Archive | Our Solar System

Ep. 456: Pluto Revisited

This week, we return to our starting point, where Astronomy Cast began: Pluto. 11 years on, we have a whole new appreciate for the dwarf planet Pluto. We’ve visited it, probed it and taken pictures. It’s time for an update. We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 1:00 pm PDT / 4:00 pm EDT/ […]

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Ep. 448: Prepping for the Eclipse

On Monday, August 21, 2017, there’s going to be a total eclipse of the Sun, visible to path that goes right through the middle of the United States. You should be making plans to see this, and we’re here to help you know where to go and what to do. We usually record Astronomy Cast […]

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Ep. 442: Destroy and Rebuild Pt. 6: Magnetic Pole Reversal

If we look back into the geologic record of the Earth, it appears that our planet’s magnetic field flips polarity every few hundred thousand years or so. Why does this happen? When’s it supposed to happen next? Is it dangerous? We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 1:30 pm Pacific / 4:30 pm Eastern […]

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Ep. 441: Destroy and Rebuild, Pt. 5: Continental Drift

Want to travel the world but you don’t have a lot of money? No problem, your continent is drifting across the surface of the Earth right now. In a few million years, you’ll reach your destination. We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 1:30 pm Pacific / 4:30 pm Eastern / 21:30 PM UTC […]

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Ep. 440: Destroy and Rebuild, Pt. 4: Supervolcanoes!

There are regular volcanoes, and then there are the supervolcanoes. Massive calderas of hot magma of incomprehensible size. Bad news, these things explode randomly and catastrophically. Worse news, there are a bunch around the Earth. We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 1:30 pm Pacific / 4:30 pm Eastern / 21:30 PM UTC (9:30 […]

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Ep. 439: Destroy and Rebuild, Pt. 3: How Do We Terraform Earth?

We always want to talk about how we can make Mars more Earth like, but the reality is that we’re making Earth more Venus-Like. We’re Venusforming Earth. What are the various factors we’re impacting on a global scale, and how can we fix them? We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 1:30 pm Pacific […]

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Ep. 438: Destroy and Rebuild, Pt. 2: Geoengineering

We know humans are having an impact on planet Earth, but what if we really put our backs into it, and intentionally tried to change the entire planet? Either to make it better, or to fix some terrible mistake we’ve made. The technique is called geoengineering. Could it work? We usually record Astronomy Cast every […]

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Ep. 433: Volcanoes on Mars

Mars is a world of extremes. This unassuming red world is home to the largest and tallest volcanoes in the entire Solar System. In fact, it’s not even a close contest, with Olympus Mons rising 22 km above the surrounding plains, more than twice as tall as Mount Everest. How did Mars get such big […]

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Ep. 432: Geoglogic Ages of Mars – From Wet and Wild to Desolate Desert

Today, Mars is a desolate wasteland, with dusty red rocks and sand stretching out to the horizon. But billions of years ago, it was a vastly different world. It was blue, with oceans, rivers, lakes, and maybe life? Let’s tell the story of geology on Mars, and we got from that world to the one […]

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Ep. 431: The Search for Life on Mars

We’re fitting in one more episode this week, before Fraser heads off to Costa Rica for a week. Our next episode will record on Dec. 23, 2016. Enceladus and Europa are all the rage these days, but classic Mars is still a great place to search for life. In fact, ESA’s ExoMars is scanning the […]

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