Although robotic telescopes and spacecraft are becoming increasingly more important in astronomy, the real work is still done by human beings. In these pages we share the stories of some astronomers which have attracted our attention, whether by being recognised by history, or because their work has affected me personally in some way.
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!
In this episode, we interview Nicole Thomas, a PhD student at the University of the Western Cape with an interest in the evolution of galaxies, and the super-massive black holes that lie within. We recorded this conversation only a week ago, and I really enjoyed speaking to her. I found her childhood interest in how the universe worked very relatable, and especially her need to understand what’s going on underneath it all. Sadly, this is the final interview with a …Continue reading →
Welcome to episode 35 of the Urban Astronomer Podcast! This week we have a full show for you, with our main feature being an interview with South African astronomer Dr Itumeleng Monageng. We also continue our series on the physics behind the evolution of a star from gas cloud to black hole. And finally, my new co-host Clem Unger brings us updates on current space missions. Itumeleng Monageng Itumeleng is a post-grad researcher working for the South African Astronomical Observatory …Continue reading →
If you’ve ever heard of the Kepler Telescope, it should come as no surprise to learn that it’s named after an astronomer. The Kepler Telescope is involved in the search for habitable planets beyond our solar system — but why would it be named after an astronomer who was born in 1571? Johannes Kepler was lucky enough to be taught by some of the greatest astronomers of his time. In return, he discovered three major laws regarding how planets move. …Continue reading →
Tycho Brahe: The Wildest Astronomer Strange men are common, but strangely awesome men are not! Tycho Brahe, born Tyge Ottesen Brahe, led a most unusual life. Even from his earliest years, Brahe was simply not made to fit the mold. If Brahe had the misfortune of being born into poverty, we might have had nothing in the history books about him. Weirdly, it doesn’t actually matter what Brahe was born into, since he was stolen from his parents at …Continue reading →