188: Planet TOI-257b
The second guiding journal Chan by Agnes Spence Nets to build good once again and thank you as always for joining winning this on the space nuts. podcast my name is Andrew Dunkley your host and with me is professor Fred Watson. Astronomer at lodge Hullo Fred Red Dusty. Do very very dusty very very windy very very dry very very nasty got in the car. The other the die off to one particular dust storm and went to claim the windscreen. And I I usually hit the washes first and then the warriors and I did it the wrong way round and you should should it. Just wait and then I hit with the water in these big mudslide went down windscreen. Terrible just horrible wolf read or not. I don't know when we'll ever see an end to this We've been in a drought probably two years now and it just gets worse and worse and worse. We've got animals coming into town looking food and water that you just don't say an a kidney die. kangaroos living on the streets in some parts the town. We wouldn't be surprised if soon we start seeing a muse and maybe some camels because they're running out of things to eight and drinks I that they tend to move live to wherever the green grass is and look. There isn't much of that here but It's just a real mess here at the moment. And everyone's struggling it's it's really the depleting the economic movement of the town on the Western plains zoo coping. They will the the other thing. That's sort of hurting is tourism. We're just not getting people coming here. And so the zoos numbers Dan tourism numbers down significantly the summer. And it just all adds up to one big pile of Doodoo. It's not it's not a nice place debate amendment nor would never say about where I leave. I've been here twenty five years and I love it but right. Now it's just like something. Out of an an apocalyptic movie you look at the sky just about every other diets orange. If it's not orange it's it's sort of blue smoke from the fires. Ah We have probably one clear dia wake and that's become normal this summer and adding to that the number of temperatures over forty degrees Celsius Celsius. We've had more this summer than can ever remember and we had like four or five. Maybe six in a row there a few weeks ago with numbers up around on forty six forty seven degrees. It's just horrific. The good news is the climatic model starting to work back in five or one of the big the things that affects the way. The here is the Indian Ocean. Dr Paul which is the surface temperature of the Indian Ocean and for for a while there it was like four four degrees above average which is mainly dry weather and that has just in the last couple of weeks plummeted back to normal which means we may. I started to say normal weather. Conditions Return and that Spain evidence to bit with some specs of Ryan here. But it's so dry yet one on frontal system through and you just get these big wall of dust that hits you like a off just a brick wall. It's it's just impossible to try and describe describe it to people and then you share them the photos and that go on my gosh. How did you get through that you just got to? You've just got to but it's getting into the air conditioning. Getting into houses houses. It's getting into car systems gets into your is your throat. Your nose gets all through your hair. It's just honestly I don't remember any other ye locked the I've seen stones before locust plagues on saying you know Senator Dole out here. This is true country but but this year that I've thrown it all together. Even the locusts are complaining pretty hideous. Yeah well we. We all know why it's happening. Yes we do we do and yet there are still those who deny it. I think the evidence is far beyond reasonable. Now let's let's get onto some more ram it looks into stuff that's not all of this world. Let's say and the focus. Today is on Australia highly. Because we've got three stories about Australian astronomical situations or events round even awards now And one of them is about a planet that Spain discovered. Another is the oldest impact impact crater ever found in that he's in Australia and one of the strongest is to get a major. US award for the first time in about five million years. I think so. We'll look at all of that but we'll start. Start off Fred with T O I two five seven B and this is a weird planet because if there was an ocean big enough it would float exactly just like our own planet. Saturn which would also flows that go Saturn's densities less than that of water and in and it has that in common with Teo. I two five seven billion which is being cold Queensland's planet? So that's why this is an Australian story it is A planet that was first detected by the Thais spacecraft continent what Terrestrial Arrest Royal Something Esther Transit Transiting exoplanet survey satellite gets it right Fred. The transiting exoplanet survey satellite is test and that dot spacecraft does what the capitalist buys craft used to do it looks for dips in the brightness of stars that betray the presence of an orbiting planet. So te'o I and I think that's something like targeted interest. I I think that's what it means is a test to tear. I two five seven B Basically