The Daily Space

By Dr. Pamela Gay, Beth Johnson, & Annie Wilson

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Category: Astronomy

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Episodes: 100

 Oct 29, 2019


Get your weekly dose of all that's new in space and astronomy with Escape Velocity Space News. The sky is not the limit, as we bring you the latest scientific discoveries and rocket launches. EVSN is brought to you by the team behind CosmoQuest at the Planetary Science Institute, and features hosts Dr. Pamela L. Gay and Erik Madaus with special guest interviews by Beth Johnson and audio engineering by Ally Pelphrey. EVSN is supported through Patreon at

Episode Date
Is This How We Get Cylons?

In this show, we’ll go through more than 20 studies and observations ranging from planetary climates to galaxy mergers, and we’ll take a closer look at how Artificial Intelligence is being asked to play a role in every area of this research. And we’ll ask, “Is this how we get Cylons?” (This episode originally aired on television February 18, 2023)

Jun 01, 2023
Cosmology: From Particles to Galaxy Clusters

We live at a time when technological advances are allowing us to explore ideas faster than ever before. So today, we bring you lab results on ice that affect how we see the outer solar system, and observations of galaxies that affect our understanding of the universe’s formation. We go from things smaller than a proton – which we just learned is 0.73 femtometers across -- to galaxy clusters 10s of millions of lightyears across. It’s all tied together, and we’ll tell you how. (This episode originally aired on television February 11, 2023)

May 24, 2023
Mass Extinction, Volcanoes, and Rings Around an Asteroid

In this episode, we discuss one mass extinction, three stories with volcanoes, star formation, galaxy dissolution, and space mission synchronized observing. We also take a closer look at dark energy and dark matter and how giant galaxies in the early universe seem to indicate we may know even less than we thought. And rockets. There are always more rockets thanks to SpaceX. (This episode originally aired on television February 4, 2023)

May 18, 2023
Space science potpourri and a more hopeful look at climate change

This episode has a little bit of everything as we bring you results from astronomers, geoscientists, climate scientists, imaging scientists, glaciologists, meteorologists, planetary scientists, engineers, and even bioarchaeologists. This diversity of research allows us to better understand our world and beyond. In our first segment, we look at how our ecosystem and past cultures rebounded after prior naturally occurring climate events. It's unclear if this research will help us better recover from the climate change we're currently facing, but maybe it will give us hope. From our world, we travel outward, looking at the meteorology of Mars, future technology for space exploration, and the star catalogs that will help us define our place in space. (This episode originally aired on television January 28, 2023)

May 12, 2023
New science from AAS rearranges our understanding of the universe

Hello and welcome! This show - Escape Velocity Space News - is new, and we’re so glad that you’re here with us, right from the beginning. Dr. Pamela Gay, along with a great production team, is here to put science in your brain. In this episode, we’re going to bring you the best of what’s been discovered and dive deep into the hottest topic of the week - the infrared universe. From stunning images from the JWST to better-resolved star formation seen by ESO’s VLT, this redder-than-red color of light has been all the rage in this season’s best science papers. Also joining us is aerospace journalist Erik Madaus, who brings us a rundown of last year's best launches and the stats for what was a truly bizarre launch year for the European Space Agency and an amazing year for SpaceX. We bring you all of this and more, right here on Escape Velocity Space News. (This episode was originally recorded for television on January 21, 2023)


May 09, 2023
EVSN announcement for DS

Audition Template: 1 Mono Host track (with Speech Volume Leveler), 1 Mono Interview track (with Speech Volume Leveler), 1 Stereo Sound FX with effects, 1 Stereo Music Bed track. 44.1k, 16 bit, Stereo Master.

Feb 28, 2023
Dealing with Potentially Hazardous Asteroids

A trio of asteroid-related stories crossed our emails this week: Bennu’s sample is on schedule for next year’s return, researchers have developed a tool to measure an asteroid’s density distribution, and 3200 Phaeton’s rotational period has accelerated. Plus, JWST’s new Pillars of Creation image, and this week in rocket history, we look back at Venera 4.

Oct 20, 2022
JAXA Triggers Flight Termination of Launch

Space is hard, and some days, getting rockets to work doesn’t go as well as expected. An Epsilon rocket launched by JAXA and carrying eight payloads including RAISE 3 was lost when mission control triggered the flight termination system due to an attitude issue. Plus, stars blowing dust rings, stars exploding, asteroids getting hit with spacecraft, and Europa’s geysers may not come from the subsurface ocean.

Oct 20, 2022
BONUS CONTENT: Full-length interview with Jochen Grandell

Catch the full-length interview with Jochen Grandell, Program Scientist for the Meteosat third generation, from our October 4th episode. 

