Naked Astronomy

Produced by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), these naked Scientist podcasts look at physics questions in an amusing but also informative way.

The oldest light in the Universe • The Planck mission which measures the cosmic microwave background. • Mapping the surface of Mercury. • How Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) crashed into the surface of the Moon and what it revealed. • Imaging of the Moon surface. • Cosmological questions including, what is a quasar, why are the rings of Uranus vertical and do astronauts age more rapidly?

Is there a planet beyond Pluto? • The discovery of new super-Earths. • Images of protoplanetary discs. • The visual and infra-red survey telescope (VISTA) which is making a sensitive survey in the infra-red region. • Astrobiology and where to look for alien life. • Asteroids, moons, dark energy and the fabric of space.

Seeing your house from the Space Station • UrtheCast – integrating images and video from space with social media. • Keppler 22b, an exoplanet that could be like the Earth. • A comet which survived passing close to the Sun. • The influence of cosmic forces on the Earth. • Meteor showers. • Questions on neutrinos, cosmic expansion and the age of the universe.

The dominant force in the Universe • Different types of galaxies. • Disc-systems around nearby stars. • The history of the expanding universe and when dark energy became the dominant force. • The expansion of the Universe. • Trade in meteorites and the conflict between science and collectors. • Fusion in stars and the production of photons and how galaxies move.

Introducing space boffins​ • The science and technology of space exploration. • Missions to Jupiter and its moons. • SpaceEx mission to service the International Space Station. • The solar orbiter mission which will use a spacecraft being built by UK company Astrium.

SETI, aliens and the origins of life • The search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI). • Chemistry that may have led to life on Earth. • Space and astronomy in the cinema. • How researchers sequenced the genome of an unborn baby and why a pregnant woman's immune system does not attack the developing foetus. • A way to help dyslexics read more easily. [b]Plant pathogens observed from orbit[/b] • How satellite imaging can help to understand and control crop diseases. * The Keppler mission and the search for habitable exoplanets. • How precise measurements of pulsars help to indicate gravitational waves.

Work, rest and play: Mars and space tourism • NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission lands on Mars. Geologist and MSL scientist Professor Sanjeev Gupta discusses the excitement and science behind the mission. • A fascinating look back at the first manned Gemini spacecraft, with original mission recordings from the launch. STFC is a part of Research Councils UK (RCUK).

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