Cosmoparticle Initiative


Never Mind the Spacerocks - Seeing The Invisible Universe

27 January 2020

Hiranya Peiris and Andrew Pontzen feature in the inaugural podcast of the Royal Astronomical Society to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the society's inception.



The RAS bicentenary outreach and engagement celebration

RAS 2020

To celebrate its bicentennial, the Royal Astronomical Society has established an Outreach and Engagement Fund to support astronomy and geophysics projects that create a real buzz about science – understanding, discussion and dialogue – in diverse sections of the community.


Included in the programme of activities is setting up a monthly podcast, to which Hiranya Peiris and Andrew Pontzen were invited to contribute for the inaugural launch. 

The topic: Seeing the invisible Universe

From black holes to dark matter, this first episode of the RAS's podcast invited Hiranya and Andrew to explore the odd things in space we can't see. Plus, the hosts, University of Oxford Astrophysicist Dr Becky Smethurst and science journalist Izzie Clarke, are entrusted with a book from 1566 and Robert Massey, the Deputy Executive Director of the RAS, shares his top tips for stargazing at home.


Hiranya (3:30-9:30) explains what an event horizon is, how black holes are created, the effect on light and time and how their presence is inferred. Andrew (24:00-30:00) talks about the mystery of dark matter and why it is crucial for astronomers’ understanding of galaxy formation.


Listen to the podcast here