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Hear stories about the alien moons orbiting our Sun, of cold stars, and the future of space exploration. Every week, scientist Dr. Carrie Nugent chats about an amazing part of our universe with an expert guest. Spacepod is the podcast that gives you an inside look into space exploration. Learn more: http://listentospacepod.com

Popular episodes

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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130: Quantum entanglement with Dr. Ghose

Dr. Shohini Ghose talks about quantum entanglement, which she describes as an "amazing, weird handshake across space and time." She tells us about quantum information science, which finds useful applications for the weird quantum qualities of particles.


29 Jul 2018

Rank #1

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3: The moons of Mars with Dr. Fraeman

Dr. Abby Fraeman talks about Phobos and Deimos, the mysterious moons of Mars.


2 Aug 2015

Rank #2

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5: The coldest stars with Dr. Kirkpatrick

Dr. Kirkpatrick talks about stars so cold you could touch them without getting burned.


9 Aug 2015

Rank #3

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129: A new type of galaxy with Dr. Mutlu-Pakdil

Dr. Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil talks about her amazing discovery-- a galaxy with both an inner and outer ring. The existence of such a galaxy had not been predicted before she discovered it, and there's no theory yet that can explain how such an unusual object was created.


15 Jul 2018

Rank #4

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4: LADEE explores the moon with Dr. Noble

Dr. Sarah Noble talks about the LADEE mission and an epiphany she had in graduate school.


2 Aug 2015

Rank #5

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85: Risk, hazard, and threat: the importance of language with Dr. Billings

Dr Linda Billings talks about the importance of clear communication across the expert/non-expert boundary. She describes the difference between the words “risk”, “hazard” and “threat,” as applied to near-Earth objects and gives advice to scientists who want to communicate their research accurately.


19 Feb 2017

Rank #6

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7: Exploring Mercury with Dr. Chabot

Dr. Nancy Chabot tells us about the MESSENGER mission, which explored the closest planet to the sun.


23 Aug 2015

Rank #7

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146: Our place the universe with Dr. Lanz

Dr. Alicia Lanz talks about the history of astronomical instrumentation, starting with the first telescope. She describes some bizarre historical telescopes and shares a surprisingly inspirational story about bubbles in glass.


10 Mar 2019

Rank #8

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87: Visions of interstellar travel with Dr. Hurt

Dr. Robert Hurt returns to the show to talk about artistic depictions of interstellar travel. We discuss the images of the seven-planet TRAPPIST-1 system he and Tim Pyle created— images that graced the cover of Nature and the front page of the New York Times. We also talk about Star Trek: The Next Generation, and what that TV show got right (and wrong) about the visuals of cruising through outer space.


5 Mar 2017

Rank #9

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124: Searching Antarctica for meteorites with Dr. Cohen

Dr. Barbara Cohen returns to the show to talk about meteorite collecting in Antarctica. These trips, which involve weeks of camping on the ice, provide invaluable scientific samples. She talks about what it's like to search for the rocks that "don't belong" in the frozen desert.


6 May 2018

Rank #10

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147: Searching for extraterrestrial life with Dr. Seager

Dr. Seager explains how she and other astronomers are looking for extraterrestrial life. We discuss the Drake and Seager equations. We also talk about how astronomers might be able to detect life by measuring chemicals in distant planet atmospheres. This episode is related to the March 2019 National Geographic cover story, "We are not alone."


24 Mar 2019

Rank #11

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34: Keeping track of asteroids with Dr. Sphar

Dr. Tim Sphar, CEO of NEO Sciences and former director of the Minor Planet Center, stops by the show to talk about how asteroids are cataloged and monitored. He also talks about his experience the day tiny asteroid 2008 TC3 impacted Earth.


28 Feb 2016

Rank #12

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14: We are all made of star stuff... or are we? With Dr. Rich

Dr Jeff Rich talks about where elements come from, and the famous phrase, "We are all made of star stuff".


11 Oct 2015

Rank #13

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35: Geology at a distance with Dr. Rivkin

Dr Andy Rivkin and I drink gin and tonics, and Andy explains what spectroscopy is and what it can teach us about minerals on asteroids. He also describes what it’s like to use some of the world’s most powerful telescopes.


6 Mar 2016

Rank #14

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134: Spinning stars with Dr. Rebull

Dr. Luisa Rebull returns to the show to describe new research with the Kepler space telescope. Her ingenious study takes advantage of Kepler's strengths, and has produced results that stump theorists. Dr. Rebull explains why this data has given her "a whole new appreciation for post office workers."


23 Sep 2018

Rank #15

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167: Far out with Dr. Sheppard

Dr. Scott Sheppard tells us about the two most distant objects ever observed in the solar system. He describes the clever techniques he and his collaborators used to spot these objects, and explains why he is searching for an undiscovered planet.


29 Dec 2019

Rank #16

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36: Using artwork to explain the Universe with Dr. Hurt

Dr. Robert Hurt stops by the podcast to talk about his job making visuals to explain complicated astronomical concepts. We chat about multiverses, gravitational waves, and Cameron Diaz’s love for NASA.


13 Mar 2016

Rank #17

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53: How big? How far? How fast? with Dr. Beaton

Dr. Rachael Beaton and I try “Grass Jelly Drink” and talk about one of the major fundamental constants of the universe; the Hubble Constant. She explains what it is and why she and her colleagues are trying to measure it better than it ever has been measured before.


10 Jul 2016

Rank #18

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86: Celestial cinematography with Dr. Kasliwal

Professor Mansi Kasliwal talks about the GROWTH project, which uses international teamwork to watch astronomical events around the clock. An individual observer is thwarted by sunrise, but together, an international team can continuously monitor supernovae, neutron stars, and asteroids over 24 hours.


26 Feb 2017

Rank #19

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121: Solar storms with Dr. Janvier

Dr. Miho Janvier talks about her work studying solar storms, and tells us about the ways these storms have impacted humans in the past. She explains why they are challenging to model and says why she's interested in "garbage" data from planetary missions.


25 Mar 2018

Rank #20