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You are browsing the archive for History Archives - Third Pod from the Sun.

August 19, 2019

Centennial E9 – The Sun and the Exploding Sea

In 1972, in the waning years of the Vietnam War, U.S. military pilots flying south of Haiphong harbor in North Vietnam saw something unexpected. Without explanation, and without warning, over two dozen sea mines suddenly exploded. While the phenomenon was never officially explained, it piqued the interest of space scientist Delores Knipp.

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May 20, 2019

Centennial E6 – A Tale of Two Journeys

In 1911, two competing groups of explorers attempted to be the first to reach the South Pole. In this episode, atmospheric scientist Ryan Fogt recounts the journeys of Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen and discusses how extraordinary weather that year affected the two polar parties in vastly different ways.

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March 18, 2019

Centennial E4 – Toxic City Under the Ice

In 1959, the United States built an unusual military base under the surface of the Greenland ice Sheet. Camp Century was a hub for scientific research, but it also doubled as a top-secret site for testing the feasibility of deploying nuclear missiles from the Arctic. When Camp Century was decommissioned in 1967, its infrastructure and waste were abandoned under the assumption they would be forever entombed beneath the colossal sheet of ice.  

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December 13, 2018

Centennial E1 – How the Cold War advanced atmospheric science

Tensions escalated between the United States and Soviet Union in the wake of World War II as the two countries stockpiled nuclear weapons and detonated hundreds of test bombs in the atmosphere. But this arms race had an unexpected side effect: scientists learned for the first time how air behaves in Earth’s upper atmosphere and how pollution, volcanic ash, and radioactive fallout travel around the globe.

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June 14, 2018

E6 – Bonus Clip: Newspaper is the New Duct Tape

Check out this clip that didn’t make it into our recent episode, The Secret Lives of Tide Gauge Operators, with Stefan Talke about some correspondence he found on how operators treated their equipment.             Transcript Shane Hanlon:  Hey, Nanci. Nanci Bompey: Hi, Shane. Shane Hanlon:  Alright, I wanted to ask you. What’s your fix-all material of choice? Like duct tape, but you have- Nanci Bompey: …

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June 1, 2018

E6 – The Secret Lives of Tide Gauge Operators

In the 1800s and early 1900s, dozens of men stationed at harbors around the United States would record water levels and send them to a central office in Washington, D.C. where they were used by engineers building the country’s infrastructure.

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