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PRX is a leading media company, shaping the future of audio by connecting talented producers with their most engaged, supportive audiences. PRX builds technology and creates cutting-edge content that reaches millions of listeners worldwide. For 15 years, PRX has operated public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of shows including This American Life, The Moth Radio Hour and Reveal. Named one of Fast Company’s "Ten Most Innovative Companies in Media" in both 2015 and ...
 
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Listening to The MoviesWhy watch a movie if you can’t see the screen? Matthew and his friend Ben take in a Marx Brothers film and showcase the power of a good description. Blind Guy Travels is written and performed by Matthew Shifrin, and produced and sound-designed by Ian Coss. Blind Guy Travels is a production of Radiotopia from PRX and part of R…
 
*Due to a recording error this recording begins with Kellie Marie Tran answering a question*Join the creators and cast of the hit podcast Passenger List from PRX's Radiotopia for a fan-submitted Q&A about the mystery fiction series. This recording includes Kelly Marie Tran (Executive Producer, Voice of Kaitlin Le), John Dryden (Executive Producer a…
 
Prxjects Insights giver dig mulighed for at kommer lidt tættere på nogle af de artister Prxjects by Mercedes-Benz arbejder med. I nærværende afsnit kan du møde August Rosenbaum der er aktuel med to videoer, der giver en indsigt i Rosenbaums arbejde med ny musik. Programmets vært hedder Mads Axelsen. Optagelse, tilrettelæggelse og klip: Mads Axelsen…
 
Prxjects Insights giver dig mulighed for at kommer lidt tættere på nogle af de artister Prxjects by Mercedes-Benz arbejder med. I nærværende afsnit kan du møde synth-duoen GENTS og høre mere om deres arbejde med singlen “Smoke Machine”. Programmets vært hedder Mads Axelsen.Optagelse, tilrettelæggelse og klip: Mads AxelsenMusik: Mads Koch, GENTSReda…
 
All things in the cosmos have a lifespan, from the smallest particles to the most ancient suns. Everything has its season. Every season must come to an end.And this episode marks the end of Orbital Path.So, for the last transit of our podcast, Dr. Michelle Thaller and producer David Schulman join NASA astrobiologist Dr. Jen Eigenbrode on a site vis…
 
Asteroids, as the dinosaurs found out, can have big effects on life on Earth. Sixty-five million years ago, an asteroid crashed into the Yucatán. The impact caused apocalyptic tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Grit and ash blotted out the sun. It wiped out species that had roamed the Earth for millions of years.Yet asteroid hits also were critical t…
 
Prxjects Insights giver dig mulighed for at kommer lidt tættere på nogle af de artister Prxjects by Mercedes-Benz arbejder med. I premiereafsnittet kan du møde duoen Barselona og høre mere om deres arbejde med singlen “Fra Wien til Rom”, der er med til at anvise en ny retning for bandet. Programmets vært hedder Mads Axelsen. Optagelse, tilrettelægg…
 
To make a black hole, you need to think big. Really big. Start with a star much bigger than the sun — the bigger the better. Then settle in, and wait a few million years for your star to die.That should do the trick, if you want to get yourself a garden-variety black hole. But there’s another kind of black hole. They are mind-boggling in size. And …
 
On September 15, 2018, the last Delta II rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force base, in California. It carried into orbit IceSat-2 — a satellite equipped with perhaps the most sophisticated space laser ever built. NASA didn’t put it up there to shoot down rogue asteroids. Instead, it’s taking aim — with exquisite precision — at Earth.On this …
 
In this encore episode of Orbital Path (previously heard in October 2017), Brian Greene, a celebrated explainer of how our universe operates and the director of the Center for Theoretical Physics at Columbia University, sits down to talk with Dr. Michelle Thaller. We live our lives in three dimensions. But we also walk those three dimensions along …
 
To hear Leonard Susskind tell it, we are living in a golden age of quantum physics. And he should know.Susskind is a grandee of theoretical physics. In the 1960s, he was one of the discoverers of String Theory. His friends and collaborators over the years include the likes of Nobel Prize winners Gerard 't Hooft and Richard Feynman.And, for more tha…
 
For a long time, probably as long as we have been gazing up at the night sky, people have been asking ourselves: Are we alone? Is there life out there, anywhere else in the universe?For modern Earthlings, our fascination with extraterrestrial life has focussed on one place in particular: Mars.The planet today is a forbidding, arid place. But billio…
 
Zoe is in 8th grade. She’s a student in Mr. Andersen’s Earth science class at a public school in Brooklyn.Lately, she’s been concerned about the future of the planet.Specifically, Zoe has been learning about the phenomenon of planetary dehydration — and she wanted to ask Dr. Michelle Thaller what would happen if Earth lost its water.It’s part of a …
 
