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Podcast Profile: NASA's Curious Universe

podcast imageTwitter: @NASA@PadiBoyd
66 episodes
2020 to present
Average episode: 20 minutes
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Categories: Astronomy • Story-Style

Podcaster's summary: Come get curious with NASA. As an official NASA podcast, Curious Universe brings you mind-blowing science and space adventures you won't find anywhere else. Explore the cosmos alongside astronauts, scientists, engineers, and other top NASA experts who are achieving remarkable feats in science, space exploration, and aeronautics. Learn something new about the wild and wonderful universe we share. All you need to get started is a little curiosity. | | NASA's Curious Universe is an official NASA podcast hosted by Padi Boyd and Jacob Pinter. Discover more original NASA shows at

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List Updated: 2024-Apr-20 06:27 UTC. Episodes: 66. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

2024-Apr-16 • 35 minutes
Sun Series: Space Weather
From Earth, the Sun can seem steady and predictable. But when you look at our star close up, there’s a lot going on. Go behind the scenes with NASA’s Moon to Mars Space Weather Analysis Office, a team monitoring space weather—eruptions of radiation and plasma from the Sun that can wreak havoc on spacecraft and pose dangers to astronauts. We’ll also revisit the most powerful geomagnetic storm on record, an 1859 event that produced northern lights visible in the tropics and made electrical systems go haywire....
2024-Apr-06 • 12 minutes
Sun Series: Minisode! Countdown to Total Solar Eclipse 2024
It’s time. On April 8, 2024, millions of people across North America will see a total solar eclipse. Get the most out of totality with this special bonus episode. Listen up for safety tips, learn how to make your own pinhole projector to safely and learn how anyone—including you!—can contribute to NASA research through citizen science. And if you’re not in the path of totality, watch NASA’s live broadcast starting at 1 p.m. EDT. NASA’s Curious Universe is an official NASA podcast. | | See when the ecl...
2024-Apr-02 • 45 minutes
Sun Series: You (Yes, You!) Can Help NASA Study the Sun
How often do you think about your nearest star? Though it may not seem like it from here on Earth, our trusty Sun is a place of mystery. Take a good look at its influence on our planet – through the otherworldly experience of eclipse, maybe, or the aurora – and you might get "sucked" in... to a citizen science project, that is. Join NASA Sun scientists like Liz Macdonald and volunteers like Hanjie Tan to listen to crickets fooled by the false night of an eclipse, discover new colors in the aurora, and hunt ...
2024-Mar-26 • 41 minutes
Sun Series: How to Experience a Total Solar Eclipse
On April 8, 2024, the Moon will pass in front of the Sun, casting a shadow across Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Total solar eclipses have fascinated human beings for thousands of years. Watching the Moon eclipse the Sun is a surreal, multi-sensory experience that you’re not likely to forget. But Eclipses also offer unique opportunities for NASA to study the relationship between our star and home planet. Join current and former NASA sun scientists Kelly Korreck, Fred “Mr. Eclipse” Espenak and Cheril...
2024-Mar-19 • 36 minutes
Sun Series: The Sun, Our Star
The Sun is our closest star. Billions of years ago, it shaped the formation of our home planet and the beginning of life on Earth. Today, it provides the heat and energy that powers our civilization, but it can also disrupt our technology and spacecraft through explosive outbursts of radiation. Join NASA Sun scientist Joe Westlake on a journey from the surface of Earth to the Sun’s core to learn how intricately we’re connected to our star and the progress we’ve made unraveling its mysteries. This is episode...
2024-Mar-11 • 3 minutes
Here Comes the Sun Series
Meet the Sun. Even if you think you know our star, our new mini series from NASA’s Curious Universe will show you why Sun science is heating up in 2024—and why NASA experts have so much more to discover. Get ready for the hair-raising experience of a total solar eclipse, and learn how anyone can pitch in through citizen science. See the vibrant and sometimes chaotic close-up details of the Sun, and hear how NASA keeps astronauts and spacecraft safe from solar outbursts. And go inside a pioneering mission to...
