All posts by Martin Ratcliffe

Martin Ratcliffe received his BSc in Astronomy from the University College London, England. Although his final year research project was published, he pursued a career in Planetariums, working at theaters in Armagh, Northern Ireland, Buhl Planetarium in Pittsburgh and the CyberDome Theater in Wichita, Kansas. A former President of the International Planetarium Society, Martin is a contributing Editor for Astronomy magazine, co-writing the Sky Show monthly column for the past 13 years. For the past three years as Director of Professional Development, Martin travels the country and occasionally around the world training planetarium staff in the use of “DigitalSky” for Sky-Skan, a leading digital planetarium manufacturer. Martin has published 4 books, including The Night Sky Revealed (Barnes and Noble) and State of the Universe 2008 (Praxis-Springer).

By Martin Ratcliffe on November 6, 2009 in

Date: November 6, 2009 Title: SOFIA – Flight Tests and the Promise of New Science Podcaster: Martin Ratcliffe Organization: SOFIA Science Center, NASA Ames Research Center Description: SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, is about to begin detailed flight testing, leading to its official “First Light” flight. SOFIA houses a 2.5-meter telescope in the […]

By Martin Ratcliffe on August 26, 2009 in
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Date: August 26, 2009 Title: 20th Anniversary of Voyager 2 at Neptune Podcaster: Martin Ratcliffe and Dr. Ed Stone Organization: None Description: In August 1989, the Voyager 2 spacecraft performed the first reconnaissance with the solar system’s outermost major planet, Neptune. Now, 20 years later, the Voyager mission Project Scientist, Dr. Ed Stone, joined me […]

By Martin Ratcliffe on June 5, 2009 in
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Date: June 5, 2009 Title: Beginner’s Guide to Observing Jupiter Podcaster: Martin Ratcliffe Organization: None Description: Today’s topic is observing Jupiter with a telescope. And if your telescope is the Hubble, this podcast isn’t for you (newbies only!) And as a bonus, you’ll get to spot Neptune too. Bio: Martin Ratcliffe received his BSc in […]

By Martin Ratcliffe on March 5, 2009 in
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Date: March 5, 2009 Title: Cool Comets Podcaster: Martin Ratcliffe Description: Comets stir the imagination, and have for thousands of years. Comets and larger icy bodies on the outer solar system, the Kuiper Belt Objects, provide insight into the origin of our solar system. In this podcast I combine a personal reflection of observing famous comets […]

By Martin Ratcliffe on February 1, 2009 in
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Date: February 1st, 2009 Title: The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Podcaster: Martin Ratcliffe Description: SOFIA is the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, and it’s ready to fly. SOFIA houses a 2.5-meter telescope in the tail of a 747-SP Jumbo Jet. Flying higher than 41,000 feet, a huge sliding door will uncover the cavity […]