Have We Got the Universal Model Wrong?


I love this podcast. Support this show through the acoss supportively. 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. Ignition sequence Nuts three to four pack as what it feels. Good hello once again. Thanks for joining us on the space. And that's podcast. My name's andrew daca your host and with me always well actually. He's not there now. Professor fred watson lodge just introducing you when you walked away is all well series day today. You don you. Then he knew it. Yes. that's right the sixtieth. That's absolutely right. yes See how professional we don today mani malai. He because the headphones and that's kind of salem. Hi andrew hi. i'm good. How are you somebody actually off the other day if we could get you on the podcast again. Because they they they like the dark skies project and everything you do and i said well this was misty west ever in the united states and i said well actually you know we should get her on again so there she is. Hello hello hello everybody. Happy dax skyway last dot skyway. Oh okay a huge wake. Isn't it yeah. And of course yuri's day refers to eureka garen because today's the anniversary. It is the twelfth of april that we're recording this that he made his epic journey into spicy was up there for. What was it one hundred eight minutes or something all. Yeah a lot. Less light pollution from spain to say yes. I can imagine. Leave you thanks. Thanks bonnie thank you so after that rather unusual start we introduce professor fred. What's an astronomer. Telo him though we also ripa. It's an absolute refund. I'm glad she. I'm glad money came in and reminded me of that because i did. I did talk about it on my radio. Show this morning about uruguay gardens. Epic flight and yes a in sixty one hundred sixty one and you know that was one of the things that i was still at school then and thinking what should i do with my life. I know there was any was this. Is that there was an eclipse in february. And i thought yeah. I think this is going to be my career but when you went into space that just clinched it and it kind of was a wakeup call for the united states because that would toying with the idea of space travel but having the russians get up there at such a tense time between the two countries kind of went. Whoa wait a minute. We've got to do something about this. It all began dis. And it's such a sad into incredible achievement when when he died too. You would think something is dangerous. Going into orbit for the first time would probably put you on the brink of some untimely death but it all went awry on the grand basically did he did die in crash. I think it was an aircraft on it was it was a very. I think they've done an inquest. That is since suggested that his death was attributed to turbulence from another aircraft. So that's the way. I read it. Yeah he will never be forgotten for what he achieved seventy years ago. So it's yuri's day today. The twelfth of april now fred after that quite a straight down the line beginning to the program episode two hundred and forty eight. We're going to just have a quick word about ingenuity because that's just about the happen and my will have happened by the time you hear this. We're also going to analyze some physics because it's possible. We've got the universal model wrong possible some new findings about the aurora jupiter and some audience. Questions from richard. In brisbane and tom toronto canadia. They hide it when i say that that. Let's talk about ingenuity again. We've been talking about it every week for the last few weeks. But that's because it's starting to really get close to this This impending launch of a helicopter on mars and hopefully hopefully by the time this Podcast is out there in the eighth that it will have happened in being successful. Yeah we hope to. The news we have as of today is a test. I think a couple of days ago to test fly. The rotor was aborted by the the helicopters on board computer. Which i don't like it. It says they were trying to rev up their. These rotors go around. Two thousand four hundred rpm can bite the martian the thin martian atmosphere and it was while that was happening that this computer detected some kind of issue which was not necessarily a problem. But i think there's something called a watchdog timer shut the thing down because of a potential problem and so presumably they'll be lots and lots of lots and lots of post-mortems about that. Find out what it was but as far as we know the first light is now resheduled to wednesday this week. Which means that. Donald probably be thursday time here in australia. And so if you're listening to this and it's happened that's fantastic and the hope. The news is good will report on it next week. Probably yes yes indeed. We've had to record early this week because of an impending travels so week we couldn't white until the actual event before we could record the. Hopefully everything went swimmingly. If something goes wrong. They can't ditch on mars because there's nothing to land in waters goodson but it's fingers crossed for for ingenuity his inaugural flight which this got so many people excited. It's getting a lot of chatter across social media on some of the astronomical