I’ve written about the terrific award-winning podcast 365 Days of Astronomy before: it’s a user-driven podcast, where listeners themselves record the episodes. It’s a great idea, and up until recently has been doing really well, with daily updates of personal stories of astronomy and science.
And now it needs your help. My friend, astronomer Pamela Gay, is the driving force behind 365 DoA and has just written a post on her blog saying that the podcast is in desperate need of submissions and funding. She has the details there.
365 DoA is a great venue to not only educate people about astronomy, but to get them personally involved. I strongly support their efforts, and I hope you will too.
The podcast 365 Days of Astronomy is a great show about space and astronomy. It was created as part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009, and was renewed for 2010 and again 2011.
The cool thing is, the podcast is created by you, the listener! Every daily episode is written and recorded by volunteers who want to talk about some aspect of the Universe that excited them. I think this is a great idea, since it really motivates people and gets them involved.
The problem is, though, they need more episodes! Right now, for example, the schedule for May 2011 is only half full.
Do you have some idea about astronomy you’re dying to talk about? Galaxies get you going, supernovae blow you away, you bought a new ‘scope and have advice for another newbie? If you have a topic you’d like to discuss, then check the podcast calendar, look for an open slot, and get to work!
Some quick news items:
1) The launch delay for Space Shuttle Discovery may be longer than originally announced: a fourth crack has been found in the external fuel tank. While this isn’t in an area where the fuel actually is (it’s in an instrument panel) I imagine NASA will be extremely conservative about launch. It’s the last scheduled flight for Discovery, and the penultimate Shuttle launch.
2) The Japanese space agency has announced that the asteroid mission Hayabusa did in fact successfully collect samples of the asteroid Itokawa! This is HUGE news. The probe landed on the asteroid in 2005 and returned to Earth earlier this year, but the sampling device failed. They were hoping a few particles from the asteroid made it into the chamber anyway, and it appears that they did! Scientists now have well over a thousand particles collected in situ from the surface of an asteroid sitting in their labs.
3) Climate scientists report that a sharp uptick in carbon dioxide 40 million years ago caused a huge temperature increase on Earth of 5 – 11°F. An increase like that today would be catastrophic, to say the very least. To those Congresscritters and others who claim CO2 is no big deal: I hope your Antarctic beach house is comfortable.
Tip o’ the thermometer to Dan Vergano
4) Some great news: the wonderful podcast 365 Days of Astronomy just got renewed for another year! This will be its third year of educating and entertaining people about astronomy. And it’s citizen-driven: you can create your own entry and upload it. I love the podcast, and if you listen to it you will too.
5) The Greenwich Royal Observatory has posted their Astronomy Photographer of the Year contest winners. Holy Emulsion! The pictures are incredible. Go take a look, and be inspired. I was.
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…
Great news, everyone! The 365 Days of Astronomy citizen podcast will go on for at least another year!
365DoA is an International Year of Astronomy project that lets you, the astronomy enthusiast, create your own astronomy podcast, upload it, and let everyone on this pale blue dot hear it. It was wildly successful, with spots filling up rapidly once it was announce last year. It also won a coveted Parsec podcast award this year, too.
But given this was an IYA 2009 project, I was wondering if it would continue on to 2010 and beyond, and it will! It’ll become a legacy project, and will be handled by Astrosphere New Media Association, a (charitable and tax-deductible!) online astronomy support group made up of dedicated people. I know this for a fact, because I’m a part of it.
The podcast team also invites people and organizations to sponsor the podcast by donating $30 to support 1 day of the podcast, with your dedication appearing at the start of the show. For just $360, it is possible to sponsor 1 episode per month. Alternatively, you can also have a dedication message at the end of the show for a week, for a donation at the $100 level. These donations will help pay for editing, and posting of the podcasts.
Each episode gets between 5000 and 10,000 listeners, so it’s not a terrible way to advertise if you’re looking for that. But submitting an entry is free. If you read this blog — and you do, I see you there — then astronomy is something you enjoy. I bet you can think of some topic here that inspires you, that fires you up, that makes you think.
Go ahead! Make my year.