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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
 
Find out what happened when Izzie Clarke and Dr Robert Massey used a 12 tonne telescope at an observatory in Herstmonceux, Sussex. Plus, Dr Becky Smethurst explains the benefit of using space telescopes and takes on your questions. With special to Dr Sandra Voss at The Observatory Science Centre in Hertsmonceux: https://www.the-observatory.org/ Get…
 
The Astronaut Alarm is in overdrive... Izzie, Dr Becky, and his excellency Richard Hollingham have not one but TWO astronauts on this month's episode. From the archive, Richard speaks to NASA astronaut Gene Cernan about Apollo 17 and being the last man on the Moon. ESA Astronaut Matthias Maurer talks about the upcoming Artemis missions which will s…
 
Terrified that an asteroid could wipe out the planet? Don’t panic…the Supermassive team are here to help. Izzie and Dr Becky talk to Professor Alan Fitzsimmons about the results of the DART asteroid deflection mission and Samuel L Jackson (who knew he’s studying for a Phd at the Open University?) tells us how scientists plan to track and tackle thr…
 
It's been an exciting time for space exploration, so Izzie and Dr Becky celebrate the year in space.... co-incidentally the title of The Supermassive Podcast's book which is out in October. How do plants grow in the ISS? Has JWST changed ideas about cosmology? And when will we get a home gravitational wave detector? The honourable Izzie Clarke, Dr …
 
Izzie and Dr Becky freak out over the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope. From seeing the deep (not so deep) field with Steve Wilkins from the University of Sussex, to exploring exoplanet atmospheres with Dr Hannah Wakeford from the University of Bristol. Plus, Dr Robert Massey takes the team through the September night sky. Pre-order…
 
The Supermassive team dust off their wellies and peg down their tents for Standon Calling. And to celebrate 10 years of NASA's Curiosity rover landing on Mars, Izzie and Dr Becky are asking the question everyone at the festival wants answered... Is there life on Mars? With special thanks to Dr Robert Massey, David Rothery, Professor of Planetary Ge…
 
Izzie and Dr Becky are flying closer to home to look at the Rocky Planets; Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. How are they different? How are they similar? And can understanding their past tell us anything about Earth’s future? Plus, Dr Robert Massey has his stargazing tips for summer. With special thanks to Dr Suzie Imber from the University of Leice…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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…
 
Izzie and Dr Becky are turning up the heat and exploring the fiery worlds in our solar system. From planets close to the Sun to a distant world of volcanoes and lava. Joining them are planetary scientist Professor David Rothery from the Open University and Professor Alfred McEwen from the University of Arizona, who wants to send a mission to Jupite…
 
This month it’s all about the trapped charged particles around our planet - the Van Allen radiation belts. Izzie and Dr Becky find out all about them with the help of Dr Maria Theresia Walach from Lancaster University, and Dr David Devorkin from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum explains how Explorer 1 discovered the belts in 1958. Plus…
 
Grab your dustpan and brush… This month, Izzie and Dr Becky get to grips with the leftovers from space activity, it's all about space junk. Joining them are engineer Dr Hugh Lewis from the University of Southampton, who models how the debris builds up over time, and space archaeologist Dr Alice Gorman explains its historical significance. Plus, Rob…
 
Is it a planet? Is it a black hole? Is it even real? This month, Izzie and Dr Becky try and get to the bottom of the mysterious planet nine - an enigmatic - and so far invisible - ninth planet in our solar system. Helping them are the scientists that have made headlines trying to solve this puzzle, Mike Brown from the California Institute of Techno…
 
“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 …
 
"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…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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