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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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Celebrating Astronomy Day with the Giant Magellan Telescope

October 10, 2018 • 60:36

Happy Astronomy Day, October 13, 2018! We salute humankind’s long history of stargazing by checking in on what will be our planet’s largest telescope. Patrick McCarthy is an astronomer and a leader of the Giant Magellan Telescope project. He returns with a report on the instrument’s status, followed by a fascinating tour of the GMT facility.

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.

Giving Mysterious Venus the Love (and Science) She Deserves

August 15, 2018 • 55:54

We have so much to learn about Venus, says JPL scientist Sue Smrekar. What we learn will help us understand our own world and Mars.

Visiting the Earth-Like Worlds of TRAPPIST-1

April 11, 2018 • 31:23

We have begun to understand the composition of worlds that are hundreds of trillions of kilometers from Earth. Astronomer Nikole Lewis is co-leader of a team that has used the Hubble Space Telescope to do this with the four Earth-like planets circling a star called TRAPPIST-1.

The Gemini Planet Imager: Worlds Made Visible

January 13, 2014 • 31:19

Principal Investigator and physicist Bruce Macintosh joins astronomer Franck Marchis to celebrate first light from the most powerful instrument for imaging exoplanets.

Alyssa Rhoden and the Rise of the Europa Underground

November 25, 2013 • 30:20

Alyssa Rhoden studies Jupiter’s moon Europa…from a distance. She, many other scientists and millions of space exploration fans around the globe want to see a mission to this ice world that hides a vast, warm ocean. That’s why she and several colleagues have created Destination: Europa, and they want your help.

Juno's Brief Home Visit on the Road to Jupiter

October 21, 2013 • 28:50

Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton reviews the spacecraft's Earth flyby and previews its long stay at our solar system's king of planets.

JPL and England Wave at Saturn

July 22, 2013 • 28:50

Hundreds came out on the JPL mall on Friday, July 19th to salute the Cassini spacecraft as it captured a rare image of Earth from the outer solar system. Among them were the mission Deputy Project Scientist, Scott Edgington, and the Cassini Program Manager, Earl Maize.

Saturn Update from Cassini Project Scientist Linda Spilker

April 01, 2013 • 30:14

We pay another visit to the queen of planets with Cassini Mission Project Scientist Linda Spilker. She always brings us fascinating news from Saturn, its moons and rings.

Visiting the AAS Meeting for a JWST Update and More

January 14, 2013 • 52:37

The 221st meeting of the American Astronomical Society was a great place to learn about the James Webb Space Telescope from Jason Kalirai and Dean C. Hines.

Planetary Astronomer Franck Marchis

May 07, 2012 • 28:50

Based now at the SETI Institute’s Carl Sagan Center, Franck Marchis recently visited the Planetary Society for a conversation with host Mat Kaplan. He uses several of Earth’s most powerful telescopes to study what he calls multiple asteroid systems.

Steve Squyres Is Ready for Mars

December 22, 2003 • 0:27:42

Doctor Steven Squyres talks about the challenges, human and robotic, facing the Mars Exploration Rover mission; Emily Lakdawalla is watching for shooting stars...on Mars, and Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan attend the Planetary Society's holiday party.

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