April 20, 2020

Earthrise

Posted by Shane Hanlon

Apollo 8 mission insignia. Credit: NASA

On 24 December 1968, humans witnessed our home planet rise over the horizon of another world for the first time. The crew of

Apollo 8 looked up from the Moon to see the blue and white swirls of Earth poised above the stark grey lunar surface—a single oasis in a big, dark universe. The moment, captured on 70mm color film, captivated audiences back on Earth. It fueled the environmental movement and the first Earth Day, which convened a little over a year later, on 22 April 1970.

For the 50th Earth Day, we talk with Ernie Wright, a programmer and producer for the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Wright recreated that iconic Earthrise photo and animated it with the kind of 3D animation software Hollywood uses to bring CGI landscapes to life, using detailed surface images and altimetry from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. He talks about recreating the moment with Apollo 8 astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders, and how he used math to solve a puzzle about who took the famous photo.

This episode was produced by Liza Lester and mixed by Lauren Lipuma.

Transcript:

Shane Hanlon (00:00):

Okay. Hi Lauren.

Lauren Lipuma (00:03):

Hi Shane.

Shane Hanlon (00:03):

Hi Liza.

Liza Lester (00:04):

Hi Shane.

Shane Hanlon (00:05):

I know we are Nancy-less today but we will…

Lauren Lipuma (00:09):

Try to fill her shoes.

Shane Hanlon (00:10):

I was going to say we’re like a rudderless ship.

Liza Lester (00:14):

Fill her voice?

Lauren Lipuma (00:15):

We are. I don’t know if we can do that.

Shane Hanlon (00:15):

There’s no filling that voice, and I mean that in the best way possible.

Shane Hanlon (00:18):

So I’ll pitch my questions to all of you. Have you ever… Growing up for Earth Day, or even like Arbor Day or something like that, did you ever go out and plant trees or do cleanups or road cleanups? Do you know what I’m talking about?

Liza Lester (00:32):

I think we picked up litter.

Lauren Lipuma (00:33):

Yeah. We did a lot of litter-picking-up-of.

Liza Lester (00:34):

And there was a recycling drive.

Lauren Lipuma (00:36):

Yeah.

Shane Hanlon (00:36):

Yeah. But anyways we’re talking about all of this because today is Earth Day.

Lauren Lipuma (00:44):

Earth Day!

Liza Lester (00:45):

It’s the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Shane Hanlon (00:47):

The 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Lauren Lipuma (00:48):

50 Earth Days.

Liza Lester (00:48):

Or 50 Earth Days, yeah.

Shane Hanlon (00:51):

We were talking about this. Earth Day was kind of… The original emphasis was on recycling and just literally cleaning up the Earth.

Liza Lester (00:59):

Yeah. And a lot of polluted water ways and just things that had gotten out of control in the 20th century and they were thinking, “How do we put the brakes on this? How do we clean up the mess we’ve made in our industrialization?” I think there was a big push for environmental regulations around that time.

Lauren Lipuma (01:15):

Yeah, the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act started around there.

Liza Lester (01:19):

Exactly. It was kind of like this big school’s teaching moment. Get everybody outside.

Shane Hanlon (01:32):

Welcome to the American Geophysical Union’s podcast about the scientists and the methods behind the science. These are the stories you won’t read in a manuscript or hear in a lecture. I’m Shane Hanlon.

Lauren Lipuma (01:42):

I’m Lauren Lipuma.

Liza Lester (01:42):

And I’m Liza Lester.

Shane Hanlon (01:44):

This is Third Pod from the Sun.

Shane Hanlon (01:52):

Okay, so on this 50th anniversary we’re actually going to talk about something that might not be… Well, it’s not on the Earth, it is the Earth. It’s the Earthrise photo, which I remember seeing but never actually thought about. Maybe, Liza, you can explain exactly what this is.

Liza Lester (02:10):

Yeah. This is this iconic photo from December 24, 1968. It was taken by the Apollo 8 astronauts. They were the first people to go around the moon and orbit it. And they took this photo of the Earth rising over the surface of the moon. You see that gray surface and the black background and then just that bright blue tiny orb.

Lauren Lipuma (02:33):

Blue marble?

Liza Lester (02:34):

Blue marble coming up over the…

Shane Hanlon (02:36):

[crosstalk 00:02:36].