and space facebook pages and instagram pages. And so on and the news you put ingenuity india search engine and the news button. This list enlists long list of stories so it is quite an astonishing of ingenuity if they pull it off and i'm very confident. They will very hopeful right. Let's move on to our next story fred. And this this is a about some experiments that have been done some dating back some decade and a half in regard to a sub subatomic particle called immune. And this sort of tells the story of the why this particular particle is behaving which has got a few people scratching their heads. Because it's not doing what they thought it should do. And that's led to some speculation that we might have the model of the universe wrong and they've just released some new datta as at this month. The seventh of april that puts a little bit more white behind what might be happening and whether or not we have got the universal model wrong. What what's your take on this following this story. Yeah that's right. So the the bottom line is that. For some time there are two laboratories involved. Here one is the the let me get this right brookhaven national robot laboratory and fifteen years ago. They basically discovered something odd about murals. Excuse me now. One of the suite of hisashi seventeen subatomic particles. If you if you don't count the antimatter particles. It goes up quite a bit. Put them as well. But of course there are particles with opposite electrical charge to the normal ones so the seventeen particles when you include the higgs bozon hunter one of those that suite of fundamental particles. Excuse me there. A bit like electrons but different they are what called leptons that puts them in a category which is different from the quarks which i think a bigger if my understanding is right but the mu on are very important in our understanding of them is fairly complete they come in to the atmosphere as cosmic rays. That's sort of the story started. You know sixty seventy years ago probably more years ago so they were behaving in a strange way an and the the issue is actually to do with the way they behave. Behave in magnetic fields. The way they move and it's all about spin and things of that sort have lost the page. I was looking at all this where it is on my screen. So i'm i'm winging this but the real issue now is that fermilab which is a high energy laboratory in the united states have effectively confirmed that original measurement that there is something wrong with the with our understanding of the. You know the way the meal to behave. What why is that important. Just start because if you if you look at what we call the standard model which has seventeen particles and the charge and magnetic field will very very very well understood as is strengthened an orientation of the magnetic field which is something called the magnetic moment until all those all of those things well understood but this new behavior is confounding. That and this is why people do particle physics experiments andrew. Because what we're really looking for is holes in the standard model things that don't fit because we know from observations principally of the universe the astronomy stuff which is. Why are we talking about this. We know that there are things that we simply don't understand dark matter dark energy being the to perhaps the two biggest dark matter is some kind of subatomic particle. We believe whose identity is completely unknown. Theories called super symmetry a few years ago. That suggested that these were particles that fit into this super symmetric framework. Axioms and neutrally knows where the two things that were being suggested. But there's no evidence that they exist until you crack the standard model and find gaps. Where new physics could creep in. You can't in vote these wild theoretical ideas because that was all they are so. That's why it was exciting. And last week there was a news release from fermilab that said they've confirmed basically confirmed the brookhaven national laboratory result. There is something that we don't understand and that gets everybody excited the standard model. Is you know what what what we're really trying to pull two pieces. Innocent of course when when physicists particle physicists get it goes something like gee look at that for larry. That's pretty you probably now the gets thrown. Get more excited. Actually because maybe sometimes telescope use the same joke about mater the other day. but it's recyclable. Say gosh i'd at a golf a lot too. Yeah so that's the exciting. I have to say on my reading of this. I thought yeah good on this fantastic and so the plan is to do more experiments however on i think it was yesterday or the day before tentative april year over the weekend essentially a new paper was published. And i'm not reading that paper much reading from the compensation article that goes with it. This is by a group of theoretical physicists. Now they're the ones who build the mathematical framework within which these things operate and they have essentially looked the theory again to see whether that's right. The put yes. So the author of that is a gentleman called zoltan four-door at penn state university and he put He put it