Big Impact Astronomy Podcast

A Video Podcast About Heroes Using Space for the People of Earth

Join us on an adventure through the telescope to the stars and back. We'll visit people around the world who are having a big impact on the lives of others who share their place on Earth. Whatever our cultural differences, we share the same sky. We are all fellow passengers traveling through the galaxy on Spaceship Earth.

Why Astronomy?

Astronomy is the most accessible and universal of all the sciences. Where there are no labs in schools, there is an astronomy lab overhead. Where there is no culture of science, traditional lore connects people with the stars. In schools and universities, refugee camps, children’s hospitals, and more, astronomy is used to improve lives, communities, and society.

Enter the Heroes

Big Impact Astronomy features the work of the thousands of enthusiasts using astronomy – and its connection to all sciences and cultures – for social progress. These science evangelists introduce STEM in developing countries, encourage girls to consider STEM careers, provide relief, inspiration, and hope for young people in countries in crisis, and much more.

Adventures Await

From space agencies in the US to Ethiopia, countries in crisis from Ukraine to Libya, girls in Nigeria to camps for refugees from Boko Haram, and rural communities from Nepal to the US, these science evangelists bring the extraordinary down to Earth for inspiration, education, development, mental health, and peacebuilding. All under the one sky we all share.

Your Host

Mike Simmons, host of Big Impact Astronomy, has a 50-year history of leading astronomy organizations and projects, the last 25 years internationally. Astronomy has taken him around the world where he’s connected with the subjects of Big Impact Astronomy, seen their impact, and heard their stories. These are personal journeys for both the host and the guests.

Susan Murabana and Chu Owen

Susan and Chu founded the Traveling Telescope that brings science to communities and public spaces across Kenya. They also built the country’s first permanent planetarium from a native resource- bamboo.


Manisha Dwa

Manisha represents several international astronomy education organizations in Nepal and is a leader in the Nepal Astronomical Society and other national programs. She is also the founder of Women in Science Nepal. All while studying for her PhD.

Ethiopia and Other Countries in Africa
Mirjana Povic

Mirjana is a professional astronomer born and raised in Serbia during the Balkan Wars. Now in Africa, she works on many projects, inspiring students, especially women and girls, across the continent, and with a special focus on countries in crisis.

Yumna Majeed

Yumna is devoted to astronomy education in Pakistan. She inspires girls in cities and isolated rural regions to reach for the stars. Lacking support, she volunteers her time and covers her own expenses to follow her passion.

Belgium and the World
Jean-Pierre Grootaerd

Jean-Pierre founded Stars Shine for Everyone that builds mounts for donated telescopes for education in developing countries. Partnering with the International Astronomical Union, Jean-Pierre’s group has gifted telescopes that inspire students around the world.

Taiisia Karasova

Taiisia founded and leads AstroSandbox for Ukrainian astronomy students, keeping them looking skyward with hope during the war. AstroSandbox creates courses, organizes national programs, and prepares students for international competitions.

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