The Daily Space

Dr. Pamela Gay, Beth Johnson, & Annie Wilson

Get your daily dose of all that's new in space and astronomy.

The sky is not the limit, as we bring you a fast-paced roundup of launches, landings, and everyday discoveries. The Daily Space is brought to you by the team behind CosmoQuest at the Planetary Science Institute, and features hosts Dr. Pamela L. Gay, Beth Johnson, & Annie Wilson. Daily Space is supported through Patreon at

All Episodes

We can't ignore the world we live in, and today we have a special message that reflects on the news around us.

Nov 19

5 min 36 sec

A new research project called the Virgo Environment Traced in Carbon Monoxide Survey (VERTICO) used data collected by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to understand just what is stripping star-forming gases out of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. Plus, calderas, a mass extinction, and this week’s What’s Up.

Nov 18

19 min 39 sec

On this week’s Rocket Roundup, SpaceX launches NASA astronauts and more Starlink satellites, and Arianespace launches military satellites for France. Plus, this week in rocket history we look back at the only launch of the Soviet Space Shuttle, Buran.

Nov 17

14 min 43 sec

After five years of observations, researchers have found that the quasi-satellite Kamo’oalewa, which currently orbits the Earth, is similar to a lunar sample collected during the Apollo 14 mission. Plus, Russia blows up a satellite, TESS finds a circumbinary planet, and we interview Dr. Gail Christeson of the University of Texas, Austin, about mapping Chicxulub crater.

Nov 16

25 min 30 sec

The Decadal Survey was released earlier this month, and we take a look at some of the recommendations. Plus, this week’s What’s Up and a review of the Canon RF 16mm f/2.8 lens.

Nov 16

19 min 32 sec

Rocket Roundup includes two long-delayed Chinese launches that finally go up along with another surprise Chinese launch and Russia launches a space station resupply. Plus, this week in rocket history, we look back at the first ISS expedition.

Nov 10

16 min 44 sec

After a bit of a scare, the aging Hubble Space Telescope has once again resumed its science operations with the ACS instrument brought back online. Plus, Landsat 9 released its first images and the Crew 2 Dragon splashed down safely. Then we interview Dr. Rosanne Di Stefano from the Center for Astrophysics about the potential discovery of the first extragalactic planet.

Nov 9

24 min 3 sec

Astronomers researching the G237 protocluster find 63 galaxies within, all producing stars and more galaxies at a high rate, acting as a “shipyard” for their region of the cosmos. Plus, Juno looks inside Jupiter’s cloud bands and a review of “Invasion” on AppleTV+

Oct 29

19 min 56 sec

Scientists have measured the composition of the hot Jupiter exoplanet WASP-77Ab using an instrument at the Gemini South observatory as the first step in creating a catalog of exoplanetary atmospheres. Plus, looking for ocean worlds and this week’s What’s Up.

Oct 28

18 min 55 sec

This week on Rocket Roundup, we cover a little bit of everything: French, Chinese, and Japanese rockets launch satellites into orbit, and South Korea attempts the first launch of their homemade Nuri rocket but fails to put its payload into orbit. This week in rocket history, we look back at the first Chinese crewed spaceflight, Shenzhou 5.

Oct 27

21 min 6 sec

A proposed mission called the Contemporaneous LEnsing Parallax and Autonomous TRansient Assay, or CLEoPATRA, seeks to work with the Nancy Grace Roman Telescope to find rogue planets not orbiting any star. Meanwhile, a possible planet has been discovered in the Whirlpool Galaxy and could be the first planet found outside the Milky Way. Plus, an interview with Dr. Margaret Meixner, Director of Science Mission Operations for the SOFIA telescope.

Oct 26

29 min 9 sec

Researchers looked at lensed galaxy systems, searched for nearby analogs to those distant systems, and found that in general, the systems showed signs of bingeing star formation and then quiet lulls. Plus, using tree rings to track Arctic ice changes, and this week’s What’s Up.

Oct 21

23 min 18 sec

This week, our Rocket Roundup includes crewed space flights from the U.S. and China, Russia launches more satellites for OneWeb, and NASA launches the Lucy spacecraft to visit asteroids near Jupiter. Plus, this week in rocket history, we look back at the launch of the Cassini mission to Saturn.

Oct 21

19 min 4 sec

Today we whirl through some of the stories that happened last week while we were on hiatus, including pretty images of two galaxies merging and a lovely supernova, as well as news about moons Europa and Titan. Plus, we interview Dr. Julie Rathbun, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute.

Oct 19

24 min 6 sec

A newly completed analysis of Perseverance’s first images from Mars finds that the landing site, Jezero Crater, was really a lake that was fed by a river, with sedimentary layers, flash floods, and strewn boulders. Plus, Central African biomass burning, Arctic permafrost melting, and we look at jewelry that celebrates upcoming missions.

Oct 8

21 min 8 sec

An analysis of the most recent sample taken from the Moon and returned by the Chang’e-5 mission shows that the basaltic rock is about two billions years old. This age implies a previously unknown heat source in the region. Plus, how plants and animals record climate change, and this week’s What’s Up.

