Archive | Planetary Science

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. 437: Destroy and Rebuild, Pt. 1: The Torino Scale

We love to destroy the universe, and also rebuild it. Today we begin a new series where we destroy and rebuild. Let’s talk about some existential threats we face, and ways we could recover, starting with the sword of Damocles hanging over our head: killer asteroids! We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 1:30 […]

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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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Ep. 428: The Moons of Mars

We begin a miniseries on Mars. How many episodes will we do? Who knows? But we start today with a discussion of the two Mars moons, Phobos and Deimos. We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 1:30 pm Pacific / 4:30 pm Eastern / 8:30 PM UTC (20:30 GMT). You can watch us live […]

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Ep. 424: Lightning

It turns out that nature figured out how to use electricity long before humans did. Lightning storms are common across the Earth, and even the Solar System. What causes this electricity in the sky, and how can science use it? We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 1:30 pm Pacific / 4:30 pm Eastern […]

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Ep. 423: Cyclones

As Hurricane Matthew reminded us, cyclonic storms are a force to be reckoned with. What causes these storms, and how can they form across the Solar System. We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 1:30 pm Pacific / 4:30 pm Eastern / 8:30 PM UTC (20:30 GMT). You can watch us live on AstronomyCast, […]

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Ep. 422: Geysers

So if you’ve been to Yellowstone National Park, you’ve seen one of the most amazing features of the natural world – geysers. In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about geysers on Earth, and where they might be in the solar system. We usually record Astronomy Cast every Friday at 1:30 pm Pacific / 4:30 […]

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