Episode 8: The Physics of Astronomy, with Marten Van Kerkwijk

For more info on the podcast, please see our About page.

Feature Guest: Marten Van Kerkwijk

Our guest today is Professor Marten Van Kerkwijk who joins The Star Spot to discuss the physics of astronomy. With host Justin Trottier, the two focus on the intersection of astronomy and physics, how astronomical discoveries inform our understanding of physics, and how physical theories help explain and direct astronomical research. Within this topic, Dr. Kerkwijk shares his unique insights into a whole host of objects like transients, white dwarfs, magnetars, neutron stars, supernovae and even a bit on dark matter.

In Current in Space we cover the ongoing travels of Voyager, the first human-made object poised to cross into interstellar space. We describe the Geoflow series, designed to use experiments aboard the International Space Station to study events far of in the core of the Earth. Finally in our new Entertainment section, host Justin Trottier provides his review of Ridley Scott’s science fiction summer blockbuster Prometheus.

About our guest: Dr. Marten Van Kerkwijk obtained his Masters and PhD from the University of Amsterdam. He worked as a Hubble Fellow at Caltech, then a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Cambridge, before joining the faculty of the University of Toronto in 2003. He was part of a team that discovered a solar system consisting of the smallest body to orbit a star at the furthest distance. He’s been interviewed by several Canadian TV networks on a broad array of astronomy topics.

Links

Marten Van Kerkwijk’s Homepage

Massive planet spotted around Sun-like star

First Directly Imaged Planet Confirmed Orbiting Sun-Like Star 

Venus comes to Varsity

If you have interesting news and story ideas, as well as topics or potential interview guest, please send them to starspotpodcast@gmail.com.

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