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
 
From hexagonal shaped storms to spinning sideways, Izzie and Dr Becky are exploring our weird and wonderful Gas Giants. Joining them are Dr Tom Stallard from the University of Leicester and Dr Robert Massey, Deputy Director of the Royal Astronomical Society. Plus editor, Richard Hollingham, takes a trip to the Royal Astronomical Society’s library t…
 
Not one but four astronauts feature in this month's Space Boffins. Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham chat to astronaut Nicole Stott about her book Back to Earth; we hear about the drama of launch, what to do when things go wrong and the challenges of interviewing other astronauts. Sue also attends a glamorous space event in London to catch up with …
 
How does a galaxy evolve and die? Izzie and Dr Becky find out with help from Tim Davis at Cardiff University. Plus, Dr Robert Massey from the Royal Astronomical Society answers your questions and explains how to spot galaxies in the night sky. Thank you to Brilliant for sponsoring this episode. Head to brilliant.org/supermassive to start free cours…
 
With the first Artemis mission on the launchpad, Space Boffins Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham look ahead to the next footsteps on the Moon. They chat to Libby Jackson from the UK Space Agency about Gateway - "a one bed studio flat" in orbit around the Moon - and lunar SatNav. Plus, John Vrublevskis from Thales Alenia Space UK explains the challe…
 
Izzie and Dr Becky are attempting to tackle the massive subject of building a galaxy. Professor Mike Merrifield from The University of Nottingham explains how galaxies form and our very own galaxy expert, Dr Becky, tells us why they come in different shapes and sizes. Plus, Dr Robert Massey has his top tips for stargazing in spring. Thank you to Br…
 
It's the Space Boffins' most controversial episode yet, as Don Goldsmith talks about his new book written with Astronomer Royal Martin Rees - The End of Astronauts and why robots are the future. Also, we visit one of the cleanrooms at Airbus in Stevenage to see the new Biomass satellite to measure the carbon locked in the world's forests. Plus auth…
 
Who doesn’t love looking up at the moon?! Joining Izzie and Dr Becky, Professor Katherine Joy from the University of Manchester explains what past and future lunar missions can tell us, and Dr Megan Barford from Royal Museums Greenwich gives us a tour of two stunning moon maps from the 17th century. Plus, Dr Robert Massey takes on your questions an…
 
In a bumper new year edition, we hear the latest on the Webb space telescope, discuss volcanoes on distant worlds and look ahead to Europe's mission to Mars. ESA's Mark McCaughrean talks about what's next for the James Webb Space Telescope; UCL's Andrew Coates covers the Rosalind Franklin ExoMars rover launching this year, and the OU's Natalie Star…
 
Join Dr Becky Smethurst and Dr Robert Massey as they explore eclipses; what are they and how have they been studied throughout history? Plus Izzie Clarke visits the Royal Astronomical Society Library to discover what the society has in the archives, and astronaut Nicole Stott and her husband, Fellow of the RAS, Chris Stott send us their eclipse aud…
 
Gardeners of the Galaxy podcast host Emma Doughty discusses the challenges and joys of growing flowers, chillies and vines (for wine!) in space. Sue and Richard also chat to self-confessed space nerd John Chinner about the Astro Pi computers on the International Space Station, 3-D printed rovers and the best (space) movie ever made. Plus, Richard v…
 
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…
 
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