Sunday, September 28, 2014

Big Picture Science for Monday 29 September 2014 - Land on the Run

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Big Picture Science - Land on the Run

Hang on to your globe. One day it’ll be a collector’s item. The arrangement of continents you see today is not what it once was, nor what it will be tomorrow. Thank plate tectonics.

Now evidence suggests that the crowding together of all major land masses into one supercontinent – Pangaea, as it’s called – is a phenomenon that’s happened over and over during Earth’s history. And it will happen again. Meet our future supercontinent home, Amasia, and learn what it will look like.

Meanwhile, as California waits for the Big One, geologists discover that major earthquakes come in clusters. Also, our planet is not the only solar system body with tectonic activity. Icy Europa is a mover and shaker too.

And why is land in the western part of the U.S. literally rising up? Mystery solved!

Guests:

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

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, September 25, 2014

A Giant Among Earth Satellites


Source - NASA Science News for September 24, 2014

The launch of ISS-RapidScat onboard SpaceX-4 has kickstarted a new era for the International Space Station as a giant Earth-observing satellite.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/24sep_giantearthsat/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn8yezfH7HM&feature=youtu.be



License: Standard YouTube License

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

2014 Arctic Sea Ice Minimum Sixth Lowest on Record


Source - NASA Science News for September 22, 2014

Arctic sea ice coverage hit its annual minimum on Sept. 17, continuing a trend of below-average years. According to the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center, Arctic sea ice coverage in 2014 is the sixth lowest recorded since 1978.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/22sep_seaice/

Monday, September 22, 2014

NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Reaches Mars


Source - NASA Science News for September 22, 2014

On Sunday, Sept. 21st, NASA's MAVEN spacecraft successfully entered Mars orbit where it now will prepare to study the Red Planet's upper atmosphere as never done before.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/22sep_maven/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2R4yj7DtQbM&feature=youtu.be



License: Standard YouTube License

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Big Picture Science for Monday 22 September 2014 - As You Were

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Big Picture Science - As You Were

ENCORE: We all want to turn back time. But until we build a time machine, we’ll have to rely on a few creative approaches to capturing things as they were – and preserving them for posterity. One is upping memory storage capacity itself. Discover just how much of the past we can cram into our future archives, and whether going digital has made it all vulnerable to erasure.

Plus – scratch it and tear it – then watch this eerily-smart material revert to its undamaged self. And, what was life like pre-digital technology? We can’t remember, but one writer knows; he’s living life circa 1993 (hint: no cell phone).

Also, using stem cells to save the white rhino and other endangered species. And, the arrow of time itself – could it possibly run backwards in another universe?

Guests:

This encore podcast was first released on October 29, 2012

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

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, September 18, 2014

Colorful Lunar Eclipse


Source - NASA Science News for September 18, 2014

Mark your calendar: On Oct. 8th, the Moon will pass through the shadow of Earth for a total lunar eclipse. Sky watchers in the USA will see the Moon turn a beautiful shade of celestial red and maybe turquoise, too.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/18sep_lunareclipse/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmCK2Pfsh0Y&feature=youtu.be



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Surprising Dip in Stratospheric Radiation during Solar Storm


Source - Space Weather News for Sept. 17, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

RADIATION DIPS DURING SOLAR STORM: On Sept. 12th, student scientists in Califonornia launched a weather balloon to the stratosphere during the most intense solar storm of the year. They expected to measure an increase in energetic radiation.  Instead they measured a sharp drop. 

Their counterintuitive data and the interesting explanation for it are featured on today's edition of http://spaceweather.com

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Big Picture Science for Monday 15 September 2014 - Skeptic Check: Is It True?

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Big Picture Science - Skeptic Check: Is It True?

We often hear fantastic scientific claims that would change everything if true. Such as the report that algae is growing on the outside of the International Space Station or that engineers have built a rocket that requires no propellant to accelerate. We examine news stories that seem too sensational to be valid, yet just might be – including whether a killer asteroid has Earth’s name on it.

Plus, a journalist investigates why people hold on to their beliefs even when the evidence is stacked hard against them – from skepticism about climate change to Holocaust denial. And, why professional skeptics are just as enamored with their beliefs as anyone else.