very very nicely in his conversation article when the results of an experiment don much predictions made by the best theory of the day. Something is off fifteen years ago. Physicists brookhaven national laboratory discovered something perplexing nuance a type of subatomic particle. Were moving in unexpected ways. That didn't match. Theoretical predictions was the theory. Wrong was experiment off or tantalizingly. Was this evidence of new physics. And so what they've done while i'll read on that because he puts it in a nutshell. Physicists have been trying to sell this mystery. Ever since one group from fermilab tackle the experimental side and on the seventh of april twenty twenty one released results confirming original measurements. But my colleagues. And i took a different approach and i'll read on. I am a theoretical physicist and the spokesperson one of two coordinators of the budapest marseille book. Brutal collaboration this is a large scale collaboration of physicists who have been trying to see if the older theoretical prediction was incorrect and we used a new method to calculate how you interact with magnetic fields. That's a long quote from the conversation article but absolutely sums it up. What they've done is said. Well wait a minute let okay. The expert doesn't agree with the theory. And you've checked experiment by bringing grand new thermal results to the table. What about the theory is the theory absolutely watertight. And so they. This group have read revamped. The theory they've looked at it again and what they say is my teams. Theoretical prediction is different from the original theory and matches both the old experimental evidence and the new fermilab data if our calculation is correct it resolves the discrepancy between theory and experiment. It would suggest that there is not an undiscovered force of nature. So there's a real hot a real cold water pipe this have to say but you know this is what you've got to do when you're probing really what you might call the final secrets of the universe higher dimensions all the things that we wonder if we're seeing signs with the dark matter when you're doing all that you've just got to be sure that everything is correct and certainly this group believed that the theory the previous theory was wrong and their new theory matches the results. That are getting so disappears. I'm sure that there will be much debate in physics world about this and it's one of these things that will not resolved easily. They'll be people taking sides on it and arguing the toss. Meanwhile more experiment will be done. And maybe the results will be cowed dot. Billy if it's the theories this wrong that's not going to get you anywhere. So we're in a kind of stalemate position andrew. I think it's very interesting. It's a really exciting piece of physics but it might not mean yet that we can put our hands on our hearts and say we know what dark matter is because we don't so what they suggest what near the theories were suggesting was that nuance were acting inappropriately or just Doing things that didn't expect but now a new paper suggests hang on a minute. They're actually doing what they're supposed to do. Exactly ruin. yeah all right. Well that throws up my theory. That golf balls made of muanza must be some of the some of the salvator particle. We know about you. Well because my golf balls act inappropriately quite often but they do have in common moons travel at almost the speed of light believe yours do as well as gulf. I barely make one hundred miles an hour. Which is very sad. Very sad indeed. Now i think they'll probably be more on this. Because it's it's one of those pioneering areas of science and astronomy and physics. And they're just trying to figure out and of course at the top of the tree at the moment dark matter and energy and we sonali scratching the service on surface on figuring all this out your listening to and watching the space nats podcast episode two hundred and forty eight with the great fred watson and my good self andrew simply space nuts. Thanks for joining us on the space. And that's podcast. andrew. Dunkley here. Fred watson and thank you to our patrons we've had a few more sign up and we really appreciate your support. You can become a patron through patriarch dot com through super cast or you can make donation through pay pal as we've said many times it's voluntary. You do not have to do it if you have to listen and carry on. That's not a problem or no skin off. Air knows but if you do want to put a few dollars into the cape his going that's entirely up to you but it would be greatly appreciated. We're ultimately iming to make it Fully listener supported so the more patrons we can sign up The close to that targets were jump on our website space and that's podcast dot com and click on the subscribe button for more information. Okay fred. let's talk about jupiter. We haven't spoken about jupiter in a little while. I don't think it looks like they've made some interesting discoveries or a discovery about it's a rural displays. Now we know what they are. The aurorae very very popular tourist attraction. In fact you have many times taken people onto us to see. The aurora borealis up in the northern hemisphere