show episodes
 
This is The Supermassive Podcast from the Royal Astronomical Society. Every month, science journalist Izzie Clarke and astrophysicist Dr Becky Smethurst take you through the universe with the latest research, history from the society’s archives and astronomy you can do from your own home. You can send your questions to the team via podcast@ras.ac.uk or tweet @RoyalAstroSoc using #RASSupermassive The Supermassive Podcast is a Boffin Media Production by Izzie Clarke and Richard Hollingham.
 
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show series
 
What will the end of days actually look like? And how will it happen? This month, Izzie and Dr Becky explore the end of the Universe with cosmologist Dr Katie Mack - author of The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking). They also chat to astronomy journalist and author of The Unknown Universe, Dr Stuart Clark, who explains the role of dark en…
 
ESA's senior science advisor Mark McCaughrean joins Space Boffins Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham to enthuse about the most powerful space telescope ever built. And NASA astronaut Jessica Meir discusses coming back from the ISS to a world in the grip of Covid-19, her first all women space walk, and her preparations as part of the Artemis astronau…
 
After BepiColombo's recent flyby of Mercury, Space Boffins Richard Hollingham and Sue Nelson hear from the University of Leicester's Dr Charly Feldman about its onboard lobster eye optics and their increasing use in new spacecraft. They're also joined by the UK Space Agency's Liz Cox on the importance of space when it comes to climate change, and t…
 
Finally, Izzie and Dr Becky are talking about the James Webb Space Telescope but why is this telescope so impressive? NASA’s Keith Parrish, the observatory manager for Webb, covers the basics and Professor Gillian Wright, the principal investigator for the mid-infrared instrument (MIRI), explains how it will help us see stars and planets born from …
 
Wrap up warm, because this month Izzie and Dr Becky are exploring the icy worlds in the solar system. To help, they're joined by Caroline Harper, Head of Space Science at the UK Space Agency, to discuss the new mission heading to explore Jupiter’s icy moons. And they hear from Professor Michele Dougherty from Imperial College London, who sent Cassi…
 
Izzie and Dr Becky are turning up the heat and exploring the fiery worlds in our solar system. From planets close to the Sun to a distant world of volcanoes and lava. Joining them are planetary scientist Professor David Rothery from the Open University and Professor Alfred McEwen from the University of Arizona, who wants to send a mission to Jupite…
 
Shuttle pilot and International Space Station Commander, Terry Virts, chats to Space Boffins about flying the Shuttle, commanding the ISS, photographing the Earth...and UFOs. And after the triumphant flight of Wally Funk, Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham are joined by space reporter and commercial spaceflight expert, Sarah Cruddas, to talk about s…
 
This month it’s all about the trapped charged particles around our planet - the Van Allen radiation belts. Izzie and Dr Becky find out all about them with the help of Dr Maria Theresia Walach from Lancaster University, and Dr David Devorkin from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum explains how Explorer 1 discovered the belts in 1958. Plus…
 
On the 10th anniversary of Space Boffins, BBC Science and Space Correspondent Jonathan Amos comes aboard to celebrate Mercury 13 legend Wally Funk as she prepares to launch to space with Jeff Bezos. We also catch up on ten years of space developments, chat to ESA's project scientist for the JUICE mission to Jupiter's icy moons, Olivier Witasse, and…
 
Grab your dustpan and brush… This month, Izzie and Dr Becky get to grips with the leftovers from space activity, it's all about space junk. Joining them are engineer Dr Hugh Lewis from the University of Southampton, who models how the debris builds up over time, and space archaeologist Dr Alice Gorman explains its historical significance. Plus, Rob…
 
Two astronauts, one space hipster, a writer and a musician all feature in this month's Space Boffins. Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham are joined by podcaster and founder of the Space Hipsters, Emily Carney. They also hear from pioneering astronaut Anna Fisher in conversation with astronaut Nicole Stott. And David Brown, author of The Mission, tal…
 
Is it a planet? Is it a black hole? Is it even real? This month, Izzie and Dr Becky try and get to the bottom of the mysterious planet nine - an enigmatic - and so far invisible - ninth planet in our solar system. Helping them are the scientists that have made headlines trying to solve this puzzle, Mike Brown from the California Institute of Techno…
 
In a podcast exclusive, Britain's first astronaut, Helen Sharman, joins the Space Boffins 30 years after her 1991 Juno mission. She describes the selection process, training in the Soviet Union and her return. Author of the Martian, Andy Weir, chats about his latest book, Jason Achilles Mezilis is the musician behind the Mars microphone, and we com…
 
“It’s like the evidence left over after a crime.” This month Izzie and Dr Becky venture into the outer Solar System to explore a sea of weird rocks, a squashed snowman and ice volcanoes on a demoted planet. They are joined by Dr Meg Schwamb from Queen’s University Belfast and Alice Bowman, Mission Operations Manager for the New Horizons mission at …
 
In an epic edition of the Space Boffins Podcast we ambitiously celebrate the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's flight and the 40th anniversary of the first flight of the Space Shuttle. Richard Hollingham and Sue Nelson are joined by live guests Stephen Walker author of Beyond, a new book on Gagarin, and Libby Jackson who leads the human space prog…
 
"I was tracking down every signal that it picked up, and there was one signal that I couldn't make sense of." Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell gives Izzie and Dr Becky a neutron star 101 and tells them how she discovered pulsars in the 1960s. Plus, Dr Robert Massey takes on your questions and tells us what to look out for in the spring night sky…
 
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