and work on another world, so that we can go to Mars,” Bridenstine said. “And the sooner we can prove that out on the moon, the sooner we can move on to Mars.”

The world is seeing the first-ever image of a black hole Wednesday, as an international team of researchers from the Event Horizon Telescope project released their look at the supermassive black hole at the center of galaxy Messier 87 (M87). The image shows a dark disc "outlined by emission from hot gas swirling around it under the influence of strong gravity near its event horizon," the consortium said.

"As an astrophysicist, this is a thrilling day for me," said National Science Foundation Director France A. Córdova.

Paul Sutter and Your Place in the Universe

Nov 30, 2018
NASA / Wikimedia Commons

What are we part of that is roughly 93 billion light years in diameter and expanding?

The universe. 

In his new book “Your Place in the Universe: Understanding Our Big, Messy Existence,” Ohio State astrophysicist Paul Sutter breaks down the vastness for earthlings. 

Today on All Sides, our place in the universe with Paul Sutter.

Perkins Observatory Director Tom Burns Retires

Jul 31, 2018
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Tom Burns ends his 25-year avocation as director of Ohio Wesleyan University Perkins Observatory, where he has volunteered countless hours over the decades through talks and programs on astronomy.

He also has been a great friend to 89.7 WOSU Public Media as a frequent guest on All Sides with Ann Fisher.

On the last day of his role as director at Perkins, Tom Burns shares his favorite memories and what’s exciting in the night sky. 

 

Guest:

More than 400 years after Galileo Galilei discovered the first of Jupiter's moons, astronomers have found a dozen more — including one they've dubbed "oddball" — orbiting the planet. That brings the total number of Jovian moons to 79.

John Glenn Astronomy Park / Facebook

An astronomy park and observatory named for astronaut John Glenn is opening Thursday in Hocking Hills State Park, amid the summer solstice. 

Proposed NASA Budget Threatens Flagship Project

Feb 28, 2018
Goddard Space Flight Center/Conceptual Image Lab / NASA

The Trump Administration's proposed NASA budget would prioritize manned space exploration, but would cut other major projects, such as the WFIRST space telescope. The project, which had three Ohio State professors on its lead research team, would be the most powerful space telescope ever built.

We'll take a look at the significance of the WFIRST program, how it might answer lingering questions about our Universe, and how NASA funds science and exploration. 

Winter Stargazing

Dec 28, 2017
Pexels

Grab your jacket, hat and gloves and head outside for a rare show! Coming up, find out which star constellations are most visible in clear winter night skies.  Also hear theories on the actual date of Christ's birth based on the stars. 

Astronomers have spotted some kind of outer space rock that's the first visitor from outside of our solar system that they've ever observed.

The discovery has set off a mad scramble to point telescopes at this fast-moving object to try to learn as much as possible before it zips out of sight.

Updated at 9:45 a.m. ET Tuesday

Interest in "Properties of Expanding Universes" is at an all-time high: Stephen Hawking's doctoral thesis of that name crashed Cambridge University's open-access repository on the first day the document was posted online.

For the first time, scientists have caught two neutron stars in the act of colliding, revealing that these strange smashups are the source of heavy elements such as gold and platinum.

After 13 years in orbit around Saturn, NASA's Cassini spacecraft is about to plunge itself into the planet's atmosphere and disintegrate. NASA decided to put an end to the mission on Friday because the probe is almost out of fuel.

Cassini has provided exquisite details about the second-largest planet in our solar system.

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