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Journey to the Center of Jupiter: Creating Fantastic Pressure With the World’s Largest Lasers

Jupiter from Cassini

Air Date: 08/19/2014
Run Time: 29:52

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Topics: Planetary Society Projects, comets, astronomy, Planetary Radio, comet Siding Spring, Mars, amateur astronomers, Bill Nye, Jupiter

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The most bizarre things happen to matter at pressures millions of times higher than what we feel on Earth’s surface. Physicist Gilbert "Rip" Collins of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab will tell us about recent use of the world’s most powerful lasers to recreate conditions at the cores of giant planets. Emily Lakdawalla looks forward to a Martian encounter with a comet. Bill Nye collects a few grains of stardust—real, interstellar stardust. It’s a big week in space history. Bruce Betts will provide a few highlights just before he and Mat offer up a new space trivia contest.

Peering into giant planets from in and out of this world

Damien Jemison / LLNL

Peering into giant planets from in and out of this world
The interior of the target chamber at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The object entering from the left is the target positioner, on which a millimeter-scale target is mounted. Researchers recently used NIF to study the interior state of giant planets.

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Trivia Contest

This week's prize is a Planetary Radio v2.1 T-shirt.

This week's question:

What were the names of the five pocket mice flown on Apollo 17?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at no later than Tuesday, August 26, at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What two chemical elements, both discovered in 1803, were named after asteroids?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

Who was the first Mars Rover named after?


The Sojourner Mars rover was named after 19th century abolitionist and writer Sojourner Truth.


No trivia contest spoilers please!

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