Oct 10, 2022
Dinosaurs Washed Away in Largest Wave to Wrap Earth
As if getting set on fire and tossed into space wasn’t enough, new research finds evidence that after the Chicxulub impact, dinosaurs were also the victims of a massive global tsunami and worldwide earthquakes. Plus, the Milky Way’s stellar graveyard, a new timeline for the Moon’s formation, and this week in space history, we look back at the Meteosat program.
Oct 07, 2022
Observed: It’s a Star-Eat-Star Universe

While astronomers have observed white dwarfs consuming companion stars on numerous occasions, for the first time, they have now observed the consumption of the companion’s helium and not just hydrogen. Plus, galactic alignment, rocket launches including Crew 5, a new Europa image, and a review of the video game “Tinykin”.

Oct 06, 2022
Firefly Makes Orbit on Second Try

Early Saturday morning, another company entered the exclusive club of successful orbital launchers, Firefly Aerospace, when their second attempt to reach orbit, named To The Black, lifted off on October 1. Plus, a crater in Spain, a new DART image, Juno flies by Europa, and an interview with Jochen Grandell regarding the Meteosat program.

Oct 05, 2022
BONUS CONTENT: Shape modeling Didymos before DART's arrival

Catch the full-length interview with Eric Palmer from our September 30th show. 

Oct 01, 2022
Globular Clusters: Already Old Nine Billion Years Ago

The quest to understand the formation mechanisms of globular clusters was limited by the Hubble Space Telescope’s ability to peer back in time. Now, JWST’s larger mirror has allowed astronomers to find gravitationally lensed galaxies that have globular clusters almost nine billion years old. Plus, two new super-mercury exoplanets, This Week in Space History, and an interview with Eric Palmer about the DART mission.

Sep 30, 2022
BONUS CONTENT: Full-length interview with Amanda Sickafoose - Dimorphos impact captured by South African telescope

Catch the full-length interview with Amanda Sickafoose from our September 29th episode. 

Sep 30, 2022
Confirmed: 68 New Gravitational Lenses

Using a machine learning algorithm, scientists have confirmed 68 out of 77 potential gravitational lens candidates from a subset of over 5,000 possibilities. Plus, generation one stars, astronauts coming home, dating craters on Earth, lunar glass, and an interview with Amanda Sickafoose regarding the DART mission.

Sep 29, 2022
DART Mission Successfully Boops Dimorphos

After ten months of space travel, NASA’s DART spacecraft arrived at the asteroid Didymos, targeted the moonlet Dimorphos, and successfully flung itself at the surface. Multiple observations confirm that the system brightened and even managed to resolve a cloud of debris. Plus, rocket launches, an update on the SLS, some broken physics, and International Observe the Moon Night.

Sep 27, 2022
Quasar’s Light Echoes After 6.73 Years

Astronomers using the 1.2-meter Whipple Observatory to follow the brightness of a lensed galaxy for 14.5 years have calculated that the time delay between light arriving along the shortest and farthest paths is 6.73 years. Plus, DART, Hayabusa2, Juno, fast radio bursts, and This Week in Space History, we look back at NASA’s 1990s attempts to reach Mars.

Sep 23, 2022
NASA Tries Fuel Tanking the SLS Again

In advance of the next scheduled launch attempt, NASA conducted another test to fill the fuel tanks onboard the Space Launch System rocket. The results were mixed, but the launch is still on schedule. Plus, a crewed launch, beautiful images, and an interview with Mike Simmons from Astronomy for Equity about sending telescopes to underprivileged students.

Sep 23, 2022
Bringing Telescopes to Students in Libya

Beth is joined by Mike Simmons, the founder of Astronomy for Equity, an Affiliate Research Scientist at the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, and a member of the Board of Directors for the International Dark-Sky Association. Mike is here to talk with us about a new crowdfunding campaign to bring telescopes to astronomy outreach students in Libya.

Sep 22, 2022
Being a Star: Nature vs Nurture

Asteroseismologists are combining data from TESS, Kepler, and eventually JWST to study stellar oscillations in ‘infant’ stars, with the goal of creating new models for how such young stars form and evolve over time. Plus, JWST images Mars, Hubble images stars, and SpaceX manages to launch another Starlink mission in spite of weather delays.

Sep 20, 2022
Saturn’s Rings are Made of a Broken-up Moon

Using computer simulations, researchers have pieced together a possible scenario where Titan caused another of Saturn’s moons to break up and become the beautiful ring system we see today. Plus, organic molecules on Mars, the death of the dinosaurs, and a review of Lightyear on Disney+.

