View Full Version : Show Suggestions

Goldilocks Zone
2011-Feb-09, 01:13 PM
Here's a couple of topic I would love to hear a show about:

1. The Rare Earth Hypothesis.
We hear a lot about the Drake equation and advocates that Earth is nothing special. But what about the other side which questions why extraterrestrial civilisations aren't obvious.

2. Solar System Formation.
This has been mentioned on shows but not a show dedicated to the topic. Before we started discovering exoplanets astronomers and physicists looked at our solar system and thought they understood how solar systems formed. Now we know that our system is unusual, and in particular that giant Jupiters tend to hug their stars.

I find this topic particularly fascinating as it shows us the limits of looking at one example and trying to generalise it. This is still the case when speculating about life elsewhere!

Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

2011-Feb-09, 11:49 PM
Planets that are smaller are harder to detect, and planets that are further from their sun are harder to detect, so it is natural that the first planets we detect would be larger ones near their sun. That does not mean that most planets are hot Jupiters. Now that we have better intruments on the job, like Kepler, we are finding smaller planets further from their sun.

2011-Feb-10, 12:14 AM
Stellar formation or Star populations as the universe ages. (I think there is a word for that second one, I just can't think of it.)

2011-Feb-13, 07:20 PM
I would love to hear more in depth discussion about Planck wall! :think:

2011-Feb-14, 01:29 PM
There was a JPL pod cast about images from the space shuttle being used for viewing Mayan settlements and revealing their farming techniques. That isn't anything like astronomy, but it is extremely cool.

2011-Feb-14, 07:07 PM
Can we have another question show?

2011-Feb-14, 07:17 PM
As a number of suggestions have been made, I have tweaked the name of this thread and made it a sticky

2011-Feb-25, 06:09 PM
I would like a show with info on viewing options for light polluted areas. The obvious choices for those of us relatively new to astronomy are the moon, planets and larger star clusters. I've also seen websites that offer remote control viewing and photography services. Solar viewing also seems intriguing but I haven't sprung for the right filter yet. I've seen cheaper generic fitting filters but wonder if there is a dangerous compromise in quality, possibly damaging the eye.

2011-Mar-04, 04:14 PM
Some more stuff about the Sun would be great.
The Solar Corona heating problem, the wobbling sun, helioseismology or solar oscillations ( a subject which fascinated me as an undergraduate) the newer area of coronal seismology. Sunspot interactions, spicules etc....

Astronomy Cast is great
Thanks for the interesting and wonderfully presented content

2011-Mar-29, 06:49 PM
How about a show on the center of the Milky Way, or other spiral galaxies? I don't mean the super-massive black hole, but the area around it. Surely there is more going on than just stars whipping around at breakneck velocities. How dense with stars is the area? Are any stars being born? Dying?

And most importantly, what use does God have with a starship?

2011-Apr-01, 06:38 PM
Brown dwarves. Exo-Jupiters: super, hot, cold, etc. Planetary ejections - where do they go and what are they like? Are they big, small or in between?
A Titan Update, someone must still be cranking out papers.

2011-Jun-25, 06:07 AM
Show topic idea: The Heliosphere. I recently heard a story on NPR Science Friday about they voyager missions reaching the heliosphere and thought this would be a great topic for Astronomy Cast. What is it and where are the boundaries? Does it serve a protective purpose for our planet? What's the measurable difference between being "in it" and beyond it? Would our view of the galaxy and universe be different without it? Can an object beyond the heliosphere be in orbit around the sun or an object within it NOT be in orbit around the sun? I heard that solar winds change speed/direction when they reach the edge of the heliosphere, what does that mean? I can picture wind like air movement on our planet but what exactly is "solar wind" (if you could stand naked in space holding on to a fixed object would it blow your hair back like wind on Earth?) and how does it leave our solar system through the heliosphere? Does an object leaving the solar system require an energy boost to break through the heliosphere? ...and so on and so forth

allwase wounder
2011-Jun-25, 06:34 AM
More on the shape and progression of the universe and its features.
and why all galaxies tend to be not only moving away but more specifically the fact that there all moving in the same direction, (forgive me if its not a fact)
and this might sound weird but can you enplane fire/ or something that we see as having a real and fiscal change using partial physics, first verbalizing the equation then explaining its energy distributions that are given, please thank you

2011-Jun-28, 11:51 AM
Hi everyone.
Years ago, I read a non-fiction book by Isaac Azimov, but I don't recall the title. In it, however, he attempted to describe the night sky from various places both within our Solar System and beyond it. It would be interesting, I think, for Pamela to do an updated version, describing perhaps the view from the Moon with a "full" Earth, from Ceres in amongst the asteroid belt , from Mercury, from Jupiter and Saturn, from the Oort cloud, from the centre of our Galaxy and perhaps from one of the globular clusters surrounding it....and perhaps finish with a view from Andromeda. What do you think?


