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TrueSciPhi

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Podcast Profile: Ask a Spaceman!

podcast imageTwitter: @PaulMattSutter (followed by 95 accounts on physicist, mathematician, and astronomer lists)
Site: www.pmsutter.com/shows/askaspaceman
195 episodes
2015 to present
Average episode: 35 minutes
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Categories: Astronomy • Monologue (Non-Course) • Physics

Podcaster's summary: What would happen if you fell into a black hole? How big is the universe? Just what the heck is a quasar, anyway? | | You've got questions, and astrophysicist Paul Sutter has the answers! Submit questions via Twitter using #AskASpaceman or post to facebook.com/PaulMattSutter. Every week you will come closer to COMPLETE KNOWLEDGE OF TIME AND SPACE!

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List Updated: 2022-Dec-07 12:58 UTC. Episodes: 195. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

Episodes
2022-Dec-06 • 50 minutes
AaS! 189: What is the Meaning of Quantum Mechanics? (Part 7: Many Worlds, Infinite Possibilities)
Part 7! What is the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics? How does decoherence play a critical role? What are the strengths and weaknesses of this idea? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! This episode is...
2022-Nov-15 • 39 minutes
AaS! 188: What is the Meaning of Quantum Mechanics? (Part 6: Einstein’s Revenge)
Part 6! What were Einstein’s objections to quantum mechanics? Why was he so bothered by non-locality? What is the EPR paradox? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Give online...
2022-Nov-01 • 40 minutes
AaS! 187: What is the Meaning of Quantum Mechanics? (Part 5: Dreams of Copenhagen)
Part 5! What is the Copenhagen interpretation? How did the debates between Heisenberg and Schrodinger influence later physicists? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the “shut up and calculate” approach to quantum mechanics? I discuss these...
2022-Oct-18 • 29 minutes
AaS! 186: What is the Meaning of Quantum Mechanics? (Part 4: It’s a Quantum, Quantum, Quantum World)
Part 4! What are the basic lessons of quantum mechanics? What does quantum mechanics teach us about the nature of reality? How does a quantum worldview differ from a classical one? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! This...
2022-Oct-04 • 49 minutes
AaS! 185: What is the Meaning of Quantum Mechanics? (Part 3: There and Back Again)
Part 3! Who developed quantum theory and why? What experiments motivated the creation of quantum mechanics? How was quantum mechanics a total break from classical physics? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Please support...
2022-Sep-20 • 43 minutes
AaS! 184: What is the Meaning of Quantum Mechanics? (Part 2: Quantum Mechanics 102)
Part 2! How do physicists understand quantum mechanics? What are the postulates and principles of quantum mechanics? How do the foundations of quantum mechanics compare to other theories? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman!...
2022-Sep-06 • 37 minutes
AaS! 183: What is the Meaning of Quantum Mechanics? (Part 1: This Way to the Weird)
Part 1! Where does quantum theory fit in the larger tapestry of physics? What is the domain of quantum mechanics? And most importantly, what are the limits of quantum physics? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Please...
2022-Aug-16 • 37 minutes
AaS! 182: Wait, Super-Atoms are a Real Thing?
How do you make a super-atom? What can they be used for? What does this mean for quantum mechanics? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Please support our amazing sponsors of this episode: Visit to get 10% off your first...
2022-Aug-02 • 37 minutes
AaS! 181: What is the Principle of Least Action?
What makes the principle of least action so important? Who came up with it? Is it all just a bunch of math or does it actually mean something? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Please support our amazing sponsors of this...
2022-Jul-19 • 34 minutes
AaS! 180: How Does Pulsar Timing Work?
What is a pulsar? How can we use them to map gravitational waves? What kind of technology does it take? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Please support our amazing sponsors of this episode: Visit to get 10% off your...
2022-Jul-05 • 45 minutes
AaS! 179: What are the Alternatives to Dark Matter?
What are some of the problems with dark matter? What about modified gravity? Are there any other solutions? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Please support our amazing sponsors of this episode: Visit to get 10% off...
2022-Jun-21 • 39 minutes
AaS! 178: How Big Can Planets Get?
How big can a rocky planet get? Can a rocky planet turn into a gas giant? Why are some planets rocky and others gassy? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on...
2022-Jun-07 • 33 minutes
AaS! 177: How Do Black Holes Affect Their Galaxies?
How do giant black holes shut off star formation? How do they turn it back on? Which came first, the black hole or the galaxy? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like...
2022-May-17 • 35 minutes
AaS! 176: Why is Gravity So Weak?
How did gravity get so ridiculously weak? Could it be related to extra dimensions? What does string theory and the concept of the “bulk” have to do with it? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All...
2022-May-03 • 39 minutes
AaS! 175: Should We Be Afraid of the Dipole Repeller?
What is the dipole repeller? Why is it a dipole? What is it repelling? What is the Bootes Void and how is it connected to dark energy? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on...
2022-Apr-19 • 28 minutes
AaS! 174: What Solves the Twin Paradox?
What does everybody think is the twin paradox? What's the REAL twin paradox? How is the paradox resolved, and what does it teach us about synchronicity? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: ...
2022-Apr-05 • 31 minutes
AaS! 173: How Does Radioactive Decay Work?
How was radioactive decay discovered? What are the different kinds of decay? How does quantum mechanics make all this happen? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like...
2022-Mar-15 • 36 minutes
AaS! 172: What Are Some Alternatives to the Big Bang Theory?
What makes the Big Bang theory so successful? How were alternatives ruled out? What are the electric universe and steady state theories? Do any other options remain, like conformal cyclic cosmology? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask...
2022-Mar-01 • 30 minutes
AaS! 171: What are Lagrange Points?
Why are Lagrange points so crucial to astronomy? What makes even simple gravity so difficult? How do you “put” something at a Lagrange point? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow...
2022-Feb-15 • 38 minutes
AaS! 170: What’s So Fine About the Fine Structure Constant?
What is the fine structure constant? Where does it come from? Why is it so important? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: 
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2022-Feb-01 • 40 minutes
AaS! 169: What Is Loop Quantum Gravity?
Why do we care about loop quantum gravity? Is it a viable path to uniting quantum mechanics and general relativity? What does it mean for spacetime to be discrete? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All...