Sep 17, 2022
Mount Sharp, Mars, Shaped by Water and Wind

Data and images from NASA’s Curiosity rover found evidence that wind played a key role in erosional processes on the red planet, despite the lower atmospheric volume. Plus, astrophysics and cosmology news, a baby exoplanet, and this week in space history, we look back at an uncrewed lunar mission from Japan.

Sep 15, 2022
BONUS CONTENT: Full-length interview with DART investigation team member Jian-Yang Li

Listen to the full-length interview with Jian-Yang Li from our September 13th episode. 

Sep 15, 2022
How to Build a Supervolcano in Just Four Million Years

Using pockets of gas found in tiny crystals, scientists have created a timeline for the formation and eruption of four supervolcano events in northern Chile more than twenty million years ago. Plus, rocket launches, gorgeous new space images, and an interview with Jian-Yang Li about the upcoming DART mission’s impact.

Sep 14, 2022
Water Worlds May Hide Water Underground Summary

A population study of 43 exoplanets orbiting M-dwarf stars used both the transit method and radial velocity method to find the densities of the worlds and a surprising pattern emerged. The planets are less dense than expected, suggesting they are not purely rock but half-rock and maybe half-water. Plus, star factories in the Milky Way, glaciers on ancient Mars, and This Week in Space History.

Sep 09, 2022
Climate Change Melts Glaciers, Greens the Arctic

As global temperatures rise, Earth observations show that glaciers are retreating and ice sheets are melting everywhere from Greenland to Antarctica while regions of the Arctic are getting greener. Plus, collaborations lead to new Mars and exoplanet discoveries, several rockets launched, and this week’s What’s Up involves Dr. Brian May of Queen.

Sep 09, 2022
SEASON PREMIERE: Catching up on news and rockets!

As we return from our summer hiatus, we are back with a rundown of some of the stories that came out during the break. On the planetary front, JWST has been taking amazing images and learning about exoplanets. On the astrophysics front, we’ve got stories on dark matter and Betelgeuse. And there were thirty orbital launches, including a whole lot of Starlinks… but not including Artemis.

Sep 06, 2022
Machine Learning Pinpoints Martian Meteorite Origin

Using layers of data from a variety of Martian missions, researchers have developed a machine learning algorithm that identified the actual crater from which a particular Martian meteorite originated. Plus, a radio heartbeat, the missing baryon problem, and our last What’s Up and review of the season.

Jul 15, 2022
All the Rockets and All the Rocks

With the release of JWST’s first science images behind us, we now catch up on all the rocket launches of the past few days. Meanwhile, Bennu continues to be a favorite research topic and is the subject of three new papers released this week. Plus, pulsar-orbiting planets, and this week in rocket history, we look back at GEOTAIL.

Jul 13, 2022
JWST Releases First Five Science Images

Starting with the stunning release of JWST’s first image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723 on July 11, the bonanza continued the morning of July 12 with newly released images of Stephan’s Quintet, the Carina Nebula, the Southern Ring Nebula, and exoplanet WASP-96b. Plus, that controversial name and what’s ahead for the newest space observatory.

The Clifford Norton documentary film:

“Behind The Name: James Webb Space Telescope”

Jul 12, 2022
Solar System Rotation Rate Due to Subatomic Interactions

Using a first-principles approach, researchers have discovered that the differences in the rotational rate of the solar system are due to the inward and outward flow of cations and electrons. Plus, JWST’s first list of observations, a Starlink launch, dinosaurs, raining sand, and a review of episode two of this season’s “For All Mankind.”

Jul 08, 2022
Electrons Swirl Like Water Under Specific Conditions

Using etched tungsten ditelluride at nearly absolute zero, scientists have observed electrons swirling around like whirlpools, behaving as a fluid. The methods could be used to design low-energy devices. Plus, eavesdropping on aliens, machine learning on solar data, and some new observatories are in the works.

Jul 07, 2022
Infrared Telescope Balloon Mission Gets Mini-JWST Mirror

While waiting for the launch and commissioning of JWST, engineers designed an infrared telescope with a 2.5-meter mirror that will fly onboard a large research balloon to nearly 40 kilometers in altitude. Plus, fast radio bursts, robotic ammonites, and this week in rocket history we look back at Telstar-1.

Jul 06, 2022
Cosmic Manatee with a Particle Accelerator on its Head

Scientists observing the Manatee Nebula find that the supernova remnant contains a stellar-mass black hole that is emitting powerful, high-energy jets, creating the strange, double-lobed shape. Plus, rocket launches, mission updates from Mars and the Moon, and a spinning galaxy from the early universe.