of a raw aurora astrologers dan l. y. Which is harder to say because of the antarctic region. It's a bit more difficult to to get to but down as well. They've made some new discoveries have new insights into what's happening around jupiter. Yeah and this is a story in a way that parallels what we've just been talking about andrew because some we've been talking about magnetic fields of muren's which are subatomic particles now we're talking about the magnetic field of the biggest planet in the solar system. So it's the same topic but going from one side to another so the thing that has been puzzling about jupiter's aurorae is that unlike the earth the aurora occur over a broad area of jupiter's polar caps so let me just pick that a bit to use in modern term which i don't like really let me explain it a bit dogs. Just walk past the window here. Somebody's dog you know. We live next door to know what's going to happen. The probably saw the scalpel and bolted. Maybe on earth the story occur in what's called the auroral circle which really the auroral oval is. Actually what is called. Which explains it. All they don't happen at the magnetic pole itself there they happen in a ring around the magnetic pole centered on the magnetic pole. That's where the aurora her the strongest. and the. it's a sort of naive explanation but this is kind of the case. The reason for that is to do with the magnetic field lines of the us magnetic field. And i mean. We're we're all familiar with what happens to i in filings bah magnet. You put the bag down in the filings trace out that magnetic field lines normally run from the north pole round the outside and come back into the south pole and they are called closed field lines because they're closed they they end up both ends of them on the magnet. Same with the earth but there are what is called open field lines as well which felines it just head off into space and you can sort of imagine that that will be the case and so the open field lines of the ones inside the auroral circle until that's why you don't see rory there because the subatomic particles from the sun spiraling down like they do in the in the auroral oval region and lighting up the atmosphere by exciting the atoms of atmosphere. So that's why it's an auroral oval because of where the field lines actually going to the earth now. Jupiter is different because apparently on jupiter. You get a rory within the whole of the polar cap. It's not just within that auroral circle and this is until now has been the puzzle and there is some new research which seems to shed light on it and it comes from a certain number of institutions including the university of alaska fairbanks geophysical institute and the university of hong kong. A number of collaborations actually thirteen researchers. I think of made this discovery about the aurora. And once again it it depends on theoretical models. We've talked a lot about models today. But the theory is the rory only occupy this zone where the magnetic field lines actually close up and disappear into the and not elsewhere but the new theory these scientists have propounded is essentially one that says the rory can can actually occur elsewhere. They can occur in. Open field lines so Let me let me once again. Read from a much. This is a this is not written by these treaties. So i can read it legitimately. He comes from university of alaska fairbanks. It is press release and it says. Jupiter has a polar cap in which the aurora dazzles but has puzzled scientists. The problem is that researchers were so earth centric in their thinking about jupiter because what they have learned about the soda magnetic field so what they've done is used computer modeling to help their research revealed a largely closed polar region that means where the field lines at going back into jupiter with a small crescent shaped area of open flux. That means where the field lines are going out into. Space accounting for only about nine percent of the polar region the rest was active with aurora signifying closed magnetic field lines but jupiter turns out possesses a mix of open and closed field lines in the pool. Caps and dr delaware made this comment. There was no model or no understanding to explain how you can have a cresent of open. Flux like this simulation is producing. He said it just never even entered my mind. Don't think anybody in the community could have imagined this solution yet. The simulation has produced it to me. This is a major paradigm shift for the way that we understand my latest fears. That's the the the magnetic region around planets it reveal it raises many questions about how the solar wind interact with jupiter's magnetosphere and influences the dynamics so basically you know you've got a situation quite different from the earth and what they're putting that down to is possibly the rapidity of jupiter's rotation because jupiter goes around once every ten hours and you compared with our once in twenty four hours plus the fact that you've got this enormous magnetic field around jupiter so and very very large might need us and so what. They're suggesting is that. They reduce the impact of the solar wind. And it means that perhaps the magnetic field lines are more likely