2022-Jan-18 • 30 minutes
AaS! 168: Can We Get Some Love for Globular Clusters?
How are globular clusters so old? Where did they come from, and how are they linked to galaxy formation? What makes them so globular, anyway? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on...
2022-Jan-04 • 47 minutes
AaS! 167: Do We Live In a Giant Simulation?
What is the simulation hypothesis? Is it just pseudoscience? How do we grapple with its implications? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: 
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2021-Dec-21 • 47 minutes
AaS! 166: What’s the Truth Behind ‘Oumuamua?
Where did ‘Oumuamua come from? What is it made of, and how did it end up here? Is it really an artifact of an alien civilization? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: ...
2021-Dec-07 • 35 minutes
AaS! 165: What Comes After the James Webb Space Telescope?
What missions will come after the James Webb Space Telescope launches? What new discoveries await us? How long will they take to start? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on...
2021-Nov-16 • 27 minutes
AaS! 164: Where Can We Find Diamond Rain?
How do giant planets make diamond rain? Does it really, you know, rain? Where does diamond rain exist? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on Facebook: Watch on...
2021-Nov-02 • 34 minutes
AaS! 163: Will Our Universe End in a False Vacuum Decay?
What is a vacuum, and what makes a false one? What happened in the early universe to bring about our current physics? Will it happen again? If so, when? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: 
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2021-Oct-19 • 34 minutes
AaS! 162: What the Heck are Gamma Ray Bursts?
What are the different kinds of gamma ray bursts? What powers them? What do we still have to understand about them? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Please support our amazing sponsors of this episode: Visit . Use the...
2021-Oct-05 • 40 minutes
AaS! 161: Is There a Crisis in Cosmology? RELOADED
Is there more to say about the “crisis in cosmology”? What are the fundamental disagreements? Is there any way out of this mess? Why am I talking about it again? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: ...
2021-Sep-21 • 44 minutes
AaS! 160: What’s the Best Way to Search for Life?
What kind of signals are we searching for from aliens? What are technosignatures and biosignatures? How are we looking for non-intelligent life? Is there any hope of finding life in our own solar system? I discuss these questions and more in today’s...
2021-Sep-07 • 41 minutes
AaS! 159: Why Should We Geek Out Over Maxwell?
Why is James Clerk Maxwell so dang awesome? How was he able to unify the forces of electricity and magnetism? Why was his work so revolutionary? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow...
2021-Aug-17 • 43 minutes
AaS! 158: What’s So Groovy About Gravitational Waves? (Part 2)
Part 2 of 2! How did the observation of a kilonova change astronomy? How did that one observation kill off alternate models of gravity? What’s in store for the future of gravitational waves? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a...
2021-Aug-03 • 45 minutes
AaS! 157: What’s So Groovy About Gravitational Waves? (Part 1)
Part 1! What are gravitational waves? What makes them? How can we detect them here on Earth, and why is it a big deal? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Audio Credit: Caltech/MIT/LIGO Lab Support the show: All episodes:...
2021-Jul-20 • 39 minutes
AaS! 156: What are Asteroids Good For?
What are the different kinds of asteroids? What are they made of? How can we send missions to capture them, and what will we do once we get one? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow...
2021-Jul-06 • 38 minutes
AaS! 155: Who’s Going To Clean Up All That Space Junk?
How did so much junk get up in space? How can we clean it up? How is it making light pollution worse? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on Facebook: Watch on...
2021-Jun-15 • 38 minutes
AaS! 154: Is There REALLY a Crisis in Cosmology?
How do we measure the age of the universe? Why are different methods giving different results? How do we solve this problem? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like...
2021-Jun-01 • 38 minutes
AaS! 153: What is a Black Hole Firewall, and Do They Really Exist??
What is a black hole firewall? How does it solve some paradoxes when it comes to black holes? Do the firewalls actually exist? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like...
2021-May-18 • 37 minutes
AaS! 152: Could We Really Terraform Mars?
What killed Mars billions of years ago? How can we kickstart a warming trend to transform Mars to look like Earth? What kind of technology do we need, and how well will it work? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support...
2021-May-04 • 42 minutes
AaS! 151: How Do Quantum Computers Work?
What makes quantum computers so powerful? What kinds of problems can they solve? How do we actually build one? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on Facebook: ...
2021-Apr-20 • 42 minutes
AaS! 150: Why Don’t Neutrinos Make Any Sense?
How did we discover neutrinos? What don’t they make any sense? Why do they have mass, and how do they change their identities? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: 
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2021-Apr-06 • 32 minutes
AaS! 149: Is the Universe a Fractal?
Is our universe a fractal? How do we test this? Are there any places in the universe that look like fractals? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on Facebook: ...
2021-Mar-16 • 35 minutes
AaS! 148: What’s Outside the Universe?
What is the meaning of the horizon of the universe? Is the Earth in a special place? What’s the “dark flow”? Can this explain dark energy? Why don’t we believe it anymore? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support...
2021-Mar-02 • 40 minutes
AaS! 147: What’s the Deal with the Uncertainty Principle?
What are the origins of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle? Is there any way to cheat it? What does this all have to do with waves? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: 
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2021-Feb-16 • 38 minutes
AaS! 146: Astro101 Part 8 - What is the Future of Astronomy?
It’s time for school! The Astro101 series will cover some of the most important questions in astronomy. In today’s lesson, we’ll have: What does it take to have a career in astronomy? What does a professional astronomer actually do? What can you...
2021-Feb-02 • 46 minutes
AaS! 145: Astro101 Part 7 - What is the Universe?
It’s time for school! The Astro101 series will cover some of the most important questions in astronomy. In today’s lesson, we’ll have: How did the universe begin? How will it end? What’s going on in here and how did we learn all this? I...
2021-Jan-19 • 43 minutes
AaS! 144: Astro101 Part 6 - What are Galaxies?
It’s time for school! The Astro101 series will cover some of the most important questions in astronomy. In today’s lesson, we’ll have: What is a galaxy? What does our own galaxy look like? What are the different kinds of galaxies, and how did...
2021-Jan-05 • 38 minutes
AaS! 143: Astro101 Part 5 - What are Neutron Stars, White Dwarfs, and Black Holes?
It’s time for school! The Astro101 series will cover some of the most important questions in astronomy. In today’s lesson, we’ll have: What is a white dwarf? What is a neutron star? What is a black hole? I discuss these questions and more in...
2020-Dec-15 • 35 minutes
AaS! 142: Astro101 Part 4 - What Happens When Stars Die?
It’s time for school! The Astro101 series will cover some of the most important questions in astronomy. In today’s lesson, we have: What’s the difference between a “dwarf” and “giant” star? How are stars born? What happens when stars...
2020-Dec-01 • 35 minutes
AaS! 141: Astro101 Part 3 - What is a Star?
It’s time for school! The Astro101 series will cover some of the most important questions in astronomy. In today’s lesson, we’ll have: What are the different kinds of stars? Why does classification in astronomy make no sense? How the heck do we...
2020-Nov-17 • 35 minutes
AaS! 140: Astro101 Part 2 - Who lives in the solar system?
It’s time for school! The Astro101 series will cover some of the most important questions in astronomy. In today’s lesson, we’ll have: How did the solar system form? What is a “planet” and who decided that? Just how much space is in space? I...
2020-Nov-03 • 35 minutes
AaS! 139: Astro101 Part 1 - Why bother with astronomy?
It’s time for school! The Astro101 series will cover some of the most important questions in astronomy. In today’s lesson, we’ll have: Why did people used to study astronomy? Why do they continue to study astronomy? What’s the deal with all...
2020-Oct-20 • 34 minutes
AaS! 138: Could the "emdrive" really work?
What does the “emdrive” claim to do? How does it violate almost all of known physics? What were the problems with the experiments? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter:...
2020-Oct-06 • 32 minutes
AaS! 137: What's really at the center of a black hole?
What can possibly replace the singularity? What are Planck stars and Gravastars? What’s it like to fall into a rotating black hole? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: ...
2020-Sep-15 • 31 minutes
AaS! 136: Can planets survive the death of their star?
When stars die, do their planets die too? What can possibly survive after a supernova explosion? How will the death of the sun affect our solar system? Can zombie planets rise from the dead? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a...
2020-Sep-01 • 31 minutes
AaS! 135: Why Aren't There More Black Physicists?
What are the accomplishments of black astronomers and physicists? Why does diversity remain so low in higher education, especially physics? What can we do to prevent bias and discrimination? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a...
2020-Aug-18 • 32 minutes
AaS! 134: Is there a fifth force of nature?
Are there more than four forces of nature? Is dark matter connected to dark energy? What the heck are dark photons? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on Facebook:...
2020-Aug-04 • 33 minutes
AaS! 133: How do we know the Earth is curved?
Why do people believe the Earth is flat? How do we know it’s curved? Is a debate even worth it? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on Facebook: Watch on...
2020-Jul-21 • 36 minutes
AaS! 132: What did Einstein get wrong?
Was Einstein ever wrong? How did he miss out on a major prediction for the universe? What was his major beef with quantum mechanics? How did he go from quantum believer to quantum hater? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman!...
2020-Jul-07 • 34 minutes
AaS! 131: What's so cool about the TRAPPIST-1 system?
Why is the TRAPPIST-1 system so fascinating? Is it really habitable? How are we figuring all this out? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on Facebook: Watch on...
2020-Jun-16 • 26 minutes
AaS! 130: What's the most amazing thing about the universe?
What blows me away about the universe? How is it all connected? How does universality give physics the power to explain everything? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: ...
2020-Jun-02 • 33 minutes
AaS! 129: Did the big bang make black holes?
What kind of crazy physics made primordial black holes? What does that have to do with the LIGO observations of merging black holes? How can we possibly detect them? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: ...
2020-May-19 • 27 minutes
AaS! 128: Why are we missing all the baryons?
What is the “missing baryon problem”? How do we know how many baryons there ought to be? What does the cosmic web have to do with it? What the heck is a baryon, anyway? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the...
2020-May-05 • 43 minutes
AaS! 127: What was Newton's big deal?
What was Newton’s genius? Why was his work so controversial? Why are his laws of motion so radical? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on Facebook: Watch on...
2020-Apr-21 • 33 minutes
AaS! 126: What's the wildest weather in the solar system?
What makes the Earth’s atmosphere so special? What makes the atmospheres of other planets so special? Why are atmospheres so special anyway? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: ...
2020-Apr-07 • 34 minutes
AaS! 125: Does Planet Nine exist?
Why do we think the solar system might have another planet? Why do we think it doesn’t? How do test for something that’s too far away to see? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow...
2020-Mar-17 • 36 minutes
AaS! 124: Why is the speed of light the way it is?
Why is the speed of light so important in physics? Why does the value not matter at all? And why does it have the speed that it does? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: ...
2020-Mar-10 • 14 minutes
How to Die in Space: Sneak Preview
My next book, How to Die in Space, is coming out June 2020! Here's a special sneak preview reading from the book, and info about how you can get a free autographed copy! Book info: Autographed copy:
2020-Mar-03 • 27 minutes
AaS! 123: What powers a hypernova?
How can a supernova become even more powerful? Why do we have such a hard time studying them, let alone defining them? What happens when you let a giant star unleash its full potential? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman!...
2020-Feb-18 • 49 minutes
AaS! 122: Is String Theory Worth It? (Part 8: An Armageddon of Strings)
How did String Theory get started? What has made the idea so popular over the decades? Can we ever truly have a theory of quantum gravity? What is supersymmetry, the landscape, and the AdS/CFT Correspondence? What do holograms have to do with this?...
2020-Feb-04 • 30 minutes
AaS! 121: Is String Theory Worth It? (Part 7: A Correspondence from a Dear Friend)
How did String Theory get started? What has made the idea so popular over the decades? Can we ever truly have a theory of quantum gravity? What is supersymmetry, the landscape, and the AdS/CFT Correspondence? What do holograms have to do with this?...
2020-Jan-21 • 32 minutes
AaS! 120: Is String Theory Worth It? (Part 6: We Should Probably Test This)
How did String Theory get started? What has made the idea so popular over the decades? Can we ever truly have a theory of quantum gravity? What is supersymmetry, the landscape, and the AdS/CFT Correspondence? What do holograms have to do with this?...
