Monday, November 28, 2011

CME Impact on Nov. 28

Source - Space Weather News for Nov. 28-29, 2011:

CME IMPACT: Auroras are dancing around the Arctic Circle following a CME impact during the late hours of Nov. 28th. High-latitude sky watchers, especially in Scandinavia, Canada, and Alaska, should be alert for Northern Lights. Check for more information and images.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Big Picture Science for 11/28/11 - Skeptic Check: Dubiology

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Big Picture Science - Skeptic Check: Dubiology

There’s no harm talking to your houseplant, but will your chatter really help it grow? We look at various biological claims, from whether plants feel pain to the ability of cats to predict earthquakes. Feline forecasters, anyone?

Also, when does understanding biology have important implications for health and policy? The arguments for and against genetically modified foods, and the danger of “pox parties” as a replacement for childhood vaccination.

Plus, the history and current state of scientific literacy in the United States. When did we stop trusting science?


You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mars Rover Curiosity Takes Off

Source - NASA Science News for Nov. 26, 2011

NASA's biggest and most capable Mars rover ever left Earth this morning in a picture perfect launch from Cape Canaveral. The new rover, named "Curiosity", is due to reach the Red Planet in August 2012.


To learn more about Curiosity's landing site on Mars, check out the video "The Strange Attraction of Gale Crater":

Radiation Storm and CME Alert

Source - Space Weather News for Nov. 26, 2011:

CME AND RADIATION STORM: A solar radiation storm is in progress around Earth. At the moment (the late hours of Nov. 26th), the storm is classified as minor, which means it has little effect on our planet other than to disturb HF radio transmissions at high latitudes. Bigger effects, however, could be in the offing. The same blast that caused the radiation storm also hurled a CME into space, and this CME appears set to deliver a blow to Earth's magnetic field on Nov. 28th. Geomagnetic storms and auroras are possible when the cloud arrives. Visit for more information and updates.

WOULD YOU LIKE A CALL when geomagnetic storms are in progress? Storm alerts are available from (text) and (voice).

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Solar Eclipse

Source - Space Weather News for Nov. 25, 2011:

SOLAR ECLIPSE: This morning, the new Moon passed in front of the sun producing a partial solar eclipse over Earth's southern hemisphere. Sky watchers in Antarctica and parts of New Zealand and South Africa witnessed the solar disk turning into a crescent as slender as 9%. Images and more information are highlighted on today's edition of

BLACK FRIDAY: Authentic rocks from space, solar telescopes, stellar wall hangings: You can't get any of this stuff at your local mall. For truly out-of-this-world holiday gifts, visit the Space Weather Store:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Big Picture Science for 11/21/11 - We've Got You Made

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Big Picture Science - We've Got You Made

ENCORE Wish you could ditch computers? There’s no escape button for that. Computers are not only a part of your daily grind, they may soon be a part of you. We’ll hear from the world’s first cyborg about why we should make nice in our arms race with machines.

Also, the secret behind the extraordinary breakthroughs that DARPA scientists are making – from building autonomous cars to wiring robotic surgeons.

Plus, making space for humans… and their bodily functions: the engineering tricks of toiletry. And, a carbon-based astronaut on the view of Earth from orbit.


First aired August 23, 2010.


You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Evidence for Liquid Water on Europa

Source - NASA Science News for Nov. 16, 2011:

Scientists studying data from NASA's Galileo probe have found evidence for a body of liquid water the volume of the North American Great Lakes locked inside the icy shell of Jupiter’s moon Europa. The finding could have significant implications for the search for life beyond Earth.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Mystery of the Lunar Ionosphere

Source - NASA Science News for Nov. 14, 2011

How can a world without air have an ionosphere? Somehow the Moon has done it. Lunar researchers have been struggling with the mystery for years, and they may have finally found a solution.


