177: Mars Mole Misses Mark


Today's show is brought to you by express. VPN protect your online activity today. And find out how you can get three months free at trikes. VPN DOT com slash space. That's try express. VPN DOT com slash space for three months free with a one e package visit try express. VPN DOT com slash spice to learn more fifteen seconds guided journal and ignition sequence. Space Nuts. Three two partners space as report. It feels oh good and hello once again. Thank you for joining us on this edition of space. Nuts the podcast episode one hundred and seventy seven. Even my name is Andrew Dunkley. I'm your host and with me as always is astronomer at large professor Fred Watson Fred three the host where the most what most space between my ears. I think would probably be appropriate today. Fred we've gotTA look to discuss. Thus we're going to talk about the mall stuck in a hall on Mas we got to look at A new image that confirms a Dwarf Planet and this one might the smallest one yet and a few questions today one about white hulls one about looking through a telescope. It's actually an interesting question. And we'll double up with another question about the mass at saw the universe could that be doing and an interesting fellow who spent some time down on at Mawson station in Antarctica asking about gravitational waves but he also sent us some amazing votes from Dan. They're all my gosh. Hopefully he's put them on the space nuts fake facebook podcast group space. Yeah that's IT and on and share them with everyone because I asked stunning stunning pictures bivalve. Let's get back to the mall in the hall read. This is a little bit of an issue with with the insight. Mars Lander one thing I've noticed is it's doing what it's supposed to do entirely that's tries. Part of it is not doing entirely what he's supposed to do so recall. The insight is a spacecraft sitting. If I'm a variety they somebody the malls it is designed to pro mazdas interior. So it's not really looking at the surface particularly. It's not looking looking for signs of pus. Life or anything like that. That will be the Providence of mass twenty twenty which will be launched next year surprising given the name inside though who is Space Craft that is equipped with him. So basically it's just sits on the surface doesn't wheels it's a Atlanta Landa based actually on Phoenix Lander that investigated the Martian Arctic. Back in two thousand eight if I remember rightly them so it's inside is Atlanta which is equipped with two principal instruments. One is a very accurate very sensitive seismometers. So it's listening listening from earthquakes and that side of things have been very successful than you and I've actually spoken about that not in the not too distant past the the fact that something like I think it's well over one hundred quakes have been have been registered of which I think only a percentage are genuine mouse quakes Some of the macos by the wind and things like that he hundred fifty events detected today. Twenty the three of which have been confirmed as Mars quakes and under the most quakes are of great interest because it nationalized workout. What he's come from? But the other inside of Insights armory of instruments so the other facets of that is a device which rejoices. This is in the name of HP three now hp three is an acronym. It's not easy to pronounce but he rush Creek. Three many stands for the heat flow and physical properties package. And that's where the three comes from physical. I thought it was hard to put in hull quite so quite so you should be on the radio and during that you should be on. Should we similar uh-huh probably. Is that all the time somewhere else. Yes soon anyway. I won't make any suggestions as to where he might be but they he floated physical properties. Package it was actually It's from the German Aerospace Center. So it's a because inside is a multinational facet so. HP Three is the one that is in the news and that is because As its name implies heat flow and Physical Properties Package Doc id the main one of the main functions of this device. HP three is to measure the heat coming from mazdas interior. How now and in order to do that you you don't want to just dump them mature on the surface because the surface is affected by radiation from the Sun and by you know look essentially local environmental effects so the idea with insight was that the heat pro big south the HP three was equipped with is equipped towards the thing that is called the mole? The mole is essentially a device. Nice that digs each way into the soil and And goes down actually up to five meters. Was the original plan. to get these hate prob- well under the surface of Mars so what you're failing is defective principally you measuring effective heat coming help from the interior you can compensate for for what comes down from the surface. You don't have to go down far into the earth to feel the heat. No No. That's right now I've been down one of the mines at West. He went down some way. Like three hundred and seventy maters and it was like fifty degrees down there. Yes this stinking off. Third of a kilometer. That's right you you know. Until you're detecting Kinda tend to of Degrees of increased heat eight. Almas this sensitive the Mama says it is basically can measure very much more minute differences in temperature so yes it is able to detect the heat coming from mazdas interior or would be it could be put in the right place because this mold device which is supposed to take it down to five meters. It's kind of self hammering thing It it it probably masses that is banged