Jul 05, 2022
Comet Storm Due in One Million Years

A star cataloged as Gliese 781 is approaching our solar system and in slightly more than a million years from now, will reach the Oort Cloud, likely disrupting the orbits of icy bodies that could head toward Earth. Plus, an Indian launch, Asteroid Day, understanding our ice giants, and a review of “Kaiju Preservation Society” by John Scalzi.

Jul 01, 2022
Looking for Life in All the Strange Places

A trio of stories examines the possibilities for finding life in strange, new places, including deep underground here on Earth, in the subsurface oceans of Europa, and fossilized within sedimentary rocks on Mars. Plus, a SpaceX launch, gamma-ray bursts, and this week’s What’s Up.

Jul 01, 2022
Climate Change: African Lakes Sequestering Carbon Dioxide

Today we look at a trio of climate change stories, which are mostly bad news, although one study has discovered that African lakes are doing more sequestering of greenhouse gases than emissions. Plus, the CAPSTONE launch, meteorite crystals, and this week in rocket history, a mission that launched… but failed.

Jun 29, 2022
Black Hole Caught Eating Faster Than Normal
With a little bit of luck and a lot of time on different telescopes, researchers managed to capture the black hole in the center of the Milky Way, SgrA*, consuming matter at a faster rate than usual. Plus, Australia launches a rocket, a couple of Mars stories, and strange glaciers on Earth.
Jun 28, 2022
Jupiter’s Atmosphere Contains Metals From Planetesimals

A recent paper examined data from NASA’s Juno mission and found that Jupiter’s atmosphere not only contains metals but also is not a homogenous mix. The likely culprits are the remains of planetesimals from the early solar system. Plus, a Voyager update, a new Mercury image, sulfur residue on Europa, and a review of “For All Mankind”.

Jun 24, 2022
Martian Sediments Reveal History of Flowing Water
A basin region within Margaritifer Terra on Mars contains deposits of clay-bearing sediment that provide evidence of flowing water on the red planet as recently as 2.5 billion years ago. Plus, Mars mission updates, gravitational wave detection, rocket launches, and this week’s What’s Up.
Jun 23, 2022
Bennu’s Boulders Act as Body Armor

An analysis of the craters on Bennu’s surface provides evidence that the rubble pile asteroid is protected from smaller impacts by the boulders scattered on the surface. Plus, the SLS Wet Dress Rehearsal, dwarf galaxies around M81, and this week in rocket history, we look back at the X-15 hypersonic plane.

Jun 22, 2022
Pulsar Found Racing Through Supernova Remnant

Researchers using the Chandra X-ray Observatory have found that a known pulsar is moving through a supernova remnant at over one million miles per hour. Plus, the life and death of stars, new pictures of the Large Magellanic Cloud, and all of the SpaceX rocket launches.

Jun 21, 2022
Wobbling Star Produces Fastest Nova Ever Discovered

Observations of V1674 Hercules reveal a nova produced by the white dwarf star that dimmed in only one day. Additionally, the strange star wobbles every 501 seconds, producing flashes in visible and X-ray light. Plus, more results from the 240th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, a farewell to SOFIA, and What’s Up is the June solstice.

Jun 16, 2022
Rogue Black Hole Possibly Found in Milky Way
After six years of Hubble Space Telescopes and the hypothesis that millions of black holes exist in the Milky Way, scientists have finally found direct evidence for the existence of one such black hole. Plus, planetary formation, a wandering star, and this week in rocket history, we look back at China’s first crewed space station docking.
Jun 15, 2022
Understanding Space with Gaia Data Release 3
The Gaia mission released its third ‘treasure trove’ of observations and calculations of more than two billion stars in the Milky Way, including ‘starquakes’, stellar DNA, binary star systems, and more. Plus, day one of the American Astronomical Society press conferences and updates on Starship and NASA’s TROPICS-1 mission.
Jun 14, 2022
New Method Finds Four Brown Dwarfs

Using data from the fabulous Gaia mission, researchers have detected four new brown dwarfs as well as several other unusual companions to 25 stars in the Milky Way. Plus, Yellowstone, Earth’s magnetic field, hot Jupiters, and a review of the first episode of The Orville: New Horizons.

Jun 10, 2022
Second Repeating Fast Radio Burst Discovered

A second repeating fast radio burst was detected in 2019 by China’s FAST observatory and confirmed in 2020 by the Very Large Array. This latest discovery raises the possibility that there are two different types of FRBs. Plus, a SpaceX commercial launch, mission updates, neutron stars, and this week’s What’s Up.

