Ivan Semeniuk's Embedded Universe

Reports from a journalist working among astronomers

The Universe in Mind
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Ivan Semeniuk hosts a semi-regular excursion into the cosmos. The Universe in Mind offers listeners the latest news and the biggest ideas in astronomy and related sciences, told through the voices and stories of those are who are working at the frontiers of discovery.

  • » Galileo (Part 2): The Dinner Party (May 15, 2010) Tweet This

    Science historian Mario Biagioli recounts the story of Galileo, as he is catapulted to fame and job security in Florence. Galileo's modern view of the cosmos gives rivals an opening to steer him into controversy and a fateful showdown with the Church. How a not-so-innocent dinner party conversation set Galileo on a collision course with history.

  • » Galileo (Part 1): The Negotiation (Apr 15, 2010) Tweet This

    Science historian Mario Biagioli is our guide on a trip back to 17th Century Venice, where a new invention — the telescope — promises to change the career prospects of a math professor named Galileo. While he maneuvers through a delicate job negotiation, humanity's understanding of the universe is transformed.

  • » Going Deep (Mar 30, 2010) Tweet This

    Garth Illingworth is going deep — REALLY DEEP. Using the newly refurbished Hubble Space Telescope, hes looking for some of the most distant objects ever seen to uncover the early history of our universe. Meanwhile, Roberto Abraham explains how we can push back even further to the very first galaxies — and perhaps to the very first stars — with a new generation of telescopes on the ground and in space.

  • » Flames on Mt. Wilson (Oct 14, 2009) Tweet This

    The 100-inch Hooker reflector atop Mt. Wilson is arguably the most important astronomical instrument since Galileo's telescope. Last month it was very nearly lost when a wildfire swept toward the mountain. The observatory was only recently declared safe. Astronomer Hal McAllister recounts the dramatic rescue effort and author Marcia Bartusiak explains why Mt. Wilson is the place where the modern universe was born.

  • » Ice Age Impact (Aug 22, 2009) Tweet This

    Just 13,000 years ago, the mammoth and several other large mammalian species vanished from North America. We explore the controversial claim that this puzzling mass extinction was triggered by a comet impact and that microscopic diamonds hold the key to understanding what really happened.

  • » The Soundtrack of Space (Aug 4, 2009) Tweet This

    Gravitational waves promise a new way of perceiving the universe that's more like hearing than seeing. Neil Cornish discusses recent progress in gravitational wave astronomy and what it will mean when these elusive signals are finally detected. Also: weather on brown dwarfs.

  • » Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Jun 11, 2009) Tweet This

    Two stories about impacts from space and their importance to life. 1) How early microbes could have survived the deadly barrage of asteroid impacts that struck Earth 3.9 billion years ago. 2) What scientists have learned from the most carbon-rich meteorite ever recovered.

  • » Canadian Space Tourist Eh? (Jun 4, 2009) Tweet This

    Special supplement: An interview with Steve MacLean, president of the Canadian Space Agency, about the news that Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte will become the first Canadian space tourist. M. Laliberte is scheduled to visit the International Space Station this September.

  • » Astrophysicist to the President (May 17, 2009) Tweet This

    A feature interview with Donald Lamb, a University of Chicago professor and supernova expert who took a break from astrophysics to campaign for Barack Obama and was part of the team that shaped the new administration's policy on science and technology.

  • » The 2000-year-old Computer (Apr 21, 2009) Tweet This

    A strange device pulled from an ancient Greek shipwreck appears to be a remarkably sophisticated astronomical calculator from the ancient world. Also, a balloon-borne telescope takes a ride around Antarctica while peering into the universe's hidden and dusty corners.

  • » Embracing the Eternal (Mar 30, 2009) Tweet This

    Cosmologist Alan Guth describes the solutions and the puzzles that come with imagining our universe as a small pocket in an eternally inflating "multiverse". Also, an artist aims to turn off the lights in Times Square for one starry minute.

  • » Water On Mars (Mar 24, 2009) Tweet This

    A controversial claim of liquid water on Mars tops off this overview of what scientists learned from the Phoenix mission, including a feature interview with principal investigator, Peter Smith.

  • » Life, Here and There (Mar 13, 2009) Tweet This

    Sir Martin Rees on the scientific challenges facing civilization and why astronomy can help. Alan Boss on our crowded universe, and the prospects for finding life on other worlds.

  • » X-ray Woman Meets The Green Comet (Mar 5, 2009) Tweet This

    Astronomers turn NASA's SWIFT mission into a comet chaser and Roger Blandford explains why black holes are getting a bad rap. Also: US Astronomy - the next 10 years.

  • » Lincoln's Moon; Darwin's Universe (Mar 1, 2009) Tweet This

    Did our universe arise through Darwinian evolution? Did the moon really help Abraham Lincoln win his most famous case as a trial lawyer? This week's show celebrates Lincoln's and Darwin's 200th birthdays by exploring the astronomical connections to both.

  • » Exoplanet Revolution (Feb 24, 2009) Tweet This

    Ivan interviews astronomers Malcolm Fridlund, Adam Burrows and Ruth Murray-Clay about new research relating to exoplanets, including the possible detection of a an Earth-sized planet, the colour of "hot Jupiters" and a solar system that resonates like a musical instrument.

  • » Looking up (Jan 31, 2009) Tweet This

    Archaeoastronomer E. C. Krupp on why ancient peoples were drawn to the night sky, plus a late night rendez-vous with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope.

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