11 Episode results for "Dante Lauretta"
The Asteroid Hunter Catches His Prey
"You can listen to add free new episodes of science rules only on stitcher premium for a free month of stitcher premium, go to stitcher premium, dot com and use Promo Code Science let's talk about hydrogen vehicles for a minute people thought they were kind of weird at first some people still do it's human nature to reject stuff that's not familiar to us but hydrogen vehicles aren't so weird after all, they have a range and refueling time similar to gas powered cars. So you can go the distance and refuel fast find out how hydrogen vehicles and all electric. Cars. Are Normal. Now at normal now, Tom Election Day is on November third in between Cova, nineteen and voter suppression. 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It's a call in show if you WANNA be on the show, and of course, I, hope you do leave us a voicemail at two, zero, one, four, seven, two, zero, seven, eight, five, or checkout ask Bill nye dot com. You can check man and all the social media that the kids use. You can find out about her upcoming guests and today once again, I'm joined by science writer editor and Dear Friend Cory S Powell Corey. Greetings Bill Nye is good to be here bill. You know. I've done a long time and you always inspire me with breakdown that you do about the two big questions. Everybody wonders about that. Everybody is in two big questions, Corey, where do we come from and are we alone and one of the ways to get some answers is to do archaeology and space go out there and start looking for things that talk about our origin talk about how we got all the stuff for life here on earth and where the Earth came from and we've got somebody on this podcast who's doing that? That's exactly right. My friend our guest today is Dr Dante Lauretta. Dr. Loretta is a professor of Planetary Science in Cosmo chemistry at the University of Arizona Lunar and planetary. Laboratory. And he's the leader of NASA's Oh Cyrus. REX ASTEROID SAMPLE return mission. Dr Dante Lauretta welcome to science rules. May I call you Dante absolutely bill thanks it's great to be here so. I was at the launch of Cyrus wrecks. and Cyrus Rex's emission going to an asteroid named Ben New. which is a gyp Shin for the Heron, God the asteroid got its name by a guy was nine years old at the time Mike Puzo, and he named the asteroid because he just done better research about Gypsum Thalji and the head of NASA Charlie bolden got to meet Mike. And I'm pretty sure he got to meet you. Dante. Didn't he I actually did not get a chance to meet him at the launch I was in the control room. So I was really geeking out enjoying all the rocket telemetry. So I didn't get to meet Michael I've talked to him extensively and his family they've been big fans of the mission and we correspond regularly. So anyway, let's start with us who came up with Oh Cyrus. Rex. Help out there. The name entirely my fault. So it's a little bit of a convoluted, his mouth overnight it is and I love it. So really I was brought onto this program in two thousand and four is you know these missions are kind of lifetime commitments and the principal investigator at the time was Dr Michael Drake was my boss and the Director of the Lunar Planetary Laboratory where at work and they were going into the proposal phase NASA Lexi's missions. Competitively I like to compare it to the NCAA basketball tournament where teams from all over the country go in usually a couple dozen groups are trying to. Win this one NASA flight opportunity and Mike called me up and he said he wanted me to be the deputy principal investigator and my job was defying the Science Program for an asteroid sample return and so why did you want to do it asteroid sample return? So I sat down and I asked myself that exact question and I wrote down four words. The first thing I wrote down was origins right. When we go to asteroids, we're going back to the oldest geologic samples in the solar system. How do we know for sure that those rocks are for sure older than say the rocks in my backyard? Because we have fragments of them that land on Earth as meteorites, and we have techniques call geochronology where we look at radioactive isotopes and we look at the isotopes decay into, and they're basically clocks inside rocks and these clock's ticking away and they're changing from one element to the other, and we look at those ratios we know the rate they do that very precisely because we measure that in the laboratory and when we look at a certain type of meteorite called conned rights, there are minerals in there that. Are Consistent with what you would expect the first minerals in the solar system to be very high temperature. Ceramics we call them calcium aluminum rich inclusions, and we'd go in and we date their age using uranium lead systems which persist for billions of years, and we get a very nice age four, point, five, six, seven, billion years. We've never dated anything in our solar system older than that. So hang on. So when you say uranium lead system, you're talking about the radio chemistry, the radioactive decay were uranium somehow ends up as lead. So uranium decaying the lead, it's a nuclear process it doesn't care what kind of. Gravity field ran it doesn't care about the electric magnetic environment was far as we know, they don't care about anything except kicking out there Alpha particles and turning into other elements, and that's all they do and they happily do that consistently for billions of years and we use the uranium lead system to date rocks on earth we use it to date rocks from the moon and we use it to date these minerals from meteorites which come from asteroid is and of all those systems the asteroids are the oldest. One to find out about this particular asteroid what type asteroid is this? Is this an old asteroid young asteroid what can you tell about its history and where it came from? We have done a lot of work to understand where came from Ben, who is currently a near Earth asteroid and that's of unstable place for it to be because it's something called it's in the cosmic pinball game right? It's moving around it's doing close approaches to the earth. It is a potentially hazardous asteroid. It may hit the earth in about one hundred, fifty years. were interested in it. So when you get into the inner solar system as a small body like Bhanu, which is only five hundred meters in diameter you're probably GONNA end up falling into the sun or crashing into one of the planets mercury Venus Earth or Mars, and so we know who hasn't been where it is right now for a very long time and we know we understand orbital dynamics very well newton figured it out kepler figured it out those laws still apply and we can run it backwards. It's kind of complicated but we can say it most likely came from the main asteroid belt where there's millions of asteroids still in existence today and it kind of wandered into the inner solar system. Actually. Built as between Mars and Jupiter. Correct yeah. The main asteroid belts between Mars and Jupiter, and the reason those rocks are so old is because Jupiter sitting out there beyond the main asteroid belt in it's a massive gravity perturbs. And it's stirring up the asteroid belt constantly, it won't let them creep into a planet. If Jupiter wasn't there, those asteroids probably would have swept up and become a fifth planet terrestrial planet in the inner solar system. So one of the things that I disliked to remind everybody that's amazing. Even if you're a piece of sand. You have gravity. And so if if they are in this asteroid belt, these pieces of sand or meteors are meteorites rather or whatever they are they're going to accumulate stick together. They're going to a creek right but you're saying Jupiter's keeps WOMAM. Shaken up and they can't become a planet that's right and it's been doing that for billions of years it's just been messing with the asteroid belt but somehow been new this asteroid formerly nineteen ninety, nine, argue thirty six got nudged and it's fallen in closer to the sun. That's right. What nudged? It's a couple of things happen. So when we trace it back. We, it looks like it was part of an asteroid family and asteroid families are thousands of fragments from one of the larger asteroid that was shattered in what we call a catastrophic disruption because Banu is so small, there's another force besides gravity acting on it. We call this the are Kofsky force and it's fascinating abandoned who a dark asteroid. One of the reasons we're interested in it. Because to our origins investigation, we wanted to find the carbon. Darker than a lump of charcoal, right? That's right. Yeah. It's one of the darkest objects in the solar system which made it really exciting for us. As scientists. and. What happens because it's so dark sunlight hits the surface, most of it gets absorbed and heats it up think of a parking lot in hot Arizona Summer Day or California Summer Day and. Then rotates into the nighttime and that read that energy is released back into space as heat just pushing that heat off into space, and that acts like a thruster and it changes the orbital velocity or orbital speed of the asteroid in Ben whose case it's like a break it's slowing the asteroid down and when you slow objects orbit down, it's shrinks and it starts to move into the inner solar system. So that's why Ben who migrated from the main asteroid belt into the inner solar system was part of a larger asteroid which pretty immune to the archives effect we're talking something on one hundred kilometer diameter scale it got shattered made all these small pieces the. COPS effect really starts to act on the small asteroids and moves them either into the inner solar system or towards the outer solar system. So so cool. So here's another thing to keep in mind everybody is when you break apart out there, you're not going to be sitting still that is to say you're not going to present the same face to the sun all the time you're always going to have a little tumbling rotation something or other, and so that your cost you then can get heat on one side and radiated out into space because hanging hanging in hanging the Ono Cyrus Rex's origin, right what are the other three words that you're all hot for? Interested in spectroscopy. So we want to understand the composition of these asteroids. We there's millions of asteroids in the solar system and we're not going to send spacecraft to every one of those understand what they're made out of like, oh Cyrus Rex's how many near Earth Asteroids are there Well over ten thousand asteroids. Yeah. So of all kinds of sizes not bad news on the larger side it's kind of in the middle, but there's over ten thousand. We're finding more of them all the time. And so we want to know what they're made out of, and we use a technique called spectrography. Basically Point a telescope at the asteroid you break the light up through a prism into it's different colors and you look at which ones are bright in which ones are dark and tells you about the minerals on the surface in theory but reality you want to go and you want to get a piece of it and you. Want to say, okay, these are what the minerals really are. This is what the Spectra really looks like, and now we can really use that technique to explore these thousands and thousands of asteroids across one test is worth a thousand expert opinions if you have a piece of it, then you know for sure it's spectral reflection, and then you can compare that to the data that you get with telescopes. Okay that's too. That's our generous. Yes yes and and we'll go to art because that's how the order it went in the ours resources. So when I was writing this down sixteen years ago I was a total fi still him and I thought, Hey, if we could out to this asteroid and we bring a piece of it back, that's the first step to asteroid mining that's like your spec sample. And I really hoped that that would start to take off and people would get interested in and that's been happening. There's a lot of companies that formed and went bankrupt and now other new companies are forming and they're trying to review asteroid mining plan from outer. S- Yes Not to digress, but what would you mind from an asteroid? What's an asteroid? I did a lot of work with with some early early asteroid mining companies to answer that exact question and bill mentioned platinum and that sounds really good. If Benny was sitting on the surface of the earth, it would be a platinum. No doubt about it. It's got a lot of platinum but in reality we don't need that much platinum. We got enough platinum on earth right now, and so what we're really looking for is, well, what do you need in space and if you guys and all about space exploration, the one thing you really need in space as you need fuel, right you need to get places you need energy to move your spacecraft. And the best fuel that you could produce from an asteroid is liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, and so you want an asteroid that's loaded in water and each oh yeah exactly. The bollock you'll all over the place some asteroids have it others are really dry fortunately is loaded in water. That's one of our big science results so far it's not ice and it's not liquid water on the surface. It's clay minerals that reacted with water at some point and venues history, and all that water got locked up into the mineral structure. So. Once part of a wet planet or or product Linnet Yeah Bhanu was definitely part of an ancient waterworld. Massive hydrothermal circulation very hot water moving through rocks and altering them and when you do that, you produce clay minerals and you put produce other minerals. One of the minerals we discovered most recently are carbonates. which you're familiar with on earth CAL sites, they form in your pipes, an on your faucets as these white deposits that you clean with lime away to get rid of but they're they're like salts that when the water evaporates, they leave behind. This material carbonate is really exciting for us because it's got carbon in it and carbon is one of the elements were really excited about as well. Okay. So the old saying every every rock tells the story, right? So you're telling me from here from Earth you're looking at this thing millions of kilometers away million miles away. And you can tell that it was once part of an icy world that had. A hot area hot core heart center, thermal springs, me geysers. You can tell all that from here. No, we hoped that would be the case we learned that with the spacecraft instruments. So we got to Benue in late two, thousand eighteen and we spend all twenty, nine, thousand, nine, mapping it in fantastic detail with our cameras and we have multiple spectrometers, and we have now really nailed that idea that it was part of a water world that had large hydrothermal systems and deposited these clay minerals and these carbonate minerals so. We had a suspicion from Earth, that's why the spectroscopy and the spectral interpretation part of the mission is so important we've confirmed that with our remote sensing instruments, but we still don't know for sure because what we gotta do is we got to get a piece of that rock back to the earth and then we can say, Yep, those are the minerals that we inferred from the earth and we inferred from the spacecraft instruments or on a great idea, you should grab a piece of