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A River Runs Through It - Mars and Titan

EVSN: Escape Velocity Space News

Release Date: 11/20/2023

Carrington 2024 show art Carrington 2024

EVSN: Escape Velocity Space News

In this episode, we’re taking a closer look at Sunspot complex 3664 and the beautiful chaos that it’s been creating. And because we’re in a planetary science kind of mood, we’re also looking at stories related to observing weather on alien worlds, the history of Mars Climate, and even how solar storms might affect that particular Red Planet.

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Io and Juno Begin to Part Ways show art Io and Juno Begin to Part Ways

EVSN: Escape Velocity Space News

In February, on the closest approach, NASA's Juno spacecraft was within 930 miles of the closest moon Io’s surface. Since then, Juno’s orbit has been shrinking, bringing the mission closer to Jupiter and away from the circling Galilean moons. Io and Juno have parted ways, and Juno is now snuggling down into tighter orbits around her Jupiter.

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Catch the (Alien) Rainbow show art Catch the (Alien) Rainbow

EVSN: Escape Velocity Space News

As scientists discover and explore the atmospheres of more and more planets orbiting stars other than our Sun, we are learning that if you can imagine it, it probably exists. In a new paper discussing the planet WASP-76b, researchers describe what appears to be a giant rainbow in the atmosphere of another world... a circular rainbow... and it's not caused by refracted starlight!

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Following the Water Toward Climate Change show art Following the Water Toward Climate Change

EVSN: Escape Velocity Space News

This week’s episode is brought to you by last week’s terrible weather. While experiencing hail and thunder IRL, we also saw press release after press release and article after article discussing climate change. This one-two punch of new science and the need for a new roof means we will touch on climate change in our closer look this week. We apologize in advance; it’s not pretty out there -- unless you like storm chasing, then it’s kind of the stuff of dreams at the moment.

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Planet Formation is (Still) Not Well Understood show art Planet Formation is (Still) Not Well Understood

EVSN: Escape Velocity Space News

One of our recurring topics is “Planet formation is not well understood,” and a trio of new papers is making it clear why planet formation continues to... not be well understood. Put simply: the universe likes to create more diverse solar systems than an entire planet’s worth of sci-fi writers can imagine.

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SPECIAL SHORT: How NASA Budget Cuts Will Hurt Space Science show art SPECIAL SHORT: How NASA Budget Cuts Will Hurt Space Science

EVSN: Escape Velocity Space News

Earlier in March, Congress voted into place the FY2024 budgets for multiple agencies, including NASA. The agency is being asked for an overall 2% cut. Combined with inflation rates over 3%, we are looking at a fairly significant cut to the U.S. budget for space science. Dr. Pamela Gay breaks down what these cuts will affect, including people and missions, as we move forward with this already stressful fiscal year. (This episode was recorded on March 14, 2024)

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Grindavik, Iceland, and Volcanoes with Dr. Melissa Scruggs show art Grindavik, Iceland, and Volcanoes with Dr. Melissa Scruggs

EVSN: Escape Velocity Space News

As you know, our team loves volcanoes, and since we’ve been focused on Iceland for months, we brought in Dr. Melissa Scruggs (aka VolcanoDoc on Twitch) for a chat about Grindavik and all things volcanic in Iceland.

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Stability, Instability, Drama, and How We are Space Stuff show art Stability, Instability, Drama, and How We are Space Stuff

EVSN: Escape Velocity Space News

It is possible to buy stickers, sweatshirts, mugs, and other stuff and things emblazoned with the simple phrase, “We are star stuff”. This phrase was popularized by Carl Sagan, and it serves as a gentle reminder that all the complex atoms - by which I mean most everything heavier than helium - found their start either in the nuclear core of a star or in the nuclear explosions of a dying star or stars. But, as with so many things, the truth is much more complicated than the meme.

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Early Black Holes Formed Before Stars? show art Early Black Holes Formed Before Stars?

EVSN: Escape Velocity Space News

One of the unexpected realities of JWST is the discovery that we have really been asking the wrong questions in many astronomy areas. For instance: we generally asked how supermassive black holes and galaxies formed, with a basic assumption that these things happened in some interrelated process. We thought stellar mass black holes came from stars and that there might have been tiny primordial black holes that evaporated away, but that was it. Closed case. Black holes formed with all the normal structures we experience today. Except that now, JWST’s observations require us to find a way to...

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Yes, Scientists DO Look at the (Dark Energy Survey) Data show art Yes, Scientists DO Look at the (Dark Energy Survey) Data

EVSN: Escape Velocity Space News

Every time I get the digital “why can’t you scientists just look at the data” lecture, I wonder what people think scientists do. All we do is look at data, and when that data tells us our understanding of the universe is wrong, we’re pretty good at accepting the data and throwing out our false understandings… even when the data makes our life a whole lot harder. Such is the case with the accelerating rate of expansion of the Universe...

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More Episodes

This episode reminds you to look up, look out, and reflect on what we see around us. Stories cover a weird white dwarf that is doing things our Sun may do billions of years from now, how satellite images can now be used to measure river flows here and on Mars, and Titan, as well as the emerging field of planetary geoarcheology, that will help us understand just how long it will take for Mars rovers to become buried relics. And also climate change. Buckle up, the news isn't good. (This episode was originally released on YouTube August 9, 2023.)