Houston, We Have A Problem...and a Question or Two
The fifteen seconds guidance been journal and nine agnes sequence spence nets three to four or five five one space details good once again and thank you for joining us on this space nuts podcast episode hundred and fifty five. My name is andrew dunkley your host and the man with the brain power to make sense of it. All is the one and only fred watson astronomer at large hello for aid hello andrew. Thank you for that. Some would that but that's alright nearest and dearest of money for just take it on the chin. That's the way. I spent four years of marriage taken the gene. Speaking of taking it on the chain freight last week we were talking about my pending covid nineteen ice and you said you had absolutely no symptoms whatsoever other than maybe a bit of a sore arm. Well i went and had mine on monday and the astrazeneca vaccine wasn't a difficult process. I went in. I identified me. They used a mugshot for that. By the way they asked me if you questions and because of my history with vaccines because i have reacted to them. In the past i spend extra time in the special room afterwards. Oh god the did the date. And i spent the rest of the day quite happily but i was not after free. Unlock your good self. I had Cult shivers that. Not a hot and cold flushes. I had body aches and pains. I had a headache and the next day was just as in yesterday just Full on lethargy. Just headache and letter g. all day. And then i felt a bit better towards the evening and speaking to a friend of mine in queensland who has also had his first injection he said. When did you have us at ten o'clock on monday morning. I said you're gonna have one more. We'd not and i said what's that mean. He said you'll find out and he was right about three thirty this morning. I woke up in a leather of sweat. High was so drenched. It was lockout bain standing under a shout. My hair was soaked. Everything talked drainage but then a work up you know got up and dealt with that. But when i woke up and got on with the diehard didn't feel bad. I feel pretty good at the moment. Just maybe a little bit of forgiveness but Other than that on. i'm through worst of it. So some people have sought effect. I sound like i had them all wonders. I didn't have any which is my my father. My father didn't have any of that but my mother had the siamese audie so obviously got heard in thanks. Mom look people are scared to get done for those sorts of raising spot. Not getting done opens you up to something much more scary. So the day of discomfort. Is sony small to pay today. We will be hearing questions questions from audience where one hundred percent dedicated to questions. The answer to that is yes and thanks for joining us. We'll see you next week. I love that joke before times. Yeah we're going to hear from ashley who's got a triple banger for us Christian wants to know about the rotation speed of the earth. We're gonna hear from marius about planet. J zero seven one. Four zero seven be. John wants to know about him bay. And we've got a jerry in san diego who's got a question for us and i think there's one more that i've missed mark from newbury about hydrogen in the sun and looking at the length that question this could be a very long show but anyway we'll get through all of the who's they will. We'll get through all of those today. So let's start fred with i. Which is an audio question from young ashleigh. My name is ashley and So i'm have you guys tried v The oculus Space on mike. It's a virtual reality thing like you're on the iss. So i did that day and What i also have another question about is what happens. A we had no atmosphere in also on. What do you think there is any other animals out there and Do you think that will find them. First on there now find us i that is that is a good question. We'll get in a minute Oculus i did do something recently fred. Which involved the international space station. I don't know if it was oculus. But it was on the iss website where you can use a simulator to dock with the international space station. And i had a crack that and it is really quite a lot of fun but it requires incredible concentration because the closer you get to docking your spaceship the hotter it is because of the variations in thrust. And your and pitch and all the angles. You've got to take into account. And because i was trying to steal with the cable and i'm sure they don't have to do that on a spaceship. It got more difficult because as you get closer. You've got to make more subtle changes in direction and i found it very hard in the middle of it all. I got called away. So i had to stop the spaceship. Go out the back and low bricks. Oh something then come back in and start again okay back. The spaceship drifted hundreds of meters away. And i had to redo the whole thing. But i did succeed in my first attempt at doctrine and it is the same as the simulator. They use at nassar apparently or wherever. I don't know if that's oculus. But i had to go at that. And yeah. It's it keeps you brian. Ticking of really go to concentrate. I enjoyed it was fun. Okay so. I'm not sure. If that was oculus i no. It's not. Oculus is a system of virtual reality. Headsets most notably the oculus rift which were introduced back in twenty six sixteen. I was thinking. I've heard of them for a long time. Never had a chance to have a shot at one Using one so it's it's a it's a virtual reality system. I mean virtual realities coming to popularity. And of course you can do it now. If you've got a headset that will let you use your your mobile phone to produce the two images that give you the stereoscopic vision but oculus was the one of the early ones and it will be sensational to be on the s With an oculus rift headset and the system. Providing the backup. I'm sure you'd get every sim sensation other than gravity of being on board the spacecraft. And may. well be that what you did that. That system that you did to dot with the might be available as an oculus. Rift program is actually mentioned. I've not done it told. This is great