Blue Dot

Fridays at 10 a.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

Each week Blue Dot takes you to curiosities across our universe. Featuring interviews with leading scientists, authors, filmmakers and journalists from around the world, Blue Dot examines our home from a planetary perspective. Whether it’s a discussion about our life-giving oceans, the imperiled climate systems, the depths of space, or how a rock guitar works, Blue Dot is an adventure of discovery.

Hosted by Dave Schlom, and co-produced by North State Public Radio, Blue Dot digs deep into conversations about earth and space. For the past 12 years, Schlom has adorned the airwaves with his warm, relaxed style. His extensive scientific and journalistic background and his gift for engaging natural and thought-inducing conversations make Blue Dot a program you don’t want to miss.

Original Theme Music by Matt Shilts, Engineer and Producer Matt Fidler, Associate Producer Ellie Johnson.

NASA


Dave talks with two of the Deputy Project Scientists deeply involved with the Curiosity Rover, which has been exploring Gale Crater since 2012, and the new, yet to be named, Mars 2020 Rover that will be launching this July. 

 

Abigail Fraeman is the DPS for Curiosity and explains how the mobile science laboratory has furthered our understanding of how Mars was once a planet that was suitable for primitive microbial life. 

Dave Schlom


In this episode, Dave is going to the dogs. Literally. But that's OK with him because Dave loves dogs and dogs love him and now, thanks to Dr. Clive Wynne, he can prove it. Dr. Wynne, a researcher in animal behavior at Arizona State University, is the author of the new book, Dog is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You.

From Pavlov's dogs (you'll find out there's more to that story than wringing a bell) to modern research using MRI machines, Wynne's book is an exploration of a simple and compelling question that he asked himself, "What is it that makes dogs special?" 


Dave visits with some very special friends! Amy Bean, Tracy Cernan, and Gwen Griffin all grew up inside the Apollo Moon program during the late 1960s and early 70s. Amy and Tracy's Dad's were among the 12 men who are the only ones to have ever walked on another world -- The Moon. 

NASA

 

Blue Dot looks back at 51 years of the Apollo program with a look at the very first mission to the Moon -- Apollo 8. Considered by most space historians as the most dramatic and bold mission of the entire lunar program, astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders became the first human beings to leave ride the powerful Saturn V rocket, leave Earth's gravitational well and see the backside of the Moon with their own eyes.

NASA


Longtime listeners to Blue Dot know that Dave has a lifelong fascination with the Moon from its exploration to its role in eclipses. But how did our companion world come to be? 

 

Since the Apollo missions brought back lunar samples, the most accepted idea is called the "Giant Impact Hypothesis" but the notion has its flaws -- mainly that if a Mars-sized object actually did hit the Earth and create the Moon, where is the evidence in the Moon rocks which are isotopically identical to Earth's?

Johns Hopkins University

In this episode, inspired by our good friend Alan Stern, the Principal Investigator for the New Horizons Spacecraft, we examine a question that has vexed astronomers, planetary scientists and 5th graders, for decades: "What exactly is a Planet?" And more importantly, why should we care about definitions like this in science.

Sasha Sagan


In this very special episode, Dave talks to the daughter of the man he likes to call "the patron saint of Blue Dot," Carl Sagan.

 

Sasha Sagan was only 14 when her father passed away in 1996 and his loss is central to the theme of her new book For Small Creatures Such As We: Rituals for Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World

TylerPrize.Org

For scientists in the fields of chemistry, medicine and physics, there is the Nobel Prize and all the accolades that come with it. But for scientists in the environmental sciences, the Tyler Prize was created by Ann and John Tyler in 1973 to recognize scientists making world class contributions to the fields of science that most impact our understanding of the Earth's ecosystems.

Alan Bean Gallery


Blue Dot's "Apollo at 50" series continues with this look back at Apollo 12 which took place in November of 1969. Dave often says that "Apollo 12 was one of my favorite missions -- it paved the way for the scientific exploration of the Moon and had the crew that can definitely be called 'A band of brothers!'

 

While none of the Apollo 12 astronauts are with us on Earth, they are certainly with us in our collective memory and we take a look back at the epic mission to explore the Ocean of Storms 50 years ago with Lead Flight Director Gerry Griffin, Flight Controller John Aaron and astronaut Alan Bean's daughter Amy Bean.

Dave Schlom


In this episode, Dave is going to the dogs. Literally. But that's OK with him because Dave loves dogs and dogs love him and now, thanks to Dr. Clive Wynne, he can prove it. Dr. Wynne, a researcher in animal behavior at Arizona State University, is the author of the new book, Dog is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You.

From Pavlov's dogs (you'll find out there's more to that story than wringing a bell) to modern research using MRI machines, Wynne's book is an exploration of a simple and compelling question that he asked himself, "What is it that makes dogs special?" 

 

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