Monthly Archives: February 2020

Ep 253: The solar system’s greatest hits

The solar system’s greatest hits

After gravity managed to make some decent sized planets, they started getting smashed together with almost planet sized bits and pieces. These impacts may be responsible for our oceans, and perhaps even for life on our planet, but it was not an easy ride. Join us for a look at some of the biggest collisions in our inner solar system, and the huge scars that were left behind.
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Ep 252: From gas and dust, to all of us

From gas and dust, to all of us

The general idea is simple—a cloud of gas and dust collapses in on itself, driven by gravity, until roughly in the middle of it, our sun began to shine. But the details are somewhat odd, especially when we compare our solar system to what we’re able to observe of planets around other stars. What triggered the original collapse? Why does our sun spin so slowly? Where did the earth’s water come from? How and why did our solar system end up with nice stable, nearly circular orbits that gave life on earth billions of years of relative peace? There’s plenty of room for competing theories and interesting side trips as we take a look at the birth of our sun and planets.
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Ep 251: making the ingredients

making the ingredients

Before our planet could form, all the stuff one would like to make a planet out of had to be made. Starting with hydrogen and helium, stars had to cook up the rest of the periodic table over a nice long period. Toss in some explosions and collisions, and everything we’re made of was ready to make us. But, all those giant stars couldn’t even get started, if it weren’t for a quirk of how the tiniest pieces of the universe interact. But hey, what’s a little quantum physics amongst friends?
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Ep 250: Just after the beginning

Just after the beginning

The standard model of cosmology has been worked out, slowly and painfully and oh so very carefully. Only trouble is, some recent observations don’t quite match what the theory predicts. Join us for a timeline of the early universe, and some of what doesn’t quite match what we were expecting.
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