string and bring it back to Earth. Was Thinking about doing that we are doing more than thinking about it. We are getting ready to go and get to let's talk about how that works. Yeah. So we have a device on the spacecraft. We call our tag Sam the touch and go sample acquisition mechanism, and it's basically a acronyms. We Love Him Oh yeah, we love especially I'm one of the worst it's basically a space vacuum cleaner. The the concept is very similar. Vacuum cleaner works by creating a low pressure area inside the device, and it pulls air through a filter and catches all the dirt. Wall. But here on Earth, you've got high pressure air around your vacuum clubs, right? That's right. So to be a space vacuum cleaner, you gotta bring the air with you. So we have three bottles of compressed nitrogen gas. And as soon as we touch down on the surface, the only thing from the spacecraft that makes contact with the asteroid surface is an air filter. Basically looks exactly like the device you had put on the carburetor, a fifty, seven Chevy, same technology same idea that's going to get pushed down onto the surface. We're going to open up one of our high pressure gas bottles and we're going to create a high pressure region underneath that air filter in it's going to grab all the rocks and dirt is GonNa push them up into our filter. So it's like a vacuum cleaner in reverse it's a leaf blower the straight. Yeah. How much how much asteroid Erie are you hoping to get sixty grams or about two ounces and that's what we need to do. All of the measurements that we identified. Even before we launched the space craft, the engineers you know they like to at margin. So the scientists said, we need sixty grams. The engineer said, we're GONNA make sure this thing can pick up one, hundred, fifty grams guaranteed and its capacity is two thousand grams or two kilograms of material. So I'm hoping we pack filter full immaterial and bring that that massive a sample back home. Okay. So speaking of simple, the Oh Cyrus we have. Origin. Resource Spectroscopy. What's the fourth word security thorough we are worried about ben you as a potentially hazardous asteroid. It has a non negligible chance of impacting the earth prior to launch. The odds were about one in twenty, seven hundred, and the biggest uncertainty is this your Kofsky effect that we're talking about how does the energy move through the surface of the asteroid? How does it absorb the sunlight? Has it radiate the thermal heat and how does that change the orbit we're going to need to know that to accurately predict its path into the future and determine what is the real chance it's going to hit us. Stick around for more science rules after this. Tell a dock provides access to speak with board certified doctors via APP phone or video anytime from the comfort of your home. Tell Dot gives you twenty four seven access to doctors for nonemergency conditions like a sinus infection allergies, rashes and more. They're board certified doctors can diagnose treat prescribe medication when medically necessary to be delivered to the pharmacy of your choice. Tell doc is available at no cost through most major health plans and many employers. 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So no the right answers and start learning with the great courses plus today my listeners can get a full free month unlimited access when they sign up today at the great courses plus dot com slash science rules but with was was in, it's the great. Plus Dot Com all one word there the great courses plus dot com slash science rules. Walls is back. Hey Corey. Question about. NASA. Rex Mission. Friendly astronomy days they learn that. Asteroids are almost like piles of rubble where they have additional and they told others smaller asteroids, meteorites into them, and from visiting would actually looks like this is very much the case if an ashtray was on a collision course, with Earth, how would NASA for another space agency go about blowing up one of these asteroids? Where's there weakest spot where we setting that LOUIS VISITED VENUE Security let's can you help us out with the security here? How do we blow it up? It's a that's a great question I think the first question is, do you even want to blow it up because it's basically you're turning it into a shotgun blast as opposed to a Canon Ball had neither one of those are pleasant for the Earth to get struck with What you really want to do is you WanNa get enough advanced knowledge that it's coming to change its mind. Meaning change its orbits like you don't really WanNa hit the earth. You would rather miss the earth so you would want to get ahead of the the problem and start to slowly change its trajectory so that you avoid the collision altogether because the callers right blowing up a rubble pile is not an easy thing to do. It's going to absorb most of that energy very quickly and it's going to collapse back onto itself. So you're gonNA Kinda, disperse it, and then it's Gonna Re accumulate so you can't really blow it up you really WanNa, get it out of the way nudge yeah. Into how do you do that? How do you get it out of the way? My favorite plan is to harness. The are Kofsky effect, right so they are Kofsky effect in parts of thrust to the asteroid based on the direction that it's emitting its thermal radiation and you should be able to control that you should be able to corey don't you think we control that? I would probably paint it with some titanium dioxide or something like that. What what would you do? Dante. The same thing I would bring some material. That's very bright. You know we have done a fantastic job mapping this asteroid. So it's a gift to the future it some other group of people are going to have to figure out how to prevent benefit from hitting the earth. But, we will give them a shape model that we got from our laser altimeter which our Canadian partners provided to the program at five centimeter spatial resolution in two centimeter vertical precision. So hand kind of thing that's right over five hundred meter diameter asteroid. So you could put all that into a supercomputer model and you could figure out if I painted this area. Why if I may I left this area dark the your Kofsky force. Would change in the following way and you could direct that thrust. So you would need several decades of advance warning in order for that it's a very small force, but it acts constantly. So you needed to integrate over a long time period. So hang on, hang on when we look at a picture of it and thank you for those beautiful pictures. It's not spherical. You know one of the hilarious comedy jokes in any physics class. I. We assume a horse is a sphere whereas cow I think is. The mutual gravity of everything you would expect it to go spherical but this thing hasn't that's right. Why is that and it and it doesn't look like a potato either I remember the early asteroid pictures like Oh Ezra's potatoes instead but it doesn't look like a potato. It looks like a diamond. Yeah we call it a spinning top. It spinning and it's got this bulge at the equator, and the reason that is occurring is because it's a pretty small body five hundred meters diameter it's got a very low density a we use units of grams per cubic centimeter Ben who's about one point, two grams per cubic centimeter. Your average rock is about three. So it's less than half the density of rocks as we know them here on earth. So it's just a little more dense than water just waters one. So this is twenty. Percent Denser than water and barely a third as dense as a regular rock. Right. So that tells us two things first of all the consistent with her idea that the rocks themselves contain water there clay minerals which expand and have low densities relative to anhydrous rocks that his rocks with no water inside them, and it's also a pile of rubble. So there's a lot of emptiness inside of it, and so as a result of all that gravity field is really low, it's measured in about ten micro. Where one G is the acceleration of gravity at the surface of the earth and a micro G is one millionth of that acceleration. You guys you're able to measure that and we are able to measure that incredibly precisely. How did we do that? We. That's a great story in and of itself. So normally what you do is you get a spacecraft to an object and then you track it using the Nasr's deep space network while it's transmitting radio waves and you look at the doppler shift when the gravitational field of the asteroid polls, the spacecraft towards the antenna that's a blue shift, the frequency compresses. When the? Asteroid pulls the spacecraft away from the Earth you get a redshift so you can move. Exactly. So we can do that but it turns out venues masses so low starting spitting particles off into space. And we were able to watch these particles and this happened hundreds of times they're coming off at low velocities and they're going into orbit around Benue. Some of them are going so low that they're actually hitting the surface of the asteroid and bouncing back into orbit. So Ben, you did give us thousands of free gravity probes. So we're able to watch these particles as they spun around the asteroid and they mapped out the gravitational field. In fact, corey has a great analog for this. Don't they was showing me these animations where you can actually plot the these spitting rocks bouncing around. And and tracing out these crazy paths around the asteroid and just reminded me of that kid experiment you do with a with a magnet, an iron filings we can see the magnetic field around the magnet from the way the iron filings led a look. There's watching all these rocks spring of the asteroid exact same way only they're measuring the gravitational field. So hang on when you say rocks and particles, how big are these things and what's making them spew is at sunlight good question. So the sizes are up to like a softball, ten centimeters or so down to marbles. So Pretty Cha-. Big Chunks of stuff flying off this asteroid, we've got it down to two possibilities that are probably driving. This one was micro meteoroid impacts. So Ben who's flying through narrow space there's all kinds of meteors we see them in the night sky, they make beautiful shooting stars So they're out there all the time and Benue is is crossing their paths and they strike the surface of the asteroid. At really high speeds and create little explosions. So that's almost certainly occurring. The other thing is Ben is getting heated up and cooled off every four point three hours, its rotation period, and you're adding a lot of stress to the rocks as a result of that when something gets hot, it expands and when it gets cold, the contracts, every four point, three hours those rocks going through that cycle and you're building up stress which. Can Lead to rock fracturing. So I think both those are kind of at play like the thermal stresses are probably prepping the surface making it very fractured, and then when even a small particle outerspace strikes it, it just flakes off into hundreds and hundreds of articles. Right, you were saying before that the surface gravity is very, very low I if I were standing there on the surface. I could just launch myself into orbit just with kick. One way one example I like to say just to indicate that is Ben Venues. The material at the equator is almost in orbit already. So if an astronaut where to land on the Equator Banu. And she reached down and picked up a rock and held it over her head and let go that rock would be in orbit around the asteroid. So the equator is almost becoming a ring. It's almost pushing material off the surface and becoming a ring around the Astros, you're spinning talk and that's the spinning top. Exactly. That's what's happening materials getting pushed out at the equator and almost launching off. In fact, if Ben, who continues to speed up, we're seeing Benny's rotation increasing even while we've been there what speeding up its rotation rate is the same phenomena that is causing the archives effect. Thermal Emission of radiation the Archives Ski Affect The radiation changes its orbital speed in a similar phenomenon called the your perfect. It increases its rotational speed and Benny was spinning faster and faster and faster bedroom may fly apart in the future million years down the road or it may spin off and create a binary system. We do see a lot of these. Near Earth Asteroids are actually two asteroids one orbiting the other one and they may have gone through this exact process almost like a drop. It's like a loose thing of rebel that would pull apart into two droplets of separate piles of rubble. That's right. So you got these particles in space that are hitting this asteroid hard enough to knock softballs off of it. Are these particles hitting our beloved oh cyrus wreck spacecraft also they are in fact we have a great picture We have a camera on there. That's looking at the sample return capsule. We call it the Sto- Cam, and we took pictures right after we launched and we saw these cool images. The SRC was there and looked perfect and which. was yesterday the sample return capsule the capsule. It's going to bring the samples back to the surface of the earth, and then we took a picture a few months later and there was a divot in the heat shield. For getting struck by a meteor in space in of course, we know we were worried and we did a risk assessment and the good news is we made that he you'll really thick because we knew that these were these things happen in space meteors are something. You just understand design your spacecraft to withstand we I saw one of these eruptions we. Were concerned about the safety to the spacecraft and we went back and we assess the energy and just a little physic- speak here. The total energy of the biggest events is on the order of one hundred Miller jewels. So it's Kinda you know we try to come up with an analogy. It's like the energy of breaking a cracker and when. Particles fly off a cracker breaking. So we looked at that and we just laughed like well, our spacecraft can certainly handle that we're gonNA. We're GonNa hit this asteroid with a lot of energy when we go into the sample and we designed it to take that blast a rock off the surface right into our face where all of our systems are and we're like we can handle that we can certainly handle these little micro energy events. Okay. So Breaking crackers. On the surface with our blast of pressurized nitrogen. And we're going to bring stuff back. How okay. How are we bringing still back right your your about your about to do this and I'd love to hear how you do this. So it's kind of like a cosmic ballet right we have to get the spacecraft into a very tight spot on the asteroid. One of the biggest surprises when we got there was how rugged the surface was. We got a lot of things right with our astronomical characterization of the asteroid, but we got something really wrong which was that we thought the surface of this asteroid was beach like an I use that word extensively I stood up in front of the review boards at NASA and I said this is going to be easy. We've looked at this asteroid with the Spitzer space telescope with the air CBA telescope we've done all kinds of models. Everything is consistent with this being small particles, centimeter sized particles and smaller, and we got it's GonNa be a date the beaten shy. And that's not what bender looks like it. All it is rough