November 1, 2013

Rare Solar Eclipse To Occur This Weekend – On Science

A solar spectacle you won’t want to miss.

Is there a supernova in your future?

How about a little salmonella on your steak?

And pizza’s getting healthier coming up today! On Science!

Hello and welcome to On Science. I’m Emerald Robinson.

We’re in for a rare treat this Sunday. Well, some of us anyway. Parts of eastern North America, northern South America, southern Europe, the Middle East and several other parts of the world will experience a hybrid solar eclipse on Sunday. This type of eclipse begins as a ring eclipse at its start and become a brief total eclipse later on. What time should you look up – granted you have the proper gear to do so? Try between 7:00 and 7:15 Eastern time. The middle East, Europe, and Africa will see it during afternoon hours. This is the fifth eclipse and the second solar eclipse of 2013. What about a total eclipse of the heart?

And later in this century we will see another spectacular event in our sky. Astronomers at Ohio State University say that we will see a supernova take place in our galaxy in the next 50 years. A supernova, or an exploding star, is one of the most brilliant events in the universe. The astronomers say we still don’t know a lot about supernovas so the chance to actually observe one in our own galaxy will help us understand them so much more. But we might not have the best view thanks to soot-like dust particles in the Milky Way that absorb light and could  obscure the spectacle. Chances of catching it with the naked eye depends on your latitude or through use of specialized telescope say researchers. Here’s to hoping one of us get lucky.

And be careful if you’re spicing it up! The FDA says they’ve found salmonella in almost 7% of all imported spices. More than 80 types of salmonella were found along with some unsavory   additives. And it just keeps getting better and better. How about a little rat hair with your paprika? They also found that 12% of all imported spices into America were contaminated with   salmonella, animal waste, insects or rodent hair. They say the contamination likely happens during storage rather than harvesting. The best advice I can give you if you like the   spices? Cook them. It kills the bacteria. As for me, I’m tossing the spice rack.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just eat pizza and chips all day and not have to feel guilty? That’s a perfect world to me! Guess what? The world might be getting a little more perfect. Scottish researchers looked at how they could make pizza just a little healthier. After testing 25 Margarita pizzas for their nutritional content, the team found they just didn’t cut it as a balanced meal. So they modified a modern pizza recipe by reducing the amount of salt, which is an additive to preserve the shelf-life, and added whole-wheat flour, a small amount of Scottish seaweed for flavor, vitamin B12, fiber, iron, Vitamin A, iodine, red peppers for taste and vitamin C. They balanced out the cheese to bread ratio to the correct carb-fat-protein proportions. And what are the critics saying? Or well test subjects in this case. Not bad! Researchers said there’s “really no reason why pizza and other ready meals shouldn’t be nutritionally balanced!”

Besides, Americans deserve a little kudos for avoiding calling the pizza guy every night. The latest Easting Patterns in America report shows that Americans are eating more fruit and yogurt and downing more H2O than soda. Fruit is actually now the second most popular food consumed in the U.S., up from number 5 a decade ago. Sandwiches are the most popular and the potato still maintains its popularity as well. Hey it’s so versatile. But we still aren’t acing it with the veggies. Researchers said they’ll get really excited when our vegetable consumption is up. The report is based on 5,000 people who maintain daily journals on food and drink consumption for a two week period. And thanks to this new trend, the obesity epidemic is leveling off a little. Hey, here’s an idea—love your sandwich just put more veggies on it.

And that’s it for on Science! [ eating pizza ] What? I don’t have to feel guilty about it anymore!

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