science

Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon, has a large bulge at its equator.
NASA

Something strange has happened on Ganymede, this solar system’s largest moon. Orbiting Jupiter, planetary experts discovered it has a large icy bulge.

“We were basically very surprised,” said William McKinnon, a professor in Washington University's Earth and Planetary Sciences Department. “It’s like looking at old art or an old sculpture. We looked at old images of Ganymede taken by the Voyager spacecraft in the 1970s that had been completely overlooked, an enormous ice plateau, hundreds of miles across and a couple miles high.”

teacher with two young children
U.S. Department of Education

Wednesday on “St. Louis on the Air,” we learned about a St. Louis Science Center program that helps teens learn science, technology, engineering and math skills. Ahead of that segment, we asked listeners about memorable STEM experiments, classes and learning moments. Here’s what they told us. (Responses have been edited for length and clarity.)

St. Louis Science Center
St. Louis Science Center

Like most kids, Diamond Williams toyed with several potential careers. Cosmetology had potential. So did following in the footsteps of her father, a dialysis technician, but her squeamishness cut short those dreams. Instead, Williams is now an engineer, a career path she discovered through a St. Louis Science Center youth program.

Youth Exploring Science works with St. Louis teens to create projects centered around science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.

Last month’s State of St. Louis Workforce report examined St. Louis’ economy and labor market, and the local demand for science, technology, engineering and mathematics talent.

(via Flikr/Stephen Bowler)

It's not easy to adjust to a new time zone or work schedule. Our body has a natural sleep/wake cycle and disruptions to it can lead to more than just feeling tired or exhausted.

Washington University professors Paul Gray and Erik Herzog are studying the biology behind our daily internal clock, or circadian rhythm. Sometimes referred to as the body or biological clock, Herzog defined it as "the entity within the body that synchronizes with an environmental cycle." This is not to be confused with the biological clock some refer to when thinking of a woman's desire to conceive. 

SK Films

Citizen science is a growing opportunity for non-professional and amateur scientists to participate in professional research.

There are numerous opportunities for citizen science in the St. Louis area and engaging in such endeavors can contribute to protecting environments and preserving species.

(Provided By: Byron Kerman)

This weekend science fiction and fantasy fans will gather at the Collinsville Gateway Center for the 36th ARCHON Science Fiction Convention.  Host Steve Potter talks with acclaimed science fiction writer and author Joe Haldeman, who wrote “The Forever War,” which received the Nebula and Hugo Awards for the best science fiction novel of 1975.  Steve also talks with St. Louis cryptologist and game developer Elonka Dunin and Byron Kerman, one of the organizers of the convention.

Tell us you can resist clicking on this headline from Florida's Sun Sentinel:

"Huge Eyeball From Unknown Creature Washes Ashore On Florida Beach."

It's big, it's blue and the newspaper says "among the possibilities being discussed are a giant squid, some other large fish or a whale or other large marine mammal."

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has sent the eye off for study.

Scientists have discovered a world much fancier than our homely, little Earth.

New research that will published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters details a planet that is eight times heavier than Earth and with twice its radius. But instead of being covered in water and granite, it is encrusted in graphite and diamond.

(Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

Forty-three teams of teens from Missouri and four surrounding states be competing in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition regional this weekend at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis.

(You can see a full feature on last year's FIRST competition here, too).

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