2011-Jul-26, 03:41 AM
I would love to hear about the legitimacy of us putting men on the moon! I have a few dumb conspiracy theorist friends and I want to smash them!

2011-Jul-26, 02:05 PM
Do you have an mp3 of the shows theme song? I would suggest a You Tube ad with that music as the background and the images used for each show.

That would be neat.

I would post it to facebook and embed it on my site. I don't have any traffic on my website, but still the offer stands. :)

2011-Jul-26, 10:05 PM
For their 1 April show (what do you mean they don't have one?): famous astronomical hoaxes (iirc, Orson Welles was involved in one).

Dr Flush from Hamilton Sundstrand (Dr Flush is his nickname....)

Women in astronomy (Henrietta Leavitt, Jocelyn Bell, and the ones in between)

2011-Aug-03, 02:53 PM
A pair show on scaling up observations: what you can do without a telescope, then with binoculars and the a small 'scope. Follow this show with the discoveries from the top 3 world class observatories.

A show on the lives of photons; a walk through the spectrum and how that part of the spectrum applies to astronomy. Don't forget the history behind some of the names like X-rays and such.

2011-Aug-03, 03:59 PM
Celestial navigation.

2011-Aug-23, 10:09 PM
How fast do objects move in space? Does it depend on how large they are, what they are made of and what they are orbiting? How about asteroids/meteors? How fast are meteors moving when they hit the atmosphere? and how big does a meteor have to be to actually hit the ground rather than burn up in the atmosphere?

Love Astronomy Cast by the way, it's my top Podcast show :cool:

2011-Aug-24, 02:31 PM
Ways to cheat relativity, like Alcubierre bubbles.

2011-Sep-03, 03:14 PM
An update on the LCH and search for the Higgs-Boson.

2011-Sep-04, 05:22 AM
A show on PTF 11kly would be great.

2011-Sep-16, 11:13 AM
The most outrageous and shocking facts and figures. Like most extreme weights, sizes, distances, chain reactions, and time, from all things universe and astronomy inc. chemistry, physics etc

2011-Oct-28, 04:21 PM
How about a show about Arthur Eddington, who helped prove Einstein right on GR in 1919

2011-Oct-29, 05:49 PM
Another show on ancient astronomy. I love the historical stuff. "Einstein was right" was a great show.
How about a show on astronomical navigation without GPS? I haven't listened to the GPS show yet.

John Jaksich
2011-Oct-31, 04:42 PM
How about a show about Arthur Eddington, who helped prove Einstein right on GR in 1919

I tend to agree here--I had heard that the measurements performed by Eddington were highly controversial (he may have used a fudge factor)--then again . . . that may be an urban legend?


suggestion of ancient astronomy is also good -

2012-Jan-05, 07:17 AM
This whole Neutrinos faster than light needs to be clarified a bit for me.
What would be the consequences if its true?

2012-Feb-13, 08:53 PM
Hi Fraser,

This isn't a suggestion for the show.
Rather, it's for the website (http://astronomycast.com/)

I routinely visit the website on a few occasions,
mainly to read the transcripts, as I'm a bit hard of hearing,
and on a few occasions, you or Pamela are speaking
a bit too quickly for me to catch everything.

When I visit http://astronomycast.com/, I find that the default
font size of the site is quite small and hard to read.

I then try to use my browser to magnify the site,
but even when I boost magnification to 150% or 200%,
the font size (while larger) is still not easy to read.

I'm using Chrome on Windows XP,
but I've also tried Firefox and IE.
The problem appears in all these browsers.

Would you please choose a different default font
for the http://astronomycast.com/ website?

I notice, for example, that the default font for the
http://astrosphere.org/ website is both easy-to-read
and easy to magnify. This is also true for the font
used at this http://www.bautforum.com/ site.


