You Asked - We Answer


I love this podcast. Support this show through the acoss supportively. Joe it's up to you how much you give. And there's no regular commitment. Just hit the link in the short description to support now. Fifteen seconds guided journal. Chan ignition sequence Nuts three to ask what it feels. Good hello again. Thank you for joining us on the space nuts. Podcast episode two hundred forty five. I'm your host. Andrew dunkley and with me again as always is professor fred watson astronomer at large. Hello fred andrew. How you doing good to see you especially now. It stopped raining mime. Wellstone guess at last. We've had a better week's worth of it. And we got triple our monthly average for this part of the world but we didn't get the flooding that has been happening in many other parts of new south wales and queensland and it's been spring pretty hectic and people are still trying to deal with thousands of evacuated. And we've seen houses flooding down rivers and qasr bang washed off causeways. Why people insist on driving through floodwaters. I do not understand better off being light than light if you know what i mean and saying on air on the radio this morning that the last twelve have been extraordinary. It's like the apocalypse we've had severe drought fires then covert nine tain then we had ryan then we had floods. We've got a mass play. A rat plague. We've got a slug blake found. That we've got locust is just so much going on. I can't wait to see the movie. it's just a. It's crazy times crazy crazy times and i fail for all those people are going through. The flood situation is nothing more die than that but it just adds another insult to. What's been a pretty horrendous twelve months. I think it's almost exactly a year since we went into lockdown in australia and so many other countries is still in lockdown. What horrifies may is is so many people still trapped overseas because they can't get home and it's nearly a year. I mean this is just unbelievable. Unbelievable abbott you. You're not in a flood area of sydney i you. You've kind of and more hilly part of the city. We live on ridge. Two hundred meters above sea level. So if we get flooded sydney's gone very very much so anyway we we just keep our fingers crossed all is well now the flood waters will just do what they do rather slowly but we will start to say things. Get back to normal soon. I hope that is what we that was what we pray for in date so afraid. We've got an interesting show today because it is entirely created by the space nuts audience. Everything we do today is based on audience feedback and questions. We've got a little bit of feedback to deal with and we'll do that. We've also got a whole bunch of questions so we might as well. Just get straight into it. Fred f. first question is yeah. It's a text question from peter in south australia. My question is about dark matter and dark energy and the spate of lot. We often hear about how all universities and how far away things are. The two are often measured and modeled in computer situations. I'm curious to know how you factor in dark matter. We hear it comes in clumps. And i'm curious to know what you put into a computer model to allow for dark matter undock energy. Do we know what effect dark matter has on the speed of light. or how. Light reacts with doc mata-. It boggles my mind. Astronomers and physicists get space travel and distances so right without really knowing what doc matter doc energy is or does the effect of this dark matter dark energy only happen when you get get out of the local galaxy cluster. Thank you peter. It's a good question and one. That's probably got a few people. Wondering i imagine fred great stuff peter and in a way. I think you're a loss. The last part of the question sums up what's going on. Does the effect of this doctrine. Doc energy only happen when we get out of our local galaxy cluster to some extent. That's when we start seeing their effects. The interaction of light with dark matter is zero effectively curse. Photons dark matter particles. Whatever they are. They don't talk to each other and we know that because there is no dark matter doesn't reveal itself a by anything that is to do with light for example. You can't see dark matter. Silhouetted against bright nebula and things of that sort in the background. It doesn't block our view so it doesn't actually interact with light at all the only way we know it's there is by its gravitational effect so this is a there is one thing to add to this though. And that's the sort of big picture stuff. The people who look at the universe as a whole both now and three hundred and eighty thousand years after the big bang which is when we conceive back as far as in the cosmic microwave background radiation those both the universe today in the sense of the distribution of galaxies where they placed how they how they string out along these these filaments of the cosmic web that plus the what we call the power spectrum of the duck of the cosmic microwave background radiation which most basically intact plumpy it is in terms of they slide in temperature variations that we see looking back to the flash of the big bang so those are two yardsticks the universe today the universe back then and they both tell us something about the gravitational influence of stuff and that includes both the stuff we can see and the stuff. We can't see a so when you do the analysis of this you actually get these values out for what the total amount of energy is which is something like seventy percent of the energy budget of the universe total amount of dark matter which is about twenty five percent of the energy of the universe and what the rest is and that's about five percent. These are very broad numbers so that that breakdown comes out of just the distribution of matter in the universe and that's why we can actually make these claims the wrong word