Previous: Alan Turing: Great Minds
Next: Terminal Velocity



View count:319,466
Last sync:2023-01-10 10:00
Today from SciShow World News Headquarters (Hank's office) - news about radiation risks, the most hi-def astronomy ever, and the truth about aquatic humanoids.

Like SciShow on Facebook:
Follow SciShow on Twitter:

References for this episode can be found in the Google document here:
[intro music]

Welcome back to SciShow World News Headquarters!  Also... my office.
Today, news about radiation risks, the most hi-def astronomy ever, and what I can only describe as weapons-grade stupidity.

First, researchers at Stanford University yesterday released the first analysis of the global health effects of last year's Fukushima nuclear meltdown.  
As far as predictions about people dying go, the results weren't TOO bad.  Using a 3D atmospheric model to predict the flow of the released radioactive material, the researchers estimate that as few as 180 new cases of cancer and 130 deaths may result worldwide from the disaster.
They're saying that the impact was more limited because the community was evacuated quickly, and only 19% of the released material was deposited over land, so the exposed population was pretty small.
Almost all of the effects are expected to occur in Japan, the researchers said, with minor impacts possible on mainland Asia and north America.  In the United States, for instance, they predict that no more than 30 instances of cancer and 12 deaths may result, and possibly none at all.
So let's hope humanity makes the most of this near miss, and uses it as a second chance to think hard about how we make and use energy and whether or not the risks are worth it and I know that we're not gonna do that.

Next, just this morning, astronomers with the European Southern Observatory announced that they've made the sharpest direct observation of a celestial object ever.
Using three telescopes, thousands of kilometers apart, they used a technique known as interferometry to create the effect of a single ginormous telescope and they pointed it at a quasar five billion light years away.  Five BILLION light years, people!
When the light we see today first left that quasar, Earth didn't exist.
But today's record observation wasn't made in visible light, instead the telescopes, located in Chile, Hawaii, and Arizona, used radio waves.  That's because the emissions of quasars are usually in that range, so even though I can't show you the new observation, the visual light depiction of it is pretty cool.
Anyway, the actual observation will be kind of lost on you because it's two million times sharper than human vision.

Finally guys, a little heart-to-heart.  For the past couple weeks, some of you have been asking us to dig into recent reports that the remains of mermaids had been discovered.  Well, we looked into it, and it turns out that you....are gullible.
The hype stems from a movie being shown on Discovery's Animal Planet called Mermaid: The Body Found!  The work describes it as a speculative documentary about scientists who claim to have found remains inside a great white shark that have human features.  In other words, it's a freakin' TV show; it's fake.
If you fell for it, though, don't feel too bad.  Actual, non-fake scientists have gotten so many requests for clarification on this that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently issued a statement saying, "No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found."  So keep that in your brain; hold onto it.
Seriously, I know you're smart, you just gotta watch a little less TV.  And more me!

Thank you for watching this episode of SciShow Breaking News!  If you want to continue being up to date on all of that's going on in the world of science, go to and subscribe.  We are on Facebook, and on Twitter, and of course in the comments below.  We will see you next time.