Oct 7

20 min 6 sec

On this week’s Rocket Roundup: the latest crewed Soyuz launch, MS-19; a Cargo Dragon brings back science for NASA; and a JPL robot competes in a DARPA competition. Plus, this week in rocket history, we cover the grandparent of them all - Sputnik 1.

Oct 6

20 min 6 sec

Scientists analyzed the results of a stellar occultation when Pluto passed in front of a distant star and found that Pluto’s atmosphere is freezing to the surface as the planet moves away from the Sun. Plus, an interview with Dr. Kat Volk regarding Transneptunian space and the possibility of Planet 9.

Oct 5

21 min 28 sec

From the Great Oxidation Event to how Earth is dimming, we look at a selection of stories about how climate changes have affected the Earth in the distant past, the recent past, and the current time. Plus, we review an app called MeteorActive.

Oct 1

18 min 59 sec

From the Great Oxidation Event to how Earth is dimming, we look at a selection of stories about how climate changes have affected the Earth in the distant past, the recent past, and the current time. Plus, we review an app called MeteorActive.

Sep 30

19 min 12 sec

For Rocket Roundup, we have the latest in a long series of US weather satellites, a Chinese remote sensing satellite on a small rocket’s return to flight, and another secret Chinese satellite launched into an unusual orbit. Plus, this week in rocket history we look back at the first competition flight of SpaceShipOne.

Sep 29

20 min 3 sec

The inner solar system was a wild and wooly place as the planets were forming, and new research shows that the collisions that formed Earth and Venus were likely of the hit-and-run variety. Plus, polar ice loss warps the planet, and a black hole eats a star.

Sep 28

18 min 30 sec

Using data from the Hubble Telescope and the ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile, a team of scientists have successfully detected clouds on an exoplanet and even measured their altitude. Plus, fossil evidence of humans’ arrival in North America and a review of the first episode of “Foundation” on Apple TV+.

Sep 24

19 min 24 sec

While searching for objects deep in the universe’s history, at about three billion years of age, researchers found six massive but “dead” galaxies in Hubble and ALMA data, a strange finding for a time period known for prolific star birth. Plus, planetary science from the EPSC2021 conference and this week’s What’s Up.

Sep 23

19 min 18 sec

This week’s Rocket Roundup includes Inspiration4, the first all private citizen orbital spaceflight. Plus, a Chinese crew returns to Earth, and China sends up a resupply spacecraft to prepare for their next crewed expedition. And this week in rocket history looks back at the Surveyor 2 mission.

Sep 22

21 min 14 sec

A study of the feces of Adélie penguins from Inexpressible Island on the Ross Sea of the Antarctic sheds new light on how the avian population may survive during climate change. Plus, the possibility for life on Mars and understanding destructive meteors.  

Sep 21

20 min 10 sec

A supernova first observed in 2016 will be replayed in a few years because of the light’s journey through a galaxy cluster and how dark matter gravitationally warps space-time. Plus, inactive centaurs, a Scottish ice wall, and a review of “Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space”.

Sep 17

21 min

Research into the Toba caldera and its super-eruption 75,000 years ago shows that magma continued to flow out of the volcano for thousands of years after the main eruption event. Plus, magma and volcanoes throughout our solar system as well as our weekly What’s Up segment.

Sep 16

21 min 45 sec

The Rocket Roundup this week features two Chinese launches, including one we couldn’t cover last week, a Russian military satellite launch, and some more Starlink and OneWeb internet satellites. Plus, this week in rocket history, we discuss a groundbreaking mission that sent humans farther from Earth than ever before: Gemini 11.

Sep 15

16 min 57 sec

The discovery of multicellular algae specimens in an early Cambrian formation in China provides evidence of the change from cyanobacteria to more complex organisms with external membranes and cell walls. Plus, a new spacesuit is tested in Oregon, and we look at the real secrets of Stonehenge.

Sep 14

19 min 26 sec

Using a simple model based on granular physics, like those used for modeling sand or sugar deposits, scientists have recreated the diamond shape of asteroids Ryugu and Bennu in computer simulations. Plus, the origins of loner dwarf galaxies and this week’s What’s Up.

Sep 9

17 min 46 sec

Our Rocket Roundup is a launch bonanza, with launches from Arianespace, China, Blue Origin, Astra, SpaceX, and Firefly. Plus, this week in rocket history, we look back at the Luna 16 mission, which included the first successful robotic sample return from the Moon.

Sep 8

22 min 1 sec

Hycean worlds have hydrogen-rich atmospheres and are covered in oceans, making them prime candidates for the search for life outside our own solar system. These worlds are also more numerous and easier to find than Earth-like exoplanets. Plus, an update on the search for Planet 9 and how volcanoes may provide a climate safety valve.

Sep 7

18 min 31 sec

New research has pinpointed small, violent faults caused by the breakup of an ancient supercontinent as the potential cause of a major loss in the rock record of the Grand Canyon, known as the Great Unconformity. Plus, using sky mapping tools to find earthly tombs and a review of Andy Weir’s “Project Hail Mary.”

