Twitter: @RoyalAstroSoc • @IzzieClarke • @drbecky_ (@drbecky_ followed by 350 accounts on physicist, mathematician, and astronomer lists)
2020 to present
Average episode: 41 minutes
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Categories: Astronomy • Interview-Style • Two Hosts
Podcaster's summary: This is The Supermassive Podcast from the Royal Astronomical Society. Every month, science journalist Izzie Clarke and astrophysicist Dr Becky Smethurst take you through the universe with the latest research, history from the society’s archives and astronomy you can do from your own home. | | You can send your questions to the team via [email protected] or tweet @RoyalAstroSoc using #RASSupermassive | | The Supermassive Podcast is a Boffin Media Production by Izzie Clarke and Richard Hollingham.
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|2022-May-31 • 49 minutes|
29: Gas Giants are Weird
From hexagonal shaped storms to spinning sideways, Izzie and Dr Becky are exploring our weird and wonderful Gas Giants. Joining them are Dr Tom Stallard from the University of Leicester and Dr Robert Massey, Deputy Director of the Royal Astronomical Society. Plus editor, Richard Hollingham, takes a trip to the Royal Astronomical Society’s library to see Galileo’s first observations of Saturn’s rings and William Herschel’s notebook from when he discovered Uranus. | | See Jupiter's fast rotation (thanks to ...
|2022-Apr-30 • 44 minutes|
28: How to Kill a Galaxy
How does a galaxy evolve and die? Izzie and Dr Becky find out with help from Tim Davis at Cardiff University. Plus, Dr Robert Massey from the Royal Astronomical Society answers your questions and explains how to spot galaxies in the night sky. | | Thank you to Brilliant for sponsoring this episode. Head to brilliant.org/supermassive to start free courses in maths, science, and computer science. The first 200 subscribers will get 20% off. | | The link below has more information on the RAS Public Talk wit...
|2022-Mar-25 • 45 minutes|
27: How to Build a Galaxy
Izzie and Dr Becky are attempting to tackle the massive subject of building a galaxy. | | Professor Mike Merrifield from The University of Nottingham explains how galaxies form and our very own galaxy expert, Dr Becky, tells us why they come in different shapes and sizes. Plus, Dr Robert Massey has his top tips for stargazing in spring. | | Thank you to Brilliant for sponsoring this episode. Head to brilliant.org/supermassive to start free courses in maths, science, and computer science. The first 20...
|2022-Feb-25 • 52 minutes|
26: The Marvellous Moon
Who doesn’t love looking up at the moon?! Joining Izzie and Dr Becky, Professor Katherine Joy from the University of Manchester explains what past and future lunar missions can tell us, and Dr Megan Barford from Royal Museums Greenwich gives us a tour of two stunning moon maps from the 17th century. Plus, Dr Robert Massey takes on your questions and shares his top tips for moon-gazing. | | See the moon maps here... | By Riccioli & Grimaldi, 1651: https://www.sciencephoto.com/media/1179815/view... | |...
|2022-Jan-28 • 44 minutes|
25: A Supermassive Q&A!
The Supermassive team is finally doing something about all the questions that have been sent in. It’s Q&A time! From "fluffy" planets, to cake on the moon, join Izzie Clarke as she puts your questions to Dr Becky Smethurst, Dr Robert Massey and science and space journalist Richard Hollingham.
|2021-Dec-24 • 40 minutes|
24: Eclipses & Expeditions
Join Dr Becky Smethurst and Dr Robert Massey as they explore eclipses; what are they and how have they been studied throughout history? Plus Izzie Clarke visits the Royal Astronomical Society Library to discover what the society has in the archives, and astronaut Nicole Stott and her husband, Fellow of the RAS, Chris Stott send us their eclipse audio diary from Antarctica. | | The RAS Bicentenary Timeline can be found here: https://ras.ac.uk/timeline | | The Supermassive Podcast is a Boffin Media producti...