2024-Feb-21 • 38 minutes
Planet Hunting with Host Padi Boyd
In this special episode, we turn the tables and put host Padi Boyd in the interview seat. Padi shares stories from her time with NASA’s groundbreaking Kepler mission, which showed us many more exoplanets—planets orbiting other stars—than we had previously discovered. She also tells us about her dream astronomical dinner companion and her go-to karaoke song. Plus, we'll wrap up another season of wild and wonderful adventures by answering questions from listeners like you and sharing behind-the-scenes tidbits...
2023-Dec-19 • 26 minutes
A Year in Mars Dune Alpha
To prepare for the day when humans travel to Mars, NASA is conducting a one-year experiment in a Mars simulation environment. So what’s it like to spend a year in CHAPEA, the Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog? In this season finale episode, travel through the airlock with voice recordings made by the four-person crew, including what it feels like—and smells like—inside their realistic 3-D printed habitat and how virtual reality gives them the sensation of walking on the Red Planet. NASA's Curio...
2023-Dec-12 • 28 minutes
Exploring the Early Universe with Webb
The James Webb Space Telescope promised to show us “baby pictures” of the universe. Now in its second year of science, Webb is fulfilling that promise—and more. NASA scientists Jane Rigby, Taylor Hutchison, and Gerónimo Villanueva explain how they use Webb to peer back to the earliest stages of the universe and examine stunning plumes of water in our own solar system. NASA's Curious Universe is an official NASA podcast. Discover more adventures with NASA astronauts, engineers, scientists, and other experts ...
2023-Dec-05 • 38 minutes
Special Delivery from Outer Space
On September 24, 2023, a capsule from space parachuted down into the Utah desert. Tucked inside it were 4.5-billion-year-old bits of rock and dust from a faraway asteroid named Bennu collected by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. These pristine space rocks, which contain carbon and other building blocks of life, could rewrite scientists’ understanding of our solar system. In this episode, sit in mission control and ride aboard helicopters with asteroid mission leaders like Dante Lauretta and Mike Moreau for a behi...
2023-Nov-28 • 31 minutes
Tiny but Mighty
What do air pollution, thunder clouds and climate change have in common? Aerosols! These tiny particles, generated by everything from desert dust storms to car exhaust, play a huge role in our atmosphere, affecting our health when we breathe them in and even changing the weather. Globally, they play an even bigger role, changing how much sunlight gets through to Earth’s surface and heating or cooling our entire planet. Through new satellite missions, NASA atmospheric scientists like Kirk Knobelspiesse and p...
2023-Nov-21 • 28 minutes
How You (Yes, You!) Can Do Science With NASA
Anyone can participate in the process of NASA science and engineering through what we call citizen science, regardless of your citizenship. You might have heard it called “participatory science” or “community science.” It all means that thousands of people around the world are helping the professionals make discoveries about our planet, our solar system, and our universe at large, through these projects. Meet three volunteers whose perspectives have changed by participating in citizen science. NASA's Curiou...
2023-Nov-14 • 32 minutes
Hum of the Sun
What does space sound like? It’s a question that has fascinated composers and scientists alike throughout history. Through a process called data sonification, heliophysicists are using NASA satellites like audio recorders to listen to the electromagnetic symphony our Sun plays, and making new discoveries along the way. NASA's Curious Universe is an official NASA podcast. Discover more adventures with NASA astronauts, engineers, scientists, and other experts at
2023-Nov-07 • 25 minutes
Welcome to the Dark Side
Normal matter—the kind that makes up our home planet and everything we can see—adds up to just five percent of the known universe. The other 95 percent is dark matter and dark energy, a tag team that ranks among the biggest mysteries in all of science. NASA astrophysicists Jason Rhodes and Ami Choi explain how we study this dark side and why it’s making scientists reconsider what we think we know about the universe. NASA's Curious Universe is an official NASA podcast. Discover more adventures with NASA astr...