stuff. The second part of actually question was about what would happen. If there was no atmosphere i assume no atmosphere on earth is way of going with this. Indeed the answer is actually. We'd be in deep trouble so the very yet the the oceans would boil the water vapor would be lost to the to the to the space around the earth. That would leave the very interesting. Because you know the bill. Deep valleys in rifts. And things like that with no watch on the won't be anybody there to see either 'cause we would boil to Blood boil which would would not be healthy so fortunately the atmosphere is extremely stable. does variations in which we hear about in the news every day. It's called the weather. Plus climate changes which take place over longer periods of time but yet without the atmosphere we could not possibly exist. and that's why there's no life We believe of any kind on the moon. The moon is a world with no atmosphere. He's got a very very thin gas around it which we call the x. fear but it's nothing like an atmosphere like we have here on earth so we don't want that and i think the last question ashley was about animals out there we don't know there may be the. It's really interesting. Because i think the opinion of strimmers and the scientists called astrobiologists to look at a life the possibilities of life out in the universe lesson to be less convinced that we'll find animals in space. We might find microbes but animals might be just a step too far because they're they might need all kinds of accidents in a on a planet In order for them to form while you final question will they find us before we then. Well that's possible as well. We might be sitting here saying no. No there's no animals out there. Saly one appears but for an astronomer that will be very interesting experience Really liked to do and fred speaking of animals on other planets. I believe some years ago. There was a fabulous april fools joke that was played. I think it was in newspapers or some sort of scientific pipe. It was released. That suggested that mas was populated by exotic animals of all kinds. They kinda describe it like The great plains of africa. If i recall correctly at sucked everybody in big time just hook line and sinker and i suppose i dunno winner was but it was just one of the great april fool's day jokes or may have just been something that somebody did at april fools day regime but yeah i do recall it. It's worth looking up if you if you want to follow it up because it is rather amusing. Yeah now let's move onto our next question. This comes from christian in brazil. This is a text question. Hi andrew and fred. Thanks for your wonderful show in relation to your story last week about the earth. Spinning faster probably wasn't last week. Vertical can fred a shed any light on the earth actually spinning slower in the distant past. I had heard that when the dinosaurs were around one day on earth about eighteen hours long. Could this affect the gravity on earth. Making things grow bigger and heavier. It's hard to believe the seventy tonsils could've walked around with such tiny legs. Thank you thanks christian. Good question and i do recall this coming up before i think yes. Yes certainly we talked about this rotation. I don't think they think christian is referring to that we spoke about the was a report that i think. Last year the day got very very slightly joe period rather than the usual lengthening of the day which try a spin it and i think that was that was what it was so That generally speaking when we look backwards in time we eat find the spinning more quickly And the thinking is that when they are going back four and a half billion years now. The day was maybe a shortest for hours. Whoa never never shorter than that. Though because one of the theories for the origin of the moon would be whilst the moon the were spinning so fast. That daybreak spun off vehicle would need it. It would need to have been spending quite considerably faster than once every four hours for that to happen it. Yes the was. A rapid spinner an slowed now christian says. He's heard that when the dinosaurs were around one day was only eighteen hours long. It certain shelter than it is now. I'm not sure whether it's that short though because that's only sixty six million years ago which is not in in this sort of cosmic timescales that we're talking about so. I suspect the day was shorter than twenty four hours but not maybe not quite down to eighteen hours but questions are good ones. Could this affect the gravity on earth. Making things grow bigger and heavier to some extent. That's true because the fastest spinning earth has gives you more of a centrifugal force on the equator lighter. And if we can you know we can say that changing gravity now even with the equipment is so sensitive that you can measure the difference between a person's weight on the equator it on the poll and they're slightly different but it is a very small effect and i don't think it would have any significant influence on the way things evolved a. When you go by you know hundred million years or so to the to the era of the dinosaurs. I think that the reason why they groups big was just it was just an evolutionary almost an evolutionary dead end to make them bigger and better the eight more things and all the rest of it. The likes were pretty colossal when you look at dinosaur skeletons that they want tiny they were pretty pretty substantial structures so yeah great question though and we should talk more about the way. The slowdown has gone over the geological periods. It's because it would certainly influence of things things. The way things worked. Mike can probably a segment to that in the in future episodes possibly could carry. That sounds good. Yeah i i guess A great many people are fascinated by the era of the dinosaurs and what the earth was locked. But when you when you look at history has been changing constantly and has has had many and some significant variations on different parts of the planet at different times. It's it's quite quite extraordinary when