Planetary Radio • Apr 05, 2017

Mars’ Atmosphere: Lost in Space!

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On This Episode

20160726 bruce jakosky thumbnail

Bruce Jakosky

MAVEN Principal Investigator for University of Colorado Boulder

Mars was once a warm and wet world. Then its dense, protective atmosphere mostly vanished. Learning why was one of the greatest mysteries in planetary science. The answer has just been delivered by the MAVEN orbiter. Principal Investigator Bruce Jakosky will take us through it. Bill Nye the Science Guy co-chairs the March for Science. We’ll talk to him about this new effort and the successful relaunch of a SpaceX booster. Last chance to win a rubber asteroid is in this week’s What’s Up space trivia contest!

MAVEN arrives at Mars
MAVEN arrives at Mars Image: NASA / GSFC

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

This week's question:

Who first noted what turned out to be Neptune, even though he is not credited with the discovery because he didn’t report its movement and may have thought it was a star?

To submit your answer:

Complete the contest entry form at or write to us at [email protected] no later than Wednesday, April 12th at 8am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Last week's question:

What is the optically brightest quasar as seen from Earth?


The answer will be revealed next week.

Question from the week before:

What is the only Apollo Command Module flown in space that is currently on display outside the United States?


Charlie Brown, the Apollo 10 Command Module, is in the London Science Museum (with the LightSail engineering model).