Rosetta Round-up with UBS and Special Guests!

August 14th, 2014 by Tavi Greiner

Rosetta mission poster: ESAAFM’s Under British Skies crew returns to radio Sunday, Aug 17, 1900 UTC / 3pm ET with an exciting program featuring key players of ESA’s Rosetta comet mission!

UBS hosts – Richie Jarvis, Paul Harper, Nick Howes, Nick Evetts, and Jane Green – will talk with their guests about Rosetta’s latest accomplishments and future goals; the science of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko; how amateur astronomers are contributing to this mission; and how you can follow the latest updates. We’ll also have the AFM chatroom open to accept your comments and questions!


Dr. Matt Taylor – European Space Agency (ESA); Project Scientist for Rosetta

Dr. Claudia Alexander – Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); US/Project Scientist for Rosetta

Dr. Colin Snodgrass – Marie Curie post-doctoral fellow at Max Planck Institute; Works with the OSIRIS team on Rosetta

Dr. Joel Parker – Southwest Research Institute (SwRI); Deputy Principal Investigator for Rosetta/ALICE

Dr. Padma Yanamandra-Fisher – Space Science Institute (SSI); The PACA Project; Rosetta Coordinator of Amateur Observations of 67P

Wanna know more about the Rosetta mission?

Click here to read the ESA Rosetta blog; here to follow the ESA Rosetta Twitter updates, here for a 3-D visualization of Rosetta’s journey, here for Rosetta’s latest images; and here for an in-depth look at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Shownotes are available, here.


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Space Pirates Getting HOT, HOT, HOT!

August 10th, 2014 by Tavi Greiner
Solar prominence, imaged by NASA's SDO

Solar prominence, imaged by NASA’s SDO

Join us on Wednesday, Aug 13, at 9pm ET (Thursday 0100 UTC) for a “sun-tastic” edition of Space Pirates, featuring Solar Astronomy’s Stephen Ramsden! Hosts, Marty and Dianne, will chat with Stephen about our planet’s very own star, Solar Astronomy’s incredible outreach, the latest solar viewing equipment, and how you can safely observe the Sun up-close and even capture detailed images. We’ll also have the AFM chatroom open, so that you can join the conversation with your own comments and questions!

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Catching a Comet – on EVENT HORIZON!

June 4th, 2014 by Tavi Greiner

LISTEN to the PODCAST of this episode!

Join us this FRIDAY, JUNE 6, at 9pm ET, for a special EVENT HORIZON chat with iTelescope’s PETER LAKE!

As many of our listeners know, Peter is an iTelescope science director and handles their educational development and social outreach. He also happens to have recently acquired this year’s very first amateur image of comet 67P/CG – the target of ESA’s Rosetta mission! Peter will discuss the challenges of acquiring such an image; how he and others are sharing this and similar data through pro-am collaborations like the PACA Project; and how YOU can participate. Peter will also talk about the upcoming near-planet pass of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring with Mars and how students are assisting the search for near-Earth asteroids!

* Peter and our hosts will be available to answer listeners’ imaging and pro-am collaboration questions, via the AFM chatroom, during the live presentation at 9pm.

Follow is a list of suggested reading – for your education, enjoyment, and pre-show information. We are looking forward to your questions and comments!:

iTelescope and Education – Exupery Ups the Ante!

iTelescope on Facebook and on Twitter

ESA’s Rosetta mission

Landing on a Comet

PACA Project’s comet 67P/C-G photo album

PACA Project’s Rosetta/67P Facebook group

Shooting Comet 67P from Australia

NASA Preparing for 2014 Comet Watch at Mars

Prospects for Comet A1 Siding Spring versus the Martian Atmosphere

C/2013 A1 Siding Spring Discoverer, Robert McNaught

PACA Project’s comet C/2013 A1 Siding Springs photo album

PACA Project’s CIOC_Siding Spring Facebook group

AWB’s GAM2014 and Student Asteroid Search

Raleigh 7th-gradersMapping Asteroids, Saving the World

Target Asteroids! OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission

Remanzacco Observatory Blog – Comet and Asteroid News

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Astronomy.FM Meets the Comet Experts

February 20th, 2014 by Richie Jarvis

This month, the UBS team was joined by Marty Kunz for an epic show talking to some of the Comet Experts working on the Comet ISON Observing Campaign.

