Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Big Sunspot Crackles with Flares


Source - Space Weather News for Sept. 29, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

HIGH SOLAR ACTIVITY: Big sunspot AR2422 is crackling with M-class solar flares and it has an unstable magnetic field that harbors energy for even stronger eruptions. NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of powerful X-class solar flares during the next 24 hours. 

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

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday September 28, 2015 - What, We Worry?












Big Picture Science - What, We Worry?

Encore: We all have worries. But as trained observers, scientists learn things that can affect us all. So what troubles them should also trouble us. From viral pandemics to the limits of empirical knowledge, find out what science scenarios give researchers insomnia.

But also, we discover which scary scenarios that preoccupy the public don’t worry the scientists at all. Despite the rumors, you needn’t fear that the Large Hadron Collider will produce black holes that could swallow the Earth.

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

Guests:
Inspiration for this episode comes from the book, What Should We Be Worried About?: Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night edited by John Brockman.


This encore podcast was first released on May 5, 2014

Download episode at: http://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/Skeptic_Check_What_We_Worry_

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

Live Webcast of the Supermoon Eclipse


Source - Space Weather News for Sept. 26, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

This weekend's full Moon is a "supermoon," the biggest and brightest of the year, and it is about to be eclipsed.  On Sunday evening, Sept 27th, sky watchers in North America will see the swollen lunar orb glide through the shadow of Earth, turning it a beautiful shade of sunset red. The same eclipse will be visible from South America, Europe, Africa and parts of Asia during the early hours of Sept. 28th.  The Coca-Cola Space Science Center is broadcasting the event live at  http://www.ccssc.org/webcast.html .

For more information about the eclipse, and a big sunspot facing Earth this weekend, visit http://spaceweather.com

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

ScienceCasts: Total Eclipse of the Harvest Moon


Source - ScienceAtNASA

This Sunday, Sep. 27th, the super Harvest Moon will pass through the shadow of Earth, producing a lovely amber total lunar eclipse.



Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

The Hidden Meltdown of Greenland


Source - NASA Science News for August 28, 2015

NASA-supported researchers have found that ice covering Greenland is melting faster than previously thought.

The complete article can be found here: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2015/28aug_greenland/

A companion video is posted below and can also be viewed at: http://youtu.be/xkxjyZmdJgg



Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday September 21, 2015 - No Face to Hide













Big Picture Science - No Face to Hide

Face it – your mug is not entirely yours.  It’s routinely uploaded to social media pages and captured on CCTV cameras with – and without – your consent.  Sophisticated facial recognition technology can identify you and even make links to your personal data.  There are few places where you’re safe from scrutiny.

Find out how a computer analyzes the geometry of a face and why even identical twins don’t fool its discerning gaze.  Proponents say that biometrics are powerful tools to stop crime, but the lack of regulation concerns privacy groups.  Do you want to be identified – and your habits tracked – whenever you step outside?

Plus, astronomy meets forensics.  How analyzing photos and paintings using weather records, sky charts, and phases of the moon help solve intriguing mysteries, including the history of an iconic V.J. Day photo.

Guests:
  • Donald Olson – Physicist, astronomer, Texas State University  
  • Marios Savvides – Computer engineer, Director, CyLab Biometrics Center, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Alvaro Bedoya – Executive director, Center on Privacy and Technology, Georgetown Law

Download episode at: : http://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/no-face-to-hide

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

Monday, September 14, 2015

NASA spacecraft sees a rare double solar eclipse


Source - Space Weather News for Sept. 14, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

DOUBLE SOLAR ECLIPSE:  Yesterday, a NASA spacecraft witnessed a rare double eclipse.  The Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed Earth and the Moon passing in front of the sun at the same time.  Photos are highlighted on today's edition of http://spaceweather.com.

AURORA SEASON BEGINS:  For reasons researchers still don't fully understand, auroras love equinoxes. At this time of year even gentle gusts of solar wind can spark a nice display of Northern or Southern Lights.  Such an event is about to occur.  A stream of solar wind is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field on Sept. 14-15. Aurora alerts are available from http://spaceweathertext.com (text) and http://spaceweatherphone.com (voice).