2012-May-15, 11:47 PM
Five minute Mythology - pick an astronomical object with a proper name then explain the history behind that name. Perhaps do one month.

2012-May-16, 10:02 PM
whats wrong with the universe.
how astronomy is causing problems for cosmology - in other words, stuff that dosnt quite fit what we thought we understood

2012-May-21, 07:01 PM
i have read that all space photgraphs are actually balck and white with color added later. Is this true? Can we not get color pictures from distant planets/space. Why would this be done? How does NASA decide how to "color" the photos. What is the "true color" of space objects?

2012-May-21, 07:47 PM
While the Shuttle is gone, there is a lot of technology and design issues that have come out of it. One that was surprisingly challenging was zero-g toilets. (this is why I mentioned Donald Rethke, aka Dr Flush, http://news.engr.uconn.edu/mastracchioeventsummary.php).


Neutrino and cosmic ray astronomy

2012-May-22, 03:22 AM
@pickeringcs: They take three photos, each with a different color filter, then use those as the red, green, and blue in the final image.

2012-Jun-29, 11:07 PM
I downloaded some of the episodes from 2007/8 and there's variation in the mp3 id tags for album title . This is somewhat annoying as loaded onto my mp3 player I've ended up with more albums than necessary.

The variations are
no album title
Astronomy Cast - 2007
Astronomy Cast 2007
Astronomy Cast
Astronomy Cast - 2008
Astronomy Cast 2008

I've no idea if this inconsistency continues in later years. It's messy and needs sorting out!

Also what happened to the question shows? I really like listening to those.

2012-Jul-01, 04:48 AM
I think the question shows have returned in the form of the weekly hangouts. They also now record astronomycast episodes live on google+, and afterwords, they spend a few minutes answering questions. I have been watching them on YouTube on the universetoday channel, and astrospherevids channel, and the starstryder channel. They pop up sometimes on any of those channels, and sometimes on more than one. I have not yet caught one live. There is more content now from these folks than ever.

2012-Jul-30, 03:43 PM
How about "Professional Profiles". Interview scientists.

Fun questions would be:
"If you weren't a physicist, an astronomer, etc., what would you choose to be?"
"Did you start in a different field or course of study in college?" (Its more fun the more removed that topic is their actual profession.)
"Do you have hobbies that simply don't jib with being a <insert profession>."

2012-Jul-30, 10:54 PM
They've been sort of doing that in the google+ hangouts I mentioned in my previous post right above yours.

UW Geologist
2012-Dec-07, 02:29 AM
How about a show about the rapid expansion of privately-funded spaceflight?

You could talk about the X-Prize and billionaire stuff, the recent launches of Dragon capsules by Space X and the future plans of Cameron and friends to mine asteroids with Planetary Resources Inc.

Or maybe you've done this show already, in which case you can completely disregard this entire post.

2013-Jan-21, 11:48 PM
Had a thought. Since you started off 5 years ago, some new things must have been discovered since on some of the topics you did way back in the beginning. It would be interesting to hear about what's been learned in the last 4-5 years.

2013-Jan-23, 02:05 AM
You did Mass, Inertia, Energy. Could you continue with Entropy and Acceleration?

I like the history related shows, could you do a piece on the lesser known space fairing countries? Brazil, Italy, etc.

2013-Jan-25, 09:29 PM
Carl Sagan Episode? I would love to hear about his life in general, contributions to science and astronomy and his legacy.

2013-Feb-07, 11:20 AM

A show about how engineers come up with amazing solutions to problems given then lack of resources or the remoteness of the probe..

The show should be
what went wrong.. the risks... what engineers came up with to resolve the issues

Examples include:
Apollo 13
Hayabusa probe.. and many many others.

best regards


2013-Feb-07, 02:37 PM
I love that suggestion Tomja. There are so many examples of missions that failed in some way, and engineers were able to pull it together.

2013-Feb-22, 07:00 AM
The missions that could have been.

A look at the space missions that have been cancelled over the years.
The episode would cover the mission, what the plans where, how far they went in building it, and what it could be giving us now, if not for cancellation.
It would be nice if it could also look at missions outside of NASA but NASA missions are the ones I know about :)

Terrestrial Planet Finder



Best Regards


2013-Feb-22, 07:10 AM
Double post

2013-Dec-21, 01:54 PM
I would enjoy more history also. Rocks falling from the sky used to be dismissed as superstition. I'd love to hear more about how our understanding changed, what it took to bring that about and the people putting the new ideas forward. Apparently it was a bit of a struggle, not, "Oh yes, that makes perfect sense." (Rocks falling from the sky? Nonsense! How could there be rocks in space?)


