Hubblecast 78: Q&A with Dr J part 1
Last month we asked the public to send us their Hubble- and astronomy-related questions, and the response was incredible! In this episode Dr J answers a selection of the questions that were specifically about Hubble itself. These range from where Hubble is and how it avoids crashing into space debris, to what the future holds for Hubble, how its life will end, and what will take its place. Watch out for the next episode in which the more science-related questions will get their turn.
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What is Hubblecast?
Hubblecast is the name for Vodcasts produced by the ESA/Hubble team. A Vodcast is a short name for Video Podcast, and is a term used for the online delivery of video clips content via RSS.
Who is Dr. J?
Dr. J is the young enthusiastic host of the Hubblecast. He is a German astronomer at the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO). His scientific interests are in cosmology, particularly on galaxy evolution and quasars. Dr. J's real name is Joe Liske and he has a PhD in astronomy.
How can I watch Hubble Vodcasts?
You can watch Hubble Vodcasts on iTunes, that can be downloaded from this link. You can also watch them in any program that reads files in .m4v format (another name for .mp4 files encoded with the H.264 codec). One example is Quick Time Player, that can be downloaded from this link.
You can also use your favorite RSS feed aggregator and subscribe to the Hubblecast format of your choice. The links are provided below:
How can I receive and watch Hubble Vodcasts on my iPod?
- In iTunes, go to: Advanced -> Subscribe to Podcast
- In the URL field, type: http://www.spacetelescope.org/rss/vodcast.xml or
(depending on which version you want to receive)
- Click on OK
- On the left menu, click on the "Podcasts" section and you should see the "Hubble Space Telescope Vodcasts" there. The downloads should start automatically.
Every time you open iTunes it will look for new episodes and download them in that section.
- Then when you have your iPod connected to the computer you just drag and drop the episodes you want to watch to your iPod and voilá! You have it there!
- HD, or "HD-ready", is known as 720p and has a resolution of 720 lines vertically and 1280 picture elements horizontally. The letter “p” stands for progressive scan, which means that the lines of each frame are drawn in sequence. The frame rate is 24 frames per second.
- Full HD, also known as 1080i, is a video format with a staggering 1,080 lines of vertical resolution, and 1920 picture elements in the horizontal direction. The letter “i” stands for interlaced scan, which means that the lines of each frame are drawn interlaced. Each frame consists of 1920 × 1080 pixels — some two million pixels in total, with a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9. The frame rate is 50 frames per second.
Can you tell us something about the production process of Hubblecast?
There are some nice articles about the production of Hubblecast:
- "A Hands-on Guide to Video Podcasting", in the Communicating Astronomy with the Public Journal.
- "The Hubblecast – The world's first full HD video podcast?", in the Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2007 conference proceedings