365DaysDate: February 11, 2009


Title: Exoplanet Remix

Podcaster: Davin Flateau


Description: Sit back and relax, as we take a musical and scientific journey through a galaxy full of planets and possibilities.  Headphones recommended!

Bio: Davin Flateau has been a planetarium director, writer, educator, and large format producer for over 20 years.  He is currently an astrophysics student at the University of Cincinnati.  He hosts the radio show “The Planetarium” about astronomy on the Cincinnati, Ohio airwaves, and is the founder of Aural Moon internet radio, one of the internet’s first radio stations.  His homepage is, and welcomes new Friends at Facebook.

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Cardamar – To The Sunrise We Emerge

From the upcoming album “The Salon”

(C) 2009, Cardamar Music

Narrator (1):  “You’re looking at a model of our galactic neighborhood, from the perspective of deep space.”

Narrator (1): “We begin in our own solar system, where 9 planets circle a star which we call the sun.  Some are terrestrial, or rocky planets, like Mars or Earth.  Others are gas giants, like Jupiter and Saturn.  We now know this is not the only planetary system in  the Universe.”

Dr. Geoff Marcy (2): ” The discovery of planets around other stars is extraordinarily difficult. Planets are about a billion times fainter than the host star, so the plants get lost in the glare.”

Dr. Jim Fanson (3): “Whether there are earth-like planets around other stars is something that has been postulated and speculated about since the ancient Greeks.”

Narrator (1):  In 1995, astronomers discovered the first planet outside our solar system.

Marcy (2): “…. so we’re looking desperately, for planets with a surface that can hold those pools that we think will eventually lead to complex life.”

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson (4): “Ever since there have been people, there have been explorers, looking in places where other hadn’t been before.  Not everyone does it, but we are part of a species where some members of the species do – to the benefit of us all.”

Mary Estacion (5): “First, they take a measurement when the planet is right next to its parent star.  Then they check out the heat values when the planet is behind the star.  Subtract, and what’s left over is the chemical signature of the planet.”

Dr. Pieter Deroo(5): “If you would have asked me 5 years ago, I would have said that in 50 years from now, that we’d would probably be able to detect molecules in the atmospheres in these planets.  And actually we’re doing it right now.”

Dr. Pin Chen (5): “Science is about learning and discovering the laws of nature.”

Mary Estacion (5): “Laws that drive life here on earth, and maybe elsewhere.”

Estacion (6): “Fomalhaut…”

Dr. Mark Clampin (6): “We knew there was a planet there.  We had a pretty good idea of where we should be looking.  But it was still a big surprise when we actually found it.”

Estacion (6): “…that solar system even looks like ours, with a distinct disk of debris, similar to our own Kuiper Belt – a telltale sign that a planet is nearby.  What they found was a relatively young planet, that’s probably still evolving, just like the study of planets across the Universe.”

Narrator (7): “Their orbits required new theories of planet formation, with planets being either too close, or too far from their host star.”

Narrator (1): “NASA is building a new generation of space-based telescopes to take a closer look.”

Dr. Jo Pitesky (2): “SIM PlanetQuest will be able to detect planets nearly as small as earth.    These are the kind of planets that scientists believe have the most potential to support life.  Terrestrial Planet Finder… directly image these distant worlds. … probe their atmospheres.  Signatures of life…”

Estacion (8): “In the meantime, scientists will continue to keep looking for that magical combination that we have here on earth…”

Dr. Mark Swain(8): “It’s the first time an organic molecule has been observed or discovered in an atmosphere of an extrasolar planet… because that is a molecule that could have a connection to biological activity.”

Estacion (8): “So now that we’ve found the building blocks of life on another world, does this help us to answer the burning question: are we alone?””

Marcy (2): “What fraction of the twinkling lights you see at night have earths?  We’re going to know the answer in ten years.”

(1)   Recorded introduction to NASA’s 3D New Worlds Atlas

(2)   NASA PlanetQuest Podcast 01 (Sept. 23, 2005):

(3)   NASA PlanetQuest Podcast 02 (Oct. 21, 2005):

(4)   NASA Video Feature: “The Carl Sagan Exoplanet Fellowship”

(5)   “Hubble Finds Carbon Dioxide on an Extrasolar Planet”

(6)   “Hubble Sees Planet Circling Another Star for First Time”

(7)   “Astronomers Find First Earth-like Planet in Habitable Zone” by the European Southern Observatory:

(8)   “Hubble Finds Building Block o f Life on ExtraSolar Planet

End of podcast:

365 Days of Astronomy
The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is produced by the New Media Working Group of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. Audio post-production by Preston Gibson. Bandwidth donated by and wizzard media. Web design by Clockwork Active Media Systems. You may reproduce and distribute this audio for non-commercial purposes. Please consider supporting the podcast with a few dollars (or Euros!). Visit us on the web at or email us at Until tomorrow…goodbye.

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