and rugged and rocky with giant rocks hundred meter scale rocks a T. T. tens of meters down meters, and we struggled to find a location. Where there was anything smaller than a centimeter in any kind of abundance in the the site we chose is called the nightingale crater and it looks like it's a really young crater and it Kinda got dug down into what appears to be a subsurface layer of finer grain material. So we Crater on a point for less than a hundred thousand years old. We think that's fresh in geology terms. As I get older and older that sounds younger and younger I tell my kids. That's all the time. Okay. So you have one very specific spot that you have to aim at on the surface. How do you get there and then how do you actually aim it land without messing up your spacecraft right so right now, the spacecraft's literally on the other side of the Sun. So banners orbit similar. The Earth's it's it's about one a you a little bit more than that about one point to a you from the sun but on the other side of the solar system. So it's over to a you away from Earth, which means that the one way lifetime. is about eighteen minutes. So we sent a signal to spacecraft at travels across the solar system for eighteen minutes a spacecraft receives it does whatever we told it to. It transmits an answer back and it takes another eighteen minutes. So you're looking at about forty minutes by the time you send a command till you get confirmation that something happened on the spacecraft and that's you know exactly what you want to hear you after you receive it, you gotta think about it for. That's right. That's right. So real time operations are just not an option. So we had to make the spacecraft a lot smarter. The good news is the only thing you can fix. Once your spacecraft is in deep space is the software 'cause you can send new software up you've got a computer it's controls all the different subsystems and we had to rewrite software in order to handle this tight targeting, and we built up a system called natural feature tracking, and so what we have done is we have this. Amazing shape bottle of the asteroid from the laser altimeter we have fantastic imaging from our poly cam, a high resolution camera system, and we picked out several hundred features across the surface of the asteroid, and we created a catalog and we set that catalog up to the spacecraft and that we built software says, okay. You'RE GONNA leave orbit and you're going to begin your journey down to the surface that takes about four and a half hours on a regular basis, take a picture and look for features that should be. In that picture based on the catalog that we sent you and you know where exactly they should be if you're going right down the the proper path. But if you're just a little bit off, you could be a little bit ahead. You can be a little bit behind could be to the left to the right or or closer to the surface or farther from the surface, and you'll know by how big those features are and where they are in the image, and now use that information to update your position and then taking wanting US swooping down. Sorry to interrupt. down. Swiftly. down. Really slow. So we're moving at centimeters per second tens of centimeters per second relative to the surface of the asteroid. So you don't have to worry about blur or anything like that. It's a very slow process while we're all hurtling around the sun. Asteroid and the spacecraft are in orbit around the Sun but the relative position and don't forget that everybody. Caught up with this thing and it's going around the sun at thousands of kilometers and are okay. Yeah. So it figures it takes the first picture. It says okay I'm a little bit off where I'm supposed to be an update my position and then takes the next picture and now you've got to change in position now it's updating its velocity as well and it's it's going to do that over a dozen times before it has to fire its engines to start dropping down towards the surface of the asteroid and it's going to recalculate the thrust it's going. To say, okay, you told me that I should be firing the following engines for the following durations with the following thrust but I actually I'm not where exactly what I'm supposed to be I'm changing that I'm getting my proposal maneuver calculation and it's going to do that twice it's GonNa do it what we call it's checkpoint when about one hundred, twenty, five meters from the surface, and it's a match matchpoint when it's about fifty five meters from the surface. So it's basically a precision guidance system that we put onto the spacecraft and what's the fuel in the these engines. Where a mono propellant hydrazine system so very well established kind of traditional spacecraft were drifting into the here we come. We're drifting in now what? And then we'll be approaching the nightingale site and there's a lot of great material there for us to collect. We've mapped out literally hundreds of particles less than two centimeters the kinds of things that we can pick up with our tag Sam Tag Sam is simple aquisition. What's tags in the touch and go sample acquisition mechanism and will make contact with the asteroid surface with the tag Sam filter. We expect that will be in contact with the asteroid for between six and sixteen seconds. In the time variation is is how deep we sink. In whether the spacecraft senses that it made contact. So it has a couple ways to do that. One is on the Tag Sam robotic arm, which is about three meters long there's a pogo spring, and if it hits a hard surface that spring will compress that will trigger micro switch and they'll say a Ha I hit the surface. Now I'm in contact that initiates open up the tag, Sam gas bottles and prepare to depart the asteroid and three meters this ten foot long pogo stick. That's right Yup With a vacuum cleaner at the end of it. that. You've mapped the surface this area to you said less than two centimeters less less than an inch. Three point five millimeters per pixel resolution on our map of nightingale. Wow. This is a map of another world at millimeter scale. So yes, how big is the space craft relative to the crater? I mean, it might throwing darts at a dartboard of my throwing darts at a tennis court. You're the spacecraft's about the size of a passenger van and we're trying to get into a spot that's about two parking spaces wide. So this. House parking assist on the other side of the solar system on the other side of the solar system it it blows my mind even even been involved in the program for over a decade. It's so unpack right after you lands right the concert. Sixteen seconds for your. Time, it could be as associate. Yeah and we prefer the six seconds quite honestly the sixteen seconds means that it's sinking into the service without triggering that switch or there's a accelerometer which would also sense that the spacecraft's approach to the surface has been slowed due to contact. So of neither, one of those happens spacecraft just GonNa, time out it's GONNA say. Sixteen seconds have gone by when I thought I was GonNa hit the surface. Let's just get Outta here. Let's fire the TAG SAM gas bottle because we're probably deep. Robotic arm after sixteen seconds, it's moving at ten centimeters per second. It's sunk over a meter and a half into the surface of the asteroid. So it's it's up to its elbow in an asteroid dirt. Like fire the gas bottle tags, and then let's get outta dodge and see what happened. That's probably an unlikely scenario. But that's like the you know we designed a worst case scenarios on these programs. Science roles will be right back. I'm Kristen I'm caroline and we're back with brand episodes of unladylike. The show the finds out what happens when women break the rules. This season, we're breaking the rules around sexting Botox. Working Where you bouncing, you are working out you. AUTH working. Shaking. Wiggling wobbling Peter Pan Hustling, you are working out girlfriend. Lady like. And we're kicking off the season with one of our unladylike hall of Fame Heroes Samantha B I'm really monologue in here today. This is okay. No, it's awesome. Okay. I. Did have a chocolate covered pretzel before to thus. Super? Why old a stay tuned y'all we're dropping new episodes. Every Tuesday don't miss a single one subscribe lady like Institue Apple, podcasts or wherever you get your podcast. You're listening to science rings winner, we going to do this, and when are we going to bring this stuff back and when it comes back? Where's it going? Cyrus REX is going in to collect a sample from Banu on October Twentieth Twenty Twenty and that's coming right up people's it's coming right up. It's go time for us. It's been a long time coming and immediately after that will spend the next week assessing what happened and particularly determining how much material is in the tag Sam. Filter, which is another amazing physics experiment because we have to come up with a mass estimate except that we're in this crazy microgravity environment under which scale could possibly make measurement like we WANNA make. So we're actually measuring the change in the moment of inertia of the spacecraft before get the sample, and after we get the sambol Oh and that's giving us about ten gram precision on the Tag Sam collected Bass remembering without our requirement is to pick up sixty grams of material I'm imagining this. Air Filter GIZMO TAG SAM zone the end of this boom. And it's because it's so far from the center of mass of the spacecraft, you're going to get a little change in its rate at which you would twist exactly depending on that. So we have what we call reaction wheels, which are basically mechanical fly wheels. When you spin that wheel in one direction, the spacecraft spins in the other direction due to conservation momentum. So we'll see how much energy it takes to spin the spacecraft at a certain rate when the tags empty, and then we'll spend at that same rate and see what the difference in the energy we had to give to those fly wheels in. Order to it, achieve the rate that we saw before, and then the team as you can imagine, does some crazy math to turn all of that information into a mass estimate of how much is in the tags? No, that's pretty cool. So a momentum wheel or a reaction wheel is a gyroscope. Okay. What next? How does this? How does this come home? Yes, we got. We got to hang around Banu until March of twenty, twenty one, it's just like we have a launch window very specific time period where we could leave the earth and get on a trajectory to the asteroid we have a departure window. To get to leave the asteroid get back to the earth that departure wind opens up in early March of twenty, twenty one, it's pretty long. It's about two months we can stay stick around all the way through May of twenty twenty one in any case will fire the main engines. And this is another amazing piece of a planning and mathematics. We fire the engines once in March of twenty, twenty one and that sets us up on a ballistic trajectory that intersects the Earth on September twenty, four, th, two, thousand, and twenty three. Over two and a half years later in those when the samples will drop down into the Utah Test and training range it's parachuting down. It's GonNa. Parachute in it's coming in fast at twelve point four kilometers per second. So you guys. Pretty. Quick. That's called coming in Hong. Kong about seven miles a second. That's right. Twenty eight, thousand miles an hour I think is what we're coming in at. So the Heat Shield will absorb most of that velocity. So it'll be rough ride early on, and then once it gets into freefall, the parachute deploys there's actually two shoots at drogue chute, which gives us a little bit more relief on the speed and main chute pops out, and then it drifts down and makes contact with the. Utah Desert. Where waiting in helicopters were working with the air force with Strat Com. Who are going to be tracking it on its way in they'll tell us exactly where they think it landed. It's an air force range that were coming into. will fly out, will package it up. There's a couple of things we need to do. There's still some explosive devices that are armed that would release the parachute. There's a prime minute backup we expect the backup devices will still be active after make sure those are safe the batteries will be deep. And then we'll fly to NASA's Johnson Space Center where all of NASA's after materials curated including Apollo Samples Antarctic meteorites material of comet dust from will to from the START US Mission And then we open it up and I say it's Christmas in September for me and my other cosmos around the world. So okay what what do you anticipate learning like? Why did we do this whole thing? Yeah. We have an amazing sample analysis plan. We're going to learn all kinds of things. Number. One objective is to go and understand the carbon chemistry. We WanNa look at the organic molecules and we want to understand if objects like Bhanu played a role in making Earth a habitable planet. So that means the water chemistry we're going. To go after the claim minerals and what's the state of the water we're going to be able to map it to the composition of the Earth Oceans. In terms of its isotopes we look at the isotopes box, Jenin the isotopes of hydrogen and which vary across the solar system and see if they match what we find in the earth, and then we're going to be looking for key organic compounds that are components of bio molecules. We're going to be looking for amino acids which make up our proteins going to be looking for nucleic, acids. DNA and Aren a phosphates sugars which make up the backbone of DNA are in a lipids which make up sell Sol's these a compound you expect to find in Donald Rocks from this distant distant asteroid that's been adrift in the Solar System for four point five, six, seven, million years years. Yeah and it kind of goes back to what Corey was saying at the beginning, where did we come from? This is the beginning of evolution we think this is how the seeds of life were brought to the surface. Of the earth that's our theory that we're testing with this mission, the origins, and there's nothing special about this asteroid I mean it's it's special that we're there but there's like a whole bunch of asteroids like it. This is common stuff out there. It's special in that we think it's carbon rich not all asteroids are carbon rich. So we particularly targeted Banu because we suspected that there was a lot of carbon chemistry going on there. Typically, carbon is abundant in the outer solar system you look at a place like. Right it's got this massive methane atmosphere. That's a hydrogen carbon. Got Liquid ethene oceans carbons really abundant way out there. But in the inner solar systems is really the moon has almost no carbon on it. Because, it's less dense or some it. It condenses at low temperatures as isis primarily like carbon dioxide, ice or methane ice, and so when the solar system was forming you really hot stuff in the in the inner part and cold stuff in the outer part. So that's why you have a lot of icy objects out at Jupiter and beyond and rocky stuff in the inner solar system seriously asteroids like Ben who were like conveyor belts that we're bringing. The stuff of life too early earth maybe exactly we think Banu regionally its parent, the thing that was shattered in the main asteroid belt we think that must have formed beyond