Instead of grappling with the big, cosmic questions that preoccupy adults, this week on Orbital Path we’re doing something different.We’re grappling with the big, cosmic questions that preoccupy kids.It’s part of a new project called “Telescope,” where Dr. Michelle Thaller takes on the really big questions in astronomy—from public school students.I…
 
On August 17, 2017, an alert went out. Gravitational wave detectors in Louisiana and Washington state had detected a disturbance from deep space. The effect was subtle — these detectors and a sister site in Italy measure disturbances smaller than a proton. But the evidence was dramatic. And the story they told was truly cataclysmic: A pair of neutr…
 
Scientists in 1985 discovered something that threatened the world we live in: The ozone layer had a hole in it. A big one. And this hole was growing very quickly. If it continued to grow, the consequences would be dire.Presented with the science, world leaders came up with an international agreement. The Montreal Protocol, as the treaty was called,…
 
In this darkest season of the year, Dr. Michelle Thaller and NASA astronomer Andrew Booth curl up by the fire. Gazing into the embers, red wine in hand, they consider the meaning of the winter solstice — on other planets. Like Uranus, where parts of the planet go 42 earth years without seeing the sun. Or Mars, where winters are made colder by an or…
 
NASA’S office of planetary defense isn’t worried about Klingons or Amoeboid Zingatularians. They worry about asteroids and comets. Like the one that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013. It was about 20 yards across. An asteroid 150 yards in diameter could take out a city. An even bigger one — as the dinosaurs reading this will attest — could …
 
These days, astrophysicists like Dr. Michelle Thaller use instruments to probe the distant reaches of our galaxy, and far beyond. They use interferometry, the Hubble space telescope, and other technology impossible to imagine when the constellations of the winter sky were named. But, as the season changes and Orion returns to view, Michelle still f…
 
We've got some awkward news to share, folks: The producer of Orbital Path is claiming he’s been abducted by space aliens.So this week, we're dusting off the theremin and returning to one of our favorite early episodes — “Must Be Aliens.” Dr. Michelle Thaller talks with Phil Plait — AKA the "Bad Astronomer" — about the Kepler mission to find planets…
 
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan avidly guards its traditional culture. Bhutan is a nation that — instead of looking to GDP or debt ratios — measures success by an index of “Gross National Happiness.”In this episode of Orbital Path, Dr. Michelle Thaller describes her recent adventures in Bhutan — including a climb to a Buddhist monastery perched on …
 
We live our lives in three dimensions. But we also walk those three dimensions along a fourth dimension: time.??Our world makes sense thanks to mathematics. Math lets us count our livestock, it lets us navigate our journeys. Mathematics has also proved an uncanny, stunningly accurate guide to what Brian Greene calls “the dark corners of reality.”??…
 
In a scary time, in a scary world, in a scary universe, NASA astronomer Andrew Booth says one of the things that frightens him most is math. Specifically, the unshaken power of mathematics to describe the universe. That’s because, beyond the comforting world of Newtonian physics, math gets mind-bendingly weird. So from the relative safety of their …
 
Remember the myth of Icarus? He and his dad were trying to escape from prison. Locked up on the Greek island of Crete, they made wings out of beeswax and bird feathers. They soared to freedom — but Icarus got cocky, flew too close to the sun, and fell into the sea. A few thousand years later, NASA is ready to do the job right.The Parker Solar Probe…
 
After a full day in a clean suit, there’s nothing like a dip in the hot tub.NASA astronomer Andrew Booth spends his days working with lasers, developing some of the word’s most advanced telescopes. When he gets home from work, he loves to pour a glass of wine and slip into the hot tub.And ponder some of the weirder aspects of astrophysics.Orbital P…
 
There was a time before planets and suns. A time before oxygen. You could say there was time, even, before what we think of as light.Back in 1989, the Big Bang theory was still in question. But that year, a NASA team led by cosmologist John Mather launched a mission to probe the earliest moments of the universe.Mather won the Nobel Prize in Physics…
 
NASA is relying on hi-tech lasers — and some vintage U.S. Navy hand-me-downs — to learn about the polar regions of a remarkable, watery planet. It's located in the Orion spur of our galaxy. NASA scientists have detected mountain ranges completely under ice. But the remaining mysteries of the ice here are profound, and what the science tells us coul…
 
When the Cassini spacecraft blasted into space on October 15, 1997, even the most optimistic scientists would have had a hard time predicting the mission’s success. Dr. Michelle Thaller speaks with the Cassini mission’s Project Scientist Linda Spilker, as well as Julie Webster, a longtime Cassini engineer and a manager for spacecraft operations. On…
 
