July 16: Best of Quirks & Quarks - Our favourite space science stories
Desert sand melted by an exploding comet, water on Jupiter's moon, gravitational waves, and more.
On this week's episode of The Best of Quirks & Quarks with Bob McDonald:
The Solar wind makes water on asteroids, which carry it to Earth
Originally broadcast December 04, 2021
Ridges on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa could mean water — and life
Originally broadcast April 23, 2022
Jupiter's moon Europa has fascinated planetary scientists because they believe under its 30km thick icy shell there is a huge ocean of water, and water could mean life. Now new research, led in part by PhD student Riley Culberg, suggests that icy ridges spotted on the moon could mean that water is closer to the surface than we thought, which means it might be easier for future missions to Europa to explore it. The work was published in the journal Nature Communications.
An exploding comet created slabs of glass in the Atacama Desert 12,000 years ago
Originally broadcast November 13, 2021
A 75 km long swath of Chile's Atacama desert today is covered in broken slabs of natural glass. Now researchers have identified material in that glass that suggests it was formed when a comet exploded in the atmosphere and its heat fused the desert soil. Peter Schultz from Brown University says that the heat from the explosion fused soil over a nearly 80-kilometre swath of the desert into fragments, balls and small slabs of glass, heating the soil to over 1700 degrees Celsius. The study was published in the journal GeoScienceWorld.
Astronauts in Labrador get a taste of lunar geology
Originally broadcast November 27, 2021
To prepare for a return to the moon, geologist Gordon Osinski took Canadian astronaut Joshua Kutryk and an American colleague to a 35-million-year-old crater in northern Labrador to teach them about impact crater geology. It was just like the moon, except for the rain, howling winds and ravenous blackflies.
We're living in a bubble — no not that one. A bubble in our galaxy
Originally broadcast January 15, 2022
Seeing gravitational waves from the biggest things in the universe
Originally broadcast February 5, 2022