World's First Trans-Galactic Podcast!

World's First Trans-Galactic Podcast!

We said we'd do it, and we did! On Monday 9 September Emily and Chris broadcast Episode 42 across the galaxy to the red-giant star Betelgeuse in the constellation of Orion.

Sure, it'll take 640-ish years to get there, and our technology might not be exactly cutting edge. But we're totally claiming this as a world-first, boldly going where no podcast has gone before!

42: Life, The Universe, And Everything

42: Life, The Universe, And Everything

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a wonderfully silly trilogy of five books by Douglas Adams, chronicling the adventures of Earth human Arthur Dent, who is rescued by his alien friend Ford Prefect just before the Earth is demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. 

It's a ... complicated story. Anyone familiar with the books knows the centrality of the number 42 to the plot: it is no less than the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Clearly then, syzygy episode 42 deserves special treatment. In honour of Adams’s creation, Emily and Chris consider the possibilities of other intelligent life in the galaxy, and dive deep into the Drake equation, a back-of-the-envelope calculation to work out how many intelligent civilisations there are in the Milky Way that might get in contact with us.

(Live) The Great Syzygy Space Off!

(Live) The Great Syzygy Space Off!

Emily and Chris compete for fame, glory and nerd points in the first ever Great Syzygy Space Off! Recorded in front of a very large, very patient and very generous audience at York's Micklegate Social in May 2019.

Made possible by our wonderful Patreon patrons — thanks all!

It took us a while to get to editing this one, and yes we know the audio isn’t great in places. But it was a fun night, hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

39: Ridiculously Large Telescopes

39: Ridiculously Large Telescopes

Telescopes — can they every be big enough? With news of serious progress on the Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile, Emily and Chris natter about Astronomy's truly big optical scopes. First there were a slew of Large Telescopes. Then came the VLT, the Very Large Telescope. That wasn't large enough, so we got the Extremely Large Telescope. The Overwhelmingly Large Telescope was planned for a while, but then got cancelled, which sounds like it might have been a good thing. The technology is awesome, the science is astounding — the next decade is going to be a great one for optical astronomy.

38: Blue Twinkly Supergiants

38: Blue Twinkly Supergiants

Our Sun is a star, and because it's so close and familiar, we think that's what stars are like. But there are loads of different kinds of stars out there — small ones, cold ones, hot ones, wobbly ones, and really stupidly BIG ones. Emily gets excited in this episode because new research on Blue Supergiant Stars shows they wobble and wiggle, and that can tell us loads about how stars evolve.

37 (supplemental): Syzygy Film Club!

37 (supplemental): Syzygy Film Club!

Come to Syzygy LIVE! The Great Syzygy Space Off — 23 May in York! — check the show notes.

While recording ep. 37, Emily and Chris had a vent about a few astro-related (or astro-adjacent) hollywood movies of recent years: Gravity, Interstellar, and — from way back in 2004 — the ludicrous What The BLEEP Do We Know? A few spoilers, but nothing too bad. You have been warned.

37: Crazy Donut Moon Theory

37: Crazy Donut Moon Theory

Come to Syzygy LIVE! The Great Syzygy Space Off — 23 May in York! — check the show notes.

Feels like we really should understand where the Moon came from — it's so close, so connected to the Earth, so ... obvious in the sky! Turns out, the Moon's origin story isn't as simple as we thought. Emily dives deep on this one, conjuring wacked-out dynamics involving primal supernovae, colliding planets, greek gods and donuts.