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Planetary RadioAugust 8, 2018

Dark Energy’s Co-Discoverer and the Leader of Chinese Space Science

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On This Episode
Saul Perlmutter

UC Berkeley Professor of Physics and Nobel Prize awardee

Wang Chi

Director General of China’s National Space Science Center

Kevin Hussey

Manager, JPL Visualization Technology Applications and Development

Bruce Betts Head Shot 2015
Bruce Betts

Chief Scientist / LightSail Program Manager, The Planetary Society

Mat Kaplan
Mat Kaplan

Planetary Radio Host and Producer, The Planetary Society

It has been 20 years since we learned the expansion of the universe is accelerating due to the mysterious force called dark energy. Saul Perlmutter shared the Nobel Prize in Physics because of his contributions. Now he shares his thoughts with us. Also at this year’s COSPAR Assembly in Pasadena was the Director General of China’s National Space Science Center, Wang Chi. Have you played with Eyes on the Solar System? JPL’s Kevin Hussey conceived of the NASA's Eyes app that will take you across the solar system and beyond. And you’ll hear Planetary Society co-founder Carl Sagan’s message to the Martians in our future. That’s right after this week’s What’s Up.

Simulation of the distribution of galaxies

Max Planck Institute

Simulation of the distribution of galaxies
This simulation of the distribution of galaxies across a section of the expanding universe also represents the distribution of dark matter, but reveals little about the nature of dark energy.

Mat Kaplan and Director General Wang Chi

Mat Kaplan

Mat Kaplan and Director General Wang Chi
China’s National Space Science Center Director General Wang Chi talks with host Mat Kaplan at the 2018 COSPAR Assembly.
Saul Perlmutter

Mat Kaplan

Saul Perlmutter
UC Berkeley physicist and Nobel Prize winner Saul Perlmutter at the 2018 COSPAR Assembly.

Trivia Contest

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This week's question:

Who is the singer/songwriter who referred to an experience watching the Perseid meteor shower as “I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky.”

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Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Wednesday, August 15th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What is the most abundant chemical element in the universe?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

When will be the next time Mars is closer to Earth than the 2018 approach on July 31st?


The next space trivia contest questions will be answered in the next episode of Planetary Radio.

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