Monday, April 20, 2015


Source - Space Weather News for April 20, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras this week when a solar wind stream and a faint CME are expected to hit Earth's magnetic field in quick succession.  NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% to 65% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on April 21-22.

At the same time, Earth will be passing through a stream of debris from Comet Thatcher, source of the annual Lyrid meteor shower.  Sky watchers are already seeing a smattering of late-night fireballs as Earth approaches the diffuse core of the debris stream.  Meteor rates are expected to crest on April 22-23 with as many as 20 Lyrids per hour.

Visit http://spaceweather.com for updates and observing tips.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday 20 April 2015 - Life in Space

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Big Picture Science - Life in Space

ENCORE: Discovering bacteria on Mars would be big news. But nothing would scratch our alien itch like making contact with intelligent life. Hear why one man is impatient for the discovery, and also about the new tools that may speed up the “eureka” moment. One novel telescope may help us find E.T. at home, by detecting the heat of his cities.

Also, the father of modern SETI research and how decoding the squeals of dolphins could teach us how to communicate with aliens.

Guests:

This encore podcast was first released on October 7, 2013.

Permalink: http://radio.seti.org/episodes/Life_in_Space

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday 13 April 2015 - Skeptic Check: Monster Mashup

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Big Picture Science - Skeptic Check: Monster Mashup

ENCORE: Monsters don’t exist. Except when they do. And extinction is forever, except when it isn’t. So, which animals are mythical and which are in hiding?

Bigfoot sightings are plentiful, but real evidence for the hirsute creature is a big zilch. Yet, the coelacanth, a predatory fish thought extinct, actually lives. Today, its genome is offering clues as to how and when our fishy ancestors first flopped onto land.

Meanwhile, the ivory-billed woodpecker assumes mythic status as it flutters between existence and extinction. And, from passenger pigeons to the wooly mammoth, hi-tech genetics may imitate Jurassic Park, and bring back vanished animals.

Guests:

This encore podcast was first released on December 9, 2013

Permalink: http://radio.seti.org/episodes/Skeptic_Check_Monster_Mashup

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Geomagnetic storm sparks auroras over the USA


Source - Space Weather News for April 10, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

On Friday, April 10th, a G2-class geomagnetic storm erupted. Northern Lights spilled across the Canadian border into the USA, where auroras were photographed as far south as Colorado.  At the time of this alert, storm conditions are still underway with a possibility for more storming when a belated CME arrives later in the day.

Visit http://spaceweather.com for more information and updates.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Citizen Scientists Discover Yellow Balls in Space


Source - NASA Science News for April 9, 2015

Citizen scientists scanning images from a NASA observatory have found "yellow balls" in space that may hold important clues to the mysteries of star birth.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2015/09apr_yellowballs/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blr-qDffIq0&feature=youtu.be



License: Standard YouTube License

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday 06 April 2015 - Raising the Minimum Age

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Big Picture Science - Raising the Minimum Age

We all try to fight it: the inexorable march of time. The fountain of youth doesn’t exist, and all those wrinkle creams can’t help. But modern science is giving us new weapons in the fight against aging. So how far are we willing to go?

Hear when aging begins, a summary of the latest biotech research, and how a lab full of youthful worms might help humans stay healthy.

Also, a geneticist who takes a radical approach: collect the DNA that codes for longevity and restructure our genome. He finds inspiration – and perhaps genes as well – in the bi-centenarian bowhead whale.

But what if age really is mind over matter? A psychologist’s extraordinary thought experiment with septuagenarian men turns back the clock 20 years. Will it work on diseases such as cancer as well?

Guests:

Permalink: http://radio.seti.org/episodes/Raising_the_Minimum_Age

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Total Eclipse of the Moon on Saturday


Source - Space Weather News for April 3, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

LUNAR ECLIPSE:  Sky watchers on the Pacific side of Earth can see a brief but beautiful lunar eclipse on Saturday morning, April 4th.  The Moon will turn red, and possibly turquoise, too, as the lunar disk passes through the shadow of our planet.  Totality lasts for less than 5 minutes, so it is important to be outside at the right moment. 

