astro[sound]bites Turns 10…Episodes Old

astro[sound]bites is a bi-weekly podcast that uses recent astrobites to explain and explore a theme. It is hosted by Alex Gagliano at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Malena Rice at Yale University, and Will Saunders (that’s me) at Boston University.

As we publish our 10th episode today, we’re taking this opportunity to reflect on our first 10 episodes, the bites we talked about, and the things we learned along the way.

Where to Listen

astro[sound]bites is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Soundcloud. Click on the images below for your preferred source, grab the RSS feed ( for use on any source, or listen to any of the first 10 episodes embedded directly on this post via SoundCloud. (Below each episode audio are links to the bites we talk about.)

Episode 0: Who, What, and Why?

Our short explanation of who we are, what astro[sound]bites is, and why we undertook this crazy project.

Episode 1: Disks, Discs, and Disques

We thought for a hot sec that every episode title would have three words but that only lasted two episodes. Regardless, in this episode, we attempt to compare disks of different sizes and rationalize why sometimes things aren’t that simple.

Moonetesimals likely form relatively quickly

The Imprint of an Invisible Giant

With Age Comes Wisdom

Episode 2: Getting to Know the Neighbors

We talk planets and invoke magnetic fields as a solution for a complicated modeling problem. Not to worry, we will continue to talk both about magnetic fields and complicated models in many more episodes.

A Proposed Moon Formation Theory: The Multiple-Impact Hypothesis

Vary, Vary, Little Star…Or Don’t, If You’re the Sun

Why are Jupiter and Saturn Spinning so Slowly??

Episode 3: 6 Unbelievable Facts about Black Holes

In an effort to be only slightly sensationalist, I concocted this listicast (list + podcast). I’ll bet even the readers of astrobites will be surprised to learn some of these facts.

Elusive black holes: Have we found the ‘middle sibling’?

How to Glo up: Black Hole-Neutron Star Mergers

(s)Pinning down the origins of black hole mergers

Episode 4: Cosmic Recycling

Feedback is a surprisingly important and challenging concept in the universe. It’s a good thing we talk about it early because we reference this episode about a thousand times in the following six astro[sound]bites.

Making it Rain in the Circumgalactic Medium

Modeling Supernovae Feedback as a Galactic Fountain

The Hidden Mechanism of Quasar Feedback

Episode 5: Astrophysical Beasts and Where to Find Them

We agree to disagree on how to pronounce “Asteroseismology” but manage to talk about ghost and goblin galaxies, sneezy M dwarfs with cyclops planets, and oscillating giant stars.

Mirach’s Ghost and Mirach’s Goblin: A New Galaxy Found Near the Local Group

A Bare Hot Rock with No Atmosphere

You Spin me Right Round: Stellar Rotation with Asteroseismology

Episode 6: Farewell Spitzer

We pour one out for NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, which was decommissioned on January 30. At the end, Malena soliloquies her love for the fallen forever orbiting observatory.

Dusty Supernovae

The Curious Case of the Mysterious Over-Luminous Brown Dwarf

More Informative Mapping of Exoplanetary Peekaboos

Links to pretty picutres: Harmonics:, M31:

Music: Scott Buckley

Episode 7: Constants…Or Not?

We try to make you anxious by taking things you thought were constant in the universe and challenging them. Did it work?

Changing with the Tide

Cosmic Archaeology from an Ancient Pulsating Star

New Cosmological Detectives: Using FRBs to Constrain the Diffuse Gas Fraction

Episode 8: Beyond Exoplanets with TESS

After training for stealth operations at the TESS Ninja Conference, Malena was excited to talk about her current research. We also have some interviews with people who use TESS to do unexpected things.

This episode is also the first to feature our new segment astro-sound-scape-of-the-fortnight-space-sound-sonification-for-science-in-the-name-of-astronomy (just a cool sound of a space thing).

A Comet on TESS’s Vision

Combining Ground and Space-based Observations to Find EvryFlare

Interviews: Isabel Colman, Kareem El-Badry
Space sound: Don Gurnett/University of Iowa

Episode 9: Beyond the Grave

I get a little down reading about death but Alex and Malena cheer me up with astronomical afterlives! Kumbaya moment at the end is sponsored by NASA.

Zombie Star Went Supernova Twice?

Why Are Pulsar Planets Rare?

It Takes Two to Tango: Eclipsing White Dwarfs Push General Relativity to its Limit

Space sound: NASA/Hubble/SYSTEM Sounds (Matt Russo/Andrew Santaguida)

Episode 10: Baryonic Banter

95% of the universe is made of dark matter and dark energy, things we know almost nothing about but surely the other 5% (baryons) we know well, right? Nope!

During our banter I tell too many the right number of stories, we learn Malena has a different pronunciation of “whim,” and Alex shows us that Cosmology is actually pretty cool (despite our best efforts).

Baryonification – Dark matter N-body simulations and the impact of gas-trophysics

Connections on the Cosmic Web

Where Are All the Baryons?

Space sound: NASA/JPL/University of Iowa

Send us Suggestions for the Next 10 Episodes!

If you have feedback, suggestions for future episodes, or nerdy science comments, send us an email at [email protected].

Our theme music was composed by Joel Ong.

Our logo was created by Joanna Ramasawmy

About Will Saunders

I am a Ph.D. candidate at Boston University, where I study planetary atmospheres. My dissertation research involves using new and archival stellar occultations to measure the upper atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune. My work aims to better understand how the atmospheres of the ice giants are heated to hundreds of degrees. I received my Bachelors in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania. Be sure to check out astro[sound]bites, the only podcast combining Astrobites posts with lighthearted discussion about the latest astronomy research. Find us on, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, SoundCloud, and Spotify. In my free time, I enjoy cycling, exploring New England, and trying new wines.

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