Monday, July 27, 2015

Blue Moons and Atmospheric Radiation


Source - Space Weather News for July 27, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

TRANSCONTINENTAL SPACE WEATHER BALLOON EXPERIMENT:  Last week, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus conducted a unique experiment in atmospheric radiation involving airplanes and high-altitude balloons launched simultaneously almost 3000 miles apart. For the next five days, we will be highlighting some of the results.  The news kicks off with some interesting measurements of cosmic radiation inside a commercial passenger jet.   Visit http://spaceweather.com for details.

BLUE MOON:  There's a full Moon this week and according to modern folklore it is a "Blue Moon."  Most Blue Moons are gray, as usual, but sometimes a Blue Moon can really turn blue.  Find out more about this phenomenon in today's edition of http://spaceweather.com

Summer Blue Moon


Source - NASA Science News for July 27, 2015

The second full Moon of July is just around the corner. According to modern folklore, it is a "Blue Moon."

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2015/27jul_bluemoon/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyBp-EYrwTA&feature=youtu.be



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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday 27 July 2015 - Skeptic Check: Are You Sure You’re Sure?














Big Picture Science - Skeptic Check: Are You Sure You’re Sure?

ENCORE: Nuclear fission powers the Sun. Or is it fusion? At any rate, helium is burned in the process, of that you are certain. After all, you read that article on astronomy last week*.
 
You know what you know. But you probably don’t know what you don’t know. Few of us do. Scientists say we’re spectacularly incompetent at recognizing our own incompetency, and that sometimes leads to trouble.
 
Find out why wrongness is the by-product of big brains and why even scientists – gasp! – are not immune. Plus, a peek into the trash bin of history: the biggest scientific blunders and the brighter-than-bright brains that made them. Including Einstein.
 
*Oh, and the Sun burns hydrogen to produce helium. But then, you knew that.
 
Guests:
•   David Dunning – Psychologist, Cornell University. His cover story, “We Are All Confidence Idiots,” appeared in the November/December issue of The Pacific Standard.
•   Robert Burton – Neurologist, author, On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not and A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind: What Neuroscience Can and Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves
•   Brendan Nyhan – Political scientist, Dartmouth College
•   Mario Livio – Astrophysicist, Space Telescope Science Institute, author, Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein – Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe


This encore podcast was first released on November 10, 2015.

Download episode at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/arewealone/BiPiSci15-07-27.mp3

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Predicting Floods


Source - NASA Science News for July 22, 2015

Predicting floods is notoriously tricky. Sponsored by NASA, a new computer tool known as the "Global Flood Monitoring System" is improving forecasts.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2015/22jul_floods/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: https://youtu.be/dfcr-4XmxNY



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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday 20 July 2015 - Moral’s Law












Big Picture Science - Moral’s Law

“If it bleeds, it leads” is the tried and true tenet of news.  Indeed, headlines are often no more than a long list of moral atrocities.  Yet one man argues that we’re living in the most civilized era in history.  And he credits this to scientific thought and reason. 

Hang on!  Our executive function isn’t enough to promote ethical behavior, says a psychologist.  The real fuel behind our drive to be good?  Anger, compassion, pride: your emotions!
 
But whether or not you’re a pillar of the community, good intentions might all be for naught when future ethical decisions are made by our silicon successors.  Get ready for moral machines. Or not.

Guests:

•   Michael Shermer - Publisher of Skeptic Magazine, author of The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom
•   David DeSteno – Psychologist, Northeastern University, author of The Truth About Trust
•   Colin Allen – Historian, philosopher of science and cognitive science, Indiana University.  Co-author of Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right From Wrong


Download episode at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/arewealone/BiPiSci15-07-20.mp3

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Space Weather Forecast for Pluto


Source - Space Weather News for July 12, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

SPACE WEATHER ON PLUTO: As NASA's New Horizons spacecraft prepares to buzz Pluto on July 14th, space weather forecasters have released long distance predictions for the distant dwarf planet.  A region of merged CMEs could be on the verge of hitting Pluto and compressing its atmosphere, but this is expected to happen well after the flyby. Meanwhile, New Horizons has just taken its best picture of Pluto's farside, which is dotted with mysterious dark spots.  Check http://spaceweather.com for more information.

AURORA ALERTS:  On July 10th and 11th, a G1-class geomagnetic storm sparked auroras over multiple US states including Michigan, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts and the Dakotas. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday 13 July 2015 - Forget to Remember












Big Picture Science - Forget to Remember

ENCORE: You must not remember this. Indeed, it may be key to having a healthy brain. Our gray matter evolved to forget things; otherwise we’d have the images of every face we saw on the subway rattling around our head all day long. Yet we’re building computers with the capacity to remember everything. Everything! And we might one day hook these devices to our brains.