against the the end then. Retracts within the mall is cylindrical device. Kind of top thing. It's like a baby piledriver. But it's after they started digging it down into the surface of several months ago now shortly it got stock Tuck. It went down about thirty centimeters which is not five macy's and then stopped and so the question that rose was stopping it and one possibility was a rock and another one which seems to be the mullahs likely the more likely Basically the cause of this problem will likely calls is that The the mall itself has lost friction with the dust around it so it seems to need banks way down. Tom Seems to need a certain amount of friction between the outside of the mall and the surrounding dirt itself and that has not happened. Apparently the thinking is that that the interaction with the Martian soil has been unexpectedly actively poor. Saint I've seen the soil described scientifically as we'd sweet as the technical term for the soil of Mazi. Scott some weird properties. I think it's the fact that it is a very fine dust. We know that you get these. Dust storms on Mars. It's very very dry. There's virtually no moisture in it at all and moisture course helps with packing soil around things so that's was has been thinking so what they did was they They lent on it with the With the the the sort of dig that it's not really a digger rbis. It's got a technical name which is eluding me at the moment by. What is it the device vice robotic arm? That's what is called a robotic arm spied. It does but it's not meant for digging thing. The one on Phoenix was is the same device. PHOENIX kind of BACO that was used to scrape away The surface soil. And that's how we know that there's a permafrost of water ice in emotional topic. I don't believe The robotic arm to its technical. Nicholson on insight as digger on the end of it but what they did was basically. They put the robotic arm on to kind of give the you know give them all a push downwards downwards then took it away what happened was the mole popped out. Stay down is kind of popped out to channel and that's not what the desired effect tools. They wanted to go down starting to hear Lens cap scenario. He it's not popular all the way out. It's come out about halfway Cohan's night try different spot I I. I'm not sure I would guess they can. Because that's probably the robotic armies full but you would think that would have already tried that. I'm looking at some some photos I've taken off of the operation. I think I figured out the issue I think the Manet Mile should do. Somebody's join a circle with cross in it. Which I envisage is at target packet? I missed. That's what I reckon happen. He but yes. I don't know whether circle with a cross on it one bit of Martian. So is any different from across another. I built a house on a piece of land. Look perfectly normal until we started finding giant chunks of sense tied. You know still possibly could be something like that. But they've just been a lucky and they've come up against a big lump of rock. You're under the fruit underneath the soil. That rock is not under the circle with the crossing it. They did that but somebody snuck on the surface drawn that there and said we shouldn't put it in here and the scientists who got nude nude not at all listened the circle with a cross in it. I think is is a probably the end of the robotic Again A and letting the truth with letting truth getting away of good story once again. Well anyway they find and fix. It is what I gather gather. Yeah I should send necessarily email under the probably did very happy about that. I think that listen to the message has been delivered. I'm sure they listen to us. They don't we should lift our game comic relief. I think what they get out of us. Big Relief we will wait with bated breath and hope that they can solve this problem because it would be really fascinating and beneficial to find out what's going on down there all right. Let's Cape Ann on that at one. You're listening to space nuts. Andrew Dunkley here with the Great Fred Watson. Now let's take a little break and find out more about now sponsor express. VPN writer number one by Tech Writer. This is the one I use. I've been using it for a couple of years and I love it when I joined expressive. APA now our brand new new to the market. But I read a lot of reviews and did a lot of comparisons and it was just something about the business. This model that I particularly liked and couple years down the track honestly can't complying. Their interface is very easy to use. The service is second to non. I've had to contact them a couple of times about certain things that I wanted to do and I were brilliant so you may be wondering why I do need made a VPN at all. It's all about privacy Do you really want big tech companies governments and others knowing what's going on with your online activity even if you're having nothing to hide. 