Meteorites represent a sustainable human society


Today’s Video of the Day from the European Space Agency discusses the interesting relationship between humans and meteorites.

A giant piece of a meteorite is central to the DECOS office in the Netherlands, and company founder Paul Vega explains how the four and a half billion-year-old specimen is a symbol of sustainability.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: NASA Goddard

What makes us love music so much?


Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society explains why we love music so much.

Scientists have found that music triggers the release of dopamine in the striatum – a region of the brain that controls our reward system.

During the most exciting parts of our favorite songs, dopamine is abundant.

Furthermore, extra dopamine is released in a different region of the brain as the climax of a song is anticipated.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: American Chemical Society

The Aeolus mission will improve weather forecasts


Today’s Video of the Day from the European Space Agency is a special edition of the Earth from Space series that describes the mission of Aeolus, a newly-developed wind satellite that will be launched from French Guiana next month.

The Aeolus mission will be the first to collect wind data on a global scale. This data will be used to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts and create better climate models.

Aeolus produces a powerful laser beam that bounces off air particles in the atmosphere. The changing frequencies of the light that is reflected back to the spacecraft are used to calculate wind speeds at different altitudes.



By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: European Space Agency

Hurricane Maria transformed the forests of Puerto Rico


Today’s Video of the Day from NASA Goddard follows scientists as they survey the damage from Hurricane Maria across Puerto Rico’s tropical forests.

Measurements taken from the ground, the air, and from space will enable experts to identify and follow changes as the forests recover from the devastation.

Forests cover around half of the island, so the scientists used an airborne instrument called Goddard’s Lidar, Hyperspectral and Thermal Imager (G-LiHT) to obtain many measurements at once. G-LiHT is flown 1,000 feet over the trees to collect high-resolution photographs, surface temperatures, and vegetation data.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: NASA Goddard

What makes some cheese smell so bad?


Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society series Reactions explains what makes some types of cheese smell terrible.

The experts at St. James Cheese Company describe the chemistry behind many washed-rind cheeses that creates repulsive smells that are surprisingly paired with amazing flavors.

Once the cheese curds are placed in their wheels to age, they are washed in a liquid such as wine, beer, salty brine, or liquor. The outer cheese layer becomes moist and salty and attracts bacteria that emit potent gases as they break down proteins on the rind.

Despite having a strong scent that tends to smell like feet, washed-rind cheeses have an acquired taste that people love.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: American Chemical Society

Vibrating car seats can make drivers sleepy


Today’s Video of the Day from RMIT University demonstrates the dangerous effect that the natural vibrations of cars can have on drivers.

While observing volunteers in a vibrating simulator, the researchers found that sleepiness can set in after just 15 minutes of driving. Furthermore, within half an hour, this sleepiness can have a hazardous influence on the driver’s ability to focus and stay alert behind the wheel.

The team hopes that their findings may encourage manufacturers to design car seats that will not vibrate and cause drowsiness.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: RMIT University

When sports and science team up


Today’s Video of the Day from NASA Goddard features a science event hosted by NASA at Boston’s Fenway Park. Thousands of students and teachers attended from over 60 schools to learn more about the wonders of the universe and how scientists study them.

Among the many exciting presenters was astronaut Sunita Williams, who once held the record for total space time and spacewalks by a woman, and was the first person to ever run the Boston Marathon from space.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: NASA Goddard

Changing Hydrangea blossoms from red to blue


Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society shows the power of persistence as the people behind the Reactions series fail, and then succeed, at changing the color of Hydrangea blossoms from red to blue.

The first experiment likely failed due to the use of artificial light and an aluminum solution that was potent enough to poison the flowers. For the second attempt, which proved to be successful, the team exposed the flowers to natural sunlight and lower concentrations of aluminum and citrate.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: American Chemical Society

Oumuamua originated outside of our solar system


Today’s Video of the Day from NASA Goddard reveals what scientists have discovered about Oumuamua, the mysterious object that tumbled past the Earth at an unusually high speed in October of 2017.

The experts used data from the Hubble Space Telescope as well as ground observations to study Oumuamua, which is the first space object ever known to have origins outside of our solar system. The interstellar mass appears to be about ten times as long as it is wide, and has dramatic variations in brightness.

When scientists did not detect the dust and material that is normally seen trailing from comets, they initially concluded that Oumuamua was an asteroid. However, something other than the gravitational pull of the Sun and the planets was found to be driving the acceleration and trajectory of the object. This behavior could only be explained by vents on the surface that were emitting jets of gases, which is characteristic of comets.

The space rock vanished out of sight in January. Because of its non-gravitational motion, Oumuamua will never appear again in our solar system.

The interstellar object was first spotted by Robert Weryk using the Pan-STARRS telescope at Haleakala Observatory in Hawaii. Oumuamua translates to “scout or messenger from our distant past” in Hawaiian.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: NASA Goddard

What exactly is a near-earth asteroid?


Today’s Video of the Day from the European Space Agency (ESA) describes the dynamics of near-earth asteroids, which are space objects comprised of rock and metal that shoot past our planet.

According to the ESA, there are over 18,000 known near-earth asteroids. Around 800 of these have no chance whatsoever of impacting the Earth, and the chance of a large asteroid striking our planet it is extremely unlikely.

The video is part of the the ESA’s Space in Videos series.

On June 29th and 30th, the ESA will host live webcasts for Asteroid Day 2018.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: European Space Agency

Is this the smelliest food in the world?


Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society’s Reactions series explains how Surströmming, also known as the smelliest food in the world, has become a national treasure in Sweden.

Swedish for “sour herring,” Surströmming dates back an estimated 9,000 years. By the 1500s, the fish became a staple in Sweden when the country was at war and salt was hard to come by. Salt was important at this time for preserving food, and there was enough salt in Surströmming to prevent the fish from spoiling.

As the fish ferment in their own bacteria, they produce potent, smelly acids. The gases produced as byproducts in this food preservation process become so strong that they actually swell the can.

Karin Olofsdotter is the Swedish ambassador to the United States. She said that Surströmming is an acquired taste and, though she does not like it that much, it is a fun thing to do to be part of an old tradition.


By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: American Chemical Society

What makes grilled food taste so good?


Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society explains the science behind the mouth-watering appearance and taste of grilled food.

Meat undergoes a molecular transformation, known as the Maillard Reaction, as it heats on the grill. This metamorphosis is described as a complex series of reactions between amino acids and sugars that result in hundreds of distinctive flavor compounds. The molecules produced from these chemical reactions are also partially responsible for the irresistable color and aroma of grilled food.

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit : American Chemical Society