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday September 14, 2015 - Stranded













Big Picture Science - Stranded

ENCORE: Imagine not knowing where you are – and no one else knowing either. Today, that’s pretty unlikely. Digital devices pinpoint our location within a few feet, so it’s hard to get lost anymore. But we can still get stranded.

A reporter onboard an Antarctic ship that was stuck for weeks in sea ice describes his experience, and contrasts that with a stranding a hundred years prior in which explorers ate their dogs to survive.

Plus, the Plan B that keeps astronauts from floating away forever … how animals and plants hitch rides on open sea to populate new lands … and the rise of the mapping technology that has made hiding a thing of the past.

Guests:

This encore podcast was first released on February 3, 2014.

Download episode at: http://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/Stranded

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

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sept. 11th Geomagnetic Storm


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

GEOMAGNETIC STORM: A stream of solar wind hit Earth's magnetic field on Sept. 11th, sparking one of the strongest geomagnetic storms of the year and auroras in multiple US states. This continues a trend of relatively high geomagnetic activity that began on Sept. 7th.  High-latitude sky watchers could see more auroras tonight.  Visit http://spaceweather.com for more information and updates.

AURORA WAKE-UP CALLS:  Did you miss last night's display?  Next time get a wake-up call. Geomagnetic storm alerts are available from http://spaceweathertext.com (text) and http://spaceweatherphone.com (voice).

Monday, September 07, 2015

Labor Day Geomagnetic Storm


Source - Space Weather News for Sept. 7, 2015http://spaceweather.com

LABOR DAY GEOMAGNETIC STORM:  A G2-class geomagnetic storm is in progress on Sept. 7th as Earth moves through a stream of fast moving solar wind.  Sky watchers in Alaska witnessed bright auroras before daybreak on Monday, and they might see them again after nightfall. High-latitude observers everywhere should be alert for Northern Lights.

Check http://spaceweather.com for images and updates.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Big Picture Science for Monday September 7, 2015 - The Pest of Us












Big Picture Science - The Pest of Us

ENCORE: Picture a cockroach skittering across your kitchen. Eeww! Now imagine it served as an entrĂ©e at your local restaurant. There’s good reason these diminutive arthropods give us the willies – but they may also be the key to protein-rich meals of the future. Get ready for cricket casserole, as our relationship to bugs is about to change.

Also, share in one man’s panic attack when he is swarmed by grasshoppers. And the evolutionary reason insects revolt us, but also why the cicada’s buzz and the beetle’s click may have inspired humans to make music.

Plus, the history of urban pests: why roaches love to hide out between your floorboards. And Molly adopts a boxful of mealworms.

Guests:

•   Jeffrey Lockwood – Professor of natural sciences and humanities, University of Wyoming, author of The Infested Mind: Why Humans Fear, Loathe, and Love Insects
•   David Rothenberg – Musician, author of Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise
•   Dawn Day Biehler – Assistant professor of geography and environmental studies, University of Maryland, Baltimore county, author of Pests in the City: Flies, Bedbugs, Cockroaches, and Rats (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books)
•   Andrew Brentano, Jena Brentano and Daniel Imrie-Situnayake – Co-founders, Tiny Farms, Berkeley, California


This encore podcast was first released on January 27, 2014.

Download episode at: http://bigpicturescience.org/episodes/The_Pest_of_Us

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

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

156 Years Ago, A Solar Superstorm


Source - Space Weather News for Sept. 2, 2015: http://spaceweather.com

Today is the anniversary of an historic solar storm, the Carrington Event. On Sept. 2, 1859, a CME struck Earth's magnetic field with such power that telegraph stations caught fire and people in Cuba read their morning newspapers by the red light of the aurora borealis. If a similar storm struck our planet today, it might cause trillions of dollars of damage to society's high-tech infrastructure. Could the Carrington Event happen again?  It almost did just a few years ago.

Extreme solar storms--past, present and future--are highlighted on today's edition of http://spaceweather.com .