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15 July 2022

12-Extinctions: Space station splashdown

The International Space Station feels like a permanent fixture. It’s been up there since 2000! But earlier this year, NASA announced it is bringing the ISS back to earth in the 2030s as it plans for new space stations.

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1 July 2022

10-Extinctions: Showdown of the giant space rocks

Dani DellaGiustina is one of the youngest leaders of a NASA mission, and she was in charge of image processing for OSIRIS-REx before she even got her PhD. OSIRIS-REx is a spacecraft sent to study asteroid Bennu and scheduled to return a sample to Earth in 2023.

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3 June 2022

6.5-Extinctions: Dinosaurs, volcanoes, the space station, oh my!

Join us for our next six-part miniseries on Extinctions as we learn about the demise of the dinosaurs, what makes a comet “extinct,” the Cambrian and Triassic periods, volcanoes, and the aforementioned (planned) fiery end of the International Space Station!

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6 May 2022

3-True story: A Martian on Earth

Tanya Harrison never thought she was going to be an astronaut. But she was determined to go to space. And she did just that – through satellites, first to Mars, and now looking back at our own third rock from the Sun as she uses satellites to map places near and far. We talked with her about what it’s like to be a Martian, making science more accessible to those …

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22 April 2022

True (science) stories you’ve never heard before

Third Pod from the Sun is back, and we’re going weekly! Join us as we combat misconceptions about sharks, learn how to lasso lizards, hear from a Martian here on Earth, spark science joy via Tiktok, journey to Antarctica, and fight over food with some capuchins!

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20 September 2021

Third Pod Presents: Stereo Chemistry – Searching for Mars’s missing water

More than 50 years of missions to Mars paint a clear picture of a cold, dry, desert planet. And at the same time, photographs, minerals, and other data tell scientists that Mars once had as much water as Earth, or even more. Why are the two planets so different today?

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27 April 2021

What’s It Like Pretending to Live on Mars?

If someone offered you the chance to drop everything, fly to Hawaii, and spend four months trapped in a dome with seven strangers in the name of science, would you do it? For writer Kate Greene, the answer to that question was a resounding “yes.” Greene was one of eight people selected to crew the very first HI-SEAS Mars analogue mission in 2013. 

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8 February 2021

A Modern Way to Look for Aliens

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?

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7 December 2020

From Athlete to Astronaut

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.

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12 October 2020

Final Frontier? The Evolution of Planetary Science Missions

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.

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20 April 2020

Earthrise

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.

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26 December 2019

Third Pod Presents: Sci & Tell – Lori Glaze on Nudging Asteroids

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.

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11 November 2019

Third Pod Presents: Sci & Tell – Rafael Loureiro on Space Plants

Rafael Loureiro may confess to being an introvert, but he has no fear of people.

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4 November 2019

E23 – Between a Varnished Rock and a Hard Place

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.

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28 October 2019

Third Pod Presents: Sci & Tell – Jim Green on Space Exploration

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)! 

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8 October 2019

E22 – Diamond Anvils and the Heart of Jupiter

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.

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19 August 2019

Centennial E9 – The Sun and the Exploding Sea

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.

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5 August 2019

E20 – Ballooning on Venus

Venus, Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor, is a rocky world close in size to our own. In our solar system, it is the planet most like Earth. But Earth and Venus have taken different developmental paths, creating curious contrasts for scientists interested in planetary evolution.

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15 July 2019

Centennial E8 – Guardian of the Moon Rocks

Fifty years ago, humans first stepped foot on the Moon. Along with visiting our closest neighbor, the Apollo astronauts also brought back hundreds of pounds of lunar samples, from micron-scale motes of dust to small boulders weighing more than 25 pounds. Using these samples, scientists have been able to peer back in time to the early days of our solar system, making major discoveries about the formation of the Moon …

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28 June 2019

Third Pod Live: Anthony Rapp

At Third Pod, we often talk with researchers about how they grew up to become scientists. But how does an actor become a scientist on screen?

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