Episode 139: Can Alien Life Hitch a Ride on Space Dust?, with Arjun Berera

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

Feature Guest: Arjun Berera

Many of you are familiar with the idea of panspermia, the theory that life spreads itself throughout the galaxy by travelling from one world to another. We often think of big objects like asteroids, comets or spacecraft. But a new idea has emerged, and it’s must smaller: dust. Astronomer Arjun Berera joins me here at The Star Spot to discuss his new study, which considers whether alien life can hitchhike between planets on streams of space dust and if life on Earth might have just such an origin.

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The Star Spot is now on the Radio!

Star Spot podcast is now The Star Spot podcast and radio show. That’s right. Your favourite astronomy program is now travelling through space, specifically the 1280AM frequency. Our broadcaster, CJRU The Scope at Ryerson, is now available on the radio dial, which means you can join us at The Star Spot at 1280AM every Sunday 8PM and Tuesday 6PM Eastern Time.

Visit http://www.thescopeatryerson.ca/ to learn more about our partner radio station.

Current in Space

The solar system’s first extrasolar asteroid visitor, Oumuamua, is even stranger than we thought, explains Tony.

About Our Guest

Arjun Berera is Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh. He received his PhD from the University of California Berkeley studying aspects of string perturbation theory. His research interests include quantum field theory, statistical physics, early universe cosmology theory and turbulence.

Links

Read the Study: Space dust collisions as a planetary escape mechanism

Life on Earth arrived on super-fast clouds of cosmic dust, study suggests (the Telegraph)

How to Listen to the Show

LISTEN NOW OR DOWNLOAD
* Subscribe for free with itunes
* Use feedburner in your browser

The Star Spot is also broadcast on The Scope at Ryerson. The show airs every Sunday at 8:00PM and Tuesday at 6:00PM Eastern Time. Listen live here

If you have interesting news and story ideas, as well as topics or potential interview guest, please send them to info@thestarspot.ca

Happy Holidays, Space Enthusiasts!

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

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas everyone!

The Star Spot will be off for the next 2 weeks while our team enjoys some rest and relaxation over the holidays. 2017 has witnessed a remarkable year in space and we’ve enjoyed bringing you news and interviews on the latest developments. We’ll be returning Sunday, January 7th, 2018 and looking forward to another exciting year at the final frontier!

The Team at The Star Spot

Episode 138: Making Contact, with Jill Tarter

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

Feature Guest: Jill Tarter

Alien hunting pioneer Jill Tarter often says the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is a way for us to hold a mirror to ourselves. Now in a recently released biography, that statement takes on personal significance and reveals the intimate connection between SETI and the life of its most famous icon.

Today we’re honoured to have Jill Tarter return to The Star Spot to discuss her life; the tragedies and triumphs of youth, the moment when the alien question became a science question, her pioneering role as a woman in science and as a human searching for non-human contact, and her tireless positive energy to reach an elusive goal that would be the biggest discovery of all time.

LISTEN NOW OR DOWNLOAD

The Star Spot is now on the Radio!

Star Spot podcast is now The Star Spot podcast and radio show. That’s right. Your favourite astronomy program is now travelling through space, specifically the 1280AM frequency. Our broadcaster, CJRU The Scope at Ryerson, is now available on the radio dial, which means you can join us at The Star Spot at 1280AM every Sunday 8PM and Tuesday 6PM Eastern Time.

Visit http://www.thescopeatryerson.ca/ to learn more about our partner radio station.

Current in Space

What if dark matter and dark energy do not exist? Maya explains why that might not be as crazy as it sounds. And 40 years after humanity sent a beacon into space with the launch of the twin Voyager space probes, Tony reviews a new documentary aptly named The Farthest, which is now available on Netflix.

