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August 19, 2019
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.
August 5, 2019
Venus, Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor, is a rocky world close in size to our own. In our solar system, it is the planet most like Earth. But Earth and Venus have taken different developmental paths, creating curious contrasts for scientists interested in planetary evolution.
July 15, 2019
Fifty years ago, humans first stepped foot on the Moon. Along with visiting our closest neighbor, the Apollo astronauts also brought back hundreds of pounds of lunar samples, from micron-scale motes of dust to small boulders weighing more than 25 pounds. Using these samples, scientists have been able to peer back in time to the early days of our solar system, making major discoveries about the formation of the Moon …
June 28, 2019
At Third Pod, we often talk with researchers about how they grew up to become scientists. But how does an actor become a scientist on screen?
January 15, 2019
In the mid-1980s, scientists uncovered a troubling phenomenon: The ozone layer, which protects all living things on Earth from the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation, was rapidly thinning over Antarctica.
September 17, 2018
Check out this clip that didn’t make it into our recent episode, Inside the Boiling Center of the Solar System, with Dan Seaton, about what the sun actually sounds like! Transcript Shane Hanlon: Hi, Nanci. Nanci Bompey: Hey, Shane. Shane Hanlon: So, we’re back for a bonus clip, and it’s all about the Sun. And we obviously look at the Sun every day, or hopefully, if it’s not …
September 4, 2018
At the heart of our solar system is an enormous, churning ball of hot plasma. The Sun blows a stream of charged particles over our planet, creating the solar wind. Sometimes the Sun flares bursts of x-rays, or burps bursts of charged particles, which can sweep over Earth and potentially create havoc for power grids, satellites, and GPS networks. There is weather in space, and it has more consequences for civilization than you might think.
August 15, 2018
Check out this clip that didn’t make it into our recent episode, The Dark Sound of the Moon, with Trae Winter about balloons, astronauts. and aliens! Transcript Shane Hanlon: Nanci? Nanci Bompey: Hello? Shane Hanlon: I’m back. Nanci Bompey: Yay! We missed you. Shane Hanlon: Did you? Nanci Bompey: Not. No, I’m kidding. Not. Shane Hanlon: It’s always nice to get away for a …
August 1, 2018
On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse swept across the continental United States from Oregon to South Carolina. Millions of people stood looking up at the sky, their mouths agape, as the Sun’s disk was completely covered by the Moon. For many people, the experience of day turning into night and back into day, and the sight of the Sun’s corona streaming out behind the dark circle of the Moon, is a picture they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.
July 2, 2018
Building instruments to search for the building blocks of life in the rocks of Mars is no small feat. These gadgets must endure spaceflight, landing on the Martian surface, intense radiation, wild swings in temperature, uneven surfaces and then beam data collected millions of kilometers away back to expectant researchers on Earth.