but but give estimates of what these total mass values are as i said dunk matter doesn't interact with visible with light. In fact with where does she interact with anything except gravity so all the other fundamental forces are not affected by dark matter and dark energy is a property of the universe as a whole. And so you know that the the dark matter the sorry the photons of light and radiation pass through the universe without being affected by doc energy. It's really the matter distribution that tells you about the way these two phenomena hacked on the large scale. I'm really made that very clear. I don't think but it is the way it is and just coming returning again to what i said at the beginning. Pitas last questioned the patron doc energy. Do their effect only happen when we get out of our local galaxy cluster to some extent. That's true because it's only when you start looking very large girl certainly in terms of dark energy that you see its effect dark matter. You've we have to. Lookit galaxies as a whole. There is evidence that dark matter might come in clumps no smaller than about a thousand light years across and so anything within that is going to see its effect because effectively uniform throughout throwing a couple of aspects i. So that's that's i think the to this question. I hope it works. It may too. But i think we've talked before about the naming of these things creating some confusion with people so people hearing the woods dark matter and dark energy. My will get a misrepresentation in their minds as to what this actually is. Is that one of the issues. I think it is absolutely agree. It's rubbish name. I think they're both an invisible matter would be a much better name for dark matter dark energy. I can kind of get because it's see a maybe but maybe that should be invisible as well. of course i couldn't say but they reveal by dot materials reveal by effect galaxies. They shouldn't behave the way they do if it wasn't there. Dark energy is what's tells us that the universe or what we think is the reason for the universe expanding more rapidly the accelerated expansion of the universe one divy. Fred will figure this ad. It's starting to become one of those great mysteries already. A great mystery but one that just keeps bringing up more and more questions and curiosity and like black holes. We're starting to get more and more questions about these. Two things as as we do black holes because this very mysterious as well so it seems like anything dark or black in color in the course is causing a few headaches anyway paid out. Hopefully we we filled in something of a blank for you. We can obviously give you absolute answers when it comes to these strange mysterious things in the universe but appreciate your question. Thank you so much. Let's move onto our next question. This one comes from ralph. No doesn't yes it does it. Comes from ralph in northern california greetings. Chief nuts. I have a question for you regarding the theory of relativity. This is ralph in northern california since the speed of light is finite and constant. Can it be said that. The theory of relativity is well straight by comparison of the relative distances. You are from a light source in other words. The position in space of a light source. Say three meters from my pupils will be far more real time than a duplicate light source three light years away which will be in a different position space. By the time the light reaches my that it was when the photons began their journey and that same light source. Only three hundred meters from my pupils would be the tiniest amount less real time than three meters and so on it's all relative to perceived locations based on travel time or time travel of photons relative real time of the receiver versus actual real time of the amidror or something like that anyway. Thanks for the great shows. Keep it up and can't wait for perseverance to hit mars. Thank you ralph. Obviously this question came in before. Perseverance landed in with glad to be able to report. Ralph the land things. I and it's they've moved and i do believe fred they'd just about ready to test the helicopter so yes getting super exciting mass next big step. That's right okay. Yes go ahead to rows question. Okay well question. Yeah actually the point that ralph makes his is a very good one and it's excuse me one of the reasons why why in the very early phases of einstein putting together. His special theory of relativity relativity is one of the reasons why did and it what ralph is talking about. The notion of simpleton were the things that happen simultaneously in the universe happened simultaneously everywhere and that actually was certainly one of the things that went into thinking on the special theory of relativity newtonian universe. The old-fashioned universe says that if something happens in the universe everybody sees it simultaneously but for exactly the reason that ralph has mentioned the spitfire speed of light. That's not the way it works. Similar net simultaneity doesn't really have a definition in relativistic universe. Because your perception of two events is going to depend on how far away event is so if something supernova explodes at the same time in two widely separated parts of the universe unia one and far away from the other. You're going to see the near one. I and to and to extent for all purposes for all practical purposes. The the timing of an event is actually the timing that you see it rather than the time when it really happened in some sort of absolute sense because that's the only way the information can come to us. Nothing can come to us. Faster than the speed of light so uc one supernova going and then forty years later you see another one going off. Because he's taken forty more years for the light to travel. They might have been simultaneous in the absolute. If you could look at the universe from the outside