Astrophysicist

Is Faster Than Light Travel Possible? The Science of SciFi with Dr. Erin Macdonald

Dr. Erin Macdonald - Astrophysicist

Is faster than light travel possible? Dr. Erin Macdonald joins us to discuss the current theories–and how they relate to science fiction. She is an astrophysicist, science fiction consultant, aerospace engineer, and host of the online series, “Dr. Erin Explains the Universe”. Her specialty is in general relativity, having worked previously searching for gravitational waves in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. She has since found her home in science fiction, consulting with writers, teaching STEM through popular culture, and fulfilling her life goal of becoming a warp drive expert.

For more information, visit https://www.erinpmacdonald.com/

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Ultima Thule Part 2 – BRIAN MAY, Queen Lead Guitarist & Astrophysicist

Brian May, PhD

Brian May is a founding member of Queen, a world-renowned guitarist, songwriter, producer and performer, also a Doctor of Astrophysics, 3-D stereoscopic photographic authority and a passionate advocate and campaigner for animal rights.

It's been an exciting year for Brian and 2019 is going to get a great start. Brian is the executive music producer for the new Bohemian Rhapsody movie, which has been nominated for the Golden Globes. He also released his book MISSION MOON 3D, offering the first 3D images of the Apollo missions to the Moon. He's also getting ready to release his first new single as a solo artist in over two decades, titled “New Horizons,” inspired in part by Dr. Alan Stern, the principal investigator for the New Horizons spacecraft mission.

In our latest episode Brian discusses his passions in music, space & photography, and announces how he plans to kick off 2019 by giving “New Horizons” a world premiere directly from NASA Control center in Maryland at 12:02 a.m. EST on January 1st, 2019, as the spacecraft zooms past the Kuiper Belt's Ultima Thule, which is located a billion miles beyond Pluto.

For more information, visit BrianMay.com

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Ultima Thule Part 1 – Dr. Alan Stern, New Horizons Principle Investigator

Dr Alan Stern

Dr. Alan Stern is the principal investigator of the New Horizons mission, leading NASA’s exploration of the Pluto system and the Kuiper Belt. Today he joins us to discuss New Horizon’s upcoming close approach to Ultima Thule this New Year’s Day. Ultima is an object in the Kuiper Belt about 4 billion miles away, the most distant object yet ever to be explored by a spacecraft. 

In this episode we also feature a sneak preview clip of “New Horizons”, a new song to be released on New Year's Day commemorating this mission by legendary Queen lead guitarist & astrophysicist Brian May. Brian will join us on our next episode Part 2.

For more information about the New Horizons mission, visit http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/

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Dr. Eugene Parker – The Mysteries of the Sun & NASA’s Parker Solar Probe

Dr. Eugene Parker is the solar astrophysicist who developed the theory of the supersonic solar wind and predicted the Parker spiral shape of the solar magnetic field in the mid-1950s. In this episode Dr. Parker joins us by phone to discuss his incredible theories about the Sun and NASA's Solar Parker Probe mission. Dr. Parker was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1967 and has received numerous honors throughout his career.  Most recently he was awarded the Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research by the American Physical Society for his fundamental contributions to space physics, plasma physics, solar physics and astrophysics for more than 60 years. NASA recently renamed the Parker Solar Probe after him, the first time in history that a spacecraft was named after a living person.

For more information about the Parker Solar Probe, visit: https://www.Nasa.gov/solarprobe

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(Photo of Dr. Parker courtesy University of Chicago)