2014-Jan-26, 07:42 AM
I would love to hear more about science on tv what was right and wrong

"That shining twilight flame? Neither saucer nor plane. Afloat in western skies, behold Venus with your eyes." Neil Degrasse Tyson

2014-Jan-26, 07:43 AM
Love the idea about Carl sagan

"That shining twilight flame? Neither saucer nor plane. Afloat in western skies, behold Venus with your eyes." Neil Degrasse Tyson

2014-Jan-26, 08:54 AM
I miss the question shows. also I would have loved to hear the astronomy cast marathon from last year, is there anyway I can get that?

2014-Jan-26, 09:59 PM
How about a show on the soon to be updated LHC particle accelerator. Now we have found the Higgs, that has been put to bed..

You could do a show about what is next. Why has it been updated, what is it being updated for, what are they trying to find next and so fourth..

Just a suggestion !

Keep up the great work and thanks :)

2014-Apr-03, 01:46 PM

Have thoroughly enjoyed working my way through the archives over the last year and had a suggestion for an episode or possibly a series of episodes.

I like the way ye give credit too and mention the work of the worlds other space agencies and would love to hear more about them. While many listeners are probably familiar with NASA and the Russians and I am sure there is still plenty of stuff and stories to talk about with them. Of more interest to some (all of us non Americans) would be hearing about the work all the other agencies such as ESA, the Indians, the Japanese etc. I think it would be particularly worth while covering ESA and the other non cold war super power agencies to help counter the Hollywood perception that if it's in space it must be NASA (unless it's evil, then it's obviously Russian or a criminal mastermind), the whole Transformers - Beagle 2 incident was especially galling!


2014-Dec-06, 10:39 PM
Long time listener, first time poster. Been a while since I've been able to say that!

With the slew of Science fiction films & tv shows released lately (thinking Moon, Gravity, Interstellar etc.) I'm wondering if a show about "What Sci-Fi gets right in Astronomy" might be cool. There has been a bunch of this topic scattered through various shows (has there BEEN a show on this already? Am I going crazy?) - I do remember one of the live con shows had a whole section about BSG and physics/astronomy consultation - I would be interested to know what other shows go so far to be accurate, perhaps some best & worst offenders lists. Are there any projects that Fraser & Pamela have been personally involved with? Stories!

Of course it's a wide area to discuss just Astronomy - I'm sure stretching the field to include a bit of Physics and Cosmology isn't a crime, surely...

2015-Jan-27, 03:26 PM
For the Modern Women series, why not an episode on Eileen Collins? First woman to be Mission Commander of a shuttle flight, and as an added bonus, the mission she was commander of happens to have been STS-93, the launch of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. I've actually met Collins and got to ask her a few questions, and even got her autograph in a book about the Space Shuttle.

2015-Mar-15, 09:35 AM
To discuss - The Universe is expanding - 'space' is being created between such objects as Galaxies which appears to make them move apart faster than the speed of lights. This is fact.
Ok then what's the deal with the new 'space' that's being created. Is additional 3 dimensional space being created ? If so is there new 4th dimensional space (time) being created as well ?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

2016-Jan-20, 08:39 PM
I have an idea:

A series about the "eras" of the universe.

1. Primordial era
2. Stelliferious era
3. Degenerate era
4. Black hole era
5. Dark era

It could of course also be just one episode if there's not enough information to make an entire episode about these eras.


2016-Feb-27, 02:46 AM
I know this thread is more for topic suggestions, but I don't know where to post this. Can y'all start an official Facebook page? I can't believe you're not on Facebook! There's an unofficial page which has 4,800 likes, but no content...

2016-Feb-27, 07:18 AM
If I could make a small suggestion. The more recent shows have been very high intensity. If I could request less swearing... I use these in classrooms and I used to know which ones had bad words, but the last couple of shows seem to have more swearing than the past 350 shows.

2017-Aug-17, 12:31 AM
How about Lunar or Crater Ray Systems. There does not seem to be many good answers to why they form (or appear to form).