Nearly 100 years after Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves — huge undulations in the fabric of space-time itself — in 2015, detectors here on Earth finally picked up the signal of these massive disturbances. Dr. Michelle Thaller pulls apart the power and mystery of gravitational waves, and talks with Dr. Janna Levin, theoretical…
 
Listeners, we’ve heard you! You requested more episodes, so we present the first of our mini episodes. They’ll arrive two weeks after each monthly regular episode, and include Michelle’s insight on the latest space news. Enjoy episode one:NASA’s NICER (Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer) mission will launch in May. Michelle explains the NIC…
 
Space science can help track what's happening on earth. Orbital Path talks landslides and the satellites that monitor them for the third anniversary of the deadliest landslide in US history.On March 22, 2014 a 650-foot hillside collapsed and covered the community of Oso, Washington. Forty-three people died. David Montgomery studied the Oso landslid…
 
Galileo discovered Europa, Jupiter's fourth-largest moon, in 1610. In 1977, the Voyager spacecraft buzzed past and we realized it was covered in ice. It took a few more years to understand that it also likely had unfrozen liquid water oceans.In this episode, Kevin Hand, deputy project scientist for the Europa mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (J…
 
In 1985, the British Antarctic Survey discovered something that shocked scientists around the world: the ozone layer had a hole in it. And the hole was growing very quickly.When they were presented with the problem, politicians and world leaders quickly came up with an international agreement to immediately reduce chlorofluorocarbons released into …
 
Going to Mars is hot right now, just ask Matt Damon. But would you go if you knew your bones would turn into something called “pee brittle”?Former astronaut Michael Massimino reveals the uncomfortable side of liftoff. And Dr. Jennifer Fogarty from NASA’s Human Research Program elaborates on the physical challenges humans face with longterm weightle…
 
Scientific discovery can happen in two ways: “Eureka!” moments of sudden understanding, where researchers glean unexpected insight into new phenomena. Or, a slower, less glamorous hunt for truth that happens day-after-day, for years. But both methods can lead to new understandings that pushes the field forward for future breakthroughs.In this episo…
 
The sun can seem like a friendly celestial body. It is the source of summer, crops, and basically all life on Earth. But the sun has a dark side too. Just as sun decided when life on Earth could begin, it will also decide when life on Earth will definitely end.Dr. Michelle Thaller speaks with Dr. C. Alex Young, Associate Director for Science in the…
 
When Proxima b's discovery appeared in Nature on August 24, the media breathlessly announced a new Earth-like planet just 4.2 light years away from Earth. Astronomers have, for years, anticipated a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri. Michelle Thaller talks with astrophysicist Dr. Patricia Boyd about NASA’s ongoing search for exoplanets and what’s the…
 
The asteroid belt is portrayed in movies as a crowded place with massive rocks bouncing each other like pool balls, capable of sending a mile-wide missile hurtling toward Earth at any moment. The reality is much more fascinating.Host Dr. Michelle Thaller speaks with Dr. Lucy McFadden, Co-Investigator of NASA’s Dawn Mission to orbit the asteroids Ve…
 
Michael Kentrianakis loves eclipses and has seen them from all over the world. Host Michelle Thaller and Mike talk about the stages of the eclipse we can see in his video that went viral a few months ago after an Alaska Airlines flight. That flight was diverted for better eclipse viewing thanks to Joe Rao, who has convinced airlines to do this befo…
 
From space, the view of earth has no boundaries for countries, no barriers to achievement. Michelle Thaller speaks with Aprille Ericcson, a senior engineer at NASA, about her career path and about current challenges recruiting more women and minorities into engineering and space science.Produced by Lauren Ober. Learn more at orbital.prx.org.…
 
In this special Mother's Day episode, Michelle talks with her mom about what it was like raising a space-obsessed daughter in Wisconsin and watching her grow into a scientist.Orbital Path is produced for PRX by Lauren Ober. Subscribe iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. Image: Michelle's sister (top L), Michelle (top R), and their mom in the …
 
Astronomer Michelle Thaller talks with Ashley Davies, a research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, about the importance of volcanoes in the creation of Earth and how the study of volcanoes in space can help us understand life here. Davies has journeyed to remote volcanoes like Mt. Erebus in Antarctica and Erta Ale in Ethiopia as a way to …
 
Dr. Michelle Thaller talks to Prof. Lisa Randall, a theoretical particle physicist at Harvard, about her new book, Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe. The scientists explore what caused the dinosaurs' extinction and the role dark matter plays in the universe and our world.About the Show: Astronomer and …
 
What a year it has been for Radiotopia! In celebration of all the podcast goodness of 2015, and in thanks to Roman Mars, our excellent partner in Radiotopia, PRX asked The Mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder to create this special year-end mix featuring a few of our favorite voices from the Radiotopia extended family. Happy holidays to all!…
 
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