|2021-Nov-26 • 44 minutes|
23: The End of the Universe
What will the end of days actually look like? And how will it happen? This month, Izzie and Dr Becky explore the end of the Universe with cosmologist Dr Katie Mack - author of The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking). They also chat to astronomy journalist and author of The Unknown Universe, Dr Stuart Clark, who explains the role of dark energy. Plus, Dr Robert Massey takes on your questions and shares when it is best to see Jupiter, Saturn and Venus in December. | | Send your astronomy questions f...
|2021-Oct-29 • 40 minutes|
22: JWST - Seeing the First Stars
Finally, Izzie and Dr Becky are talking about the James Webb Space Telescope but why is this telescope so impressive? NASA’s Keith Parrish, the observatory manager for Webb, covers the basics and Professor Gillian Wright, the principal investigator for the mid-infrared instrument (MIRI), explains how it will help us see stars and planets born from clouds of dust. Plus Dr Robert Massey takes on your questions and shares his top stargazing tips for the month. | | Thank you to the UK Space Agency for sponsor...
|2021-Oct-01 • 40 minutes|
21: Icy Worlds
Wrap up warm, because this month Izzie and Dr Becky are exploring the icy worlds in the solar system. To help, they're joined by Caroline Harper, Head of Space Science at the UK Space Agency, to discuss the new mission heading to explore Jupiter’s icy moons. And they hear from Professor Michele Dougherty from Imperial College London, who sent Cassini to investigate Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Plus Dr Robert Massey takes on your questions and shares his latest stargazing tips for autumn. | | Join the Royal As...
|2021-Aug-27 • 43 minutes|
20: Firey Worlds
Izzie and Dr Becky are turning up the heat and exploring the fiery worlds in our solar system. From planets close to the Sun to a distant world of volcanoes and lava. | | Joining them are planetary scientist Professor David Rothery from the Open University and Professor Alfred McEwen from the University of Arizona, who wants to send a mission to Jupiter’s moon Io. Plus Dr Robert Massey takes on your questions and has his monthly guide to stargazing. | | This is a Boffin Media production by Izzie Clarke a...
|2021-Jul-30 • 41 minutes|
19: Radiation Belts and Billionaires
This month it’s all about the trapped charged particles around our planet - the Van Allen radiation belts. Izzie and Dr Becky find out all about them with the help of Dr Maria Theresia Walach from Lancaster University, and Dr David Devorkin from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum explains how Explorer 1 discovered the belts in 1958. Plus, Dr Robert Massey joins to take on your questions and shares his top stargazing tips for July. | | | The podcast is looking for sponsorship to keep the series...
|2021-Jun-25 • 45 minutes|
18: A Hunk of Space Junk
Grab your dustpan and brush… This month, Izzie and Dr Becky get to grips with the leftovers from space activity, it's all about space junk. Joining them are engineer Dr Hugh Lewis from the University of Southampton, who models how the debris builds up over time, and space archaeologist Dr Alice Gorman explains its historical significance. Plus, Robert Massey joins in to take on your questions and shares his top stargazing tips. | | The podcast is looking for sponsorship to keep the series running. It'll h...
|2021-May-28 • 43 minutes|
17: Hunting for Planet 9
Is it a planet? Is it a black hole? Is it even real? This month, Izzie and Dr Becky try and get to the bottom of the mysterious planet nine - an enigmatic - and so far invisible - ninth planet in our solar system. Helping them are the scientists that have made headlines trying to solve this puzzle, Mike Brown from the California Institute of Technology, and Jakub Scholtz from the University of Turin. Plus, Robert Massey joins in to take on your questions and explains how to see the upcoming eclipse. | | T...
|2021-Apr-23 • 41 minutes|
16: Mysteries of the Kuiper Belt
“It’s like the evidence left over after a crime.” | | This month Izzie and Dr Becky venture into the outer Solar System to explore a sea of weird rocks, a squashed snowman and ice volcanoes on a demoted planet. | | They are joined by Dr Meg Schwamb from Queen’s University Belfast and Alice Bowman, Mission Operations Manager for the New Horizons mission at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. | | Becky also explains the science behind a possible ‘fifth force of nature’ and...
