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Thread: Suggestion thread for new shows

  1. #1
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    Suggestion thread for new shows

    Hi

    First of all let me say thank you for your amazing work on astronomycast.com I LOVE IT !!

    How about a thread where we can make suggestions for topics?

    I would love to hear a podcast about unified theories, things like string theory an other possible solutions.

    Thanks

    Teutatis

  2. #2
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    A thread for story ideas is a great idea. Keep 'em coming.

  3. #3
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    Comets as the origin of meteor showers and how we can predict meteor shower peaks would be topical in early November. Space garbage and how we can see the stuff we've left in orbit around our planet would be good. I've amazed many people by pointing out satellites while star-gazing. It's awesome that we can predict when the International Space Station goes overhead by looking at Heavens Above (http://www.heavens-above.com/). You can look up and say "There are people up there."

  4. #4
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    I would like to hear about GRB's: how they are made, what they tell us about the universe, etc.

  5. #5
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    Supernovae, I have heard so many different versions...

    Set it straight Astronomy Cast

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up

    Hello everybody!

    I have just registered and first of all I'd like to thank everybody taking part in astronomy podcast. Russia is listening to you!) I love it!

    Now about suggestions.. Well, I'm not very good at english so is it possible to post texts of podcasts on the web, please? You see, I have learned english for 10 years but still I can't understand some astronomy-specific words unless I know the spelling and can search the vocabulary for the meaning by myself. I hope I'm not the only one non-english listening to this great podcast so may be this should help someone else.

    P.S. If it is too complicated don't bother
    P.P.S. And sorry for my perhaps not perfect english..)

  7. #7
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    Magnetars

    I haven't been hearing much about Magnetars recently. An update on current theories and discoveries would be interesting.

  8. #8
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    So we are told that radio and visible light are the same phenomenon. Why does radio seem to go everywhere, filling all space, and light seems to travel in straight lines? If radio goes everywhere, how to radio telescopes form an image? Why do radio telescopes have to be soooo big? If radio telescopes can be so big, why aren't there optical telescopes that big? Why can light pass through the window glass, but not the wall, where radio goes through the wall as if it's transparent? Is there anything that can block radio?

  9. #9
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    If the Universe started out as an explosion from a point, why is it that light from when the Universe became transparent (the CMB) is still visible? Why wouldn't it have passed us by a long time ago? Doesn't that imply that we moved away from the starting point faster than light?

  10. #10
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    If the Universe was created Last Thursday, as i learned in Sunday School, and if nothing moves faster than light, how could we see galaxies that are millions of light years away? That light must have left those galaxies millions of years ago, which, i think, is more recently than Last Thursday, right?

  11. #11
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    What is the evidence and argument against the "tired light" hypothesis? The "tired light" hypothesis states that light from far away sources shifts to the lower energy longer wavelengths due the distance traveled, not the stretching of the fabric of the Universe since it started out. In particular, it allows a much smaller Universe, by not demanding that red shifted galaxies be as far away as their red shift indicates.

    While we're on the stretching of the Universe... a hundred years ago, two scientists showed by experiment that there was no detectable ether that is required for light to propagate. But now, we talk about the stretching of the Universe as if there's an ether. Does this new fabric of the Universe concept have a different definition than ether had? Or is the same old ether, but the events are instead explained by General Relativity? If the later, how?

    For extra credit, explain the Universe, and site three examples...

  12. #12
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    We've all heard that in 1998 it was announced that astronomers have evidence that the expansion of the Universe is accellerating. An unknown phenomenon, called dark energy has been proposed.

    If nothing moves faster than light, and that includes gravity, and if the farthest bits of the Universe that are detectable are so red shifted that they are approaching the speed of light relative to us, then could it be that there is simply less stuff in the Universe that can mutually attract? This idea is that we have the same kinetic energy of expansion from the Big Ban, but over time, less and less visible mass to pull it all back together. Or, would this effect work in reverse - since this mass is acting on us from all directions, would having less of it over time act to slow the expansion?

  13. #13
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    Nebulae. How does a "gas cloud" that does an extremely good job at imitating a vacuum, transmit sound, or collapse into a star with planets? When you see one of those Hubble Space Telescope images where, for example, the green is Oxygen 3, the red is Hydrogen alpha, and the blue is Sulpher 2, what, exactly can one infer from the colors? Can one figure out how much of these elements is present? Can one figure out which of the nearby stars illuminates the gas?

  14. #14
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    What are the light spikes in telescope images? Hubble images show this on bright stars, and SOHO images of comets on their way to The Sun often have these. Are they beams of light emitted by the objects? If so, why do all the spikes seem to be lined up with each other in any particular image? Why, when the same part of the sky is imaged, sometimes the spikes from one image are not lined up with the spikes from another image?

