StarDate Online 10 Mar 2018, 06:00 UTC When the Cassini spacecraft arrived at Saturn almost 14 years ago, its first target was Phoebe, a moon that’s millions of miles from Saturn. Cassini’s pictures revealed an object that’s taken a beating over the eons. It’s been hit by so many big space rocks that it’s no longer round — it has an irregular shape because chunks of its surface have been blasted into space. Phoebe may not have been born with Saturn. Instead, it might have formed in the Kuiper Belt — a vast ring of rocky and icy bodies beyond the realm of the planets. An encounter with another object kicked it out of the Kuiper Belt. It moved toward the Sun, and was captured by Saturn.
StarTalk Radio 9 Mar 2018, 23:40 UTC Join Neil deGrasse Tyson, comic co-host Chuck Nice, and astrophysicist Janna Levin as they celebrate the life and achievements of Albert Einstein and his impact on the scientific world around us including the detection of gravitational waves at LIGO.
StarDate Online 9 Mar 2018, 06:00 UTC The Moon and two planets form an arc in the early morning sky tomorrow. Orange Mars is to the right of the Moon, with golden Saturn to the lower left of the Moon. Mars is considered one of the best possible homes for microscopic life in the solar system. That’s mainly because Mars appears to have a fair amount of water. There’s frozen water in the polar ice caps, and buried below the surface. There’s water vapor in the atmosphere. And there’s evidence that liquid water once formed rivers and lakes on the surface. That raises hopes that some liquid water could pool below the surface today.
StarDate Online 8 Mar 2018, 06:00 UTC People are pretty adaptable. We’ve learned to live in some harsh conditions: deserts, jungles, mountaintops — and even the South Pole. Someday, though, people may live in an environment that’s even tougher: the surface of Mars. And it’s certain to take some getting used to. In some ways, Mars is much like Earth. Its day is only a bit longer than Earth’s, so the cycle of day and night is quite similar. It’s tilted on its axis at about the same angle as Earth, too, so the pattern of the seasons is similar to our own as well. And Mars has a thin atmosphere, which adds clouds and a bit of color to the sky.
ESOcast 7 Mar 2018, 11:00 UTC New data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and other telescopes have been used to create a stunning image showing a web of filaments in the Orion Nebula. These features appear red-hot and fiery, but in reality are so cold that astronomers must use telescopes like ALMA to observe them.
SpaceTime with Stuart Gary
18: Neutron stars confirmed as sources of ultraluminous X-rays - SpaceTime with Stuart Gary Series 21 Episode 187 Mar 2018, 09:51 UTC Astronomers have confirmed neutron stars as one of the sources of ultraluminous X rays – powerful beams shining with the light of millions of Suns. The findings have gone some way to solving a long standing galactic mystery.
StarDate Online 6 Mar 2018, 06:00 UTC The night sky is filled with wondrous objects with beautiful names — names from ancient Arabic, Latin, and Greek. But the most prominent object in the night sky doesn’t have one of those names. It’s the Moon — a name that means — well, the Moon. The name is a little more lyrical in other languages — Luna in Spanish, Lune in French — but they all mean the same thing. There’s no real story behind any of them.
NASACast 5 Mar 2018, 21:12 UTC After saying farewell to colleagues aboard the International Space Station, our Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba – along with Russia’s Alexander Misurkin safely returned to Earth on Feb. 27. The crew’s Soyuz spacecraft touched down in Kazakhstan – wrapping up a nearly six-month mission conducting research and operational work in support of the space station.
StarDate Online 5 Mar 2018, 06:00 UTC The Sun’s closest planets are standing close to each other in the early evening sky right now. They’re bright, but they’re quite low, so you need a clear horizon to spot them. They’ll move higher into the sky over the next few nights, though, making them easier to find.