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
 
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…
 
AS NASA's Perseverance rover makes it safely to Mars, we chat to science writer Elizabeth Howell about the array of missions now studying the red planet. Also the European Space Agency's head of diversity, Ersilia Vaudo, talks about plans for parastronauts, and the UK ground station that relayed the first footsteps on the Moon gears up for the next…
 
This month, Izzie and Dr Becky are shining a light on the first stars in the Universe. When did they form? And could any still exist today? Plus, they explore the life of Cecelia Payne Gaposchkin, the astrophysicist who discovered the structure of stars, and Dr Robert Massey joins them to discuss the latest NASA rover on Mars. With special thanks t…
 
This month science journalist Katia Moskvitch joins the Space Boffins to discuss the zombies of the cosmos, neutron stars, as well as the European Space Agency's new astronaut recruitment and Yuri Gagarin's birthplace. They also hear about the new communications system fitted to the space station, ColKA, and talk to author Neal Thompson about the D…
 
Izzie Clarke and Dr Becky Smethurst are kicking off the new year with the beginning of everything, the Big Bang. They speak with Professor David Wands who explains how our universe began, and dive into the historical debate behind this model with Professor Thomas Hertog. And, as always, astronomer Dr Robert Massey shares his top tips for stargazing…
 
Space journalist Andrew Jones and his cat join the Space Boffins this month to discuss China's ambitious plans for the Moon and beyond. Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham also talk to Nellie Offord from UK company SSTL about their lunar communications satellite (and whether it will go beep), hear from author Rebecca Siegel about the enormous egos of…
 
This month, Izzie & Becky are taking astronomy to the extremes with gamma ray expert, Professor Paula Chadwick, and Professor Julian Osborne from the SWIFT Observatory. Plus, Robert Massey shares his top tips for stargazing at home and how best to see the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on December 21st. Send your pictures and questions to podcas…
 
In a specially recorded face to (socially-distanced) face interview to mark the fifth anniversary of his mission to the International Space Station, British European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake reveals the details of his perilous space station docking, physically challenging return to Earth and launchpad music selections. He also discusses the…
 
It’s about time we gave optical telescopes a break! This month, Izzie Clarke and Dr Becky Smethurst explore radio astronomy with Professor Tim O'Brien from the UK's Jodrell Bank Telescope and Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, former project scientist for the Australian Square Kilometre Array. Plus, Robert Massey shares his top tips for stargazing at hom…
 
NASA has just collected a sample from an asteroid and work is well underway to land a woman on the Moon. Space journalist David Whitehouse chats about whether President Trump was good for space. Dr Sara Russell discusses the OSIRIS-REx mission to asteroid Bennu, and Thales Alenia Space UK CEO Andrew Stanniland explains how they'll build a fuel stat…
 
Why do we need astronauts? And where are we hoping to send them in the future? This month, Dr Becky Smethurst and Izzie Clarke explore the role of humans in space exploration and are joined by European Space Agency Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. Plus, the team celebrate 20 years of human presence on the International Space Station and Robert Mas…
 
To celebrate 20 years of people living on the International Space Station, we feature only ISS astronauts in this special edition of Space Boffins. NASA Astronaut Nicole Stott joins Richard Hollingham and Sue Nelson and we revisit interviews with Chris Hadfield, Cady Coleman, Scott Kelly, Sergei Krikalev, Luca Parmitano and Michael Foale. What othe…
 
Izzie Clarke and Dr Becky Smethurst travel through our solar system; where exactly have we sent probes and rovers? Plus, they speak with Professor Jane Greaves, the scientist behind that Venus discovery, and Robert Massey joins to chat about all things stargazing. With special thanks also to Professor Emma Bunce from the University of Leicester. Th…
 
Skylab's perilous and dramatic mission, life on Venus, the religion of Cosmism, and Brexit all get discussed this month. Richard Hollingham and Sue Nelson are joined by astronomer and writer Dr Stuart Clark to chat about our relationship with the night sky. Also aboard are David Hitt, author of Homesteading Space - the Skylab Story, and Arfan Chaud…
 
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