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Planetary Radio Episodes

For every week since 2002, Planetary Radio has visited with a scientist, engineer, project manager, advocate or writer who provides a unique perspective on the quest for knowledge about our solar system and beyond. We also showcase regular features that raise your space IQ while they put a smile on your face.

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Pluto Occults! Join Us on the Mountain

August 22, 2018 • 36:24

Pluto passed in front of a star on the evening of August 14. Mat Kaplan joined pro and amateur astronomers on a mountain to observe this rare event. It may reveal more about the dwarf planet’s tenuous atmosphere and other properties.

An African Observatory Hunts Killer Asteroids

July 18, 2018 • 42:55

One of the Planetary Society’s 2018 Shoemaker Near-Earth Object grants has gone to astronomers searching the sky from a mountaintop in the North African nation of Morocco.

To Mars! With National Geographic

November 22, 2016 • 46:14

The National Geographic Channel’s “Mars” miniseries has begun. Mat Kaplan attended a kickoff for the ambitious docudrama last summer. You’ll hear from series technical advisor Bobby Braun, author of “The Martian” Andy Weir, Cosmos creator Ann Druyan and more.

Journey to the Center of Jupiter: Creating Fantastic Pressure With the World’s Largest Lasers

August 19, 2014 • 29:52

Physicist Gilbert "Rip" Collins of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab will tell us about recent use of the world’s most powerful lasers to recreate conditions at the cores of giant planets.

Astronomers Without Borders: Spreading the Wonder Worldwide

June 10, 2014 • 28:50

Astronomers Without Borders Founder and President Mike Simmons and his colleagues share the passion, beauty and joy of the night sky from Argentina to Zambia.

Emily Lakawalla's DPS Report

October 14, 2013 • 28:50

The Planetary Society’s Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist recaps this year’s revealing meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS).

2012 DA14--Coming Soon to a Planet Near You!

February 11, 2013 • 28:50

The 45-meter Near Earth Asteroid flies by on February 15. NASA brought together asteroid experts to discuss it and others of its threatening kind.

An Imminent Asteroid Encounter

February 04, 2013 • 28:50

Spain’s La Sagra Observatory discovered Asteroid 2012 DA14 just a year ago. Now it’s nearing Earth once again. Jaime Nomen of La Sagra is back to prepare us for this very close flyby.

Listening Once Again to Amateur Astronomy Pioneer John Dobson

January 07, 2013 • 28:50

A reprise of our very popular conversation with the delightful 97-year old John Dobson, inventor of the Dobsonian telescope that brings the universe within everyone’s reach.

Amateur Astronomers Work to Save Earth!

October 15, 2012 • 28:50

The Planetary Society's Bruce Betts provides an overview of the Shoemaker NEO grant program, and we meet two dedicated grant recipients.

Live at PATS With OSIRIS REx!

September 24, 2012 • 37:42

We're live at the Pacific Astronomy and Telescope Show, with JPL astrodynamicist Steve Chesley and Planetary Society Director of Projects Bruce Betts. Steve and Bruce reveal the exciting OSIRIS REx mission to an asteroid and then back to Earth with a precious soil sample. Enter the contest to name the asteroid! Bill Nye and Emily Lakdawalla check in, and one listener will win a Celestron FirstScope telescope.

A Conversation With Telescope Inventor John Dobson

September 10, 2012 • 28:50

When John Dobson invented the Dobsonian telescope he changed the face of amateur astronomy. The 96-year old pioneer talks with Mat Kaplan. Emily Lakdawalla loves Curiosity’s self-portraits. Bill Nye the Science Guy is in London to host a youth webcast with International Space Station astronaut Sunita Williams. Bruce Betts keeps us from getting Lost in Space and helps Mat give away a cool Curiosity bumper sticker in What’s Up.

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