test

Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer

Star Gazer is the world's only weekly television series on naked eye astronomy. Each weekly episode features selected objects for naked eye viewing for the following week. This video podcast contains the 10 most recent episodes of Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer.

FaviconStar Gazers 1 Min. Dec. 30, 2013- Jan 5, 2013 13 Nov 2013, 4:10 pm

Here Comes The Sun

(video/mpeg)

FaviconStar Gazers 5 Min. Dec. 30, 2013- Jan 5, 2013 13 Nov 2013, 4:09 pm

Here Comes The Sun

(video/mpeg)

FaviconStar Gazers 1 Min. Dec. 23-29, 2013 13 Nov 2013, 4:08 pm

Bye-Bye Venus,Good-bye And Celebrate The New Year With The New Year's Eve Star

(video/mpeg)

FaviconStar Gazers 5 Min. Dec. 23-29, 2013 13 Nov 2013, 4:06 pm

Bye-Bye Venus,Good-bye And Celebrate The New Year With The New Year's Eve Star

(video/mpeg)

FaviconStar Gazers 1 Min. Dec. 16-22, 2013 13 Nov 2013, 4:03 pm

Off To The Races With Venus And Jupiter

(video/mpeg)

Science @ NASA Feature Stories Podcast

The mission of Science@NASA is to help the public understand how exciting NASA research is and to help NASA scientists fulfill their outreach responsibilities.

FaviconGeminid Meteors Defy Explanation 9 Dec 2010, 3:00 pm

The annual Geminid meteor shower peaks this year on Dec. 13th and 14th. Researchers don't fully understand the Geminids, and new measurements make it more mysterious than ever.

Please vote for this podcast at PodcastAlley!

Get this podcast story.

(audio/mpeg; 3.66 MB)

Favicon"Arsenic-Bug" Redefines Life as We Know It 2 Dec 2010, 3:00 pm

NASA-supported researchers have discovered the first known microorganism on Earth able to thrive and reproduce using the toxic chemical arsenic. The microorganism, which lives in California's Mono Lake, substitutes arsenic for phosphorus in the backbone of its DNA.

Please vote for this podcast at PodcastAlley!

Get this podcast story.

(audio/mpeg; 3.66 MB)

FaviconAlien Comets Invade the Solar System 23 Nov 2010, 3:00 pm

Some of the comets in our Solar System probably came from other stars, according to new research by NASA-supported scientists. Studying these 'alien' comets, they say, could reveal new information about stellar systems far, far away.

Please vote for this podcast at PodcastAlley!

Get this podcast story.

(audio/mpeg; 3.66 MB)

FaviconHubble Observes Possible Asteroid Collision 13 Oct 2010, 2:00 am

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured rare images of a suspected asteroid collision. The snapshots show a bizarre X-shaped object at the head of a comet-like trail of material. Their findings will be published in the Oct. 14th issue of Nature.

Please vote for this podcast at PodcastAlley!

Get this podcast story.

(audio/mpeg; 3.18 MB)

StarDate

FaviconYoung Giant 27 Aug 2015, 1:00 am

A young Jupiter-like planet orbits far from its star in this artist's concept. McDonald Observatory astronomers are looking for similar planets in about 200 star systems. Such a giant planet may move closer to its star when it is young, perhaps forcing Earth-like worlds to fall into the star. How frequently such giant planets occur will help scientists understand how likely it is that Earth-like worlds survive the process of planet formation. [NASA/JPL]

Artist's concept of a young Jupiter-like planet

Text ©2015 The University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory

For more skywatching tips, astronomy news, and much more, read StarDate magazine.
The one constant in the Universe: StarDate magazine

FaviconHunting Planets II 27 Aug 2015, 1:00 am

MICHAEL ENDL: We are in the control room of the Harlan J. Smith 2.7-meter telescope at McDonald Observatory. And we are here because I have an observing run — four nights to use the telescope to search for extrasolar planets.