Jupiter and so Benny was kind of this messenger. So we're looking at material from the dawn of the solar system that was capturing water ices and carbon bearing ICES, and then reacting to form this organic material, and then through a whole series of dynamical perturbations it has. Marched in I had the cross Jupiter's orbit, which is challenging the do then it got into the main asteroid belt then it got shattered, and then this fragment got pushed by the cops effect into near Earth space, and then these clever monkeys sent a spacecraft up to a piece of it to bring it back down to our surface to see if all of that is true or not, and so what it speaks to is the likelihood of life. That's right. Yeah. If if something like Bhanu has the seeds of life that means they got delivered the bars they got delivered to your roper, they got delivered to tighten and it sell this and Ganymede and Venus. So all of these places now, it becomes much more likely that at least life was possible on those places. Now, we don't know what happened on the Earth to take those simple molecules and arrange them into living organisms. That's that's the next step in the in the investigation say okay. How do you take this pile of ingredients and turn it into a cell that reproduces itself and kicks off Biochemistry Very Go. But that means that Mars had the seeds and all these other places in the solar had them and we don't think there's anything particularly special about our protoplanetary disk where this chemistry was happening. We see carbon dioxide and we see methane we'll see water and other star forming regions. So that's as the sees alive or probably all over the place in the universe and whatever happened. On Earth will be able to understand how likely it is that that helped happened somewhere else in our galaxy in somewhere else in the universe. Cool got where did we come from and are we alone around one? What you're saying is what we're looking for is the origins of life we're not out there mining platinum. That's right. Yeah. We're we're driven by the origins investigation. It's the big on Cyrus Rex, right that's what we're all about but there's a lot of other reasons to study these near. Earth asteroids like we talked about the spectroscopy, the resources, the security, and we didn't get to the rex part of the is the regular explorer regular. If is the cool geology that's happening on these small bodies the we talked about a bulge at the equator and that kind of stuff. It's just fascinating physics geology interacting with each other to create the shapes and and these unique world. So we have physics and geology here on Earth. We're all one big science experiment in the Cosmos Corey I hear something. It's a sound camping space. It's got to be on earth and it sounds like lightning Dante are you ready for lightning-fast questions with lightning fast answers yet? All right. Here we go. How realistic is the movie Armageddon? At all. Scale zero. To ten. Zero. Zero everybody. If you could send a mission to any other celestial body, won't be what do you have in mind? What's do several return for Mercury WHY MERCURY IS WHEN It's one of the most unexplored worlds and it holds some really intriguing clues about the formation of planets that we could unlock only those samples plus it's an awesome engineering challenge. So along with not understanding much about mercury. What is it? We don't understand or misunderstand about asteroids. Where we don't understand the diversity of materials that are truly out there we have our meteorite collection, but those appear to be very biased only the strongest stuffing surviving. and. So there's probably a whole host of objects and materials that we need to get into our laboratories and sample return is the way you do that it has to be a robust enough a massive enough to get pulled in by the Earth's gravity admitted has to make it to the ground I. See what you're saying. Okay. Yeah. That's right. Okay. What's The coolest thing? Nobody knows about asteroids you want them to know I want everybody to know that asteroids, our nearest neighbors in space they're the most accessible objects for spacecraft missions and the the -tunities. Are Unlimited out there in terms of science and. Resource Development did you ever want to be an astronaut? Always wanted to be an explorer came to space as the ultimate place to be an explorer. So if you were doing something other than Cosmo Chemistry, what do you think you'd be doing? Think, I'd be exploring the depths of the ocean. Yeah. So you're excited about a mission to Europa absolutely. Oh yeah that'd be. That's fantastic. So. If you were king of the forest, if you could do something, would you do? Yeah. We give you one hundred billion dollars and said, hey, go do something. Cool. What would you do? I would try to rally the people of the world to understand the value of space exploration and the benefits to us all as a society. And try to tamp down a hall of the conflicts that we have and and recognize that we're all in this together. Absolutely, and you know there's nothing like, COSMO chemistry to remind us of that. We are all made of the same cosmic stuff. We are all made of Stardust we are all one thing. So thank you so much anytime. Our guest today has been Dr, Dante. Lauretta is of course, the head of that mission of Cyrus Rex, a professor of planetary, science in Cosmo Chemistry University of Arizona and remember when it comes to investigating the nooks and crannies of our solar. System. Through If you liked science rules. Please take a moment rating Newton Apple podcast on stitcher helps us out help other people learn about the show. We help us find out what you want to hear about. So thank you. For sure to check out my socials for more information about our upcoming guests. At Bill Nye on everything meanwhile if you'd like to leave us a voicemail I hope you do give us a call at two zero, one, four, seven, two, zero, seven, eight, five or submit your question to ask Bill. Nye Dot com science roles is produced by Harry. Huggins, and US Power Casey Hawford. Makes this episode and composed our original be Josephine Margaritas our executive producer Chris Bannon is the chief content officer here stitcher. And it stitcher science rules. Own. Stitcher. Tell a dock provides access to speak with board certified doctors via APP phone or video. 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Season Two, Episode 5: Catch a Falling Star
"Katcha Falling Staw potard in your pocket never let it fade Falling Star once was a mission that outer space that caught a falling star by its tail. The mission was called Stardust. Are Dust as it came close to comet built to this NASA spacecraft captured some of the AC dusty particles that fly off the comet and make up its spectacular tale starts brought this precious comic cargo back to Earth in two thousand six sir. Murder Stardust Used Era Gel to capture the comet particles the silicon sponge like material ninety nine point eight percent empty empty space because of its hazy. Blue Look Air. Gel is often called frozen smoke. Air Gel was able to trap the fast moving yet delicate com particles without destroying them the particles that bore their way through the Gel look like miniature comets suspended in time scientists. Mr Still studying those stardust samples to gain insight into the nature of comets. There's even a website stardust at home or anyone can volunteer to search through the microscopic images of starts era gel collector and help identify the particles the fragility of the comet particles is one reason to send a spacecraft all the way out there to get samples even if the comet fell to Earth and we think many comets have hit us in the past the fiery descent through our Atmosphere would burn up its ICES and other vulnerable elements the same goes for asteroids only the most rugged bits make it through when ashtrays straights hit the ground there called meteorites and we've collected thousands of them. They come to us of their own accord all the time but comparing the meteorites we've we've collected to what we've observed in space you know. They only represent a small fraction of the asteroids out there. Stardust wasn't the only sample return mission to objects that look like falling stars when we see them streak through the night sky. The Japanese space agency JAKSA center high abusive spacecraft to the asteroid Itokawa and brought some of it back to Earth and twenty. Ten Jackson followed up with a high abusive to mission now at the Asteroid Review Goo implants implants to return samples of that asteroid back to Earth. Next year the asteroids visited by the higher boost mission have orbits that could cause them to hit earth. Someday I'm day they're on. Jpl Century list of potentially hazardous asteroids and size large enough to affect the whole world. If it hit it it a cow is about a third of the size of review. Three hundred and thirty meters but still big enough to be a continental catastrophe. It's a striking contrast contrast on the one hand. These asteroids are so big and strong they deal a powerful blow if they ever punch through our atmosphere and yet to study them well we need to gather their stardust and gingerly. Place it in a package marked handle with care puck full star live catch a falling star. Arvin pit never managed to catch a falling star Aram polluted in your partner And then you start to Juan de required the ground radar down on. This is amazing. Welcome to on a mission. A podcast of NASA's Jet Propulsion Awesome Laboratory. I'm Leslie Mullen. This is season two episode five. Catch a falling star if you look at a map of all the asteroids in our solar system. It's overwhelming and a bit frightening. The asteroids look like Hornets a mad swarm around the sun but that asteroid Freud Map is deceptive because it's not to scale spaces actually mostly empty the asteroids. Our solar system aren't packed closely together. Like in the Star awards movie the Empire Strikes Back into an asteroid crazy to follow us. They have to do the impressment. The possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid books if he three thousand seven hundred twenty two whatever. Tell me the odds. We tend to disregard the odds of asteroid threats to Earth as well astronomers will say this asteroid has a one in a million chance of hitting us even though those odds are extraordinarily low that often gets interpreted as Ono an asteroid is going to hit us when an asteroid passes a spy. We can't just breathe a sigh of relief if they often come back there orbiting the sun just like we are but at different speeds and on different paths so when astronomers determined and asteroids is odds of hitting us they have to not only consider this loop around the sun but all of its future loops as well. JPL scientists Steve Chancellor Ashley Keeps Tabs on where asteroids going for tracking asteroids data source are these telescopes bitter constantly plowing the skies looking in for objects a whenever they find something they send it in and we update the orbit so we don't update the orbits necessarily when we want to we. We do that when we get more. Data sometimes objects are so interesting that we'd say. Hey we need to know where this is. Maybe because it's threatening the earth or maybe because of space mission wants to go there so then they will point to telescope where it's supposed to be now if those predictions for were supposed to be are. You're very approximate. They might have a lot of work to recover. The asteroid the fun thing and asteroids. Is You can do that in the past you can kind of do time travel. Because everybody we saving their images and even film from the Nineteen fifties all been digitized dope if you have an asteroid you wanted to where it was sometime in the past you can go to those files and update the that way. It's not as simple. Connect the dots exercise though because asteroids. Don't follow straight lines. Through the solar system sunlight that warms the surface of asteroids can steer them in unexpected directions. This is known as the are Kofsky. Effect Rusi see your Kofsky. Effect is very cool on a NASA web series. The robot astronomy talk show that actress Cameron Diaz schooled the robot host post about the your Kofsky effect. So you're saying that when an asteroid absorbs sunlight on one side that side in its infrared energy that pushes it out pitch normal orbit the exactly the more sunlight it's able to absorb the more infrared energy. It emits and the further it gets pushed asteroids all experience this effect in fact a different degrees in Steve says figuring out how it changes and asteroids orbit around the Sun can be difficult when asteroids. I discovered we really don't know even which way the asteroid is being pushed. Could push ahead or behind in its orbit. That can be a very complicated effect on Earth Hazard prediction for many the asteroids and now we have on the order of one hundred near Earth Asteroids for which we can see an estimate the amount of the aircraft offs key affect. But they're still twenty thousand more your asteroids for which we have no insight of what the Husky effect is doing to that buddy. Radar measurements can help narrow down. How an ashtray? Deviating from its expected path but such measurements can only be made when an asteroid asteroid is relatively close to us. Radar also can provide better details on an asteroid size and shape. which is good to know if you're trying to figure out house? Sunlight is heating their surfaces in asteroids. Come in a medley of forms. Some look like dog bones or walnut shells others are irregular jagged. Give Mishmash one Halloween. An asteroid with features like a human skull flew past us a wicked cosmic joke. Some asteroids are enormous and some are very small they come in different colors and flavors metallic stony icy but why are the asteroids also different. Why are they even out there in the first place to answer such questions? NASA has sent missions to investigate them. The Galileo Mission to Jupiter was the first to fly by An asteroid back in nineteen ninety one. The first mission to orbit and land on an asteroid happened seven years later with the near Shoemaker spacecraft's visit to asteroid right arrows at nearly seventeen kilometers in length eros is the second largest near Earth object six kilometers bigger than the asteroid that led to the dinosaurs extinction extinction. Luckily for us. Eros is not heading our way the asteroid Benue is another story. Benders orbit around the Sun. Brings it close close to Earth every six years and there's a small chance it could hit us in the year. Twenty one ninety. Six Banu is five hundred meters in diameter taller than the empire tire. state-building if it hit us the impact would unleash eighty thousand times energy an atomic bomb. This threat is enough to have motivated a recent study. Study about the best way to steer Ben off course hammer an acronym for hyper velocity mitigation. Mission would be a battering Ram of spacecraft. We have to throw a lot of hammers banner to move it between a dozen to eighty depending on the amount of time we have before it hit. But Ben you might not respond spawned the way we think it will. We need to learn more about it with that in mind. Nastase oh Cyrus. Rex Mission is currently orbiting Banu and sending US images ages of it's rough craggy surface. Astronomers Think Banu is shattered