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November 18, 2020

Songs of the Arches (with Helicopters)

The wind that carved the sandstone of Arches National Park into spectacular arches and towers also plucks them, like giant guitar strings, making them ring at low frequencies. Geoscientist Riley Finnegan and her colleagues in the Geohazards research group at the University of Utah are recording these arch songs in the Park and around Utah with seismometers, the same basic technology geologists use to listen for earthquakes, to learn their characteristic vibration frequencies—and how human noise affects them.

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October 28, 2020

Special Release: Mythical Monsters and their Real-life Inspirations (Part 2)

In this episode, the second in a two-part series, we chatted with Rodrigo Salvador, Curator of Invertebrates at the Museum of New Zealand, about the connections between giant squids and the Kraken, and Danielle J. Serratos, Director/Curator of the Fundy Geological Museum, about the links between prehistoric aquatic reptiles and the Loch Ness monster, respectively.

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October 26, 2020

Special Release: Mythical Monsters and their Real-life Inspirations (Part 1)

We’ve all heard stories about fantastical creatures that people swear they’ve seen and have evidence of but can never be confirmed. Think Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster. Mermaids or the Kraken. While there’s no evidence backing the existence of these creatures, either in present day or at any point in the past, there must be a reason why such legends were created in the first place. In most cases, the legend in grounded in fact.

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October 12, 2020

Final Frontier? The Evolution of Planetary Science Missions

The latest episode of Third Pod from the Sun features an interview with planetary scientist Fran Bagenal, who has had a fascinating career working on NASA missions from Voyager to Juno and New Horizons. Currently working at the University of Colorado Boulder, Bagenal provides an overarching view of the different planetary missions going back a few decades and describes how the research and findings have built upon the innovations and discoveries that came before.

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September 24, 2020

The unusual relationship between climate and pandemics

Well-documented torrential rains and unusually cold temperatures affected the outcomes of many major battles during World War I from 1914 to 1918. Poet Mary Borden described the cold, muddy landscape of the Western Front as “the liquid grave of our armies” in her poem “The Song of the Mud” about 1916’s Battle of the Somme, during which more than one million soldiers were killed or wounded.  

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August 17, 2020

Putting Brains in Rock Machines

What happens when you cross medical science with geophysics? In one study published last year, the result was one-part interdisciplinary and one-part science fiction.

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July 13, 2020

Escape from Thera

About 3,600 years ago, a colossal volcanic eruption blew apart the Greek island Thera, now the popular tourist destination known as Santorini. Falling volcanic rock and dust buried the Bronze Age settlement Akrotiri, on the south side of the island, preserving multi-story buildings, frescoes, tools, furniture and food, until archaeological excavations uncovered them in the last century, much like the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE famously buried Pompeii and Herculaneum. But unlike the Roman cities, Akrotiri has a notable lack of bodies.

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June 15, 2020

Instruments of Unusual Size

Volcanic craters could be the largest musical instrument on Earth, producing unique sounds that tell scientists what is going on deep in a volcano’s belly.

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June 1, 2020

Special Release: Climate change, tree rings, and string theory

What’s it like to be one of the most well-known climate scientists around? People (e.g. your dad) should just trust what you say, right? Well…it doesn’t always work out like that.

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May 18, 2020

Mt. St. Helens: 40 Years Later

On May 18, 1980, Mt. St. Helens erupted in Washington state, capping off a series of volcanic events that began on March 27th of that year. The May 18th explosions is credited with causing 57 deaths, >$1 billion in property damage, and forever changed the surrounding landscape.

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