Michael Endl is continuing a search that’s been going on for a decade and a half. A score of McDonald Observatory astronomers and students have used the same telescope and spectrograph that Endl is using to keep a sharp eye on about 200 stars. They’re looking for planets in orbit around those stars — especially worlds that are similar to Jupiter in our own solar system: giant planets in distant orbits.

ENDL: The measurements that we are trying to perform are extremely exquisite. They’re very, very precise....We are measuring the velocities of stars. And we are looking for changes in the velocities of the stars due to an orbiting companion.

An orbiting planet exerts a gravitational pull on its parent star. As seen from Earth, that causes the star to “wiggle” back and forth a bit. But that wiggle is tiny — it might change the star’s apparent speed by just a few miles per hour.

Detecting such a change takes many observations, spaced over several years. In fact, the Texas astronomers have spent more than a thousand nights at the Harlan Smith Telescope, and have made up to a hundred or more observations of each target star.

We’ll talk about how their work is helping us understand how our solar system compares to others tomorrow.

Script by Damond Benningfield, Copyright 2015

Today's program was made possible in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

For more skywatching tips, astronomy news, and much more, read StarDate magazine.
The one constant in the Universe: StarDate magazine

FaviconHunting Planets 26 Aug 2015, 1:00 am

MICHAEL ENDL: The goal is that, inside the dome, the temperature is at the same level as the expected nighttime temperature — that’s why it’s already cooled down a little bit. But, of course, when we open up everything will take some time to settle down.

Michael Endl is getting ready to hunt for planets. The McDonald Observatory astronomer is standing below the Harlan J. Smith Telescope. Air conditioners whirr around him, keeping the telescope and its 107-inch primary mirror cool, which keeps its view of the night sky sharp and clear.

Over the next few hours, Endl will use the telescope to examine 30 or 40 stars — targets that he and colleagues have been watching for years. They’re looking for giant planets in distant orbits around the stars — planets similar to Jupiter in our own solar system.

But getting ready to look at those stars takes some time. The instrument that Endl is using — a spectrograph, which breaks starlight into its individual wavelengths or colors — has to be properly calibrated, for example. Endl has to make sure the telescope’s tracking software is working. And from the control room, he has to keep an eye on some thunderstorms moving in from the southwest.

ENDL: And now we have just opened up the dome. The weather is actually fine now. Now we are basically waiting for it to get dark enough so that we can point the telescope to one of the planet-search targets and take data — take a spectrum, as we call it.

We’ll have more about the planet search tomorrow.

 

Script by Damond Benningfield, Copyright 2015

Today's program was made possible in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

For more skywatching tips, astronomy news, and much more, read StarDate magazine.
The one constant in the Universe: StarDate magazine

FaviconShergotty 25 Aug 2015, 1:00 am

Odd things sometimes fall from the sky — from mud to fish and toads. And 150 years ago today, a piece of Mars fell on the Indian village of Shergotty. Around 9 a.m., witnesses heard a loud boom. A few minutes later, they saw an 11-pound rock fall to the ground. It was soon identified as a meteorite. But it took more than a century to identify its Martian origin.

Scientists have confirmed more than a hundred Mars meteorites. They’ve done so by examining tiny bubbles of gas inside the rocks. The ratios of different forms of oxygen and other elements in those bubbles match those measured in the Martian atmosphere by several Mars landers.

The Shergotty meteorite formed as recently as 165 million years ago, when molten rock from a Martian volcano cooled and hardened. The rock probably formed near Mars’s equator, which is the site of the planet’s most recent volcanic activity.

The meteorite is made mainly of silicon dioxide and iron oxide — the “rusty” mineral that gives Mars its orange color. It also contains tiny amounts of water, suggesting that it spent part of its lifetime in a wet environment.

A few million years ago, an asteroid slammed into the Martian surface. The impact was powerful enough to blast the Shergotty meteorite and other bits of the Martian crust out into space. Most of these rocks are still orbiting the Sun. But at least one made it to Earth — where it fell from the sky 150 years ago today.