Jun 09, 2022
Quasars Help Pinpoint the End of Reionization Epoch

Using the radiation signatures of quasars, scientists have determined when the era of reionization ended in our universe – about 1.1 billion years after the Big Bang. Plus, an update on NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft, new Hubble and Chandra images, and This Week in Rocket History is the TIROS-5 weather satellite.

Jun 08, 2022
Found: Dying Galaxies Containing Active Black Holes

Astronomers combined observations of far distant galaxies exhibiting no signs of star formation and found active supermassive black holes that may have contributed to the evolution of their parent galaxies. Plus, rocket launches, detecting earthquakes, and why Uranus and Neptune are different shades of blue.

Jun 07, 2022
A Trio of Mars Papers Provides Two Explanations to Different Questions

Today, we take a look at three recent papers attempting to explain various phenomena on Mars. One uncovers the cause of discrete aurorae. Another explains the martian haze. And a third actually ends up with more questions than answers. Plus, Boeing’s OFT-2 returns to Earth, ESA’s Solar Orbiter makes its closest approach, and Dr. Pamela reviews the new graphic novel Galaxy: The Prettiest Star by Jadzia Axelrod.

May 27, 2022
Tau Herculids Meteor Shower Could Be Meteor Outburst

Due to the gravitational pull of Jupiter on the fragments and dust of comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann, Earth’s orbit may be moving through a dense portion of the comet’s trail on May 31. This alignment could result in an unusually spectacular meteor outburst, and we’ll interview astronomer Pierre Martin about this possible event. Plus, a SpaceX launch that wasn’t Starlink, a new solar sail, and JWST.

May 26, 2022
Chaos Reigned in Early Solar System

Researchers using radioactive decay analysis have recreated the early history of some asteroids in our solar system, revealing a more chaotic phase than previously thought. Plus, a near-Earth asteroid, a solar sail, a trove of black holes, and this week in rocket history, we look back at Mercury-Atlas 7.

May 25, 2022
Pulsars as the Particle Accelerators of the Universe

Fast, strong magnetic winds caused by quickly rotating pulsars may be accelerating particles like electrons to extremely high-energy states and creating gamma-ray photons in their wake. Plus, missions close to home, large and distant objects, some pretty Hubble photos, and laser simulations of fast radio bursts.

May 24, 2022
Hubble Observations Make For a More Precise Hubble Constant

Over the past three decades, astronomers around the world have been using the observations of the Hubble Space Telescope to more precisely calculate the expansion of the universe. And they have converged on a precision of just over 1%. Plus, Boeing launches Starliner, Voyager 1 struggles, and Erik reviews his favorite camera lens.

May 21, 2022
Galaxy Used as Cosmic Telescope to Peer Back in Time

With a groundbreaking technique, astronomers have used a galaxy as a gravitational lens to backlight two hydrogen clouds, peering back 11 billion light-years at our early universe. Plus, volcano water on the Moon, a quadruple star system, and this week’s What’s Up takes a careful look at the Sun.

May 19, 2022
Supernova Evidence Found in Comet Fragment

A forensic analysis of the element concentration found in the Hypatia stone finds evidence in the cometary fragment, which may have impacted Earth 28 million years ago, of a supernova origin story. Plus, Ceres, Mars, and this week in rocket history, we look back at SpaceX’s COTS Demo Flight 2.

May 19, 2022
Astronomers Map Interstellar Clouds in Three Dimensions

A team of scientists combined stellar locations from the Gaia mission with dust and cloud maps from the WISE and 2MASS catalogs to create amazing three-dimensional images of the California Cloud and Orion A Cloud. Plus, rocket launches, the origin of carbon, and an interview with Dani DellaGiustina, principal investigator for the OSIRIS-APEX mission.

May 18, 2022
Plants Successfully Grown in Lunar Soil

Using a mere twelve grams of lunar soil returned by the Apollo missions, scientists have successfully grown plants in the lab. With a wealth of genetic data on hand, they can now analyze the changes to the plants and the soil. Plus, stellar cannibalism, a black hole merger, brown dwarfs, water on Mars, and a review of “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”.

May 13, 2022
Event Horizon Telescope Releases First Image of Sgr A*
In an early morning announcement, the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration finally revealed their first image of Sgr A*, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. We have a special episode entirely about this amazing new image and the science behind it. And this week’s What’s Up is a total lunar eclipse.
May 13, 2022
Found: Metal-rich Star. Parents Being Sought.

A ninth-magnitude star in our neighborhood of the Milky Way has been found to contain 65 different elements, including large proportions of heavier elements like gold. This star required either a supernova or a neutron star merger to form. Plus, another solar flare, a strong marsquake, cosmic rays, cookies, and this week in rocket history, we look back at STS-82 (84).