was revealed by the tests spacecraft but the follow up by telescopes in regional Queensland not very far from the city of which is a beautiful place on his on the highlands. They're the darling downs and not very far out of tune but is Is a mountain called while it's a hill really but he's called Mount Kent Mao. How can a for a long long time has had an observatory operated by the University of southern Queensland where I found a little bit to do with that observatory from time to time because I I'm very very happy to have a close connection with the University of southern Queensland in our joint appointment which very proud of so amount is is on a good size and has now state of the art equipment an array of five seventy anti sent to me to watch that? That's kind of thirty something like that Robotic telescopes that that that big telescopes telescopes by these substandard and they part of a project called Minerva Australia's so this is the southern hemisphere version of Minerva midday. The other two is an acronym like what he stands for. Never mind all that. The news is that with the mid nerve. Follow up of T O I two five seven B. it's not just the discovery this is learning about the physical features of Of this planet planet and as the lead author on the paper. That reported all this Dr Brett Allison from university southern Queensland basically he said this is a significant discovery not just for US Q. in Queensland but as an example of cool an unusual planet types I think by like cool that he means interesting rather than Lois. I'm pretty to as an example of what astronomers caused some Saturn's Saturn's moon the planets that are larger than Neptune and smaller than Saturn. And of course there aren't any examples of that within our own solar system It's as Brett says. The Universe is a quirky diverse place with broad classes of planet such as subset Super Super Earths mini Neptune's that we don't have here at home. Warm sub Saturn's Te'o I two five seven be a rare among the currently known planets and that's true actually of of all these slightly all things the super earths when the mini Neptune's these family rare category so that they the two categories of planet that we find in our own solar system which are basically wrong small rocky planets large gus planners they are really only the communist classes of planets that we find out there in space and things that don't quite fit into that whilst they exist are rare and so two I till I two five seventy is one example of one of these rarity so this is a great story is great news the fact that we now know intensity is less than that it will that marks it out as being something pretty interesting but there's more to come I think Andrew because the authors office of this paper suggests that the data shows strong evidence for a second planet in this system to five seven seas. Yes that's right And they hope to confirm that Within this year so we will. You know. We'll hear more about this. I'm I'm sure from University of southern Queensland as I said it's a great Australian story story the The two more comments made by the authors of this paper The the cloud tops of this planet not particularly cool they reach at least thirteen hundred degrees Celsius. Which is certainly more than the tops talks of the earth so yeah probably not habitable place and there's an in joke here as well it may be Queenslander but forget calling it planet Maroon mm-hmm the maroons color of Queensland one of these silly sporting things is maroon is the official sporting color of Queensland? The Sky Blue is the official sporting colored. newsouth Wilde's calling it planet marrone. It can only be officially named as an all bodies in the universe by the International Astronomical Union. Mostly Universe doesn't know about that but This illness L. Knows the International Astronomical Union is the place where things get nate well to be honest. If the Queensland is we're going to give a planet in I'm it wouldn't be marrone. It would be wally or something like that named after. They must. Famous footballers I'm pretty sure. Now there's another twist to this little story Lori is they're not or am I getting mixed up with another story where you get to do well one of the one of my colleagues at US Q.. Present is Johnny Hall of fantastic excellent. Communicator himself file. From here on the radio is mother is one of our funds. Hey jaunty try and she. She lives she lives on the sky in western Scotland which is an absolutely enchanting place especially when it's not raining in west of Scotland is traditionally a wet part of the world but skies lovely and so To be only I think you would be well advised. I Andrew to be envious of Joan. Tease Mobile skied. If she's getting I'm envious with every day we are quite the the opposite at the time. Well that's wonderful all right so maybe mortal earned from the Minerva program in in Queensland. This is space nuts with and and Fred Watson Bass Matz now afraid to say that our numbers on youtube rising rapidly and I can so. We're not we're not at a thousand yet but I would envisage envisaged by next week we probably will tip the scale But we're we're moving up rapidly. So if