Aug 21

17 min 21 sec

We’re talking about particle physics today! An effect called the “triangle singularity” has been observed, and it describes how particles change identities by exchanging quarks. Plus, climate change news, and in this week’s What’s Up, Jupiter is at opposition.

Aug 19

21 min 36 sec

On this week’s Rocket Roundup, an Indian rocket fails and Arianespace launches a big satellite. Plus, Boeing can’t seem to get their act together. And this week in rocket history, we look back at the first mission to explore all of the outer planets - Voyager 2.

Aug 18

19 min 44 sec

A magnitude 7.2 earthquake shook the island nation of Haiti, destroying thousands of homes and resulting in the loss of over 1,400 people. Additionally, Tropical Depression Grace arrived and hampered rescue efforts. Plus, the asteroid Phaethon is outgassing sodium, studying Mars’ moons in the search for life, and how dust storms helped dry out Mars.

Aug 17

16 min 57 sec

Using a neutron spectrometer onboard the Dawn spacecraft, scientists have found elevated concentrations of hydrogen in Ceres’ Occator Crater, which provides evidence of an icy crust. Plus, everything is on fire in the western United States, and we review “The Past is Red” by Catherynne M. Valente.

Aug 13

16 min 12 sec

After careful analysis of orbital data, gravitational forces, and several other factors, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx team calculated the risk of a collision with near-Earth asteroid Bennu to be %0.057 through 2300. Plus, magnetites in meteorites reveal solar system history, and the constellation Ophiuchus is What’s Up.

Aug 12

17 min 7 sec

On this week’s Rocket Roundup, China launches two different rockets and an ISS resupply brings new technology and also student involvement. Plus, this week in rocket history, we look back at the impact the Landsat program has had on the monitoring of the Earth’s climate.

Aug 11

17 min 22 sec

Based on X-ray detections from the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, scientists used the Chandra X-ray Observatory and found rings called light echoes moving out from a black hole and its companion star, reflecting off the surrounding dust clouds. Plus, solving the puzzle of the Sun and using glassy nodules to find a meteorite impact.

Aug 10

15 min 27 sec

NASA’s TESS spacecraft, which is primarily used to search for exoplanets, has now observed a veritable symphony of pulsating red giant stars, each with their own internal vibrations. This work was presented at this week’s TESS Science Conference. Plus, some more climate change news (bad) and superflares may be less harmful to exoplanets than thought (good).

Aug 6

19 min 37 sec

Two new studies have possibly identified regions on the Moon’s surface that could contain pieces of the lunar mantle, which would be possible sample targets for the Artemis mission. Plus, Venus gets a double flyby next week, and it’s all about asteroids and meteor showers in this week’s What’s Up.

Aug 5

22 min 36 sec

On this week’s Rocket Roundup, China launches another military satellite, Rocket Lab returns to flight, Arianespace returns to flight, and a Chinese private rocket fails. Plus, this week in rocket history, we look back at the first time two crewed spacecraft from the same country were in orbit at the same time.

Aug 4

22 min 32 sec

Last year’s announcement that water ice had been found on the dayside of the Moon by the SOFIA observatory prompted scientists to understand just why that could work, and they found that the Moon’s rough surface creates frost pockets. Plus, all the climate change news over the millennia (Pamela’s back, everyone!).

Aug 4

16 min 28 sec

Continuing the ongoing saga of just what is under the Martian south polar ice caps, new research has once again analyzed radar data, and this time, scientists find that clays known as smectites are responsible for the bright reflections once thought to be subsurface lakes. Plus, drama with an ISS docking and some more oddball exoplanets to round out the week.

Jul 30

19 min 13 sec

Once again, science has proved Einstein’s theories correct. This time, observations taken with ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s NuSTAR space telescopes have seen x-ray flashes bent from behind a black hole. Plus, so many exoplanet stories (Beth was left in charge) and this week’s What’s Up.

Jul 29

17 min 47 sec

For this week’s Rocket Roundup, we have exactly zero launches to cover. What’s up with that? In the meantime, we talk about Europa Clipper’s launch announcement, Blue Origin’s attempt to be a part of Artemis, and what a NOTAM is and how we use it. Plus, this week in rocket history, we look back at the launch of the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Jul 29

20 min 24 sec

Scientists analyzed archival data from the Hubble Space Telescope and found evidence of water vapor in the atmosphere of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede. The water vapor is present due to thermal escape from the icy surface of the moon. Plus, a “fizzled” gamma-ray burst and all the exoplanets!

Jul 27

18 min 58 sec

In three new papers released this week, scientists analyzed data from NASA’s InSight lander to reveal the structure of Mars and its layers, including information about the planet’s crust, lithosphere, mantle and core. Plus, isotopes in an exoplanet’s atmosphere, a potential exomoon being formed, the heart of a radio galaxy, and black holes impeding stellar birth.

Jul 23

18 min 38 sec