Blue Dot Blue Dot, named after Carl Sagan's famous speech about our place in the universe, features interviews with guests from all over the regional, national and worldwide scientific communities. Host Dave Schlom leads discussions about the issues science is helping us address with experts who shed light on climate change, space exploration, astronomy, technology and much more. Dave asks us to remember: from deep space, we all live on a pale, blue dot.
Blue Dot

Blue Dot

From North State Public Radio

Blue Dot, named after Carl Sagan's famous speech about our place in the universe, features interviews with guests from all over the regional, national and worldwide scientific communities. Host Dave Schlom leads discussions about the issues science is helping us address with experts who shed light on climate change, space exploration, astronomy, technology and much more. Dave asks us to remember: from deep space, we all live on a pale, blue dot.More from Blue Dot »

Most Recent Episodes

Blue Dot 106: Traveling To Exoplanets

Summer travel season means it is time to hit the road. This one is very long if not winding as we learn about what it would be like to travel to planets beyond our solar system! Dave visits with Eric Mamajek, Deputy Project Scientist for NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program. Dr. Mamajek gives an overview of the history of detecting planets beyond our solar system as well as the many different kinds of worlds that we have discovered in the past few decades. Then we visit with Arielle Samuelson.

Blue Dot 105: Weather From Space!

Our nation's fleet of weather satellites are one of our greatest orbital assets. They provide the data that is fed into sophisticated computer models which are then used by forecasters to give us accurate 5 to 7 day outlooks on the weather. In November, the Joint Polar Satellite System or JPSS-1 was launched with amazing instrumental capabilities. In the image above, you can see the smoke plumes from the devastating Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire in California history. The National Oceanic

Blue Dot 104: The Fire Within

In this episode, Dave talks to volcanologist Erik Klemmeti to get us all educated about volcanoes since two have been huge stories in the news. We talk about magmas, lavas and eruption types with the focus on Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano that has been in an intense eruptive episode since early May. Volcano Fuego in Guatamala unleashed an explosive eruption in May that killed dozens of people in a dreaded "pyroclastic flow." Volcanoes invoke primal fascination and are a testament to Earth's

Blue Dot 103: Alan Bean Tribute (Part 2)

This is the second part of our tribute to Apollo astronaut Alan Bean. Alan was the fourth man to walk on the Moon during the Apollo 12 mission in November of 1969 four month's after Neil Armstrong's "One small step for man..." Bean was a talented and prolific painter who was also extraordinarily kind and generous as one of NASA's legendary Apollo era astronauts. We are joined by his good friend and colleague Rusty Schweickart who was one of the first astronauts to fly the lunar module on the

Blue Dot 102: Alan Bean Tribute (Part 1)

In this first installment of a two part look at the life and career of Apollo 12 astronaut Alan Bean we hear from two very special astronaut friends. Alan Bean devoted his life to creating masterful oil paintings depicting many aspects of the Apollo Moon landings. Bean passed away at age 86 on May 26, 2018. We talk to his longtime friend, fellow Apollo astronaut Walt Cunningham who flew the very first test of the Apollo Command and Service module in Earth orbit — Apollo 7. Then we talk to a

Blue Dot 101: Something's Fishy

The Sacramento River flows from its headwaters above Shasta Dam to the Pacific Ocean through the Delta and out the Golden Gate. It is one of the most diverse and productive fisheries in the world. In this episode we examine the anadromous fishery in particular. Anadromous fish are those that spawn in fresh water but spend most of their lives in the ocean like the imperiled Chinook salmon. But we also check out other species of game fish that live in the river like green sturgeon, striped bass

Blue Dot 100: Volcanoes!

For the 100th episode of Blue Dot we go volcanic! Dave interviews Erik Klemetti, Professor of Geosciences at Denison University in Ohio. Klemetti is an expert volcanologist who writes about volcanoes for the Discover Magazine blog Rocky Planet. We'll talk about the ongoing and unfolding saga of the Kilauea Volcano's eruptions on the big island of Hawaii. In the second half of the show, we visit with three California State University Chico students who are doing volcanology research as

Blue Dot 99: The Pluto Underground

Dave talks to Alan Stern and David Grinspoon, coauthors of Chasing Pluto: Inside The Epic First Mission to Pluto. When Voyager 2 flew by Neptune in 1989, it closed out the golden age of solar system exploration. But it left one unexplored body: Pluto. Stern was part of a group of scientists known as "The Pluto Underground." For years the proposed, lobbied and planned for a robotic mission to what was then, "the ninth planet." The mission that would be eventually called New Horizons went through

Blue Dot 98: Kings Of The Yukon

In this episode Dave visits with Adam Weymouth, author of the new book Kings of The Yukon. In it, he describes taking an epic trip down the length of the Yukon River in a canoe. His purpose is to learn about the longest Chinook or "King" salmon run in the world. As Adam leaves the spawning grounds at the headwaters, the salmon are entering the mouth of the river from the Bering Sea 2000 miles away. Somewhere along the way, the powerful swimmers and the human paddler will meet. As he journeys

Blue Dot 97: Planetary Defense

In this episode we talk defense. Planetary defense. From one of the worst of all possible natural diasters, an asteroid impact. Dave talks to Lindley Johnson, NASA's "Planetary Defense Officer" from HQ in Washington, Paul Chodas (an expert on calculating asteroid orbits) and Physicist Megan Bruck Syal from the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in Pasadena. Johnson and Syal are involved in HAMMER ( Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response), a mission designed to actually

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