Guests:

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

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, September 11, 2014

Jellyfish Flames on the ISS


Source - NASA Science News for September 11, 2014

Astronauts onboard the International Space Station report seeing flames that behave like jellyfish. Today's story features must-see video of the microgravity phenomenon.

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

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bE13FREpFVo&feature=youtu.be



License: Standard YouTube License

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Earth-Directed X-flare


Source - Space Weather News for Sept. 10, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

X-FLARE:  Active sunspot AR2158 erupted on Sept. 10th, producing a strong X1.6-class solar flare.  Because the sunspot is directly facing Earth, this is a geoeffective event.  HF radio blackouts and other communications disturbances have already been observed on the day-lit side of Earth. 

Stay tuned to http://spaceweather.com for more information and updates about the possibility of an Earth-directed CME and geomagnetic storms in the days ahead.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Long-duration Solar Flare


Source - Space Weather News for Sept. 9, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

This morning (Sept. 9th at 00:30 UT) the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2158 erupted, producing a long-duration solar flare and a bright CME.  The CME, which billowed away from the sun at nearly 1,000 km/s,  has an Earth-directed component.  A glancing blow is possible during the late hours of Sept. 11/early hours of Sept. 12.  High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the storm cloud arrives. 

Check http://spaceweather.com for more information and updates.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Big Picture Science for 09/08/14 - A Sudden Change in Planets

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Big Picture Science - A Sudden Change in Planets

A planet is a planet is a planet. Unless it’s Pluto – then it’s a dwarf planet. But even then it’s a planet, according to experts. So what was behind the unpopular re-classification of Pluto by astronomers, and were they justified?

As the New Horizons spacecraft closes in on this small body, one planetary scientist says that this dwarf planet could be more typical of planets than Mars, Mercury, and Saturn. And that our solar system has not 8 or even 9 planets, but 900.

Also, meet a type of planet that’s surprisingly commonplace, although we don’t have one in our solar system: super Earths. Could they harbor life?

And the DAWN mission continues its visit to the two most massive residents of the asteroid belt: Vesta and Ceres. Discover what these proto-planets may reveal to us about the early solar system.

Guests:
  • Alan Stern – Planetary scientist, Southwest Research Institute, Principal Investigator of the New Horizons mission
  • Marc RaymanDAWN Mission chief engineer and mission director
  • David Stevenson – Professor of planetary science at CalTech
  • Rebekah Dawson – Astronomer, postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley
  • David Eicher – Editor-in-chief, Astronomy Magazine

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

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, September 5, 2014

Rosetta Comet is Darker than Charcoal


Source - NASA Science News for September 5, 2014

A NASA instrument onboard Europe's Rosetta spacecraft has shown that the core of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is unusually dark--darker than charcoal-black--when viewed at ultraviolet wavelengths.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/05sep_rosetta/

Mystery in the Ozone Layer


Source - NASA Science News for September 5, 2014

Almost 30 years after the Montreal Protocol put the brakes on ozone-depleting chemicals, one compound remains stubbornly and mysteriously abundant in the atmosphere. NASA scientists are tracking down the source and studying its effect on the ozone layer.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/05sep_ozonelayer/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: http://youtu.be/rq9EAHyHtu8



License: Standard YouTube License

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Near-Earth asteroid flyby this weekend


Source - Space Weather News for Sept. 4, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

ASTEROID FLYBY:  On Sunday, Sept. 7th, a house-sized asteroid  named "2014 RC" will fly through the Earth-Moon system approximately 40,000 km from our planet. At closest approach,  the space rock will be almost inside the orbit of Earth's geosynchronous satellites.  Amateur astronomers, especially those in the southern hemisphere, may be able to observe the flyby.

Check http://spaceweather.com for more information.

AURORA WATCH: On Sept. 6th, a day before the asteroid flyby, a  CME is expected to deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field, setting the stage for a nice display of high-latitude auroras.  Geomagnetic storm alerts are available from http://spaceweathertext.com (text) and http://spaceweatherphone.com (voice).