Western Worlds lands on computer near you

If you can’t get enough of planetary sciences, then AFM*Radio is right up your galaxy.

Founded in 2009 by a group of like-minded professional and amateur astronomers as an outreach organization, the Norristown, Penn.-based group is the only 24-hour Internet radio station dedicated to astronomy and other sciences. And now, Western University’s Centre for Planetary Science & Exploration (CPSX) will be broadcasting its news and views to more than 20,000 listeners in 85 countries with its new weekly show, Western Worlds.

“Given the tremendous growth in planetary science and exploration that we have seen in the past few years here in Canada, the time seemed right to launch a show that discusses what is going on in this field,” said Western post-doctoral fellow John Moores. While at York University, Moores was a guest host on the York Observatory radio program Live From YorkU, which runs on AFM*Radio.

AFM*Radio is entirely funded through donations from its audience and all revenue is spent on hardware, software, radio programming and broadcast bandwidth.

At Western, where CPSX is already one of the largest planetary science centres in the world, Moores sees this latest venture as the perfect vehicle to share the university’s talents with the world.

“Without having to go outside the walls of our own university, we have experts in planetary geology, astrobiology, atmospheres, remote sensing, spacecraft missions and the formation and evolution of planetary systems, just to name a few areas,” Moores said. “That makes for more than just a rich pool of potential interview subjects, it also gives us a large and talented cadre of interviewers. O; our graduate students have been exposed to interdisciplinary work from day one and have the tools to really get to the heart of what’s interesting and current about today’s planetary science and exploration research.”

CPSX outreach co-ordinator Alyssa Gilbert says the show, scheduled to begin airing shortly, includes the work of a dozen volunteers. Each show will be 30 minutes, and will include a 20-minute interview followed by a 10-minute round-table discussion of that interview. The show will air 10 p.m. Mondays.

“Ultimately, the application of exploration technologies in space has the potential to improve our daily lives and to help us to understand the world on which we live, and its context, a little better,” Moores said. “That’s the story we hope to tell on Western Worlds.”



Follow Western Worlds through the CPSX website, Facebook and Twitter.