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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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A Second Earth, and OSIRIS REx is Go for Asteroid Bennu

April 22, 2014 • 28:50

Finally found: an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone. You’ll hear lead scientist Elisa Quintana make the announcement. Then OSIRIS REx mission Principal Investigator Dante Lauretta will tell us how the spacecraft will return a sample of material from the birth of the solar system.

Exploring Black Holes and Supernovae With NuSTAR

March 11, 2014 • 35:00

Principal Investigator Fiona Harrison provides an X-ray tour of some of the universe's most fascinating objects, Casey Dreier has analysis of NASA's 2015 budget plans, and Bill Nye sees the inherent optimism of science in the verification of another 715 exoplanets.

Verified: More Than 700 New Worlds

March 04, 2014 • 28:50

SETI Institute researcher and member of the Kepler team Jason Rowe helps us dig into the latest big announcement about hundreds of planets in solar systems like our own.

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.

Saving Science Education With Pamela Gay AND Creating the Blackest Black

June 10, 2013 • 35:12

A Planetary Radio double header includes a visit with CosmoQuest’s Pamela Gay. She and colleagues are working to replace vital federal funds for science education and citizen science programs. We also go to the dark side with David Carnahan of NanoLab, developer of carbon nanotubes that may help us discover Earth-like planets.

Tasting the Air of Distant Worlds

June 03, 2013 • 31:50

There will soon be one thousand confirmed exoplanets, but how do we learn more about such distant worlds? We talk to the leader of a team that has recently developed technology capable of revealing the spectra of these planets, which allows us to tease apart their composition. Emily Lakdawalla invites you to find the next “face” on Mars, while Bill Nye says another asteroid flyby is good news. Our special What’s Up space trivia contest prize will put your picture in orbit!

More of Our ALMA Adventure in Chile's Atacama Desert

March 25, 2013 • 28:50

Our special coverage of the ALMA Observatory inauguration continues, with the President of Chile, the incoming ALMA Director, and much more from the Atacama Desert.

ALMA Adventure

March 18, 2013 • 28:50

The first of two shows about Mat Kaplan's journey to Chile's Atacama Desert for the inauguration of the Atacama Large Millimeter small millimter Array, the most ambitious, Earth-based astronomy project in history.

Debra Fischer Hunts for a Second Earth at Alpha Centauri

January 28, 2013 • 28:53

Yale Professor of Astronomy Debra Fischer is one of our planet’s most successful discoverers of exoplanets. She has set her sights on Alpha Centauri, where she hopes to find a Earth-sized world in the habitable zone: not too hot, not too cold for life.

The Gigantic ALMA Radio Telescope in Chile

January 21, 2013 • 28:50

ALMA will make sharper images than the Hubble Space Telescope, yet it’s a radio telescope! ALMA scientists Alison Peck and Al Wooten tell us about this array of 66 huge dishes in Chile’s Atacama desert.

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.

Looking Back, Looking Forward: Beginning a New Year In Space

December 31, 2012 • 28:50

Planetary Society experts review the challenges and triumphs of 2012 and look forward to a new and exciting year. You’ll hear Bill Nye the Science Guy, Emily Lakdawalla on new missions, Casey Dreier on “Saving our Science,” and Bruce Betts’ review of great projects, as well as a musical rendition of “Random Space Fact.”

First Earth-Sized Exoplanet is Next Door!

December 10, 2012 • 28:50

Xavier Dumusque is the young astronomer who was lead author for the announcement of the first exoplanet found in the Alpha Centauri system, just 4.3 light years from Earth. It's also the first Earth-sized world found outside our own system.

Searching for Pandora With Debra Fischer

April 09, 2012

Yale exoplanet hunter Debra Fischer is about to begin looking for worlds in the star system that is nearest to Earth. She'll tell us about new technology enabling this effort, and how you can join the search.

Opportunity Reaches Endeavour, and Planetary Radio Wins an Award!

September 05, 2011 • 0:28:52

Opportunity reaches Endeavour Crater, Emily Lakdawalla visits a New Horizons science meeting about Pluto, Bill Nye discusses a planet made of diamond, and Bruce Betts and Mat Kaplan celebrate the award of a Parsec award to Planetary Radio.

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