Monday, April 14, 2014

Possible New Moon Forming Around Saturn


Source - NASA Science News for April 14, 2014

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/14apr_newmoon/

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Colorful Lunar Eclipse set for Tuesday Morning


Source - Space Weather News for April 13, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE: On Tuesday morning, April 15th, the full Moon will pass through the shadow of Earth, producing a colorful lunar eclipse.  Although the mainstream media is calling this a "blood moon," the color is more likely to be bright orange.  At the moment, Earth's stratosphere is not dusty enough produce a shadow with the deep red hues of blood.  Whatever color it turns out to be, the eclipse will be visible from North and South America, Australia and New Zealand.   Check http://spaceweather.com for observing tips and more information.

LIVE WEBCAST OF THE ECLIPSE: Got clouds? No problem. The lunar eclipse will be broadcast live on the web by the Coca-Cola Science Center at Columbus State University in Georgia: http://www.ccssc.org/webcast.html

Big Picture Science for 04/14/14 - That's Containment!

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Big Picture Science - That's Containment!

ENCORE: We all crave power: to run laptops, charge cell phones, and play Angry Birds. But if generating energy is easy, storing it is not. Remember when your computer conked out during that cross-country flight? Why can’t someone build a better battery?

Discover why battery design is stuck in the 1800s, and why updating it is key to future green transportation (not to mention more juice for your smartphone). Also, how to build a new type of solar cell that can turn sunlight directly into fuel at the pump.

Plus, force fields, fat cells and other storage systems. And: Shock lobster! Energy from crustaceans?

Guests:
  • Dan Lankford – Former CEO of three battery technology companies, and a managing director at Wavepoint Ventures
  • Jackie Stephens – Biochemist at Louisiana State University
  • Kevin MacVittie – Graduate student of chemistry, Clarkson University, New York
  • Nate Lewis – Chemist, California Institute of Technology
  • Alex Filippenko – Astronomer, University of California, Berkeley
  • Peter Williams – Physicist, San Francisco Bay Area

This encore podcast was first released on February 4, 2103

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

Friday, April 11, 2014

Separated at Launch: NASA to Study Twin Astronauts


Source - NASA Science News for April 10, 2014

In 2015, with the assistance of the world's only twin astronauts, NASA will conduct an unprecedented experiment in human biology. While one twin remains on the ground, the other will circle Earth aboard the International Space Station for a full year. Will the twins still be identical when they are re-united? The answer could help NASA make space travel safer for generations of astronauts to come.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/10apr_twins/

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



License: Standard YouTube License

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Big Picture Science for 04/07/14 - Since Sliced Bread

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Big Picture Science - Since Sliced Bread

Happy Birthday, World Wide Web! The 25-year-old Web, along with the Internet and the personal computer, are among mankind’s greatest inventions. But back then, who knew?

A techno-writer reminisces about the early days of the WWW and says he didn’t think it would ever catch on.

Also, meet an inventor who claims his innovation will leave your laptop in the dust. Has quantum computing finally arrived?

Plus, why these inventions are not as transformative as other creative biggies of history: The plow. The printing press. And… the knot?

And, why scientific discoveries may beat out technology as the most revolutionary developments of all. A new result about the Big Bang may prove as important as germ theory and the double helix.

Guests:

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

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.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Deep Ocean Detected Inside Saturn's Moon Enceladus


NASA Science News for April 3, 2014

NASA's Cassini spacecraft and Deep Space Network have uncovered evidence that Saturn's moon Enceladus harbors a large underground ocean, furthering scientific interest in the moon as a potential home to extraterrestrial microbes.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/03apr_deepocean/

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Arctic Melt Season Lengthens


Source - NASA Science News for April 1, 2014

A new study shows that the length of the melt season for Arctic sea ice is growing by several days each decade. This is allowing the Arctic Ocean to absorb enough additional solar radiation in some places to melt as much as four feet of the Arctic ice cap's thickness.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/01apr_arcticice/

Mars Brightens in the Night Sky


Source - NASA Science News for April 1, 2014

Dust off your telescope. Earth and Mars are converging for a beautiful close encounter in April, an event astronomers call "the opposition of Mars."