  15. #15
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    What is the evidence that we really landed on the moon? Why does anyone think this evidence is believeable? What is the evidence that we haven't landed on the moon? Why does anyone think this evidence is believeable?

    Why is it that the recent MRO mission to Mars can image a rover, and yet, we can't see the Apollo landers? Is it true that MRO can see smaller objects from orbit on Mars than can be seen from Earth orbit? So, beach babe bikini's can not be seen with KH11 orbiting spy telescopes?

  16. #16
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    OK, here's a dumb question.

    What's outside the universe?

    I've been hearing mutterings about multiverses over the last few years as well as parallel universes (for example, to explain the wave/particle duality). A few years ago these things were just Science Fiction, but somehow it seems that Sci Fi keeps on getting turned into reality.

    Seems to me that a multiverse makes sense for the simple reason that it is very improbable that our universe would have arbitrarly popped out of nothing ness with just the right constants to survive long enough for us to be around to see it. IMHO that implies either an infinate number of universes, some which succeed and some of with fail, or a God. Essentially, on the basis of Okham's Razor, it seems to me that a God is even more unlikely than the multiverse.

    So what's the current thinking, even if it is just speculation about multiverses and whats "outside" our universe. It seems like a fascinating subject to me. Is there enough to do a podcast on?

  17. #17
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    That's not a dumb question at all. What's beyond the universe was actually my first scientific question that my parents couldn't answer. I've always wondered what's there. I don't think that Occam's Razor can really be of any help in this case because the possibility of a multiverse or even a God seems to be just as complicated as the possibility of a single universe randomly forming out of close-to-nothingness.

  18. #18
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    Regarding your next show on SuperNovae, everytime someone talks about the beginning the final collapse of a really big star they always start by stating that once you get to Iron, all fusion becomes endothermic (i.e. heat using rather than generating). Since to my knowledge no one has ever got iron to fuse on earth, how exactly could anyone actually know this??? When you discuss Supernova I'd really appreciate it if you could just touch on 'how we know that fusion iron and above is endothermic'.. Thx, the show is great.
    Dave

  19. #19
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    Fraser and Dr Gay

    First let me say how much I've been enjoying the astronomy cast so far. As a new amateur astronomer all of your shows have been very informative. I find Dr Gays explanations clear and entertaining. I have particularly enjoyed the shows on the birth and death of stars and am looking forward to the next segment on supernovae.

    I thought it might be interesting to hear a little more about characteristics which are observable by binoculars and small telescopes and what they tell us about stars with small telescopes. ie. what does their apparent color tell us about them? (are all orange stars like betelguese red super giants?) Can we distinguish actual binary star systems from visual doubles. And what about variable stars, how to observe them and what makes them different from stable stars.

    Also of interest to me is planet watching, how to find them what can we expect to see with small and medium aperature telescopes and what in particular to be looking for in the next couple of years as far as oppositions and such.

    Thanks again,

    Larry W in Eugene

  20. #20
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    A few days ago in physics class we watched a really interesting video on string theory and they kept relating it all back to black holes--how nobody's sure whether to use the laws regarding gravitation because of the huge mass, or whether to use quasar physics because of it's miniscule volume. String Theory is based on the concept that Gravity, Electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces are really just subsets of one equation to life, the universe, and everything. Is there really any possibility to string theory, and if so, are black holes the key to unlocking the answer?
    It got me wondering more and more about black holes and how they really work, the idea that photons which don't actually have mass get sucked in, and a whole bunch of other stuff about black holes that I would have to understand before I could contemplate the String Theory.
    So I guess I'd just like to know more about black holes in general.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelM View Post
    I haven't been hearing much about Magnetars recently. An update on current theories and discoveries would be interesting.
    I'll second that.

  22. #22
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    I got her started now I can't get her to stop =)

    So I signed up for you pod cast to help keep my daughter interested in science. Now I'm getting all these "spacey" question that frankly I never thought of before

    I put this post in here, because if nothing else it might a good show idea. (and if some one happens to know the answer in language a truck driver and/or an 8 year-old can understand... even better) Don't worry if the answer is over our heads. We love trying to work it out... and if we can't... we cool our brains with a nice sundae (like with the relativity cast ) either way we all win.

    OK now for the the question. If there is nothing we know of that can escape a black hole, not even light, where does all the stuff go that "falls into" a black hole. AND could this be the a source for dark energy/matter?

    The answer I gave her was probably wrong and way off base. I know it didn't satisfy her . I guessed it would probably dissipate as some kind of radiation or heat or something... then I admitted.. heck I have no clue, but I it sounded good .

    BTW tell Dr. Gay that if this is a simple question, she is not allow to beat me over the head with a textbook!

