Science Wednesdays

 

Short, interesting and informative stories about a wide variety of subjects meant to be educational and engaging for the general public and aimed at furthering everyone’s understanding and enjoyment of science and its methods.

Earthquake! – January 29, 2020

Earthquake! – January 29, 2020   Yesterday, January 28, 2020, a 7.7 magnitude earthquake hit between Jamaica and Cuba. It was so powerful that shaking was felt nearly 500 miles away, in Miami, Florida! The epicenter was at a shallow 6 miles below the...

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Interconnected Pathways – January 22, 2020

Interconnected Pathways – January 22, 2020   For this week’s Science Wednesday, we’re joined by Dr. Daniel Zietlow, a scientist-turned-filmmaker at Provare Media (a production company he co-founded with his film partner Ryan Vachon), the National Center for...

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Volcanic Tsunamis – January 15, 2020

Volcanic Tsunamis – January 15, 2020   Just a few days ago, on January 12, 2020, the Taal volcano erupted, sending ash 9 miles into the sky and forcing the evacuation of thousands of people on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. The steam-driven...

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Alive! – January 8, 2020

Alive! – January 8, 2020     We’re currently on expedition in the Andes with Alpine Expeditions, visiting the site of the plane crash made famous in the book and movie, Alive! On Friday, October 13, 1972, Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashed in the...

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Discoveries of the Decade – January 1, 2020

Discoveries of the Decade – January 1, 2020   Wishing everyone a happy New Year! As we enter a new decade, we take a look back at some of the biggest scientific accomplishments/discoveries of the last 10 years for this week’s Science Wednesday. Scientists...

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Penguins! – December 25, 2019

Penguins! – December 25, 2019   For all of you celebrating around the world, we wish you very happy holidays! For this Science Wednesday, we’re talking about penguins. Did you know that all penguin species live in the Southern Hemisphere? Indeed, they...

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Secrets in the Ice – December 18, 2019

Secrets in the Ice – December 18, 2019   In this week’s Science Wednesday, we’re joined by Dr. Mike MacFerrin, a glaciologist at the University of Colorado who specializes in the ways Greenland meltwater is affecting the ice sheet and global sea level rise....

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White Island – December 11, 2019

White Island – December 11, 2019   What happened on Whakaari/White Island, New Zealand on Monday is a tragedy. Our hearts go out to those who lost their lives in the eruption. There is no doubt we live on a dynamic and changing planet. With that comes a...

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Lost Continents – December 4, 2019

Lost Continents – December 4, 2019 Today’s topic is on lost continents. Sure, you’ve probably heard the myths. Atlantis? But what is scientific research telling us about new landmasses? How are we finding them? And what does it mean? In the past few...

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“Functionally Extinct” – November 27, 2019

“Functionally Extinct” – November 27, 2019   The last few weeks have taken a toll in Australia, as fires have ravaged the land. You may have seen articles in the news that went viral recently – stating that koalas have become “functionally...

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Tardigrades! – November 20, 2019

Tardigrades! – November 20, 2019 Did you know that there are thousands of tardigrades stranded on our Moon? First off, what is a tardigrade? Also known as “water bears,” they are near-microscopic (0.15 to 1.2 millimeters long) animals with 8 legs and long plump...

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Smoke Hole Cavern – November 13, 2019

Smoke Hole Cavern – November 13, 2019 For the past few days, I’ve been on the east coast of the US, doing the state highpoints of Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia for the Summits, Songs and Science project. As Ricardo has already completed these (and is...

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Bird Migration – November 6, 2019

Bird Migration – November 6, 2019 Given a lot of recent avian activity by Canadian geese here in Colorado as the temperatures drop and the snow arrives, today’s topic is on bird migration. The timing of bird migrations is an intriguing phenomenon in nature and...

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Wildfire – October 30, 2019

Wildfire – October 30, 2019 Today’s topic is wildfires – specifically, California wildfires. Since early October, millions of people across the state of California have had their electricity shut off to prevent downed power lines from setting off...

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The Royal Arch – October 23, 2019

The Royal Arch – October 23, 2019 Earlier today, Ricardo and I did a 10k (6.22 mile) trail run in the Flatirons region of Boulder, Colorado. Total elevation gain was nearly 1,800 ft. (550 meters) up to a geologic formation called the Royal Arch, pictured here....