May 11, 2022
Active Black Hole’s Surge in Brightness Due to Magnetic Flip
A luminous black hole already classified as an active galactic nucleus brightened suddenly in recent ground and space observations, and the cause may be due to a sudden flip in the magnetic poles. Plus, community science, rockets, Ingenuity, and an interview with Dr. Cathy Weitz from Planetary Science Institute.
May 11, 2022
Hubble Discovers Star Hidden by Companion’s Supernova

Data from the Hubble Space Telescope has determined that the newly discovered companion of a star that went supernova had its outer hydrogen layer siphoned off before the explosion. The results support the theory that massive stars generally form and evolve as binary systems. Plus, rocks from space, Crew-4 comes home, searching for life beyond Earth, and another Canon lens review.

May 06, 2022
Newly Found ‘Black Widow’ Binary Has Third Companion

The flash of a pulsar about 3,000 light-years from our solar system was caused by a ‘black widow’ binary consuming a smaller star. Intriguingly, a third companion star is orbiting the pair, which may have originated near the Milky Way’s center. Plus, the Sun is ramping up, Chandra releases more sonification videos, and this week’s What’s Up is all about occultations.

May 05, 2022
May the Fourth Be With You

On this May 4th, all of us here at CosmoQuest would like to say, “May the Fourth be with you.” Today we are proud to announce our third annual CosmoQuest-a-Con: Rockin’ with Rockets and Robots, a celebration of science and creativity. This year’s virtual event is going to be October 21-23, and we are going to offer 42 hours of programming, bringing you guests, contests, cosplay, a community Minecraft build, and more. Learn more and get tickets at

May 04, 2022
Differences Fall Away Like Sand on Titan

Using spherical grains called ooids, found on Earth in shallow, tropical waters, scientists have found a possible mechanism for the formation of hydrocarbon sand on Titan. Plus, rocket launches, Jupiter and Mars, space explosions, and this week in rocket history, we look back at Britain’s Ariel satellite program.

May 04, 2022
Thirty Comets Spotted Orbiting Alien Star

Using data from TESS, a new paper presents evidence for the discovery of thirty potential comets orbiting in the Beta Pictoris system. Plus, astrobiology research, water on the Moon, solar system formation, and a review of “The Adam Project” starring Ryan Reynolds.

Apr 29, 2022
Martian Volcanoes Once Chose Violence

An analysis of images taken by the Spirit rover of olivine-rich rocks in Gustev crater has revealed a much more violent volcanic origin than originally thought and one that likely occurred early in Mars’s history. Plus, balloon science, more Mars, more volcanoes, pretty Hubble images, and What’s Up (a supernova!).

Apr 28, 2022
Stellar Death Just Got More Lit

Remember that new object COW, named for a strange supernova? We’ve seen four more of these Fast Blue Optical Transits, and new research may even have figured out just how and why they occur. Plus, Crew-4 launches, a bunch of planetary science news, micronovae, and this week in rocket history, we look back at the San Marco program.

Apr 27, 2022
New Fossil Data Shows Cascadia’s Dangers

An analysis of sediment core samples taken at the Salmon River Estuary in Oregon provides evidence that the massive 1700 Cascadia earthquake caused 15 meters of slip along the shoreline, which lead to over a meter of coastal subsidence. Plus, all the rocket launches, a few mission updates, making Mars bricks with urea, and an interview with Maggie Thompson from UC Santa Cruz about using methane as a biosignature.

Apr 26, 2022
Seafloor Spreading Slowing Globally

An analysis of the relative movements of 18 tectonic ridges over the past 19 million years finds that the rate of seafloor spreading has dropped by about 40% on average globally. Plus, stars are getting naked, climate change is heating things up, and we review “Impact: How Rocks from Space Led to Life, Culture, and Donkey Kong” by Greg Brennecka.

Apr 15, 2022
Earlier Bacterial Life May Have Formed Far Earlier Than Thought

An analysis of microscopic features in rocks from the Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt in Quebec, Canada, which date back between 3.75 and 4.28 billion years, finds evidence of possible microbial life. Plus, a supermassive black hole precursor, temperatures on Neptune, check-ins with various spacecraft, and our weekly What’s Up segment.

Apr 15, 2022
An In-Depth Look at Recent Mars Science And Exploration

A new paper looks at marsquakes and what is causing them, which turns out to be magma moving. And Curiosity has found rocks it needs to go around. Then there is the weather on Mars. Plus, lunar formation, a giant comet, and this week in rocket history, we look back at Apollo 13.

