Orbital Path

41 EpisodesProduced by PRX

space, stars, the universe and us

episodes iconEpisodes

Brian Greene goes to 11 — again

August 31st, 2018

30:55

We live our lives in three dimensions. But we also walk those three dimensions along a fourth dimension: time.



Our world makes sense thanks to mathematics. Math lets us count our livestock, it lets us navigat…

The Universe of Leonard Susskind

July 27th, 2018

27:10

To hear Leonard Susskind tell it, we are living in a golden age of
quantum physics.

And he should know.

Susskind is a grandee of theoretical physics. In the 1960s, he was one of the discoverers of…

Mars Goes Organic

June 29th, 2018

28:11

For a long time, probably as long as we have been gazing up at the night sky, people have been asking ourselves: Are we alone? Is there life out there, anywhere else in the universe?

For modern Earthlings, our …

Earth, Desert Planet?

March 23rd, 2018

6:59

Zoe is in 8th grade. She’s a student in Mr. Andersen’s Earth science class at a public school in Brooklyn.

Lately, she’s been concerned about the future of the planet.

Specifically, Zoe has been learning…

Our Darkening Universe

March 9th, 2018

21:29

Secrets of the universe? A glimpse of the whiteboard in the office of Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist Adam Riess.

Adam Riess was only 41 when he was named a Nobel Prize winner. The Johns Hopkins dist…

Introducing…Telescope!

February 23rd, 2018

8:20

Instead of grappling with the big, cosmic questions that preoccupy adults, this week on Orbital Path we’re doing something different.

We’re grappling with the big, cosmic questions that preoccupy kids.

I…

Star Death Tango

February 9th, 2018

24:10

On August 17, 2017, an alert went out.

Gravitational wave detectors in Louisiana and Washington state had detected a disturbance from deep space.

The effect was subtle — these detectors and a sister si…

Ozone Disaster Redux

January 26th, 2018

20:01

Scientists in 1985 discovered something that threatened the world we live in:

The ozone layer had a hole in it.

A big one. And this hole was growing very quickly. If it continued to grow, the consequen…

Fireside Physics: A Solstice on Saturn?

December 29th, 2017

17:00

In this darkest season of the year, Dr. Michelle Thaller and NASA astronomer Andrew Booth curl up by the fire. Gazing into the embers, red wine in hand, they consider the meaning of the winter solstice — on other plan…

From Another Star

December 15th, 2017

16:14

NASA’S office of planetary defense isn’t worried about Klingons or Amoeboid Zingatularians. 

They worry about asteroids and comets. 

Like the one that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013. It was ab…

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