Third Pod from the Sun is the American Geophysical Union’s podcast where we hear stories from scientists, for everyone.

Latest Episodes

12.5-A podcast of ice and fire

Cool off from the summer heat with our next six-part miniseries all about ice – from those who call it home to its use as a tool in science.

12-Extinctions: Space station splashdown

The International Space Station feels like a permanent fixture. It’s been up there since 2000! But earlier this year, NASA announced it is bringing the ISS back to earth in the 2030s as it plans for new space stations.

11-Extinctions: Oddballs of the Triassic

Hans Sues is a fossil guy at the Smithsonian. Born in Germany, he has been all over the world finding and interpreting fossils for more than 40 years. His focus is on vertebrates – both in his professional work and his personal attachment to cats.

10-Extinctions: Showdown of the giant space rocks

Dani DellaGiustina is one of the youngest leaders of a NASA mission, and she was in charge of image processing for OSIRIS-REx before she even got her PhD. OSIRIS-REx is a spacecraft sent to study asteroid Bennu and scheduled to return a sample to Earth in 2023.

9-Extinctions: Not your science fair volcano

For many of us, the word “extinctions” conjures up images of dinosaurs, asteroids, and (maybe?) volcanos. And while that last point did likely play a role in the demise of the dinosaurs, volcanos in their own right can go extinct. In this episode, we chatted with volcanologist Janine Krippner, Honorary Research Associate at the University of…

8-Extinctions: The (Maybe) Cambrian (Not Really) Explosion

The Cambrian explosion is commonly labelled as the time in Earth’s history when animals suddenly appear. But research from geoscientist Rachel Wood and her team turns this explanation on its head.

7-Extinctions: Dinosaurs, a Big Rock, and…Climate Change?

When you hear the word “extinction,” chances are you probably think of the extinction of the dinosaurs and a big rock. But did you know that there were other factors at play that lead to that extinction including volcanos and sea-level rise?

6.5-Extinctions: Dinosaurs, volcanoes, the space station, oh my!

Join us for our next six-part miniseries on Extinctions as we learn about the demise of the dinosaurs, what makes a comet “extinct,” the Cambrian and Triassic periods, volcanoes, and the aforementioned (planned) fiery end of the International Space Station!

6-True story: Migrating robins & thieving capuchins

Emily Williams has traveled the world in search of birds. As a biologist, she’s worked in Kansas, Argentina, Australia, and Denali, and studied loons, flycatchers, kingbirds, and more. And even with all these experiences and diverse species interactions, she’s now landed (ha, get it?!) on studying the common robin.

5-True story: A prop plane, a bucket, and a trip to Antarctica

Pacifica Sommers is an ecologist and explorer. From the deserts of Arizona to the Antarctic tundra, Pacifica has looked at how organisms from tardigrades to pocket mice live in extreme environments. We talked with her about some of the most beautiful places on Earth, the diversity of folks who can be scientists,  and what exactly that bucket is for on the flight to Antarctica.