3 mins read 28 Feb 2020

The Skyentist 34 - Globes full of stars

The Skyentist 34 - Globes full of stars

The Skyentists featuring Ángel and Kirsten sitting in front of a computer recording the podcast


"Globes full of stars". That is the literal meaning of "Globular Clusters", which is the main topic of this episode of The Skyentists.

Astronomers Kirsten Banks and Ángel López-Sánchez describe the main properties of globular clusters and why they should not be confused with open clusters or with dwarf elliptical galaxies. Some interesting curiosities about them are also discussed, as well as they explore the origin of these very old, very "metal-poor", giant stellar systems.

For "What's Up!" they talk about M 13, the great globular cluster in Hercules, which is visible from the Northern and a good part of the Southern hemisphere. Regarding "Space News" Kirsten brings an interesting new astronomy-related cocktail (wait to hear that!) and, again, Ángel talks about Betelgeuse... As predicted, the famous supergiant red star in Orion is recovering brightness. Observations conducted using the SPHERE instrument installed at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) managed by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile have recently shown astonishing images of Betelgeuse: the dimming was in one of the hemispheres, perhaps related to some dust emission from the star, or perhaps because of the complex convective movements of the atmosphere, but not because of anything that was happening in its core.

Both Ángel and Kirsten are very happy as they have received plenty of questions, meaning a good part of this episode is answering the feedback. Please, keep going

The Skyentists

Kirsten Banks is a proud Wiradjuri woman, astrophysicist and science communicator. She’s always had her eyes on the skies and loves to share her passion for space and astronomy. Kirsten jumps at almost every opportunity to share the wonders of the Universe with a wide range of people, from speaking to students at schools to sharing her love for space on national television programs such as ABC’s Q&A. In the years to come, Kirsten looks forward to completing a Ph.D. and becoming Dr. Kirsten Banks. 

Dr. Ángel López-Sánchez is an astronomer and science communicator at the Australian Astronomical Optics and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Macquarie University. He studies how the gas is converted into stars in nearby galaxies and how this affects galaxy evolution. He also provides support for visiting astronomers to the Anglo-Australian Telescope. He is a globally-recognised science communicator, with visibility in Spanish and Australian printed, broadcast, and social media (one of the Top-100 most-followed astrophysicists on Twitter). His stunning astronomy timelapse videos have received 1/4 million views on YouTube and have been used by ABC (Australia), BBC (UK), TVE (Spain) and in Science Museums worldwide. He is very active in social media, his Twitter feed is @El_Lobo_Rayado.

This podcast is syndicated with permissions.

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