September 3, 2019
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.
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 12, 2019
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 waters, and atop the highest windswept peaks. Under these often less than ideal conditions, instruments …
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 …
July 1, 2019
To those of us on land, the world underneath the oceans seems quiet and serene. But scientists who study ocean acoustics will tell you it is anything but tranquil underwater. Our oceans are home to a cacophony of sounds – from the songs of marine mammals to the cracking of icebergs to the rumbling of earthquakes to the roar of ships.
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?
June 24, 2019
The Clean Air Act of 1970 was one of the first and most influential environmental laws passed in the United States. But why was this law needed in the first place, and what inspired lawmakers to want to regulate air pollution levels?
May 31, 2019
Few natural phenomena are more difficult to study than tornadoes. They’re short-lived, their locations are notoriously hard to predict, and getting close enough to observe them is both challenging and extremely dangerous.
May 20, 2019
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.