Slacker Astronomy

From Podpedia
Slacker Astronomy
Hosted byAaron Price
Pamela Gay
Travis Searle
Doug Welch
Michael Koppelman
Lengthabout 15 minutes
Audio formatMP3
Original releaseFebruary 14, 2005; 19 years ago (2005-02-14) – present

Slacker Astronomy is a weekly audio podcast about astronomy news that aired weekly from February 14, 2005 to September 14, 2006. After that, it branched out as a video podcast, blog, forum and a wiki called Slackerpedia Galactica.[1]

The podcast was created by Aaron Price, who wrote most of the scripts and ran the web site. The on-air talent were Dr. Pamela Gay (who also wrote some of the scripts) and Travis Searle (who engineered most episodes).[2] At the time, Aaron and Travis worked for the American Association of Variable Star Observers and Pamela worked for the Harvard Science Center.

Slacker Astronomy peaked at #4 in the top 10 Science & Medicine podcasts in iTunes Store in January, 2006 and at the time reported 13,000 unique weekly listeners.[3] Its most popular show was downloaded by approximately 36,000 unique IPs after being featured on the frontpage of Slashdot on May 17, 2007.[4]

In addition to the weekly 5-10 minute show, there was another feed called Slacker Astronomy Extra where they published longer and unscripted shows, interviews and sound-seeing tours. The name 'Slacker Astronomy' was a trial name, and was meant to change early on in production but just stayed the same. The logo was designed by web cartoonist R. K. Milholland.

In September 2006, Pamela left the show and astronomer Dr. Doug Welch, Michael Koppelman and Rebecca Turner joined as hosts. Aaron began graduate school at the time, so had less time for script writing. These changes involved a format shift away from the scripted shows towards the more informal shows and video podcasts. In 2009, Doug and Michael were joined by Mike Simonsen as the official producers and primary hosts with Aaron and Travis occasionally contributing. Pamela Gay is now a co-host of the Astronomy Cast podcast but has made numerous cameo appearances.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Slackerpedia Galactica
  2. Slacker Astronomy history at the Slackerpedia Galactica wiki
  3. Price, Aaron; Gay, Pamela; Searle, Travis; Brissenden, Gina (April 2006). "A History and Informal Assessment of the Slacker Astronomy Podcast". Astronomy Education Review. 5 (1): 53–69. arXiv:astro-ph/0606326Freely accessible. Bibcode:2006AEdRv...5...53P. doi:10.3847/AER2006004. 
  4. Slashdot - May 17, 2007