    Love your show
    Brian and the brain (aka Megan)

  23. #23
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    Hi Brian. You can find your answers in the Q&A section of the forum with the Search feature. If you don't find anything that satisfies you, PM me and I will direct you to some answers.

  24. #24
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    More questions about supernovae; this "carbon flash" thing is not all that clear to me. Why does it blow rather than just starting to fuse C+C -> O? Why does this happen at the carbon stage and not, say, silicon? How do the larger stars avoid it and go on to do the full onion thing with iron in the middle?

  25. #25
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    cosmological natural selection?

    first of all, excellent podcast. Dr Gay, your ability connect astronomical and physical concepts to everyday experience is truly gifted. You should consider writing a book. speaking of books and concepts, Lee Smolin has mooted his theory of cosmological natural selection has a method of explaining the apparent fine tuning of the universe. That would provide material for a great podcast as would cosmology in general. thanks for archiving the old podcasts, i'll be listening to them all.

    ciao
    Kent N .

  26. #26
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    Show suggestion: Exobiology

    I'd be interested to hear some exobiology theory and speculation, especially what the most adventurous (yet scientifically grounded) researchers and theorists are thinking.

    Surely there must be ideas beyond the conventional notion that the only place life might be found is on rocky Earth-sized planets with Earth-like atmosphere, water content, and chemical composition, in an Earth-like orbit around a Sol-like star at a comfy Earthish distance with Earthly temperature, etc.

    Obviously such planets would be likely candidates for life, but with continual discovery of life's resilient, persistent, incredibly flexible nature in all sorts of environments and conditions, and evidence that it sprang forth on our own orb with instant unrestrainable vigour sooner than anyone had imagined, I personally wouldn't be surprised to find life forms thriving in the methane seas of Jupiter and Saturn's moons, liquid water be damned (not dammed). Or even swirling in electromagnetically coherent gas bodies in the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn themselves! Jupiter's Great Red Spot may be a thriving metropolis rather than a random storm that doesn't know when to quit!

    Another fascinating aspect of exobiology is the whole panspermia concept, with things like that freaky meteorite that landed in a frozen lake recently with embedded membrane-bound globules of organic molecules.

    It seems to me quite possible that life might turn out to be a readily emergent property of complex, dynamic systems of energy-matter interaction at many levels throughout the universe, but of such widely varying manifestation that we haven't yet recognized its ubiquity, at least within the traditonal scientific mainstream view.

    But even if that's just the mushrooms talking, I'm sure that you could still fill a podcast with fascinating mind-bending exobiology material, while staying within the bounds of reasonable scientific research, theory, & speculation.

  27. #27
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    New to astronomy

    Hello.

    Keep up the good work. I took a college course (intro 101) in astronomy and enjoyed it. I graduated 7 years ago and hadn't thought about it for a while. I stumbled onto the Astronomy Cast and have listened ever since.

    On to the question/suggestion. Being new to astronomy, it would be nice to hear a show about finding coordinates for celestial objects. Not only find the numbers but how to actually use them.

    Thanks.

  28. #28
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    How's about a Astronomy Cast on particles and the particle model?

    Been reading more about neutrinos, leptons, quarks, bosoms and all their counter part anti-whatevers... interesting stuff!!!

    How is it exactly that neutrinos can have anti-neutrinos if they have a neutral charge? What is meant by that?...

    Would love to learn more about that kinda stuff and anything related in general!

    BTW. You (Fraser) and Pamela are doing a fantastic job! Many Thanks!

    Best Regards
    ChromeStar

  29. #29
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    heres a good topic for a show.....and its pretty interesting....
    Where does Gravity Come from? Please someone tell me where gravity comes from! It is wrecking my health trying to figure this out !

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by suitti View Post
    So we are told that radio and visible light are the same phenomenon. Why does radio seem to go everywhere, filling all space, and light seems to travel in straight lines? If radio goes everywhere, how to radio telescopes form an image? Why do radio telescopes have to be soooo big? If radio telescopes can be so big, why aren't there optical telescopes that big? Why can light pass through the window glass, but not the wall, where radio goes through the wall as if it's transparent? Is there anything that can block radio?
    light and radio waves do not move differently.....a star radiates light in all directions the same way a radio antenna radiates radio waves in all directions.
    radio telescopy forms an image by translating the wavelengths of radio into visible wavelengths that we can see, just like night vision goggles. The reason light and radio waves both pass through the glass, but only the radio waves make it through your wall is because of the difference in wavelength. the longer waves make it interfere and deflect off of fewer particles in the wall, thus seemingly passing right through. the longer the frequency, the fewer types of (the same thickness of) matter that can block it. Think of driving through an underground tunnel...the radio waves are blocked.....that why the radio goes staticy in the tunnel.

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