fragment a remnant from a collision between two larger asteroids that impact Banu off and tossed it out of the asteroid belt the region of space between Mars and Jupiter that contains millions of asteroids. Ben Who still bears the marks of being being a crash survivor. It's a rubble pile of rocks loosely bound together by gravity. The lead scientist of the Cyrus Rex Mission Dante Lauretta. The university diversity of Arizona says they hadn't realized just how loosely bound some of those rocks are so yeah. The asteroid is regularly tossing material off into space. This certainly was unexpected. By surprise a lot of them are falling right back down and landing on the asteroid surface. Some of them are actually getting trapped in orbits around the asteroid which is really exciting because it allows us to track them over many days and even weeks and then start to learn something about the detail. Gravity field the asteroid and then some of them are at high enough philosophies above what we would call the escape velocity of the asteroid. And they're leaving Benny going into interplanetary space. There is no concern for spacecraft safety. It's a small enough amount of material and overall moving relatively slowly so even if one of these were to hit the space craft it. It wouldn't cause any damage that would impact our ability to achieve the mission the dance of rock particles around Bhanu is just one more challenge for the spacecraft were navigating in in a microgravity environment and that has a lot of unexpected in small forces that act on the spacecraft so in addition to the gravity of the asteroid Royd. We're also getting pushed around by the solar wind material outgassing from the spacecraft heat radiating off from the asteroid all of those have a substantial impact on the trajectory victory the spacecraft so we're constantly taking images and updating the position and figuring out where we're going to be in the future and that drives a very intense operational final timeline for the team basically within twenty four hours of making a science observation. We have to do a navigation. Solution determined the position and velocity of the spacecraft relative to the asteroid and then get that up on the spacecraft so that it can accommodate the differences in where we're actually going to be versus where we thought we would be when we first meet the design. Uh the difficulty of navigating spacecraft around and asteroids suggests that moving one could be a tough task but of Cyrus. REX is not there to move. Its goal is to gather a sample from it. Even though rock particles are drifting off. Banu your Cyrus. REX mission wasn't designed to capture them like the stardust mission. Did for comment built to instead a device at the end of a long arm extending from the underside of the space craft will collect material from the asteroid surface surface. After the device touchdown for five seconds springs will bounce the spacecraft. Backup kind of like a pogo stick. In those five seconds the device will gather asteroid dirt in a unique way touch and go sample acquisition mechanism or tag sandwiches device that we place on the surface is basically A vacuum cleaner working in reverse so with a vacuum cleaner. You create an area of low pressure and it pulls the air and the dirt through a filter with tag Sam and we actually bring our own air because the asteroid is an airless body and we blow it down into the regular or the soil on the asteroid creating region of high pressure Asher underneath a filter and then it grabs the gravel and rocky material and pushes it up into an air filter. The TAG SAM is designed to pick up a minimum of one hundred fifty fifty grams of material and its capacity is over two kilograms. One hundred and fifty grams is like a `Grande starbucks Coffee Cup. The samples styris. Rex will bring the earth will reveal more about Banu and they could help us better understand the history of our solar system asteroids or leftovers from all the material swirled around our young son and came together to form the planets so we're really interested in the earliest stages of solar system formation. And there's no geologic nick record of that period on the Earth or on the moon or on Mars if you want to understand how planets formed then you need to go back to the small bodies the asteroids and comets summits which have been largely unaltered since the earliest stages of the formation of the solar system. We think when the solar system was young and material is starting to form arm there was a disc of material of gas and dust that was spinning around the Proto Son. We call that the protoplanetary disk or the Solar Nebula and there was a temperature gradient radiant. When you're close to the sun things very hot and you formed? What we would say are refractory minerals like calcium and aluminum and then as you move away things got colder and different minerals became stable silicates that make up the majority of rocky material the metals? Then you had things that would incorporate sodium and Potassium Hasyim and then you've got out to ices like water and then as you get farther out even to more extreme ices like methane ammonia carbon monoxide which which freaks out at very low temperatures bill body director of the Department of Space Studies at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder Colorado says. We're still trying to get a handle. John how asteroids have moved around since our solar system formed so yesterday build I think is fairly ancient but may not have looked exactly the way it does now all four and a half billion years ago it may have been more massive. We may have had more material there. The street belt has been changing lot. Zuma sort of extreme models to say at one point the asteroid belt was completely empty and then during plan formation processes material from the same zone where you're making the earth and Venus and arrest through material into the asteroid belt off the inside video also taking all these small bodies forming in the giant planet zone. You're putting them into the asteroid belt so yes rate both of clearinghouse for things. All the way across the solar system old. That activity would have happened very early. The objects are very very old but also dynamically. We have models trying to say. How would you get these objects onto these orbits in fashion? Our models can only work if they happen at very early times in solar system history. But there's this other issue as well which is why the asteroid belt is filled with material. That looks looks for those at noted Ordinary Congress this is a very standard type of meteorite falling on the ground it tends to be fairly stony has very little water and then there's another kind of material we have in the asteroid belt called carbonaceous connery's this materials more primitive more water rich seems like informed colder temperatures such and we have a mixture of those two in the asteroid right bolt but the mixture isn't uniform and the question is why do we have that mixing. And how do you get such diversity of compositions within a really small span of the Asteroids Doc. Yesterday's belts not that big if you took all the mass in the asteroid belt and you put into one single object that objects only about five percent massimo. There's not much stuff there. And there's also spread out over huge distance. The locations of asteroids today may be largely due to Jupiter the biggest planet in the Solar System Jupiter rethink started started. Maybe not so different from the earth it begins to grow. We think is forming when there was a solar nebula round and if objects large enough they can start. Grab the gas then. This grab the gas to get larger and larger and it can go almost Detroit a runaway process where they're getting lots and lots of guess so if they then get big enough from that process then they can start to gravitationally interact with the disc of material around them. And so what happens is that they're pulling on gas disk. The gas disk is interacting with the planet and that can actually cause them to migrate inward and some cases in other cases can cause them to migrate outwards. It all depends on the real specific. So what's going on with gravitational interaction. Scientists figured out that that planets can switch places like this because when we look at EXOPLANET systems planets orbiting other stars sometimes we see Jupiter like planets closer to their son on the tiny scorched planet. Mercury is to our sun for Really Large Jupiter sized planets. They're living right next to the star and we don't think they coulda form there that in so that's a big clue that somehow systems. Maybe they're versions of Jupiter started further out and then migrated inward perhaps that accounts for the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars ars as deport her. Move toward the Sun. It's gravity swept the asteroids ahead of it like a giant broom but bitter may have scattered more asteroids than it gathered when when Jupiter reaches its full size at actually Chris autodesk citation on the Solar System Jupiter migrates and other worlds migrate. You can all sorts of interesting things to the asteroid belt so the asteroid built me of lost a lot of mass not by collisions but by dynamics imagine making an asteroid belt then exciting a lot of material out of it so you're just left behind with survivors that are some small fraction action that maybe we're asterik built. Today NASA plans to launch another mission called Lucy to visit asteroids that Sharon orbit with Jupiter known as Trojans the asteroids might be able to tell us more about whether Jupiter migrated if deeper bellied up closer to the sun and other planets shifted inward or outward that would have been a period of massive upheaval asteroids would have been tossed about smashing into each other and hitting the planets to our moon still bears the scars of intense tens asteroid pummeling during the Apollo missions the lunar astronauts explored craters made by these asteroid impacts it sure. Does it sure that I can see hundreds of coincide. Fight is piled up. That is really something to that suburban much and it probably probably not only the three and a half billion years right before three hundred zero dollars. Alert so with the Apollo astronauts went to the moon. They brought back samples from a number of different places on the lunar nearside and then took the samples back dated them and they seem to see a lot of ages. There were showing up around three point nine billion years ago or so and so some people suggested that might mean that there was a big impact spike at three three point nine K and they suggested a lot of the biggest craters we see on the near side of the moon. Were from that time now. That was an early holiday since then. We've gotten a lot lot. Better information on the moon from various satellites and things. We've got much more sophisticated labs and the work and there's been a lot of revisions of how to put the different objects. We have in context and now a lot of people think that a lot of the three point nine ages were getting are simply from one of the biggest impact basins on the near side. That's called Imran. So embryo may have thrown its material all across in your side of the Moon. And so we see these three point nine ages. We may just beginning the embryo again again again. Now with that. Said there's is also this puzzle right so this is where you go back and forth in this. Here's what forty craters on the moon. Larger than three hundred kilometers or so. But two of the three largest out of that it for you probably with ages not so different. The three point nine. And there's some interesting evidence coming from the grail mission. The suggested other basins also may have ages similar to Ingram and it's not just the moon. We have other constraints that while interpretation is always the issue. They suggest that may be something. Big was happening between about four four and three point six billion years ago and then this model came along called the niece model which suggested that the giant planets formed in a certain configuration then many hundreds of millions of years after they went through this big instability which caused them to migrate and really changed the whole configuration of the solar system. The question is when did it happen so for many years. We argued that there was all these indications of an increased impacts around three point nine maybe the niece model happened three point nine and that kind of made sense but now we're starting to look at the idea that this planet reconfiguration happened very early in solar system history and if it did then that would take away its ability to make the late impacts that we see so the biggest problem with the niece model having a long delay is that systems at WanNa go unstable go and stable right so it's Kinda like you know when you have an avalanche it's hard they have the snow pile to sit there and sit and sit and sit before it goes. It wants to go. The solar solar system formed four point six billion years ago and scientists think if the planets migrated it had to have happened early in that formation process a heavy bombardment men of asteroids. Three point nine billion years ago still seems early to us but it's more than five hundred million years after that possible period of planet migration asteroids are like clues to the scene of a crime along after it happened. Anyone who watches crime shows knows the first forty eight hours or vital for collecting clues for those who study the solar system. The clues are billions of years old. And they don't always line up so imagine you're sherlock block homes and you go into a room and there's a dead body on the floor juicy blood splattered on the wall. You see bone fragments and as detective. He'll look at the blood splatter and the bone pieces arrest trying to say okay. How was this murder committed? So essentially asteroids and comets are the blood splatter and the bone chips and everything else we need to understand planet formation. Shen the plants themselves are useful but they've been subject to a large number of events which are sort of random nature so it's hard to necessarily say what happened happened. Small bodies because of their nature diversity either orbits and the rest provide really powerful constraints for our plan permission model so right now. We're visiting the asteroid. Benny Benny anyways turned out to be this amazingly fascinating world and I've also been enjoying watching the mission boost to from the Japanese space agency. They're going to this asteroid. That's a little bit Banou. Ish called review and both are going to bring back samples to story. They tell us it's going to be a story of planet formation. Also going to be a story of what's happened in. The asteroid rebelled over the last few billion years for a- Cyrus rex lead scientist Dante. Lauretta the Rock samples taken from Asteroid Banu or kindergarten. DNA samples from a crime scene. I compare it to a forensic investigation when you look in meteorites. You haven't had control of the chain of evidence you don't know who's handled them. I'm if they've been contaminated just by landing on the surface of the earth. We have gone through an enormous amount of effort to keep the samples clean and to document any contamination that might be introduced to them so that we will know the material that we find inside. The samples definitely came from the asteroid. We're really interested. In the role carbon rich asteroids like Bhanu you may have played in seeding the surface of the early earth with the materials for the origin of life where interested in amino acids nucleic acids sugars the lipid that might form cell walls anything that we think was critical to building the first bio-molecules on her the hunt for molecule is vital to life within Banu was a major inspiration for the name of the mission the Oh in our Cyrus wreck stands for origins in case you're curious the other letters in their Cyrus sanfer spectral interpretation resource identification edification and Security Rex's Latin for King but for the mission it stands for regular explorer as acronyms go a serious. Rex is a bit tortured but Dante chose it partly because of the missions parallels to the Egyptian. God Ah Cyrus among as many gifts or Cyrus was thought to have brought vegetation fertility in life to Egypt asteroid bad news potential to hit earth someday reflects or cyrus darker side as has the god of the dead. Dante has a pension for strategic puzzles in creative associations when he's not leading space missions to solve the mysteries of the solar system the stem he's designing board games. I make games that are science based we use those as tools to engage kids in getting interested trysted in science and higher education. A teach class here at U. of A. called gainful learning and community outreach so we recruit students and then we train them to be mentors and every week they go into the boys and Girls Club club houses and they bring in science themed games not just our games. There's actually a broad movement of researchers searchers and scientists who are building games that have strong science content built into the game play and so the kids like playing board games. They like meeting college college students. So the whole concept is to bring University of Arizona undergraduates into the club houses to give them role models and people that they can relate to ask questions Christians to and learn about college and then through the science themed games. They learn something about science as well. I actually went to the boys and Girls Club as a kid. It was one. Oh the places that I hung out. My mom was a single parent and she needed a place for me to go where I could be taken care of after school and mostly in the summertime I grew up in rural Arizona. Little area called New River. I was the first person in my family to go to college. I really didn't even know what it meant to go to college. Really wasn't obvious to me. What options were out there? I mean my family worked in restaurants or jobs like that so I kind of figured. That's what I was going to do but then I did. He had a lot of work like that. And it's hard and you know. It's not very glamorous. Fortunately I was able to get to the universe Zona as an undergraduate student because I did well in high school and they had regents scholarships and that really changed everything for him to be able to go to college for free and figure out that there was professional opportunities east be scientists in adventure discover planetary science. And that's where my career path was really set as a child. Dante always had an interest in science and especially love live science fiction novels. I was really big fan of some of the nineteenth century. Science fiction they were in the school library is classic. Books things like Charles Dickens or Emily Bronte. I didn't really care for any of that stuff and then I found the time machine H. G. Wells. I'm afraid I cannot convey the the peculiar sensations of time traveling they are excessively unpleasant. There is a feeling exactly like that. One has upon WANNA switch back of a helpless headlong motion. I felt the same horrible anticipation to of an imminent smash as I put on pace night followed day like the flapping of a black wing. The dim suggestion at the laboratory seem presently to fall away from me and I saw the sun hopping swiftly across the sky leaping at every minute and every minute marking a day like this is the kind of book that that I like to read so Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea Journey to the center of the Earth and the whole idea of scientific expeditions. I thought was just really fascinating meeting and I wanted to be part of one of those someday now as lead scientists on the cybersex mission to the ancient asteroid Banu. He's on a science expedition with his own time machine. That's right and we are going back in time to the Donald Solar System the samples Cyrus Rex will gather could take us back to when our planet Senate I got its vast oceans. So there's a big question in planetary science about where did Earth's water come from. We're obviously a unique planet and having abundant liquid water at the surface and from our theories of planetary formation Earth shouldn't have formed with that large amount of water so it had to be brought in from something like an asteroid or or a comment. And we think these water rich asteroids are the most likely sources and so we'll be trying to understand if the water in Banu has has the same isotopic composition as the water in our oceans asteroids. Like banner don't have lakes of liquid water on them. Rather the water molecules are bound up in minerals like white clay. That water is of interest not only to answer questions about our planet's past for those who want to mine. Asteroids for Precious Resources Asteroid had water is at the top of their list. We idea is that you can take the water and use it for Paulson. It is definitely like science fiction from when I was kid
Bennu's Rugged Surface
"This he space time series. Twenty two episode twenty nine for broadcast on the tenth of April. Twenty nineteen coming up on space time, the potentially deadly asteroid Banou proves to be far more difficult to study them. Previously thought the new study really are tiny black holes as a possible source of dark matter and Israel's Genesis spacecraft achieves lunar orbit insertion all that and more coming up on space time. Welcome to space tired. We'd Stewart Gary. Close up observations of the nearest asteroid Banou show it surface to be fi- rocky and rougher than expected. The findings reported in eight scientific papers in the journal nature show, the four hundred ninety two meter wide space rock which is a one in twenty seven hundred chance of hitting the earth is a far more challenging target and want mission managers had originally designed for the new data represents the first detailed close up observations gathered by Nassar's Assias Rick spacecraft since arriving at Banou in October last year, it confirms many of the measurements obtained by ground based observations. It shows a far more rugged boulder strewn surface than anyone had expected. Banou is also far more vary in brightness than expected prompting mission. Engineers and scientists to reevaluate some of the approaches designed around the mission's primary goal that of collecting samples of surface material or regular and returning it back to earth a Sarah Rix, principal investigator. Dante Lauretta from the university of Arizona says. New is clearly one of the darkest objects in the solar system with fire rougher than expected to rain mission managers originally developed their sampling strategy around what was not about Banou when the mission was designed they expected at least some relatively smooth patches of surface with gravel of the small pebbles covering open terrain stretching out over areas of at least fifty minutes cross plenty of room to ladder spacecraft. Instead, they're only really small number of open spaces devoid of large boulders and these tiny just five to twenty meters wide meeting. They'll pose a rule has it to the spacecraft when it touches down, for example collection. The high resolution images reveal a surface packed with more than two hundred Bodas lodge than ten minutes across and many more over meter wide, the largest of they've identified measured some fifty eight maters the observations also confirmed that the news one of the darkest objects in the solar system reflecting only four percent of all the sunlight that reaches it and it surface features. Also, very greatly from one area to another with respect to brightness. This high variability in reflected light not as beta represented challenge for the laser on the spacecraft's light off system designed to guide the sample acquisition approach. The survey also showed the asteroid is shaped like a spinning top. It's estimated to be between a hundred million and a billion years old of role. That means the asteroid's surface is much older than expected. But there's also evidence of some more recent activity there are high standing ridges running from the news north to south pole, and they appear to direct the flow surface. Material features such as the infiltrate lodge, craters fractured boulders and a deficiency in small impact. Craters all hint at a dynamic surface with ongoing changes Banou is what's considered to be an asteroid rubble pile with lots of void spaces inside up to sixty percent total porosity that it shapes to catch. It does have interior stiffness with enough into frictional. Occasion to allow the surface to crack the spectrum data confirm. It's been his classification as primitive carbonaceous, con dried. It also confirms the presence of lots of hydrated minerals. Ubiquitous across the surface of the asteroid. There's evidence for molecules that contain oxygen and hydrogen atoms bonded together. Not as high drizzles. These hydroxyl groups exists globally across the asteroid in Waterbury, and clay minerals. Meaning that at some point this rocky material interacted with water now while Banou itself is too small to over has liquid water. The findings do suggest that liquid water was present at some time on bananas parent body, which would have been the much larger asteroid from which Banou was broken off. Nasr? We mentioned the other way, but news rotational rate is accelerating steadily increasing it read about one second every hundred years, we think this is is something called the your perfect a phenomenon in which differences in reflectively in temperature across an asteroid surface results in faster spinning rate of a time which in some. Cases can ultimately lead to the asteroid breaking apart in a surprise. Find navigation Limoges taken by the space craft upon arrival of Banou show particles floating in the vicinity of the steroid possibly itsy-bitsy little moons, which will be investigated in more detail during the upcoming sample return site selection campaign. The Sarah's Rex is spending three years orbiting the asteroid altitudes down as low as five kilometres mapping bidders surface and geology studying civil Lucien, composition, chemistry and mineralogy. Knowing is physical properties will be crucial for scientists trying to determine the likelihood of this mountain sized asteroid slamming into the earth in July twenty twenty the Cyrus Rx will fly down on hovered, just above Banou surface extending a robotic arm and collecting up to two kilograms of pristine asteroid regular for sample return worth the spacecraft's slated to leave all but in March twenty twenty one with a sample return capsule being jettisoned for a parachute landing in the Utah. Desert. In September, twenty twenty three professor trivia island from the strain National University will analyze some of the samples once they returned to worth piece is the big question for him is whether the roughness in high number of boulders correspond with the agents surface plea with samples back in the lab island and colleagues will be able to determine the age of these surfaces by their solar wind and cosmic Ray exposure rates Ruge, we already saw a large boulders were very similar sort of morphology of of the punditry body. We saw about sign then some ways about is been on that really surprising. But it certainly brought high some of the aspects of sampling which hadn't been well had been considered. And I think it's just brought it home that. Yeah. These these bodies I won all sorts of things that every one of them sort of unique in a lot of its characteristics. So there's the surprises. There is the centrally some coarse grain material, but with seeing that before on both eat ago and ruger's. They'll get on. And do it. I'm sure we not a real problems on the end of it when I first so that's close up relatively close up views five kilometers away of the new surface. I was shocked just how rugged and how bold the packed. It really is. Yeah. So it looks like we're seeing more and more of these rebel pilots Royds, but the fun completely different from ADA cowards. The spinning top things I one of the really intriguing things it's going to be when we get the samples back is there going to be at least I was going to be a lot older than they wear on either collar, or are they going to be something completely different than we? We haven't seen before. And. Yeah, this is all of these things that happen in very short older in terms of ten million years or something like that. But I think that's going to be intriguing thing. My suspicion will be that review and Bennett will be quite a bit older than our and that's reflecting the time to create into these sort of spinning up shite. Now, you're gonna be getting some of these samples to have a close. Look at to me what your job will be. How do you go about investigating the the San? Was you you'll be getting so we're trying to match these asteroids up of meteorite from. So we know what the meteoroid roughly look like of these different types. And so we'll be looking to try and match what we think the asteroid is with the the meteorite. But then we're certainly I've been to surprised, and I'm sure we'll get someone when we get the samples back, and what process do you go through a you allowed to destroy the samples. Oh, I only ladder sort of look at them and drill. What you can from them know somebody samples we'll be destroyed. But there's a there's quite a an established protocol for how you go through maximize the benefit out of any grains, that we we get back and given the the blossom we had on it looks like we've got a good sample on Ruger and bat, December will be nine how we got on with spin on and see what comes back, and and what we can do with them. But we certainly don't need very much material. And you know, if you've half millimeter grinds will basically establish a lot of the history of these asteroids. That's what you could do with it Akao, wasn't it. That's right. So. Have those fifteen hundred grinds of the service material, and that certainly was very intriguing tens of having that surface characterized the interesting thing in comparison now that we're gonna take I sample which is from lodge substance. If we get grams of material they were lots of more of the inside of the of the asteroid that will be looking at. And then it'll be a question can we actually get surface material that we can use to tonight the the processes that are carrying on the surface of the asteroid when we look at the new it's got some looks like it's varied in age. It could that could well, and this is going to be the fun thing because we're not necessarily going to get multiple samples of the asteroid. So they'll be some decisions might as to the way we got when what we get certainly in the the bottom of the craters people have argued well, the should be youngest stuff because exposed fresh material down there. But a lot of the the goals of Nassir out of font. Follow the water inside, maybe the waters and concentrate. Getting a slightly different regime, but the overriding consideration intensive landing will be from the engineers to avoid anything, which can sort of destroy the mission and upset the spice craft. So they'll be taking Philly flat sort of rage, the asteroid, and we'll just take what we get over the three asteroids riot Itokawa. And now Banou do they all originate from different parts of spaces? I within the term indifferent distances that from the sun. Well, we're not sure just yet because we don't know exactly what you know, these are Rugen Begnaud about c type asteroids. And so we're not. Yeah. The same arguments now that these Maya formed on the other side of Jupiter. I'm not so sure about that. But certainly if I come from the outer asteroid belt and probably kind from that position into earth. And this must mean something which is disrupted them at some stage. So if they're rubble Paul's there's been a collision somewhere what we'd like to know is that disruption could and reassembly code in the asteroid belt or did it occur after the impact on some sort of crossing. All the or has the asteroid actually evolved into that will. But inside if we can get the dates of processes from the center for the asteroid, then we got a reasonable way of trying to constrain what's actually going on on that says, so this could help reinforce the grand tech theory. Good definitely do the grand tech. I think that's that will be one of the intriguing things is it's it's yeah. Some of these things have really difficult to die. So we we can Deitz probably the formation of the materials that have gone into Ben we can dight the last sort of exposure to solo and the question will be whether we can see some of those intermediate things which may have been related to the likes of grand tech disturbing reassembling the asteroid belt at that stage and sending stuff into with crossing asteroids. So one of the big questions will be as was disrupted. Very old age is being wasn't disrupted the younger age, and then reassembled, so hopefully, we can take some of those hypotheses out of these materials three point nine billion years being the guess. Yeah. That's right. So do we see three point nine Dugway? Visit trivia. Highland from the Austrian National University. And this is space time. I'm Stewart Gary. A new study is ruled out primordial black holes as a possible explanation for that mysterious substance known as matter primordial black holes at tiny hypothetical singularities less than a millimeter wide, which was thought to formed in the super-dense conditions of the very early universe over thirty and a half billion years ago together with a whole menagerie of potential hypothetical subatomic particles such as axioms and sterile neutrinos. Primordial black holes are among the most popular current ID's to try and explain doc matter scientists note that matters real because they can see it's a fix on normal matter it stops galaxies flying apart and makes up at least eighty five percent of all the matter in the universe. But at a invisible, and it only seems to act with normal Matic reputation Louis so finding out what dot matter is remains one of the biggest mysteries in science today. Scientists have used undergrad observatories. Detox. Studies of objects opening the halos of galaxies and experiments at the world's largest particle accelerators to try and uncover the secrets of Dak matter. Sadly, as yet, none of them have been successful, the try and resolve the issue, or at least take off a few more boxes at international team of researchers led by scientists from the cavalier institute have decided to consider more closely. Stephen Hawking's, nineteen seventy four theory on the existence of primordial black holes born shortly after the big bang, and he speculation that they could make up a large fraction of dark matter. The researchers used gravitational Lenzing to look for primordial black holes between earth and the Andromeda galaxy first proposed by Albert Einstein gravitational Lenzing occurs. When light from a background object such as a galaxy. Or a star is bent in Linz by the mess of a foreground object passing front of in extreme cases such light bending causes the background object to pay much brighter than it actually is however gravitational Lenzing. Effect are rare as they require the background in full objects to line up exactly with the observer to maximize the chances of capturing such an event researches use the hyper supreme Cam digital camera on the Subaru telescope why which can kept you all the Andromeda galaxy in a single shot taking into account half fast primordial black holes. If they exist are expected to move into stellar space, the authors talk marble images in order to be able to catch the flicker of stars it brightens period of just a few minutes to hours Judy gravitational Lenzing from one hundred ninety consecutive images to the Andromeda galaxy taking over seven hours during one clean the team scout that data for potential gravitational Lansing events. Now. If matter does consist of primordial black holes of given mess in this case, it messes lighter than the moon research is expected to find a better thousand events reporting in the journal nature astronomy, the authors claim that after careful analysis they can only identify one potential case modify. And now if this is correct, it means primordial black could contribute. No more than about zero point. One percent of all the data mess in the universe. The authors speculate this hypothesis is unlikely to be correct. I'm Stewart Gary you'll listen to space time. Newly processed close up images of five of sentence moons show the being curtained with ice particles dust and debris from the planet's ring system and from its Eisman and syllabus. Yup. Survey Sion's reported in the journal science based on data gathered back in twenty seventeen during some of the closest fly bys carried out by Nassar's Cassini spacecraft. The study's lead scientists bunny Barati from this as Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. She's the daring close fly by of these odd. Little moons has allowed scientists to peer into how they direct with sentence rings showing how extremely active dynamic the Cetinje and ring and moon system. Really is scientists also found that the moon's surface is a highly porous further confirming that they were formed in multiple stages as ring material settled on the denser 'cause that may be the remnants of a larger object that had broken a pound. The porosity also helps explain the shape rather than being very cool. They're all sort of blob, your Revie only like. With material stuck around their quotas. These tiny moons skipping pilots of ice and dust from the rings north at the foam little skirts, rather acquaintances at Denson body would have more mass and hence be self gravitating. Oh woods mall. Bowl-shaped of the satellite. Studied the surfaces of those closest the satin deafness in pan with the most altered by ring. Material the surfaces of the moons. Atlas permit Yasin Pandora further add from certain of ring material as well. But the Rosa coded with Brian icy particles in water, vapor from the plumes spraying out of and syllabus, a broader outer ring of satin known as the ring is in fact foam by the icy material that fans out from the instability and plumes the capex will pay a data from cassini's, visible and infrared mapping spectrometer. It was the first time that Cassini was close enough to create a spectrum of the surface of the innermost moon pan by analyzing the spectrum, astronomers rebel to learn more about the composition of the materials on all five of the moons. The ring moons closest the set and p of the reddest similar in color to the main rings, scientists believe the readiness is caused by a mixture of organic compounds and I on on the other hand the moon's just outside the main rings, a p more bluish in color similar to the light from Enceladus as I see plumes after a journey lasting some thirteen years. The Cassini mission finally came to an end in September twenty seventeen with the spacecraft low on fuel mission managers deliberately plunge Cassini. Inter sans atmosphere rather than risk crashing with spacecraft into one of the planets moons and contaminating that moon with microbes this space time. I'm Stewart Gary. Israel's sheet will Genesis spacecraft successfully entered lunar orbit and he's now expected to touch down on the surface of the moon on April the eleventh of traveling more than five point five million kilometres in opening the earth, some twelve times Genesis successfully carried out its complex lunar orbit entry maneuver and the taking seventy two second engine burn to slow down and allow the moon's gravity to capture the spacecraft and place it into lunar orbit. The maneuver put Genesis into an elliptical orbit around the moon ranging from five hundred to ten thousand kilometers above the lunar surface mission managers then began shares of engine burns designed to circularize the flight path into a two hundred kilometer high secular orbit in preparation for the set and landing now safely circling the moon Israel, aerospace industries space division, general manager of adorn says if all goes to plan Israel will become only the fourth nation on earth. After the survey union, the United States and China to land on the lunar surface. Glenn name. Eagle from this deep space communications complex Tidbinbilla knee camera says, the deep space network has been assisting mission managers until Aviv through every aspect of the mission. Genesis in the beginning, this is a mission that the database network is supporting we've two I communications up linking any commands that they spice I team require. And of course, getting valuable data back, including all being well, the successful landing the spacecraft. Do we know yet exactly whether or not the lunar reconnaissance over the will be positioned to monitor the landings that was one of the big hubs that we may be to get the L arrow to actually watches the Israeli spacecraft touches down. It all comes down to timing. Of course, essential bet on a show that they can continue to do its regular up so big. But if all goes, well, depending on the timing of the landing then it's possible that an image could be captured. This is just a big mission for these railways is also this sort of mission financer as will some laser retro reflectors will be placed on the lunar surface for a future moon. Navigate. System. Yes. So there's two very interesting experiments on board the space craft the magnets over to look at a bit more about that magnetic fields of the moon. Some things we still don't understand there. And instead of laser reflectors, which has decided we'll be used by future mission as a navigational target there in the CU serenity so valuable to guide future missions. And that's especially important now with the eighty from Washington that we want Merican boots back on the moon within five years. There's a lot of excitement about a return to than than anybody NASA. But of course, many nations, and of course, now private companies getting involved in this. And that's it has my nose ticket over the last few years trying to build a coalition of countries and companies to Davos to get Hyun feedback on the surface of the moon as soon as possible, and that includes the gateway project, the next big space station being built by Nassar and the European Space Agency and possibly also Russia's will. Yeah. So the little gateway is an orbiting station around the moon appoint where we go talk to use that as a staging. Point to send missions down of the surface and return back to Luna, Royal. But and even the trial has a good opportunity to roll there, particularly in the area of robotics. The Canadians are going to supply robot arm, but there's other types robotics outside and inside the space craft this right has a good nation that we can actually fulfil any Thomas was talking about that. Even when the international space station was still being put together. And he said, it was a shame that Australia didn't at least have a a scientific desktop there or something that was part of the research the big advantage that we have now as a country is that we now have an active spice agency, which is continuing to help open markets up to an ever growing industry, which will develop even more double triple in size over the next decade. And I think we'll see a bit more of a stone work there in orbit around the earth and then journey further to the moon, and perhaps even tomorrow at school in Nagel from this space communications conflicts in camera the fun hundred eighty five kilogram. Genesis spacecraft was blasted into orbit Beck on February twenty-second aboard space. Falcon nine rocket from space launch complex forty at the Cape Canaveral air force station in Florida once in orbit. Genesis flightpath was designed to progressively increase. It's overlapping Geel furthest distance from the earth until it's over. It was so large it also encompassed the moon. This maneuver known as orbital raising is become the preferred method of reaching them in for robotic missions that because it uses foulest field on the motoric that transformative, but there is a downside taking some seven weeks to complete rather than just three days. The spacecraft will land on the mine racer and tatters save serenity a six hundred seventy four kilometer wide dot basaltic lava plain just east of the Mari embryo once on the lunar surface. Genesis will send back images and use its magnetometer to study the Luna magnetic field in order to help scientists bedroom understand how the moon formed and cooled as well as it scientific payload Genesis is also carrying digital time capsule known as the arch Luna library, which contains over thirty. Million pages of data there. Millions of documents from around the world, including dictionaries and encyclopedias a full copy of the English language. Wikipedia a copy of the day Christian bible, examples of fine, literature and art as well as children's drawings. The memories of a holocaust survivor Israel's national anthem, they take fat. And he's rarely flag and a copy of these rally declaration of independence. I'm Stewart, Gary they should space time. Easy lose electron rocket is carried at its first flight for the year. The United States defense department research satellite into war, but the mission blasted off often spectacular fashion from rocket labs. Mahia peninsula launch complex unusual North Island east coast in nine eight save him sex. Or three. Stage. One propulsion nominal. Petrova? We have had successful lift-off mission on electron coming up soon. Electron would go through a series of mission milestones in quick succession, including main engine cutoff or Meco for the nine Rutherford engines on electrons first stage will shut down shortly after this. We'll see stage. One separation followed by mission of the vacuum. Optimized and Rutherford engine on electrons second-stage following second-stage ignition electrons fearing will separate revealing the payload in preparation for deployment approximately fifty