Seeing the Milky Way’s central black hole, and calling dolphins by their names

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On this week’s show: The shadow of Milky Way’s giant black hole has been seen for the first time, and bottlenose dolphins recognize each other by signature whistles—and tastes 

It’s been a few years since the first image of a black hole was published—that of the supermassive black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy came about in 2019. Now, we have a similar image of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way—our very own galaxy. Staff Writer Daniel Clery joins host Sarah Crespi to discuss why these images look so much alike, even though M87’s black hole is 1600 times larger than ours. We also discuss what’s next for the telescope that captured these shots.

Also this week, we take to the seas. Bottlenose dolphins are known to have a “signature whistle” they use to announce their identity to other dolphins. This week in Science Advances, Jason Bruck and colleagues write about how they may also recognize other dolphins through another sense: taste. Jason, an assistant professor in the department of biology at Stephen F. Austin State University, talks with Sarah about what this means for dolphin minds.

In a sponsored segment from the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office, Sean Sanders, director and senior editor, interviews Gary Michelson, founder and co-chair of Michelson Philanthropies, about the importance of supporting research in the field of immunology—and where that support should be directed. This segment is sponsored by Michelson Philanthropies.

This week’s episode was produced with help from Podigy.

[Image: Dolphin Quest ; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

[alt: bottlenose dolphin peeking its head out of the water with podcast symbol overlay]

Authors: Sarah Crespi; Daniel Clery

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