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/28mar_opposition/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xngUpUyyT70



License: Standard YouTube License

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Big Picture Science for 03/31/14 - Skeptic Check: Evolutionary Arms Race

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Big Picture Science - Skeptic Check: Evolutionary Arms Race

It’s hard to imagine the twists and turns of evolution that gave rise to Homo Sapiens. After all, it required geologic time, and the existence of many long-gone species that were once close relatives. That may be one reason why – according to a recent poll – one-third of all Americans reject the theory of evolution. They prefer to believe that humans and other living organisms have existed in their current form since the beginning of time.

But if you’ve ever been sick, you’ve been the victim of evolution on a very observable time scale. Nasty viruses and bacteria take full advantage of evolutionary forces to adapt to new hosts. And they can do it quickly.

Discover how comparing the deadly 1918 flu virus with variants today may help us prevent the next pandemic. Also, while antibiotic resistance is threatening to become a major health crisis, better understanding of how bacteria evolve their defenses against our drugs may help us out.

And the geneticist who sequenced the Neanderthal genome says yes, our hirsute neighbors co-mingled with humans.

It’s Skeptic Check … but don’t take our word for it!

Guests:

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

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.

X-Flare Produces 'Magnetic Crochet'


Source - Space Weather News for March 30, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

X-FLARE:  The magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2017 erupted yesterday, March 29th, producing an impulsive X1-class solar flare.  Ionizing radiation from the flare produced electrical currents in Earth's upper atmosphere and a ripple in Earth's magnetic field detected by magnetometers across the dayside of our planet. 

Read more about this rare "magnetic crochet" and the possibility of more X-flares this weekend on today's edition of http://spaceweather.com.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Tetrad of Lunar Eclipses


Source - NASA Science News for March 27, 2014

A total lunar eclipse on April 15th marks the beginning of a remarkable series of eclipses, all visible from North America.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/27mar_tetrad/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gzgSuJM5O8



License: Standard YouTube License

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Surprise! An Asteroid with Rings


Source - Space Weather News for March 26, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

STRANGE BUT TRUE:  Astronomers peering into the outer solar system have found something surprising--an asteroid with rings.  The discovery has sparked a debate about how such a thing is possible and prompted a search for tiny moons threading through the asteroid's ring system.

Get the full story from http://spaceweather.com

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Big Picture Science for 03/24/14 - Do the Math

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Big Picture Science - Do the Math

ENCORE: One plus one is two. But what’s the square root of 64, divided by 6 over 12?* Wait, don’t run for the hills! Math isn’t scary. It helps us describe and design our world, and can be easier to grasp than the straight edge of a protractor.

Discover how to walk through the city and number-crunch simultaneously using easy tips for estimating the number of bricks in a building or squirrels in the park. Plus, why our brains are wired for finger-counting … whether aliens would have calculators … and history’s most famous mathematical equations (after e=mc2).

*The answer is 16

Guests:

This encore podcast was first released July 2012

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

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.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Big Picture Science for 03/17/14 - You Think; You're So Smart

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Big Picture Science - You Think; You're So Smart

Sure you have a big brain; it’s the hallmark of Homo sapiens. But that doesn’t mean that you’ve cornered the market on intelligence. Admittedly, it’s difficult to say, since the very definition of the term is elusive. Depending on what we mean by intelligence, a certain aquatic mammal is not as smart as we thought (hint: rhymes with “caulpin”) … and your rhododendron may be a photosynthesizing Einstein.

And what I.Q. means for A.I. We may be building our brilliant successors.

Guests:

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

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.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Big Picture Science for 03/10/14 - We Heart Robots

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Big Picture Science - We Heart Robots

ENCORE: The machines are coming! Meet the prototypes of your future robot buddies and discover how you may come to love a hunk of hardware. From telerobots that are your mechanical avatars … to automated systems for the disabled … and artificial hands that can diffuse bombs.

Plus, the ethics of advanced robotics: should life-or-death decisions be automated?

And, a biologist uses robo-fish to understand evolution.

Guests:

This encore podcast was first released on January 21, 2013

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

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.