The ESOcast is an online video podcast or ‘vodcast’ series dedicated to bringing viewers the latest news and research from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) ‘on-demand’. The episode presented in the Festival, Episode 6, delivers news of the thrilling discovery of the lightest world outside our Solar System, or exoplanet, to date. It also reports that another known exoplanet’s orbit around its star has been measured more accurately. The dramatic results reveal that liquid water could exist on the exoplanet’s surface, making this world the closest analogue to our home, the Earth.
To convey these exciting cosmic happenings, the ESOcast episode relies on sterling audiovisual quality, coupling graphics and photographs with a melodic score. The viewer is shown the impressive observatories with their high-tech instruments that made the discoveries possible, and artists’ renderings portray the potential beauty of these distant worlds.
The engaging host, ESO scientist Joe Liske (A.K.A. ‘Dr. J’), and the narrator provide lucid descriptions to make the science compellingly understandable. Geared towards educators, the casual astronomer, and anyone curious about space, the ESOcast is a hit, and Episode 6 has been among the most-viewed since the series began October 2008.