2023-Oct-31 • 2 minutes
Introducing Season Six
In season six, meet researchers who are using sounds from the Sun to unlock new details about our star, explore the “dark side” of the universe with scientists who study dark matter and dark energy, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the first NASA mission to deliver an asteroid sample to Earth. A new episode drops every Tuesday. NASA's Curious Universe is an official NASA podcast. Discover more adventures with NASA astronauts, engineers, scientists, and other experts at
2023-Apr-11 • 18 minutes
To the Stars with Jessica Watkins
In this special season five finale episode, join NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins, self-proclaimed “rock nerd” on a journey to the stars.
2023-Apr-04 • 27 minutes
Suiting up for Space
Spacesuits are more than just garments – in the airless vacuum of space or on the freezing surface of the moon, they keep astronauts alive. Explore how NASA engineers like Amy Ross and Paromita Mitra have contributed to the development of the next generation of spacesuits.
2023-Mar-28 • 18 minutes
Field Notes: Nhulunbuy, Australia
Tropical rainforests, snowy mountain peaks, even the Australian outback – NASA experts travel to a wide range of environments right here on Earth to better understand our universe. Miles Hatfield, NASA heliophysics science writer, recaps a recent reporting trip to cover a sounding rocket launch in Australia’s remote Northern Territories.
2023-Mar-21 • 21 minutes
How to Build A Spacecraft
Spacecraft go through a lot - exploring dangerous worlds across the cold expanse of space. Not to mention the chaos of a launch! So how do we build a mission that can take on dangerous environments and the harrowing trip to reach them? Explore the world of mission-building with scientists from Venus’ DAVINCI mission.
2023-Mar-14 • 20 minutes
Stargazers Welcome
The night sky isn’t just for experts, it belongs to all of us! And we here at NASA love to encourage people to go out and take a look. Amateur astronomer Kevin Hartnett, Hubble Social Media Lead Elizabeth Tammi, and the Astronomical Society of Greenbelt take us on a tour of the stars and share how you can join from your own backyard.
2023-Mar-07 • 22 minutes
Wildfires from Space
Wherever you live on Earth, wildfires touch your life. Explore how NASA scientist Doug Morton and Canadian firefighter-turned-researcher Josh Johnston use satellites to track the changing landscape of wildfires from space.
2023-Feb-28 • 22 minutes
The Invisible World of Gravitational Waves
Information about the universe is all around us. But there’s more than meets the eye! Gravitational waves are the invisible ripples in spacetime caused by supermassive interstellar activity. Join astrophysicists Ira Thorpe and Judy Racusin on an exploration of how NASA studies these unseen bends in time and space.
2023-Feb-21 • 28 minutes
Defending the Planet from Asteroids
Our solar system contains millions of asteroids, orbiting our sun and rocketing through the night sky! Join scientists Kelly Fast, Tom Statler, and Davide Farnocchia as we discover what we can learn from these building blocks of the universe, and how NASA would respond if one were ever headed our way.
2023-Feb-13 • 2 minutes
Introducing Season Five
In season five, join us as we fight wildfires, defend the Earth from asteroids, and explore the invisible world of gravitational waves! New episodes every Tuesday.
2022-Dec-12 • 20 minutes
Bonus: Happy Holidays from NASA!
Before we return with season five in 2023, celebrate the holidays with us! Join Goddard news chief Rob Garner, NASA social media lead Stephanie L. Smith, and astronaut Shannon Walker on this special, holiday-themed bonus episode.
2022-Jul-12 • 20 minutes
Webb’s First Images
On July 12, 2022, a fundamentally new era of exploring our universe begins. This special season finale episode features an overview of the James Webb Space Telescope’s first detailed cosmic images. Learn what this historic moment means from astronomer Michelle Thaller.