The show notes to this can be found at ShowNotes

Join us on Under British Skies team on facebook

Following Under British Skies on Twitter

Here is some more information about the Under British Skies Team



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February 16th, 2014 by Tavi Greiner

Comet C/2012 S1 ISON imaged 2013Nov15 by TonyAngel

Join us on SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16, at 2000 GMT / 3pm EST as AFM’s own Under British Skies team presents an exciting evening with the comet experts!

DISCUSSIONS will include: NASA’s Comet ISON Observing Campaign; pro-am collaborations in comet research; dust morphology of cometary comas; the solar wind and comet disconnection events; imaging comets; various comet groups; ESA’s Rosetta mission; future comet targets; and more!


Our GUESTS will include:

PADMA YANAMANDRA-FISHER: planetary scientist with the Space Science Institute, member of NASA’s CIOC team, and administrator of CIOC_ISON FB group

KARL BATTAMS: astrophysicist and computational scientist based at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington DC, member of NASA’s CIOC team, and head of the Sungrazer Project

TERRY LOVEJOY: comet discoverer and  original modifier of digital cameras for astrophotography use

ROB KAUFMAN: amateur astronomer and astrophotographer

DAMIAN PEACH: astrophotographer-extraordinaire and 2011 Royal Observatory Astronomy Photographer of the Year

BEATRICE MUELLER: senior scientist with the Planetary Science Institute

ELIZABETH WARNER: astronomy education and public outreach, member of NASA’s CIOC team, UMD Observatory program coordinator, and Amateur Observers Program coordinator

DEAN HINES: Space Telescope Science Institute’s Principal Investigator for HST imaging polarimetry of comet ISON

TONY ANGEL: amateur astronomer, astrophotographer, and key member of the CIOC_ISON FB group

NEIL NORMAN: amateur astronomer and administrator of Comet Watch FB group

SUZY WEBB: amateur astronomer and co-administrator of Australia’s Ice in Space

CHRIS WYATT: amateur astronomer, astrophotographer, and co-administrator of CIOC_ISON FB group

and more!

** Be sure to join us in the AFM chatroom for live Q&A with the guests!

** If you miss the live version, we’ll have replays at 0200 GMT / 9pm EST … 0600 GMT / 1am EST … 1000 GMT / 0500 EST … 1400 GMT / 9am EST … 1800 GMT / 1pm EST … 2200 GMT / 5pm EST.




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Journey of a Comet

December 14th, 2013 by Tavi Greiner
Comet ISON rounds the Sun (SOHO LASCO C3 NASA/ESA)

Comet ISON rounds the Sun (SOHO LASCO C3 – NASA/ESA)

Yes, it’s true that comet ISON did not withstand perihelion to become the ‘comet of the century.’ There was no glorious reappearance from behind the Sun, and our local horizons were not graced by a splendid long tail. Nonetheless, ISON’s solar-bound passage was a captivating journey, and it did provide unprecedented opportunities. Much of the world turned their eyes skyward for the first time ever; twelve different spacecraft managed observations and images; and professional researchers formally collaborated with amateur astronomers, in a global campaign to learn more about a pristine Oort Cloud comet. In fact, NASA tells us that “comet ISON was the subject of the most coordinated observing campaign in history.”

With the pro-am partnership in mind, NASA created the Comet ISON Observing Campaign, which encouraged amateur astronomers to share their observations with cometary experts. The amateur sector of this pro-am campaign was housed in the CIOC_ISON Facebook group and the Amateur Observers Program, both of which included participants from around the world and both of which succeeded in collecting an extraordinary amount of data for ongoing research.

In the coming weeks, Astronomy.FM’s own Under British Skies team will present a special program featuring many of the participants, both amateur and professional, of NASA’s Comet ISON Observing Campaign. They’ll discuss Comet ISON’s journey through the inner solar system, the consequences of its encounter with the Sun, and the evidence of post-perihelion remnants. We’ll also hear about the pro-am collaboration: how valuable was the amateur data, what does it mean for future partnerships, and what have the amateurs gained from their involvement?

To whet your appetite for the upcoming special, we present you with an exciting collection of images, acquired by the CIOC_ISON Facebook group and beautifully compiled by group member Chris Pruzenski. Enjoy! And watch this page for dates and times of USB’s CIOC program!

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