Check http://spaceweather.com for viewing times and more information.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Total Eclipse of the Moon


Source - NASA Science News for March 30, 2015
 
On Saturday morning, April 4th, sky watchers in the USA can see a brief but beautiful total eclipse of the Moon

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2015/30mar_lunareclipse/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_70M4lkLKPk&feature=youtu.be



License: Standard YouTube License

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday 30 March 2015 - Hidden History

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Big Picture Science - Hidden History

Archeologists continue to hunt for the city of Atlantis, even though it may never have existed. But, what if it did? Its discovery would change ancient history. Sometimes when we dig around in the past, we can change our understanding of how we got to where we are.

We thought we had wrapped up the death of the dinosaurs: blame it on an asteroid. But evidence unearthed in Antarctica and elsewhere suggests the rock from space wasn’t the sole culprit.

Also, digging into our genetic past can turn up surprising – and sometimes uncomfortable truths – from ancestral origins to genes that code for disease. But do we always want to know?

Guests:

Permalink: http://radio.seti.org/episodes/Hidden_History

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday 23 March 2015 - Power to the People

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Big Picture Science - Power to the People

ENCORE: Let there be light! Well, it’s easy to do: just flip a switch. But it took more than the invention of the light bulb to make that possible. It required new technology for the distribution of electricity. And that came, not so much from Thomas Edison, but from a Serbian genius named Nikola Tesla.

Hear his story plus ideas on what might be the breakthrough energy innovations of the future. Perhaps hydrogen-fueled cars, nuclear fusion electrical generators or even orbiting solar cells?

Plus, a reminder of cutting-edge technology back in Napoleon’s day: lighthouses.

Guests:

This encore podcast was first released on September 30, 2013

Permalink: http://radio.seti.org/episodes/Power_to_the_People

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Mystery of Nanoflares


Source - NASA Science News for March 19, 2015

Tiny solar flares on the Sun may be having an outsized effect on the temperature of the sun's atmosphere. To investigate, scientists will observe these "nano flares" using a space telescope built for black holes.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2015/19mar_nanoflares/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjB9JtTU7SU&feature=youtu.be



License: Standard YouTube License

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Total Solar Eclipse on March 20, 2015


Source - Space Weather News for March 19, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

ARCTIC ECLIPSE: On March 20th, the first day of northern spring, Arctic sky watchers could witness something rare and wonderful:  Northern Lights during a total eclipse of the sun.  Earth's magnetic field is reverberating from a CME strike on March 17th that sparked the strongest geomagnetic storm of the current solar cycle.  Days after the impact, auroras are still dancing around the Arctic Circle.  Those auroras could emerge in "broad daylight" this Friday when the new Moon passes in front of the Arctic sun, producing a total eclipse visible from Svalbard, the Faroe Islands, and many ships at sea. 

Visit http://spaceweather.com for a preview and updates during the eclipse.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Geomagnetic Storm


Source - Space Weather News for March 17, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

SEVERE GEOMAGNETIC STORM:  A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field during the early hours of March 17th, triggering a magnetic disturbance that has escalated into the strongest geomagnetic storm of the current solar cycle (Kp=8).  During the hours before sunrise on St. Patrick's Day, bright green skies appeared over multiple US states including Wisconsin, Washington, Minnesota, and the Dakotas. 

Please check http://spaceweather.com  for pictures and updates on the progress of the storm.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday 16 March 2015 - Microbes: Resistance is Futile

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Big Picture Science - Microbes: Resistance is Futile

You are what you eat. Whether you dine on kimchi, carnitas, or corn dogs determines which microbes live in your stomach. And gut microbes make up only part of your total microbiome.

Find out how your microbes are the brains-without-brains that affect your health and even your mood. Also, why you and your cohorts are closer than you thought: new research suggests that you swap and adopt bugs from your social set.

Plus, the philosophical questions that are arise when we realize that we have more microbial DNA than human DNA.

And a woman who skipped soap and shampoo for a month to see what would grow on her.

Guests:

Permalink: http://radio.seti.org/episodes/Microbes_Resistance_is_Futile

You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Blog Picture Science, the companion blog to the radio show.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

X2-flare and Radio Blackout on March 11, 2015


Source - Space Weather News for March 11, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

EARTH DIRECTED X-FLARE: On March 11th at approximately 16:22 UT (09:22 PDT) sunspot AR2297 unleashed a strong X2-class solar flare. Extreme UV radiation from the blast is causing HF radio fade-outs and other propagation effects on the dayside of Earth, primarily over the Americas. 

Visit http://spaceweather.com for more information and updates.