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Last week NASA said it would be making a major announcement today about a discovery on Mars. While some space fans might have been hoping it was about finding life, the announcement was about something almost as significant. Adler Planetarium astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz joins us to discuss the latest on the Red Planet.

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Weather permitting, the Chicago area will be treated to prime time, front-row seats for a rare astronomical phenomenon Sunday evening when a total lunar eclipse of a simultaneous harvest moon, supermoon and blood moon rises above the horizon.

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Mrs. Helen Moyer holding a large model of an eel in 1947. (Photo courtesy the Field Museum)

Archival photos from the Field Museum depict researchers and the taxidermy they worked on – and loved posing with.

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Seth Magle, Ph.D., Director of the Urban Wildlife Institute, secures a camera trap that is used to capture data for Chicago Wildlife Watch. (Courtesy of Urban Wildlife Institute/Lincoln Park Zoo)

A group of local science researchers want your help on a truly wild project. Learn about Chicago Wildlife Watch, and how you can help them better understand the urban ecosystem of Chicago.

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Emily Graslie

Emily Graslie may just have the coolest job in the world. She's the Chief Curiosity Correspondent for the Field Museum and the driving force behind the popular YouTube channel The Brain Scoop. Graslie joins Chicago Tonight to discuss her work popularizing science.

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Spike, a corpse plant, on Aug. 3, left, Aug. 26, center, and Sept. 1 at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

We conduct a postmortem on Spike, the smelly corpse flower that failed to bloom at the Chicago Botanic Garden. What happened? Paris Schutz has the story.

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As the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District cuts the ribbon on it's new sewage reservoir, we revisit Jay Shefsky's visit in May to the bottom of the Thornton Quarry.

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Patents recently issued to Northbrook-based insurance giant Allstate could allow the company to monitor your car for sources of distraction, collect health data on drivers, and even monitor what's going on around your vehicle. The company says any new technology will improve driver safety, but some are worried it could violate the privacy of drivers, passengers and passers-by. 

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Spike was "flashing signals" on Aug. 26.

After much anticipation, the Chicago Botanic Garden on Saturday night announced that Spike is not expected to bloom. 

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The Chicago Botanic Garden is on death watch. Officials there say the famed titan arum plant, more popularly known as the "corpse flower," could bloom in a matter of hours and emit its notorious foul odor. Chicago Tonight was on the scene on Wednesday. Also, watch a livestream of the famous plant called Spike.

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A juvenile California two-spot octopus (Octopus bimaculoides) holds onto the walls of her aquarium with her flexible, sucker-lined arms. (Photo Credit: Michael LaBarbera)

This month in Nature, an international team of researchers released some of their key findings after a first-of-its-kind study of the genome of the California two-spot octopus. The team found a massive and unusually arranged genome, with many genes unique to the octopus that could provide clues to the unusual animals. One of the researchers, University of Chicago neurobiologist Cliff Ragsdale, joins Chicago Tonight to discuss the ongoing project.

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The corpse flower Spike is set to bloom in August. (Photo courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden)

The Chicago Botanic Garden is getting ready for the big stink. His name is Spike, and the nearly 70-inch tall titan arum has been in the spotlight for weeks. Learn more about the rare plant and watch a livestream from the CBG.

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This unknown frog species is one of 11 discovered during a Field Museum inventory. (Giuseppe Gagliardi-Urrutia / The Field Museum)

Recent reports in science journals point to a mass extinction currently underway. Field Museum senior conservation ecologist Doug Stotz joins us to discuss the phenomenon and his work in South America with the museum's Science Action Center. He'll also share specimens of extinct birds from the Field collection, including the passenger pigeon and the Carolina parakeet.

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Next month, Chicago will host the 11th annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference. The gathering is expected to attract some 700 government, industry, and environmental activists. Among the topics on the agenda: Toxic algae blooms, an issue that could impact drinking water and the multimillion dollar economies dependent on the Great Lakes. Christy McDonald of our sister station, Detroit Public TV, reports.

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A Perseid in 2007.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Perseid meteor shower will be at peak visibility around the globe, but light pollution can greatly diminish what you see. In west suburban Sugar Grove, Northern Illinois University and a NASA ambassador have teamed up to host a free viewing party Wednesday night. Learn more about it here.

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A corpse flower at the Chicago Botanic Garden is set to bloom in August.

It's an exciting time for nature lovers. The world's largest flower – along with its notoriously horrible odor – is about to bloom for the first time ever in the Chicago area. Over at Montrose Beach, a rare carnivorous plant has taken root. Chicago Tonight digs deeper into these mysteries of Mother Nature.