Podcasts are more popular than ever, thanks in no small part to the ubiquitous variety of streaming services and smart devices where podcast episodes can be downloaded and listened to on a work commute, while cooking in the kitchen or during a nightly run.
Space and astronomy podcasts make for some of the most interesting and awe-inspiring shows, as astronomers, astronauts and astrophysicists take the mic and pump space science, stargazing advice and mind-blowing cosmology into our ears.
But where to start, and how can you know which space or astronomy podcast best suits your needs?
Whether you’re after practical astronomy advice or want to learn about the latest spaceflight missions, or whether you want to be mesmerised by theoretical astrophysics from the world’s leading science communicators, there’s bound to be a podcast for you.
Below we’ve picked out some of our favourite space and astronomy podcasts, perfect for when you’ve got an hour or two with nothing to do but lean back, put on the headphones and be amazed.
17 best space and astronomy podcasts
Find out how the European Space Agency’s astronauts and space scientists are pushing the limits of human and robotic spaceflight.
Jodrell Bank Observatory is one of the most famous observatories in the world, and for good reason. We can thoroughly recommend this monthly podcast produced by astronomers and volunteer podcasters from the University of Manchester, including practical advice on what to see in the night sky.
Houston We Have a Podcast
The official podcast of NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Need we say more?
At the risk of a shameless self-plug, we couldn’t create a ‘best space podcasts’ list without including our own! Each month the BBC Sky at Night Magazine team talk astronomy and spaceflight. Featuring regular guests and special one-off episodes.
Royal Observatory Greenwich Podcast
Monthly stargazing guides and interviews with space scientists, brought to you from the team at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
The Supermassive Podcast
Science journalist Izzie Clarke and astrophysicist Dr Becky Smethurst discuss the latest astronomy research in their monthly podcast for the Royal Astronomical Society. Expect practical astronomy advice, answers to the biggest cosmic questions and snippets from the RAS’s illustrious history.
Watch the latest vodcasts from the team behind the European Southern Observatory, covering the latest discoveries in space science and exciting news about big topics such as exoplanets and black holes.
Get the latest updates from the Hubble Space Telescope with this regular vodcast of short videos explaining some of the fundamentals of astronomy and cosmology.
The Planetary Society is well-known for its extensive coverage of space missions humanity’s exploration of the cosmos. The society’s fun, accessible style works well as a podcast, with regular episodes covering breaking space news.
Science Focus Podcast
Our friends over at BBC Science Focus Magazine produce a regular podcast covering all things science, including a hefty amount of astronomy and space-related episodes.
BBC space podcasts
A range of space-related podcasts is available on the BBC website, pulling in the latest coverage from across the Beeb.
If you’re a fan of the popular space website Universe Today, you might be pleased to hear they have a regular podcast hosted by Fraser Cain.
Cool Space News
Regular readers of BBC Sky at Night Magazine may be familiar with US space writer and journalist Rod Pyle, who pens many of our articles covering the history of spaceflight and NASA. Rod hosts a regular podcast during which he provides an update on the latest happenings at Mission Control, and beyond.
Star Signs Live
Astronomer Tom Kerss – formerly of the Royal Observatory Greenwich – has launched a new weekly podcast that reveals what’s visible in the night sky. If you’re just getting started in astronomy and need a little guidance, this is the podcast for you!
Londoners Matt and Jamie discuss all things space in this weekly podcast, covering astrophysics, spaceflight and cosmology, and featuring some big-name interviewees.
Ralph, Paul and Jeni discuss astronomy news and what you can see in the night sky each month. Plus, expert interviews and chat about the UK astronomy scene.
Neil deGrasse Tyson needs no introduction. Listen to the US astronomer’s award-winning podcast for cosmic pondering and interviews with special guests.
What are your favourite space and astronomy podcasts? Let us know by emailing email@example.com.