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Discovery

299 EpisodesProduced by BBC World ServiceWebsite

Explorations in the world of science.

26:59

Does the full Moon make us act oddly?

Listener Paul Don asks: "I'm wondering what's the feasibility of terraforming another planet ie Mars and if it is possible to do the same thing with something like the moon? Or, why isn't there already a moon-base? Surely that is easier."

Dr Adam Rutherford and Dr Hannah Fry consider moving to another planet, and discover what challenges they would need to overcome to live in space. They consult engineer Prof Danielle George from the University of Manchester and Dr Louisa Preston, UK Space Agency Aurora Research Fellow in Astrobiology. Adam also hears about attempts to recreate a Martian base on a volcano in Hawaii. He calls Hi-Seas crew member Tristan Bassingthwaighte, who has just emerged from a year of isolation.

The Bad Moon Rising
“A teacher I work with swears that around the time of the full moon kids are rowdier in the classroom, and more marital disharmony in the community," says Jeff Boone from El Paso in Texas. “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. They consider Othello's testimony, a study on dog bites and homicides in Florida before coming to a conclusion based on current scientific evidence. Featuring neuroscientist Eric Chudler from the University of Washington and health broadcaster and author Claudia Hammond.

If you have any Curious Cases for the team to solve please email curiouscases@bbc.co.uk.

(Photo: A full moon. Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

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