2022-Jul-05 • 17 minutes
Field Notes: Astronaut Shannon Walker
From dusty deserts to icy mountain tops, NASA experts visit incredible places along their career path. But what about our explorers who take their work off the Earth? Join astronaut Shannon Walker on a look back at her excursions into space.
2022-Jun-28 • 25 minutes
Up & Away with Sounding Rockets
Explore sounding rockets, and the experiments they take to the skies, with space physicist Alexa Halford and sounding rocket program assistant chief Cathy Hesh.
2022-Jun-21 • 25 minutes
The Search For Life: Are We Alone?
Are we alone in the universe? It's a question studied in science fiction, but also by teams here at NASA. Join us as we search for signs of life outside of Earth with scientists Aki Roberge, Ravi Kopparapu, and Shawn Domagal-Goldman.
2022-Jun-14 • 24 minutes
How to Grow Plants in Space
As humanity sets its sights on longer-term life in space, we’re going to need ways to sustain ourselves. That’s where plants come into play! Take a tour of Kennedy Space Center’s lush Plant Processing Area with Ray Wheeler, Ralph Fritsche, and Gioia Massa - the scientists studying how to grow food in space!
2022-Jun-07 • 22 minutes
Going Supersonic!
When a plane flies faster than the speed of sound, you get a sonic boom! But what if we could change those physics? Join NASA test pilot Nils Larson and aerospace engineer Lori Ozoroski to hear how we’re flying faster than the speed of sound, and making that supersonic flight quieter, too.
2022-May-31 • 24 minutes
Earth’s Weather Watchers
Planets throughout the universe are full of fascinating weather, including Earth! Hear how NASA and NOAA work together to predict, monitor, and respond to Earth’s ever-changing weather. Explore Earth’s weather with Dalia Kirschbaum, Marangelly Fuentes, and Dan Lindsey.
2022-May-24 • 25 minutes
Mysteries of the Moon
The Moon is our constant cosmic companion and the only planetary body outside of Earth where humans have set foot. As we prepare to head back to the Moon with the Artemis program, let's take a look at what we know about this wonderful and mysterious natural satellite.
2022-May-17 • 2 minutes
Introducing Season Four
In season four, explore the lifesaving systems of space suits, break through the sound barrier, and search for life among the stars. First-time space explorers welcome.
2022-Mar-29 • 22 minutes
Bonus: Still Curious?
At NASA, we are driven by curiosity, and we know you are too! Join us as we hear from our previous episode experts about what they’re interested in and answer some questions from listeners like you. What are you still curious about?
2021-Dec-14 • 21 minutes
Webb Space Telescope: Go for Launch with ESA Expert
After years of preparation and anticipation, it’s time to send the world’s most powerful telescope to space. Ariane 5 rocket expert Rudi Albat (ESA) takes you through launch day and describes why the launcher that will carry Webb to its final destination is one of a kind.
2021-Dec-07 • 20 minutes
Webb Space Telescope: The Global Village
A scientist from Italy who studies baby stars. A Californian spacecraft refrigeration pioneer. A Dominican-American engineer who saw space as her refuge from a tough life at home. Meet three people who represent a small slice of the thousands who have worked on Webb worldwide.
2021-Nov-30 • 20 minutes
Webb Space Telescope: Building the Next Discovery Machine
Webb is preparing for a million-mile journey to its lookout point over the universe. Engineers have been hard at work designing, installing, and testing the world’s next discovery machine that will change astronomy for years to come. Join Kenneth Harris, Joe Sprofera, and Rene Doyon as they explain what it took to engineer Webb
2021-Nov-23 • 20 minutes
Webb Space Telescope: Into the Unknown
The James Webb Space Telescope is going to open a new window into the universe. It will show us stars, galaxies, planets, and other objects as we’ve never seen them before. In the first of four episodes of our mini-series, we focus on the great science that Webb will do.
