365 Days of Astronomy shoots the Moon

By Phil Plait | March 18, 2010 11:57 am
365 Days of Astronomy podcast

My friend Eran Segev, an Aussie skeptic and all-around good guy, submitted a podcast to 365 Days of Astronomy dealing with the venerable Parkes radio dish and its support of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. It’s a good story — it was fictionalized in the very cute movie "The Dish" — and he interviews a couple of the men who were there during the whole thing. And if you listen to the whole thing, they mention a familiar name, too…

CATEGORIZED UNDER: About this blog, NASA, Skepticism

Comments (11)

  1. Danno

    An excellent episode from The Skeptic Zone Podcast! My favorite line,

    “And if they sent that from the Mojave Desert as those clowns say we must have, somebody must have been up there to have an echoing chamber or something like that. We received the signal from the moon, is all I know.”

  2. “365 Days of Astronomy Shoots the Moon”

    Was the moon’s permission asked for first?

  3. Sili

    Well, he had to prompt the old guy with your name, though.

    Very good ‘cast, though.

  4. jcm

    We know which familiar name is mentioned.

  5. I didn’t hear them say Whil Wheaton or Adam Savage. Did I miss it? 😛

  6. Plutonium being from Pluto

    Cool post – great movie & true life story which deserves to be remembered and covered. :-)

    See more via Wikipedia :


    (If you wish to natch. 😉 )

  7. Monkey

    While I appreciate the focus and scope of the 365IYA podcasts, some of them are lacking. It is amateur, which is excellent, but I have found it difficult to listen to some due to recording quality and general poor reading skills.

    That said, I very much support this. Its just that as an educational tool – to teach but also recruit others to increase awareness – you need to make it more palatable. I would say 80% are wonderful, 10% horrid, 10% meh.

    Perhaps a situation where people send in writen stories to a collaboration group of five or six readers who read them and record them. OPne person could go through a whack of stories in an afternoon, upload them and wait….a little more quality control.

    There is a show – The Vinyl Cafe- on CBC where Stuart McLean reads stories people have sent in. He is a talented performer, and he makes simple stories sound fantastic. Something like that would be awsome.

    Some thoughts…

  8. I listened to this podcast a few days ago while I was sawing a fallen tree in my back field. The bloke mispronounced your name, but bugger that, he was there when history was made! Great story!

    But Monkey has a point, some of the podcasters make it painfully plain that they are reading a script. It is a hard thing to do, I know, I’m not sure I was completely successful with my Feb 4th ‘cast. We should all at least attempt to put a little life into it when reading a prepared script. Sometimes read it a little faster, then slower, stress the important bits…

    One advantage The Vinyl Cafe probably has is an actual budget. 365 on the other hand is all volunteer (with the exception of Preston who edits in the doughnut, the head & tail bits & encodes & uploads the MP3 files) so it’s inevitably going to sound rough a lot of the time. Editing out the bad bits takes some skill & a shirt load of time. It’s not something many people will take the time to slog through.

    I’m heading over to the NRAO tomorrow to record an interview with Dr. Braatz for 365. Then I’ll edit it down to a manageable size and start the tedious process of typing up all that’s said. It’s a major pain in the tuchas, but what’s a producer to do? 😉

    What I’d like to do is something like Rebecca did for a Skepchick podcast a few months ago. She made an MP4 in Garage Band and had photos changing at specific points in the program. The possibilities with this are endless. It’d make the overall files larger, but the things I could do with “video” added to the audio!

  9. sophia8

    The poor quality of some speakers is a feature of all amateur audio podcasts – I listen to a lot of them during my nighttime bouts of insomnia. There’s a couple of otherwise interesting ‘casts I’ve had to stop listening to because the presenters are such awful speakers – gasps, sniffs, pauses, repeated ‘ummm’s, swallowing noises etc. They make my teeth ache!
    Please, if you’re intending to make a podcast for the first time, listen to the recording first with a brutally honest friend who’ll tell you how good or bad you sound.

  10. Blondin

    I just wanna take this opportunity to mention that the Parkes’ sister radiotelescope, the ARO, is located in beautiful Algonquin park in northern Ontario, Canada, and has recently been dusted off and re-greased and is once again being put to good use (so I hear). We hope to have one of their people give us a presentation on their activities at our astronomy club soon. You can google ‘ARO’ or look them up in Wikipedia.


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