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Podcast Profile: The Urban Astronomer Podcast

podcast imageTwitter: @uastronomer
30 episodes
2018 to 2022
Average episode: 31 minutes
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Categories: Astronomy • Interview-Style

Podcaster's summary: The Urban Astronomer podcast is the audio version of the popular Urban Astronomer website, which has been sharing news and information about space science and astronomy since the year 2009. The website has undergone several facelifts, and changes in editorial style and focus over the years, but it's always stayed true to its principles of honest science presented simply, without oversimplifying. | While Urban Astronomer is not the largest or most popular astronomy website on the internet, we've managed to retain a small, loyal following who have stuck with us through both good times (Allen won a special commendation in a science journalism award ceremony), and bad (when output slowed to about one new posting per month, thanks to increased family and work pressure). | This podcast is the next chapter in the Urban Astornomer story, and features News, Science, Interviews, and the occasional rant on the role and perception of science and astronomy in the modern world. | We at Urban Astonomer expect to become one of South Africa's leading science and astronomy podcasts within the year. If we think we deserve that position, you can help us by simply listening the the episodes, and sharing them with your friends. And if we don't meet your standard, we're definitely open to criticism. | | Thanks for listening!

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List Updated: 2024-Apr-20 06:27 UTC. Episodes: 30. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

