In the first half, space historian and science journalist Robert Zimmerman discussed the many events happening in space right now including Rosetta and Philae at Comet 67P (pictured), Dawn at Ceres, New Horizons approaching Pluto, the rovers and orbiters at Mars, and what beckons for the future. After the Pluto flyby, "all the major asteroids, comets...and every planet and their moons will have been looked at up close by the human race, and that is a remarkable thing to think about," as it's only been around 60 years since we began the Space Age, he remarked. And every one of these objects has unique attributes, he added.
The so-called "whale" feature seen on Pluto—a large dark area on the equator that covers most of one hemisphere, and a series of large, black spots resemble the dark areas on asteroids, which Pluto may have more in common with than a typical planet, he surmised. The Dawn probe is the first craft to visit two different asteroids-- orbiting Vesta for a year, before using its ion engine to travel on to Ceres, which seems to have a kind of volcanic ice that may function like lava, he detailed. Zimmerman named Saturn's giant moon Titan as one of the most fascinating objects in our solar system. It has lakes of methane, and intense storms, with seasons that last around seven years.
In the latter half, cryptozoology instructor at Florida Keys Community College, Scott Marlowe, talked about the sightings of various cryptid creatures in the state of Florida including the Skunk Ape, the Wampus cat, Hogzilla, giant birds, and sea creatures, and how such reports are evaluated. Cryptids are creatures that have yet to be confirmed and scientifically described, he explained. The Wampus cat is probably a variation of the panther, and it's said to move so quickly, people think it has six legs instead of four, and there was evidence that a small outdoor structure was mauled by what seemed like metal claws, he recounted.
A reported "sea monster" was recorded on video off Palm Beach County, but Marlowe and an associate uncovered that it was a manatee swimming with an injured seal that created the appearance of being a single unknown creature. Hogzilla or Hog Kong is a kind of feral hog that has actually been verified. It's so large that its body would take up the entire receiving tray of a bulldozer, he cited. The Florida Skunk Ape or swamp ape, which Marlowe himself has seen on several occasions, has a head that resembles an early human, which sits on a clearly defined neck that is more similar to humans than apes. He believes the creatures may share a common genus with Bigfoot, and "based on the length of their arms, which tend to be longer than ours, I suspect that at least part of their life is arboreal," he observed.
New images are being sent back from the New Horizons craft as it closes in on Pluto. In this photo, taken on July, 8, 2015, Pluto and its moon Charon are pictured. "They’re a fascinating pair: Two icy worlds, spinning around their common center of gravity like a pair of figure skaters clasping hands. Scientists believe they were shaped by a cosmic collision billions of years ago, and yet, in many ways, they seem more like strangers than siblings," writes Tricia Talbert on NASA's website.
Bumper music from Thursday July 9, 2015
Midnight Express (The Chase)
This Magic Moment
For What It's Worth
The Fox and the Lady
Tonight, Tonight, Tonight
Dawn (Go Away)
Frankie Valli & Four Seasons