Liza Lester (02:35):

Yeah. There’s also the blue marble photograph that came out a few years later of the Earth in the closeup, but I think this really affected people back home. They were thinking about going to the moon but then they saw our planet against that blackness.

Shane Hanlon (02:50):

Yeah. It’s inspirational, I guess, or awe-inspiring.

Liza Lester (02:54):

I think so, yeah.

Shane Hanlon (02:55):

So you all talked to someone who had something to do with this, correct?

Liza Lester (03:00):

That’s right. We talked to a programmer and animator that works at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center. His name is Ernie Wright. He reconstructed what the astronauts on the Apollo 8 capsule saw as the Earth rose over the surface of the moon using more modern data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and this iconic photograph.

Lauren Lipuma (03:19):

Didn’t he also figure out who took the photograph?

Liza Lester (03:21):

Yeah. So then while he was figuring this out it turned out there was this longstanding controversy about which of the three astronauts had actually taken the photo.

Shane Hanlon (03:31):

So we don’t… or I guess we might know, but we hadn’t known before? Who is credited with it for the most part?

Liza Lester (03:37):

Frank Borman was maybe the most assertive, I guess, in stating that he had taken the photo and that his fellow astronaut Bill Anders had been like, “No, we have to stick to the schedule,” because this is this unplanned photo. It’s one the few unscripted things that happened. I think that lended that feeling of awe, was it wasn’t part of the plan. They were looking at the surface of the moon and then the capsule rotated up and they saw the Earth and it was like, “We’ve got to get this shot to share with [inaudible 00:04:08] back home.”

Lauren Lipuma (04:09):

So cool.

Liza Lester (04:10):

Yeah, so there was this question of who had actually taken the photo and he solves it.

Shane Hanlon (04:16):

That’s exciting.

Frank Borman (04:20):

All right, we’re going to roll.

Bill Anders (04:27):

Oh my god, look at that picture over there. That is the Earth coming up. Wow, that’s pretty.

Frank Borman (04:32):

Hey, don’t take that. It’s not scheduled.

Bill Anders (04:36):

You got a color film, Jim? Hand me a roll of color film quick.

Apollo 8 astronauts (04:39):

Oh man, that’s great. Where is it?

Bill Anders (04:41):

Hurry, quick.

 

Jim Lovell: (04:43):

Down here?

Bill Anders (04:44):

Just grab me a color. Color exterior.

Jim Lovell (04:51):

I’m looking for one. C368.

 

Bill Anders:

Anything, quick.

Jim Lovell: (04:54):

Hey, I’ve got it right here. Bill, I got it framed. It’s very clear right here. Got it?

Bill Anders (04:59):

Yep.

Jim Lovell (05:00):

Just take several of them.

Bill Anders (05:03):

Let me get the right setting here. Now just calm down. Calm down, Lovell.

Jim Lovell (05:06):

I’ve got it right… That’s a beautiful shot. 250 at F11. You sure you got it now?

Bill Anders (05:14):

Yeah, it’ll come up again I think.

Jim Lovell (05:15):

Just take another one.

Ernie Wright (05:22):

My name is Ernie Wright. I work at the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center.

Liza Lester (05:28):

So we’re here to talk about Earthrise. Earthrise is this iconic photo from the Apollo 8 mission in 1968: right at the end of 1968. You animated what they were seeing as the Earth rose above the surface of the moon.

Ernie Wright (05:43):

It’s an iconic photograph. It was the first time that human eyes had seen the Earth above the horizon of another world and it had this tremendous impact on everybody on Earth when it was brought back. We sort of take for granted now that we can see the Earth from space and the epic camera on the Discovery spacecraft is taking pictures of Earth from a million miles away all the time. But in Christmas Eve of 1968, that was not a thing that people were used to seeing.

Liza Lester (06:14):

This Earthrise image, it was not a planned photograph right? Apollo 8 had this very detailed timeline of everything they were supposed to do and this was a surprise.

Ernie Wright (06:32):

That’s right. The Earthrise image was not a thing that was in the flight plan. There’s some speculation that it may have been discussed with a couple people on the ground, but for the most part this was not anticipated to be an important event, and the view of the Earth from the moon I think took all of the astronauts by surprise.

Bill Anders (06:59):

Oh my god, look at that picture over there. That is the Earth coming up. Wow, that’s pretty.