they might have been simultaneous. But they're not in terms of our perception of them and our perception polls the thing we've got yep or what or the first one could have been the second one to explode similarly yes the older and that brings into effect consideration all kinds of things like what causes something to happen cause and effect being in the right order which actually some modern theories of the reality of the universe. They dispense with the idea of causality. I think stephen hawking was working on one of those anyway. What what ralph has said is a very nice summary of the fact that things are not quite the way we think in the world of relativity indeed Sorry news story. Today actually It was in the popular press Which is my nas wire saying that the headline sales the story and then the truth is very boring. But this one said star explodes and i thought Kay that saw the hollywood or astronomy. And i thought we're talking about a nova. And i thought someone was in the studio with me. The thomas had had chick this out. They've they've said a star has just exploded. My it's happened billions of years ago and sure enough. The headline was designed to get you in because they made it up that this star exploded yesterday. What actually happened was this. We've got remnant light from a supernova going back billions of years which is not sexy enough to sell a headlines s. It's all relative fred the relative as or okay. Thank you ralph for your question. Appreciate hearing your voice to. It's great to get these these these audience questions in and we're going to bunch more to come here on the space nuts. Podcast stick around for all from space. Nuts this is the space. And that's podcast with andrew dunkley and professor fred watson. Just want to shout out to our patrons growing in number steadily. Thank you for your financial support of the space. And that's podcast. We appreciate the you. Enjoy it enough to put a couple of dollars a month into the into the kitty did capes going al patriot numbers. We're aiming to get five hundred one hundred and thirteen patrons in there now. You can also join super cost if that's your preference or you can log on to our website and click on the support space and that's button and see what options there. I can do one off donations through whatever platform you choose account. Remember the name of it right now but you can also donate through. Our distribute distribution platform called a cast. Now this is purely voluntary. I i'm not gonna make you do this. We're not going to force you to do it. It's an option. But if you are doing it or you're thinking about doing it that's fabulous. We really do appreciate it. We do want to make the podcast. One hundred percent listener supported. So that's the goal and we'd like to get up to a thousand patrons and you can start from as little as four dollars fifty a month if you want to become a patron of the space nuts podcast and we've got some ideas on rewarding out patrons which will tell you about a little down the track not only with bonus material but Other other options so fred. Let's move onto our next question. This one is a repeat question. But i love how he puts the full stop on his questions. It's of the truck driver. There space knots my roger. I'm a truck driver. I've called in before tonight. I'm traveling across new york. State year and a little bit of a snowstorm was listening to the show where you were talking about binary stars nadda couple of questions When i was young and someone point out the second star in on the handle of the big dipper was told that it was a binary system was also told it was the astronomers i tests for if you could see that faint star with the naked eye then you had pretty decent fishing and i made a note of physicians. Those two stars and thinking over time i would watch the movement of them and here. It's been some forty five years and they don't seem to have moved so at this point. I'm assuming that they're very far apart. Or is it really a binary system and is it possible that you can have multiple stars and instead of just two in a system where would almost resemble a solar system multiple smaller stars orbiting a larger one or anything like that never been seen anyway. Still dig in the show. You guys keep up the good work. I love that drive safe. Please thanks to the question. Roger binary stars as we've discussed are not uncommon. But when you get beyond that into systems three or more it starts to become a fair bit more rare but let's firstly go back to the the system. He was talking about that. He looked at forty years ago. You were nodding your head. So you're obviously aware of what he's talking about. Absolutely in fact rojas mentioned one of my favorites does alcohol which is so we from the latitude of new south. Wales don't see the plow or the big dipper as i think it's called in the us. It's part of the constellation of major the great bear. If you're up in queensland you see if i remember rightly in may nights very low down on the northern horizon but it's a northern hemisphere constellation but one of the stars. The middle star of the handle of the plow has this companion so the styles of the plow really quite bright. The definitely naked ice does but the they're they're a bit like the selling cross down near there spectacularly style particularly when you look at them through binoculars but right next to this middle star in the handle of the plow which is called meizar or measor. Is this little companion. Called alcohol. And roger is right that are core is thought to be gravitationally bound to to miser. Because they're the same distance away and as they move through space and remember we've got the guy spacecraft which is exquisitely precise in telling us about the way stars move through space as they move through space they moved together and so even though there the forty years that rogers talk is not