We're trying something new with Third Pod. In addition to your regularly scheduled programming, we're going to showcase short stories from scientists in a new series we're dubbing Sci & Tell. Like show & tell, but with science (and audio)!
Xavier Le Pichon came to Lamont Geological Observatory in 1959 and spent four months aboard the R/V Vema as a physical oceanography technician. The research cruise set out to test the existence of the mid-ocean ridge system: a long chain of seismically active mountains running along the ocean floor.
Water is one of the things that none of us can live without. Yet, it’s taken for granted in so many parts of the parts, and even in parts of the U.S. But what would happen if we ever hit day zero, or the day that the water ran out. That probably won’t happen but Paula Buchanan is here to tell us that we still need to be vigilant.
Physicist Marius Millot investigates the intimate atomic worlds of elements in order to understand the inner secrets of the largest planets in our solar system. Jupiter and its fellow gas giants Uranus, Neptune and Saturn are comprised mostly of the lightest element, hydrogen, with a dab of helium, heavier elements, and more complex molecules. But researchers want to know what lurks at the planet’s core, under all that cloud.
Many people have emergency kits packed to flee or survive forces of nature like floods, hurricanes, or wildfire. But what do you throw in your bag when you expect to rush toward a natural hazard? Geologist John Ewert has his go-kit packed with portable seismometers and gas-monitoring equipment, ready to mobilize when a volcano starts to rumble.
Check out this clip that didn't make it into our recent episode, X-rays of the Earth's Gooey Center, about some of the challenges Lara Wagner and her team face when setting up seismic stations in remote places.
Much like x-rays can show broken bones (or noses), seismic equipment can show us what’s going on in Earth’s interior. While seismologists can’t take quick snapshots like medical doctors can, they can provide an image of tectonic plate movements over time to help the scientific community – and local communities – understand geophysical phenomena from mountain formations to volcanoes to the earthquakes that rock their world.
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.
One of the most alluring parts of Earth and space science is that much of the key research takes place in the field, in some of the most incredible – and inhospitable – environments on the planet: on treacherous polar ice sheets, aboard sea tossed ships, at the mouths of active volcanoes, beneath turbid ocean…
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.