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February 8, 2021
If you were an ant living in an anthill in the Serengeti and you wanted to know whether an intelligent species lived on planet Earth, how could you tell? A particularly clever ant might pick up a radio signal and deduce that humanity exists, but how about subtler, indirect clues that, nevertheless, are a result of technological development?
December 7, 2020
Leland Melvin’s scientific career began during his childhood in Lynchburg, Virginia, when he created a fantastic explosion in his living room with an at-home chemistry set. Little did Leland or his family know at the time that he would become both a professional athlete and a NASA astronaut, flying two missions to the International Space Station.
October 12, 2020
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.
April 20, 2020
On 24 December 1968, humans witnessed our home planet rise over the horizon of another world for the first time. The crew of Apollo 8 looked up from the Moon to see the blue and white swirls of Earth poised above the stark grey lunar surface—a single oasis in a big, dark universe.
December 26, 2019
It’s no exaggeration to say Lori Glaze’s impact on our understanding of the relationships between Earth and our nearest neighbors is volcanic. In fact, eruptions fascinated her since she was a pre-teen learning about the destructive volcano which buried the Roman city of Pompeii or carefully scraping ash from the Mount St. Helens eruption off the hood of the family car in Seattle in 1980.
November 11, 2019
Rafael Loureiro may confess to being an introvert, but he has no fear of people.
November 4, 2019
Scientists have been testing whether life exists on Mars for over 40 years, ever since the Viking 1 lander touched down on the Red Planet. Researchers often perform experiments on Earth to better understand the context of data collected by Viking 1 and subsequent landers – data that gives scientists tantalizing clues about the habitability of the Martian surface.
October 28, 2019
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)!
October 8, 2019
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.
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.