2022-Jan-12 • 26 minutes
Impossible exoplanets and Rhetoric
This is episode 62 of the Urban Astronomer Podcast, our first release of 2022. Happy New year! In this episode, we're doing something a little different. Traditionally we alternate between interviews and Science Explainy Bits,
2021-Oct-26 • 39 minutes
Interview with Dr Julia Healy
This episode features an interview with Dr Julia Healy, from ASTRON, where she works as part of the MHONGOOSE survey team. When this interview was originally recorded early last year, she hadn't yet submitted her PhD thesis,
2020-Sep-10 • 21 minutes
How do we know what things in space are made from?
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 and bring them back to the lab for analysis, but ...
2020-Aug-08 • 25 minutes
Interview with Imogen Whittam
This is the 5th episode of season 3 of the Urban Astronomer Podcast. Today we feature an interview we recorded earlier this year, before we went into pandemic lockdown, featuring Dr Imogen Whittam. Imogen studied for her PhD in the Cavendish Astrophysics group at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Dr Julia Riley. Her research used data from a range of telescopes to better understand the nature of faint, extragalactic radio sources.She then spent five years in Capr town, holding an SKA Pos...
2020-Jul-09 • 17 minutes
Southern skies and Northern skies
It's another Science Explainy Bit episode, and today we answer a question asked by another podcaster while interviewing us for their show. The host wanted to know how the view of southern skies compares to that of the northern hemisphere.
2020-Jun-24 • 64 minutes
Interview with Carol Botha
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 ...
2020-Jun-09 • 18 minutes
What’s the deal with Leap Years?
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 ...
2020-May-25 • 28 minutes
Interview with Dr Tony Lelliott
At long last, the third season of the Urban Astronomer Podcast has kicked off! We thought the last season went so well that we've decided to keep things much as they are, with perhaps the occasional news segment added in whenever something interesting ...
2020-May-18 • 3 minutes
Season 3 launching next week
This is just a short note to let you know that we're still here, and that the new season launches next week! Long-time listeners have been waiting for this since February, but I don't think there's anybody left on Earth who couldn't guess which world-changing event caused our schedule to slip! Still, after eight weeks in lock-down, it's time to start delivering on our promises. Tune in next week to hear the first exciting episode of the new season of the Urban Astronomer Podcast!
2020-Feb-25 • 3 minutes
Season Three coming soon…
Since our last episode aired, in early December last year, I've had people ask me when the third season will begin. Well the good news is: Soon! Guests have been booked, interviews will be recorded over the next few weeks, and science explainy bits...
2019-Dec-05 • 33 minutes
Star colours and what space is like
So here we are, at the final episode of the Urban Astronomer Podcast's second season. As per the schedule, it's a Question/Answer episode, and you'll get to hear two new science explainy bits! These questions are a little more deep than the usual, because we wanted to save something special for the end of the season. After this, things are going to be a bit quiet while the good folks at Constellation Online Media get to work lining up fresh guests and writing new scripts for Season Three, which should air ...
2019-Nov-19 • 36 minutes
Interview with Nicole Thomas
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,
2019-Nov-06 • 26 minutes
Guns in Space and Why Venus is so Hot
Episode 10 of Season Two answers listener questions: What happens when a spaceship shoots its gun in space, and why is Venus so hot?
2019-Oct-22 • 38 minutes
Interview with Dr Tana Joseph
This is episode 9 of the 2nd season of the Urban Astronomer Podcast, featuring an interview with Dr Tana Joseph. It's been an interesting two weeks since the last episode - I've settled further into my new home and adjusted from rural to suburban life...
2019-Oct-08 • 33 minutes
Why did I defend the geocentric model?
In this eighth episode of the second season, I defend my defense of the Ptolemaic geocentric system of crystal spheres! I hadn't even realized till I started recording that this is our 50th ever episode. I really should be so blown away that I've kept ...
2019-Sep-24 • 41 minutes
Interview with Dr Jarita Holbrook
In Episode 7 of the second season of the Urban Astronomer Podcast, I chat with Dr Jarita Holbrook of the University of the Western Cape about her interest in cultural astronomy. This was one of the longer and more interesting interviews of my career,
2019-Sep-10 • 22 minutes
Why do planets orbit in the same plane?
In episode 48 of the Urban Astronomer Podcast, we're doing another Science Explainy bit! These segments are where you get to hear my droning voice explain some fundamentals and answer listener questions. Today we get asked why it always is that planets...
2019-Aug-26 • 34 minutes
Interview with Dr Rosalind Skelton
This is episode five of this season of the Urban Astronomer Podcast. As usual, this being the 4th show of the month, we have an Interview episode today, and this is the one that gets us back to our scheduled order of things.
2019-Aug-13 • 20 minutes
How do orbits work?
A quick look at how gravity and momentum combine to keep objects in space and stops them falling to Earth
2019-Jul-30 • 44 minutes
Interview with Dr Daniel Cunnama
Dr Daniel Cunnama is the Science Engagement Astronomer at the South African Astronomical Observatory, and is directing the SAAO's 200th anniversary celebration next year
2019-Jul-15 • 17 minutes
Why are planets always round?
Welcome to the second episode of this second season of the Urban Astronomer Podcast! Two of Two, sounds like it should be special... and it kinda sort of is, because this week we're presenting the first of our unique patented Science Explainy Bits!
2019-Jul-01 • 24 minutes
Interview with Dr Wendy Williams
This is Episode 1 of our brand new second season! This is the 43rd episode since the podcast was first launched, back in February 2017, and I'm thrilled to be back on the air with you. The New Season We're mostly keeping things the same,
2019-Jun-09 • 6 minutes
Second season coming July 2nd
The next season is starting in a few weeks! From now on, you'll get a much tighter show: 12 episodes, featuring interviews with people connected to South African astronomy, mixed with basic science breakdowns.
2019-Apr-14 • 52 minutes
Robert Ormerod at ScopeX 2018
Last episode of first season, featuring the final public lecture presented at ScopeX 2018.
2019-Jan-23 • 42 minutes
Podcast #41: Angus Burns at ScopeX 2018
Welcome to the 41st episode of the Urban Astronomer Podcast, and the 1st episode of 2019! We are almost done with the ScopeX lecture series, in which we play back talks recorded at ScopeX 2018. This episode we hear Angus Burns speaking about Astrophoto...
2018-Dec-21 • 52 minutes
Podcast #40: Christmas Special with Clem Unger
Hey everybody, welcome to this December solstice edition of the Urban Astronomer Podcast starring Clem Unger and myself! It's only a few days till Christmas, so we hope you all have a wonderful festive season and a joyful new year.
2018-Dec-10 • 53 minutes
Podcast #39: Clyde Foster at ScopeX 2018
This is the 39th episode of the Urban Astronomer Podcast. This episode is the fourth in the ScopeX 2018 Public Lecture series, featuring a talk by Clyde Foster, and a mission update by Clem Unger.
2018-Nov-28 • 43 minutes
Podcast #38: Dr Pieter Kotzé at ScopeX 2018
Welcome to episode 38 of the Urban Astronomer Podcast. This episode features the last part of our physics feature on the lifecycle of a star from dust cloud to super nova, and the 3rd of the ScopeX 2018 public lectures. Physics 1:30 -
2018-Nov-09 • 46 minutes
Podcast #37: Mission Update and Tim Cooper at ScopeX 2018
Welcome to Episode 37 of the Urban Astronomer podcast! This week features a 12:00 public lecture by Tim Cooper, and another of 1:45 Clem Unger's space mission updates. As always, if you enjoy the show and would like to see it grow,
2018-Oct-24 • 36 minutes
Podcast #36: José da Silva at ScopeX 2018
Welcome to Episode 36 of the Urban Astronomer podcast, and the first in our ScopeX 2018 series. In this episode we feature the first of the public lectures I recorded at ScopeX. It is by José da Silva, and he speaks about exoplanets,