to be closed up on jupiter. it's there is the other. There's another thing about jupiter though that's weird and we know that this comes about because of spacecraft measurements budge jupiter's moon eeo or i o which is the innermost moon highly volcanically active. It's kind of electrically linked to jupiter. Because you can see. A transfer of material between along the magnetic field lines from mayo to jupiter itself in fact to the polar cap. So this all kinds of complexities there. But at least there is something that is better understood. Because of this theoretical model jupiter's magnetosphere a talk about the magnetic field of jupiter and obviously had trying to think of jupiter the way we think of earth was probably always going to run it runs into a brick wall because very very different planets is jupiter's magnetic field generated different way to that of earth. We think it's probably the same. But you're absolutely right to focus on that. Because we don't know what the middle of jupiter i mean. The earth's magnetic field is generated by the iron coal and that seems to be likely the something like that will be the middle of jupiter. But it might not be on. Some people postulate that. Jupiter has a core of metallic hydrogen. Work that one out this turn into a metal which would become ducting so that might also generate the magnetic field but honestly we don't know juneau. The juneau spacecraft which is still active around jupiter one of its tasks is actually probing the innermost secrets of jupiter in terms of its core. If it has. It has a solid core. We don't even know that it hasn't summit cove but it seems likely given the this magnetic field you've got that's got to come from somewhere so we might know more juneau's mission is finished. I mean there are probably papers that are coming out of this now. that haven't really been keeping up with but it's prob- probably our best assistance to understanding what's going on with jupiter juno spacecraft. Yes indeed all right. Well it's taken a while but we've suddenly decided we need to treat jupiter like something that it's not akin to earth which makes sense. I'm aware it's a guest. Giant is closely related second cousins twice removed but made what it has in common use was made from the same cloud of dust. So kinda know what it's made of you know how that's distributed within within yeah lies but some fascinating findings. This is space. And that's the podcast about space space science astronomy and all sorts of other stuff. Thanks for joining us on episode two hundred and forty eight more space. This is space nuts episode. Two hundred and forty eight with andrew. Dunkley and fred watson for the other day somebody pointed out that for two weeks in a row. We both wore pink shirts we did. Did we do it on purpose. No it was a complete accident. I notice today. We're both wearing navy blue. We are so of course if you follow us on youtube. You would be aware that 'cause you can watch us. I don't know why you'd want to see are faces. My wife doesn't want to see my face most days but look thank you youtube followers all one point six five thousand of you and you know if you know anybody else who wants to follow us on youtube. Let them know because the numbers ever-growing and we are just about fred. This is really exciting news. We just did that to crack a million downloads of the podcast. Slow knew that. Come as a surprise to you as at las. Can't we down. We'd had nine hundred eighty four thousand downloads so probably by the end of the month or into my we'll probably crack the million. Thank you to everyone who's spent supporting the podcast and for listening for as long as you have and many have been listening for a long time. Some from the very beginning some from about episodes seventy and some started today. And if you are one of those welcome hope you stick around and enjoy the podcast. Whatever platform you're listening on whether it's apple podcasts. Google podcasts teacher. There's a long list of them. Whatever your favorite platform is you'll probably find us and it's time to do some questions fred. So let's get straight into it. And we start with richard in brisbane. Hi fred and andrew. Richard here from brisbane has had to coincidence. Because that's where. I thought he was from love. The show love the content love. The dead jokes at andrew seems to have an endless supply of. It's very sad true. My questions are in regard to dwarf galaxies question one. Is there a common type of galactic centre for dwarf galaxies. Imagine they have some sort of central massive object but is it a supermassive black hole or a soul mass black hole quasar something else entirely or nothing at all and question to when a dwarf galaxy merges with another galaxy such as the milky way. What happens to the central massive object. I assume it's eventually absorbed by the supermassive black hole of the logic. Alexey and if that so does it separate from the dwarf galaxies remnants stars or do they get sucked into a question two and a half and to this what happens when two dwarf galaxies merge. Thanks for doing the job. You do guys. Please keep it up where we were about to stop. But i'm just because of you richard. Let's start with. Is there a