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Orbital Path
Orbital Path

Astronomer Michelle Thaller takes a look at the big questions of the cosmos and what the answers can reveal about life here... more

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Building 29

Orbital Path signs off with a site visit to NASA’s mysterious and extraordinary building 29.

21 Dec 2018 · 31 minutes
Hello, Asteroid!

Billion-year-old asteroid dust, coming right up!

30 Nov 2018 · 20 minutes
Black Holes from the Dawn of Light

Astronomers investigate a mystery that is 13 billion years old.

26 Oct 2018 · 22 minutes
Space Lasers for the Home Planet

NASA develops a futuristic space laser. Launches it into orbit. And aims it directly back at planet Earth.

28 Sep 2018 · 23 minutes
Brian Greene goes to 11 — again

Humans! Time to get over your three-dimensional selves. 
Brian Greene — world renowned physicist, bestselling author, NOVA host, and serial Colbert... more

31 Aug 2018 · 30 minutes
The Universe of Leonard Susskind

Has a Bronx plumber’s son become the Einstein of our time?

27 Jul 2018 · 27 minutes
Mars Goes Organic

Three billion years ago, there were organic molecules on Mars. But was there life?

29 Jun 2018 · 28 minutes
Earth, Desert Planet?

Adults don’t have all the answers — or all the questions. In our second edition of TELESCOPE, Michelle grapples with... more

23 Mar 2018 · 6 minutes
Our Darkening Universe

Adam Riess was only 41 when he was named a Nobel Prize winner. The Johns Hopkins distinguished professor of astronomy... more

09 Mar 2018 · 21 minutes

Adults don’t have all the answers — or all the questions. So Michelle takes on some astronomical queries from 8th-graders.

23 Feb 2018 · 8 minutes
Star Death Tango

In the time of the dinosaurs, two stars spiraled to their deaths. And 130 million years later, they taught humans... more

09 Feb 2018 · 24 minutes
Ozone Disaster Redux

Science for science’s sake may be luxury we can do all without — until, as happened during the 1980s, it... more

26 Jan 2018 · 20 minutes
Fireside Physics: A Solstice on Saturn?

In this darkest season of the year, Dr. Michelle Thaller and NASA astronomer Andrew Booth curl up by the fire.... more

29 Dec 2017 · 17 minutes
From Another Star

NASA has been on the lookout for rogue asteroids for years. Then astronomers in Hawaii glimpsed a massive, cigar-shaped object... more

15 Dec 2017 · 16 minutes
Winter’s Night Sky

These days, astrophysicists like Dr. Michelle Thaller use instruments to probe the distant reaches of our galaxy, and far beyond.... more

01 Dec 2017 · 11 minutes
Aliens Again!

Almost two years ago, Orbital Path launched with an episode on our fascination with space aliens. But what’s really going... more

17 Nov 2017 · 16 minutes
Time and Space in the Kingdom of Bhutan

Physicists are coming to terms with a strange new concept of Time — strange and new, perhaps, to many western... more

03 Nov 2017 · 9 minutes
The 11 Dimensions of Brian Greene

It’s time we get over out three-dimensional selves. 
Brian Greene — world renowned astrophysicist, New York Times bestselling author, NOVA host,... more

20 Oct 2017 · 29 minutes
Minisode 5: Scary Math

Michelle and NASA astronomer Andrew Booth retreat to the comfort of the hot tub — and Andrew reveals one of... more

29 Sep 2017 · 11 minutes
Episode 22: Journey to the Sun

People have dreamed of making this trip for millennia. Next year NASA launches the first ever voyage to the sun.

15 Sep 2017 · 18 minutes
Minisode 4: Hot Tub Physics!

NASA astronomer Andrew Booth joins Michelle in the hot tub to drink a glass of chardonnay, and talk weird science.

