The Stardome-sponsored ‘Spaced Out’ show has been running on bFM for more than six years. This 10-minute radio segment features astronomy educator David Britten discussing current events and topical space science news.
The past six years have seen notable milestones such as the detection of the ‘God’ particle at CERN, gravitational waves radiating from the collision of black holes and neutron stars, discoveries of more moons at Pluto, thousands of near-Earth asteroids (potentially hazardous asteroids), comets, and planets around distant stars (now totalling over 3,000!).
The major space exploration missions have been followed, including ‘Messenger’ at Mercury, ‘Dawn’ to the two largest asteroids, ‘Rosetta’ to Comet 67P, ‘New Horizons’ to Pluto, ‘Cassini’ at Saturn, ‘Voyager I’ reaching nterstellar space, ‘Gaia’ starting a survey of 1 billion stars, ‘Juno’ orbiting Jupiter, ‘Curiosity’ exploring the surface of Mars, the last Space Shuttle flight, and, of course, the rapid strides of Rocket Lab towards a commercial space industry in New Zealand!
Celestial phenomena have been discussed, such as solar and lunar eclipses, supermoons and blood moons, solar storms, the transit of Venus, close approaches of Mars, spectacular meteors and bolides (daytime fireballs) in New Zealand skies, and even one that exploded over a Russian city in 2013!
A past student at the University of Auckland, David whet his broadcasting appetite with a Friday lunchtime slot on Radio B, the forerunner to bFM, which broadcast illegally around the university before private radio licenses became widely available, and the ‘pirate’ Radio Hauraki had just left gulf waters and was based on land.
The first show in July 2011 was hosted by Vince Wynn on the Friday Drive Show, and various hosts since have come and gone, including Angus Thunder, Jack Riddell, Hamish Crocker, Aisha, Kieran, Adam, Caitlin and Joseph.
After moving to the Saturday mid-morning slot with Sam and Alice Gatland for the past year, ‘Spaced Out’ is now at 4:40 pm every two weeks on the Tuesday Drive Show hosted by Jonny and Big Hungry.
Listen in on 95bfm, or live online, for the latest news on space exploration and astronomy, what’s on view in the current night skies, and the features and news of Stardome programmes and displays at One Tree Hill.
If you miss the show live, archived podcast files are available on the bFM website.
Image: The Drive Team – Johnny and Big Hungry.