Awesome Astronomy



Awesome Astronomy explores the frontiers of science, space and our evolving understanding of the universe.Join Ralph, Paul & Jeni for informative and fun astronomy programmes dedicated to space and astronomy news and occasional podcast extras covering hot topics and special interviews in the world of science and astronomy.


  • Aurora at Home

    01/06/2024 Duração: 01h03min

    This month is indulgent and ranty! Well it is summer...Jen waxes lyrical about a night out, Paul has written a book and in amongst it is some astronomy! There is a big dive into the huge aurora display in May, talk of new exoplanets and old ones vanishing. The usual skyguide and this months history moment is all about X rays. Produced by Paul, Jen, John, Damien & Dustin

  • Totally Eclipse

    17/05/2024 Duração: 01h05min

    Dustin and Jeni talk about their Eclipse adventures from last month. 

  • Nova predictions and China to the Moon

    01/05/2024 Duração: 01h08min

    This month excitement builds for the predicted Nova outburst in Corona Borealis as well as looking forward to China launching a sample return mission to the far side of the Moon. We have our usual skyguide and chat about upcoming missions and some fun insights into the methane on Mars.

  • Episode 142 Awesome Astronomy April 2024

    01/04/2024 Duração: 01h08min

    This month Dr Jen is off to the US for the Solar Eclipse while Paul is just back from Goonhilly Earth Station. We chat about the imminent demise of the Chandra Space Telescope, more news on the Hubble tension, and of course the Great North American Eclipse.  Chinese Lunar ambitions, Starship making it to space and the first Boeing Starliner crew make the news while in this months history moment we talk about the brightest Stellar event witnessed by humans.  

  • Britain's First Astronaut

    22/03/2024 Duração: 38min

    This podcast extra is our full length interview with Dr Helen Sharman, Britain's First astronaut and the first woman to visit the Russian Mir Space Station in 1991. 

  • Wet Moons and Tippy landers

    01/03/2024 Duração: 01h02min

    This month our intrepid crew of the good ship Awesome investigate sub surface oceans on the moons of the solar system, smoking stars, distant blackholes, oversized structures and of course tippy over lunar landers. There is also the monthly skyguide and a look at the astro history of March!

  • Blasting Soil - Interview with Dr Phil Metzger

    17/02/2024 Duração: 53min

    This month Dr Jen talks to Dr Phil! Dr Phil Metzger, 30 years at NASA where he has worked on various missions and programmes including the ISS snd Space Shuttle, while more recently he has been investigating how rocket efflux interacts with soil and what this will mean for future landings on the Moon and Mars…

  • Awesome Astronomy Episode #140

    02/02/2024 Duração: 01h09min

    This month we explore the exciting announcements from the European Space Agency as they outline their new missions for the 2030s. LISA, a space based gravitational wave detector and EnVision, a Venus mission that will map the surface and under-surface of that planet in unprecedented detail.  We have the usual skyguide, chat about recent lunar missions and emails from the listeners.

  • #139 Awesome Astronomy January 2024

    15/01/2024 Duração: 01h13min

    This episode, it’s Jen and a special guest exploring the inexplicable Big Ring, the first proof connecting supernovae to black holes and neutron stars, cyclones on a far-away world, dazzling images of Io, and the true colour of Neptune. We also take a deep dive into humanity’s efforts to explore the Moon – the failing Peregrine lander and Artemis pushbacks.  There’s also a sky guide for the second half of January, and our discussion topic this time involves a most impossible restaurant.  Produced by Paul, Jen, Dustin, John & Damien.  

  • Awesome Astronomy Panto and Review of the Year 2023!

    26/12/2023 Duração: 01h09min

    Festive silliness (bit naughty!), a review of the Space and astronomy year and a look ahead to what 2024 has in store for us. Not forgetting the outakes!

  • #138 Awesome Astronomy December 2023 Pt1

    01/12/2023 Duração: 01h15min

    This month we explore what might have happened to the Planet Theia after it hit the Earth, what Lucy saw on its first asteroid encounter, the mystery of a new double crater on the Moon and what the first images from the Elucid telescope show.  We have our monthly skyguide, launch round up and emails and questions from listeners. Produced by Paul, Jen, John, Damien & Dustin

  • Astronomy Mythology of Wales

    19/11/2023 Duração: 45min

    This month Jeni talks to Paul. No not our Paul  Paul Cornish, planetarium and science outreach extraordinaire at Bristols We the Curious. They chat about one of our favourite topics on Awesome, constellation Mythology and this time it has a very Welsh flavour...enjoy!

