Short Features

Short audio features played throughout the KVNF program schedule:

Western Slope Skies: Black Canyon Astronomical Society

Western Slope Skies is produced by members of the Black Canyon Astronomical Society, who take a look at our local night sky. Hear it every other Friday morning after the  local newscast (from 8-8:10 AM) and on the following Wednesday night at 7 PM just before Global Express.

Mindful Moments: Sundays at 11:00 pm

A weekly opportunity for you to pause, find stillness, and look inward leading to a better understanding of self and of the world around you. Your host, Erin Easton will offer teachings to help you find more kindness, peace, and ease in your daily life.

Pulse of the Planet: Weekdays at 1:00 pm

Each weekday, the Pulse of the Planet radio series provides its listeners with a two-minute sound portrait of Planet Earth, tracking the rhythms of nature, culture and science worldwide, blending interviews with extraordinary natural sound.

Hightower Radio Lowdown: Tuesday & Thursday at 7:00 pm

2-minute commentaries by Jim Hightower, America’s most popular populist. He is a best-selling author, public speaker, and political sparkplug who learned from his daddy, W. F. Hightower, that “Everybody does better when everybody does better.” Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner (which put him square in the crosshairs of corporate agribusiness,) he has long chronicled the ongoing democratic struggles by America’s ordinary people against rule by its plutocratic elites. You can read more about Jim at JimHightower.com.

Pexels

Taking a mindful look into media consumption and it's impacts.

NASA

Looking into our relationship with stillness and silence

NASA

What does it actually mean to "Settle the Mind"

Looking Inward

Nov 10, 2020
NASA

How looking inward can help serve ourselves and others around us.

NASA/USGS

As evening twilight deepens, look to the east. You’ll see a brilliant red star rising. That star is actually not a star, but the planet Mars. Over the next several weeks, we on Earth will be swinging by Mars on our faster orbit about the Sun, allowing for great views of our planetary neighbor.

Western Slope Skies - Our Galactic Address

Sep 18, 2020
NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC/Caltech)

“We are here.” That is the first thing I tell people at a national park visitor center, as I point to our location on a park map. Even if they didn’t ask, hearing it always seems to be a relief.

Western Slope Skies - Constellation Scorpius

Jun 12, 2020
Joyce Tanihara

Go out tonight and look for a constellation that is easy to see at this time of year. Scorpius lies close to the southern horizon. Scorpius is Latin for scorpion and this is a constellation that really looks like its namesake. Yet, as obvious as it appears like an arachnid, the constellation holds mysteries we can’t see.

Have you noticed that brilliant star in the western evening sky over the past few months? That “evening star” is Venus, Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor.

In the last Western Slope Skies episode, we discussed several aspects of astronomy in indigenous North American cultures. Today we focus on the Lakota constellation The Sacred Hoop.

The night sky is mystical to many cultures. Untouchable, seen only part of the day, changing from month to month, yet it clearly has an impact on life on the earth in terms of agriculture, weather changes, and navigation.

Art Trevena/BCAS

If you venture out under clear and dark Western Slope winter skies, you’ll notice a diffuse glow, extending from the northwestern horizon across the zenith to the southeast. This is the winter view of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. While not as bright as the Milky Way we see during summer evenings, the winter Milky Way has a subtle beauty all its own.

NASA

Over the past year, how many questions did you ask that went unanswered?

NASA/ESA

Have you ever have taken a long, time-exposure photo? Say, 30 seconds long? You can image stars, and even the Milky Way. What if you took a very long time-exposure photo of a seemingly empty part of the sky with a large telescope? Say, 22 hours long!

NASA

Meteors occur when rocky or icy particles impact Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrate, producing streaks of light, often bright and sometimes colorful.  The particles can range from sand grains to rocks of substantial size.

With the onset of autumn, the natural scenery changes. From the vibrant fall leaf change at Black Canyon National Park to the changing constellations up above, autumn brings new perspectives.  And, as night falls earlier and earlier, we are given an extended opportunity to appreciate these newly-risen constellations.

NASA

Most of us can probably recall the childhood tale of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” in which that finicky young girl insisted that her porridge be “not too hot, and not too cold, but just right.” As it turns out, Earth may be equally persnickety. At a distance of about 93 million miles from the sun, our planet falls within the bounds of what astronomers have nicknamed “The Goldilocks Zone.” This term identifies the orbit around a star that is “not too hot, and not too cold, but just right.”

Earlier this year we lost a space exploration giant. Or better yet, a small robot. On February 13, 2019 we said a final farewell to our good pal, the Mars Opportunity Rover. That day, NASA’s last attempt to reach the rover failed. Its mission finally ended. If it had a burial site, its epitaph may read something like “Opportunity Rover: Roll on Good Robot” or “Here lies Opportunity, a real life Wall-E.”

Friday June 21st marks this year’s summer solstice. The word “solstice” comes from the Latin words “sol,” meaning ‘sun,’ and “stitium,” meaning ‘stopped.’ Ancient sky observers noticed that the sun achieved its highest possible position in the sky on this summer day each year.

On June 13, 2010 a bright fireball streaked across the sky over Australia. Was this a meteor or an errant piece of space junk burning up in Earth’s atmosphere? Actually, none of the above. It was Japan’s Hayabusa space probe returning to Earth at 25,000 m.p.h., after visiting the asteroid Itokawa.

A few months ago, we toured the Galactic Menagerie in the sky.  Today, let’s take flight and do some birdwatching!

EHT Collaboration

One of the mathematical outcomes of Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity is that an object with sufficiently high density will have such strong gravity that nothing, not even light, can escape. This is a ‘black hole.’

NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, University of Arizona

In 2016 NASA launched the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft toward an asteroid named Bennu, a 1,700-ft-wide body that orbits the Sun near Earth’s orbit. 

NASA

If April showers bring May flowers, what do meteor showers bring?

Art Trevena

Constellation Orion stands high in the south during these March evenings. 

If you were asked to picture the most fascinating thing named Mercury, what would come to mind?

NASA

Here we sit in the middle of January 2019. Yet follow the months back to January of 1805, to find Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and their crew overwintering at Fort Mandan, in the heart of North Dakota. Like sailors of old who navigated seemingly endless oceans, Lewis and Clark were explorers, gazing across a vast sea of snow-covered plains, wondering where exactly they were.

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