EarthSky 22: Blue moons and biofuels

Your 22 minutes of science news from around the world, and new music from Austin, Texas.

Host: Jorge Salazar
Lead Producer: Mike Brennan

ES 22 Producers: Deborah Byrd, Ryan Britton, Emily Howard

Science news of the week:

Scientists have discovered a biological switch in cyanobacteria that could help in engineering algae for improved biofuel production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that the severe drought means consumers can expect to pay more for groceries in 2013

The heaviest rainfall in 61 years fell on the Chinese capital city of Beijing on July 21

NASA announced that Greenland saw “unprecedented” ice sheet melting at the surface during a period of only four days in early July

Extent of surface melt over Greenland’s ice sheet on July 8 (left) and July 12 (right). Within four days, 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12, 2012. Image Credit: Nicolo E. DiGirolamo, SSAI/NASA GSFC, and Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory

A series of dust storms took place in the U.S. state of Arizona in the past few weeks

Astronomers say they’ve detected a distant solar system whose planets orbit in a way that resembles the planets in our solar system

Song of the week:

The Eastern Sea’s “A Lie” from their new album Plague.

This week’s featured stories:

Blue Moon Jorge Salazar speaks with skywatcher Deborah Byrd about two full moons in August, and what makes a “Blue Moon”.

Biofuels Jorge talks with Andrew Leakey about developing drought-resistant plants for fuel.

Green Foxtail Grass, Image Credit: Xemenendura

Weird Science: Giant Hairball Jorge speaks with Ryan Britton about a giant 5lb. hairball found in a woman in the UK. This is gross.

Thanks for listening in to your 22 minutes of science and music!

This week’s musical contributors:

The Eastern Sea

Sleep Good

The Black and White Years

Mother Falcon

One Hundred Flowers

EarthSky 22

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