Astroengine Live Show #12: Life on Europa?

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In today’s Astroengine Live (WPRT Radio at 7pm EST), I’ll be discussing some of the exciting stuff that has been going on in space (and in the space blogosphere) over the past seven days. Also, I am very excited that today will air Astroengine Live’s first interview that was recorded last Friday. In the short discussion with Dr Greenberg (author of “Unmasking Europa”), I gained an insight to his excitement about Jupiter’s fourth largest Moon, Europa, and what implications this icy world holds for the search for extraterrestrial life.

All going well, this week should be free of technical hitches (if you listened to Show #11, it was a feast of the worst live radio could throw at me), but the thunder clouds are building outside…

Get Involved!

Have any articles or stories you want to contribute? Have an opinion on anything in the world of space? Email me on astro@wprtradio.com and I’ll be sure to give it a mention. Eventually, I hope to have telephone call-ins, but for now, email will do.

Listen to Astroengine Live using the Paranormal Radio player. Or, pick up the podcast feed to activate your favourite audio software.

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Astroengine Interview with Dr Richard Greenberg: “Unmasking Europa”

A future mission to the Jovian moon Europa could incorporate a life-searching robotic submersible under the icy crust (NASA)

A future mission to the Jovian moon Europa could incorporate a life-searching robotic submersible under the icy crust (NASA)

On Wednesday (Feb. 18th), NASA and ESA decided to “prioritize” a mission to Jupiter. Set to be launched in 2020 (for a 2026 arrival in the Jovian system), NASA will work on a spacecraft called the Jupiter-Europa mission and ESA will work on the Jupiter-Ganymede mission. Both probes will be launched at the same time to carry out this unprecedented planetary mission. However, this doesn’t mean a mission to Saturn will be off the cards; NASA hinted that a return trip to the ringed gas giant will also be planned in tandem (following in the footsteps of the Cassini Equinox Mission). But Jupiter comes first.

In an enlightening interview earlier today, Dr Richard Greenberg, an eminent Europa scientist, discussed this recent NASA/ESA announcement with Astroengine Live and his excitement that there will be a return mission to the Jovian system. He is an expert in celestial mechanics and worked on several NASA projects at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Dr Greenberg has also published a book called “Unmasking Europa” (of which I am very excited to receive a copy soon), detailing the science under the icy crust of the moon, where there is a tantalizing possibility life may thrive in tidally-heated sub-surface oceans.

But that’s not the best part. Dr Greenberg provides an exciting narrative about what form this Europa (European?) life may take… It’s not just microbial extraterrestrials that could survive in these environments

Be sure to listen in to my radio show, Astroengine Live on Wednesday, February 25th to hear the full recording of my conversation with Dr. Richard Greenberg.

Astroengine Live Show #11 – Is There Anything That Didn’t Happen?

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It’s not only been a busy week in space, it’s been a busy two weeks in space… yes, I’m going to attempt to cram two weeks of space news into two hours in Wednesday’s Astroengine Live! Apologies for the break in service last week, but all going well I’ll make up for it this time ’round.

So where do I begin? We’ve had satellites colliding, “liquid water” discovered on Mars, fireballs over Texas, stimulus packages investing cash in science (yes, really), possible space tourism from Hawaii… and loads, loads more. I’ll try to fit as much in as possible, so it sould be a good one. Plus there will be plenty of superb tunes from my favourite artists…

Get Involved!

Have any articles or stories you want to contribute? Have an opinion on anything in the world of space? Email me on astro@wprtradio.com and I’ll be sure to give it a mention. Eventually, I hope to have telephone call-ins, but for now, email will do.

Listen to Astroengine Live using the Paranormal Radio player. Or, pick up the podcast feed to activate your favourite audio software.

Astroengine Live Now Available on iTunes (Oh Yes!)

Astroengine Live, listed with some tough astrology competition on iTunes

Astroengine Live, listed with some tough astrology competition on iTunes

It’s a big day for Astroengine Live! My radio show is now available as an iTunes podcast! I’d like to say that there was some tough competition and my show won through on its scientific merits and entertainment value… but I’d be lying. I submitted the Astroengine Live podcast feed to iTunes, and they listed it. Oh well, I think it’s cool nonetheless, at least now my listeners can tune in whenever they like in all their iPod (iTunes only supports Apple products, right?).

If for some reason you are unable to access iTunes (perhaps because you don’t conform to Apple’s marketing strategy), you can subscribe to the podcast feed directly from the Black Vault Radio Network (BVRN) podcast feed.

Tune in!