long enough to see alcoves position change with respect to to miso is probably going to take thousands of years to see an a difference but the thinking is that these two actually bound together gravitationally which makes them a binary system but in fact he's more than a binary system. This goes to the second part of rogers question. Because i'll call itself as a companion which was discovered. Buck in two thousand nine. It is not that not that faint. Actually it's eighth or ninth magnitude. It probably wasn't detected early because it's quite close in and it's a red red dwarf star. Which are the communists stars in our neighborhood so that is is also a also co moving with the mizo system. So it's is an in fact. I think there are more self. I think is a quadruple system. So you've basically got six stars which are in a in a sort of cosmic. They are multiple stars and they're all orbiting a common sense of gravity. So yeah it's what is sometimes known as a stellar sextuplet. That's basically what it is. So a rudge's observations gray. I as a said. Every time i go to the northern hemisphere which used to be quite regularly seems to have stopped. If it's if if i've got a clear night i always have a look for alcohol. Suddenly i can only see it through binoculars. Now is roger said. It's a good test if exit with the naked eye. It's twelve minutes away from laser. I need binoculars these days to see it but it's always nice to see so. Thanks for that question roger. i really appreciated. So he's right. There are systems out there that might of stars that resemble solar systems rather than planets. You've got stars opening each other in clusters. Yeah that's right. In fact understand why that would be because we think stars form in much bigger groups. We think they co- call them open. Clusters these newly stars. Sometimes there are thousands of stars in open clusters and eventually dissipate. They drift away. The sun was almost certainly part of something like that. The son might have had a binary companion or even two or three companions which are now long gone. So it's it's it's easy to understand why they should be these multiple systems. Okay thank you very much for your question. Roger it's time for change of accent as we have from binary stars to the stock short mission. Hello my name's dunkin from weymouth those In england long-term listener to the podcast really enjoy. It hope you both whale with regards to the starship mission to elvis toray. Just considering the we don't know the star systems layout that well how many planets are in in rit or where they actually are in their orbits null the rest of it and if we got hundreds even of microscopic spacecraft just a few grams each her linked towards the mid twenty cent speed of law he will impact. Would they have if over sudden there are ten twenty hundreds of lease things flying down through the atmosphere of a planet. Would they reach surface with a burn not pumping given the film's hit the time But they're not going twenty percent speed of law. So i just wondered you know shooting these things off a planet fru we know might be occupied even if not boyer an advanced civilization. Would it have any impact anyway. Thanks very much bye. Thank you duncan he brings up an interesting point about Kind of invading another solar system and perhaps dropping a bundle on a on an occupied planet. Not something you want to do that spade a day of an object. That small would burn up but i suppose it depends on the planet that depends on the atmospheric conditions might not have an atmosphere at all and we just got plowing into it and knock. Someone's block off. I mean yeah. And you and i talked before about Sort of infecting other worlds and some of the things that are being done to try and alleviate that problem but here we are sending stuff off into the never never and hoping we miss certain things. Well yeah let's let me. Let me backtrack a bit to say what what exactly it is. We're talking about here. Don't contrite the the reserve a project it's not a mission it's a project called breakthrough star shot and it's a feasability study rather than an intent to actually do anything although you never know what might happen one day but the feasability studies about the possibility of sending exactly as as dunkin said tiny spacecraft weighing. Just a few grams just a few centimeters across equipped with pretty well. Nothing but a camera and a transmitter which are blown along by laser light so they've got some light sales and you accelerate them using high-powered lasers which don't exist yet to twenty percent of the speed of light and that means it takes you twenty ish years or so to get to the nearest system. Which is the alpha centauri. System proxima is the nearest star. We know that proxima has at least one planet possibly earth like it may even have more than that so it's a really interesting idea. The project and the other thing that don't convention was that the plan would be to launch these things in very large numbers thousands of them and he's blessed them all along with these high powered lasers now exactly as he says we have no idea of of the layout of the proxima centauri system and the odds are if you did this opposing it all happened. We blasted off ten thousand these things towards that star system. The odds are that most of them. I'm probably all of them with numbers like that. Would miss hitting anything because space is so big and the you know that paid if they are travelling at twenty percent of the speed of light. They're not going to be captured. Gravitationally by the star or planets. They're just going to keep on going so they'll head off into the wild blue yonder and probably go for a very long time a quite a know the bit like who coming through our solar system which came from somewhere else and flashed through and then keep on going. It will be very much like that. However to get to