|2021-Mar-26 • 42 minutes|
15: Neutron Stars - with Jocelyn Bell Burnell
"I was tracking down every signal that it picked up, and there was one signal that I couldn't make sense of." | | Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell gives Izzie and Dr Becky a neutron star 101 and tells them how she discovered pulsars in the 1960s. Plus, Dr Robert Massey takes on your questions and tells us what to look out for in the spring night sky. | | Book Club Recommendations | | | Forgotten Women: The Scientists - Zing Tsjeng | Six Impossible Things - John Gribbin | The End of Everything (A...
|2021-Feb-26 • 40 minutes|
14: A Star Is Born
This month, Izzie and Dr Becky are shining a light on the first stars in the Universe. When did they form? And could any still exist today? Plus, they explore the life of Cecelia Payne Gaposchkin, the astrophysicist who discovered the structure of stars, and Dr Robert Massey joins them to discuss the latest NASA rover on Mars. | | | With special thanks to Dr Emma Chapman from Imperial College London, author of First Light, and Donovan Moore, author of What Stars Are Made Of: The Life of Cecilia Payne-Gap...
|2021-Jan-22 • 40 minutes|
13: New Year, New Universe
Izzie Clarke and Dr Becky Smethurst are kicking off the new year with the beginning of everything, the Big Bang. They speak with Professor David Wands who explains how our universe began, and dive into the historical debate behind this model with Professor Thomas Hertog. And, as always, astronomer Dr Robert Massey shares his top tips for stargazing this month. | | | Send the team your questions, photos and science book recommendations on social media using #RASSupermassive or email [email protected] | |...
|2020-Dec-18 • 43 minutes|
12: Gamma Rays & Christmas Stars
This month, Izzie & Becky are taking astronomy to the extremes with gamma ray expert, Professor Paula Chadwick, and Professor Julian Osborne from the SWIFT Observatory. | | | Plus, Robert Massey shares his top tips for stargazing at home and how best to see the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on December 21st. Send your pictures and questions to [email protected] or tweet @RoyalAstroSoc using #RASSupermassive. | | The Supermassive Podcast is a Boffin Media Production by Izzie Clarke and Richard H...
|2020-Nov-20 • 40 minutes|
11: Radio Skies & Strange Signals
It’s about time we gave optical telescopes a break! This month, Izzie Clarke and Dr Becky Smethurst explore radio astronomy with Professor Tim O'Brien from the UK's Jodrell Bank Telescope and Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, former project scientist for the Australian Square Kilometre Array. | | Plus, Robert Massey shares his top tips for stargazing at home and choosing the right telescope for you. Send you pictures and questions to [email protected] or tweet @RoyalAstroSoc. | | Space Book Club Recommendation...
|2020-Oct-23 • 42 minutes|
10: Humans In Space - with Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti
Why do we need astronauts? And where are we hoping to send them in the future? This month, Dr Becky Smethurst and Izzie Clarke explore the role of humans in space exploration and are joined by European Space Agency Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. | | Plus, the team celebrate 20 years of human presence on the International Space Station and Robert Massey shares his top tips for stargazing in November. | | The Supermassive Podcast is a Boffin Media Production by Izzie Clarke and Richard Hollingham |
|2020-Sep-25 • 41 minutes|
9: The Power of Space Probes
Izzie Clarke and Dr Becky Smethurst travel through our solar system; where exactly have we sent probes and rovers? Plus, they speak with Professor Jane Greaves, the scientist behind that Venus discovery, and Robert Massey joins to chat about all things stargazing. | | | With special thanks also to Professor Emma Bunce from the University of Leicester. | | The Supermassive Podcast is a Boffin Media Production by Izzie Clarke and Richard Hollingham
|2020-Aug-28 • 35 minutes|
8: Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Izzie Clarke and Dr Becky Smethurst explore the importance of Earth's core and magnetic field. Plus, the team finds out about the astronomer who sailed the seas in the name of science and Robert Massey joins to chat about all things stargazing. | | | With special thanks to Dr Rebekah Higgitt from National Museums Scotland. You can see the National Maritime Museum's collections of Halley's charts here: https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/540213.html... | | | | The Supermassive Podcast is a...