you'd like to follow us and subscribe subscribe on Youtube Channel. You can do side by just doing a search for space and that's on Youtube. I think you'll find really all terrible sci-fi movie namespace nuts too if you youtube dot com slash c slash space nuts. You'll find us and subscribe and you can listen to everything everything everything they the movie including Not The bonus material available via Patriot. We'll talk about that later but die Youtube Youtube where we ever ever more encroaching on the on the on the one thousand which is fantastic. Now keeping the Australian flavor flavor of this week's podcast going Fred. There's a place called Yarrow bubba. It's an impact site in Western Australia. Right yeah and I now think it's the oldest impact site on earth which is rather fascinating. That's right an advance you. It's the dating that has been done on this on this in pint-size and by the main dating of the rocks now dating people has has a a S- really staggering precision really impressed with the results that are coming from this So Yoruba. It's in Western Australia. Dryly A- Pretty well central in the state of Western Australia. I don't know I would guess several probably eight to nine hundred kilometers racists from Perth. Probably not that far actually from the Murchison Station where the square kilometer array is being built so in that neck of the woods and of course that is extremely stable landscape geologically. It is quite ancient skype events right so for those who are on away that my live beyond our shores Western Australia probably takes up around one third of the continental continental mass of strider. A huge state mess yet and and a lot of it is a you know really stable ancient paces of US crust we find for example in further north. And wh why are we talking about now. We find rocks that probably bad. The evidence of the very first life that formed on earth. These are these microbial. Matt Scott's dramatic lights but that's not what we're talking about what we're talking about is a place where An asteroid probably moderately sized asteroid. I think talking about you know Several tens of kilometers here this thing hit the earth. It produced a seventy kilometer diameter crater on earth but The evidence of that crater now is kind of buried if I can put it that way. That's partly because the earth okay. So very dynamic planet we've got whether erosion and so- structures like impact craters on the moon whether many craters much older than this the the impact craters on earth eroded. Down by whether processes and actually almost of the service that dissipate because of plate tectonics they The the rox which by them of discipline of they the nearest continental plates. A as I said though. This is a very ancient rock here in Western Australia. And and the way you tell that there is an impact crater there is basically by studying the geology You can tell the slight gravitational anomalies Molise. And you know you can look for the kind of crystals that get produced by high-temperature impacts Around on the boundary of the of what would have been the crater before it was eroded away so the evidence that there was an impact. Here is very strong. But what's new and the reason why you and annoying speaking about this story now. Is the dating of this crater. And that is basically a result stories research that has come from studies of the crystals that are within the rocks that were impacted by whatever it is the hit them. things like zircon crystals which can be basically can be used as as as as clock to work out when an impact or when a shock pass through them and these crystals have allowed the dating eighteen of the Arab bubba crater to within an accuracy. I did look they selfishly in the original paper in front of me but I think it's five. The accuracy is five million years now. That sounds like a lot But the day is two point two two nine billion years ago ago. Wow so you looking. At an uncertainty of the five in the last number of that two point two two nine billion years With very high precision. Why is that you know? Why is it a record breaker? Because the the the What used to be the earliest known asteroid strike which is in South Africa actually That was actually two hundred million years later than this So So you know roundabout to two billion years ago so that pushes back. They the record for the earliest known impact structure on earth. Back to two point two nine two point two two nine billion years which is roundabout half. The age of the Earth is four point six. What with breath Halloween? Like two point two well dot swear gets even more interesting because the earth is gone through a number knbr periods. I think they're thought to be about five of them. When it was basically a snowball it was covered in ice? The atmospherics were was such that they all watch on the surface with frozen and the planet was basically a Sometimes called snowball us because of that as I just said but that that I think it was the the well. One of those icy periods came to an end and roundabout to point two nine billion years ago. So the blow. The the office of this paper are drawing and I think that based I think the