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Planetary Radio

Planetary Radio

Each week, Planetary Radio visits with a scientist, engineer, project manager, astronaut, advocate or writer who provides a unique and exciting perspective on the exploration of our solar system and beyond. We also showcase regular features that raise your space IQ while they put a smile on your face.  Host Mat Kaplan is joined by Planetary Society colleagues Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bruce Betts, and Emily Lakdawalla. We hit the road now and then to produce a Planetary Radio Live show in front of an audience.  Drop us a line or enter the weekly space trivia contest at

Please support your local public radio station that airs the show! Check the station's online schedule or review our online list of affiliates. Satellite radio listeners can hear us Sunday evenings on the Sirius XM Public Radio channel.  Want to hear Planetary Radio on your local station? Ask them to contact us or review our radio affiliate information page.

iTunes and other podcast aggregators like Stitcher make it easy to listen and subscribe. Just search for "Planetary Radio." or click the links below.

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Recent Shows

Solar System Revelations, and the World’s Biggest Telescope Threatened?

11/17/2015 | 28:50


Emily Lakdawalla returns from the annual Division for Planetary Sciences meeting with big news from around the solar system. Then we talk with science journalist Traci Watson about the departure of the great Arecibo radio telescope’s Director and the funding challenge that could shut down the observatory.

More Info & Listen »

Pluto Amazes!

10/20/2015 | 38:40


  • Hal Weaver, New Horizons Project Scientist, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab

Hal Weaver is a very happy Project Scientist. His New Horizons spacecraft has shocked his fellow researchers with magnificent images and data. He shares the excitement this week.

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Imaging Hot Young Jupiters

10/06/2015 | 28:50


Franck Marchis is on the team that has delivered an actual image of a young, hot world about 100 light years from Earth. We talk with him on the 20th anniversary of the first exoplanet discovery.

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The Royal Observatory, Greenwich and the Quest for Longitude

07/28/2015 | 43:09


Come with us on a visit to the home of the prime meridian for a conversation with the curator of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich about the race to create a practical means for determining longitude.

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Planetary Radio Live at the New Horizons Pluto Encounter

07/21/2015 | 28:50


  • Bruce Betts, Director of Science and Technology, The Planetary Society
  • Jim Bell, President of the Board of Directors, The Planetary Society
  • Mike Brown, Planetary Astronomer, California Institute of Technology
  • Emily Lakdawalla, Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist, The Planetary Society
  • Bill Nye, Chief Executive Officer
  • Linda Spilker, Cassini Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Join our live audience for highlights of an amazing evening, featuring Jim Bell, Bruce Betts, Mike Brown, Emily Lakdawalla, Linda Spilker, and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

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A Small, Distant World: Kepler 138b

07/14/2015 | 28:50


SETI Institute scientist Jason Rowe returns to tell us about the smallest exoplanet so far that has had its size and mass determined. Jason also talks with Mat about our ever-expanding knowledge of these worlds that circle faraway stars.

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Emily Lakdawalla’s Pluto Preview

07/07/2015 | 28:50


  • Emily Lakdawalla, Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist, The Planetary Society

Two visits with the Planetary Society Senior Editor this week, as Emily first provides an update on the Rosetta comet mission and then returns with an extended look ahead at the New Horizons Pluto encounter next week.

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Spiraling Closer to Ceres With the Dawn Mission’s Marc Rayman

05/19/2015 | 33:59


  • Marc Rayman, Dawn Chief Engineer and Mission Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

It’s the biggest dwarf planet between here and Pluto, and it has a new permanent resident. The Dawn spacecraft is orbiting Ceres in the asteroid belt, revealing it as never before. What are those bright spots anyway? We spend time with Dawn’s Chief Engineer and Director, Marc Rayman.

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Alan Stern and the Rise of Pluto

05/12/2015 | 28:50


  • Alan Stern, New Horizons Principal Investigator, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Humankind’s arrival at Pluto is barely two months away. The science and images have already started to flow from New Horizons, according to the mission’s Principal Investigator, Alan Stern. Alan returns to Planetary Radio this week.

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Sean Solomon on the Climactic End of the MESSENGER Mission to Mercury

05/05/2015 | 28:50


  • Sean Solomon, Principal Investigator for MESSENGER, Columbia University

We open with the countdown to destruction—the MESSENGER spacecraft’s impact on Mercury ended its spectacularly successful mission. Principal Investigator Sean Solomon joins us immediately after this big finish.

More Info & Listen »

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