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Ice, Snow and Lava: Exploring Antarctica’s Mount Erebus

Mount Erebus, Antarctica

Air Date: 01/24/2017
Run Time: 42:27

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Topics: FINDS Exo-Earths

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Earth’s southernmost active volcano may also be its most remote. Rosaly Lopes and Michael Carroll recently spent a few frigid days on the slopes of Antarctica’s Mount Erebus. What they learned may help us understand volcanoes on other worlds. Emily Lakdawalla shows us stunning new, close-up images of Saturn’s rings. Bill Nye says a LightSail solar sail prototype has gone on display in a London museum. How could black holes help answer a space trivia contest question about Earth and Saturn? Also, an encore presentation of a visit with the late Gene Cernan, last astronaut to walk on the moon.

Mount Erebus, Antarctica

Evan Miller

Mount Erebus, Antarctica
Mt. Erebus ice cave

Evan Miller

Mt. Erebus ice cave
Lower Mount Erebus, Antarctica

Michael Carroll / Rosaly Lopes

Lower Mount Erebus, Antarctica
Mount Erebus Caldera, Antarctica

Michael Carroll / Rosaly Lopes

Mount Erebus Caldera, Antarctica
Rosaly Lopes with the WINGS WorldQuest flag

Michael Carroll / Rosaly Lopes

Rosaly Lopes with the WINGS WorldQuest flag
At Mount Erebus, Antarctica

Michael Carroll / Rosaly Lopes

At Mount Erebus, Antarctica
Michael Carroll in an Antarctic cave

Michael Carroll / Rosaly Lopes

Michael Carroll in an Antarctic cave
Antarctic ice towers

Michael Carroll / Rosaly Lopes

Antarctic ice towers
Tents on Fang Glacier

Michael Carroll / Rosaly Lopes

Tents on Fang Glacier
Mount Erebus, Antarctica

Michael Carroll / Rosaly Lopes

Mount Erebus, Antarctica

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Trivia Contest

This week's prizes are a lovely Planetary Radio t-shirt, now available in both men’s and women’s styles. Also, a 200-point iTelescope.net astronomy account, and a Planetary Society rubber asteroid.

iTelescope.net
iTelescope.net

This week's question:

What solar system moon is closest in size to Mercury?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at http://planetary.org/radiocontest or write to us at planetaryradio@planetary.org no later than Tuesday, January 31st at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

Approximately how wide is the combined, complex caldera of Olympus Mons, the Martian volcano?

Answer:

The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

Approximately how many squished-up Earths would fit inside Saturn?

Answer:

You could squish about 764 Earths into a hollowed-out Saturn. Ah, but how many Earth mass black holes? Answer is in the show.

How to prepare 764 Earths to fill Saturn

Daniel Hazard

How to prepare 764 Earths to fill Saturn

Comments:

No trivia contest spoilers please!

sepiae: 01/26/2017 02:13 CST

There's a giant white bunny in Antarctica...! Very nice show, and I'm also very envious. I was hoping to hear a little more about the volcano, with Mrs. Lopes being on the program, but that's incitement to look for it. I'd like to know more about how it's viewed as continually erupting since 1972, due to its consistent lava-lake, for example.

Margaret: 02/09/2017 08:20 CST

I love the idea of the McMurdo Dry Valleys becoming a base for outer planetary exploration, it will bring so many creative projects to the many bases down there. One thing in the podcast I was disappointed in was the fact that Rosaly refers to her 'mountaineer' as being fantastic but doesn't do him or her credit by saying their name. Field staff that work down there spend hours of prep time to ensure the organization, comfort and safety of the science events. There is so much behind the scenes work that they never get credited for and they are often working 12+ hour days in lieu of weather set backs. Would be great if the science community had a little more reflection on this.

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