principal author is based at NASA Johnson Johnson Space Center in Houston. So the drawing is that perhaps assist impact lofted enough water vapor into the atmosphere and maybe carbon dioxide as well to change the climate climate and in other words to bring the icy period to an end. These weird of mass glaciation so There are people who are saying that it's too long ago about but it does look as the SA- reasonably interesting at least explanation for that that That perhaps use the whatever clouded there at that time was re basically the the thing that caused the switch climate. Wow side Some are saying that synapse salutes saying that's a partial reason some saying Nah somebody else did it. Well yeah that's right There's Some Um yes some Scientists Are Actually fairly skeptical about that. the basically. The there is some you know the there is some criticism of the modeling being a SCAB. Okay speculative one of the criticisms is that if you throw up a lot of Water Vapor our carbon dioxide in the atmosphere The climatic effect doesn't last for long And so you is not enough to end this global glaciation phenomenon. The question is that's a question that we don't have have an answer to but I think all the people who are critical still think is quite neat. Research especially the dating acting of Christ was such high precision. Yes indeed and unfortunately it's a very isolated place in very hard to get to. I would imagine we'll food even if it's easy to get to. It's a heck of a long trip. It's so if you want to go and look at it. I think photographs it probably the best way to go it. Just it just looks like the typical arid interior of strategy really looks like. He's looking at the mount. Yeah actually sleep. Well yes I suppose. That's true certainly very brown in Dade a kite so we learn more as time goes on. These studies are ongoing one of the things we talk about. Occasionally we can revisit them when more information comes to lot. This is space nuts with Professor Fred Watson and Andrew Dunkley of course respect space nuts now once again. Reminding warning you that you can support the space nuts podcasts by becoming a patron and you can do that at Patrie on website Patriot dot com slash. Spice Nuts You can and spend thirty dollars a month five ten whatever you like. Some people have chosen to spend more and that is wonderful thank you it is not mandatory but as a patron I turn. We are offering bonus material every week which is building up rather nicely. We're also offering you an early access edition of spice nuts commercial free. So that is what's on offer for patrons patriotic dot com slash vice nuts. If you'd like to check it out if there's not for you that's fine but the Option is the now we normally answer some questions at this time but this week we want to talk about a rather a Wonderful Award that is being given to an Australian astronomer now. This is the first time in many many years that such a an award is being offer to an Australian. It's the James Craig Watson Award nothing to do with me. It was named after an American Canadian astronomer and has been presented every two years since eighteen. Eighty seven by I think it's the TASHA Yes the National Academy of Science in the USA. So the in James Craig Watson Medal as something that recognizes scientists are very high distinction as I said. US National Academy assigns. It hasn't ever been presented to an Australian. An in fact he hasn't ever been presented to somebody in the Southern Hemisphere. So this is the first time it's gone to Somebody in our country and it's recipient is very very worthy of the honor. A the recipient is professor. Lisa Q Lee Who is a job title. Ix quite quite extensive takes yeah well to read professor and Australian Research Council laureate fat low trillion National University. That's in camera of coast. But she's also director of something called the Australian Research Council central excellence in all sky astrophysics in three dimensions. It's it's usually known as astro three. I've fabric to do with us through three on and off over the years that it has existed but Lisa directed. That's it and what this is all about. So All Sky Astro physics and three coast is basically looking at the whole sky. But with the additional dimension mention of distance in the and that doesn't just mean the distances to objects it means galaxies as well so what she's done and and Lisa has a whole track record of awards and fellowships but she is an established world leader in the theoretical modeling an observation of star forming active galaxies. Her seminal contributions. And I'm reading now from the Press release include understanding the gas physics in such galaxies understanding galaxies containing actively creating supermassive black holes roles that means black holes feeding on the stuff around them as you know of course Andrew and tracing the Star Formation Oxygen History of galaxies over the past twelve billion. So it's a big picture studies. And of course that feeds directly into our understanding of the way the universe has evolved away the way our our own Our own galaxy has evolved. So she's done a lot in modeling. Hal these things take place