Autumn Astronomy

20 hours ago
October brings some spectacular views of Mars (pictured) as well as Venus, Jupiter and Saturn.
Wikimedia Commons

This episode originally aired on Oct. 22, 2020.

This October offers up some spectacular naked-eye views of our brightest planetary neighbors, such as Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn.

But the star of the show is Mars, which swoops in for its closest approach to Earth until 2035.

Autumn Astronomy

Oct 22, 2020
The planet Mars
Aynur Zakirov / Pixabay

This October offers up some spectacular naked-eye views of our brightest planetary neighbors, such as Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn.

But the star of the show is Mars, which swoops in for its closest approach to Earth until 2035.

Ohio's Role In Traveling To The Moon

Aug 26, 2019
The deployment of the early Apollo scientific experiments package is photographed by astronaut Neil A. Armstrong during the Apollo 11 EVA.

Vice President Mike Pence addressed the National Space Council this month about the Trump Administration’s plans to change course with the space program and return Americans to the moon.

Pence said NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to send astronauts to the moon by 2024, is on track. The NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland will help make the mission a reality.

Today on All Sides, the Artemis program and Ohio's role in getting back to the moon.


In the past year or so, scientists have discovered more evidence for liquid water under the surface of Mars. They've found complex organic compounds — the building blocks of life. And they've found that methane levels in Mars' atmosphere vary with the seasons.

"Each of these things adds up to say that the probability of finding life on a world that's not our own is going up," says NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "And Mars, I think, is that best opportunity in our own solar system to find life on another world."

NASA’s Glenn Research Center is playing a key role in the mission to take astronauts back to the moon and on to Mars, Administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a visit to Cleveland Monday.

“The moon is our proving ground for how do we live and work on another world, so that we can go to Mars,” Bridenstine said. “And the sooner we can prove that out on the moon, the sooner we can move on to Mars.”

Opportunity lost.

NASA has officially declared an end to the mission of the six-wheeled rover on Mars. Opportunity lost power in a dust storm last June, and all efforts to make contact have failed.

"Our beloved Opportunity remained silent," Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said Wednesday at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "With a sense of deep appreciation and gratitude," he added, "I declare the Opportunity mission as complete."

The successful communication between Mars and earth is largely due to durable radios built by L3 Space & Sensors, a division of L3 Electronics in Mason. Its radio is on board Mars Insight.

Perkins Observatory Director Tom Burns Retires

Jul 31, 2018
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Tom Burns ends his 25-year avocation as director of Ohio Wesleyan University Perkins Observatory, where he has volunteered countless hours over the decades through talks and programs on astronomy.

He also has been a great friend to 89.7 WOSU Public Media as a frequent guest on All Sides with Ann Fisher.

On the last day of his role as director at Perkins, Tom Burns shares his favorite memories and what’s exciting in the night sky. 



An Italian team of scientists says it has strong evidence of a subsurface lake of liquid water on Mars. It's a discovery that adds to the speculation that there could once have been life on Mars — and raises the possibility that it might be there still today, since liquid water is an essential ingredient for life.

For the first time, scientists say they have clear evidence that the chemical building blocks of life exist on Mars.

What they can't say yet is whether there is, or ever was, life on the Red Planet.

A critical part of NASA's next $2 billion rover mission to Mars broke during testing earlier this month.

The Mars 2020 mission's heat shield was undergoing stress-testing when it developed a crack that appeared around its entire circumference. The shield is designed to protect the rover as it enters the Martian atmosphere.

Updated March 2 at 12:43 p.m.

NASA is approving a UC student project for launch. The space agency announced its decision Friday.

Victoria LaBarre was climbing out of a canyon and into a bright, vast, seemingly lifeless landscape when she started to experience an astronaut's nightmare.

"Suddenly," she said, "I couldn't breathe."

Later today, six people will enter a dome on a volcano in Hawaii that will be their home for the next eight months, as they simulate a future mission to Mars.

It is the fifth such experiment run by the University of Hawaii and funded by NASA. The latest mission on Mauna Loa, which ended in August 2016, lasted a full year. It is known as the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, or HI-SEAS.

Space Colonization

Sep 1, 2016
NASA / Wikimedia Commons

Today at 11am

Space travel has been making headlines recently.  A new planet, Proxima B was discovered leading to speculation about whether it could host life.  Also, the HI-SEAS experiment was let out this week.  Which, after one year, released 6 people from a Mars simulated environment in Hawaii.  There are many challenges related to surviving in space, let alone another planet.