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Wind Machines! – October 16, 2019

Wind Machines! – October 16, 2019 Today we are hosting a post by Chris Tomer, meteorologist on both KDVR FOX-31 and KWGN CW-2 in Denver, Colorado. Chris currently forecasts weather on KWGN’s “Daybreak” from 5 – 9 AM, M-F, and makes...

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Volcano or Not? – October 9, 2019

Volcano or Not? October 9, 2019 We’ve just recently returned from hiking Maine’s highpoint (Katahdin) for the Summits, Songs and Science project. What’s next on the horizon? With enough participants, an expedition to the highest mountain in the...

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Mars-quakes – October 2, 2019

Mars-quakes – October 2, 2019 NASA’s Insight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) mission launched from Earth on May 5, 2018. It successfully landed on a region of Mars called Elysium Planitia 6 months later, on...

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Life-Friendly Venus? – September 25, 2019

Life-Friendly Venus? – September 25, 2019 Today, we’re going to talk about a neighboring planet in our solar system: Venus. Venus and Earth are similar in size and mass, but that’s where the resemblance ends. Venus’ surface temperatures are an...

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Ice Lake – September 18, 2019

Ice Lake – September 18, 2019 Over the last week, we’ve been climbing peaks in the Elk Mountains and San Juan Mountains of Colorado for the Summits, Songs and Science project. Crisp mountain air and spectacular mountain vistas greeted us. Perhaps the most...

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Coral Bleaching – September 11, 2019

Coral Bleaching – September 11, 2019 After the Science in the Wild Kilimanjaro expedition, it was off to explore Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous archipelago off the coast of eastern Africa. This region is known for its gorgeous water and coral reefs. Mnemba Atoll,...

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Dendrosenecios – September 4, 2019

Dendrosenecios – September 4, 2019 For the last week, we’ve been on Kilimanjaro and have seen different vegetation zones of the volcano. My favorite? Seeing the dendrosenecios, giant groundsels that evolved about 1 million years ago. They are well adapted...

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Ol Doinyo Lengai – August 28, 2019

Ol Doinyo Lengai – August 28, 2019 If Dr. Seuss designed a volcano, Ol Doinyo Lengai would be it! From navigating mazes of 5-foot tall volcanic ash flows, to scooting along “cookies and cream” layers of volcanic flows, to hopping over volcanic...

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Kilimanjaro – August 21, 2019

Kilimanjaro – August 21, 2019 It’s Science Wednesday and we’re gearing up for our Kilimanjaro expedition! Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft./5895 m) is considered a dormant stratovolcano in the East African Rift and is the highest dormant volcano outside of...

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Granite Peak – August 14, 2019

Granite Peak – August 14, 2019 It’s Science Wednesday! Ricardo and I are on Granite Peak in Montana this week for the Summits, Songs and Science Project. By the time this post goes up, ideally we’ll be making our way to the summit! Granite Peak is...

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Arctic Mirages – August 7, 2019

Arctic Mirages – August 7, 2019 Today’s Science Wednesday is about Arctic mirages. I took this photo from the bridge of the Polar Pioneer, a 70-meter long ship with reinforced hull for ice breaking. The image shows a “fata morgana” of the...

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Importance of Science – July 31, 2019

Importance of Science – July 31, 2019 This week’s Science Wednesday comes courtesy of guest blogger, Ricardo Peña, who talks about the importance of science and rational thinking in this modern world. Check out the video on our Facebook...

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Warming Arctic – July 24, 2019

Warming Arctic – July 24, 2019 I’ve been aboard the Polar Pioneer ship, circumnavigating the Svalbard archipelago, close to the North Pole with Aurora Expeditions this last week. Svalbard is built on permanently frozen ground called permafrost. For years,...

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Lunar Landing Anniversary – July 17, 2019

Lunar Landing Anniversary – July 17, 2019 The 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing is approaching. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to step foot on another planetary body. Indeed, it was “one small step for (a)...

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Bennu the Asteroid – July 10, 2019

Bennu the Asteroid – July 10, 2019 Bennu is a carbonaceous asteroid that was discovered on September 11, 1999. It is a potentially hazardous object that has a 1-in-2700 chance of impacting Earth between the years 2175 and 2199. Bennu is the target of...