the nub of the matter supposing one did have a direct hit on the planet and what saves you is its. Mass is massive. So tiny that even at that speed and there's an atmosphere there it would flash into non-existence in in a split second it might reach the ground but that speed it would vaporize essentially anything solid it could be if that solid was somebody's head. It might not be all that impressive but the the the likelihood is would never hit anything. But it's really it's a really interesting conjecture we talk we. We're very familiar in the world of asteroid impact with what the effective asteroid impact. But they're going that they're only going it. Get a few tens of kilometers per second at most when you get to thousands and tens and tens of thousands of kilometers per second year in a different ballgame and but energy. the energy goes up because connecticut. Energy's half envy. Squared velocity squared so as soon as you get up to these hostilities. It's carrying much more energy but soon as it hit something solid because it's so small it's vaporize it. Would almost certainly vaporizer soon. Hit the atmosphere. Great question though. Lovely thing to to conjecture about to. I'm hopeful that this is a mission that gets the green light and they do it. I think even though the results in the information will be a long way down the track and probably beyond their lifetimes in terms of any feedback. Forty or whatever it is they. I just love to be able to say we are going to send a mission to another star system and and send back data. I think that's the next giant late business for it. Will it is. That's right it is a long way away. I i think what's interesting is what we're talking about the other the other day getting free samples from other star systems coming in like more if we can yeah mount space mission to go and collect something the next time. Something like that goes through then. We've we've got a treasure trove of information. We sure have yeah. Thank you for the question. Duncan and while we're talking about moore moore. It's in the news again. Because to my great disappointment it is not a space doogie. It's a space cowshed as it turns out they they think it's a sliver of pluto like planet that's been worn down by its travels and to end into just described it like a pace of soap and as you use the soap it just becomes that i think that described it as that annoying sliver year. And that's what you're saying. very nice. just a sliver of a piece of a planet. That's the latest news so only like few kilometers. Sorry a few meters across rather than being tens of meters which we thought before. And that's because they think it shiny a really interesting piece of work it's cast new light on ormeau amour seems to explain all properties that we saw. That might be drawing. A line. Dior dea. I think i'll still call it that just for fun. I was deadly serious before. But now it's going to be fun. Now let's move onto a bonus question. This one's got nothing at all to do with astronomy. So what is it a bad. This is andrea from worcester massachusetts. I've enjoyed listening to your show. And i often feel like in the background. I hear birds or a bird. Is it a pet. I guess i was just wondering could you introduce us to the third host of your podcast. Thanks well we do. Have gregory pick. Yeah the rooster. But i suspect. That's not what you're referring to. Fred and i both live in areas that have a vast number of birds. I don't have a pet bird. Used to used to have budgerigars when i was younger. And we still let them fly around the house and crap on everything. But i no longer. So there's no birds living in my house. What about yours. Fred know there is there. Aren't i mean there are the chokes the the rooster. Exactly as you've said gregory peck. There is a bird that i think where it actually rather than the other way round. This is a pure white peacock which took up residence some time ago and comes and goes. He's named bianco. He just kind of wondered around and he has a very unattractive call which is a kind of honk. So it's not that andres is talking about and you just mentioned bird call it bird poo minutes ago most most birds that nothing compared with the peacock you have treated as an obstruction in the road is monumental anyway this descending into different territory i think andrea is hearing the birds. I often record. I am doing now with the door open. We live fairly rural area even though it sydney and often birdsong comes through the door and some some australian birds have the most awful calls cockatoos. I think we've talked about a to screeching. Yeah they screech but a lot of them have got the most exquisite bird calls the most remarkable on is the butcher bird which sounds exactly like this whistling. It's an extra lie so week we had. We had four butch birds at work last week. And now we're doing that beautiful. I have one of the most extraordinary. Kohl's i've ever heard. It is very very very very beautiful. Yeah if you can get online and listen to the butcher birds they. You'll be amazed at the sounds. They make birds that. I have in my backyard. That makes beautiful. Sounds the little wrens. The blue wrens. I've got a couple of families of them. Because i've got my house surrounded by shrubbery and that's perfect for them because it gives them good cover from predators and just jump around the back yard and then with condescend the antastic. Yeah you know. I've become so good at doing the sound of a blue. I can hear them. And go up to the the hague stigma facing and make the sound and they come up to my face to say what this intruder is. They don't realize it's me a human being. I confuse the hell out of them. They must be very very miffed but one day i was doing it in the blue ribbon. The big later of the pack ruffled feathers as if decide. I'm going to get you whoever you are wherever you are. You're in my