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Now Fred we going to talk about a Dwarf Planet Nine about it for Wall but now they've managed to secure an image of this bonker sized spheroid and confirm that it is probably the smallest Dwarf Planet Fan Safe Our should qualify that by explaining what a bunker is when I was growing I applied marbles and the big one was called a bunker. I'm pretty sure they call it something else in other countries but we call it a bunker where I'm from and these days that it Kinda doesn't fit in with social acceptance but anyway he doesn't where I grew up under the we call the big ones. The bullies the follies but in Bali. Bali Bali slightly more politically correct than a bunker. I think I'd choose between them. Really these guys Ed. Never I never played for Capes when applied because I locked my models. I didn't want to anyone taking them from me. Tended to avoid those guys. Yeah we looking at some work. That's been done through the very large telescope and they discovered well then discovered this planet. It but I have probably confirmed that it is in Data Dwarf Planet. Because I suppose they've been trying to figure that out for a little while that's right. It's I think this is a really really nice story. And what it highlights is the capabilities of the very large telescope. Which you'll remember is actually not warmed four telescopes each with an eight point to me tonight or tomorrow sitting on the mountain in Chile Cold Cerro paranal operated by the European Southern Observatory? And they they. Are you know if not the certainly among the finest equipped telescopes in the world Sunday in the southern hemisphere so the Via Not one of them one of those. Four telescopes is equipped with an instrument called sphere and around us. Fear is a relatively new instrument specifically designed for looking in detail sings. Along way away you know in other words Doing fine Resolution imaging A So a fear is actually an acronym as you might expect the acronym Kinda tells you what is for its stands for spectral polaroid metric high contrast exit planet research. They just making that up Costa. That's what you do with acronym but you think of an ice word and then your other words. I used to do it. Myself Berlin sermons. What is spectrum polar polar metric main? It means you're looking out the polarization of the light coming from the telescope Jackson. Polarization something with me with if you use polarizing sunglasses as you you eliminate some of the vibrations that the The light waves themselves participating. So you're eliminating half of that is a very powerful to ministry. Polarization can tell you about dusted space. It can tell you about the way lights has been affected by its passage through the media And it's generally useful thing. This in in this case is combined combined with spectroscopy. which is the breaking up of the light into its ranks colors so spectrum? Polling metric is a very You you know very capable analytical too but the main thing about sphere is that it's used in conjunction with what it called adaptive optics and adaptive optics use flexible MIRA technology coupled with some very sensitive devices in order to eliminate the The the distorting effect of this atmosphere as likely through the atmosphere it's affected by pockets of hotter and warmer Moore and colder air and basically blows the image but with clever technology. You can actually send distortion and a little bit like essentially. I'm being noise in a pair of noise. Cancelling headphones descends the are being noise and then put an inverse signaling. The cat cancels. You doubt it very much the same sort of thing. But you're doing it. With light an adaptive optics technology at basically removes to a large extent not completely but to a large extent extent it removes the distorting effects of the atmosphere so he can get very sharp imaging in fact you can make it compatible with the Hubble Space Telescope which is above the atmosphere. I read it together. I have to say the The ground based telescopes like a very much cheaper to run than the space telescope okay. So that's the backstory but if you can put it on the top of a mountain that exceeds you know someone's ability to breathe properly. Yeah it's not actually Soekarno Donnelly's not quite that ties abroad about three thousand three thousand beaches. which is a lot more amenable than the four thousand two hundred meters? What is which is a moniquet whether another sweet telescope souring Hawaii? You and I both been there but I'm being to pound although I have. They have not. Yes sorry that's just a bit of bragging that the APP so okay. He's astronomers and in particular I. I think it's a group if I remember royally it is from the lab Twat Dust Physique Say which is in France if you condemn horrible Frenchaccent. It's research based there who have used this instrument to to to look at one of the asteroids in the asteroid belt the the main belt asteroids between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and they found that one of them the fourth biggest of the asteroids whose nine cj or expose it should be Depending on how you pronounce it looks. It's like idea that's what I thought. He is. Probably how it was pronounced depends on whether you like the wise Indian creek the anyway the bottom line is this thing is round. It's more or less a very koze. Not a perfect sphere but very close close to it and up for no object like a south for it to be very cool beans that he qualifies as being a Dwarf Planet because one of the requirements for an object to be a dwarf planet is that it is well it's being pulled into a spherical shape By its own gravity. The technical term is differentiated. means the you know the inside stuff has been Greg graduated if I put it that way by gravity. What you end up with is is a sphere and so and it is when you look at the images that we've seen from the European Southern Observatory this very distinctly round looking objects so it will be the International Astronomical Union in that August body sometimes known as the Uber Nerds Because say above all the rest of US nerds They will look at the evidence for he gabby being Being a dwarf planets are they'll they'll take a vote on its and once they've done that we might have an announcement that says here is the smallest of