About Our Guest

Jill Tarter, the real life inspiration behind the protagonist in Carl Sagan’s story Contact, is the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI and the former Director of the Center for SETI Research. Tarter graduated with degrees from Cornell and the University of California at Berkeley and she’s won many awards, including two public service medals from NASA and a fellowship of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She was named one of the 100 Most influential People of the World of the Year by Time Magazine in 2004 and she won the Wonderfest Carl Sagan prize for science popularization in 2005. She is the subject of a recently released biography, Making Contact: Jill Tarter and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

Links

The Star Spot Episode 38: Hunting Extraterrestrials, with Jill Tarter

LISTEN NOW OR DOWNLOAD
* Subscribe for free with itunes
* Use feedburner in your browser

The Star Spot is also broadcast on The Scope at Ryerson. The show airs every Sunday at 8:00PM and Tuesday at 6:00PM Eastern Time. Listen live here

If you have interesting news and story ideas, as well as topics or potential interview guest, please send them to info@thestarspot.ca

Episode 135: Studying Cosmic Alchemy with Gravitational Waves, with Michael Landry

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

Feature Guest: Michael Landry

The alchemists never did succeed in turning elements into gold and silver, and now we know why. It takes the merger of two neutron stars to produce these and other precious metals. That was the headline just two weeks ago when astronomers reported the first ever detection of gravitational waves from this so-called kilonova event. With this discovery we enter a new era. Today we’re joined here at The Star Spot by Dr. Michael Landry, head of the LIGO observatory at Hanford where this landmark discovery was made, to discuss the dawn of  multi-messenger astronomy.

LISTEN NOW OR DOWNLOAD

The Star Spot is now on the Radio!

The The Star Spot podcast is now The Star Spot podcast and radio show. That’s right. Your favourite astronomy program is now travelling through space, specifically the 1280AM frequency. Our broadcaster, CJRU The Scope at Ryerson, is now available on the radio dial, which means you can join us at The Star Spot at 1280AM every Sunday 8PM and Tuesday 6PM Eastern Time.

Visit http://www.thescopeatryerson.ca/ to learn more about our partner radio station.

Current in Space

The original of high energy cosmic rays is still a mystery, but now Tony reports that the answer may be more far out – literally – than we imagined. Then Maya  has an important lesson for us: don’t judge a book by its cover, or a planetary interior by its surface. And as we gaze up at the moon in our sky, Dave wonders if the moon once had skies of its own.

About Our Guest

Dr. Michael Landry is Detection Lead Scientist at the LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, in Hanford, Washington. The LIGO observatories have been responsible for the first ever discoveries of gravitational waves, for which the Nobel prize in physics was recently awarded. Landy is also a physicist at the California Institute of Technology. He earned his PhD at the University of Manitoba in strange quark physics and performed graduate work at TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, as well as Brookhaven National Laboratory in the United States.

Links

Read the Nature study that had 3500 authors!
Gravitational Waves and Gamma-Rays from a Binary Neutron Star Merger: GW170817 and GRB 170817A

NASA Press Release

How to Listen to the Show

LISTEN NOW OR DOWNLOAD
* Subscribe for free with itunes
* Use feedburner in your browser

The Star Spot is also broadcast on The Scope at Ryerson. The show airs every Sunday at 8:00PM and Tuesday at 6:00PM Eastern Time. Listen live here

If you have interesting news and story ideas, as well as topics or potential interview guest, please send them to info@thestarspot.ca

THE STAR SPOT’S 100TH EPISODE WILL BE RELEASED SUNDAY!

A network of radio telescopes is preparing to make the first portrait of the hungry supermassive black hole beast at the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy. This announcement made a lot of headlines. Read all about it

Then listen to our in depth interview with the Event Horizon Telescope’s Feryal Ozel when she joins us at The Star Spot this Sunday, May 3rd at 9:00 PM EDT for our 100th episode!

Help us get the word out:

The The Star Spot Podcast is Now on the Radio Dial. Listen @ 1280AM

The The Star Spot podcast is now The Star Spot podcast and radio show.

