Uranus Was Originally Going To Be Named “George” (Cool Weird Awesome 968)

Today in 1781 astronomer William Herschel pointed his telescope toward Uranus. But long before the internet’s favorite planet got its very pun-filled name, an astronomer wanted to give it a much more chill one.

By |2024-03-13T07:52:27-04:00March 13, 2023|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

Hisako Koyama Tracked Sunspots For Almost Half A Century (Cool Weird Awesome 859)

International Astronomy Day is coming up this weekend, so we’re talking about Hisako Koyama, an astronomer who hand-drew tens of thousands of daily observations of the sun and its spots.

By |2022-10-05T05:59:15-04:00October 5, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

The Carrington Event, A Huge Magnetic Storm That Let Telegraph Operators Send Messages Through The Air (Cool Weird Awesome 841)

Today in 1859 the night sky was about as bright as it's ever been, thanks to a massive geomagnetic storm known today as the Carrington Event.

By |2023-12-28T09:25:18-05:00September 2, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , |

At Age 11, Venetia Burney Named Pluto (Cool Weird Awesome 807)

Today in 1918, the birthday of Venetia Burney, who at age eleven, did something few people have done: she named a planet!

By |2022-07-11T09:37:17-04:00July 11, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Caroline Herschel Discovered Comets And Became A Star (Cool Weird Awesome 733)

Today in 1750, the birthday of an astronomer who definitely made her mark on the sky: Caroline Herschel, the first woman to discover a comet.

By |2022-03-16T09:06:51-04:00March 16, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Could Jokes About Uranus Prevent A Mission To Uranus? (Cool Weird Awesome 641)

Humans make a lot of jokes about the seventh planet from the sun. But do scientists who study Uranus think the jokes are funny? The website Futurism found out. Plus: today is the first day of Magic Week, and there's a magic shop in Burnsville, Minnesota that's the oldest in the US. 

By |2021-10-25T07:34:12-04:00October 25, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , |

Could Juggling Be The Next Big Olympic Sport? (Cool Weird Awesome 586)

Competitive juggling is a sport that requires skill, concentration, technical mastery and creativity. And there's a push to bring it to the Summer Games someday. Plus: the Sun and Earth are now in an alignment with Saturn, which means our most famous ringed planet is at its brightest in the night sky. 

By |2021-08-02T08:38:57-04:00August 2, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Guillaume Le Gentil, The 18th Century Astronomer With the Worst Luck (Cool Weird Awesome 549)

Today in 1769, Captain James Cook and his crew observed the transit of Venus from Tahiti, a big deal for astronomers then; only his French colleague Guillaume Le Gentil had spent years preparing to do the exact same thing, and had much worse luck on his expedition. Plus: for World Bicycle Day, a visit to a giant bicycle sculpture in South Dakota. 

By |2021-06-03T08:02:44-04:00June 3, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

What Do Sounds Sound Like On Mars? Perseverance Rover Is Going To Find Out (Cool Weird Awesome 469)

The next Mars rover is set to land next month, and it's equipped with microphones to make the first audio recordings on another planet. So how does sound work on Mars, which has about 1 percent of the atmosphere Earth does? Plus: Saturn's ringed moon Rhea is getting a chemical coating that likely started on another moon.

By |2024-02-28T09:00:54-05:00January 28, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Cincinnati Built An Observatory Any Stargazer Could Use (Cool Weird Awesome 415)

Today in 1843, former president John Quincy Adams joined thousands to dedicate a public observatory in Cincinnati, a building known as "the birthplace of American astronomy." Plus: this month would be a good time to get out a telescope, cause there's lots happening in the night sky.

By |2021-03-24T13:19:33-04:00November 9, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |
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