Ernie Wright (07:06):

You can tell from the audio that they are excited and they have childlike wonder at this particular view of the Earth and that’s pretty abnormal for these guys. They were test pilots. They were no-nonsense. They had trained for months for this mission and in some ways it was a very daring mission, so their lives were kind of on the line and yet-

Liza Lester (07:31):

This was the first time that they had orbited the moon with a spacecraft with people in it.

Ernie Wright (07:36):

Right. It’s the first time that anybody had left Earth orbit. It’s the first time anyone had ridden the full up Saturn V stack. It’s the first time a lot of these systems were tested at all. We weren’t sure that we could track them with sufficient accuracy once they got that far away. The communications systems hadn’t been tested at that distance. I mean, we had sent robotic… There were Ranger and Surveyor and Lunar Orbiter missions that were robotic prior to that, so we had some idea, but with people we hadn’t tested any of that. So it was a very daring mission and that had to have been on their minds the whole time. And yet, they do this roll, they turn around, and they see the Earth and they all get very excited.

Ernie Wright (08:24):

As it turns out, that image had a huge impact on the public when they came back. A lot of people give it credit for being a major inspiration of Earth Day, which of course is what we’re coming up on now. It became an icon of the environmental movement and that’s somewhat ironic because I think environmentalists at the time were not entirely on board with spending the money to go to the moon. What’s the benefit? But as all three of the Apollo 8 astronauts have said in the past, “We went all the way to the moon and discovered the Earth.” That was really the impact of that image.

Jim Lovell (09:12):

Bill, I got it framed. It’s very clear right here. Got it?

Bill Anders (09:13):

Yep.

 

Jim Lovell: Just take several of them.

Bill Anders (09:19):

Let me just get the right setting here. Now just calm down. Calm down, Lovell.

Jim Lovell (09:24):

I’ve got it right… That’s a beautiful shot.

Ernie Wright (09:33):

I do animation with data that comes from NASA missions and specifically animations that are based entirely on data. I don’t have a lot of artistic latitude. I’m placing the data in some sort of artistic context. So if it’s Earth data then I will wrap it onto a model of the Earth, and because I mostly work with Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter I’m wrapping that data onto the moon.

Liza Lester (10:03):

Tell me about how that works. How do you take data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and turn it into a picture for us?

Ernie Wright (10:12):

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, LRO, has been in orbit for more than 10 years. It’s basically a mapping and reconnaissance mission. It is measuring the shape of the terrain using lasers. It’s taking pictures of the surface with both a wide angle and a narrow angle camera. They can get down to about one meter per pixel, which means we can take pictures of all of the Apollo landing sites and lots of other interesting places. LRO has collected more data from the moon than all the other NASA planetary missions combined, and it’s partly because the moon is so close to us so we have very high bandwidth and it’s also because it’s been there for so long.

Ernie Wright (10:56):

The data that I get is usually a two dimensional array of numbers. This is just a table of numbers and they wouldn’t be particularly meaningful to most people, but my background is in computer science so I write programs that translate those numbers into pictures and other things that 3D animation software understands. We use off-the-shelf animation and rendering software just like Hollywood uses. That software doesn’t know anything about space or astronomy or science data so we have to translate the data into a form that the software understands and then within that software I can make a model of the moon.

Ernie Wright (11:41):

So I’ll start with a sphere and wrap the global color maps that we have and the global terrain maps and the software knows how to turn that into the mountains and valleys on the surface on the moon. And then it’s just like a movie set; I decide where to put the camera and I calculate where the light goes, because it’s simulating sunlight. And the software also knows how to calculate shadows, which is really important when you’re trying to get the appearance of the moon correct. The moon is very black-and-white, Chiaroscuro, and what you have is the contrast between the day side and the night side and the shadows.

Ernie Wright (12:23):

So that’s kind of the process. Then what makes it different from one animation to the next is the story. We’re always creating these visualizations in service of a story. Most recently I’ve been working on some stuff for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 13.

NASA ground control (12:44):

Flight come in. [crosstalk]

Apollo 13 astronauts (12:44):

Okay, yes sir, we’ve had a problem here.

NASA ground control (12:50):

What’s the matter with the data you’ve found?

NASA ground control (12:52):

[crosstalk 00:12:52] currently looks normal.

Apollo 13 astronauts (12:53):

We’ve got more of a problem.

NASA ground control (12:54):

Okay, listen you guys. We’ve lost fuel cell one and two pressure. We lost O2 tank two pressure and temperature.