2021-Nov-16 • 2 minutes
Curious Universe: Introducing the Webb Space Telescope Mini-Series
NASA is preparing to launch the largest and most powerful space telescope ever constructed. Join us for a special James Webb Space Telescope mini-series as we explore the science, engineering, people, and launch of this historic mission.
2021-Aug-30 • 22 minutes
A Day in Space
Have you ever dreamed of spending a day in space? Join astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, and Thomas Pesquet throughout their day living and working on the International Space Station.
2021-Aug-23 • 23 minutes
Journey to Venus
Let’s go to Venus! This year, two NASA missions were chosen to explore Earth’s “twin” planet, Venus. But with extreme temperatures and toxic clouds, these missions have to prepare for a difficult journey. Join Venus experts Jim Garvin, Sue Smrekar, and Giada Arney on a tour of Earth’s “twisted sister”.
2021-Aug-16 • 22 minutes
Rocket Assembly Required
Twenty-four American astronauts went to the moon between 1968 and 1972. In the next few years, we are going back. To get there, we’ll need a dedicated team, and a powerful new rocket. NASA’s Sharon Cobb and Abdiel Santos Galindo take us through the many, many steps involved in preparing for launch.
2021-Aug-09 • 19 minutes
Plasma, Plasma, Everywhere!
The night sky is full of planets, satellites, and cosmic objects we can see with our eyes and telescopes. In between all that material there’s a huge amount of invisible matter and the vast majority of it is called plasma. Follow along with scientists Doug Rowland and Don Gurnett, as we journey through this mysterious and electrifying substance.
2021-Aug-02 • 19 minutes
Curious Universe: Building Highways in the Sky
When you think of NASA, you probably think about outer space. But the first “A” in NASA - aeronautics - means we’re busy crafting a lot closer to home. Aerospace engineers Shivanjli Sharma, David Zahn, and Mike Guminsky are hard at work inventing and testing new ways to fly.
2021-Jul-26 • 18 minutes
Curious Universe: Earth’s Expanding Oceans
With Earth’s recent record-breaking temperatures, the pace of sea level rise has accelerated. NASA scientists take us on a trip into their research right here on our home planet. Join us as we fly over Antarctic ice sheets and consult with orbiting satellites on this exploration of our changing Earth.
2021-Jul-19 • 22 minutes
Curious Universe: Interpreting Our Universe
You’ve probably seen beautiful images of space taken from telescopes around the world and out in orbit.  But how does a bunch of intergalactic information become a vibrant photograph?  And what else can we see, feel, and hear from that data? Scientists Kenneth Carpenter, Kimberly Arcand, and Denna Lambert help us translate the universe.
2021-Jul-12 • 19 minutes
Curious Universe: Let’s Go Planet-Hunting!
What do we know about the planets outside our solar system? NASA planet hunters Jessie Christiansen and Knicole Colon take us beyond...into the exciting world of exoplanets.
2021-Jul-07 • 1 minutes
Introducing Season Three of Curious Universe
Our universe is a wild and wonderful place. Join NASA astronauts, scientists and engineers on a new adventure each week — all you need is your curiosity.
2021-Feb-22 • 16 minutes
Sounds of Mars
On February 18, 2021, NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover completed its 300 million mile journey and landed safely on the Red Planet. Here’s what it heard. This special episode of NASA’s Curious Universe features the first-ever raw recorded sounds from Mars. Jim Green, David Gruel and Erisa Stilley explain what you're hearing.
2020-Nov-23 • 20 minutes
Inside a Black Hole
Don't let the name fool you: a black hole is anything but empty space. Black holes are some of the most extreme, bizarre and fascinating objects in the universe. Regina Caputo and Jeremy Schnittman describe what it might be like to go hunting for one.
