Science Channel - InSCIder


29 Sep

Mars Mystery Solved: A Special Report

Tonight at 9p EST, Science Channel will be airing a special segment, including post-analysis from the confirmation there is liquid water on Mars. Mars: A Special Report discussing how they made the discovery and what it means for future Mars exploration.

I can’t wait to hear what the #NASA experts have to say. After viewing the NASA press conference and Q&A yesterday, it seems like at a basic level the mission is to keep moving forward and exploring just what liquid water on Mars means. In short, the discovery opens up more questions than there are answers.

The 900 lb. gorilla of a question in the room, on our website, and on our social media pages is: if there is water, is there life?

BlueMarsAliens. It seems to always comes back to that concept for many of us. My parents read comics about canals on Mars being made by a powerful civilization. I’m of the generation that has seen Hubble open up the vastness of the universe where the sheer odds point to the fact there must be some kind of life out there. Now scientists have done studies that show microbial life doesn’t always have to have oxygen and water to live. Still, if you’ve got water you are likely one step closer to finding something that could be defined as life.

That’s what had the scientists so excited about the future. Now they have been able to secure enough information to confirm the liquid water, they can focus on its composition, its activity, and how we might use it on future missions. There are just so many things to find out about our own life and planet as we start understanding Mars more. There are also new hopes of colonizing the planet in a different way than we might have before. Of course, even many scientists whoooped over the possibility of finding new life - even microbes to start!

I’m going to pump the brakes on speculating about the future for a minute and go back to the mystery and beauty of what we have just found out simply about the topography and nature of Mars.

They finally understand these dark streaks – called recurring slope lineae (RSL) – as being indicators of liquid water that drip down the sides of craters and slopes. This is something scientists had begun to observe and discuss for a few years with data from the Phoenix Lander and pictures from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) showing the RSL over various sites.


Add the Curiosity Rover into the mix and you have the perfect scientific storm for confirmation of liquid water. As the pictures got clearer, and the Curiosity Rover could take soil samples the story started to take shape. The NASA team mineral mapped the site from the MRO’s Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM). This data revealed hydrated salts and that brings us to the press conference yesterday and the beautiful photos we have been seeing.

So for all of you who in our forums who have said we’ve known about water on Mars for years, you are right in some ways. We HAVE known about ancient frozen water – not liquid. It is also true NASA has also been studying this current phenomenon since 2010. The announcement was not held for any other reason than it is only now when the perfect mix of technology and research allowed the scientists to put the pieces together. They like being right. They're funny like that.

As I saw how the pieces came together for them I took a moment to look out my window into the sky. I am so incredibly proud of NASA and the science community. The collective work of hundreds of people (likely a lot more) went into to this discovery and a few of the others I picked up yesterday. This is the information that will one day allow the next generation to explore Mars and beyond.

  • There is a water cycle on Mars; it doesn’t rain but it does snow
  • Mars has seasons, just like Earth. The RSL change dependent on the seasons, which was another clue.
  • The water probably pretty shallow more like trickles and drips rather than rolling streams – but we don’t know that didn’t happen in the past or what is happening under the surface.

That's what wowed little old me; what wowed you?

As you'd expect, we were all smiles here at Science Channel yesterday during the live broadcast because we loved seeing the scientists be able to share this breakthrough, and we loved being a part of sharing it. We can't resist sharing the faces of of those who produce such exciting live events and those who stand watch in our broadcast center to make sure everything is beautiful on our air!   Image1

We also love being able to bring you the update at 9P, will explain more about how they found the water, why is is so important to the future, what are they going to do next?

It’s also exciting we could share this experience with our colleagues around the globe. We have video from our colleagues at Discovery News. We’ve seen people in our worldwide divisions talk about it on social media. Here are a few posts for you to enjoy, and we hope to see you for a night of Mars programming, with our special update at 9P.