territory. Beautiful birds so little blue wrens. We get magpies here. They wobble beautifully. Pay wee's corollas cockatoos. Pink and greg galahs this creatures as well we have some beautiful birdlife around here as you to read indeed one. I just heard a few minutes ago. Here is one that you don't have their because coastal and that's whip bird just. Yeah that's exactly what it does. And the other bird that people say smart to listen to go scratching around the internet to listen to some of the bird life. We've been talking about the bell birds. They generally live in in the tops of mountains. But they just make these beautiful chimes. I suppose you'd call travel. And they're a tiny little thing so tiny and they make that amazing sound so in. Answer your question nut chalk it its place but you said you record with the door. When i'm on air at the radio station. I i go live with the front door of the station opened in the studio door open because i like to hear the sounds from outside not care. If they got away with democra- find out sometimes. I'll ask people horn because that just adds to the show. I don't understand this philosophy of sitting in a silent room. It just doesn't make any sense to me. But i think i'm in the minority when it comes to radio but yes thank you very much andrea for your your question. Yes you do. He rightly there. There are birds in the background quite often. While we record the podcast. You're listening to space nuts. Episode two hundred and forty five with andrew. Dunkley and fred watson space matz. Thanks for joining us on the space. And that's podcast. Andrew denton with fred watson ally to all our facebook followers especially those on the podcast group. The space astronomy science podcast group on facebook. It's a growing community. Lots of people get on there and talk to each other about what's happening in stormy and space science. They ask each other questions. Some people ask the questions they're rather than bringing to us. sometimes they do both. It's a it's a great place to go to just sort of get to talk to each other as space nuts followers and i'm sure some friendships have been struck during that process. So check it out. It's called the space and that's podcast grip on facebook. It's the listener generated facebook page. If you like there isn't official space nuts page ican also fall. I wanna follow both and can stay in touch with us that way. We post a lot of material as it happens so you can always be up to date and you can also find sign up to astronomy news later on the on the website space. That's podcast dot com. Now let's get back into the questions and this one comes from michael. I think hi there. This is michael from oregon in the united states mothers australian. So what's up y'all Just wanted to ask a question You probably already answered this question but So when the the earth moves at a thousand miles per hour and the i s. s travels at a much faster rate. I'm just curious how that works. How just continually go so fast and why how that happens Love your love your podcast. You guys are awesome Have a good day. Thanks thank you michael. I pick the accent knew. He was in ozzy straight up now. Let's teacher australian 'isms markle so that you feel more at home and best to your mother. Iss yeah the speed of of all we know about the speed of getting into orbit there are required to get out of the gravitational pull of earth. And you don't really get out of it. You just staife fast enough not to fall back into it. But the spread of all orbit. That's that's an interesting question because you do have to be going lickety-split to to move around the planet. Yes so michael got to his he he postulated earth moves at one thousand miles per hour. But actually it doesn't. It's much higher than that and so and we normally think of it. In kilometers per second that earth moves around the sun at thirty kilometers per second it translates to almost seventy thousand miles per hour did the calculation edges to put it in those units. So that's the first thing. The earth is moving very fast so the international space station is traveling much more slowly than that. It's about nearly eight kilometers per second which is roughly eighteen thousand miles per hour. So it's all about exactly is andrew has just said it's all about gravity so the earth is gravitationally bound to the sun. It's performing this fine balance between its motion and the gravitational pull of the sun. The motion around in orbit is what stops it falling into the some likewise. The international space station is doing the same thing but around the earth but more slowly. So if you had something traveling thirty thousand at thirty kilometers per second the speed of the earth if you had something traveling at that speed it would not be in orbit around the earth. It'd be heading away from a higher than the escape velocity which is eleven kilometers per second so it does all work well. Every time you've got some body in space it has gravity and it can hold things to it either sitting on the surface as we do or in orbit moving around it simple. I thought you were about to say something. Why stop talking now. I never say anything for it. You know nobody would never do anything like this strong so anyway hope that helps hearty among yes indeed. Thanks mike appreciate the question. Let's move on now. This question comes into parts. There was a technical problem with the recording of this question from misty west in western pennsylvania. Another misty also reacted to a post. We put on the space and that's put gas group on facebook about the mass plague here. There's a famous photo. That's doing the rounds on the internet. If somebody who's scooped about two hundred or three hundred mice out of the swimming pool and took a photo of the of the catch yes. That's quite commonplace. I can tell you some horrifying stories of what's been happening around airway