Dec 12th: The Planets, ICON 2017 & Mars!

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Podcaster: Allen Versfeld

Title: Urban Astronomer # 13: The Planets, ICON 2017 & Mars!

Link: http://www.urban-astronomer.com

Description: This week we turn our steely gaze upon the red planet Mars, but we haven’t forgotten our promise to share some highlights from our time at the ICON Comics and Games Convention.

Bio: Allen is an amateur astronomer, an IT professional, a podcaster, a father of five beautiful kids and a barely competent chess player. He is also the director of the Astrophotography Section of the Astronomical Society of South Africa, where he coordinates and promotes the activities of people who are far better photographers than him.

Today’s sponsor: This episode of “365 Days of Astronomy” is sponsored by — no one. We still need sponsors for many days in 2017, so please consider sponsoring a day or two. Just click on the “Donate” button on the lower left side of this webpage, or contact us at signup@365daysofastronomy.org.

Short Script:

This week we turn our steely gaze upon the red planet Mars, but we haven’t forgotten our promise to share some highlights from our time at the ICON Comics and Games Convention. We even indulge in a little hoax busting, picking a fight with an old scam that just won’t die.The first segment is the next in Cathrine’s series on The Planets. In these recordings, she talks first about the mythology behind the names of the planets, and then discusses the actual worlds themselves. Mars, as it turns out, was a little more complex than our usual “God of War” image. And when we look at the science, it turns out to be a spectacularly badly named planet.

Then we cut to our time at ICON 2017. As previously mentioned, we ran a stand on behalf of the ScopeX telescope and astronomy expo, to promote it and get people to come visit in September. While there, we got to chat to a lot of people, who had quite a varied range if interests. A few of them consented to let me record our conversations, and I’ve tried to stretch my editing muscles a bit in the way I presented them. I’m reasonably happy with how it came out, and hopefully you’ll like it too. If you’d like to see the photos referenced, they’re part of Dawie Venter’s gallery on the ASSA website.

We then return to Mars, addressing a 14-year-old (at time of recording) hoax email that says that Mars will be passing extra close to Earth, and will appear as large as the full Moon. It’s nonsense, of course, and I first wrote about it years ago.

End of podcast:

365 Days of Astronomy
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