February 14, 2019: January Science News Roundup

Thank you for tuning in! Today I talked about the recent news:

Opportunity Rover, the 3rd rover ever to explore the Martian landscape officially went dark back in August 2018. On February 13, 2019, after many attempts to contact Opportunity, NASA officials officially declared the rover’s mission complete. Check out the links below for more information:

Opportunity Rover Mission Complete

Mars Rover Program (Spirit + Opportunity)Results 

NASA’s website has a bounty of cool multi-media captured from the rovers including raw images, panoramas, and some interactive modules, and informative videos!


A Science Advances article co-authored by UCI Earth System Science Professor Eric Rignot was picked up by the media. The article describes the heterogeneous acceleration of the Thwaites glacier in West Antarctica, a marine-terminating glacier whose ground line has been retreating quickly due to warm seawater intrusions under the glacier. This was picked up by The New York Times and Quartz. This is a prime example of how scientific findings get distorted to make stories catchier. Here is JPL’s press release regarding the findings.


Southern California is experiencing another big atmospheric river event, thus bringing the seasonal average to a whopping 11 inches. Find more about atmospheric rivers in gizmodo’s Earther video! Keep up to date with the most trusted weather information at the National Weather Service’s Stay dry out there guys!


After further analysis of the fossil record of the nightmare fuel prehistoric shark, the Otudus Megadolon, scientists at the College of Charleston propose that the Megadolon became extinct much early than the 2.6 million years previously thought. The new analysis suggests that the megadolon became extinct from 3.6-4 million years ago at different times and was not due to increased radiation from a supernova, but rather was outcompeted by the it’s small shark cousin, the great white! You can find the original scientific article here. This story was picked up by, The Independent, and National Geographic!


Here are some more interesting videos I picked up along the way of producing this episode!

Earth’s protective Magnetic Field vibrates like a drum when hit by pulses in solar wind!

Learn about how Insight, the newest of the Mars landers, is preparing to measure Mars temperature!

Despite the great undertaking of building the International Space Station, international partners are currently changing focus to create contingency plans in case of catastrophic malfunctions as the ISS has completed 20 years in near-earth Orbit. Officials are currently planning a controlled destruction of ISS once it reaches its end of life through re-entry (essentially it will burned up by the atmosphere). Read more about it here!

Spiders rarely get fossilized, but look at this cool 100-million year old one!

Check out how male parrots have use rhythm to make unique songs to get female parrots to notice them! Astounding!

Interested in even more current science news? Check out Science’s newest articles here, all open access!

Stay curious!

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