2020-Jan-07 • 36 minutes
AaS! 119: Is String Theory Worth It? (Part 5: Duality of the Fates)
How did String Theory get started? What has made the idea so popular over the decades? Can we ever truly have a theory of quantum gravity? What is supersymmetry, the landscape, and the AdS/CFT Correspondence? What do holograms have to do with this?...
2019-Dec-17 • 42 minutes
AaS! 118: Is String Theory Worth It? (Part 4: What We Need is a Superhero)
How did String Theory get started? What has made the idea so popular over the decades? Can we ever truly have a theory of quantum gravity? What is supersymmetry, the landscape, and the AdS/CFT Correspondence? What do holograms have to do with this?...
2019-Dec-03 • 42 minutes
AaS! 117: Is String Theory Worth It? (Part 3: Dimension is Destiny)
How did String Theory get started? What has made the idea so popular over the decades? Can we ever truly have a theory of quantum gravity? What is supersymmetry, the landscape, and the AdS/CFT Correspondence? What do holograms have to do with this?...
2019-Nov-19 • 48 minutes
AaS! 116: Is String Theory Worth It? (Part 2: Tuning the Strings)
How did String Theory get started? What has made the idea so popular over the decades? Can we ever truly have a theory of quantum gravity? What is supersymmetry, the landscape, and the AdS/CFT Correspondence? What do holograms have to do with this?...
2019-Nov-05 • 50 minutes
AaS! 115: Is String Theory Worth It? (Part 1: Unify This!)
How did String Theory get started? What has made the idea so popular over the decades? Can we ever truly have a theory of quantum gravity? What is supersymmetry, the landscape, and the AdS/CFT Correspondence? What do holograms have to do with this?...
2019-Oct-15 • 32 minutes
AaS! 114: How did spectroscopy revolutionize astronomy?
How did chemists save astronomy? What’s so important about the spectrum, and how are they made? How can we tell what things in space are made out of? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All...
2019-Oct-01 • 36 minutes
AaS! 113: Is the James Webb Space Telescope worth the wait?
Why is infrared astronomy so hard? How do we fit giant telescopes into tiny rockets? What will the James Webb uncover? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on...
2019-Sep-17 • 39 minutes
AaS! 112: Why can't I quantum tunnel myself?
Where does the quantum world begin? Why do we have a hard time fundamentally understanding quantum systems? What connects quantum and classical physics? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All...
2019-Sep-03 • 42 minutes
AaS! 111: What's it like to fall into a black hole? (redux)
What’s it like to fall into a black hole (again)? What does the outside universe look like? Is there any way to avoid your grisly fate at the singularity? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All...
2019-Aug-20 • 26 minutes
AaS! 110: Is the universe really predictable?
What is chaos theory? How can something be both deterministic and unpredictable? Is there are hope at all for physics? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on...
2019-Aug-06 • 29 minutes
AaS! 109: What are the mysterious cosmic strings?
How do cracks appear in spacetime? What does it have to do with symmetry? Could we ever hope to find a cosmic string? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on...
2019-Jul-16 • 32 minutes
AaS! 108: What do we learn from eclipses?
Why is it so hard to predict solar eclipses? How did Newton and Halley team up to solve it? What have we learned from solar eclipses since then? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow...
2019-Jul-02 • 37 minutes
AaS! 107: Is interstellar travel possible?
How hard is interstellar travel? What are the possible ways to achieve the required energy? Is there anything at all feasible in the works? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on...
2019-Jun-18 • 36 minutes
AaS! 106: How do we measure the expansion of the universe?
What’s the deal with redshift? How can we actually interpret velocities when it comes to cosmic expansion? And what’s with the recent tension over measuring the expansion rate? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman!...
2019-Jun-04 • 27 minutes
AaS! 105: Is everything a wave or a particle, and why does my head hurt?
Is light made of waves or particles? Is matter made of waves or particles? What does it mean for matter to “wave”, anyway? Why is this so hard to understand? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All...
2019-May-21 • 24 minutes
AaS! 104: What turned Venus into hell?
What’s so bad about Venus, besides everything? How did it get so bad? And are we next? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on Facebook: Watch on YouTube: Read a...
2019-May-07 • 25 minutes
AaS! 103: What's wrong with the cosmic calendar?
What is the “cosmic calendar”? What are some important scales in the universe? Why is it so hard to judge “importance” of events? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on...
2019-Apr-16 • 33 minutes
AaS! 102: What are the mighty clusters of galaxies?
What are galaxy clusters made of, besides galaxies? How can we use them to understand dark matter? And how can we make pretend ones on a computer? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow...
2019-Apr-02 • 27 minutes
AaS! 101: What is the black hole information paradox?
What is “information” in physics? Why do we think it’s preserved, and what happens to information when it falls into a black hole? Why is this a problem? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All...
2019-Mar-19 • 31 minutes
AaS! 100: Why avoid the cosmic voids?
How do cosmic voids form? What do they teach us about dark energy? What did the early universe look like? What does all this have to do with cupcakes? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: ...
2019-Mar-05 • 36 minutes
AaS! 99: Do we live in the multiverse?
What’s the difference between the universe and the multiverse? How can cosmic inflation make bubble universes? Do those universes get different physics? If I travel far enough away, will I meet…myself? I discuss these questions and more in...
2019-Feb-19 • 27 minutes
AaS! 98: Who's in charge of the quantum world?
How did Max Planck accidentally discover quantum mechanics? Why is his constant so special? What happens at the quantum level? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like...
2019-Feb-05 • 26 minutes
AaS! 97: What makes the strong force so strong?
Why is the strong force better known as the “color force”? What’s the best way to think about protons and quarks? What do the Three Musketeers have to do with anything? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the...
2019-Jan-15 • 23 minutes
AaS! 96: Hey, who took all the antimatter?
Why are matter and antimatter symmetric? What happened in the early universe to make matter win? Do we have any clue as to why? What do puppies have to do with it? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All...
2019-Jan-01 • 27 minutes
AaS! 95: Does light experience time? (and other mysteries)
What does ‘time’ mean for light? What is the real lesson of the twin paradox? How can we all agree on the true age of the universe? Why is it all so technical? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All...
