StarDate Podcast

StarDate Podcast


Latest Episodes

Morning Mercury
January 28, 2023

The surface of Mercury is crawling with snakes — more than two dozen of them. The largest is more than 165 miles long. You don’t need to worry about their bite, though — they’re remnants of ancient volcanoes. The features are known as faculae — a Latin wo

Tabit
January 27, 2023

Orion is filled with so many bright stars that some of them get ignored. An example is Tabit, the star at the middle of Orions shield.The star is class F6V a designation that tells us a lot.Astronomers categorize the stars with the letters O, B, A, F

American Impacts
January 26, 2023

Middlesboro is a small town in the Cumberland Gap of southern Kentucky. About 300 million years ago, it was the bullseye for a cosmic missile: a small asteroid that gouged an impact crater about four miles wide. Evidence of that high-speed collision is pr

Moon and Jupiter
January 25, 2023

A planet that played a big role in measuring the speed of light stands just above the Moon this evening.Brilliant Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. And it has a giant family of moons, including four that are about the size of our moon or

Intergalactic Wanderer
January 24, 2023

The population of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, includes about 150 globular clusters. And for a long time, astronomers thought all of these giant balls of stars were pretty much alike. But in the last couple of decades, they’ve discovered that each one

Lopsided Halo
January 23, 2023

We may be living inside a football. A recent study measured the Milky Way Galaxys halo a shell of stars that surrounds the galaxys bright disk. And it found that the halo is shaped like a lopsided football or zeppelin. That could be the result of a co

Moon and Planets
January 22, 2023

A thin crescent Moon slides past a tight pair of planets in the early evening sky the next couple of nights. The Moon will be hard to find tonight, but much easier tomorrow night.Venus is the brighter planet the spectacular evening star. Its companio

Big Dipper Clock
January 21, 2023

The Big Dipper wheels around the North Star like the hour-hand of a giant clock, ticking off the hours of the night. And winter is a good time to watch it, because its in good view most of the night.Tonight, for example, the dipper stands clear of the n

Venus and Saturn
January 20, 2023

The diversity of the planets in our own solar system is amazing. They range from bare rocks roasting in the sunlight to giant balls of gas with monster storms churning through their skies.Consider Venus and Saturn, which are staging a close conjunction i

Sirius and Canopus
January 19, 2023

Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, arcs across the south tonight. And if you live in the far southern latitudes of the United States south of about Phoenix or Atlanta the second-brightest star sneaks into view as well. Canopus rises about 10