WORT’s “Radio Astronomy” Delivers Astro News to Public
Jul 01, 2013
“Vacation to Mars!” and “Jupiter, Big Boss!” are recent Radio Astronomy programs on WORT 89.9 FM, Madison’s community radio station.
The Astronomy Department’s weekly 5-minute show, which airs at approximately 6:50 pm Tuesdays, is part of the station’s In Our Backyard local news broadcast. Grad students Blakesley Burkhart, Arthur Eigenbrot and Jenna Ryon tour the skies and inform listeners about current local astronomical events, news and department research. They interview professors, grad students, postdocs and visiting scientists and highlight Washburn Observatory and Space Place events.
“Radio Astronomy is a great, fun opportunity for the department to get out there, raise our visibility and get the word out,” says Burkhart. “It’s a chance for the department to advertise itself, brag about the research that’s being done, and promote Washburn Observatory, Space Place and anything else we’re involved in.”
If you miss a show, you can go online to the Radio Astronomy page on WORT’s website at www.wortfm.org/?page_id=670. In the future, shows may be streamed from the department’s website. They are also being turned into podcasts to impact a broader audience, and an iTunes podcast will be done. The podcast will be linked to the department website so that you can click and get information about the research being discussed on the show. “With the Web, we are able to further expand our reach,” says Ryon.
The show was started five years ago by former grad student Ryan Keenan. Lou Nigra, Blakesley Burkhart, and the current group of three grad students have followed his lead.