2018-Dec-18 • 46 minutes
AaS! 94: How did we figure out that stuff is made of atoms?
How and when did we realize that atoms exist? How did we learn to understand their properties? How was Ernest Rutherford hogging all the science for himself? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All...
2018-Dec-04 • 41 minutes
AaS! 93: Does the Oort Cloud Exist?
Where is the Oort Cloud and what is it made of? Why do we think some comets come from there? If the Oort Cloud exists, how did it form? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on...
2018-Nov-20 • 36 minutes
AaS! 92: I give up, what is time?
What makes time so hard to understand? Why is it so different from the spatial dimensions? Is time in any way connected to that most difficult of concepts, entropy? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All...
2018-Nov-06 • 30 minutes
AaS! 91: Could we blow up a star?
How much energy is needed to blow up the sun? How is this connected to the idea of binding energy? Where is all the energy in the universe? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on...
2018-Oct-16 • 34 minutes
AaS! 90: Why are brown dwarf stars so weird?
What do brown dwarfs teach us about stars? What do they teach us about planets? What keeps them warm, and how long do they live? And are they really brown? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All...
2018-Oct-02 • 27 minutes
AaS! 89: What makes all the light?
What are the many sources of light in the universe? Why is a spectrum so important? What’s the difference between synchrotron and Cherenkov radiation? What’s the best word ever in physics? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a...
2018-Sep-25 • 24 minutes
A Reading from the Book of Paul
Today I'm reading a sample from my new book, I'm also sharing details about how you can a) buy the book, b) to get an autographed copy, c) get my book tour to swing by your neighborhood, and d) buy the book some more!
2018-Sep-18 • 34 minutes
AaS! 88: Is the Drake Equation useful?
What does the Drake Equation teach us about extraterrestrial civilizations? What does it NOT teach us? What complexities does it hide? Is it even science? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes:...
2018-Sep-04 • 31 minutes
AaS! 87: How do magnets work?
What’s the connection between motion and magnetism? How can something like a black hole have a magnetic field? What’s the connection to quantum mechanics? How did Einstein use magnetism to develop special relativity? I discuss these questions and...
2018-Aug-21 • 34 minutes
AaS! 86: Why do we need cosmic inflation? (Part 2)
Part 2! What was going in the very early universe? How does inflation provide the seeds of larger structures? How can we possibly test this? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on...
2018-Aug-07 • 35 minutes
AaS! 85: Why do we need cosmic inflation? (Part 1)
Part 1! What are some weaknesses with the standard Big Bang model? What are the horizon and flatness problems? How does accelerated expansion solve these? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes:...
2018-Jul-17 • 43 minutes
AaS! 84: How does dark energy accelerate the universe?
What is the cosmological constant? How is the expansion of the universe related to quantum fields? How does a vacuum energy produce accelerated expansion? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes:...
2018-Jul-03 • 33 minutes
AaS! 83: Can entangled particles communicate faster than light?
What is a quantum state? How can two particles share the same state? What is entanglement, and does it really allow for faster-than-light communication? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: ...
2018-Jun-19 • 36 minutes
AaS! 82: What awoke the cosmic dawn?
Were the dark ages really dark? What is a perturbation, and how did they grow in the early universe? When the first stars awoke, what happened? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on...
2018-Jun-05 • 32 minutes
AaS! 81: How do you build a rocket-ship?
What does momentum have to do with rockets? Why are nozzles so dang important? What is a “potent mixture”, anyway? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on...
2018-May-15 • 39 minutes
AaS! 80: What made the "OMG Particle" so special?
What is the so-called “OMG Particle”? Where could it possibly come from, and how are magnetic fields involved? How can we detect these cosmic rays? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: ...
2018-May-01 • 42 minutes
AaS! 79: Seriously, what is gravity? (Part 3)
Part 3! How did Einstein develop General Relativity? What does it mean for different kinds of masses to be equivalent? How does gravity do what it does? Why is curvature so important in understanding gravity? I discuss these questions and more in...
2018-Apr-17 • 35 minutes
AaS! 78: Seriously, what is gravity? (Part 2)
Part 2! How did Einstein develop General Relativity? What does it mean for different kinds of masses to be equivalent? How does gravity do what it does? Why is curvature so important in understanding gravity? I discuss these questions and more in...
2018-Apr-03 • 39 minutes
AaS! 77: Seriously, what is gravity? (Part 1)
Part 1! How did Einstein develop General Relativity? What does it mean for different kinds of masses to be equivalent? How does gravity do what it does? Why is curvature so important in understanding gravity? I discuss these questions and more in...
2018-Mar-20 • 31 minutes
AaS! 76: Iceland Question Bonanza!
Where did all the monopoles go? Do other planets have auroras? Can binary stars host planets? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! A very special edition recorded in Vik, Iceland, where I answered questions from the...
2018-Mar-06 • 32 minutes
AaS! 75: Why is Iceland so warm?
What makes Iceland so warm despite its high latitude? What powers everything from glaciers to geysers? How are the aurora connected to volcanoes? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! A very special edition recorded in Vik,...
2018-Feb-20 • 27 minutes
AaS! 74: Why are small stars such a big deal?
Why are small stars red? Why are small stars so common? Why are small stars so interesting for the hunt for life? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on Facebook:...
2018-Feb-06 • 31 minutes
AaS! 73: Why should we believe the big bang?
What did Hubble really discover? Why does redshift imply an expanding universe? Why is the night sky dark? Why is there so much hydrogen, and how is that connected to the Big Bang? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman!...
2018-Jan-16 • 35 minutes
AaS! 72: How does gravity make a lens?
How does gravity bend the path of light? Does it seriously act like a lens or is that just a metaphor? What does it take, and how do we know? What can we learn from this strange physics? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman!...
2018-Jan-02 • 33 minutes
AaS! 71: Who lives in the particle zoo?
What strange creatures inhabit the so-called “particle zoo”? Why is it a zoo instead of something simpler? Is there anything that connects the forces and particles of our universe? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a...
2017-Dec-19 • 39 minutes
AaS! 70: Can we have some quark stars, please?
How does degeneracy pressure work? What kinds of particles exist below the level of neutrons? Can they hold up a star against gravity? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on...
