Science sleuths Dr Adam Rutherford and Dr Hannah Fry investigate everyday mysteries sent in by listeners.

Listener Paul Don asks:

“What’s the feasibility of terraforming another planet such as Mars and is it possible to do the same thing with the Moon? Why isn’t there already a moon-base?”

Rutherford and Fry

Dr Adam Rutherford and Dr Hannah Fry

Rutherford and Fry consider moving to another planet, and discover what challenges they would need to overcome to live in space.

They consult engineer Professor Danielle George from the University of Manchester and Dr Louisa Preston, UK Space Agency Aurora Research Fellow in Astrobiology.

Adam hears about attempts to recreate a Martian base on a volcano in Hawaii and he calls HI-SEAS crew member Tristan Bassingthwaighte, who has just emerged from a year of isolation.

We also take a look at how the moon influences our lives here on Earth.

Listener Jeff Boone from El Paso in Texas says:

“A teacher I work with swears that around the time of the full moon kids are rowdier in the classroom and there is more marital disharmony in the community. Is there any biological reason why the moon’s phases could affect human moods and behaviour?”

Our scientific sleuths sift through the evidence to find out if the moon really does inspire lunacy.

Rutherford and Fry and Shakespeare’s Othello

They consider the testimony of Shakespeare’s Othello, a study on dog bites, and homicides in Florida, before coming to a conclusion based on current scientific evidence, with input from neuroscientist Eric Chudler from the University of Washington and health broadcaster and author Claudia Hammond.

Hannah Fry is a British complex systems theorist, lecturer in the Mathematics of Cities, and public speaker. Fry studies the patterns in human behaviour, particularly in an urban setting; for example, shopping, transport, urban crime, riots and terrorism.

Read more about Dr Adam Rutherford and Dr Hannah Fry when they examined Solar Sails and space elevators and investigated everyday mysteries sent in by listeners.