Apr 14, 2022
New Analysis Reveals W Boson Particle Far Heavier Than Expected

Despite being shut down a decade ago, the Collider Detector at Fermilab provided enormous amounts of data, some of which have recently been re-analyzed, leading to the discovery that the W boson is actually more massive than calculations and predictions expected. Plus, another JWST update, the newest most distant galaxy, gravitational waves, and an interview with Dr. Kelsi Singer about cryovolcanoes on Pluto.

Apr 13, 2022
Climate Change Affects the Birds and the Bees

From plastics invading the Arctic Ocean to the changing morphology of birds in response to rising temperatures and the problems with pathogens killing off pollinators like bees, we examine some of the effects of climate change on Earth’s ecosystems. Plus, Ganymede, moonlight, solar cells, and this week in rocket history, we look back at STS-83.

Apr 06, 2022
Protoplanet Image Supports Alternate Formation Theory

In a joint discovery announced by the Subaru and Hubble telescopes, researchers have captured images of a gas giant protoplanet whose distant formation supports the disk instability theory. Plus, galaxies, more galaxies, a couple of rocket launches, and updates on JWST and SLS.

Apr 05, 2022
Ice Mounds Abound in Martian Craters

An analysis of the thickness and the shapes of the ice mounds of Martian craters found that the patterns matched Mars’ axial tilt and precession over the last 4 to 5 million years. Plus, Europa, faint galaxies, What’s Up, and a review of an entire camera.

Mar 31, 2022
Hubble Finds Farthest Star Ever Spotted
Researchers pouring through high-resolution Hubble images of galaxy clusters have found the gravitationally magnified light of a star that was shining just four billion years after the Big Bang, making this bright star the new record holder for the farthest ever spotted. Plus, some launches, ice volcanoes on Pluto, melting Arctic ice, and this week in rocket history, we look back at INSAT.
Mar 30, 2022
How Atmospheric Methane Could Be a Sign of Life

Join us as we take a deep dive into the history of atmospheric methane on Mars and Titan, how that methane could be a sign of life, and what methane means for future missions and science. Plus, a planetary nebula, a supernova, ancient helium, and a couple of rockets.

Mar 29, 2022
More From ESA’s Gaia: Weird White Dwarf News

Researchers use data from ESA’s Gaia telescope to discover that white dwarf stars have two different distributions both in how they move and how bright they shine. Plus, all the International Space Station news, simulated JWST observations, and a review of a macro lens from Venus Optics.

Mar 25, 2022
ESA’s Gaia Observatory Dates Milky Way’s Evolution
Stellar formation and evolution data collected from ESA’s Gaia telescope has allowed scientists to create a timeline of the evolution of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. Plus, an ancient ice age, sound on Mars, a new exoplanet, and What’s Up.
Mar 24, 2022
Rubble Pile Asteroids May Be Extinct Comets

After detecting high levels of organic matter using remote sensors at the asteroid Ryugu, numerical models show that it’s possible that rubble pile asteroids are actually extinct comets. Plus, the Cosmic Optical Background, Enceladus’s tiger stripes, and this week in rocket history, we look back at STS-45.

Mar 23, 2022
Earth’s Climate Proves More Resilient Than Thought

Computer models of the effects of an eruption event similar to the Columbia River Flood Basalt show that, despite massive injections of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, Earth’s climate rebounded much more quickly than expected. Plus, ORCs, lunar swirls, exoplanets, and diamonds.

Mar 22, 2022
Long-Awaited Rollout of the First Space Launch System

The first SLS was rolled out of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) High Bay 3 on the Crawler Transporter on March 17, 2022, and is the first lunar rocket to emerge from the VAB since Apollo 17’s Saturn V in 1972. Plus, an asteroid impact, some climate change, ancient volcanoes, spring on Mars, and a new Deep Space Network dish.

Mar 19, 2022
Using the Moon to Detect Time-Space Changes

Scientists propose using changes in the distance from the Earth to the Moon and measured by lasers as a way to detect the phenomenon of gravitational waves. Plus, JWST is working, ExoMars is at risk, and in this week’s What’s Up, we learn about looking for zodiacal light.

Mar 17, 2022
Several Kepler Planets Turn Out to be Small Stars
Using updated stellar measurements based on new data from the Gaia mission, three (and possibly four) Kepler exoplanets are actually small stars, but it’s unlikely new calculations will reveal many more such issues. Plus, Ingenuity, astronauts, permafrost, and This Week in Rocket History, we look back at STS-3 and the first use of the Canadarm.
Mar 16, 2022
Earthquakes Can Affect Plate Tectonics in a Feedback Loop

Researchers studying GPS data collected from the 1999 İzmit earthquake in Turkey found that the quake changed the movement of the plate, and this effect may be possible for other tectonic plates. Plus, more pretty images, starspots merging, melting Arctic sea ice, and minerals on Mars.

