Episode 17: Space Telescopes!

with Dr Steve Crawford and Professor Jayanne English

In Episode 17 of The Cosmic Savannah, we discuss space telescopes! We talk about the amazing Hubble Space Telescope and the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

Jacinta gleefully visiting the James Webb Space Telescope.

We sit down with Dr Steve Crawford from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Maryland, USA, and formerly SALT. Steve explains how his team deliver data from space telescopes to scientists on Earth.

Professor Jayanne English from the University of Manitoba, Canada, then gives us insight on how she and others create the beautiful images we see from the Hubble Telescope. And how the myriad of data collected is incorporated into one beautiful image.

Prof Jayanne English signing Jacinta’s book!

This week’s guests:

Featured Image:
The CTB 1 supernova remnant resembles a ghostly bubble in this image, which combines new 1.5 gigahertz observations from the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope (orange, near center) with older observations from the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory’s Canadian Galactic Plane Survey (1.42 gigahertz, magenta and yellow; 408 megahertz, green) and infrared data (blue). The VLA data clearly reveal the straight, glowing trail from pulsar J0002+6216 and the curved rim of the remnant’s shell. CTB 1 is about half a degree across, the apparent size of a full Moon.

Credits: Composite by Jayanne English, University of Manitoba, using data from NRAO/F. Schinzel et al., DRAO/Canadian Galactic Plane Survey and NASA/IRAS

Related Links:
SALT: http://www.salt.ac.za
The Space Telescope Science Institute: http://www.stsci.edu/
University of Manitoba: http://umanitoba.ca/
The Hubble Heritage Project Website: heritage.stsci.edu

Episode 8: Simulating the Universe

with Prof Romeel Davé 

Prof Romeel Davé, from the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, and who spent 5 years working in Cape Town, introduces us to simulations! He explains how we can use simulations to perform experiments to test our understanding of the physics of the Universe.

Romeel also talks about his time here in South Africa, and his involvement in the MeerKAT radio telescope and the general development of astronomy on the African continent.

This week’s guest:

Prof Romeel Davé

Episode Links:

Romeel’s Quora Profile: https://www.quora.com/profile/Romeel-Dav%C3%A9
SARAO: https://www.ska.ac.za/about/sarao/
UWC: http://astro.uwc.ac.za/
Royal Observatory Edinburgh: https://www.roe.ac.uk/
MeerKAT: https://www.ska.ac.za/science-engineering/meerkat/about-meerkat/

Featured Image: A Simulated Galaxy courtesy of Romeel Dave.

Episode 6: Galactic Neighbourhoods

with Prof Eric Wilcots and Sinenhlanhla Precious Sikhosana

In this episode, we speak with Prof Eric Wilcots and Sinenhlanhla Precious Sikhosana about galaxies and the environments they live in.

We discuss how and where galaxies form, and how they interact with other galaxies, and what effect that has on how these galaxies continue to evolve.

We also chat about how astronomers observe clusters of galaxies and the exciting science that will be coming out of the MeerKAT Telescope.

This image, based on observations made with South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope, shows the clearest view yet of the central regions of our galaxy. Credit: SARAO/MeerKAT

This week’s guests:

Featured Image:
Stephan’s Quintet is a visual grouping of five galaxies of which four form the first compact galaxy group ever discovered. Credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

Episode Links:
SALT: https://www.salt.ac.za/
MeerKAT: https://www.ska.ac.za/gallery/meerkat/
VLA: https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/vla