  • #137 November 2023 Awesome Astronomy

    01/11/2023 Duração: 01h11min

    This month we talk about what might have been in the Arthur C Clarke Awards, the latest weird discovery from JWST, the most detailed simulation of the Universe yet, British space plans, giggle at a Space Force painting, and have a look at what you can see in the sky this month.   Produced by Paul, Jen, John, Damien & Dustin

  • The AstroCamp Panel!

    19/10/2023 Duração: 01h49s

    This month we give you a recording of our live panel show from AstroCamp, held in September. The team answer questions and comments from the public about a range of space and astronomy topics.

  • #136 - October 2023 Awesome Astronomy

    01/10/2023 Duração: 01h18min

    This month Paul and Dr Jen talk about the recent astrocamp where yet more Aurora was seen. Later there is a guide to seeing Aurora at lower latitudes. JWST is at it again with a possible detection of biological signals on an exoplanet, AND breaking and rewriting galaxy morphology history. There is an autumnal sky guide and the low down on the Bennu return mission OSIRIS-REx.  

  • JWST looks at the Ring - Interview with Dr Robert Wessen

    17/09/2023 Duração: 45min

    This months interview looks at that stunning imagery that JWST took of the Ring Nebula - that familiar Messier planterary nebula in Lyra and favourite of star parties. This new study has revealed new and unexpected details and once again demonstrated the brilliant science of our golden wonder telescope in space. Dr Jeni talks to Dr Robert Wessen, Research Associate at Cardiff University who has worked on the Ring Nebula data, about what astronomers have revealed as well as talking about his career and life astronomy. He also exclusively reveals what is going to happen next in this area of study. Enjoy!

  • #135 - September 2023 Awesome Astronomy

    01/09/2023 Duração: 01h29min

    This month we are joined by special guest Neill Sanders from Go Stargazing who is making a special announcement about astronomy cruise Holidays. We have news of a new type of star, mud on Mars and JWST breaking cosmology once again. After our skyguide we chat about the recent Indian and Russian moon missions.  In our discussion topic we have a Battle of the Planets as we decide which should get in the bin, Saturn or Jupiter.

  • #134 August 2023 Pt2 Awesome Astronomy

    16/08/2023 Duração: 53min

    For this podcast extra, we return to NAM 2023, this year held at Cardiff University. We’re delighted to bring you the conversational style of Dr Stephen Wilkins, public engagement extraordinaire. Dr Stephen is an STFC Public Engagement Fellow (so you know this talk will be just brilliant) and serves as a Director of Outreach and Public Engagement for the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Sussex. This episode, we have the Tale of Two Telescopes, exploring NASA’s new flagship James Webb Space Telescope, and ESA’s pioneering Euclid, set to uncover the Dark Universe. Enjoy! Produced by Paul, Jen, John, Damien & Dustin

  • #134 - August 2023 Awesome Astronomy

    01/08/2023 Duração: 01h21min

    This month we have a packed show, with stories about the European space agency launching a new space telescope to study The Dark Universe. India going to the moon with Chandrayaan-3, astereroid boulders, a key ingredient for life just 1 billion years into the Universe’s history, measuring a crater with highway seismology, hot lava piles on the moon, and a farewell to Ariane 5. We discuss observing meteor showers in our monthly skyguide and we ask the important question- where would you let superman take you in the solar system?

  • How to grow a supermassive black hole with Dr Becky Smethurst

    18/07/2023 Duração: 48min

    Once a year, astronomers descend upon an unsuspecting UK city in the greatest gathering of astronomically curious minds: the National Astronomy Meeting, otherwise known as NAM (no, not that ‘Nam, though it is quite the battle of the minds). Jen was lucky enough to attend this year and this episode is the first in a series of talks recorded at NAM 2023.  We’re delighted to bring you the expertise of none other than Dr Becky Smethurst of Oxford University (you may know her as Dr Becky on Youtube). In this talk, Dr Becky teaches us how to grow a supermassive black hole – and it’s not as easy as you think! Always picture a black hole as a gigantic hoover, sucking up everything that dares to stray too close? Think again…

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