Sunday, March 01, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday 02 March 2015 - Skeptic Check: The Me in Measles

Image for Big Picture Science weekly radio show
Big Picture Science - Skeptic Check: The Me in Measles

Wondering whether to vaccinate your children? The decision can feel like a shot in the dark if you don’t know how to evaluate risk. Find out why all of us succumb to the reasoning pitfalls of cognitive and omission bias, whether we’re saying no to vaccines or getting a tan on the beach.

Plus, an infectious disease expert on why it may take a dangerous resurgence of preventable diseases – measles, whooping cough, polio – to remind us that vaccines save lives.

Also, a quaint but real vaccine fear: that the 18th century smallpox vaccine, made from cowpox, could turn you into a cow!

It’s our monthly look at critical thinking … but don’t take our word for it!

Guests:
  • Paul Offit – Infectious disease specialist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson – Astrophysicist, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City
  • Adam Korbitz – Lawyer specializing in space law
  • Andrew Maynard – Professor of environmental health science, director, Risk Science Center, University of Michigan

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

Noctilucent Clouds Behaving Strangely


Source - Space Weather News for March 1, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS: The strange behavior of noctilucent clouds over Antarctica in recent months has researchers on the trail of new teleconnections in Earth's atmosphere, which can alter weather and climate on a global scale. Visit http://spaceweather.com for the full story.

GEOMAGNETIC STORM:  A geomagnetic storm is underway on March 1st, and Arctic sky watchers are seeing bright auroras.  NOAA forecasters estimate a 60% chance of continued storming throughout the weekend.  Sign up for aurora alerts at http://spaceweathertext.com (text) or http://spaceweatherphone.com (voice).

Friday, February 27, 2015

Puzzling Bright Spots on Dwarf Planet Ceres


Source - NASA Science News for Feb. 27, 2015

Researchers are puzzled by a number of bright spots on Ceres, which are coming into focus as NASA's Dawn spacecraft approaches the dwarf planet.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2015/27feb_cerespuzzle/

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chinese Rocket Body Disintegrates over North America


Source - Space Weather News for Feb. 24, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

Last night, Feb. 23-24, observers across the western half of North America witnessed a spectacular cluster of bright lights in the sky.  It was the re-entry and disintegration of a Chinese rocket body.  Coincidentally, a geomagnetic storm was in progress at the time and more than one photographer caught the rocket's debris cutting across curtains of Northern Lights.  Visit http://spaceweather.com for photos and more information.

DID YOU MISS THE STORM? On Feb. 23-24, auroras appeared over many northern-tier US States. Did you see them?  Subscribers to our Space Weather Alert Service were notified by phone while the storm was underway.  Sign up for alerts at  http://spaceweathertext.com (text) or http://spaceweatherphone.com (voice).

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday 23 February 2015 - Surviving the Anthropocene

Image for Big Picture Science weekly radio show
Big Picture Science - Surviving the Anthropocene

The world is hot, and getting hotter. But higher temperatures aren’t the only impact our species is having on mother Earth. Urbanization, deforestation, and dumping millions of tons of plastic into the oceans … these are all ways in which humans are leaving their mark.

So are we still in the Holocene, the geological epoch that started a mere 11,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age? Some say we’ve moved on to the age of man – the Anthropocene.

It’s the dawn of an era, but can we survive this new phase in the history of our planet?

Guests:

Permalink: http://radio.seti.org/episodes/Surviving_the_Anthropocene
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, February 20, 2015

Unusual Comet Passes by the Sun


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

Astronomers are scratching their heads over an unusual comet that is passing by the sun.  The icy visitor to the inner solar system does not belong to any known family of sungrazing comets, and it appeared to be doomed as it made its plunge toward the sun on Feb. 19th.  Instead of disintegrating, however, the comet has emerged apparently intact, and could become a target for telescopes on Earth when it emerges from the sun's glare in the weeks ahead.

Images and updates may be found on http://spaceweather.com.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday 16 February 2015 - Sesquicentennial Science

Image for Big Picture Science weekly radio show
Big Picture Science - Sesquicentennial Science

Today, scientists are familiar to us, but they weren’t always. Even the word “scientist” is relatively modern, dating from the Victorian Era.

And it is to that era we turn as we travel to the University of Notre Dame to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its College of Science with a show recorded in front of a live audience.

Find out how the modern hunt for planets around other stars compares to our knowledge of the cosmos a century and a half ago. Also how faster computers have ushered in the realm of Big Data.

And a science historian describes us what major science frontiers were being crossed during the era of Charles Darwin and germ theory.

It’s then versus now on Sesquicentennial Science!

