22: How To Measure The Universe

We've been so comfortable throwing around facts like "the Sun is 8 light seconds away" and "the nearest star is 4 light years away", it's easy to forget that measuring cosmic distances isn't as simple as pulling out a tape measure. So how *do* you measure how far it is to the moon, or the next star, or a distant galaxy? Emily gives us her top five rungs on the Cosmic Distance Ladder.

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SYZYGY LIVE! Join us for a very special live podcast recording at the University of York’s YorNight 2018: https://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/yornight/2018/

Syzygy is produced by Dr Chris Stewart and co-hosted by Dr Emily Brunsden from the Department of Physics at the University of York.

On the web: syzygy.fm | Twitter: @syzygypod

Things we talk about in this episode:

Chris’s video about the cosmic distance ladder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFoHlWK571k

The AU: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_unit

A very simple Parallax explanation: https://youtu.be/iwlMmJs1f5o

Parsec definition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsec 

Cepheid Variables: https://www.space.com/15396-variable-stars.html

NGC 4258: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2014/m106/

Type 1a Supernovae: https://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/science/objects/supernovae2.html 

Edwin Hubble: https://www.spacetelescope.org/about/history/the_man_behind_the_name/

Redshift and blueshift: https://www.space.com/25732-redshift-blueshift.html 

Hubble’s Constant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EP5cNoNuXo 

The expanding universe as explained by Brian Cox: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PR6wN8ym7SI