common type of galactic set of dwarf galaxies. Yeah it's a really interesting question and that probably is and so. I did a bit of research on this question. Because i didn't really know and there is some work that was published last year actually rather more than a year ago which is actually comes from montana state university and other institutions and the interesting aspect of this is under several of the of the questions in the parts of richard's question because what this group found was massive black holes in thirteen dwarf galaxies. Excuse me bay department. They are now among the smallest galaxies known to host such massive black holes so this is a new insight into our understanding of dwarf galaxies. Because i think the was until relatively recently the dwarf galaxy would not have a supermassive black hole attack center. And so that you when you look pictures of dwarf galaxies. They're pretty ragbag looking things. You know the not terribly well. They often don't have spiral arms. Although summed up do the the to modulate clouds the doorway our own galaxy in particular the large magic cloud. Which you and. I see in our skies you particularly because you live in a fairly dark region of the state where you can see them. In the gilani plowed the large cloud just stops of spiral arms got a little bit of spiral structure and it. Kind of bar across the middle joining them up. That's a characteristic of much larger galaxy. But it's only dwarf and probably smaller than it started out as well because it's having it's certainly it's got is being removed by the gravity of the milky way something called the module and extremists streaming. Gus off cloudy seat in radio radio telescopes so this result that came out last year is really interesting because it does highlight that these dwarf galaxies do have black holes at their center hand. Some of them are what we call intermediate mask lab black holes. You know the ones that seem to have gone walkabout. The way we the selma's black holes. The supermassive black holes these are intermediate so to come down to just a few of the results. They spotted thirteen massive black holes in dwarf galaxies located within a billion light years of of our own galaxy so they're relatively nearby which enough to be because they're fainter than the giant galaxies that we normally looking at all of the thirteen. Galaxies are only hundred of the massive our own milky way galaxy or smaller so that hundred times smaller than the milky way right but they've got massive but they've got black holes that makes them among the smallest galaxies known to host massive black holes. And in fact this work was announced last year. The beginning of twenty twenty the american astronaut michael society had. They have an annual meeting every january right at the beginning of january. It was in honolulu last year. Sadly i couldn't make it mainly because it was in and scandinavia watching there but anyway. That's where this result was published. But here's the crush andrew. The the black kohl's about four hundred thousand times the mass of the sun so that is right in the middle of the intermediate black hole range. It's been on the big side getting towards not far off a million there but it's yes the really are intermediate mass black holes. But there's another punchline to this which i think he's quite extraordinary. These black holes were actively eating material around them. But in half of the galaxy's the black holes weren't at the middle. There were kind of wondering around the galaxy. So that's rather unexpected. You would expect that the massive black hole or a supermassive black hole in the middle of the galaxy is going to be plumped right in the middle because it's where the gravitational center of that object is but in these dwarf galaxies. That's not the case. And i suppose that suggests that the may be the dwarf. Galaxies might be easily disturbed by bigger galaxies so their structure might have been kind of pulled out of out of kilter that makes sense. Yeah the there's a couple of quotes from from the authors of this work one is. This work has taught us that. We must broaden our searches for massive black holes in dwarf galaxies beyond their centers to get a more complete understanding of the population learn. What mechanisms helped form the first magnetic sorry massive black holes in the early universe and there is another quote we hope by studying them and their galaxies will give us insights into how similar black holes in nearly universe for formed and then grew through galactic mergers over billions of years producing the supermassive black holes. We see in larger galaxies today with masses of many millions or billions of times that of the sun so that probably answers to a certain degree the question about what happens when dwarf galaxies merge the the black holes would merge to very probably. That's right the only found one black hole in each of these galaxies if they've found to maybe that would be some evidence for incomplete merger if i could put it that way because i think normally when galaxies merged the black holes merge to there is there is a. There's one interesting aspect of this that we are still at school authorities. Quite an old way of thinking