Recorded at the Eck Center at the University of Notre Dame, February 4th, 2015


Guests:
  • Justin Crepp – Professor of physics, University of Notre Dame
  • Nitesh Chawla – Professor of computer science and engineering and director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Sciences and Applications at Notre Dame
  • John Durant – Historian of science, director of the MIT Museum

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

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.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Deep Space Climate Observatory


Source - Space Weather News for Feb.12, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

For years, space weather forecasters have worried about the aging ACE spacecraft, which provides early warnings of CMEs and other solar storms bearing down on Earth. Launched in 1997, ACE could fail at any moment, leaving us blind to incoming storms. On Feb. 11th, NOAA, NASA and the US Air Force launched a replacement--The Deep Space Climate Observatory.

Read all about it on http://spaceweather.com

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday 09 February 2015 - Skeptic Check: Your Inner Lab Coat

Image for Big Picture Science weekly radio show
Big Picture Science - Skeptic Check: Your Inner Lab Coat

Sherlock Holmes doesn’t have a science degree, yet he thinks rationally – like a scientist. You can too! Learn the secrets of being irritatingly logical from the most famous sleuth on Baker Street. Plus, discover why animal trackers 100,000 years ago may have been the first scientists, and what we can learn from about deductive reasoning from today’s African trackers.

Also, the author of a book on teaching physics to your dog provides tips for unleashing your inner scientist, even if you hated science in school.

And newly-minted scientists imagine classes they wish were available to them as grad students, such as “You Can’t Save the World 101.”

Guests:

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

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.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Mud Matters


Source - NASA Science News for Feb. 6, 2015

NASA has launched a new satellite to study water, not in oceans or lakes, but in the soil beneath our feet. This often overlooked repository of water can have big effects on weather, climate, drought and agriculture.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2015/06feb_smap/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: http://youtu.be/ToO-tS-X2U4



License: Standard YouTube License

Friday, February 06, 2015

A Close Encounter with Jupiter


Source - NASA Science News for Feb. 6, 2015

This weekend, Jupiter is at its biggest, brightest, and closest to Earth for all of 2015.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2015/04feb_jupiter/

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday 02 February 2015 - Digging Our Past

Image for Big Picture Science weekly radio show
Big Picture Science - Digging Our Past

ENCORE: What’s past is prologue. For centuries, researchers have studied buried evidence – bones, teeth, or artifacts – to learn about murky human history, or even to investigate vanished species. But today’s hi-tech forensics allow us to analyze samples dug from the ground faster and at a far more sophisticated level.

First, the discovery of an unknown species of dinosaur that changes our understanding of the bizarre beasts that once roamed North America.

And then some history that’s more recent: two projects that use the tools of modern chemistry and anthropology to deepen our understanding of the slave trade.

Plus, an anthropologist on an evolutionary habit that is strange to some, but nonetheless common all over the world: the urge to eat dirt.

Guests:

This encore podcast was first released on August 12, 2013

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

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, January 30, 2015

The Strange Way Fluids Slosh on the International Space Station


Source - NASA Science News for Jan. 30, 2015

Researchers are using a pair of robots to examine the strange way fluids slosh and bubble on the International Space Station.

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

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



License: Standard YouTube License

Monday, January 26, 2015

Aurora Surprise Prompts Rocket Launch


Source - Space Weather News for Jan. 26, 2014: http://spaceweather.com

AURORA ROCKETS: A geomagnetic storm erupted during the early hours of Jan. 26th, sparking a surprise display of bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. Scientists took the opportunity to launch four sounding rockets from Alaska's Poker Flat Research Range to study the effect of solar storms on the upper atmosphere.  Pictures of the colorful launch are available on today's edition of http://spaceweather.com.

DON'T FORGET THE ASTEROID FLYBY:  A mountain-sized space rock is approaching Earth for a harmless but eye-catching close encounter on Monday night, Jan. 26-27. The incoming asteroid, named 2004 BL86, will be just 740,000 miles away (3.1 times farther from us than the Moon) and visible in ordinary binoculars.   More information and observing tips are available on http://spaceweather.com.

GEOMAGNETIC STORM ALERTS:  Did you miss last night's unexpected geomagnetic storm? Subscribers to our Space Weather Alert Service were notified while the event was underway.  If you would like to join the group of people who never miss a geomagnetic storm, you may sign up for the alerts at http://spaceweathertext.com (text) or http://spaceweatherphone.com (voice).

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday 25 January 2015 - Skeptic Check: Mummy Dearest

Image for Big Picture Science weekly radio show
Big Picture Science - Skeptic Check: Mummy Dearest

ENCORE: Shh …mummy’s the word! We don’t want to provoke the curse of King Tut. Except that there are many curses associated with this fossilized pharaoh – from evil spirits to alien malevolence. So it’s hard to know which one we’d face.

We’ll unravel secrets about the famous young pharaoh, including the bizarre events that transpired after the discovery of his tomb in the Valley of the Kings, and learn what modern imaging reveals about life 3,000 years ago.

Plus, we dispel myths about how to make a mummy, while learning the origin of that notorious mummy curse. Also, discover why superstitions have survival value.

Guests:

This encore podcast was first released on June 24, 2013

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

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.