all the dwarf planets in the solar system. Because it's only one eight hundred. Fifty kilometers diameter found about thirty four hundred thirty kilometers. See all is it really as we speak. It's not bigger taller. That's right and it's very near the limit below which things don't have enough gravity to make themselves very cool And so it's a threshold object. That's a very nice where put it is. It's their up moons of some of the outer planets Sir particular. I'm thinking of moons of Saturn which we know very well thanks the Cassini mission some of those moons are actually chilly spherical. And they're not that much bigger than he is but I think the asteroid counts certainly because he's obviously around the sun rather than being overthrown. Another another object. It is a planet but a Dwarf Planet because of its small size actually I suppose. Finding delays objects and confirming them as of planets does in fact justify the decision to put Pluto in that category. When when we thought for so long that it was the only one now? We know that that's not the case. Exactly that's right. I agree with what you said. Allegedly allegedly not everybody does Many people think Pluto is a special case. But if you make it a special case then where do you draw the line precisely Ashley The other we'd seen about Hit Guy is that it is seemingly unblemished. Yes that's right. Everybody expects it. It'll be a big crisis on it because this thinking that once probably involved in a collision with with other objects and that's because we think this daybreak from that collision stealing asteroid but noise. He's got a few vaguely markings on it. But he's not pockmarked by you know huge craters which some of the moons of for example one of the moons of Saturn has it looks like the death star because he's got these enormous cry. I Trauma Likewise Phobos which is the biggest moon of. Let's go to big criterion into. I think one of those strange mocking exotica is a circle with crossing Fred. Gosh you're right well I see a face in it too so all right so almost certainly dwarf planet but yet to be ratified by the astronomical unions. Oh we'll wait until that happens. They'll send a memo. I'm sure they will probably to you. Yes we personally saw it. You're listening to space nuts with Andrew Johnson. Clean and Fred Watson space nuts and before we get onto some questions. Fred are have got to send out a special thank you to matt. Sayers Matt is a facebook influence. Actually I I must say that He's Youtube influence. But he's also part of the spice knots podcast group and he's been listening to us for a little while he's got his own youtube channel title and he did us a wonderful service the other day by giving us a huge plug on his facebook channel encouraging people to listen so if you are listening to us for the first first time courtesy of Matt thank you for that and thank you to matt for giving such a great endorsement really appreciate it. It's it's lovely and it's Sore Alaw our Youtube channel numbers jump significantly. So we're willing to hitting the one thousand so if you would like to follow us on in facebook subscribe to our channel. You can do that at YouTube dot com slash c slash space nuts and subscribe there. And you can listen to all our back editions of space nuts right up to the latest version you can even just hit the play button and listen to them to your Heart's content meantime. Sure that'll be something. Your wife or husband will be thrilled with even make the kids do it. They might have been learned something from me but they might now fred. Let's tackle some questions. We've got a few to get through today and this one comes from Josh shoes in Margaret River in Western Australia. What a beautiful part of the world? That's what winegrowing territories at Margaret River is. He says. Excuse me if this has been answered in episode on meet to get to. I think it has Josh Josh. BOT WE WANNA revisit it because of your question if blackhall's would be important to a multi universe or even another galaxy could a white hull be on the other. Aside of that given the medical skype it could matter falling into a black hole then being omitted out of the other side from a Whitehall possibly causing housing other big bangs or is this notion title science fiction Hope you get to cover this if it has already been in Cabot Blah Blah sorry. That's Okay Josh. We we're GONNA tackle this one. We'll Freddie's I'm just going to sit here and Giggle so let's go to the last last question. I is this notion total science fiction and the answer is he's not in the sense that when you look at the equations of General Relativity which base for the basis of our understanding of black holes You can reverse some of the signs. I'm I'm what you guys are so materials not being sucked into as being shutouts How that might be the case but we've never seen anything in observational astronomy? The could qualify for lytle. We're certainly seeing plenty of evidence that black holes exist so the idea of you know why tolls black holes in a black hole light whole combination combination being a portal to another universe autour multiple universe. That's a very common one. And he's won. The is beloved of science fiction writers. It's usually Komo whilst the mathematics let you Allow for that an and you know. There's nothing in the mathematics except forbids it. We've never observed it and that probably means that they don't exist so the must be something something in the physics of the universe that actually stops it happening And that might point to knotty cuisine. Our understanding of aren't the standing of