Flickr / dawgfanjeff

People near Iowa City planning to watch tonight’s super-lunar eclipse, are invited to the roof of Van Allen Hall at the University of Iowa. A group of UI astronomers is holding a public viewing of the phenomena which occurs once perhaps only two or three decades.

Miroslav Petrasko

An inky black sky full of stars is one of the most breathtaking views on Earth, but for most Americans the stars have dimmed because of artificial light.


NASA just released news that back in 2012, the Earth came very close to being hit by a solar flare – an event that could have wiped out electrical power for tens of millions of people.

Asteroids, galaxies, aliens, and space travel...we cover it all on this edition of River to River. Renowned astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, joins us to weigh in on all things cosmic.


Iowans can join others across North America to view an astronomical phenomenon very early Tuesday morning.  Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Iowa Steven Spangler says a total lunar eclipse will begin at one am and last for about an hour and half…

Daniel R. Blume /

On this News Buzz edition of the program, hear about a legislative shouting match, legalizing fireworks, the ACLU lawsuit against the Iowa Secretary of State, a survey of Iowans' thoughts on gay marriage, the Kepler mission, and a push to increase studying abroad.

Legislative shouting match and and other legislative fireworks:

ACLU lawsuit:

Same-sex marriage opinions:

Finding exoplanets:

Studying abroad:

Hubble Heritage

Today we bring you four stories. First, the Iowa legislative session kicks off this week. IPR's Joyce Russell brings us inside the statehouse to give us an idea of what will and won't be worked on this year.

An otherwise healthy young boy died from the influenza virus. Patricia Quinlisk talks to host Ben Kieffer about why this flu season is different than previous years and how to limit spread of the virus.

Daniel Huber/NASA's Ames Research Center

Today on River To River, host Ben Kieffer checks in with an astronomer here in Iowa, who has found something new while observing a solar system about 3,000 light years from Earth… A discovery that gives us insight on how alien solar systems are structured.

And, we look into the discovery of a 1.8-million-year-old human skull in Europe that has ignited debate on the origins of distinct species of ancient human relatives.

NASA's Juno spacecraft passed within about 350 miles of Earth's surface this week, before slingshotting off into space on a historic exploration of Jupiter.

On this news buzz version of River to River, hear from a University of Iowa research engineer about Juno, and from the president of the University of Iowa Amateur Radio Club about why they waved to Juno electronically, as it whizzed by.

That, and many other items in our news worth buzzing about.

NASA Blueshift / flickr

It’s taken more than three decades for NASA’s Voyager 1 to travel about 11 billion miles to reach the outskirts of our solar system and continue on into interstellar space. Today on River to River, we hear from research scientist, Bill Kurth, about his work on some of the spacecraft’s equipment that was built and operated by the University of Iowa.

Mojave Desert / flickr

For this News Buzz version of 'River to River' we hear about legally blind Iowans and gun permits, astronaut Clayton Anderson will join the Iowa State University faculty, the Cyclone/Hawkeye game is tomorrow, and hear about superstitions on this Friday the thirteenth.

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

It has been five years since the floods of 2008. Now, a week after another round of flooding in Eastern Iowa, IPR’s Durrie Bouscaren looks at how many Iowans are adapting to changing times.

More than a thousand runners participated in “Run the Flood,” an annual race through Cedar Rapids to commemorate the anniversary of a flood that would change the landscape of many Iowa cities and towns. Carmen Covington says she participates every year.

“It was shocking,” Covington said. “It was sad to see everything I had known my entire life to be destroyed under so much water,”

Asteroids, galaxies, aliens, and space travel...we cover it all on this edition of River to River. Renowned astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, joins us to weigh in on all things cosmic.

He will be in Iowa on Monday, April 15, for a lecture at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City. The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Flickr / NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

Science Friday Host Ira Flatow discusses the art of science journalism.  Flatow will be in Des Moines next week as part of Iowa Public Radio's Insight Series

Also, astrophysicist Philip Kaaret from the University of Iowa and Iowa State University astronomer Steven Kawaler explain dark matter.


We now have evidence of hundreds of planets orbiting other stars – and that’s just in our little corner of the Milky Way. But are any of these planets Earth-like? Could they be …habitable?

Today on River to River, a conversation with astrophysicist Steve Kawaler of ISU.  He’s working with NASA’s Kepler Mission. We’ll talk about the mission’s amazing discoveries.

The End of the World

Feb 14, 2013
Emily Lakdawalla, Planetary Society Blogger / flickr

How will the world end and what can we do to prevent it? "River to River" talks with Paul Wapner, an expert in global environmental politics about the human suffering extreme climate change continues to cause.

Also University of Iowa astrophysicist Steve Spangler joins us to discuss the asteroid that will be whizzing by Earth—at a distance a bit too close for comfort—on Friday.  We’ll ask Spangler about the possibility of a massive asteroid destroying our planet in the near future.


Thirty-five years after its launch, Voyager 1 is now the most distant man-made object, more than 11 billion miles from the sun and new evidence shows it’s nearing interstellar space. Host Ben Kieffer, talks with Voyager 1 scientist and University of Iowa space physicist, Don Gurnett, about the next phase of the spacecraft’s journey.

Mohammed Alhadab/The Daily Iowan

NASA's launch of the Radiation Belt Storm Probes developed, in part, by University of Iowa Professor of Physics and Astronomy Craig Kletzing has been delayed.  The Atlas rocket is now scheduled to lift off on Thursday.  River to River's Ben Kieffer speaks with Kletzing about the delay, and the project's eventual goals.


What does weather in space have to do with us on Earth? A lot it turns out.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with University of Iowa Astronomy Professor Craig Kletzing. He talks about the instrument created by University of Iowa researchers that is aboard NASA’s latest mission to study the extremes of space weather and help scientists improve space weather forecasts.

Then, David Perlmutter, Director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa, talks about his trip this summer with other delegates to experience the culture of media in Turkey.

A Burlington Middle School is now named after a key scientist in NASA’s Voyager program.  Today the Edward Stone Middle School opens for classes and Ed Stone returned to the hometown where his journey as a space scientist began. 

Many people know the basics of skin safety- wear sunscreen, protective clothing, avoid sunburns, but there are still many misconceptions and questions on sun-related concerns. On today's "Talk of Iowa" we explore the myths and questions you have about skin cancer and the sun. We also discuss the prevalence of tanning salons in the state, as well as find out why vitamin D is so important, and how you can be sure you are getting enough.