Apollo 13 astronauts (13:03):

Houston, we’ve got a problem.

Newscaster (13:03):

The flight of the Apollo 13 to the moon is in serious jeopardy this morning and is not going to make a moon landing. As the Apollo 13 was some 205,000 miles from Earth speeding toward its rendezvous with the moon scheduled for tomorrow night, the fuel cells that supply it with electrical power suddenly failed. With this lack of power, the mission could not be completed to the moon and it is now a question of getting the men home safely.

Ernie Wright (13:38):

In those visualizations, I calculated Apollo 13’s orbit and I placed the camera in the position where the spacecraft was. So as they pass around the far side of the moon, I’m able to show you exactly what they were able to see, and that’s been incorporated into a website called apolloinrealtime.org. They’ve put that in there and played it back so that the frames correspond to the times. So you can kind of hear what they were saying on the ground as those guys were passing around the far side and place all of that in the context of the entire record that we have of Apollo 13.

Liza Lester (14:17):

We can have this virtual reality experience of almost being there in the capsule with the astronauts.

Ernie Wright (14:26):

Absolutely. It’s an opportunity to experience that in a way that we haven’t been able to before. When you’re on the far side the astronauts aren’t in radio contact with the Earth, and most of the other Apollo missions they had a tape recorder that would record the onboard audio when they couldn’t talk directly to Houston, but in the case of Apollo 13 they had already turned that off. It was one of the things that they did to conserve power because by that time they were already in trouble. The explosion happened about 21, 22 hours before they reached the far side of the moon, so they were already taking steps to power down and conserve their power, conserve their other consumables. So the only record that we have of what they saw on the far side are some photographs, some still images, that they took. So using the LRO data, we’re able to simulate their view and broaden that a bit and give everybody the experience that they had.

Liza Lester (15:24):

And luckily the surface of the moon doesn’t change very fast, so.

Ernie Wright (15:27):

That’s right, although it changes a little faster than you would think. One of the great things about LRO being at the moon for 10 years is that they have seen several hundred new craters being formed, and the way they do is they photograph the same spot on the moon multiple times and then they compare the before and after pictures, or the earlier and later pictures. Now these are not big craters. They’re 10, 20 meters wide. But it indicates that the surface of the moon is being churned a lot faster than we thought.

Apollo 8 astronauts (16:02):

The impact crater was at just prior to the subsolar point on the south side. In the floor of it there is one dark hole and I couldn’t get a quick enough look at it to see if it might be anything volcanic.

Liza Lester (16:24):

So you did the same kind of system that you were just talking about of mapping this data from the LRO onto the moon but then syncing it with the photographs that the astronauts had taken?

Ernie Wright (16:40):

Yeah, exactly. That was really the first time that I had done it with any of the Apollo missions. It started with my wife buying me a poster of the Earthrise image for Christmas and I thought… I was staring at it and I thought, “We have the data that we need to simulate this view.” I didn’t have any sort of grand ideas about how this would turn out but it seemed like a creative way to exhibit the data that LRO is returning to us and that’s pretty much my job. But as I got further into it I learned there were lots of questions about how that photograph was taken and who took it and exactly when it was taken.

Ernie Wright (17:28):

It just started out as one of these opportunities to do something sort of interesting and engaging with the data that LRO is returning, but as I got further into it and found out that there were all these things we didn’t know I realized that it was an opportunity to learn more about that photograph.

Liza Lester (17:44):

So you could actually use the visualization kind of as a tool to experiment and answer this question of who took the photo.

Ernie Wright (17:55):

Exactly. That meant that I had to calculate the Apollo 8 orbit and that information… you’d think you could just go out on the internet and find that, but you really couldn’t. I had to use documents from the ’60s and early ’70s that describe the trajectory, and with the moon model that I had I just had to put the camera in the position of the spacecraft and then see if I could match the mountains on the horizon and the craters in the foreground and the position of the Earth and the rotation of the Earth. That’s kind of how that came about.

Liza Lester (18:30):

Was the capsule turning? Was it spinning? Do you have the motion of the spacecraft, too, as you’re trying to simulate this whole system?

Ernie Wright (18:41):

Well, as I got further into this I started to attract the attention of several people who have a very personal stake in the history of Apollo. The author Andy Chaikin contacted me and I even heard from one of the Apollo 8 astronauts: Bill Anders. So as we discussed it more, they encouraged me to make this simulation as realistic as I could, including which way was the capsule pointing.