 

Script by Damond Benningfield, Copyright 2015


For more skywatching tips, astronomy news, and much more, read StarDate magazine.
The one constant in the Universe: StarDate magazine

FaviconMessier 22 24 Aug 2015, 1:00 am

There’s more than one way to “discover” an astronomical object. The most obvious is to just see it. And by that standard, the object known as Messier 22 was discovered as soon as people started paying attention to the night sky. It looks like a hazy smudge of light close to the lid of the teapot — a pattern of eight bright stars in Sagittarius. You need dark skies to see it, though.

But there’s another way to discover something, and that is to understand its true nature. By that standard, M22 was discovered 350 years ago this week by Abraham Ihle, an amateur astronomer in Germany.

Ihle was using a small telescope to study the planet Saturn, which was passing through Sagittarius at the time. When he looked at that nearby hazy patch of light, he found that it was a swarm of thousands of individual stars.

Today, that swarm is known as a globular cluster — a collection of many stars packed into a tight ball. In fact, M22 was the first globular to be seen as anything other than a fuzzy ball of light.

Like all globulars, M22 contains some of the oldest stars in the galaxy. That indicates that these clusters were some of the first clumps of stars to form in the entire galaxy.

M22 also contains black holes and several free-floating planets — objects bigger than Earth that don’t orbit any star. They help make M22 one of the most diverse and interesting globulars in the galaxy.

 

Script by Damond Benningfield, Copyright 2015


For more skywatching tips, astronomy news, and much more, read StarDate magazine.
The one constant in the Universe: StarDate magazine

ESOcast HD

ESOcast is a video podcast series dedicated to bringing you the latest news and research from ESO, the European Southern Observatory. Here we explore the Universe's ultimate frontier with our host Doctor J, a.k.a. Dr. Joe Liske.

FaviconESOcast 75: ESO’s Top 10 Discoveries 20 Aug 2015, 8:00 am

FaviconESOcast 74: Mapping the Southern Skies 30 Apr 2015, 5:00 am

ESOcast 74 looks at ESO’s pair of survey telescopes at Paranal: the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) and the VLT Survey Telescope (VST).

FaviconESOcast 73: Your ESO Pictures 19 Mar 2015, 7:00 am

ESOcast 73 looks at the "Your ESO Pictures" Flickr group, where amateurs and professionals alike contribute their photos related to ESO.

FaviconESOcast 72 – Looking Deeply into the Universe in 3D 26 Feb 2015, 6:00 am

The MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope has given astronomers the best ever three-dimensional view of the deep Universe. After staring at the Hubble Deep Field South region for a total of 27 hours the new observations reveal the distances, motions and other properties of far more galaxies than ever before in this tiny piece of the sky. But they also go beyond Hubble and reveal many previously unseen objects.

FaviconESOcast 71: New Exoplanet-hunting Telescopes on Paranal 14 Jan 2015, 6:00 am

This ESOcast takes a close look at an unusual new group of small telescopes that has recently achieved first light at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in northern Chile.

HD - NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

High-definition (HD) videos from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory feature the latest news on space and science findings from JPL and NASA. Topics include discoveries made by spacecraft studying planets in our solar system, including Mars, Saturn and our home planet, Earth. Missions also study stars and galaxies in our universe.

FaviconWatching Rising Seas From Space 26 Aug 2015, 3:00 am



Oceanographer Josh Willis from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory narrates this video about the causes of sea level rise.



Favicon50 Years of Mars Exploration 20 Aug 2015, 3:00 am



The first 50 years of successful NASA missions to the Red Planet.



FaviconCrazy Engineering: Gecko Gripper 12 Aug 2015, 3:00 am



How geckos inspired a new NASA technology that makes things stick to each other in space.



FaviconSpace Shorts: Could Jupiter's Moon Europa Have an Ocean? 10 Aug 2015, 3:00 am



Jupiter's moon Europa may have an ocean more than twice the size of Earth's oceans combined. Why do scientists think so? Find out in 60 seconds.



FaviconTour Weird Ceres: Bright Spots and a Pyramid-Shaped Mountain 6 Aug 2015, 3:00 am



This video shows a series of animations of dwarf planet Ceres, generated from data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft.