173: Planet 9 - A Whole New Theory
In fifteen seconds guidance journal and nine technician sequence spence nuts three to to space meals good hello again and thank you for joining us on yet another episode all of the podcast we call space nuts. I'm your host standard ugly with me. The expert in everything above your head is professor Fred Watson Astronomer Astronomer. Latch ally frayed. That's a nice quite liked everything above your head especially given the top of my head fairly. MTV multiple meanings could could mean space it could mean astronomy it could mean hey could mean everything that we don't understand so. I like that. I must again one day. And how are you sir. I'm very well. Thank you very well already raring to go and very are you glad to be talking to you again. I got a lovely note from a new listener. She's listened to two or three of our podcast so far said Oh you've only got one hundred and seventy two to go and she said I better do some catching up but does she wrote a lovely mile and asked a question. That's not related to actually going into the podcast. It was is more of a an academic question which passed on to you but she was thrilled to bits to get a personal response. which is that's the way I do it? That's the way I swing swing to answer everybody when I can and I told her you'd be hearing from her. Yes from you even sheet she would that's right. You're very busy man. Dump on you too much but that's sort of no no it will happen from time to time now. We've put some really interesting stories to discuss today and we'll tackle a question this new new theory surrounding the the mystical planet nine. We've spoken about planet non two or three times because they're still looking for it but now they've come up with a new. ID which is he's quite interesting. Indeed captivating. Even we are also going to talk about the discovery of a galaxy cluster far far far far away. I think was the headline in fact I think it's set a world record for the most distantly observed object or something to that effect so we'll check that at and we talked last week about Australia. GIFTING NASA says some mom to Mueller two dollars fifty. I think it was after Jesus was taken out also further consideration to Australia's expertise in the mining and medical industries that could help NASA within its mission to the moon so we'll we'll have a look at that as well so I up Fred the the hypothetical planet nine they they have a new ID that is not a planning tool. Yeah there is a new paper which suggests that this object actually not be a planet that be something called a primordial black hole and primordial black holes are thought to be to have been basically basically a consequence of the big bang the something that's been in the theory for a long time we don't really have any observations that support their existence but they are thought to have popped into existence more or less in the aftermath of the Big Bang as a result of density fluctuations that early period in the universe's history now as you know from the way the Stephen Hawking did in the nineteen seventies black holes evaporate they lose the energy they lose their mass through radiation and they take a very long time to do that but these primordial black coast thought to be very small and they evaporate quickly saw that perhaps many of them have already evaporated but some of them might still exist exist even though as I just said they've never been observed now the so the returning running to the story planet nine this object has been surmised by the alignments in the obits of actually what it called extreme transnet tune objects things way way beyond the orbit of Neptune which highly elliptical or even get it orbits and and they are basically aligned rather well in in a particular direction the alignment of their elliptical orbits. That's that's the main reason why people think that there is an extra an additional planet out. That's basically providing the attractive forces doing that with a massive through their observations and through the mathematics that something is out there affecting these yeah tune objects that's right they something with a mask between half and twenty times the mass of the earth that say the current basically the current theory now the I guess the paps one view of what that might be is a free floating planet. That's been captured by the solar system in other ones. The gravity of the sounds grabbed onto this thing and they've got planet nine so what's the office of this particular. New Research have looked at is the likelihood of that capture scenario compared with the solar system capturing capturing one of these primordial black holes. It might be looking around. He turns out to be about the same so what what it means. Is that you know if it could could be a free floating planet. Yes it could it could also equally well be a black hole now. This is a black hole say say around the five times the mass of the Earth would have. I love this bet. It would have an event horizon around about ten ten centimeters in diameter. Think of things in astronomy is enormous and say something like that. It kind of goes what yeah. I think if I remember rightly the event Horizon Diamond. I think it's a diameter for the earth is about eighteen millimetres wrote about in cosmic chronicles but I don't have a copy suck up the they'll be enough. Well put myself at the vote. Count could look it up because it's still go over the files but yeah so anyway too few. Basically a few centimeters is that we're talking about. The size of earth sized primordial black hole so how'd you find. It's well what the proposal is from. The office of this paper cut is to look for the annihilation signal from the matter micro halo around the primordial black. Oh we don't don't really know what dark matter is but it could be that dot matter anti matter annihilate and would give a signal that might be present in x rays and gamma rays so what they're suggesting is that the should be dedicated searches for moving sources basically with accent Gamma Ray radiation that's a really interesting thing because the gamma ray sources that we see in the sky and the x ray sources else's house is a very brief so you don't see the moving tow but the x ray source of course roll things at great distances which are not moving across across the sky at all because they're so far away not seem to be moving but if you've got an object that is moving slowly through the stars of the Milky Way which is why I would think pipe planet nineties rich xrays then maybe this is the answer that you're seeing the annihilation of the micro Halo around the primordial black home up until now we've been looking for a solid object we've been looking planet and it's proven elusive we also or know how very hard at ease to observe a black hole and with only recently photographed one for the first time in history and that's been published so where does it promote primordial blackhall fit in the scheme of things in terms of being able to observe it. You said we think that exist. We've never seen it. We can't prove it yet so could this kill two birds with one stone we observe blackhall and solve the planet non-real unreal so for the first time it would observe we observe primordial black holes exactly that killing to budge on stone elegant yeah well obviously there's a lot of work going into trying to find this thing because it's it's close to home for us we we. We really need to see what's out there. If that was discovered the you know the first thing that would happen. We'll be people be thinking about sending Space Mission to ask that very question. It would take a long time. Wouldn't it take echo world. Yes because it's a long long way out but it's still a lot nearer than the nearest star other than the already proven we can send things vast distances schism with today's technology getting getting there and the instrumentation required to recordings and ratings things would would be fairly fairly simple compared to you know the seventies so that in itself is is a bonus but you go to find the damn thing. I that's the problem right interesting new theory on planet nine it could be could could be a primordial black hole. You're listening to space nuts Andrew Dunkley here and Fred Watson they this episode is he's brought to you by Hewlett Packard Enterprise at a busy small business keeping up with it can be challenging hyper converged composer cloud or say a artificial intelligence. You know what that is. You've been to the movies but what do world ending robots have to do with your business. You don't have to master all all of this to take advantage of it at. 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Let's talk about this this idea of using Australian technology to help NASA with the next mission to the moon. We're talking talking about mining technology and medical technology in a remote sense because let's face it when we go to the moon or wherever you you can't sort of break your leg and and got a hospital or you can't sort of you know get someone to to drive a truck foyer Roya. There's all sorts of things to consider with these remote places when we went to the moon in the sixties and the seventies but looking looking back we probably did it in a radical way or I'll put it in those terms compared to this so I think it compared to the safety terms observe today at very high risk and we're much more risk averse these days so this yeah this story's covers many bases actually but it's all about really the the fact that we now have a fairly close relationship between Australia and the United States in that space agencies thanks to the announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison a couple of weeks ago strategy will contribute one hundred fifty million dollars to the US mission sending humans to Mars by the Moon to to the moon and then onto Mars and we know that most most of that money is expected to return to the Australian economy because it will build about Australian technology being used and just to to a comment briefly. That's exactly the kind of thing that where good at is making autonomous vehicles that can actually do their own thing and think about batted and be safe as well they used very much in the mining industry on the particularly in the in the Pilbara region of Western in Australia. The have driverless foliage trucks which are actually run from the city of Perth which is about a thousand isn't miles away sixteen hundred kilometers so that is technology. That's fairly well developed in Australia and may well have an application to you know the the exploration of perhaps the the moon where maybe ice mining could take place near the South Pole region. I should point out to these. These are not small trucks. These ties that tower over whole man Lee probably till you need a big ladder to get into the driver's cabin will be that's why they don't have driver's so yes the this all sorts of contributions that this kind of technology could make you quite right it it it does have implications for any kind of medical emergencies and things of that sort as well yeah so they'll be a little work to to be done into the future on that but I can imagine that had the capacity to drive a remote vehicle on the moon from Earth wouldn't be that difficult because this I think you you'd almost have real time. Control compared to Mas yeah that's right so it still would have degree of autonomy so that it didn't really. Oh you know accidentally dropping to a big hole before the before the signals got back to us to say I'm dropping into a big house or something like that. Yeah there will be technologies. I'm sure all right watch this space now fred. Let's just move straight on to our next story and this is the world record the discovery of a distant galaxy cluster so distant in fact. We're looking back thirteen point eight billion years or thereabouts so we haven't looked any further than this ever before. It's about thirty billion light years away. I think is the best distance we're talking about which is only the F. The fraction short of the time of the Big Bang so we are really looking. Weiwei way back in time yes exactly so looking back to a time when the universe was eight hundred million years old which he's roundabout six percent of age at the present time so it's a long way back and of course the key to this is the finite speed of light so what we're doing is looking the very very distant objects and seeing them as they were this time in the past Why is it a big story because this is the earliest that we've seen a cluster of galaxies individual galaxies of been found already this very early period in the universe but to find a cluster essentially tells you a little bit more about the way the the structure of the universe evolved it shows that Galaxy Alexa clusters were there this very early time in the universe the the thinking is as you and I spoken about before is that the the web of dark matter that fill the early universe basically acted it was a web in this almost in the woods with resembling account of honeycomb. I suppose three dimensional honeycomb of Dot Mata which acted as the seeds for the locations of galaxies because the dot Matra attracted the hydrogen region that was in the universe which collapsed informed stars and galaxies and so maybe in in some ways it's not surprising because we think got web of dot matter came very early in the history of the universe and so to find the fact that galaxies themselves are congregating around the in the center. The high-density centers of matter is is one. You'd expect you'd expect to find clusters of galaxies. This basically proves that is the case. It has a very very nice name. It is called Zad six six wchs. Od It's got a there is a giant galaxy within in it. This is often the case with classes galaxy. Find a giant galaxy near the center. This one basically also has gigantic lexi which is known by a rather nice name. It's he mieko which is a mythological queen of ancient Japan because this has been the study's being done by Japanese Japanese astronomers so that that you know giant galaxy is one that you'd expect to be sitting near the center of this cluster of galaxies because that's the way we see these objects in the universe today when you say a cluster of galaxies in today's universe the big galaxy that kind of nucleus galaxy is right in the middle but he Meco isn't. It's quite a away from the center of this baby cluster. Perhaps five hundred million light years from the Senate which is kind of know why nearly isn't it edit is part of the cluster and I understand that the way they were able to determine its distance was through something we talked about last week in resulting in response to a question question have blue shift. They were able to read the redshift. Is that right that's right. That's how you determine these distances you look for the way the light is shifted to the red because they the further traveled along its traveled through space. The further it's light is shifted to the body expansion of the universe dumb question from now on in particular but is out galaxy part of galaxy cluster. Yeah it's part of something called a local group which is a small all cluster of galaxies but there is a where on the edge of of a big cluster which one is virgo cocoa. Those terrible isn't it Fred. That's right again. I guess who am I. What do you do become from Tom. Fred is trying to figure out fascinating that they've discovered an object or a galaxy cluster further away than anything else has ever been observed but in real terms and it set a world record for the most distantly observed object as far as I'm aware it seems a bit contradictory to say it's a world record and yet it's it's something that's further away than anything we've ever seen before going to be a world record. It's a universal record out of this world. Record is indeed yes you. You're listening to this podcast episode one hundred and seventy three my name's Andrew Dangling with me of course professor Fred Watson Mirror narrow space nuts another big shoutout to ask supporters via patriotic dot com we building numbers they which is is fantastic if you would like to contribute to space and that's podcast you can do so at patriotair dot com slash space nuts pop along and have a look if it's not for you that's fine but maybe maybe it is and it's totally your call. It is patriots dot com slash spice nuts. If you'd like to be a supporter of the space that's podcast now. Fray a question Marine One into die because we're doing it but it cramming because you've are you going to sell a book now. Dear esteemed Professor Watson an Andrew. Thank you for your previous on reply. I have another question if you would con- John Yes. That is the question Fred by the way we're finished. He says this is from Wiz. Smith in Panama City in Panama the city Beijing Florida. Oh what a horrible place if fuel could be mined from the moon for a Mars mission launch from Lunar Orbit With consideration of Vol- planetary alignments would there be any economy and using the earth for gravitational assists to help speed that transit that is a really interesting question. We've talked talked about mining on the moon and the fact that we could go go they light white because we could produce fuel from the the water ice. That's day to to to make a return journey but what if we SORTA went hang on a minute. We're already out of a bit out of this. gravitatational failed why not just keep going. We'll we'll get fuel on the moon and PIMM wafted optimize so that's pretty well what would happen what you just described. Thanks question was your your your leaving leaving getting stuff off the moon than you told your your fuel up to low Muno of it and that means you gotta get spacecraft. Essentially in orbit around around the Moon from Earth. That's fairly straightforward then you've got to boost it though to the right velocity to get it out to the Mars and doing that from the moon and he's not that much different from doing it from us you could depending on what time of the multi do you could give yourself an extra one kilometer per second on three one kilometer per second from the moons orbital motion around the earth but it's not vastly different so the the only thing is thinking about all right so that you leaving the moon Would you use us for gravitational assist. It's it's it's possible and if you were really stopped for fuel you know if you if you needed to economize on fuel and tops one reason why you might want to do that is if you've got a very large spacecraft. That's very fuel hungry then yes maybe you could put the your vehicle in a nobody would actually not get to Mars but come back intersect with the orbit of the Earth get a gravitational assist from the US and then be boosted stood out to the always have miles but all that demands a lot of very careful alignment of the earth in miles. You might find you could only do that once every every ten years or something like that that you wouldn't have many opportunities and so. I think what's much more likely to happen is yes. He might well fuel up in lunar orbit but then it will be a direct pass by what's called the Hohmann Transfer Ellipse from the orbit of the Earth Moon wound system directly to the MAS without bothering to try and make gravitational assist. I think it would it will be very difficult thing to achieve. It's certainly possible but I think in reality. We'd wind up just going directly yeah. Of course the other thing to consider is you'd also have to produce enough fuel. We'll get all the way there. Would we be in a position where we would have to consider enough fuel to get back just in case we couldn't make ticket on Mars like we didn't walk on the moon. Let's assume we've got that technology and we've started doing that. The first trip demise it would have to double the fuel light scholley to to get back well. That's right although you could. You could send a robotic spacecraft to to basically basically rendezvous with Mars Mars orbiter or something like that. Lori field up yet. My guests Andrew said this before is I bet the first human flights to Mars Up. She doesn't want him but learns on Amos satellites. Why do you think that because it's a low woah gravity destination you you have much lower risk of getting stuck on the surface. If you're in a low gravity environment like that you can leave Damus with the Toyota Corolla. You don't need a spacecraft escape. Velocity is forty kilometers an hour is that all about they get off with a decent pushback push by could do when I was a kid. That's the fastest I ever could have back up to forty kilometers. It is an downhill with tile weaned but it was yeah yeah. I I had a spade. Auerbach could have probably gone faster except it was one of those spade is that leans against the tar and they took a lot of effort to one British short knocked off at least five ks but yeah those days yes yes but it sounds like you could get off dame. Also the pushback yes. The piddle gets a bit of a worry really. Wouldn't it be disappointing. Pointing to land on Day. Moscow was close so close. Yeah yeah well we who knows let's let's wait and see with coverage on space nuts in twenty thirty five when it happened yes in human. There are no delays. Where's thank you so much question. Had the cabinet and we certainly do love to get your questions inquiries in comments. Sometimes people just send us the beautiful space pictures which is is fantastic and now I've seen a lot of them. Popping up on the space nuts podcast group people sharing their photographs and there's been some amazing photography. One of our listeners is already a major prize winner and is going after another prize so hopefully people are voting for him on the People's Choice Award. They don't know what I'm talking about. Joined the group and have a look and thank you as always fred for your contribution. I don't think we could do it without you. Oh that's very nice. I don't think I could do without you so you could anyway. We'll speak next time. It sounds great all right very good. Thank you for a Professor Fred Watson Astronomer at large part of the spice nuts crew as you are too and thank you for joining US each and every week we will be back again again in a week or so with another edition of Spice Naps this new to this space nuts subscribe to the food podcast on itunes and stitcher or your favorite podcast distributed another cast production from thoughts dot com.