2020-Nov-16 • 20 minutes
The Crawlers
A pair of behemoth machines called crawler-trans­porters have carried the load of taking rockets and spacecraft to the launchpad for more than 50 years at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
2020-Nov-09 • 20 minutes
Seasons of the Sun
As Earth makes its annual trip around the Sun, we feel the impacts of its journey in the form of seasons. Our planet’s tilt in relation to the Sun determines what season we experience here on Earth. But, did you know that the Sun goes through seasons too? Delores Knipp, Dean Pesnell and Sabrina Savage explain.
2020-Nov-02 • 21 minutes
From Space to Farm
Farmers rely on the accuracy of a crucial NASA and USGS mission, Landsat, to make decisions about crops. Those decisions have far-reaching implications that can impact what you see on your dinner plate!
2020-Oct-26 • 19 minutes
Our Cosmic Time Machine, The James Webb Space Telescope
The James Webb Space Telescope will explore every phase of cosmic history: from the formation of the very first galaxies in the early universe, to our cosmic backyard of the Solar System. Webb is the largest space telescope NASA has ever built and it is almost ready to make its journey about one million miles from Earth.
2020-Oct-19 • 21 minutes
Asteroid Hunting
NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will attempt a daring feat: to briefly reach out its mechanical arm and grab a sample from an asteroid’s surface. Dante Lauretta, Heather Enos, and Ron Mink introduce you to NASA’s asteroid hunter and what this sample return mission means for us here on Earth.
2020-Oct-12 • 19 minutes
Our Laboratory in Space
Orbiting 250 miles above Earth, astronauts aboard the International Space Station explore farther into our solar system and work on thousands of studies that will help us back here on Earth. Join ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and NASA scientist Sharmila Bhattacharya on an adventure to our “orbiting laboratory.”
2020-Oct-05 • 2 minutes
Introducing NASA’s Curious Universe Season Two
Our universe is a wild and wonderful place. Join NASA astronauts, scientists and engineers on a new adventure each week — all you need is your curiosity. Go asteroid hunting, explore faraway galaxies, and watch a black hole as it begins to form. First-time space explorers welcome.
2020-Jul-21 • 19 minutes
We're Going to Mars!
In this episode of our Curious Universe podcast, join us on a journey to the Red Planet.
2020-May-17 • 15 minutes
The Star in Our Backyard
Our Sun holds the solar system together and is responsible for life as we know it. Though it may seem calm and unchanging, the Sun is dynamic. Join NASA solar scientists on a trip around the Sun, our lively and mysterious neighborhood star.
2020-May-11 • 9 minutes
Field Notes: Grand Mesa, Colorado
Snowmobile rides. Deep-sea dives. Forest treks. NASA experts travel to some amazing environments, from the very hot to the very cold, to learn more about our planet. Jessica Merzdorf, Earth science writer, recaps a February field campaign in Grand Mesa, Colorado.
2020-May-03 • 15 minutes
Sewing for Spaceflight
Sewing machines, tape, scissors. Just like you might visit a tailor to get your pants hemmed or your suit fitted, NASA calls on a group of very creative problem-solvers to custom-make protective shields for our space missions.
2020-Apr-27 • 17 minutes
The Astronaut Training Pool
Before astronauts head to space, they have to dive into the Neutral Buoyancy Lab. Take a swim in NASA's underwater training ground with astronaut Nick Hague.
2020-Apr-19 • 17 minutes
Our Window to the Stars
Decades of planning. One heart-pounding setback. Over a million mesmerizing images of space. This is the story of the Hubble Space Telescope, our window to the stars.
2020-Apr-12 • 18 minutes
Only on Earth
When you think of NASA, you might think of all the incredible mysteries of outer space. But we’re also pretty invested in another very special place … our home. In this episode, join us as we celebrate all the ways NASA keeps an eye on our home planet.
2020-Mar-31 • 2 minutes
Introducing NASA’s Curious Universe
Our universe is a wild and wonderful place. Join NASA astronauts, scientists and engineers on a new adventure each week — all you need is your curiosity. First-time space explorers welcome.