The Jodcast


What is the Jodcast?

The Jodcast is a volunteer podcast about astronomy set up by astronomers based at the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank but aims to cover astronomy carried out all over the Earth and beyond.

A podcast is a combination of downloadable audio programmes (usually saved as an MP3) that you can subscribe to. You can listen online, on your MP3 player, burn it to a CD or even a cassette tape. The Jodcast is released (except where stated otherwise) under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 England & Wales Licence so you can take it away and create stuff with it. If you do amazing (or even slightly interesting) things with our podcast we would love to hear about it. So far Jodcast listener Gurdonark has created the Jodsong. We also keep a list of links to other astronomy-based webpages, although we can't guarantee it's up to date!

Updates to the Jodcast and new Team

With all of the original Jodcast folk moving on to new pastures and the subsequent three year hiatus, a lot of the original knowledge on how to run the website and produce each episode has been lost and has become very outdated. With the help of a few remaining old 'jodcasters' and a brand new bunch of keen PhD students we have taken the task of becoming the new editors, producers and hosts to the Jodcast with the hope to keep it going.

With this new team we hope to bring some new updates like this website. We are still working on updating all the episodes and making it functional so some links may still take you back to the old webpage/not work!

When is the Jodcast released & Where is it based?

A new programme is released near the start of each month. When we have content, we also release an "extra" show in the middle of the month.

We are based at Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire and at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics in Manchester. However, we will talk to astronomers based anywhere. If you happen to be an astronomer, why not drop us an email and we might interview you - however, we have a limited budget so if you live far away it will have to be via online means.

Why make a podcast?

As astronomers we love astronomy. We also love to tell other people about the things that interest us. Podcasting is a way to share our love of astronomy with a wider audience. When we started in early 2006 there were already a handful of astronomy podcasts in existence but we thought we would add our own international range of accents to the mix. Although the astro-podcasting world has since become a much larger and widely listened-to genre, we still believe the Jodcast stands alone in the content put out and cover aspects of astronomy that others don't.

The name 'Jodcast' and term 'Jod on':

Why did we choose the name 'The Jodcast'? The name arose because Tim wasn't listening properly when Stuart was explaining what a podcast was. We know it is cheesy but we like it.

Why do we say "Jod on!"? The term was coined by one of our listeners - Susan M. Lockwood - in an email. We liked it so much that we started using it ourselves.

Who produces the Jodcast & How is it made?

The Jodcast is made by the efforts of many people and full credits for each show can be found on the individual show notes pages. The Jodcast is created by the hard work of many people who do this in their spare time. Despite our time being free, equipment and travel isn't. During 2007 the Jodcast was proudly supported by grants from the Science and Technology Facilities Council and the Institute of Physics. These grants were used to buy some portable recording kit, and to make a special "Best of 2006" CD-ROM which we distributed to schools and educational groups. A second grant from STFC in 2008 was used to create video episodes of the Jodcast. A third grant from STFC in the latter half of 2009 kept the Jodcast going through to mid-2010.

The audio is brought together using the free software Audacity with the late Chris Capel's Dynamic Compressor plugin (following advice about the audio in Nov 2007 by listener Matt). The video is edited and produced with Adobe CS3 (thanks to STFC). The website is lovingly hand-crafted in HTML, CSS and XML. Although originally a combination of Python and Perl were used to do a lot of the website and episode development such as keeping the RSS updated, and allowing searching, we have now moved to using Python alone. Despite Perl being able to "do everything except make a nice relaxing cup of tea", new kids prefer Python since this does not give us a headache when trying to code or run the scripts!

Since 30 December 2008 our HD video feed has been using the Coral CDN to reduce the hammering our server was taking from the Miro Desktop client.


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Recent Episodes

  • Cover art for February 2024
  • Cover art for January 2024
  • Cover art for December 2021
  • Cover art for May 2021
  • Cover art for December 2020
  • Cover art for November 2020
  • Cover art for October 2020
  • Cover art for September 2020
  • Cover art for August 2020
  • Cover art for May 2020
  • Cover art for April 4 2020
  • Statistics

    Number of Episodes

    Number of countries reached

    Years Running



    Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics Alan Turing Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, United Kingdom