Astrobites for your ears. Three grad students bring you cutting-edge research findings in astronomy and connect the dots between diverse subfields.
Episode 40: Space Summer Surprise
We’re back from vacation! We play 2 truths and a lie about what we did this summer and learn that the truth might be subjective. Alex brings a BBQ-themed Astrobite about the brightest galaxies, teaching us that “astronomical Hot DOG” is a state of being. Malena discusses how planets vacation to the outer solar system (spoiler: they never return home).
For this week’s space sound, we speak with the winner of the 2021 Sonification Competition, Misty Bentz. Listen to and view her winning sonification, Fantasy on Active Galaxies: https://astrosoundbites.com/2021/09/11/episode-40-space-summer-surprise/
Episode 39: Polarizing Protostars
Billions of years before Van Gogh put paint to canvas and immortalized them forever, the stars in the sky were nothing more than an intricate tangle of magnetic fields and swirling gas. Turn the clock back with us as we learn about the physics of these protostellar systems! Northwestern/CIERA postdoctoral associate Erin G. Cox teaches us about the polarization patterns of Class 0 and Class I systems, and Will gets all turbulated as he discovers how HII regions might drive star formation.
Credit: System Sounds (M. Russo & A. Santaguida) and NASA/CXC/SAO/K. Arcand
Episode 38: Keep Your Head in the Clouds
Tired of vacations being ruined by cloudy weather? Alex the travel agent can book your next trip to brown dwarf binary 1416B, where it’s always a balmy 2000 degrees and never cloudy. Or maybe a sojourn to a hot Jupiter is more your style? Malena the meteorologist has you covered with your 10-million year forecast: cloudy and lopsided.
In recognition of Juneteenth and the start of #BlackInAstro week, both papers featured in this episode were led by Black astronomers.
Read our new Astrobite about sonification: astrobites.org/2021/06/17/getting-started-in-sonification
Submit for the competition: astrosoundbites.com/sonification-competition-2021
Space sound: nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2021/Parker-Discovers-Natural-Radio-Emission-in-Venus-Atmosphere. (Credit: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio/Mark SubbaRao/Glyn Collinson)
Episode 37: How to Date a Star
In this episode, we discuss the varied methods used to determine stellar ages. Alex shares how planetary companions can slow the spin of twirling stars, Will compares the spectroscopic fingerprints of binary systems (thanks, Barium!), and Malena provides some peaceful pulsations to enjoy on your next afternoon walk.
Space sound: http://www.classicalmusicsentinel.com/KEEP/keep-talman.html
Credit: Jeff Talman and Daniel Huber
Episode 36: A Dance with Dark Matter
How can astronomers study something that nobody has ever seen? In this episode, we switch to the dark side to shine a light on one of the biggest questions in all of astrophysics: the nature of dark matter. Malena teaches us how dark matter helps galaxy clusters glow up, and Will takes a journey to the center of the Earth to find prehistoric prints from a big WIMP. Plus, Alex brings us our most romantic space sound yet.
Space sound: https://www.system-sounds.com/heartbeat-stars/
Credits: NASA/CXC/SAO/K.Arcand, SYSTEM Sounds (M. Russo, A. Santaguida)
Credit: SYSTEM Sounds (M. Russo & A. Santaguida). Data recorded by Kepler and accessed from MAST.
Episode 35: The Road Less Traveled
In this Beyond episode, we veer off the traditional path to a PhD with three interviews from early-career astronomers who did things a little bit differently.
Tim Holt shares his transitions from zoology to teacher and, finally, to astronomer. Ashley Walker describes how perseverance helped her to realize her dream as Chicago State University’s very first astrochemistry major. Natalia Guerrero paints a story of her journey leaving a graduate program, taking a leadership role on the TESS team, and reentering academia more inspired than ever.
Hear all about Tim’s research in Episode 15
Listen to Ashley discuss her research in Episode 16
Learn about Natalia’s research and art at https://www.nataliaguerreroart.com/
Space sound: youtu.be/t7rMtVctvag. Credits: NASA/CXC/SAO/K.Arcand, SYSTEM Sounds (M. Russo, A. Santaguida)
Geeky and wonderful
Easily digestible bits of knowledge around various astrophysical and cosmological topics. Fun to listen to and perfect length. I also really enjoy the hosts—a group of enthusiastic grad students who bring a lot of (sometimes eye-rolling) humor to their topics. Keep up the great work!