Science Fiction Fans! What’s up?!
The Season Two finale is here! Episode 24 of the Spaced Out podcast begins with a segment about climate change. I did some research...and want to share what I've learned with all of you. Knowledge is power, right? If reading is more your thing, you can check out the full article I wrote here.
In This Spacespiracy Moment, Justin Park and I chat about science news from Apr 17th-23rd. Here are links to the articles we talked about. Enjoy!
March for Science
On Earth Day (Apr 22nd), an estimated 40,000 people attended the March for Science in Washington D.C. In addition, there were 600 worldwide marches, including signaled support in Antarctica...meaning the movement was represented by all seven continents. Typically, science doesn’t get political...but it looks like those tides are starting to turn.
Got the Flu? Try Some Frog Slime.
Frog slime is legit. “In lab tests, proteins found in amphibian secretions can defend against HIV, herpes and now the flu.” Scientists at Emory University recently ran some tests on slime protein from a newly discovered southern Indian frog species. Of the 32 proteins tested, one shows promise on defending against the flu. Cool!
One Volcano, Two Volcano
Volcanoes are so hot right now...literally and figuratively. Eruptions around the world seem to be occurring on the regular. Just last week (Apr 13th), Poas in Costa Rica had its biggest explosion in year. It erupted again on Apr 18th, secreting a small percentage of new lava. In volcanology, that means the mountain is likely to keep erupting for a little while. Europe is getting some action, too. On the island of Sicily, Etna has already had four eruptive periods this year, its most recent from Apr 13-15th. Last, but certainly not least, Nishinoshima, an active volcano 600 miles (1000 kilometers) south of Tokyo, also bled lava this week. Its last active period was from 2013-2015.
Astronomers think they might be able to add another moon to the growling list of potentially habitable worlds in our solar system - Triton. Not only is it the largest of Neptune’s 14 moons, it was the first active satellite ever imaged. “After studying fractures on the surface and modeling how they may have evolved,” researchers believe Triton may have a subterranean ocean. If the findings are accepted, the moon will join five others: Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede (three of Jupiter’s moons) and Eceladus and Titan (two of Saturn’s moon). (There may even be a liquid ocean on Pluto.) Another fun fact about Triton: it orbits Neptune in retrograde (backwards) and has a ridiculously circular orbit, making it one of the roundest moons.
Farewell Cassini, You Devil, You
Cassini has been orbiting Saturn since 2004 (it was launched in 1997) and on Apr 22nd, it began its final mission: flying through Saturn’s rings. It will complete this task 22 times before it runs out of fuel and dives into the gas giant’s atmosphere on September 15th. Not only will this ‘grand finale’ teach researchers about Saturn’s infamous rings (this will be the first time a spacecraft has breached the space between the planet and its rings), it will protect Titan and Enceladus, two moons that may harbor life.
Having Nightmares? Smoke Some Weed.
Sources: Science News, Wired, Astronomy Magazine, (other sources inline)