2017-Dec-08 • 10 minutes
AstroTour: Atacama Dark Sky Retreat
Join me for an all new AstroTour adventure, one that I'm personally very excited about: a trip to the Atacama Desert of Chile to spend a week at an all-inclusive stargazing resort! The trip is perfectly timed to hit the Geminid meteor shower, explore...
2017-Dec-05 • 30 minutes
AaS! 69: What makes a blazar blaze so brightly?
What powers a quasar? Just how strong is a blazar? What’s the connection to giant black holes? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on Facebook: Watch on...
2017-Nov-21 • 27 minutes
AaS! 68: Do we live in a hologram?
What’s the idea behind the holographic principle? What does it have to do with black holes and the early universe? Does this…mean something? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: ...
2017-Nov-07 • 33 minutes
AaS! 67: Why can't I be an astrophysicist?
Why is it tough to become a scientific researcher? What are some of the barriers in the field? Are there any other options? I have a PhD - now what? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: ...
2017-Oct-17 • 31 minutes
AaS! 66: What in the world is metallic hydrogen?
What in the world is metallic hydrogen? What does it even mean? Where does it exist in nature, and can we make it in the lab? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: http://www.patreon.com/pmsutter All...
2017-Oct-03 • 39 minutes
AaS! 65: How does one become an astrophysicist?
How does one become an astrophysicist? What are the challenges and rewards of that kind of career? Are there even any jobs? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: http://www.patreon.com/pmsutter All episodes:...
2017-Sep-26 • 11 minutes
All about the "Sea and the Stars" AstroTour
Fraser Cain and I are leading another starry-eyed adventure, this time to the beautiful caribbean on a 7-day cruise, featuring tours of the Kennedy Space Center, star viewing every night, at-sea talks and show recordings, and explorations of Mayan...
2017-Sep-19 • 30 minutes
AaS! 64: What fate awaits the Voyagers?
Why were the Voyager missions so important? Where are they now, and where are they going? What is their ultimate fate? And that Golden Record…good idea or bad idea? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show:...
2017-Sep-05 • 34 minutes
AaS! 63: How are we to understand quantum spin?
What does it mean for an electron to spin? Why do we have such a hard time measuring it? And why doesn’t Paul Dirac get any attention anymore, anyway? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show:...
2017-Aug-15 • 28 minutes
AaS! 62: Why do some stars blow up?
What’s the balancing act happening inside stars? Why is iron the fusion limit? How long does it take for a star to blow? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: http://www.patreon.com/pmsutter All episodes:...
2017-Aug-08 • 27 minutes
Update and Space Radio Preview
A quick update on Patreon, Astrotours, and a preview of the new Space Radio show! Space Radio: Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on Facebook: Watch on YouTube: Keep those questions about space, science, astronomy,...
2017-Aug-01 • 30 minutes
AaS! 61: Where do giant magnetic fields come from?
How does the universe generate giant magnetic fields? Is it astrophysical or primordial? How do we find them anyway? Why am I not talking about Maxwell? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show:...
2017-Jul-18 • 34 minutes
AaS! 60: What's the Deal with Time Crystals?
What’s the deal with time crystals? Do they break physics as we know it? Or are they merely…neat? What do symmetries and the conservation of energy have to do with it? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the...
2017-Jul-04 • 29 minutes
AaS! 59: Do Black Holes Exist?
Do black holes exist, or are they merely theoretical constructs? What’s the evidence? And what about the singularity, surely that doesn’t happen, right? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: 
 All...
2017-Jun-20 • 21 minutes
AaS! 58: Is time travel possible?
Does everyone have the same clock? Can we skip forward into the future? What about the past? Why does it appear to be forbidden in our universe? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow...
2017-Jun-06 • 34 minutes
AaS! 57: What's the matter with dark matter?
How is the bullet cluster the “smoking gun” for dark matter? Why aren’t alternate theories of gravity satisfactory? Could dark matter just be a bunch of black holes? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the...
2017-May-16 • 36 minutes
AaS! 56: What is the "Axis of Evil"?
Just how mediocre are we? I’ve heard there’s an “axis of evil” in space - what’s up with that? Is there anything special about our position within the universe? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Learn about the...
2017-May-02 • 37 minutes
AaS! 55: Does dark energy exist?
How do we measure the expansion history of the universe? Why are supernovae so dang useful? Come on, what’s with this “dark energy” business? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: ...
2017-Apr-18 • 38 minutes
AaS! 54: What happens when galaxies collide?
What happens during a galaxy merger event? Is dark matter involved? How do we use simulations to learn about these processes that last hundreds of millions of years? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Learn about the...
2017-Apr-04 • 31 minutes
AaS! 53: Why is the Higgs boson important? (Part 2)
Part Two! What’s the relationship between the Higgs Boson and mass? What does that even mean, and how do we go about detecting it? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Learn about the Iceland excursion: Support the show: ...
2017-Mar-21 • 38 minutes
AaS! 52: Why is the Higgs Boson important? (Part 1)
Part One! What does the Higgs Boson mean? What role does it play in the forces of nature? What makes it so special? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Learn about the Iceland excursion: Support the show: All episodes: ...
2017-Mar-07 • 50 minutes
AaS! 51: What has New Horizons learned about Pluto?
What has New Horizons taught us about Pluto so far? What’s going on under the ice? Why does the “heart” of Pluto still beat? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Learn about the Iceland excursion: Support the show: ...
2017-Feb-21 • 40 minutes
AaS! 50: What's up with Saturn's rings?
How (and when) did the rings of Saturn form? How are we to understand the complex systems of rings and gaps? How do the moons influence their shape? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Learn about the Iceland excursion: ...
2017-Feb-07 • 45 minutes
AaS! 49: What were the most clever experiments of all time?
What are the most clever physics and astronomy experiments of all time? What did we learn from them, and what made them so dang clever? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Learn about the Iceland excursion: Support the...
2017-Jan-17 • 36 minutes
AaS! 48: Why are Kepler's Laws important?
Why are Kepler’s Laws important? What was Kepler trying to understand? What connection did Kepler think he was making? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Learn about the Iceland excursion: Support the show: All...
2017-Jan-03 • 43 minutes
AaS! 47: What's the universe made of?