Ernie Wright (19:10):

It turned out there was an automatic camera that was mounted in window two. It was pointing straight down at the surface of the moon and it was taking a picture every 20 seconds. If you look at those pictures at the time of the Earthrise photograph, the pictures started to rotate. So not only was the capsule pointing sort of nose-down, straight down at the moon, it was also turning. And if you go back to the transcript or listen to the audio you can hear the commander of the mission, Frank Borman, saying, “Okay, we’re going to do the roll now.”

Frank Borman (19:53):

All right, we’re going to roll. Ready?

Ernie Wright (20:03):

Knowing the orientation, it explains several things. The photograph wasn’t taken until orbit four. On the first three orbits the windows were always pointed backwards or somehow away from the Earth, so this was the first that they had seen it.

Liza Lester (20:18):

So this was the first time for the astronauts, too.

Ernie Wright (20:20):

First time for the astronauts, exactly. They had been in orbit for six hours already and had not seen the Earth. When they finally did this roll maneuver, all of the windows went from backwards to forwards and that’s how the Earth appeared to them. But what’s important about that roll is that you can tell which window the Earth showed up in first and that was the window that Bill Anders was sitting next to. He was the one that said… and you can hear it on the audio… “Oh my god, look at that. It’s the Earth coming up. Wow, isn’t that pretty?”

Bill Anders (20:57):

Oh my god, look at that picture over there. That is the Earth coming up. Wow, that’s pretty.

Frank Borman (21:04):

Hey, don’t take that. It’s not scheduled.

Bill Anders (21:05):

You got a color film, Jim? Hand me a roll of color [crosstalk 00:21:14].

Jim Lovell (21:15):

Oh man, this is [crosstalk 00:21:16].

Bill Anders (21:16):

Quick, quick.

Ernie Wright (21:18):

Once you establish who said that, you can be fairly certain of who took the picture and it was Bill. Frank couldn’t have seen it because he was sitting on the other side of the spacecraft and actually with the joystick in his hand performing the roll. So the visualization made all of that clear, which was very cool.

Liza Lester (21:39):

So the controversy was that both Frank Borman and Bill Anders remembered taking this photo.

Ernie Wright (21:45):

Exactly. I mean, who took the photo was not a mission critical fact that they needed to remember, and so they remembered that sequence a little differently. It turns out that Frank had taken some pictures of the Earth on the fifth orbit and the seventh orbit, but for a long time Frank and Bill both claimed to have taken that Earthrise photo. Then I always tell the story that Jim Lovell started to claim it too because he felt left out.

Liza Lester (22:17):

Like, “I want to be part of this controversy.”

Ernie Wright (22:19):

Yeah. “I want to be part of it, too.” And in fact Frank told the story of the taking of that Earthrise photo in his autobiography, but since then Andy has convinced him that Bill took the picture. And I got the sweetest note from Frank. We sent copies of the visualization that I did to all three of the astronauts and Frank wrote me this beautiful note that thanked me for making it. I was really worried about his reaction but he actually took it remarkably well.

Liza Lester (23:00):

It’s hard to admit you’re wrong, especially if you really remembered… You’re like, in your mind this is…

Ernie Wright (23:07):

Exactly. But Frank is a really no-nonsense guy and I think once you point out to him that the facts were a bit different from what he remembered that he had no trouble taking that on. It was okay.

Liza Lester (23:18):

We love that you solved this with science, essentially, or with math. What would you say?

Ernie Wright (23:24):

I think math.

Liza Lester (23:27):

Did the astronauts say that, “Yeah, this was what it felt like to be looking through the window.” They’re not floating in space, I guess, but…

Ernie Wright (23:35):

Yeah. Jim Lovell sent me an email that said, “Oh, great, I can show this to my grandchildren so they know what I did.” I’m sure he was joking. I’m sure his grandchildren know exactly what he did. But I think when you make the visualization entirely based on data and on reality you can create something that reminds people who were there that this is how it kind of was. I think you need that fidelity in order to evoke the memory that they have of that experience and it’s such a privilege that I got to do that.

Liza Lester (24:15):

Is the data from the LRO so precise that you could basically reconstruct it almost like a video game or a virtual reality experience? Could we go to the moon virtually?