Assuming you have iTunes installed on your computer, simply start up the program and type “astroengine” into the search box in the iTunes Store. You’ll then find Astroengine Live in the search results (either listed with an episode number or prefixed with “Black Vault Radio Network”). Ironically, a vastly more popular astrology podcast appears in the search results too (I had a private giggle about that). Don’t mistaken Astroengine with astrology! Be warned, they just aren’t the same

Apologies for having to run an old Astroengine Live recording today, unfortunately I’m currently in a hotel with a patchy Internet connection… Next week’s episode will therefore be excellent2!

The Essential Selection for Space Exploration (Music)

The Astroengine Live Top 10 Space Tunes

Disco balls at Spundae, Hollywood in December 2006 (© Ian O'Neill)

Often when writing about space, I like to listen to music. Unfortunately, my brain is terrible at multitasking, so any music with vocals slows me down. However, trance music doesn’t seem to hurt my thinking-typing skills (probably due to minimal vocal tracks), so on go the headphones as I get lost in a mix of space and sound.

If you are a listener of my radio show Astroengine Live, you may be forgiven in thinking that it is based more on the music selection than my opinions on the current state of manned space flight! So I’ve decided to pair up trance and space to compile my favourite space-based tracks of all time (mainly trance and electro, but with some surprises thrown in).

Here’s Astroengine Live’s Top 10 Space Tunes, or the Essential Selection for Space Exploration
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Astroengine Live Show #9: It’s a Vacuum Out There

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For today’s Astroengine Live, I’ll be talking about anything and everything. There will be the obligatory stop-over at the Carnival of Space and a peek at one (or possibly two) podcasts from the 365 Days of Astronomy and then… who knows?

In fact, it would be great if I could get some opinions about last week’s launch of the top secret US spy satellite (or, at least, that’s what we think it is). So check out “Why Are Clandestine Space Launches So Sexy?” and share your views. Do you find it a little frightening that such activities are being carried out in space? Do you think the secrecy adds to the thrill of wanting to find out more? Or do you think the government should be more transparent with things of this nature? As always, send me an email on astro@wprtradio.com or leave me a comment at the bottom of this post.

Get Involved!

Have any articles or stories you want to contribute? Have an opinion on anything in the world of space? Email me on astro@wprtradio.com and I’ll be sure to give it a mention. Eventually, I hope to have telephone call-ins, but for now, email will do.

Listen to Astroengine Live using the Paranormal Radio player. Or, pick up the podcast feed to activate your favourite audio software.

Astroengine Live Shows 7 & 8 Now Available in the Archives

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Two more Astroengine Live shows are now available for your listening pleasure via the BVRN radio/podcast archive. You can either navigate to the Astroengine Live section of Astroengine.com, selecting your choice of show from the gadgiwidgity thingy in the top right-hand corner, or you can go directly to the Black Vault itself and select which show you want to stream or download…
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Astroengine Live #8: Methane and Astroengineering

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It’s been a big week this week. It looks like a replacement for Michael Griffin has been decided, Barack Obama is now President of the United States, NASA has shown all its cards by hinting (shouting) that life on Mars might be generating all that methane* and we could be living in one giant holodeck. Just another week in the Universe I guess…

As there was no Carnival of Space this week, I’ll probably grab a few interesting blog posts from my fellow space bloggers for good measure to throw into the mix for this week’s Astroengine Live! Wedneday at 4pm EST, 5pm MST, 6pm CST, 7pm EST and midnight GMT! If you’ve found any articles of interest, please feel free to drop me a line on astro@wprtradio.com.

Get Involved!

Have any articles or stories you want to contribute? Have an opinion on anything in the world of space? Email me on astro@wprtradio.com and I’ll be sure to give it a mention. Eventually, I hope to have telephone call-ins, but for now, email will do.

Listen to Astroengine Live using the Paranormal Radio player. Or, pick up the podcast feed to activate your favourite audio software.

Check out Paranormal Radio’s live streaming vidcast, Captain Jack will be airing my show on his website too.

*Actually, the methane thing might just be geological activity, but if this week’s headlines are anything to go by, you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s a whole alien civilization on the Red Planet! Which there probably isn’t by the way…

Astroengine Live #7: Beer, Beer and Cutting-Edge Cosmology

I'm not sure whether I should laugh or cry...

I'm not sure whether I should laugh or cry...