mistaken everybody else. If you're interested one family that my wife served in shop last week said they had to move out of their house on a property at sort of double on a farm because there are being woken not by the mice nibbling their fingers and toes or a fine so they. They're going to wait it out in town in a flat. We caught two mice in the radio station. The other day fred and we caught them in live traps so they didn't get knicks snapped. Funny thing is walked into the studio and a soul one mass in this cage. Because it's a it's a one way cage. Can't get at once i get in. They enjoy christmas cake. As it turns it when i walked out of the studio and then went back in there. Were too so what's transpired since then is we. Were a bit slow to deal with them. And one decided. I'm gonna murder the other one and eight it and that's what happened. It's not fun. it's not fun. Another friend of mine who is living on a properties catching two hundred day. He's got all sorts of traps around his house. He's trying different models to see what works best. The one that he finds works best is a bottle shoved into a tub with a bite at the tip of the neck of the bottle and what they do is they walk out over the bottle and when they get to the thin part they fall off into the bucket. He's two hundred and not doing that. It's just incredible but yes misdeeds reacted to that post on the space podcast group because we talked about the mass plague last week and decided that we should give you an example of what's going on but to miss this question. Please sit back. Relax go and make a cup of tea or coffee because this is gonna take a while. I enter and fred. This is misty west from rural western pennsylvania. I love your show. And i wanted to. I really enjoy the personal side of some of the episodes like caring about the local town names in history. The cool birds. We hear in the background fred's cats when the crazy plagues that you keep in australia. I have two questions that they don't seem related. But they do have to do with the biotic evolution of the universe and all the discussion about the universe expanding has been thinking that we're very lucky to be alive. Oh we are so far. Future civilizations nazi other galaxies the way we can and will the they only see their own local galaxy or maybe just a few gravitationally bound galaxies to their. Will the universe in for that happens and could far. Previous civilizations observe more galaxies in may be less black hole or neutron stars or planetary systems or other middle aged universe wonders So that's all one question. My second question is that that made me wonder a lot about how our civilization of all to perceive the world around us and it seems like we observe everything is a wave function. Eclipsing wave function or something like that and i know we've discovered a lot by greatly expanding detectors of electromagnetic spectrum spectrum but so it detects all kinds of things we can't even see but are we looking for other things. That aren't anywhere on the spectrum. like not a wave. i tried reading about particle detectors. And it doesn't it does seem like the ways that we have to measure. Things involve looking for a wave visit possible. There are things in the universe as dark matter. Dark energy don't have a wave function. I hope this isn't just a fundamental question. That i completely missed in high school but i hope seen the articles about it anywhere. At least once i can understand Thanks a lot of your podcast and learning about the universe never gets old. Thanks a lot. Bye-bye very true. Thank you may see what high school you went to. But they never ask me questions like that. Pretty dumb really but i would have loved to have gone to a high school that asks those deepen dock and meaningful questions about life. The universe and everything. Now where do you wanna start fred. Biotic evolution what future civilizations. We'll see compared to what we can say now Indeed that's a good place to start and the best to use the term that i liked very much the middle aged universe wonders. Because i guess we are in the middle aged universe. It's thirty point eight billion years old. That means there have been time has been time for stars to form galaxies to form planets to form and the elements to come into existence. That come in the interior of stars. And sometimes they're explosions. Those elements that make our world to rich place and impact which allow life to to be created. Because they're certainly not not the raw materials of life at the beginning of the universe. However it's it future is a little bit on the bleak side because the moment we us our best understanding the expansion of the universe is accelerating due to this mysterious stuff called dark energy and so as the universe accelerates the time will come exactly as misty postulates that you will only st- be able to see down the track and this is a long long way. We're talking tens of billions of years but down the track. You will only be able to see the galaxies in your immediate neighborhood and for us that means us and andromeda more or less probably the training given galaxy as well and a few dwarf galaxies in other words what we call the local group because everything else. The universe is expanded and carried it so far away that the light will never reach is coming from those other galaxies so it gets to be a rather lonely place and it may well be that if the worst civilizations that phase in the universe they they really might not be able to see all that much in the in the sky that will see the stars of their own galaxy but really nothing beyond when when we think of what we can see by looking through the into the depths of the universe. We see this richness of galaxies and quasars and other things and makes for an extraordinary really an extraordinary phenomenon. Put it that way. I do apologize. There's there's a helicopter