the theoretical modeling as as I mentioned a minute ago. That's basically what she's done and those models fit extraordinarily well to what we observe in the universe. So it's great stuff and actually you know almost singlehandedly. In some way she's she's transformed the the field One of the other leases accolades Is that. She was one of the strong magazine's top ten rising stars house in two thousand nine. She appeared on national documentaries for the discovery. Channel the National Geographic Channel. So this is a person who's WHO's trajectory trajectory has been very steeply upwards and really not surprised that she has received this medal but is delightful that she becomes the first first person in our hemisphere to get it especially because one of her passions of course is women in stem and similar educational activities bringing the kind of signs that we do to as broad and as diverse a a a a an audience as possible and to encourage people from all backgrounds all ranges of diversity to come come in and become scientists themselves. So she's really an inspiring figure in Australian astronomy. Now question without notice. It's the James Craig Watson aboard would do you know much about James Craig Watson. Only that he has a name very similar to mine. Iverson I have a son Cole. James Watson yes I do I should have checked tipple not because I don't actually know what James Craig Watson did he has mentioned is American Canadian astronomer to a basically to set up a bequest of an award need to be fairly well heeled field. Because I this is an award that comes with a couple of dollars attached to it. Yeah sitting dolls fifty and and it still Lazaro straddling from US dollars. But I wondered way. He amassed his fortune and so we'll try to check up on their under. Yeah but yeah a obviously a very successful man in his time and we're talking like middle of the eighteen. Hundreds basically when he was around doing his thing and highly successful successful. So what great success for her. So I've now followed up on your question. That's already trickled petty. Well let me because the press release actually has a note about the James Craig Watson Medal which is very nice and The James Craig Watson Medal is presented every two years for outstanding contributions to the science astronomy and carries with it a gold plated bronze medal a twenty twenty five thousand dollar prize. Never mind this this seven dollars. Fifty Andrew and fifty thousand dollars just to pull the recipients research. The Watson Medal was established by an ASS member on prolific Canadian American astronomer. James Craig Watson Watson is credited with discovering twenty two asteroids in his lifetime he published many articles and wrote a popular treatise on comets eighteen sixty one and theoretically in theoretical astronomy in eighteen. Sixty eight is a notable a notable person and what a great name. I do like that. Stop Surname. He's got it funny that that is wonderful news Get back to questions next week. We just thought we needed to recognize such a great achievement from someone who's obviously very very passionate luck you for a bit Has has really made some inroads into some of those. The area says massive areas of astronomy. That we so often talk about. So that's real and that rep is up for another. Ah I will remind people however that you can visit the space nuts shop at a website bites dot com slash space nuts and pick yourself a shirt or maybe a book. There's a couple of nights books there by one professor Fred Watson and some other jerker but have a look can Golf there isn't a five don't flight was one experimental books. I wrote this tongue in cheek. Sports psychology okay. Just for fun and it took me about an hour and a half to brought it. It's based on my gathering of knowledge through stories have done on sports psychology and a lot of books read on sports psychology particularly focusing on golf and had a hand delus- your mud playing the game And I thought well this has been done before but all right hey. Rather tongue in cheek somewhat bawdy version of sports psychology. Adji broken. Really take down to the bottom of the barrel and and were fifty pages. But it's I'm golfers who basically lose their tempers too. Sadly as the also didn't work for me but it'll work for somebody it's just fun and it was an experiment to say how ago publishing enable can Just wanted to do that and save. The process was with pursuing editor. Right and the cover is my five on sitting at the bottom of a like Russia which is what the planet Sassoon Awesome wouldn't do planet. Te'o I two five seven one. Yes thank you fred has always. It's been a great pleasure and lots of yeah no no worries under. We'll speak again soon. We willing to catch next week and for me Andrew Dunkley. Thanks again. If you're a patron we've got some bonus material coming up for you very soon on patriotic and otherwise. We'll catch up with you next week on another edition of space nuts to this. podcast becomes available at Apple. podcasts Google Kost spotify radio all your favorite podcast you can also also streaming on demand at this is another quality podcast production from thoughts dot com.