Mar 15, 2022
Magnetic Fields Help Find Ocean Worlds

Researchers have determined how to effectively measure the magnetic fields at Neptune to determine if any of the moons are ocean worlds… in just twelve minutes. Plus, lasers recreate galaxy cluster conditions, some mind-bending new math, how the Earth’s crust developed, and a look at the long history of Daylight Saving Time.

Mar 11, 2022
Science of the Weird: Black Holes, Astronaut Blood, and Alligators
Today’s science stories run the gamut of the strange and the weird, with several black holes, the effects of space on astronaut blood cells, and how alligator mating dances added to solar science. Plus, this week’s What’s Up helps you choose binoculars for sky gazing.
Mar 10, 2022
Happy 20th Birthday to Hubble’s ACS Instrument
The Advanced Camera for Surveys instrument onboard the Hubble Space Telescope is celebrating twenty years of service this week. Plus, a new look at an old lunar rock, gas rings around an aging star, all the rockets from around the world, and this week in rocket history, we look back at the 1962 Orbiting Solar Observatory, led by Nancy Grace Roman.
Mar 09, 2022
Special Edition: Space Science and the Russia-Ukraine War

Today we’re going to discuss the repercussions to space science of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Some people may find this subject upsetting, and if you need to skip this episode, we understand. We’re going to take a look at Roscosmos and how space corporations and nations are imposing sanctions that impact how, when, and what we send to space.

Mar 05, 2022
Climate Change - Tsunami, Arctic Sea Ice, and Rising Temperatures

In the latest climate change news, ancient underwater landslides could help us understand tsunami risks in the Middle East, NASA now has a ‘Vanilla’ ice drone to study the Arctic, and lake temperatures are rising. Plus, we bring you joy with this week’s What’s Up and a review of Starlight Cok

Mar 03, 2022
Pretty Pictures, Strange Exoplanets, and a New GOES Satellite

To bring some joy into a fraught world, we have rounded up a few of the latest image releases of star mergers and galaxies to brighten your day. Plus, we’ll look at a few strange exoplanetary systems and their amazing science, talk about the latest GOES satellite to launch, and this week in rocket history is all about Envisat.

Mar 03, 2022
Black Holes, Fast Radio Bursts, Dinosaurs and Rockets
As we return from our mini-break, we bring you some highlights of stories that happened while we were away, including black holes spiraling toward each other, the possible origin of a fast radio burst, and more information on the demise of the dinosaurs. Plus, Erik Madaus brings us updates on quite a few rocket launches.
Mar 02, 2022
Lasers, Life, and Looking at Cosmonaut Brains

Do you want lasers? I want lasers! And today’s show features lots of lasers. We also have more questions than answers about Mars’ methane, misbehaving stars, and new research on how we would look for the early signs of life on other worlds. Plus, a study on how spaceflight impacts the human brain.

Feb 18, 2022
Science is the same, every where, every when

The science that dictates our planet is the exact same physics that affects our entire universe. Trying to understand everything around us is just as simple as taking into account all the forces and factors that interact to make everything we see.

Feb 17, 2022
Theory and Observation combine to update galaxies and stars
Today our view on the universe gets itself an update thanks to the combined efforts of theorists and observers. From new understanding of how galaxies can lose their darkmatter, to how white dwarfs can be resurrected into Helium burning stars, we have the weird, the wonderful… and in the case of a new lunar tracking system, we even have a touch of the mundane.
Feb 17, 2022
Space Junk Hitting the Moon is not From SpaceX

Observers tracking a piece of space debris that is expected to impact the far side of the Moon early in March have now corrected the origin of the object, which isn’t from SpaceX but is from a Chinese Long March 3B involved in the Chang’e 5TI mission. Plus, asteroid 16 Pysche, craters in Wyoming, more launches, and an interview with Katharine Hesse from the TESS mission.

Feb 15, 2022
Old Falcon 9 Stage Reenters Over Mexico

The second stage of a Falcon 9 rocket launched in 2017 re-entered the atmosphere over Mexico, breaking up and creating a show of fiery lights in the sky. Plus, dead stars with possibly living planets, more on moon formation, more launches, more launch failures, and a review of “The Apollo Murders” by Chris Hadfield.

Feb 14, 2022
Distant Galaxies Found Lifeless Within Ancient Cluster

Defying expectations, an ultramassive galaxy and many of its cluster companions had already formed most of their stars and become inactive only two billion years after the beginning of the universe. Plus, the nightside of Venus, a new exoplanet for Proxima Centauri, and What’s Up.

Feb 10, 2022