is not agreed upon by everybody but the globular clusters in our own galaxy. Clusters really dense star. Clusters the tube brightest of biggest during the southern hemisphere again. She's well reason for putting telescopes down here because centauri and forty seven to connie the two biggest of these objects in our galaxy and some astronomers thing that what you're seeing globular cluster is the strip down core of a dwarf galaxy. That's how all outer stars pulled off by the gravitation of the milky way but the core of the galaxies is so gravitationally compact that it resists. The what we call the tidal effects of the milky way than stays intact. That actually makes a of sense particularly because there have been one or two what you might call posey. So-called them intermediate black hole candidates discovered an side globular clusters we think there are some of classes. How black holes in which you know highlights the possibility that maybe these are the final remains of some galaxies that got too close to the milky way so basically everything riches asked is possible to sounds great. Sounds like all the answers are yes including question tune which is what happens to dwarf galaxies merge. Their black holes probably merged to okay. What about the quiz our theory that he came up so quasars slightly different category and a kind of extinct now because their product of the early universe where you had the supermassive black holes within galaxies really actively consuming the material around them and they're so active that they're very powerful emitters of radio waves and visible light in fact and so the the quieter regime has gone but maybe i mean scientists wonder if all galaxies go through a craze phase early in their lives. That may not extend to dwarf galaxies. Because you need a pretty big supermassive black hole to really kick off this process and get the kind of activity that you get with a quasar. They richard so the answers to your questions. I yes yes perhaps probably not. And maybe but not necessarily not really. Thanks for your question. Richard and things are going well in sunny brisbane. I'm actually going up to queensland lighter this year we got to go to a wedding so hopefully all will be. Well come august and all remember to take my my high favor medication. Last time we went up there for a wedding. We went in august. And i thought that's only august. She'll be right still win. No guard got me good to off but yeah thanks again richard. Now move onto a question or two from tom in toronto canada. Hello fred andrew. I'm a subscriber and admire if your podcast since about episode seventy coincidentally. I have two questions for professor watson. It's a love this. Your wikipedia page mentions few musical compositions your a pot of had. Is the cosmos inspire your music and does music inspire any thoughts or ideas you might have in your astronomical research and then a really serious question could black holes be safely used in gravity. Assist greetings from snowy. Toronto was snowy new south. Wales victoria and tasmania this week though as we in the northern southern hemisphere go through seasonal changes were all sort of experiencing the same thing at the moment but yes. You'll music fred. He's interested in your music well where to start. So i think say android grew up in a musical family and dad was. My dad was a swing but he played in a swing band. Indeed my brother still does. They were both drummers. My brother's still is hold that against them. He doesn't beyond he gets older job jokes. He doesn't get many gigs. These days for obvious reasons but so there was always music. But it wasn't just swing museum. I mean this is back in the forties. When i was a little one classical music was there as well. And that's what really got me hooked. I like pop music but classical music is something that has been a major part of my life throughout my whole life and to be honest andrew. I'm really glad about that. Because he often provide you with a way of getting away from the from the world. It's a really solid thing to be able to listen to a piece of music that you know is going to be your happy place. Whether it's beethoven sibelius bribes whoever is all great stuff so steppenwolf steppenwolf. Yeah i can do that as well. Okay yeah because i've got fairly broad musical tastes and in the sixties heavily into beatles stones. Y'all all the stuff that was going on then but the other. that's the other side of it so move. Classical music is not entirely confined to listening. And i'll explain that in a second but mostly because they don't play an orchestral instrument for example in an orchestra played violin. Something however i did learn both piano guitar. And in the in the folk era in the sixties and seventies. I did a lot of played in clubs all over. England and scotland hung out with the likes of gerry. Rafferty and billy connolly and people like that who are coming musicians at the time and still play occasionally but not in any sense. The word meaning to i thought i was going to become a professional musician quite it because there wasn't actually look on that good. Never the guy who played with was he's still professional in scotland. Kenny brill of a band called bradford