|2020-Jul-23 • 39 minutes|
7: Down To Earth
Dr Becky Smethurst and Izzie Clarke investigate the cosmic coincidences that formed the Earth and explore whether there are earthquakes and volcanoes on other planets. Plus, astronomer Robert Massey joins them to chat all things #cometNEOWISE and what else to look for in the night sky this month. | | With special thanks to Dr Amy Gilligan from the University of Aberdeen, Professor David Rothery from the Open University, and everyone who shared their images of Neowise. | | | Keep sending your questions ...
|2020-Jun-25 • 39 minutes|
6: Looking for Alien Life
The search for alien life continues. Dr Becky Smethurst and Izzie Clarke explore the world of astrobiology and astronomer Robert Massey joins them to take on your extraterrestrial questions. Plus, they discuss the "broken pipeline" for black and minority ethnic physicists with Dr Sheila Kanani, and what to look for in the night sky this month. | | | With special thanks to Professor Jane Greaves from Cardiff University. | | | | The Supermassive Podcast is a Boffin Media Production by Izzie Clarke and ...
|2020-May-21 • 38 minutes|
5: Exploring Exoplanets
The worlds outside our solar system; exoplanets. This month, Izzie Clarke and Dr Becky Smethurst take on listener questions about exoplanets, celebrate 30 years of the Hubble Space Telescope with Robert Massey, and amateur astronomer Steve Brown shares his beginner’s guide to astrophotography. | | With special thanks also to Dr Hannah Wakeford from the University of Bristol. | | | Join the Royal Astronomical Society for an online series of talks exploring their collection. | https://www.eventbrite.co....
|2020-Apr-23 • 36 minutes|
4: Under the Space Weather
Brits love talking about the weather, so Izzie Clarke and Dr Becky Smethurst are taking it up a notch. This month, the Supermassive team explore the solar wind, auroras on other planets and the European Space Agency Satellite that's on its way to the sun, Solar Orbiter. | | With special thanks to UCL's Professor Andrew Coates and Lee Macdonald from Oxford's History of Science Museum. | | Share your astrophotography and lockdown creations with the team via [email protected] or tweet @RoyalAstroSoc. | |...
|2020-Mar-19 • 38 minutes|
3: Our Neighbourhood Star
This month, Izzie Clarke and Dr Becky Smethurst explore the star in our neighbourhood, the annoying habits you would banish there and the extreme stars further afield. Plus the Royal Astronomical Society trusts them with a very special book from their archives: Caroline Herschel's star atlas. | | What annoying habits would you banish to the sun? Or have you tried some Astrophotography at home? Share with the team via [email protected] or tweet @RoyalAstroSoc. | | With special thanks to Professor Lucie Gre...
|2020-Feb-20 • 38 minutes|
2: It's All Relativity...
This month, Izzie Clarke and Dr Becky Smethurst explore relativity, gravitational waves and the photographs that made Albert Einstein a household name. Astronomer Robert Massey joins us to talk through SpaceX's Starlink and what we can see in the night sky. Plus we have a special gift from poet laureate Simon Armitage. | | With special thanks to Professor Toby Wiseman from Imperial College London and Royal Astronomical Society librarian, Sian Prosser. | | You can send your questions to the team via podca...
|2020-Jan-17 • 41 minutes|
1: Seeing The Invisible Universe
From black holes to dark matter, this first episode of the Royal Astronomical Society's new podcast explores the odd things in space we can't see. Plus, hosts astrophysicist Dr Becky Smethurst and science journalist Izzie Clarke are trusted with a book from 1566 and Robert Massey, the Deputy Executive Director of the RAS, shares his top tips for stargazing at home. | | With special thanks to Dr Rebekah Higgitt from the University of Kent, Professor Hiranya Peiris and Professor Andrew Pontzen from Universi...