Space Junk show

Space Junk

Summary: Space Junk is a weekly podcast dedicated to the amazing hobby of amateur astronomy. Each week we’ll answer your questions and bring you the latest information and advice on the tools, gadgets, software and techniques for maximizing your enjoyment of the night sky. Your hosts are Tony Darnell from and Dustin Gibson from OPT Telescopes, a world leader in telescopes and accessories. Support this podcast:

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 The Search for the Perfect Telescope; Camera Resolution Wars - It's like magnification all over again | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2968

This episode was prompted by an email from Matt who wanted to sort out WHY different telescopes are better than others.  In this episode, I'll break down all the different telescope types and try to answer the question of why you should want one. Also, Dustin and I discuss camera resolution: why it matters, is more better and more. --- Support this podcast:

 Pro-Am Astronomy Collaboration; Celestron RASA and Other Wide Field Telescopes | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 3786

More than any other aspect of amateur astronomy, using your equipment to get involved in professional astronomy is growing the fastest.  In this episode, we explore ways you can use your stuff to do science!  Also, Dustin and Tony talk about the advances in short-focal length telescope design and why they are amazing. --- Support this podcast:

 We have Little Chance of Hearing Other Civilizations; APO's vs Catadioptric Telescopes; Another Black Hole Question | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 3304

We've been listening for signals from the galaxy hoping to detect another civilization out there.  What are the actual chances we'll hear anything?  Let's take a look at this paper and find out: Dustin and Tony also talk about APO refractors and catadioptric telescope systems. --- Support this podcast:

 How Do We Know There are Other Planets in Our Galaxy?; Picking Your First Object to Image; Tony Gets an Email! | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 3323

The study of planets around other stars, exoplanets, is a brand new field, one that closely tracks my career as a software engineer in professional astronomy.  I've had the privilege to watch our knowledge about exoplanets explode: in just a few decades, we've gone from not being sure there were other planets around other stars, to knowing how many there are in our galaxy, their types and in some cases, we can guess as to whether life may be present on them. Let's talk about this as well as Dustin and I discuss what you should think about when imaging your first night sky object. Oh, and I got an email! --- Support this podcast:

 Black Holes - A Guided Tour; Telescope Autoguiders - What Good are They?; Update on JWST | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 3120

In recent decades, our knowledge of what black holes are, how many and what types, has exploded.  Coupled with the brand-new field of gravitational wave astronomy, we are poised to learn even more.  Let's take a tour of what black holes are, the different kinds and how many of these enigmatic objects there are in our universe. --- Support this podcast:

 Is Earth's Magnetic Field Flipping?; Smart Telescopes; Orion The Hunter | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 2996

The magnetic field of the Earth is undergoing some changes.  Scientists measuring the strength and direction have noticed a weakening of the magnetic field along with movement.  Is this something to worry about? Dustin Gibson and Tony also discuss smart telescopes along with computers designed to run imaging equipement. Winter is a great time to see Orion the Hunter, let's talk about that. --- Support this podcast:

 Terraforming the Moon; Building a Beginner Astrophotography Rig; Amateur Astronomer Discovers Hot Jupiter | File Type: audio/x-m4a | Duration: 3149

Can we terraform the Moon?  It's a better idea than terraforming Mars believe it or not.  Dustin and Tony discuss putting together an astrophotography rig for beginners and some space news. --- Support this podcast:

 Narrow Band Filters: What You Need to Know | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3450

Imaging with filters can dramatically improve the signal to your camera allowing for much higher quality images.  The question of which filter to use on what object can be daunting.  Dustin and Tony dive into the topic of filters, specifically narrow band filters to give you insight on what they are, what you can get from using them and what to look for in a good filter. --- Support this podcast:

 Thoughts on The James Webb Space Telescope | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 4237

At long last, the launch of the next big NASA flagship telescopes: JWST is ready for launch, sitting atop its rocket and awaiting good weather.  This telescope marks the pinnacle of ambition for NASA as it is doing something that has never been done before.  Launching a telescope of this size is a first for the human race and promises to bring us insights about our place in the universe like nothing that has come before. Humanity will look farther into the universe than ever and JWST, the most technically advanced and capable telescope ever built, will collect light from a time when the very first stars and galaxies were born. In this episode, Dustin and Tony talk about this amazing telescope, and we answer a listener question about getting Stellina or eVscope for an astronomy club. --- Support this podcast:

 All About Astronomy Filters | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3647

Using filters in amateur astronomy can be confusing, but once you get through some of the basics, they can really enhance your sessions under the stars - either visually or photographically.  In this episode, Tony and Dustin go through filter basics, what they can do for you visually and when imaging, as well as offer advice on which ones to get and why. We also go over filter wheel options and strategies for using all of this amazing optical gear. --- Support this podcast:

 Getting Started in Astronomy Imaging | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3935

Taking images through your telescope has never been easier.  What used to be complicated, time-consuming and expensive is now accessible to people who've never used a telescope before.  Getting started in taking pictures of the night sky is orders of magnitude simpler than it was decades ago when film reigned supreme. Now, with modest equipment budding astrophotographers can achieve amazing results right out of the gate, but navigating all that gear can be overwhelming.  In this episode of Space Junk Podcast, we'll explore strategies and gear to get you off to a roaring start taking images that will please your family, friends and all your social media followers. --- Support this podcast:

 Building a Backyard Observatory: What You Should Know | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3737

Building your own observatory is a great way to enhance your enjoyment of getting out under the stars.  Whether it's a simple cover for your tripod-mounted telescope, an easy to build roll off roof on a shed, or a beautiful clam-shell dome with all the bells and whistles, having an observatory can increase the amount of time using your equipment while decreasing your stress level. In this episode Dustin and Tony discuss all options for creating a personal observatory to house your equipment and offer advice and tips for making your observatory easily and with minimal mistakes. --- Support this podcast:

 Beginner Astronomy: Where to Go and What to Bring | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3364

It's good to be back!  To get things started again, we are talking about the beginning - the beginning of getting started in the hobby of amateur astronomy.  We've also brought some gear to check out.  The links are here: (pre-order) --- Support this podcast:

 Faster Than Light Phenomena and the Story of APOD w/ Robert Nemiroff | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 4101

There are things we can see, supported by mathematics, that appear superluminal.  In a new book by Robert Nemiroff, we explore some of these and since the author also happens to be the co-founder of the Astronomy Picture of the Day website, well, we talk about that too! --- Support this podcast:

 JWST Sees More Delays; NASA Going to Venus; Jeff Bezos Tries to Win Billionaire Space Race - Astronomy News from SJP | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 586

It's no surprise, but JWST will be delayed again.  Now we're looking at a November (at the earliest) 2021 launch thanks to problems with the Ariane 5 rocket.  NASA has selected two missions to go to Venus and Jeff Bezos will get into his own rocket. --- Support this podcast:


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