Astronomers have identified the biggest star known to have exoplanets yet, upsetting standard planetary formation models. To date, b Centauri is the biggest star known to host an exoplanet. Estimates of its mass put it at between two and four times the previous record holder, meaning it could be up to ten times bigger than our own Sun.
This is episode 60 of the Urban Astronomer podcast! Is that a milestone? Sure, but we’ll save the party hats for episode 75. Today we’ll just get on with the job at hand, and bring you a science explainy bit. Today’s question: How can astronomers be so certain about what things in space are made from? On Earth it’s relatively easy to send geologists out to different places with their hammers, and have them collect samples from interesting rock formations …Continue reading →
The Urban Astronomer interviews noted South African amateur astronomer Carol Botha about her science outreach work. Carol has become quite well known on Slooh, the robotic telescope and astronomy service which I know quite well because I’ve provided a few video streams of eclipses and the like for them over the years.
Be warned though, this is a long episode so make some popcorn and find a comfortable seat before you start!
Today’s episode is the first Science Explainy Bit of the season, and it’s another basic, classic topic: Leap Years. As a reminder, I love looking at the questions that seem simple because we think of them as the sorts of things that children ask their parents, but the thing about these questions is that they never are simple. These are things that took humanity centuries or longer to figure out, and that most of us still don’t really understand because …Continue reading →