The video below is also available at

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Big Picture Science for 11/14/11 - Blame it on Bacterio

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Big Picture Science - Blame it on Bacterio

Think small! Microbes are tinier than the dot at the end of this sentence, yet they can make humans sicker than dogs, dogs sicker than humans, jump from animal to human and keep scientists guessing when and where the next disease will appear.

Discover how doctors diagnosed one man’s mysterious infection, the role that animals play as hosts for disease, and why the rate of emerging diseases is increasing worldwide.

Also, why your kitchen is a biosafety hazard, and how the Human Microbiome Project will tally all the microbes on – and in – you.

Plus, the extreme places on Earth where microbes thrive and what it suggests for the existence of alien life. And, how one strain of bacteria helped a farmer grow a pumpkin the weight of a small car!


You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

A Remarkable Display of Solar Activity

Source - Space Weather News for Nov. 13, 2011:

SOLAR ACTIVITY: The sun is putting on one of its best displays of the new solar cycle--not with sunspots and flares, but rather with towering walls of plasma and filaments of magnetism. One dark filament is stretching more than a million kilometers across the face of the sun, about three times the distance between Earth and the Moon. Visit for pictures and more information about these remarkable structures.

DON'T MISS THE NEXT FLARE: Would you like a call when strong flares are in progress? Realtime solar activity alerts are available from (text) and (voice).

Monday, November 07, 2011

Stellar Extremophiles

Source - NASA Science News for Nov. 7, 2011

A NASA space telescope named "GALEX" has found stars forming in extreme galactic environments, places where researchers thought stars should not be. The finding could affect astronomy much as the discovery of microbial extremophiles affected biology in the 1970s.


The companion video below can also be found at

Big Picture Science for 11/07/11 - NASA or What?

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Big Picture Science - NASA or What?

“Making space for everyone” could be NASA’s motto. But as commercial spaceships get ready to blast off, that populist idea is being tested. Space cowboys in the private sector say they’re the ones who can provide unfettered access to space, for tourists and scientists alike.

Meet a scientist who already has a ticket to ride on SpaceShip Two and discover what he hopes to learn about asteroids during his five minutes of weightlessness.

Plus, NASA in motion: it’s back to the moon as the GRAIL mission probes the interior of our lovely lunar satellite. Also, can you dig it? The rover Curiosity can. It’s headed to Mars to hunt for clues to alien life … with a jackhammer.

Also, as the Hubble Space Telescope shuts down, the James Webb Space Telescope revs up. Or does it? The telescope is designed to study the birth of galaxies and hunt for evidence of water on far away worlds. But will Congress pull the plug?


You can listen to this and other episodes at, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Significant Asteroid Flyby on Nov. 8

Source - Space Weather News for Nov. 7, 2011:

ASTEROID FLYBY: NASA radars are monitoring 2005 YU55, an asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier, as it heads for a Nov. 8th flyby of the Earth-Moon system. There is no danger to our planet. At closest approach on Tuesday at 3:28 pm PST (23:28 UT), the space rock will be 324,600 kilometers away. Nevertheless, professional astronomers are eagerly anticipating the flyby as the asteroid presents an exceptionally strong radar target. Even amateur astronomers might be able to photograph it during the hours around closest approach. Check for observing tips and more information.

OWN YOUR OWN SPACE ROCK: They came from outer space--and you can have one. Genuine meteorites are now on sale in the Space Weather Store:

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Huge Sunspot

Source - Space Weather News for Nov. 3, 201:

HUGE SUNSPOT: One of the biggest sunspot groups in many years has just emerged over the sun's eastern limb. The sunspot's magnetic canopy is crackling with M-class (medium-sized) solar flares and seems poised to launch even stronger X-class eruptions. The sunspot, named AR1339, is not yet directly facing Earth but it will be turning toward our planet in the days ahead. Check for images of the behemoth and updates.

SUNSPOT TELESCOPE: Sunspot AR1339 looks magnificent when viewed through Explore Scientific's White Light Solar Observing System. This safely-filtered telescope is designed for high-quality imaging of sunspots and it is now available in the Space Weather Store: