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You are browsing the archive for atmosphere 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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August 5, 2019

E20 – Ballooning on Venus

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.

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May 31, 2019

E18 – Riders on the Storm

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.

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January 15, 2019

Centennial E2 – Uncovering the Ozone Hole

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.

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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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