you look back and find out what happened. I read an article only yesterday. They were doing mud sampling from the bottoms of rivers and lakes and discovered that climate change probably started four thousand years ago. Not three hundred years ago as we've all been told that human the human impact on earth's atmosphere notice climate probably began a lot longer back than we've all been it. Yeah yeah i like the clearing of forests and and that can tell through the pollen samples larry upon laugh and i did the experiment by going back. Eighteen thousand years at a time where the earth was coming out of an ice age. And we're able to use that as a baseline to compare h series each period of time that that we're looking at and the pollen samples clearly. Show that the human influence on earth began probably four thousand years ago in some parts of the planet two thousand years ago in other parts of the planet. So it's it is fascinating fascinating very very scary all at the same time but just much more aware of it. I think these days than we trying to do something about it. Which is which is good news right. Thank you christian for your question. And thank you ashley. Lovely to hear your voice. I just so thrilled by your enthusiasm. We're gonna take a little break right now and when we come back. We'll have more questions on the space snaps. Podcast andrew. Dunkley here with fred watson. Space nuts thanks for joining us on the space. And that's podcast and i just wanted to let you know very quickly. We have some new propaganda new items in our space now shop. In fact hugh message me the other day and said You know we've got a bomber jacket now a bomber jacket so go and check it out spacing out podcast dot com click on the shop. Lincoln see what takes your fancy. The brand new book by the way really really now available in paperback. The paperback release date was the thirty. First of may for the hitler paradox. Already got a review on amazon frayed. Somebody's gotta go stars. Four stars just four stars. I'm not unhappy with that. If you start off with one star it takes a lot of work to get yourself back up there again. So a four star star is nice. So i thank you for that donahue was now to our next question and this one comes from marius who we believe is from norway. Lads money emmys myers. And i live in the southern path of all now. I've been listening to you lattes for the past six months or so. Let's go through that much of a campaign to connecticut thing but so far it's really really good really enjoyed listening to another work. I in many others questions request for you to talk about an aunt at a moment of currently built up ten questions more more of a calm only asked a couple of questions at a time that are related to order has pesticides can ever use a software called space. Have either of you used it. Heard about it if so can you tell later that about it. Shattered his communities at can enjoy it. If possible and while i was playing around on and the gay i found specific. All of call one four cerro seven be got business and its sister is humongous. Could you tell us a little bit about his planets and compare it to something like san are ending the solar system. Thanks to show guys really enjoy. Thank you great to hear your voice and Yeah i think we can start with the did he say it was a game only some. I didn't quite catch it thirty space age. But i'm not sure it's not something i'm aware of You know something. I've ever played with silicon comment on it but i can't comment on jay one for seven b so check. Wash straighter that. Yeah because clearly they built this extraordinary planet into the game which is fabulous but is a real a real object it. he's a planet. An extra planet is orbiting sun like star about four hundred and thirty light years away. It's it's a star that's sort of part of a bigger group of fairly young stars like the sun so j one four seven fourteen. O seven bay. We probably call it. It's a planet that was discovered by dimming it the fact that it dimmed the light of its parent star is it passed in front of it the so called transit method and a great way of finding exoplanets. But it's as long ago as two thousand and seven the the strongest who are observing. This showed not just a single kind of dip in a the brightness of the of the parents star as the planet went in front of it but this whole complex series of dips Short term changes in the star's brightness seemed to be caused by differing amounts of obscure ration- passing in front of it. And what what you end up with is the The conclusion that the planet as a Not just the planet that it's got a ring system as well a significant ring system that is also absolutely noah so this is the big surprise from j. Fourteen o seven its ring system has a diameter of about one hundred and twenty million kilometres which means that if it was where the sun is it would reach eighty percent of the way to the. You know forget saturn. This thing has the most enormous ring system. Essentially a solar system sized ring system is only as far as the third rocky planet in the solar system right center the but it's still enormous and it was in the news again around about a year or so ago bit more than a year ago because there's a gap in the rings. There's a large gap which some researchers wondered whether it was caused by a moon orbiting outside the ring system. New research apparently showed that wasn't possible but it it. What is possible is that there is a a baby moon that sam bedded in the rings and we see that saturn some saturn's moon is actually within the ring system So the what has to happen now. It remember what the the period of rotation of j. fourteen o seven bays around its parents da. But this quite a long way i think before it passes in front of its parent star again but you can bet when that happens a lot of big telescopes we'll be watching it to watch the the the series of dips that you get to determine what the structure of its ring system is so it's something that will appear in the news again hopefully before too long. Yeah fascinating