I wasn’t actually going to mention the whole space beer thing again, heaven knows I’ve been banging on about that enough! But I just stumbled across a website advertising a film that will be made called “Beer Drinkers in Space”. (Sign me up!) There’s little information about it, but it appears to be based on a 1980’s original movie of the same name. The blog has recently announced that “Beer Drinkers in Space is readying for a March shoot in Orlando, Florida. The movie, starring Christopher Atkins and James Hong, will be directed by Iake Eisenmann.” I wonder if they need a space beer science advisor? Hmmm…

Anyhow, today’s Astroengine Live will include an airing of my 10-minute-long podcast for the 365 Days of Astronomy that aired last week (about, you guessed it, “The Link Between Beer and Space Settlement”), a behind-the-scenes look at the AAS conference last week in Long Beach (about, you guessed it, drinking free space beer), and something about magnetars, colliding black holes and hot neutron stars. Oh yes, and a run-down of the Carnival of Space. It’s going to be awesome.

Show starts at 4pm PST, 5pm MST, 6pm CST, 7pm EST… and midnight GMT!

Get Involved!

Have any articles or stories you want to contribute? Have an opinion on anything in the world of space? Email me on astro@wprtradio.com and I’ll be sure to give it a mention. Eventually, I hope to have telephone call-ins, but for now, email will do.

Listen to Astroengine Live using the Paranormal Radio player.

Check out Paranormal Radio’s live streaming vidcast, Captain Jack will be airing my show on his website too.

AAS Meeting, Long Beach, 4-8 January 2009

The January AAS meeting is being held in Long Beach, CA (Image by Kevin Stanchfield)

The January AAS meeting is being held in Long Beach, CA (Image by Kevin Stanchfield)

I’m currently organizing myself for this week’s AAS meeting down in Long Beach, so expect a feast of breaking news and information from one of the biggest astronomical conferences on the planet! Dictaphone? Check. Pen? Check. Laptop? Check. Camera? Check… Beer money? What do you think?

Who?

I’ll be travelling down to Long Beach tomorrow to join forces with the rest of the New Media crowd, including my Universe Today publisher, Fraser Cain. Joining us will be Pamela Gay (a.k.a. Star Stryder), Chris Lintott, Michael Koppelmann, Georgia Bracey and Jordan Raddick. It will be great to finally put a face to all these names I’ve become so used to in the last year of blogging.

What?

This will be a new experience for me, as although I’ve been to many conferences, this will be the first time I’ll be reporting on other people’s research. So, the pressure is off and I can enjoy the vast ocean of knowledge being shared with the world. However, this isn’t going to be your normal reporting gig. Pamela and Fraser have been organizing this New Media venture to distribute information accurately and rapidly. This is the power of blogging; we are on the ground publishing articles as the news becomes available. This means you don’t have to wait to get your conference news fix, it will appear on the blogs as soon as we hear it.

Astroengine Live!

Internet connections permitting, I’ll be running my Wednesday Astroengine Live from the scene at the Long Beach Convention Center. I’ll see if I can get some interviews in, and a lot of the reporting will be done on-the-fly, but it should make for an interesting show! That’s 4pm PST, Wednesday January 7th, Astroengine Live via WPRT Radio!

When?

So, from Monday Jan. 5th, to Thursday Jan. 8th, I hope to stack Astroengine.com full with breaking news articles from the frontier of astrophysics, astronomy and space exploration.

How?

I will also be dumping as much information onto the Universe Today as possible. Plus, ace Universe Today writer Nancy Atkinson will be back at UT Mission Control overseeing the whole event. This way, you don’t only get your regular news updates, you also get the best the AAS has to offer!

All blog posts on every space news website will be linked to via Astronomy Cast LIVE, so be sure to check on that regularly for your up-to-the-minute news.

Don’t forget Twitter! I will be firing microblog posts out every time I get a new piece of news, so be sure to follow Astroengine.com’s Twitter Feed. I might even activate the Twitter feed though my main blog on Astroengine.com, but we’ll see how quickly the news breaks before I do this (I don’t want to create a bottleneck of news overflow!).

Meet Us!

Rock Bottom Brewery... Location for the Wednesday meetup!

Rock Bottom Brewery... Location for the Wednesday meetup!

If you just happen to be in the Long Beach area on Wednesday, drop by the Rock Bottom bar and restaurant from 6pm-9pm to meet me, Fraser and the whole New Media/Astronomy Cast LIVE team!

Rock Bottom is located at 1 Pine Ave, at the E Ocean Blvd./Pine Ave. cross street. This place is big, in a prominent location on the corner of Pine, so you shouldn’t miss it. Check out Google Maps for the location.

So, keep an eye on Astronengine.com, Universe Today, Astronomy Cast LIVE and my Twitter feed for the full spectrum of the conference… it’s going to be awesome.