electricity. which is a good thing because as soon as we find a hole in that that means well to mix a metaphor? It's off we can jump doubt it. Yeah it means that the might be phys. That's the bottom line. Okay you got Josh But yes but not as guys my bay. It's just all black and lot really. Gosh won't put up with this because we pay the big bucks for. That's why did it isn't it next question we have received this one from Jared van Royan. I hope I pronounced your name correctly. And we're not not sure where you from so we got to say from Earth he says hello. Mr Duncan Dr Watson. I've always wanted to be able to say this jared. That's my father's name anyway. I have been listening to you guys for a few months near and now he's GonNa stop and I love it. I'm a college student studying adding astronomy and I have some thoughts to maybe talk about firstly. I'd love to hear from you about what should be expected when looking through a standard telescope and and what your recommendation would be for new enthusiasts second. I'd like to ask a question I had thought of recently. What if outside of the the universe we know there are huge amounts of mass surrounding us and the gravity of this mess is what is increasing speed? Their universe's expansion. I doubt that now that stands scientifically speaking but I am curious. Thanks jared well. Do you WanNa stop telescopes telescope adverse. Sorry Mr. just. which way do you WanNa Start Telescope or massive the universe go the second one? It's the easy but the first leads to the second thing. You've written a book about telescopes only fair that you should answer this all sit back. I do like tennis goes. There's no doubt about it. I've been fascinated by telescopes ever since I was a young lad a hundred years ago but The thing think about that really characterizes. The era in which we live is that telescopes a relatively cheap. They suddenly went when I was growing up. If you wanted to be taken interest I in astronomy and use a telescope to build it. I unless you are very rich indeed. A podcast group. People had recent little sort of tatum Tay with with each other over over telescopes. I'm sure they were all comparing. You know young lady anyone that competition. Okay that's good to hear because there's a lot of astronomy is agenda nonspecific. Helgi three telescopes As I said that you can get fantastic telescopes now for really relatively low price and in fact the one hundred dollars. Buy You a telescope that I would love to have had when I was a lot school but in many anyways. The Sky's the limit. You can you. Can I think even with the most. You know eight hundred dollar telescope you would still be able to say things like some some of the rings of the Rings of Saturn and some of the moons of Jupiter As you progress through the price range and really what you get is what you pay foil Then you get to tell the scopes on mountings that will allow you to take deep sky photographs. If you've got the right kind of equipment you can you know you can spend spend spend on astronomy It's really depends on. Just what your what your resources alike. I at Shave Shave. Oh was a been a great enthusiast for beginners to bypass binoculars. Because not only can you get lovely views of the mood and on dark nights when there's no moon in the sky and if your wife from city lights beautiful views of things like style clusters in the way that sort of thing that really wanted but Oculus I have actually published even our podcast group page photos. They've taken with a digital camera through their telescopes and they come up with some great stuff. Yeah it'd be brilliant so what it was going to say about Douglas's economical so use them during the day and the instruments as well as being an astronomical too but the telescope is what most people won't buy that usually they mean one that's mounted on a stand and often the standard is actually what what differentiates between good one and a bedroom because there's nothing more frustrating than having a telescope on flimsy standards vibrating all over the place. He tried to look through it and find an object. It is not easy thing in the world so the quick answer. Is You get what you pay for. But it's plenty their loss of websites giving giving you comparative assessments of different telescopes usually run by commercial organizations but most of these organizations and I won't name any coasted. I don't know why jared from those organizations that not so much out to make a fast buck to get people interested in the hub. They usually run by. The telescope. Shops are usually run by people who are also amateur astronomers so they know about it and they came to engage people. Then let them see what marvelous. Helgi astronomy is quickly moving on to the question about whether surrounding us. Yeah whether I'll oh university if there is such a thing as a multi we really don't get the answer to that multiple universes could the gravity crop rotation of an outside universe be affecting affecting our own and that's not a daft question. There are people who think about things like that one of them. WHO's never mentioned? I think many times before all is forgotten now so doesn't matter come to being omitted the very great mathematician who postulates the idea that one university eventually generates another one via the mechanism of colds. Embarrassing name was on the tip of I took him in and go now. He's gone but that's what happens when you get to one hundred and fifty years old. Yes and always happens while recording a podcast. That's right but the point to make about this is gravity and so forth fundamental forces of nature