Looking Up

For the first podcast created exclusively by Cincinnati Public Radio separate from its on-air programming, producers have reached for the stars and bring you Looking Up with the Cincinnati Observatory's Dean Regas and Anna Hehman. 

Looking Up brings you the latest astronomical discoveries,” according to Regas, “in a really fun, quick-paced conversation.  We’ll bring out-of-this-world topics about planets, stars, and the universe, science and technology, throw in a little pop-culture and bring it all down to Earth.”

During each episode, there will be conversations about current astronomical or science happenings, a special guest, then either a Kid Question or a letter from the Observatory's Crank File – a collection of wild, unusual, far-fetched and conspiratorial correspondences collected through the decades.

Dean Regas is the outreach astronomer for the Cincinnati Observatory, co-host of the PBS series Star Gazers, and author of the books 100 Things to See in the Night Sky: From Planets and Satellites to Meteors and Constellations, Your Guide to Stargazing and Facts from Space. Anna Hehman is the Observatory's Director of Development with an innate curiosity about the cosmos.

“I'm excited to join Dean for Looking Up,” Hehman said. “We’ll talk about space, astronomy and cover all the questions a non-astronomer like me has for an astronomer like him.”

Looking Up is produced by Kevin Reynolds and engineered by Josh Elstro and Rick Andress, with technical assistance from Jim Nolan. 

Looking Up will release new episodes twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays. Subscribe on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.

Summer Ash is a true renaissance woman: former rocket scientist, STEAM educator, STARtorialist blogger, and freelance science communicator.

The music you hear at the start of and throughout each episode of Looking Up is from a band called WHY? and one of its founders, Josiah Wolfe, is also an amateur astronomer who has created several space-themed art and sound installations.

We wrap up our celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with one man whose perspective is uniquely different than most – Mark Armstrong, son of NASA legend Neal Armstrong.

He talks about those July days in 1969 and his cameo in the 2018 film about his dad, First Man, in this conversation with hosts Dean Regas and Anna Hehman.

**AUDIO NOTE: We weren't in our home studio for this episode so we apologize for the audio issue during the first 90 seconds or so.**

Mike Massimino could be considered a Renaissance man or a pure over-achiever. He's a retired NASA astronaut who made four space walks during two shuttle missions to the Hubble Telescope. He's a New York Times bestselling author of Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe. He's a professor at Columbia University. He hosts several science/space themed TV shows and documentaries. And he appeared as a version of himself in six episodes of the hit TV series The Big Bang Theory.

Looking Up continues celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, this time by learning more about the entire Apollo mission with Nancy Atkinson, a writer for Universe Today and author of the new book, Eight Years to the Moon: The History of the Apollo Mission.

As the world prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, we go to the hometown of celebrated Astronaut Neil Armstrong so that Dean Regas and Anna Hehman can talk with Dante Cenouri, executive director of the Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

Listen to their conversation by hitting the play button above. 

Dr. Janet Kavandi is a three-time shuttle astronaut, former Director of Flight Operations for NASA, and currently serves as director of NASA's John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. In addition, she was recently inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame

Dean Regas and Anna Hehman are proud to welcome Dr. Kavandi to this episode of Looking Up.

 

What started as a hobby, to create a website about his passion for amateur astronomy, has now turned into a 20-year career.

Fraser Cain, proprietor of the Universe Today website, Astronmycast podcast, and the live Weekly Space Hangout, joins Dean Regas and Anna Hehman to talk about the evolution of these projects and what continues to make it fun after all this time.

The first picture of a black hole was a worldwide phenomenon, but what is our fascination with these astronomical mysteries?

Dean Regas and Anna Hehman welcome Nathaniel Scharping, an editor for Discover magazine who wrote about the black hole photograph for Astronomy magazine and astronomy.com.

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Did you know that there is an observatory at the Vatican? Did you now that the two men in charge of the research and operations taking place there are both from the Midwest? 

In this transatlantic conversation, Dean Regas and Anna Hehman learn about the Vatican Observatory from its director, Brother Guy Consolmagno (from Detroit) and head of the Jesuit community at the observatory, Father Paul Mueller (from Cincinnati, a St. Xavier High School graduate).

LSST Project/NSF/AURA

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will, when it's operational, conduct a 10-year survey of the sky to provide an amazing amount of data to help answer ongoing questions about our universe.

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With the changing relationships between the US and countries once considered threats, concerns about the use of weapons in space remain.

Dean Regas and Anna Hehman delve into these concerns with Theresa Hitchens, former director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research and now Senior Research Scholar at the Center for International Security Studies at Maryland.

NASA

The recent demise of the Mars Rover Opportunity recalled an article from The Atlantic from 2017 that discussed the humanization of these robots in the minds of many.

Dean Regas and Anna Hehman welcome the scientist interviewed in that article, Florence Tan, currently the deputy chief technologist of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

by Michael Wall and Karl Tate

A recent article on Space.com caught our attention, so this episode we're talking with the author of that article, Our Milky Way Will Crash into a Neighbor Galaxy Sooner Than You Think, Dr. Michael Wall.

He's a senior writer for Space.com and also author of the book Out There: A Scientific Guide to Alien Life, Antimatter, and Human Space Travel (For the Cosmically Curious), so you know he had a lot to talk about with Dean Regas and Anna Hehman.

PAUL HARMER/GETTY / express.co.uk

For more than three decades, Dave Eicher has been writing about space for Astronomy magazine.

The Oxford, Ohio native is now the editor and he joins Dean Regas and Anna Hehman to talk about how he got into astronomy, some things happening in 2019, and his book Mission Moon 3-D: A New Perspective on the Space Race written with astrophysicist and Queen guitarist, Dr. Brian May.

Dr. Jillian Scudder is an astrophysicist who teaches at Oberlin College in Ohio. She started a science blog in 2013 called Astroquizzical with an "ask the scientist" structure.

She's been answering questions ever since and recently released a book based on the blog, Astroquizzical: A Curious Journey Through Our Cosmic Family Tree

Charles Bolden, Jr. is a retired Marine Major General and astronaut who most recently was the administrator of NASA.

He joins Dean Regas and guest host Lauren Worley (who worked for Major General Bolden at NASA) to discuss his career and the state of space exploration today.

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The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles is one of the most iconic structures in the US, featured in a myriad of films and TV shows.

To find out about the mission of the Griffith and its place in pop culture, Dean Regas and Anna Hehman welcome its director, Dr. Edwin Krupp.

marykaycarson.com

Books make great holiday gifts, and books about space make even BETTER gifts!

Children's book author Mary Kay Carson (Beyond the Solar System, Mission to Pluto) joins Dean Regas and Anna Hehman to talk about writing eductional, but fun, books for kids.

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The Hubble Telescope has been an unmitigated success in providing new information about the cosmos. As its days wind down, a new, more powerful telescope called the Webb is preparing to launch.

Dr. Amber Straughn from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center joins Dean Regas and Anna Hehman with information about the bigger, more powerful James Webb Space Telescope.

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