01 Sep 2017 · 11 minutes
Episode 21: First Light

There was a time before planets and suns. A time before oxygen. You could say there was time, even, before... more

18 Aug 2017 · 22 minutes
Episode 20: Holy Sheet!

NASA is relying on hi-tech lasers — and some vintage U.S. Navy hand-me-downs — to learn about the polar regions... more

04 Aug 2017 · 20 minutes
Mini-sode 3: Dr. Thaller Helps You Prep for The Eclipse

The big one is coming! That is, the total solar eclipse of Aug. 21. Dr. Thaller shares her wisdom on... more

21 Jul 2017 · 11 minutes
Mini-sode 2: What up, Jupiter?

Recently, we’ve started to get the first images back from Juno, which is on a mission to Jupiter. Host Dr.... more

30 Jun 2017 · 6 minutes
Episode 19: We Are Stardust

Dr. Michelle Thaller visits the NASA lab that discovered that meteorites contain some of the very same chemical elements that... more

21 Jun 2017 · 16 minutes
Episode 18: Cassini Countdown

When the Cassini spacecraft blasted into space on October 15, 1997, even the most optimistic scientists would have had a... more

23 May 2017 · 22 minutes
Making (Gravitational) Waves

Nearly 100 years after Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves — huge undulations in the fabric of space-time itself... more

21 Apr 2017 · 26 minutes
Mini-sode 1: NASA’s NICER Mission

Listeners, you requested more episodes, so we present the first of our mini episodes. They’ll arrive two weeks after each... more

03 Apr 2017 · 6 minutes
Lessons in Landslides

Space science can help track what's happening on Earth. In this podcast episode, Orbital Path talks landslides and the satellites... more

20 Mar 2017 · 22 minutes
Space Robots to Europa!

Galileo discovered Europa, Jupiter’s fourth-largest moon, in 1610. In 1977, the Voyager spacecraft buzzed past and we realized it was... more

24 Feb 2017 · 18 minutes
How the World Came Together to Avoid Ozone Disaster

In 1985, the British Antarctic Survey discovered something that shocked scientists around the world: the ozone layer had a hole... more

23 Jan 2017 · 18 minutes
Warning: Space May Wreak Havoc on Your Body

Going to Mars is hot right now, just ask Matt Damon. But would you go if you knew your bones... more

16 Dec 2016 · 14 minutes
In Search of Planet 9

An Orbital Path episode all about...an orbital path! Planet 9's, to be exact. The replacement for Pluto as our solar... more

19 Nov 2016 · 16 minutes
Black Hole Breakthroughs

Scientific discovery can happen in two ways: "Eureka!" moments of sudden understanding, where researchers glean unexpected insight into new phenomena.... more

22 Oct 2016 · 13 minutes
Done in the Sun

The sun can seem like a friendly celestial body. But just as sun decided when life on Earth could begin,... more

30 Sep 2016 · 13 minutes
Howdy, Neighbor

When Proxima b's discovery appeared in Nature on August 24, the media breathlessly announced a new Earth-like planet just 4.2... more

02 Sep 2016 · 12 minutes
A Tale of Two Asteroids

The asteroid belt is portrayed in movies as a crowded place with massive rocks bouncing each other like pool balls,... more

22 Aug 2016 · 15 minutes
Chasing An Eclipse

Michael Kentrianakis loves eclipses and has seen them from all over the world. Host Michelle Thaller and Mike talk about... more

15 Jul 2016 · 17 minutes
A World Without Boundaries

From space, the view of earth has no boundaries for countries, no barriers to achievement. Michelle Thaller speaks with Aprille... more

15 Jun 2016 · 18 minutes
Michelle & Her Mom

In this special Mother's Day episode, Michelle talks with her mom about what it was like raising a space-obsessed daughter... more

29 Apr 2016 · 15 minutes
In Praise of Volcanoes

Astronomer Michelle Thaller talks with Ashley Davies, a research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, about the importance of volcanoes... more

07 Apr 2016 · 16 minutes
The Most Dramatic Sky

The most rare objects in the night sky are only visible in some extreme places. Dr. Michelle Thaller introduces us... more

18 Feb 2016 · 15 minutes
Mass Extinctions Get Personal

Host Dr. Michelle Thaller talks to Prof. Lisa Randall, a theoretical particle physicist at Harvard, about her new book, Dark... more

15 Jan 2016 · 17 minutes
Must Be Aliens

Why are humans so quick to attribute unknowns to the work of aliens? Featuring guest Phil Plait, the "Bad Astronomer".

11 Dec 2015 · 13 minutes
Orbital Path
Must Be Aliens
Orbital Path

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Why are humans so quick to attribute unknowns to the work of aliens? Featuring guest Phil Plait, the "Bad Astronomer".