Our Wateriest Episode!

Catherine Neish from the Florida Institute of Technology joins Josh and Addie for a recap of a number of exciting developments in planetary science including the arrival of the Mars Orbital Mission, or MOM, from India, hot on the heals of the MAVEN mission. We agreed that Mars now has altogether too many spacecraft. Ever wonder what a TRL is? Of course not, and now you’ll never have to, because we explain that, and throw more cold water on the BICEP2 now-non-detection of gravity waves from the first second of the universe. As always, episodes can be downloaded here.

MAVEN at Mars: Where Did All the Good Stuff Go?!

The MAVEN spacecraft successfully entered orbit around Mars last weekend. In Episode 18 of Walkabout the Galaxy, Josh, Addie and Tracy make a game effort at being excited about this mission whose primary data will be squiggly lines instead of pretty pictures. The conversation naturally turns to the 1950’s movie cult classic, Cat-Women of the Moon. Plans are brewing for a global watch party and tweet-up for this cinematic masterpiece. Well, piece, anyway. Watch this space for details coming soon! As always you can get episodes and subscribe to our podcast here.

Wham! Go the Planets

We recorded Episode 17 on the day of Joan Rivers’ death, which inspired us to imagine science fashion police. On the science front, Josh, Addie and Tracy talk about this discovery of the splashy remnants of what the study authors can only imagine was the collision of two planet-sized objects. The system in question is a young star similar to the Sun, but only about 35 million years old (the Sun is 4.55 billion years old, give or take a week), so it’s tempting to imagine this collision as similar to ones that certainly occurred in our own system, such as the one that created the Moon. As always, episodes can be downloaded from iTunes here.