What’s the universe made of? How is this connected to its age? What’s the connection between dark matter and dark energy? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Learn about the Iceland excursion: Support the show: All...
2016-Dec-20 • 37 minutes
AaS! 46: How to describe astronomy to the blind?
How can the night sky be described to someone who can’t see it? What’s it like to do astronomy? What kind of feelings come into play? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on...
2016-Dec-06 • 36 minutes
AaS! 45: Wormholes - deal or no deal?
Are wormholes real or what? How did we even start thinking of them? If we could build one, would it be possible to actually, you know, use it? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on...
2016-Nov-15 • 36 minutes
AaS! 44: How does the sun get spots?
How do sunspots work? What do magnetic fields have to do with it? Who was Zeeman and why was his splitting so important? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on...
2016-Nov-01 • 33 minutes
AaS! 43: What's the Shape of the Universe?
What’s the shape of the universe? What does it even mean for the universe to have a “shape”? If you traveled far enough, would you end up where you started? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All...
2016-Oct-18 • 33 minutes
AaS! 42: Where do "weird" radio signals come from?
Where do “weird” radio signals come from? Is this the first time we thought something weird was happening in space? Why does it make the news so much? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes:...
2016-Oct-04 • 34 minutes
AaS! 41: How do (regular) novas work?
How do regular non-super-novas work? What’s the connection to white dwarves? Where do they happen and why should we care? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: Like on...
2016-Sep-20 • 41 minutes
AaS! 40: Do black holes die?
What’s the deal with Hawking Radiation? Does it really mean what we think it means? How do black holes form in the first place? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: ...
2016-Sep-06 • 42 minutes
AaS! 39: Is there life on Europa?
What’s going on under the ice of Europa? What keeps it so warm down there? Are the oceans pure or have the right chemistry for life? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on...
2016-Aug-16 • 35 minutes
AaS! 38: How do we see beyond the visible?
How do we make observations beyond visible light? What exactly is a telescope? And what’s up with NASA adding colors to images? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: ...
2016-Aug-02 • 47 minutes
AaS! 37: What is the cosmic microwave background (Part 2)?
Part 2 of What is the cosmic microwave background? What causes those bumps and wiggles? What does it tell us about the early universe, and the universe we have today? What does the universe have to do with a tuba? I discuss these questions and more in...
2016-Jul-19 • 43 minutes
AaS! 36: What is the cosmic microwave background? (Part 1)
What is the cosmic microwave background? How was it discovered? What did it have to do with the great debate between Big Bang theory and the Steady State model? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All...
2016-Jul-05 • 37 minutes
AaS! 35: What are "virtual particles"?
What are virtual particles? What do they have to do with waving fields around? And why can’t physicists use meaningful jargon words? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on...
2016-Jun-21 • 39 minutes
AaS! 34: What is the Great Attractor?
What is the so-called Great Attractor? What’s the Zone of Avoidance, and is it scary? What makes galaxies move in the first place? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter: ...
2016-Jun-07 • 30 minutes
AaS! 33: What if the moon disappeared?
What would happen if the moon disappeared tomorrow? What makes it so special in the first place? Does it really *do* anything useful? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Support the show: All episodes: Follow on Twitter:...
2016-May-17 • 36 minutes
AaS! 32: Where do nebulae come from?
How are nebulae formed or created? Where do they go when they’re done being nebulae? How is it linked to the formation of stars? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Follow all the show updates at askaspaceman.com, and...
2016-May-03 • 35 minutes
AaS! 31: How can the universe expand faster than light?
How can the universe expand faster than the speed of light? What does it mean for Special Relativity to be “local”? Is there a conflict between General and Special Relativity? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Follow...
2016-Apr-19 • 27 minutes
AaS! 30: 2nd-Grade Question Bonanza!
It’s a BONANZA, featuring a bunch of questions from second-graders! Including: Where’s the edge of the universe? How many rings does Saturn have? Are there Martians? And so much more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Follow all the show...
2016-Apr-05 • 37 minutes
AaS! 29: Why does E=mc^2?
Why does E=mc^2? Where does it come from? What’s the significance of that famous equation? I discuss these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Follow all the show updates at , and help support the show at...
2016-Mar-15 • 44 minutes
AaS! 28: What's the point in talking about science?
In this very special episode, I discuss the importance of communicating science, a cool new project I’m working on (), and how arts and science can be married to reveal the beauty of the universe. Follow all the show updates at , and help...
2016-Mar-01 • 43 minutes
AaS! 27: How does gravity make waves?
How did Einstein develop General Relativity? What does it mean for space to be curved anyway? And just how do these gravitational waves work, anyhow? I answer these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Follow all the show updates at ,...
2016-Feb-16 • 31 minutes
AaS! 26: Wolf-Rayet Stars: Sci-Fi or What?
What’s so special about Wolf-Rayet stars? Do we even know how they work? And what does this all have to do with Paris? I answer these questions and more in today’s Ask a Spaceman! Follow all the show updates at , and help support the show...
2016-Feb-02 • 37 minutes
AaS! 25: How do we know how far away stuff is...far away?
How do we measure distances to…well, distant objects? What the heck is a Cepheid, and why is it useful? Standard candles? Standard rulers? Standard spheres? It all seems a bit much, don’t you think? I answer these questions and more in...
2016-Jan-19 • 45 minutes
AaS! 24: What's the beef with quantum gravity?
Why doesn’t quantum mechanics agree with general relativity? Will we ever have a quantum picture of gravity? What are some candidates? What does it have to do with cuss words? Follow all the show updates at , and help support the show at...
2016-Jan-05 • 39 minutes
Aas! 23: What's up with exoplanets?
What’s up with exoplanets? What’s the variety, and how do we detect them? How did Hot Jupiters get so hot, anyway? Follow all the show updates at , and help support the show at ! Keep those questions about space, science, astronomy,...
2015-Dec-22 • 8 minutes
AaS! Transient Special: What was the Christmas star?
It’s a special “transient” edition! What was the Christmas Star? Follow all the show updates at and support the show at . Keep those questions about space, science, astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology coming to...
2015-Dec-15 • 59 minutes
AaS! 22: Question Bonanza!