taking off not very far from here. I think i know who it belongs to because this might not mean anybody anything to anybody outside australia. But dick smith lives across the road from us. Andrew does he yes. The helicopter very well-known to. I think that's leaving. I don't know what the idea was. He made his fortune in dixon. Self made multimillionaire mighties fortune in electronics. Sold off his franchise and now he's trying to do philanthropic work about buying australian products and keeping the money it's cetera et cetera as ice quite a big voice in in the media these days. Yeah as always has been really has a noisy helicopter hope. It didn't interfere too much with the audio. They're gone now anyway. That's slightly off track but yes so. It's remarkable that we are where we are and when we are you know. They're all kinds of things that you can draw from this. I not optimistic about finding intelligent life anywhere else in the universe. Because of various realities in terms of the way we seem to revolved and so in some ways. Perhaps we are a product till the middle aged wonderful universe really interesting thoughts which don't have time to talk about now. Let's go on to the second bit about the about way functions. And i think you know just going to the point that i think misty talks about wave functions and things about in the context of dark matter and dark energy. And it's true that well let's take dark matter. I we believe it. Some kind of subatomic particle all the subtopic particles we know about existed this quantum world where it's a combination of a particle or wave or wave very strange notion which means everything has it'll wave function which gives it this probability that it can be in different places at the same time it seems very likely that whatever it is dark matter will behave the same way so we might have Way functions still possible. I think that data could need other dimensions in which to exist and that opens a whole other can of worms but yeah we might have wave functions that cross dimensions. That will be an extraordinary thing. Dark energy the same if it turns out that dark energy is carried by subatomic particle in the same way as we think. Gravity is even though we haven't got quantum theory of gravity that that would have a way function but that's straying into territory. That i really know nothing about it. All would like to read up on it. But i'm not surprised misty that you've not bill to find anything written about this because these are quite a isotopic concept but good thinking. It's very interesting stuff. And the more time goes on the more we learn especially when we discover what dark matter is. I think that will be a big turning. Point in our understanding of some of these really date realities. What a place to the podcast. In these biggest questions that law possibly ask yes. She brings up one very good point. There are probably lots of things at their yet to be discovered things. We have no way of detecting absolutely definitely yes to that And and we're starting to say that in my lifetime. How much of they discovered that we didn't know existed back in the sixties and there will be more it will definitely be and we will. We will certainly becaming area to the ground in regard to that. Now one more thing on thank you misty for your question one more thing just before we finish fred. We have a correction that needs to be to be broadcast This one comes from mary jo. Hi my name's mary jo. I'm coming from tucson arizona. I very much enjoy your program. But in the march tenth program you were talking about chemicals from asteroids and even given our accent differences. You murdered owes cyrus rex long. Oh which is a product of the astronomy department at the university of arizona tucson so yea s. Thanks for everything you do thank you mary. Jo thank you for the correction. When we first started talking about it. I did say a cirrus wrecks and i self corrected because fred set at another wino- thought the astute fred watson would be getting this right some putting it on you for it. Look what we were calling it a series but yes thank you very much. Mary jo right very well taken. I actually i should. We should put out a hello to everybody. If we are mispronouncing word please let us know because we very much like to know and especially when we've got such an international audience. And may. I just started coming as well. We've had a fairly united states emphasis on our questions from this episode. But that doesn't mean that we're not listening to other ones and hopefully soon will be able to cover questions from sweden orcas centers more questions from other countries in europe and everywhere else. Were people. Listen to the space. And that's podcast. We're not just focusing on the us audience. We love everybody. So thank you for all your questions. Keep coming indeed. yes thank you. And if you'd like to send his questions do it on a website space nuts. Podcast dot com. You can send it as text question or you can record it. If you've got a device with a microphone through the tab on our on our page and it's as easy as pressing the button and saying hi. I'm fred from sydney. i want to know everything So simple as that but yes. Thank you very much to everyone. Who contributed today even the toughest riley and michael from oregon. Nas to hear from you. Thank you fred. There's always great great to catch up catch again. That sounds good thanks. Andrew look forward to that and all the best. Take care of those mice and chat for those floodwaters. Yes india and for me and thank you for joining us yet again. On another episode of the space nuts podcast. We'll see again real soon. bye bye. Eighties available at apple. Podcasts google podcasts. Spotify radio favorite podcast. You can also stream on demand at god stuff. This is being another quality podcast. 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