Looking Up

Five minutes at the end of each week explores the big and the small questions in astronomy, cosmology, and space science. Hosted by Kechil Kirkham, no subject is too big or too small, and experts are regularly brought on board to illuminate and excite. Cape Town is the place to be for astronomy, with some of the largest telescopes in the world housed or being built not too far away. Looking Up takes advantage of the shoals of scientists and engineers working on the planet’s most advanced astronomy projects, who live and work right here in the Mother City. Kechil has recently acquired an MPhil in Space Studies at the University of Cape Town, and works in South Africa’s space industry on the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope.
Weekly English South Africa Places & Travel
393 Episodes
1 – 20

Looking Up - 10 July 24 - More about asteroids

More about asteroids, other threats in space and how the Chinese are dealing with them, plus advance notice of the International Astronomical Union's General Assembly taking place in Cape Town 6-15 August.
10 Jul 4 min

Looking Up - Last Sunday was International Asteroid Day

Last Sunday was International Asteroid Day. This was celebrated mainly on Monday when people were back at work, when Kechil attended a talk given by Marco Micheli of the European Space Agency's Space Situational Awareness Planetary Defence Office. Here he is talking to Kechil about why it is important to…
3 Jul 5 min

Looking Up - 15 May 24 - 55 Cancri e is an odd one

We are finding out more about planets outside of our solar system. 55 Cancri e is an odd one: it orbits its sun once every 17 Earth hours, and is only 2.3 kms away - can you imagine that? I wonder what it sounds like there. You would definitely not…
15 May 5 min

Looking Up - 08 May 24 - New Boeing Starliner capsule

Two items: the recently postponed launch of the new Boeing Starliner capsule and what will those astronauts wear? Plus, a new find: a very massive stellar black hole in our galaxy, 33 times the mass of our Sun.
8 May 6 min

Looking Up - 01 May 24 - K2-18 b

K2-18 b may be the location for our first detection of alien life. We will have to wait a few months for results of recent observations to become available. Spoiler alert: probably not life you could enjoy a cup of tea and a cosy fireside chat with.
1 May 4 min

Looking Up - 17 April 24 - Fast Radio Bursts

Fast Radio Bursts: can we ever see them? What are they? Masters student Kira Hanmer is among the first in the world ever to go looking for these unexplained phenomena in the optical realm.
17 Apr 5 min

Looking Up - 13 Mar 24 - Leeuwenboschfontein Observatory

Kechil spent a blissful weekend recently at a star-gazing event at Leeuwenboschfontein Observatory, and you can too! Here are some links which will take you there: https://www.leeuwenboschfontein.co.za/pages/lbf-astronomical-observatory/ https://www.facebook.com/LeeuwenboschfonteinObservatory/ The children of Bellville North Primary School joined for a few hours of observing, and you can hear their reactions. Eddy Nijeboer…
13 Mar 4 min
1 – 20