Credit: Kostain Iftika

Once In A Blue Moon

You might have heard that tonight’s full moon is a blue moon, since it is the second full moon in the same month. While this is the most common definition for “blue moon,” it is not the only definition, nor even the oldest. Read more

Credit: Chuck Carter and Gregg Hallinan/Caltech

Northern Lights on a Distant World

Brown dwarfs are like the Pluto of stars. While they are large enough to produce heat like a star, they are not large enough to fuse hydrogen in their cores like our Sun and other stars. They typically have a mass between 20 and 70 Jupiters, and one of the central questions has been whether they are more planet-like or star-like. New research published in Nature points to a more planetary nature by discovering bright aurora on a brown dwarfRead more

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A Failure to Communicate

Have you heard about the coming ice age? You may have seen articles with titles such as “Thanks To Reduced Solar Activity, We Could Be Heading For A Mini Ice Age In 2030.” and “‘Mini Ice Age’ Not a Reason to Ignore Global Warming.” Of course such sensational headlines led to rebuttal articles such as “No, We Aren’t Heading Into A ‘Mini Ice Age’” Once again, a hyped headline is used to drive page views, and which only serves to mislead readers. Hence a follow up article on how “The ‘Mini Ice Age’ Hoopla Is A Giant Failure Of Science Communication.” Here’s the thing, though. All of these articles are from IFLS also known as “I’ll use profanity in my website title so people will think I’m edgy and cool.” Read more

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What Makes a Podcast/More About Pluto

Today we’ll go a bit meta, and talk about what exactly is a podcast, specifically One Universe at at Time. What’s our purpose, why did we start this in the first place, and where do we think it’s going? Our guest today is Mark Gillespie, the producer of the show.  In the second half of our show, Mark and I will talk about Pluto, and why it’s everyone’s favorite planet.

Host: Brian Koberlein
Guest: Mark Gillespie
Producer: Mark Gillespie
Music: Marcus Warner

The One Universe at a Time Podcast is produced at the Rochester Institute of Technology with support from the RIT College of Science.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

Earth 2

NASA has announced confirmation of the most Earth-like planet yet. Known as Kepler-452b, it is a “super Earth” about 60% larger than our home planet. We don’t know its mass, but if it has a similar composition to Earth, then its mass is about 4 times Earth’s, and its surface gravity is about 1.6 gees. While that’s not too similar to Earth, what’s remarkable is its orbit. Kepler is a G2 star only 4% more massive than our own Sun, and this new planet orbits at a radius only 5% larger than Earths. The amount of light 452b receives from its star is almost identical to Earth. Read more