12/24/15 Show feat. Lucianne Walkowicz on Exoplanets and Alien Megastructures

af6bbdfdd36307c7cb26702fd0da799d8bd7f505_800x600Happy Christmas, listeners! In this rockin’ show Lucianne Walkowicz called in to WPRB from the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, where she works on NASA’s Kepler Mission as well as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (a telescope currently being built down in Chile). In this interview we focus on the Kepler mission’s search for exoplanets – these are planets outside of our solar system. We discuss questions such as: What makes a planet habitable? How does a star’s properties influence the planet’s habitability? How does Kepler go about finding these planets when they’re so much smaller and dimmer than their accompanying star? How could we know if there is life on these planets? And much more!

We delved in to some mysteries found by the Kepler mission, including KIC 8462852, aka “Tabby’s Star.” In late October, news stories about this anomalous star went viral as speculation swirled about what it could be. One of the theories stated that the star’s weird signature could be evidence of an advanced alien civilization. In this interview, Lucianne tells us why. (To listen to the interview – just the interview without the rest of the music, etc. of the rest of the show – click here.)

Towards the end of the show I played a short interview with particle physicist Stephane Cooperstein on recent findings out of the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland – and what they could mean. More information here. In the interview we mention the plot below.cwrui2owiaat7o52b


Extra resources:

Lucianne’s rad punk band, DITCH CLUB, just released a new EP! Listen here:

Show playlist:

Artist Song Album Label
Wanda Jackson, The Cramps Funnel of Love Heart Trouble CMH Records
Intro (2:35)
Gang of Four Ether Entertainment Warner Brothers
The Wyrms War Machine At Wizard Island Negative Fun Records
Car Seat Headrest Oh! Starving Teens of Style Matador
Jeff Rosenstock You, in weird cities We cool? Side one dummy records
Lucianne Walkowicz, Part I Exoplanets, Stars, and Alien Megastructures N/A
Nana Grizol Galaxies Ruth Orange Twin Records
Dismemberment Plan What do you want me to say? What do you want me to say? b/w since you died DeSoto Records
Pochoclo Las Trillizas de Oro ¡Chicas! Spanish Female Singers Vol.2 1963-78 VAMPISOUL
Lucianne Walkowicz, Part II Exoplanets, Stars, and Alien Megastructures N/A
Ditch Club King of Cups EP ditchclub.bandcamp.com
Ditch Club Reality Check EP ditchclub.bandcamp.com
Worriers Yes All Cops Imaginary Life Don Giovanni
The Fall My New House This Nation’s Saving Grace Beggars Banquet Records
Interview with Stephane Cooperstein New Results from the Large Hadron Collider N/A
Old Town School of Folk Music Twist and Shout Songs For Wiggleworms Old Town School
Joanna Gruesome Wussy Void Weird Sister Slumberland
Blonde Redhead Cat on Tin Roof Barragán Blonde Redhead


2 thoughts on “12/24/15 Show feat. Lucianne Walkowicz on Exoplanets and Alien Megastructures

  1. My name is Gary D Brown and I am a citizen scientist, and amateur cartographer. My background is in Philosophy,Psychology and Religious Studies. I entered a contest recently in 2016 with NASA with the international cartographers a mission friendly venture to Mars in 2035. I was fortunate to win this contest by developing a new Martian calendar along with the science involved. My landing site was near Viking 1 with 3 away traverses. This new calendar is engaging with benefits for our proximals and people on Earth. I have developed a program for elementary and high schools on our success. Our efforts were rewarded by being the best new idea in the United States and 2nd place in world wide competition. 80 countries over 3 continents participated. This was to give a better psychological feeling with a seasonal perspective. My grandson was doing the science and depositing his results to this new calendar. He is attending U of I Champaign and is majoring in environmental law. A rewarding experience in the University Division of the contest. I have some Mars pictures with Mars-scapes and new spacesuit. The cartographers view of exploration zone [EZ], habitat zone [HZ] with 3 zones of away missions. A 390 mission was planned day by day. I need some help with a app to bring the calendar together and show its clarity and complete getting the calendar to mainstream.

    Gary Brown and Brandon Zegiel


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