Bygone Visions of Cosmic Neighbors
Mar 30, 2022

Before the dawn of the space age, it was difficult to gauge the feasibility of life beyond Earth. Was Earth the sole harbor of life, or did intelligent beings permeate the heavens? The impenetrable clouds of Venus, indistinct shadings on Mars, and imagined structures on the Moon allowed scientists and science fiction authors alike to populate the Solar System with cosmic neighbors.

Correction of 29:34 to 29:49

This animation of how aurorae are produced is rather poor. It's a bit too simplistic and gives the wrong impression. Charged solar particles are actually captured by the Earth's magnetosphere and accelerated into the atmosphere near the poles where they collide with atoms and molecules to emit light. This is why aurorae are typically observed near the South and North pole. See reference #114 for a more detailed explanation.

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