Universe Today podcasts with Fraser Cain

Space and astronomy news from Fraser Cain, Publisher of Universe Today

About the show

The Guide to Space is a series of space and astronomy poddcasts by Fraser Cain, publisher of Universe Today

Universe Today podcasts with Fraser Cain on social media


  • Episode 667: Open Space 84: Are Red Dwarf Planets Doomed? Should the Space Shuttle Have Been Built? And More

    June 23rd, 2020  |  1 hr 51 secs
    astronomy, space, space exploration

    Another week, another Open Space. In this week's questions show, I talk about planets orbiting red dwarf stars, if planets could steal moons from each other, and whether or not the space shuttle should have ever been built.

  • Episode 666: Two Confirmed Planets at Proxima Centauri. One in the Habitable Zone!

    June 23rd, 2020  |  9 mins 17 secs
    astronomy, space, space exploration

    Astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets, and still need to confirm thousands more. And over the coming decades, we’ll probably learn of millions of planets, orbiting stars we’ve never heard of.

    That’s why it’s reassuring to know astronomers are learning a tremendous amount about the closest star system to our own, Proxima Centauri. In fact, we now know of two planets orbiting the red dwarf star, one of which is in the habitable zone.

  • Episode 663: Interview with Fraser on the Interplanetary Podcast

    June 22nd, 2020  |  1 hr 25 mins
    astronomy, space, space exploration

    As you know, I sometimes throw interviews with me on the feed. And this is one I did about a week ago on the Interplanetary Podcast. We talk about a range of things in space and astronomy, and my portion shows up around the 30-minute mark.


  • Episode 664: Open Space 82: What Will Happen in the Next 5 Decades? And More...

    June 22nd, 2020  |  59 mins 11 secs
    astronomy, space, space exploration

    Another week, another Open Space. This week I answer questions about what we might see in the next 5 decades. When dark matter will get debunked, and who will carry the Mars torch after Elon Musk passes away.

  • Episode 665: Open Space 83: Dr. Jamie Molaro on Asteroid Bennu and OSIRIS-REx

    June 22nd, 2020  |  1 hr 1 min
    astronomy, space, space exploration

    In this week's episode of Open Space, I talk with Dr. Jamie Molaro, a planetary scientist who helped discover that the surface of asteroid Bennu has rocks that crack because of the constant day/night cycle.

  • Episode 662: How Do We Know Black Holes Exist? With Dr Paul Sutter

    June 22nd, 2020  |  14 mins 28 secs
    astronomy, space, space exploration

    I’d say half the astronomy-related videos on YouTube are all about black holes. Clearly, they’re a fascinating topic, but they’re also a mystery. How do you observe something that can absorb all the radiation and matter falling onto them, and nothing can ever escape? How do we know they’re really there, and what are the best observations we can make?

    Today I’m joined by Dr. Paul Sutter, a cosmologist, and astrophysicist to talk about how we know black holes are really there and not just a figment of an astrophysicist’s imagination?

  • Episode 661: Q&A 121: What Stops the Space Station from Re-Entry? And More... Featuring Michael Rodruck

    June 9th, 2020  |  25 mins 53 secs
    astronomy, space, space exploration

    In this week's questions show, I answer questions about how the International Space Station stays above the Earth's atmosphere, does dark matter need a better name? And how do astronomers know they're looking at exoplanets and not sunspots?

  • Episode 660: Crew Dragon Reaches the Station. What it Took to Replace the Space Shuttle

    June 4th, 2020  |  9 mins 42 secs
    astronomy, space, space exploration

    On Sunday, May 31st, 2020, a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley docked with the International Space Station. This was a tremendous accomplishment for SpaceX and NASA, giving the United States the capability of launching its own astronauts, and no longer relying on its Russian partners.

    This was the 5th time that US astronauts went into orbit on a new kind of space vehicle, following in the footsteps of Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and the Space Shuttle.

  • Episode 659: Open Space 81: Will Space-Time Freeze in the Far Future? And More...

    June 2nd, 2020  |  1 hr 1 sec
    astronomy, space, space exploration

    Another week, another Open Space. This week, I answered questions about whether space-time could freeze, are standard candles like Type 1a supernovae still useful? And is the Great Attractor just a black hole?

  • Episode 658: Open Space 80: Will We Ever Get Close to the Speed of Light? And More...

    May 28th, 2020  |  59 mins 46 secs
    astronomy, space, space exploration

    In this week's live Open Space, people wanted to know if solar sails really work, will we ever get close to the speed of light, what's the best way to get out of Venus' gravity well, and more?

  • Episode 657: Q&A 120: Dark Matter Black Holes? And More...

    May 25th, 2020  |  29 mins 32 secs
    astronomy, space, space exploration

    In this week's questions show, I answer whether or not dark matter could become a black hole, how do we know the Universe is flat, and what would happen to the world's market for precious metals once we start mining asteroids?

  • Episode 656: Searching For Ice In The Moon’s Shadowed Craters

    May 20th, 2020  |  8 mins 39 secs
    astronomy, space, space exploration

    When you’re out in space, water is the most precious resource you can get your hands on. It can be used for air, water, to grow food, radiation shielding, and most importantly, as the propellant for your spacecraft.

    Exploration of the Moon has revealed that there’s a tremendous amount of water ice locked into the regolith, but it’s probably very difficult to access. But there are also permanently shadowed craters at the Moon’s poles that could have more than enough water to support a permanently inhabitable station on the Moon.

    But it’s going to be tricky to get at, considering the fact that temperatures in the shadows plunge to -240 degrees Celsius, just 30 degrees above absolute zero.

  • Episode 654: Open Space 78: Astronomer Royal Martin Rees on the Future of Humanity

    May 20th, 2020  |  58 mins 20 secs
    astronomy, space, space exploration

    On a special time, we've got a special guest, Professor Martin Rees, a British cosmologist and astrophysicist. He's the Astronomer Royal and helped develop many of the modern theories of astronomy and cosmology.

  • Episode 655: Open Space 79: How Can Black Holes Have Infinite Density But Not Infinite Gravity? And More...

    May 20th, 2020  |  59 mins 25 secs
    astronomy, space, space exploration

    In this week's live QA, I explain why a black hole can have infinite density but not infinite gravity. Does your perception of time change due to your mass, and am I ever intimidated by the people I get to interview?

  • Episode 653: Catching Interstellar Objects. What If We Could Explore Oumuamua Or 2I/Borisov?

    May 14th, 2020  |  9 mins 52 secs
    astronomy, space, space exploration

    The distances to other stars are depressingly enormous. Sure, it’s incredibly far to get to Mars, Jupiter, and even Pluto, but at least you can design a robotic spacecraft to make the journey and see the science results in your own lifetime.

    But in the case of other stars, interstellar flight times will take thousands and even tens of thousands of years to send just a robotic mission.

    Fortunately, the Milky Way has got our back. Other star systems have been hurling comets and asteroids towards the Solar System. All we’ve got to do… is catch them.

  • Episode 652: Open Space 77: Moiya McTier

    May 14th, 2020  |  57 mins 15 secs
    astronomy, space, space exploration

    This week's guest is Moiya McTier. You might know Moiya as one of the regular co-hosts on the Weekly Space Hangout. She's an astrophysicist and science communicator, working with Columbia's Cool Worlds Lab.