Down to Earth with Some Out of this World Folks

Cygnus Loop Supernova Blast Wave

In this week’s episode some average-joe Terra Informers take a walk with the stars. Find out what is so exciting about the observatory even when you can’t see the stars, learn whats up with light pollution, and hear a down-to-earth interview with a man who has been to space and back.

Download episode here.

What’s space to you?

Many people come out to the University of Alberta observatory despite poor visibility. We wanted to find out: what would they think if they could no longer see the stars? And why would they spend a Thursday evening listening to a guy talk about hydrogen?

James Pinfold

A big concern for astronomers—amateurs and pros alike—is light pollution. Gazing at the stars gives us important knowledge about our place in the universe. Without that, we lose perspective.

But some might say, you know, there’s so much up there that we can’t see anyway. What can’t we see? and why we can see what we can? —those are questions Trevor Chow-Fraser had. Luckily there was a world famous particle physicist at the observatory that night. Thank your lucky stars! James Pinfold is a founding member of the ATLAS experiment and the spokesman for the MoEDAL experiment, both taking place at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

A Canadian Star Comes Back to Earth

Most of us will never know what it’s like being in space. We’ve all seen the pictures of that familiar, glowing blue and green orb out the window of a spaceship. We know what the that golden crescent we see in the sky every night really looks like. We have rich imaginations and an ages long fascination with what could be out there beyond the sky. But what does space smell like? What does it really feel like to know the vastness of it all? Our own Matt Hirji talked with Commander Chris Hadfield to try and understand questions like these.

Download episode log here
Photo by, NASA

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