gravity's the weakest weakest and he's not just the weakest by you know a little bit. It's a Let me try and remember something of the order of tend to the eighteen in times weaker than the other fundamental forces and so There is something about it. That's it's very different. And some people suggest that that's because the APPs gravity leaks out of universe into other universities. And if that's the case then you might expect there to be imprint From the universes on our universe and the place to look for that is the cosmic microwave background radiation. The flash of the BIG BANG which itself is is mottled with slightly warmer and cooler. Temperature changes and so which are essentially caused by sound waves in the in the flash of the Big Bang might be way you might find evidence of the the gravity of another universe impacting? It's unlikely however to cause the the acceleration of the expanding universe because because I think that is too great to be basically the reason Okay very good jared as an astronomy student. You get an a plus for asking this question because there were thought provoking well done. Let's move onto the next question. And it comes from Michael Brill. Michael has sent us a stunning photographs that he took while at Mawson station Muslim stations in Antarctica to research station people spend a We'll probably six months down the in rotation going backwards and forwards and a couple of people who've done over the years and the only real way to get there is by by ship. It's very isolated and there was a famous case of a researcher. There who got ill and had to treat herself Elf by satellite phone to the doctors some years ago. which made the news that isolated and Gordon Amazing Place? So thanks for the photo Markle I do you hope you put it on the space. Nuts pod podcast group on facebook because I think people would love to see it but he said Hi guys firstly on the first time longtime so first question longtime listener. I assume that means spent all of last year more than station. Listening to your podcast. Wasn't there anything else to do. The trip was so good in fact. I'm heading down again. My question is in regards to gravitational waves my understanding is they stretch the fabric of time while snotty interacting with pretty much. Anything anything else. So can they interact with each other for example if two waves converged or intersected each other out would the disturbance of time change change hope that made sense and yeah. That's an interesting question in my new book. So let's figure book that I'm writing at the moment. We do actually have multiple gravitational wave effect so yes the answer is yes you can answer this. Just make that stuff up as long as most. What's lots fiction? Rod is due date. Yes some scientists do as well. Let me just backtrack for five minutes. Because I remember the name of the person whose name was on the tip tip of my tongue it Sir sir. Roger Penrose of course thought about the imprint of external universities yes British cosmologists taught configured with a nine block. That that's right. Okay the answer to this question is I don't know you and I I'm really interested to know what is the consequence of gravitational waves interacting with one in another because in the study of lie and maybe licensed perhaps a bit of physics. I understand best because that was what I did. It is my special topic for many many years when waves come together. They interfere with one another in fact he can get the result where light waves actually cancel. Cancel each other out if they are out of phase so that peak of one corresponded with the trough of another something down there that signals canceling agents. They just dislike radio signals. Do I'm I'm I'm not enough of a gravitational way specialist to know whether that is possible of for gravitational ways to do that. I do however know people who are gravitational wave especially. I'm going to go and ask them. I will catch up with one of my colleagues. Who knows about this sort of thing? I'll see him on Thursday at some meetings that I'll be at and I would like to talk to him about exactly after they stopped like the interference of essential. I think he's a very very interesting question. And so maybe we can follow it up next week. Yes but Michael Hold on and we'll we'll try and follow up on that. I think it's a really interesting question. Very good thank you so much appreciate it and thank you to everybody I must say afraid in scrolling through the podcast group. I noticed a couple of people who put posts on directly pointing at you your recent appearance on the drum. Oh good yeah and there's also a another photographic scroll down far enough of the Sherbert life album cover which we talked about last week. My favorite band growing up was sure but I went and saw them once. And there's a photo of you with a space nut by the name of Carrie. Carrie Brown and I must send special hello at to carry. Because she's an Uber Fan especially new fan of yours. I think in ED lovely to say that facebook page is just going gangbusters. And it's great to say every body interacting. It's not just about listening to us. He ever on every awake. It's it's all about talking to each other to and learning from each other and sharing each other's photographs and experiences in astronomy and. I think it's fantastic that everyone's during that and I think well I have a five hundred people in that group now for a fantastic isn't it. Maybe should include me under. If you're on the send me facebook. One one might try and find out how to

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