Ernie Wright (24:31):

We totally can. In fact, one of the important things that LRO is going to be able to do is allow us to simulate the lighting conditions. Artemis would like to go the south pole. This is where lots of interesting things are being discovered including a fair amount of water.

Liza Lester (24:52):

Artemis is the future moon mission that we’re planning now.

Ernie Wright (24:56):

Right. This is the crewed expedition that we’re sort of aiming for getting to the moon in 2024. Part of the planning of that is deciding where you can land. The moon is not tilted like the Earth is, so the poles don’t receive sunlight in the same way. You need a way to model which parts of that terrain are going to be sunlight and which ones are going to be in shadow. There are actually lots of places near the south pole that are permanently shadowed. The sun never gets in there.

Ernie Wright (25:32):

The good thing about that is that those places probably serve as reservoirs for water that has been there for possibly billions of years. We can use that water as a resource but also that water is kind of like a data collector. So before we use it all up for rocket fuel and whatever, it’d be nice if we could get there and take ice cores, and as you go down deeper into the ice you’re looking at events from billions of years in the past. It could potentially tell you about solar activity and lots of other things that the ice has just been sitting there and recording for all of that time. But you don’t want to exactly land in a permanently shadowed place because then you’ve got no power and no light. You can’t see and you can’t do anything.

Ernie Wright (26:25):

Ideally, you would land in a high spot that’s close to a permanently shadowed region, and in order to find those places you use the very detailed model that we can build from LRO data and simulate the sunlight and the shadows from that data. I think the LRO data is going to be that kind of resource for decades to come.

Liza Lester (26:51):

Can future astronauts use that to practice their potential landings on the moon?

Ernie Wright (26:57):

Yeah.

Liza Lester (26:58):

That’s amazing.

Ernie Wright (26:59):

I mean, it’s remarkable to me what the Apollo Program was able to do with the technology of the ’60s, so when they got into the simulator for the LEM, the lunar module… they had plaster models that they pointed a camera at, and as they maneuvered towards the surface the camera would move up closer to the plaster model, and if something went wrong and they crashed the camera would hit the model and the model would break they’d have to make a new one. But with the technology that we have now, obviously we can make a very detailed digital experience… just a real time VR thing… that would allow the astronauts to simulate, nondestructively, all of the maneuvers that they have to make when they want to land or if they want to fly around.

Ernie Wright (27:53):

One of the issues that Apollo had, particularly the later missions, was that we didn’t have very good models of the terrain, and that meant as they’re descending they’re a little worried about hitting the tops of the mountains. Apollo 17 landed in the Taurus-Littrow Valley and that’s surrounded by fairly high mountains, and so they had to take extra precautions and come in at a steep angle because they didn’t know where the mountains were and the computers didn’t have the capacity, really, to model that in very much detail anyway. We now have the ability to do this with so much more information and so much more certainty about what we’re going to be landing in the middle of.

Ernie Wright (28:45):

The other thing I’ll say is not for nothing that this image had the effect that it had on people’s psychology about the Earth and it’s something that we celebrate to this day on Earth Day: that we are on the most important planet. No matter how interesting the other ones are, this is the one that we have to make livable and it’s the one that deserves a lot of study. That’s why a fair amount of NASA’s effort involves remote sensing of Earth. This is how we find out about global weather, fires, landslides, vegetation, CO2, all the things that NASA studies on the Earth. It’s how we know these things and they’re incredibly important because we all live here.

Shane Hanlon (29:49):

Okay, so mystery solved I guess.

Liza Lester (29:52):

Science.

Shane Hanlon (29:53):

Science.

Lauren Lipuma (29:53):

Science saves it all.

Shane Hanlon (29:54):

Who knew that on Earth Day we would be solving a mystery? A positive mystery: not like a murder mystery or anything.

Liza Lester (30:03):

No one was harmed in the solving of this mystery.

Shane Hanlon (30:05):

Of course not, no.

Shane Hanlon (30:06):

Okay, well with that, that’s all from Third Pod from the Sun.

Lauren Lipuma (30:10):

Thanks to Liza for bringing us this story and to Ernie for sharing his work with us.

Shane Hanlon (30:14):

This episode was produced by Liza and mixed by Lauren.

Lauren Lipuma (30:18):

We would love to hear your thoughts on this podcast. Please rate and review us. You can find us anywhere you listen to podcasts and always at thirdpodfromthesun.com.

Shane Hanlon (30:26):

Thanks all, and we’ll see you next time.