Discovery News Video

Discovery Networks International:

Discovery Science France:



Discovery Channel Turkey:


Discovery Channel South Africa: Photos

Discovery Channel Arabia: Photos


8 Nov

Q&A with the Executive Producer of the Firefly Special Event


Meet Bernadette McDaid -- or simply Bernie, as we call her around the office -- and her very famous friends.

She's not just another executive. She's a real Browncoat -- and the "Browncoats Unite: Firefly 10th Anniversary Special Event" is her baby. She's the mastermind behind reuniting the cast at San Diego and New York ComicCons, filming the reunion, writing the script...EVERYTHING.

Here's your chance to get special behind-the-scenes access to the woman closest to all things Firefly-reunion-related. Bernie has graciously agreed to answer any questions you may have about the upcoming special. So ask away! Leave us a question in the comments and we'll have Bernie answer them.

NOTE: Bernie is also the woman behind the EXCLUSIVE #FireflyNov11 clips that are on their way to being unlocked by fans on Twitter. Bernie has identified these as being juicy bites that just didn't make it in to the 1-hour-long special. So follow @ScienceChannel and keep tweeting #FireflyNov11! Click HERE to participate.

TUNE IN November 11th at 10pm ET/PT for "Browncoats Unite: Firefly 10th Anniversary Special Event" on Science and...HINT'll find out how to bid on exclusive Firefly items from the reunion special with all proceeds going to charity...

14 Oct

3 MORE CLIPS! YOUR NEXT MISSION: You Give us 5,000 #FireflyNov11 Tweets, We Give You More Firefly

Firefly-10-anniversary-video-stillUPDATE: There are now 3 more clips awaiting your "unlock." CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE PAGE. Keep tweeting #FireflyNov11!


See this screen shot? It's taken from the upcoming Firefly 10th Anniversary: Browncoats Unite documentary, set to air on the Science Channel this November 11, 2012 at 10pm.

Now, what if we told you there are more than 2 hours of UNUSED footage that WILL NEVER AIR because it just didn't fit into a 1-hour-long documentary? And what if we told you some of it was pretty darn funny, poignant, and just all around amusing? You'd want to see it, right?

So here's your chance: We're asking our fans to show us just how much they want to see this extra footage. We need YOU to send us a tweet to @ScienceChannel with the hashtag #FireflyNov11. And then we need 4,999 more.

This is your first challenge: When we hit 5,000 tweets with the hashtag #FireflyNov11, we'll tweet out a link to the first piece of cut footage. (Just to add a little excitement, I'll tell you it's a roundtable discussion of Nathan Fillion's one-and-only naked scene in the Firefly series.) So get those tweets coming in! We announced this endeavor at New York City Comic Con on October 13th -- and we'll keep releasing more and more content for each challenge met. Be sure to tell all of your Browncoat buddies!

Start tweeting NOW! #FireflyNov11

14 Jul

Firefly SDCC Panel: Our Favorite Tweets

Ten years ago a small firefly class ship changed the 'verse forever. Yesterday, we got the band back together. EW gives us an awesome panel recap so we decided to share some of our favorite fan tweets. 

Pic1 Pic2 Pic3 Pic4 Pic5 Pic7 Pic8 Pic9 Pic10 Pic11 Pic14 Pic15

Thanks to all of the fans who have kept Firefly alive over the years. YOU are the reason this panel happened and our inspiration for creating the Firefly Tenth Anniversary Special Event. Browncoats Unite!

13 Jul

UP FOR GRABS: One #FireflySDCC Panel Ticket!

We promised you lots of awesome shiny things up for grabs and now we're delivering! Today we'll be giving away ONE ticket to our #FireflySDCC comic con panel. Here's how to win.

  • Follow @ScienceAt on Twitter
  • Tell us why you deserve the ticket - don't forget to tag @ScienceAt and #FireflySDCC in your tweets

That's it! Our esteemed panel of judges will decide who gets the ticket. Best of luck to all of the browncoats out there!


about the blog

Welcome to the inSCIder, where you can connect with the people who bring Science Channel to life. Find out what's in the works here at SCIENCE, share your feedback with the team and see what's getting our attention online and in the news.





stay connected

our sites