and east fife ready mix concrete company anyway so so the science comes into that because for the last fifty years of written death science songs which perform at signs in the pump and things of that sort but the classical in some ways is more related to the astronomy. Because i got very friendly with because through his work listening to his work on the radio with an australian composer by the ross edwards. Ross is one of australia's foremost classical music composers. He he actually composed the piece that was played on the sales of the sydney opera house on the first of january. Two thousand with an audio into two point five billion people. It's called door mantras. It's a beautiful piece of modern classical music. Not long after that we hooked up the idea of making a musical journey. Through the night sky which is his fourth symphony. And choral work. It has two choirs to sing it. And and i wrote the words which are essentially the constellations that we recognize stars that we recognize in the western world juxtaposed with constellations. Aboriginal people recognize here in australia. Now they vary from place to place. So i'll start to take selections but he actually won an award. Andrew the two thousand eight opera award for the best. Choral work of the year because it came on a cd. So being the israelis forming rights association. That's exactly right. The two things are very much intertwined in my brain and can't answer tom's question because i don't know how is that these things inspire each other but they definitely do and i do when i'm writing. I often like this kid's book sounds staff to say the kids book but often subconsciously aware of the structure and a piece of music the exposition development and recapitulation in a piece of. What's what's called sonata. Form often goes into the right things you set off with an idea and you boldly around a bit and then you come out with the same idea but in a different form of the end a once again. Adopting the answers the question. Let's get into the real question anyway. Fascinating the fascinating. Yes he says could black be safely used in gravity. Assist as you. This is like space travel. Yeah it's interesting thought. For and what little i know about the mechanisms of gravity assist suggests that i don't think they could because it's more they don't have the don't have structure so look. I'm i'm kind of guessing here soon. So these are ideas pulled out of the air but gravity. Assist these weird because if you think about it you know what's happening is you're flying. A spacecraft close to a planet is feeling that planet gravity to increase the speed of the space craft but when the spacecraft gone past. Gravity is trying to slow it down. I think if you had a single point that would be what would happen. You wouldn't gain any momentum from the encounter. The expedia gained on the approach to the black hole swimming. You fusty enough not to get sucked in would would match the speed. You'd lose on the way out. So the net zero. Because as i understand it it's to do with the planet's rotation the direction that you approach it in relation to its equator that actually gives you the gravity assist so it's to do with the structure of the planet itself that you can make this momentum change to give momentum to the planet sorry to take momentum to from the planet to assist your spacecraft in its journey so i think is probably no. I'm not sure anybody would want to fly spacecraft close to a black. Oh anyway in case show there are people who would want to whether or not you'd be capable of it and come back to tell the story that'd be that'd be a different thing i imagine so not is the answer to that particular question. We'll follow it up though because it's a really interesting question. And he's into why. Gravity assist works tool fascinating. Thanks tom. thanks richard for your questions knocked over a couple of couple more of those text questions that have been racking up for the last ten years but knock off some more but if you do have a question for us don't forget to visit our website and click on the link and you can send us a text question through the email interface or you can use your recording device whether it's through a tablet or a smartphone or computer and. Just tell us who you are. We from and ask you a question. Happy audio questions as well which we've been doing a lot of lightly but catching on the text questions to and that's pretty well and thank you again. Fred has always great to see you and happy. Trails will catch you again next week. So great andrew. Same to you all the best. Speak to professor fred watson. astronomer large part of the team here on the space nuts podcast. Loda who hugh in the studio who works feverishly to put it all together and adds the nuts and bolts and finds the silly pictures that he puts on the on the graphics when we put them online and from andrew. Dice clay you. Thanks again for joining us. We'll see you on the very next episode of the space. And that's podcast bye-bye to this komo available at apple podcasts. Google podcasts spotify. Iheart radio and all your favorite podcast. You can also stream on demand caught. Stop this is another gas. Production from dot com.

Coming up next