Find out what’s it’s like – and whether it’s desirable – to live in a world of total recall. Plus, the quest for cognitive computers, and how to shake that catchy – but annoying – jingle that plays in your head over and over and over and …
Guests:
•   Ramamoorthy Ramesh – Materials physicist, deputy director of science and technology, Oakridge National Lab
•   Michael Anderson – Neuroscientist, Memory Control Lab, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at the University of Cambridge in the U.K.
•   Ira Hyman – Psychologist at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington
•   James McGaugh – Neurobiologist, University of California, Irvine
•   Larry Smarr – Professor of computer science, University of California, San Diego; director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2)


This encore podcast was first released on January 20, 2014

Download episode at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/arewealone/BiPiSci15-07-13.mp3

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://bigpicturescience.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Space Coffee


Source - Source - NASA Science News for July 10, 2015

Advances in the understanding of how fluids behave in low gravity is a key to an excellent cup of coffee in space.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2015/10jul_spacecoffee/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: http://youtu.be/dWuEVSCw8B8



Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday 06 July 2015 - Dogged Pursuit of Pluto




Big Picture Science - Dogged Pursuit of Pluto

Pluto is ready for its close up – but the near encounter during this historic flyby will last less than three minutes. Be ready for the action with our special New Horizons episode!

Hear from researchers who are Pluto rock stars: the astronomer who discovered two of Pluto’s five moons, the planetary scientist who coined the term “dwarf planet,” and the man who claims to have “killed Pluto.”

Find out how the New Horizons spacecraft will dodge rocks and other dangers as it approaches the planet and what we might learn about planet formation once we arrive. And why the battle over Pluto’s nomenclature continues.

Plus, Neil deGrasse Tyson reads his hate mail – from 3rd graders.

Guests:
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson – Astrophysicist, director of the Hayden Planetarium, New York City
  • Alan Stern – Planetary scientist, Principal Investigator, New Horizons mission
  • Mark Showalter – Senior research scientist, SETI Institute, New Horizons team member
  • Mike Brown – Astronomer, California Institute of Technology

Permalink: http://radio.seti.org/episodes/Dogged_Pursuit_of_Pluto

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

4th of July Geomagnetic Storm


Source - Space Weather News for July 4-5, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

A solar wind stream hit Earth's magnetic field on July 4th, sparking a moderately strong (G2-class) geomagnetic storm.  High-latitude sky watchers who receive this email before sunrise on July 5th should be alert for auroras. The hours around local midnight are usually the best times to look. 

Check http://spaceweather.com for updates.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Good, The Bad, and the Algae


Source - NASA Science News for July 2, 2015

With support from NASA, the EPA has developed an app to track algae that can threaten fresh water supplies.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2015/26jun_algae/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Wm3G8s8bxk



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Monday, June 29, 2015

Planets Converge for Sunset Sky Show


Source - Space Weather News for June 29, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

SUNSET SKY SHOW: The two brightest planets in the night sky are converging for a spectacular close encounter.  On June 30th, Jupiter and Venus will be just a fraction of a degree apart, forming a pair so bright that you can see them even before nightfall. Check http://spaceweather.com for observing tips and more.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday 29 June 2015 - What the Hack

Image for Big Picture Science weekly radio show
Big Picture Science - What the Hack

ENCORE: A computer virus that bombards you with pop-up ads is one thing. A computer virus that shuts down a city’s electric grid is another. Welcome to the new generation of cybercrime. Discover what it will take to protect our power, communication and transportation systems as scientists try to stay ahead of hackers in an ever-escalating game of cat and mouse.

The expert who helped decipher the centrifuge-destroying Stuxnet virus tells us what he thinks is next. Also convenience vs. vulnerability as we connect to the Internet of Everything. And, the journalist who wrote that Google was “making us stupid,” says automation is extracting an even higher toll: we’re losing basic skills. Such as how to fly airplanes.

Guests:

This encore podcast was first released on November 11, 2013.

Permalink: http://radio.seti.org/episodes/What_the_Hack

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Handprints on Hubble


Source - NASA Science News for June 26, 2015

As the Hubble Space Telescope celebrates its 25th anniversary, scientists are reflecting on the key role astronauts played in allowing the telescope to continue making great discoveries.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2015/26jun_handprints/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9fYj1YCGJ0&feature=youtu.be



Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Geomagnetic Storm Warning: June 22-23


Source - Space Weather News for June 22, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

GEOMAGNETIC STORM WARNING: A CME is heading directly for Earth, and it is expected to sweep up one or more lesser CMEs before it reaches our planet on June 22nd.  The combined impact is likely to spark polar geomagnetic storms and high-latitude auroras.   Visit http://spaceweather.com for more information and updates.

AURORA ALERTS:  Don't sleep through the auroras.  Get a phone call when geomagnetic storms are underway.  Space weather alerts are available from http://spaceweathertext.com (text) and http://spaceweatherphone.com (voice).