or marius. Thank you so much sorry. We couldn't tell you anything about the The guy in were referring to or whatever it was. But i'll be fascinated to find out more about it myself. Let's move onto our next question from john in barnsley at text question. Hi andrew and fred. Thanks for the great podcast. I only discovered a back. But i've been listening to an episode every night since get life john. Not kidding since you said you running a question that i have a couple of struggled to find answers to would measurements of the mvp. Look tickle to any observer in any position in the universe a would it look different based on the observer's position and their own observable universe would the universe have been infinite in size immediately after inflation started and would be curvature of space time have been flat during inflation as we measure it to be now. Thanks again John from bonds. -ly got a lot going on there see. Mb are going to be the one that dumb question. What's that stand for cosmic microwave. But i knew it. I couldn't i just couldn't get it together. You would ever nineteen vaccination shot that yes so. It's a really good question and john's absolutely right. that imagine. The universe is huge volume of space. The bit that we can see is like i think of it. I think i sometimes think of in terms of a huge concert hall or something like that. Many a beach ball in it with us at the center of the beach ball and we can only see as far as the readiness of the beach ball because The cosmic microwave background gets in the way the flash of the big bang. Which is what we're seeing and so Yeah observers in different bits of that huge concert whole sized universe. We'll see different beachballs they'll see different cosmic microwave background and i think the patterns on the by one tech this this tiny ripple of structure in it and by tiny in terms of its extent. It's one it's the cosmic. Microwave background is uniform to better than one part in one hundred thousand. So we're looking. We find tiny fluctuations in it which correspond to fluctuations in temperature at the time that we're looking back to about three hundred and eighty thousand years after the big bang those those fluctuations will look different in different parts of the universe. Bats the story. They're telling in terms of you know how much fluctuation there is. And the what we call the power spectrum which is just a characteristic of the patent you saying they should be the same everywhere so the details might be different but the basic message will be the saying. Would the universe have been infinite in size immediately after inflation started the second john's questions. We don't know that the universe is infinite but we do know is very very big indeed and it may be so we think it's the nation that sort of grew it so big so i don't know the answer to that question. The inflation lasted a very brief time. It was about ten to minus thirty three. I think of a second. Something of that sort So the universe was different at the beginning from what it was at the end. I don't know about whether it was infant or not. In that time and the curvature of space time that john refers to which we say is flats not doesn't mean the universe is flat like a pancake. It means that the normal geometry that we understand of parallel lines not meeting and things of that sort carries on throughout the universe that would that would that curvature of been flat during inflation is we measure it to be now probably not because we think that one of the reasons why it's flatties because of inflation so that find out lots of things so that might have also imprinted the geometry of the universe to so some great question. John most of which don't have preferences but thank you thanks for asking them nevertheless indeed. Thank you john appreciate it. And if you get the impression were rushing a bit today yes we are. We've had some major technical issues fritz gotomeeting. so we've got a barrel through this one so it'll be a short segment than usual shorter program this week. Just apologies for that and that people like to sit back and relax for the four or five hours. We normally type but That went that won't be happening these time. But i'm sure you'll understand that the internet being the internet. It can throw us a few curveballs which should certainly done today. Having said that you listening to the space nets podcast. With don. Kelly and fred watson base mutts special. Thank you to patrons the people who put a couple of in here and there to keep us afloat every week. We certainly do want to encourage people to become patrons but we do not demand it but if you'd like to find out about how you can support space nuts financially go to our website space. Nats podcast dot com hit the supporter button and see what options are available. Of course. the shop is another way and support us. We make a better one percent profit on everything we sell there and that includes my books but forgets two percent on his special nefer. Let's move onto final audience question for today. And this one comes from jerry in san diego. I believe hello professor. Fred watson and andrew dunkley my name is jerry. And i've been listening to your superb podcast and recommending it to every space enthusiasts. I've come across since episode one today. I am transmitting from san diego california. But i am originally born and raised from the great plains of south dakota in the us. I have two questions. The first is about nasr's gateway project trying to establish a permanent presence on our closest satellite the moon from my understanding there either trying to build a space station or a surface station additionally in early two thousands reading a couple articles about nasa contemplating decommissioning or selling their portion of the international space station due to a number of reasons. Obviously that didn't happen. But i feel what the continuation space exploration the is going to become less and less relevant so my question is why. Don't the nations that control the international space station park