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 118: Spitzer

In this episode we celebrate 15 years of the Spitzer Space Telescope. The infrared telescope, one of NASA's "Great Observatory" has helped revolutionize our understanding of the cosmos. Dave is joined by three top scientists from the Spitzer mission. Lisa Storrie Lombardi is the Project Manager and describes the telescope and its operations from an engineering standpoint. Then we are joined by Spitzer Science Center staff astronomer Sean Carey who describes some of the amazing discoveries made

Blue Dot 112: Hunting For Hurricanes

In this episode of Blue Dot we go hurricane hunting with Commander Justin Kibbe. A veteran combat pilot, Justin flies the intrument laden NOAA turbo prop airplanes that fly into the maw of the world's most powerful storms. Hear what it is like to fly through the eyewall of a massive tropical storm into the eye of a hurricane in search of data to help us better understand one of nature's most destructive forces. Then one of the scientists that flies with Kibbe, hurricane meteorologist Jonathan

Blue Dot 111: Wildfires

The catastrophic wildfire season in the west has been called "the new normal?" But is it? And what could normal even mean when confronted by such extreme events. We asked three experts to weigh in on the science of wildfire. Natasha Stavros is a forest and wildfire ecologist who does research for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and weighs in on the many factors affecting western wildfires. Then Eric Kurth joins us from the National Weather Service's Sacramento office. They have the difficult

Blue Dot 110: Adam Frank

In this episode Dave talks to Adam Frank. Adam is a regular contributor to NPR's All Things Considered where he weighs in on scientific issues with his expertise as an astrophysicist. He is also a writer. His latest book The Light of The Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth examines what role climate change must ultimately play in any technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilization. Frank argues that we should stop arguing about climate change, accept that it is just a part of

Blue Dot 109: Monterey Bay

The Dot goes deep Blue on this episode as we explore the mysterious and immense submarine canyon that lies below the surface of Monterey Bay. Monterey is known for its famed Monterey Bay Aquarium but did you know it also has a separate scientific research center? Based in Moss Landing at the very head of the Submarine Canyon, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) is one of the world's leading oceanographic and marine biology/ecology research centers. Dave is joined by geologist

Blue Dot 108: National Parks & Poetry

Dave visits with Karla K. Morton and Alan Birkelbach, two poets laureate from Texas. In 2013, Karla herd a speaker talk about the 2016 centennial of the National Parks and decided to do something meaningful to celebrate it. She invited her fellow poet laureate Alan to join her on a quest to share the parks through the lens of poetry by visiting all 60 parks together. Their journey is nearly at the halfway point as of this interview. Journey through what Wallace Stegner called "the best idea

Blue Dot 107: Kepler 2

We revisit one of our favorite topics on this program over the years (back when this was a four minute show called The Blue Dot Report) The Kepler Space Telescope, the world's greatest hunter of worlds beyond our solar system. With two of its four reaction wheels (gyroscope like devices used to stabilize and point the telescope) failing, Kepler was unable to continue its primary mission. But the K2 mission uses the telescopes still operating instruments to not only hunt for exoplanets but also

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

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