Feb 9th: Cosmic Conditions Suitable for the Noble Class

By on February 9, 2014 in
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Podcaster:  Pamela Quevillon

Title: Space Scoop: Cosmic Conditions Suitable for the Noble Class

Organization:  Speak Easy Narration

Linkhttp://speakeasynarration.com ; http://unawe.org/kids/unawe1382/

Description: Space scoop, news for children.

Bio: Pamela Quevillon is a voice actress who most often lends her voice to science and science fiction content. You can find her work on the “Escape Pod” and “365 Days of Astronomy”, as well as on her site

Today’s sponsor: This episode of “365 Days of Astronomy” is sponsored by — no one. We still need sponsors for many days in 2013, so please consider sponsoring a day or two. Just click on the “Donate” button on the lower left side of this webpage, or contact us at signup@365daysofastronomy.org.

Transcript:

This image of the Crab Nebula is made up of two images combined, each picture was snapped by a different telescope. Credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS/MESS Key Programme Supernova Remnant Team; NASA, ESA and Allison Loll/Jeff Hester (Arizona State University)

This image of the Crab Nebula is made up of two images combined, each picture was snapped by a different telescope.
Credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS/MESS Key Programme Supernova Remnant Team; NASA, ESA and Allison Loll/Jeff Hester (Arizona State University)

This is  365 Days of Astronomy. Today we bring you a new episode in our Space Scoop Series. This show is produced in collaboration with Universe Awareness, a program that strives to inspire every child with our wonderful cosmos.

Everything on Earth, in our Solar System, in our Galaxy, in fact, everything in the entire Universe that you can touch or see, or feel, or smell can be broken down into just 98 naturally-occurring materials that are called ‘elements’. Some elements you might know are oxygen, iron, gold and silver.

When one or more elements stick together, they form ‘molecules’. These make up all the other thousands of materials in the Universe. Water and carbon dioxide are both molecules. But some elements don’t like to play with others, and don’t stick to other elements to create molecules. ‘Noble gases’ are a group of elements that particularly dislike sticking to other elements, so they are mostly found on their own.

Having said that, under the right circumstances noble gases can form molecules. These conditions have been created in laboratories many times and many noble gas molecules have been created by scientists. But these rare molecules have never been found out in space, leading scientists to believe that the “right conditions” for these molecules just don’t exist in space — until now!

The Crab Nebula, which can be seen in this picture, formed 1000 years ago when a massive star exploded. A new study of this well-known object has uncovered something very surprising — a rare molecule called argon hydride (pronounced ‘ahr-gon hide-ride’). This is a molecule formed when the noble gas ‘argon’ joins with the most common element in the Universe, ‘hydrogen’. It seems that the Crab Nebula provides exactly those “right conditions” that we’d almost given up all hope of finding!

Cool Fact : There are actually 118 elements known altogether, but only 98 of them occur in nature. All of the other elements are strictly man-made. All known elements have been listed and categorised neatly in the periodic table.

365 Days of Astronomy is a community podcast made possible thanks to the contributions of people like you. Please consider donating at 365DaysofAstronomy.org/Donate

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365 Days of Astronomy
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The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is produced by Astrosphere New Media. Audio post-production by Richard Drumm. Bandwidth donated by libsyn.com and wizzard media. You may reproduce and distribute this audio for non-commercial purposes. Please consider supporting the podcast with a few dollars (or Euros!). Visit us on the web at 365DaysOfAstronomy.org or email us at info@365DaysOfAstronomy.org. In the new year the 365 Days of Astronomy project will be something different than before….Until then…goodbye

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