It’s a BONANZA! Featuring many questions from a live event, including: Is time travel possible? Can a galaxy eat itself? Will we ever run out of stars? And so much more! Follow all the show updates at , and help support the show at ! Keep...
2015-Dec-01 • 29 minutes
AaS! 21: Are we really made of stars?
Are we really made of stars? How do we know? What does it mean for us? Ask a Spaceman! Follow all the show updates at , and help support the show at ! Keep those questions about space, science, astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology coming to...
2015-Nov-17 • 30 minutes
AaS! 20: How much light is in the universe?
How much light is in the universe? What’s a “photon”? What’s the brightest thing out there? I discuss these questions and more in today's Ask a Spaceman! Follow all the show updates at , and help support the show at ! Keep...
2015-Nov-12 • 34 minutes
AaS! Special: What did you think of The Martian?
It’s a super-special episode, featuring a discussion with me, my co-hosts Wayne Schlingman and Anna Nierenberg, and Laura Aurenschield from the Columbus Dispatch about our thoughts on The Martian! Follow all the show updates at , and help...
2015-Nov-03 • 31 minutes
AaS! 19: How do planets get magnetic fields?
How do planets get their magnetic fields? What’s a dynamo? What do magnetic fields have in common with plate tectonics? I discuss these questions and more in today's Ask a Spaceman! Follow all the show updates at , and help support the show at...
2015-Oct-20 • 43 minutes
AaS! 18: Is the universe dying?
Is the universe dying? What is the ultimate fate of the universe? Will it transform into something else? I discuss these questions and more in today's Ask a Spaceman! Follow all the show updates at . Keep those questions about space, science,...
2015-Oct-06 • 48 minutes
AaS! 17: What banged the Big Bang?
What’s the history of the universe? What is the big bang? What came before? I discuss these questions and more in today's Ask a Spaceman! Follow all the show updates at . Keep those questions about space, science, astronomy, astrophysics,...
2015-Sep-15 • 35 minutes
AaS! 16: How do spiral galaxies form?
How do spiral galaxies form? How do galaxies form in the first place, anyway? What’s so special about spirals that make them look so cool? I discuss these questions and more in today's Ask a Spaceman! Follow all the show updates at . Keep...
2015-Sep-01 • 45 minutes
AaS! 15: Will we colonize Mars?
Will we ever actually colonize Mars? Why is it so hard to get to space? What are the challenges specific to Mars? I discuss these questions and more in today's Ask a Spaceman! Follow all the show updates at . Keep those questions about space,...
2015-Aug-18 • 36 minutes
AaS! 14: What is spacetime? (Part 2)
How are space and time related? How long would it take to travel the Milky Way? What other tricks can you play with Special Relativity? I discuss these questions and more in today's Ask a Spaceman! Follow all the show updates at . Keep those...
2015-Aug-04 • 40 minutes
AaS! 14: What is spacetime? (Part 1)
What is spacetime? What was the breakthrough idea that led Einstein to develop Special Relativity? Who was right: Newton or Maxwell? I discuss these questions and more in today's Ask a Spaceman! Follow all the show updates at . Keep those questions...
2015-Jul-21 • 32 minutes
AaS! 13: What the heck is a magnetar?
What’s the difference between a neutron star and a magnetar? How do you make a neutron star? How do they get so magnetic? I discuss these questions and more in today's Ask a Spaceman! Keep those questions about space, science, astronomy,...
2015-Jul-07 • 35 minutes
AaS! 12: Is life possible around binary stars?
Is Tatooine from Star Wars possible? What kind of binary stars are allowed? What would life be like around binary stars? I discuss these questions and more in today's Ask a Spaceman! Keep those questions about space, science, astronomy, astrophysics,...
2015-Jun-16 • 39 minutes
AaS! 011: What do we do in space?
What kind of experiments do we do in space? Why do we even bother? Is there any benefit to having telescopes in orbit instead of on the ground? I discuss these questions and more in today's Ask a Spaceman! Keep those questions about space, science,...
2015-Jun-02 • 40 minutes
AaS! 010: How do black holes form?
How do black holes form? Why are there only two sizes (Small and Big Gulp)? How do we know black holes exist, and what purpose do they serve in the universe? I discuss these questions and more in today's Ask a Spaceman! Keep those questions about...
2015-May-19 • 40 minutes
AaS! 009: How big is the universe?
How big is the universe? What’s outside the universe, and what are we expanding into? Can it even be put into words? I discuss these questions and more in today's Ask a Spaceman! Keep those questions about space, science, astronomy,...
2015-May-05 • 39 minutes
AaS! 008: Will a comet kill us all?
What are the chances of a comet hitting the earth? What other stuff can fall from space? What would the effects be, and how much do we need to worry? I discuss these questions and more in today's Ask a Spaceman! Keep those questions about space,...
2015-Apr-21 • 30 minutes
AaS! 007: How do we know that dark matter exists?
How do we know that dark matter exists? Are you sure that scientists aren't just making things up because they're lazy? What makes it dark anyway? I discuss these questions and more in today's Ask a Spaceman! Keep those questions about space,...
2015-Apr-07 • 25 minutes
AaS! 006: When did the first stars appear?
When did the first stars appear in the universe? How long did they live? Was it awesome when they blew up? Are there any around today? Did the universe go through puberty? I discuss these questions and more in today's Ask a Spaceman! Keep those...
2015-Mar-27 • 18 minutes
AaS! Transient Special: When is the next eclipse?
It’s a special “transient” episode featuring the questions of Finn and Zakk from Dr. Batchelder’s class in Corbridge, England. They are celebrating a partial solar eclipse and asked: Where will the eclipse be total? When we...
2015-Mar-20 • 25 minutes
AaS! 005: Where did the oceans come from?
Where did the oceans come from? Yeah, the answer is space, but are there any more details? Where does water come from anyway? Did the oceans come along with the earth or did they come later? Do we know anything about this at all? I discuss these...
2015-Feb-20 • 26 minutes
AaS! 004: Are there aliens...out there?
Are there aliens...you know, out there? What are the chances of life appearing somewhere, anywhere, in the universe? Will we get to say "hi" and have a chat? Is there any life in our own solar system (uh, besides on earth)? I discuss these questions...