January 15, 2021
Carrie Nugent, Assistant Professor of Computational Physics and Planetary Science at Olin College of Engineering and host of Spacepod, is celebrating the podcast’s one millionth download this week.
Nugent has been hosting Spacepod, an inside look into space exploration, since August 2015 and has produced 180 episodes for a worldwide audience. Each week, Nugent hosts leading experts in astronomy and planetary science. These scientists and engineers “are analyzing data, building telescopes, driving mars rovers, and launching smallsats to study the cosmos. They explain what, why, and how they do their jobs, as we share a drink together.”
“Spacepod fills a unique niche in the outreach ecosystem,” says Nugent. “Unlike national news or radio interviews, I have the time to talk to a guest for 15-30 minutes, and can discuss the nuances of their work, beyond soundbites.” This outlet is where enthusiasts and experts alike can come to “hear stories about the alien worlds orbiting our Sun, of cold stars, and the future of space exploration.”
The power of Spacepod as a communication tool is the sheer amount of content Nugent has created over the years. “Listeners often binge listen to the entire archive, or re-listen to episodes, playing them again like a favorite record. It’s this long, extended amount of information that allows the podcast to show, not tell, how science is done,” she says.
Upcoming shows will be on the solar wind, cosmochemistry, and the asteroid samples returned by the Hayabusa2 mission, says Nugent.
What can listeners expect to find in Spacepod’s archived episodes? Here are some of Nugent’s favorites: There are stars as cool as the human body (Episode 5). Black holes don’t literally or figuratively suck (Episode 65). Saturn’s rings are the flattest structures in our Solar System (Episode 169). How did an astronomer discover a whole new type of galaxy? (Episode 129). What happens when you hit a meteorite analog with a hammer? (Episode 152). The story of when an asteroid was discovered right before it hit the Earth (Episode 34). What can an astronaut simulation teach us about staying mentally healthy during the pandemic? (Episode 171).
Listeners of the podcast get to “hear stories about the alien worlds orbiting our Sun, of cold stars, and the future of space exploration.”
- Carrie NugentSee More News: Nugent Awarded Carl Sagan Medal