Meteorites, Planets, & Moons

Hosted byArt Bell

Meteorites, Planets, & Moons

About the show

A planetary scientist specializing in planetary dynamics, Dr. Harold Levison talked about space news and NASA, including a meteorite from Mars that may contain the signature of life, and possible oceans on Saturn's moon Europa. He argued for a distinction between what are now called "dwarf planets" and the other eight planets based on their abilities to "clear the neighborhood around their orbits."

He studies planetary orbits and their evolution through solar system history. Paleontologists and geologists were speculating about the Mars meteorite, and the fact that the impact that delivered this rock to Earth was probably bigger than the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. Levison said there is no evidence that the object seeded life on Earth. Levison also pondered if there is evidence of intelligent life elsewhere, and whether it would represent a fundamental change in the way we view everything.

Art and Levison also discussed Saturn's largest moon Titan, which has a very thick atmosphere for a moon. There is speculation there are small seas of liquid nitrogen on the surface, so the building blocks for life are there, but it's probably just too cold according to Levison. The last hour featured Open Lines.

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