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Solar Eclipse – July 3, 2019

Solar Eclipse – July 3, 2019   We’re down in Montevideo, Uruguay at the moment and our visit overlapped with a solar eclipse. In Montevideo, it was a partial eclipse (95%) and the maximum coverage occurred right around sunset. Did you know that during...

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T-rex in Space! – June 26, 2019

T-rex in Space! – June 26, 2019 Earlier this week, I went on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Sharing with you today something out-of-this-world! Back in 1992, a house was being constructed in Littleton, Colorado. During...

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Size – and Shape – Does Matter – June 19, 2019

Size – and Shape – Does Matter – June 19, 2019 Today we’re hosting Dr. Carl Schmitt, a scientist from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, CO, who specializes in cloud physics. “Size does matter, and so does...

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Survival – June 12, 2019

Survival – June 12, 2019 Our topic today is on survival. On Friday, October 13, 1972 Uruguayan Air Force flight 571 took off from Mendoza, Argentina to Santiago, Chile for a planned rugby match. The plane never made it. It crashed at nearly 12,000 ft. above sea...

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Flooding – June 5, 2019

Flooding – June 5, 2019 For the past few days, we’ve been on the road in the Midwest with the Summits, Songs and Science project. While on the way to get Iowa’s highpoint, driving from Chicago to the northwest corner of Iowa, we crossed the...

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Core Beliefs – May 29, 2019

Core Beliefs – May 29, 2019 Why does humanity have such a hard time accepting new facts and evidence? A lot of it stems from what’s called “core beliefs.” These are beliefs that people cherish the most deeply. They usually develop in childhood...

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Atmospheric CO2 – May 22, 2019

Atmospheric CO2 – May 22, 2019 A few weeks ago, Ricardo and I were on the Big Island of Hawaii, hiking Mauna Kea for the “Summits, Songs and Science” project. We also had time to explore Mauna Loa, including seeing the observatory where scientists...

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Meteor Crater – May 15, 2019

Meteor Crater – May 15, 2019 50,000 years ago, an iron-nickel meteorite about 150 feet across and weighing several hundred thousand tons struck a rocky plain in northern Arizona at over 26,000 mph and with an explosive force greater than 20 million tons of TNT....

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Earthquakes! – May 8, 2019

Earthquakes! – May 8, 2019 The Earth is an active place and every day, earthquakes happen somewhere on the planet. The National Earthquake Information Center (Golden, Colorado) locates about 12,000 – 14,000 earthquakes worldwide each year! On average,...

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New Land – May 1, 2019

New Land – May 1, 2019 On May 3, 2018, an eruption on Kīlauea volcano’s East Rift Zone on the Big Island of Hawaii began. Outbreaks of lava fountains up to 300 feet (90 m) high, lava flows, and volcanic gas in the Leilani Estates subdivision were preceded...

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World’s Tallest Mountains – April 24, 2019

World’s Tallest Mountains – April 24, 2019 Tomorrow, we’re on our way to Hawaii with the Summits, Songs and Science project! The Big Island of Hawaii is home to a few volcanoes, including Mauna Kea, which, at 13,803 ft., is the highest peak in the...

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Climate Refugees – April 17, 2019

Climate Refugees – April 17, 2019 Here is a student film that took the People’s Choice Award today in my “Intro to Global Climate Change” class at Colorado College. Students picked a topic related to climate change and, in addition to writing a...

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Bomb Cyclone – April 10, 2019

Bomb Cyclone – April 10, 2019 For the second time in less than a month, the Rockies and plains of the United States are experiencing what’s called a “bomb cyclone,” an actual term used by meteorologists. A bomb cyclone is a mid-latitude storm...

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Arapaho Glacier – April 3, 2019

Arapaho Glacier – April 3, 2019 Today’s “Science Wednesday” is from the Arapaho glacier in Colorado. Back in 1919, the glacier was pretty full, healthy and even had deep crevasses, as you can see in the historic photo below. In the early 20th...

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Welcome Arjan

A warm welcome to Arjan Schaeffer, Karpu Lama and Sunil Tamang, joining us in the Gokyo Valley, Nepal later this spring. Written by Arjan Schaeffer           As a project manager by profession, I am used to offering a helping hand in reaching someone else’s dreams....

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