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Professor Richard Binzel

Podcast: Frontiers in Astrophysics–Tracking Asteroids with Richard Binzel

Podcasts

Space dust and asteroid fragments reach Earth’s surface every day, but only rarely do extraterrestrial objects cause serious harm. In this podcast from the spring, MIT professor Richard Binzel evaluates the threat of asteroids and makes a case for how they might actually be useful to humans.

Dr. Binzel’s talk, “Tracking Asteroids,” from the Frontiers in Astrophysics lecture series, took place at the Hayden Planetarium on April 16, 2012.

Podcast: Download | RSS | iTunes ( 1 hour, 9 mins, 86 MB)

Tags: Astrophysics, Podcasts

18. Vampire squid_DF.3759.jpg

A Brilliant Defense

On Exhibit posts

Humans marvel at the beauty of glowing organisms, but usually, nature’s light displays serve a much more practical purpose.

When pushed to the limit by a predator, the vampire squid envelops its adversary in a smokescreen of glowing particles. After ejecting luminescent mucus from the tips of its eight tentacles, this master of disguise makes its escape, “flying” through water with its fins rather than jet-propelling like most other cephalopods. The sticky mucus, which glows for up to 10 minutes, may even coat the predator and make it more vulnerable to attack.

Tags: Members

What Is and Is Not a Dinosaur?

News posts

A key evolutionary innovation of dinosaurs is that they walk with a fully erect posture, holding their hind legs vertically under their hips. What else makes a dinosaur a dinosaur? Learn how scientists define this group of reptiles in the first video from the AMNH.tv series "Dinosaurs Explained."

Tags: Dinosaurs

SpidersAlive Collection

The Arachnid Collection Behind Spiders Alive!

Research posts

A visitor to the Museum’s Spiders Alive! exhibition, which showcases live examples of approximately 20 spider species, might not realize that upstairs, out of public view, is the world’s largest spider collection. The Museum’s research collection contains more than 1 million spiders preserved in ethanol—a growing resource for scientists worldwide.

“Almost every important paper on spider systematics relies on specimens borrowed from our collection,” said Norman Platnick, curator of Spiders Alive! and curator emeritus in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology. “At any given time, we have many thousands of specimens on loan to dozens of researchers all around the globe.”

Tags: Spiders

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