This week's show

It's Habitable Forming
Aug 13, 2018

It's Habitable Forming
Possible gamechanger: a subsurface lake on Mars.

There’s evidence for a subsurface lake on Mars, and scientists are excitedly using the “h” word.  Could the Red Planet be habitable, not billions of years ago, but today?  While we wait – impatiently – for a confirmation of this result, we review the recipe for habitable alien worlds. For example, the moon Titan has liquid lakes on its surface.  Could they be filled with Titanites?

Dive into a possible briny, underground lake on Mars … protect yourself from the methane-drenched rain on a moon of Saturn … and cheer on the missed-it-by-that-much planets, asteroids Ceres and Vesta.

Also, do tens of billions of potentially habitable extrasolar planets mean that Earth is not unique?

Guests:

  • Nathalie Cabrol Planetary scientist, Director of the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe at the SETI Institute
  • Jack HoltGeophysicist, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona

  • Jani RadebaughPlanetary scientist and professor of geology, Brigham Young University

  • Marc Rayman –  Mission Director and Chief Engineer of NASA’s Dawn Mission

  • Phil PlaitAstronomer, blogger, and widely known as the Bad Astronomer

Descripción en español

Skeptic Check: Brain Gain
Aug 06, 2018
Skeptic Check: Brain Gain
Separating pseudo from science in cognitive enhancement.

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Looking to boost your brainpower?

It's In Material
Jul 30, 2018
It's In Material
New constructs in construction stuff.

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(Repeat) Astronauts are made of the “right stuff,” but what about their spacesuits?   NASA’s pressurized and helmeted onesies are remarkable, but they need updating if we’re to boldly go into deep space.   Suiting up on Mars requires more manual flexibility, for example.  Find out what innovative materials might be used to reboot the suit.

Identity Crisis
Jul 23, 2018
Identity Crisis
The search for the ultimate biomarker.

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DNA is the gold standard of identification.

On Thin Ice
Jul 16, 2018
On Thin Ice
Climate change as icebreaker.

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ENCORE  Water is essential for life – that we know.  But the honeycomb lattice that forms when you chill it to zero degrees Celsius is also inexorably intertwined with life.