Your favourite astronomy program is now travelling through space, specifically the 1280AM frequency. Our broadcaster, CJRU The Scope at Ryerson, is now available on the radio dial, which means you can join us @ The Star Spot @ 1280AM every Sunday 8:00 PM and Tuesday 6:00 PM Eastern Time. Or Listen online live here

Here’s our trailer which was played on CJRU on its first day on the air:

 

 

Video Posted: “Moving to Mars? A Panel Discussion on the Ethics and Logistics”. March 16 in Toronto

Full Event Video Now Available


movingtomarsMoving to Mars? A Panel Discussion on the Ethics and Logistics”.Join us for an exciting event Wednesday March 16, 2016, 7-9 PM, University of Toronto

Our affiliate organization, the Astronomy and Space Exploration Society, based at the University of Toronto, is co-hosting a panel discussion with The Star Spot entitled “Moving to Mars? A Panel Discussion on the Ethics and Logistics”.  We have six amazing panelists with a wide range of backgrounds (i.e., physics and astronomy, philosophy, commerce, environmental science, planetary protection, and political science) to discuss the ethical and logistical aspects of Martian settlement. The Star Spot’s host Justin Trottier will serve as moderator.

Event details
:

Moving to Mars? A Panel Discussion on the Ethics and Logistics, co-presented by the Astronomy & Space Exploration Society and The Star Spot.

Date: Wednesday March 16, 2016
Time: 7-9 PM
Location: The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), G162 Auditorium located at 252 Bloor Street West

Human survival depends on planetary settlement. While Mars is the top candidate for hosting human settlers, significant ethical and logistical controversies surround the prospect of sending humans to the Red Planet. ASX has assembled a team of experts to examine those questions. Is there an ethical way to put humans on Mars? Can we search for Martian life without harming it? Are there any contemporary projects that could feasibly send humans to Mars? If not, when will we be able to launch a Mars mission? And does Canada have a role in the future of space travel and planetary settlement? We have assembled panelists with a wide range of backgrounds to cover the most pressing questions about Martian settlement, a topic with a serious impact on the survival of our species.

Happy New Year and Thank you to The Star Spot Team

 

As you may have noticed we didn’t post an episode this past Sunday. Our team is taking a couple of weeks off over the holidays. Our next episode will take us into 2016 when it’s released on Sunday, January 9th. Stay tuned as the co-inventor of the electric solar sail tells us how this cutting edge technology promises to revolutionize space exploration.

I want to take a moment to thank The Star Spot team for the outstanding contributions they have each played in the growth of our show. Thank you to our fantastic news team, led by Anuj, Dave and Tony, to our producer Ying, our editor Vince and our outgoing social media director Chris. I also want to thank Jessica for being so supportive and providing a valuable link to the University of Toronto, and of course to Denise for contributing in so many special ways, from co-hosting episodes to writing news to reaching out to new and renowned guests.

I am pleased with how far our show has progressed, as exemplified by the recent broadcast of an episode on CBC that reached some 262,000 people. Next year we can look forward to our show hitting the AM dial when The Scope (Ryerson Radio) arrives on the airwaves, likely in March.

If you’d like to join The Star Spot team and work with us to raise public awareness and appreciation for the wonders of the universe and our place in it, contact us today.

Best regards and Happy New Year!

Justin

Special Announcement: The Star Spot on CBC Radio 1

cbc1square

This week you can listen to The Star Spot on the CBC Radio!

Podcast Playlist on the Canadian Broadcast Corporation’s Radio 1 will be airing a fan favourite:

Episode 82: The First Female Private Space Explorer, with Anousheh Ansari

 

Listen live on Thursday, December 3rd at 11pm and/or Sunday, December 6th at 2pm

Podcast Playlist features the best in podcasting on CBC airwaves. Each weekly play of Podcast Playlist on CBC reaches over 262,000 new listeners.

To listen online click here to find your local online station

To find your local station on the radio dial click here