“The science of Avatar” – new S@N podcast episode

With the release of James Cameron’s new 3D movie Avatar, cinema-goers are being transported to the surface of an alien world called Pandora. Pandora is an exomoon (a moon of an extrasolar planet) and the setting for much of the film’s spectacular action. For the new episode of the Sky at Night Magazine podcast I interviewed David Kipping, an extrasolar planet and exomoon expert, and Dr Lewis Dartnell who is an astrobiologist at UCL in London. We talked about the astronomy behind the movie & the science going on at the moment that might enable astronomers to detect a real exomoon. We also covered what any observations of an exomoon or extrasolar planet could tell us about its physical characteristics. The podcast can be listened to in the player below or downloaded here [12.5 MB mp3]; and I’ve embedded the Avatar trailer below if you’re thinking of going to see the film.

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