the iss. Either in one of the legrand's points as a rendezvous point to the moon or park the assess in around the moon. I know this would take a very significant amount of fuel and work to make happen. But i feel like transporting the fuel to space and simply moving. A space station would be an easier endeavor than getting the medals to space then to construct a brand new space station around the moon for my second question. I was wondering why we don't hear a lot about the great attractor which seems to be pulling everything our universe to it. It just seems like a very interesting subject to talk about. If you have any information on it it'd be greatly appreciated or is it never talked about because the great attractor is so far out into space and so known. It's not even a worthy subject to debate lasted. I have no idea for your space not shot. You should take the logo create. Velcro patches stickers. I think it'd be a great seller for anyone who liked to buy stickers represent the podcast show in their own little way at work or at home with that being said. I just wanted to thank you for bringing all the corners of this plan together with your fantastic podcast. I feel multinational. Space exploration and cooperation is one of the few things that really lets the best humanity shine even amongst political strife and it reminds us to simply be decent human beings. Keep on cracking under questions. Thank you thank you jerry. I totally agree with him on that political front. And it's something. I've voiced several times in more recent episodes. But on the same page with the jerry place to tell you we do have stickers in the space and that shop but the velcro patches or just some yeah my patches you can sell on our put that to hugh and see if we can get that added into the mix. That's a good idea. Now he's asking about a moon station or a space station around the moon or moving the s as a staging point for going to the moon are any of those things possibilities probabilities. It's a great idea andrew. And i'm so the gateway project is it. It's a mini space station to be placed in arbitrary on the moon. That is sort of ongoing. I think it's designed for astronauts before they touchdown on the lunar surface. It's of course that is built with twenty twenty technology whereas the international space station dates from two thousand when when it first became a habitable or how inhabited constantly it's It's an interesting idea to to recycle it by shoving it out into lunar orbit. And yes it. Would they something very very powerful to do that. But that's not an impossibility. I think i think in the end though. It's going to be that the space station. It's destiny is for it to be privatized. That's essentially what's been said already by the us government. They're looking at perhaps even as early as twenty twenty-five there five space agencies which are involved with the international space station. They've gotta do. Some deals on this. But i think there's a good chance that it will end up as a as a legacy holiday resort for space tourists down the track put. We're a bit away from that yet. And i think it's more likely that it will be new hardware. Excuse me that will be used for lunar orbit operations and things of that sort so berry mind. We've got about two minutes left after us know. Let me let me go to the second part which is about the great attractor and i think we since this question came in. I think we've talked about it. Andrew a certainly disagreement on the great attractor not very long ago. It's this it's the fact that somewhere behind the milky way. It's a long way off but it has to lie in the plane of the milky way so we can't exactly see what's going on there. We see the nearest few thousand years. Not the nearest. A few hundred million light years but there is a mass concentration. And it's not something that's not talked about. There's a lot of research going on it. It is probably part of a much bigger concentration as well. It's revealed by the way. This great attractor is pulling galaxies towards it that is still an ongoing of really an ongoing a piece of research might cover it again in a bit more detail later on i think the third was the velcro patches. Is that right i leave. That went up to your dad. I think mark we sorry. Jerry we have talked about the great attractor before and we discovered it was a john. Deere or possibly massey ferguson. I had to use joke again because it was so darn good down good and we did have one more question. Do you want to skip it for next week next week. Show apologies to mark in apologies. Demark newberry. We have run out of time due to other commitments. So we will catch up with you next week. Thanks to everyone who contributed to questions only episode two hundred and fifty five of space nuts. Really appreciate it to everybody. Actually christian marriage. John and jerry. Keep those questions coming in via website. Space podcast dot com and you can upload them through the ama app whether that's audio or text we at mind came coming. Fred will draw on there. It's not an infinite line either. It's just a basic line. Of course the bottom of the page until next week. I did learn one thing. That's going to be beneficial for my future in this episode. When judy are retire. I'm going to be king of the hate. Because i how to make lose. We're going to move to the equator. Ha they saw on going to solve one of the great riddles of humanity. Had it had had we lose white. We moved to the equator. Thank you fred. And it's always great fun quick and easy this week not so easy actually pod that we will catch you next time. See you soon. Thanks for so you. So thanks andrew. That's fred watson storm lodge part of the team here at the space nuts podcast. thanks also to shoot. Who's really going to be earning these dolor fifty this week and from me android cly. Thanks for joining us. We'll catch you on the next episode by by listening to this podcast. Subscribe to the podcast on odia and stitch-up or your favorite podcast distributor. This is now quality podcast production from dot com.