minutes from now next cue stitch one propulsion still nominal. Hey, it was Chatham station. Khow. Yatra successful engines, throttled them twenty seconds remaining he draped in at the tick mode stage. One make a stitch suppression succeeded. On stage. Two propulsion his nominal run down the sideline fearing jettison. And now you have it confirmation. In electrons, main engines have shut down as planned we've had stage one separation and the stage to engine has successfully ignited electron is now carrying onto orbit speed is three kilometers positions. We'll two hundred and fifty kilometers de promotion still nominal eating down and says no one of the unique features about electron is it's Rutherford engine. These brushless DC motor engines are powered by lithium polymer batteries in a few moments will be performing a battery hot swap where we switch from two depleted batteries to third fully charged battery shortly. We'll see the depleted batteries Jetsons to Lao for a more efficient flight to orbit successfully. Safe gate, h feed entry hall. Swap jinked itchy promotion. Still nominal entering stage. Too. Good not to take mode successful transfer and stretch suppression. All right. You heard the call the kick stage has now separated from electrons second-stage approximately forty minutes from now the Curie engine on the kick. Stage will ignite and circularize to a four hundred twenty five kilometer orbit for payload deployment the launch had been delayed by a month ju initially to the late arrival of the satellite payload. But then there were problems with an unbought video transmitter that will wither issues and problems with getting flight launch windows. The defense advanced research projects agency DARPA frequency risk reduction. Deployment demonstration satellite was placed into a four hundred and twenty five kilometer high orbit. The one hundred fifty kilogram payload was the top end of the two stage. Electron rocket's launch mass capability and required. A third kick modus stage to place the satellite into its exact orbit. The satellite was designed to test new technologies for deployable antennas using tissue thin, captain membrane foldable antenna designed to unfurl and expand at two point two five meters in Amador, this would eventually allow the use of smaller satellites, but ones which would still be out of support. High bandwidth communications the flight marks the start of what's going to be a busy launch manifest for rock. Labs and their electron launch vehicle with some twelve mission slated for this year company plans alone to roughly every two weeks both from New Zealand and eventually from the new launch complex now to construction at necessary Wallops island, flat facility on the Virginia. Mid atlantic. Coast company says it's now building its electron rockets at a rate of one per week. And it's devote the stockpile of one hundred and seventeen launch vehicles in various stages of completion. Neces- says India's anti-satellite missile-tests last week is now created a cloud of over four hundred pieces of debris, which he slowly spreading around the planet, some three hundred kilometers above the ground. The American space agency's administrator, Jim Brian Steen says that brief who was a terrible thing, which is placing the international space station. It's crew at risk. The test involves the ground-launched missile slamming into an opening satellite believed to be the seven hundred forty kilogram Indian Space Research organizations Micra set on which was launched back in January the United States if for space command began tracking more than two hundred and seventeen you objects larger than ten centimeters in size shortly after the impact in the area with the collision occurred, and as the clouds spread out that's grown to more than four hundred paces India's ministry for foreign affairs. Claim the test was conducted at the low of three hundred kilometer high altitude not to ensure that atmospheric drag would cause rapid orbital decay with most of the Bree reentering the atmosphere and burning up. Within a few weeks to months, but it seems the Bree in shrapnel from the blast with flung will above the impact zone with at least twenty four pieces launch enough to be tracked, Richie and orbital altitude apogee above the four hundred kilometer high orbit of the international space station. Broadened Steve described the test is not being compatible with the future human spaceflight. He says the test is increase the risk of debris hitting the space station by forty four percent. We know that we have identified four hundred pieces of orbital debris from that one event. We know that twenty four of them are going above the apogee of the international space station. That is a terrible terrible thing to create an event that sends debris in an apogee. That goes above the international space station while the risk went up. Forty four percent. Our astronauts are still safe. The international space station is still safe. If we need to maneuver it. We will the probability of that. I think is low United States to teach space. Command is currently tracking more than eighteen thousand out official objects in over the of the earth of these. Only around sixteen hundred or operational satellites the rest of the dish used spacecraft and spent rocket stages, but these are only objects lounge enough to be trek from the ground cowardice, the mid suggests the remote the nine hundred fifty thousand bits of space Jenkins centimeter larger in size at a staggering one hundred and seventy million bits of debris centimeter smaller. Currently opening the earth one of the big fees. Cascade events by bits of space junk, slamming, the set, let's creating more debris which van slammed into other spacecraft, creating even more the brands so on about a third of all the debris. Caroline all of. It was coolest by Beijing. Back in two thousand and seven when China conducted an anti satellite missile test, using a de of Twenty-one ballistic missile to deliberately blow up in destroy an old Chinese weather satellite. The event remains the largest recorded creation of space debris in history. With will have a two thousand paces of trackable size the Bree recorded in the aftermath of the blast. The impact also created hundreds. Of thousands of bits of debris shrapnel to smell the be tract which obeyed slowly spreading out forming a deadly cloud, traveling around the at twenty eight thousand kilometers an hour one of this debris clouds first victims was a Russian laser ranging satellite which struck and badly damaged back in twenty fifteen. And Tom that it'd take a brief look at some of the other stories making these insides this week with a science report. A new study has found that one in five deaths globally. That's eleven million people is associated with poor died. The findings reported in the Lancet medical journal determined that cardiovascular disease was the biggest contributor followed by Kansas and type two diabetes, the largest shortfalls in global consumption. We're same foods such as nuts and seeds milk and whole grains, while sugary drinks process. Maiden sooty would being of Rayton the largest number of diet related death associated with eating too much, sodium, not enough whole grains and not enough fruits out of all one hundred ninety five countries. The proportion of diet related death was lowest in Israel and highest in the spec. Eckstein United Kingdom ready. Twenty third the United States forty third China one hundred and fortieth and India one hundred and eighteenth. New research has confirmed. Dramatic crashes in Cairo population numbers falling mass bleaching events in the Great Barrier. Raping twenty six and twenty seventeen the findings reported in the journal nature show a ninety percent drop in the number of new Carl settling on the Rafe compared to historical levels. The study also found that the mix of baby Carl's had shifted which will also impact recovery. The researchers say it's still uncertain as to what extent the reef will be able to recover from this type of collapse, especially given the projected increase in the frequency of extreme climatic events as a result of global warming. And you report warns that Iran is increasing its rate of cyberattacks on K targets of Britain's national infrastructure. Cybersecurity experts say Tehran's attacks have compromised targets ranging from Britain's parliamentary network to private sick to companies such as banks. The report says the attacks which included compromise data on numerous Ps and members of parliament with carried out by cover agency within these limit republics revolutionary, God still in the Middle East and Kiala gist of uncovered a two thousand six hundred year old ceiling pression and stamp dating back to the time of the first temple in Jerusalem. The artifacts. Featured the Hebrew words belonging to knife and Mila seven with the king. The name Nathan Milic a piece in the second book of kings, twenty three eleven where he was described as an official in the court of the Judean king just say he said we've been involved in the religious reforms, which the king was implementing Tiverton the children of Israel to traditional Jewish teachings the title seven to the. At pays biblical texts that on staff and seal impressions to inscribe. A high ranking official close to the king. Well, it seems GPS systems have justified their own version of the white Tocchet bug. The problem involved the time stamping signals GPS systems used to determine location these count wakes and seconds in the week oldest systems use a ten digit field topping out at one thousand and twenty four weeks making April the six twenty nineteen that GPS version of Y two K once this ten digit field fills up the vices would reset to zero potentially causing problems with older GPS units. The same problem also happened on August, the twenty first nineteen ninety nine when GPS count is reset. But back then there was little disruption as satellite navigation wasn't anywhere. Nearly as widely used as what it is today. The good news is that most of us is manufactured after twenty ten a design with a thirteen digit counter. So at any age the role of a once every one hundred and fifty seven years the Y two K millennium bug related to the full meeting and storage of candidate. If a dates beginning in the two thousand the problem centered around. All the programs that used the numerical chronology system in which is only represented by the last two digits making the two thousand indistinguishable from the nineteen hundred that were fees. The issue could cause various eras stemming from the incorrect display of dates and consequential inaccurate ordering of automated data records or real time events programs were involved in a global effort to prepare for an ultimately successfully resolve the issue. Kennan is always known today. Pits recognize Kate woods, such as the name will the cool to dinner when it's bath time, but up until now there's always been that question of whether that's real or whether it's just some anthropomorphic trait that owners give the ferry babies, but now scientists have confirmed that kitty cats duchess respond to the sound of a can of food being opened. They also really do recognize their own individual names research is in Japan, tested, seventy eight cats from households and from a cat cafe by saying for different words, followed by the cat's name, the responses ranging from moving there res heads towels vocalizing indicated the felines distinguish their own names from general nouns, even when these woods had similar sounds to their names when an unfamiliar person was speaking them, you can read the findings in Dato in the general scientific reports. You're listening to space time. I'm Stewart, Gary, and that's the show finale how you can subscribe and download space time is a free twice weekly. Podcast through apple podcast, I tunes Stitcher butts dot com Pucca costs soundcloud, YouTube audio boom from space time with Stewart Gary dot com. Oh from your favorite podcast. Download provider space times also broadcast coast to coast across the United States on side three sixty radio by the National Science Foundation in Washington DC and available around the world on tune in radio. If you want more space time checking our blog where you'll find all the stuff we couldn't fit in the show as well as loads of images me stories, videos and things on the web. I find interesting or amusing just go to space time with Stewart Gary dot tumbler dot com, that's all one word and in lower case. And that's tumbler without the you can also follow us on Twitter at through at Stewart. Gary at space time with Stewart Gary on Instagram and on Facebook, just go to WWW dot Facebook dot com slash space time with Stewart. Gary space-time is brought to in collaboration with Australian sky and telescope magazine, you'll window on the universe. You've been listening to space time. With Stewart, Gary this has been another quality podcast production from bites dot com.
What NASA's OSIRIS-REx Mission Could Teach Us
"Brought to you by the so-fi daily podcast reaching financial independence starts with having the right information every weekday morning. So Fi keeps you up to date with important business news stock market happenings, and how they affect your financial life search for S-o-f-i S., O. F. I wherever you get your podcasts. NASA's Osiris. Rex. Punched an asteroid in the name of science here's what the mission could teach us by. Jeffrey Kluger. Absolutely nothing inherently special about the asteroid Banou a loosely packed agglomeration of dust and rock about as big across says the Empire State Building and currently three, hundred, twenty, two, million kilometers or two hundred, million miles from Earth as it orbits the Sun. It is just one of about a million asteroids that astronomers have identified and cataloged, but on Tuesday Banou became. The most famous asteroid in the solar system after NASA's OH CYRUS REX spacecraft made contact with it for a dramatic six seconds to blast loose and collect a sample I must have watched about a hundred times last night said Dante Lauretta the mission's principal investigator during a press conference yesterday while talking about a video clip recorded by the probe during its heroin maneuver. We really did make a mess on the surface of this asteroid, but it's a good mess. Asteroids are more than just space debris. They are some of the oldest most pristine samples known of the early solar system studying there little composition can yield clues to planetary formation, cosmic chemistry, and even the emergence of life on Earth. But I, you've got to get a sample of them and that's where oh cyrus rex for origins spectral interpretation resource identification security regular explorer comes in. The SUV sized Cyrus REX launched in two thousand sixteen arriving advanced two years later, it went into orbit around the asteroid studying it in search of a smooth spots with loose soil in few boulders making sample collection both easy and say, but NASA investigators almost immediately realized they were out of luck Bene- surface is almost nothing but boulders. Mission planners hoped for a target site hundreds of feet across, but they settled on one in a region near the asteroids. North Pole that they dubbed Nightingale Crater which measures just eight meters or twenty six feet. Collecting a sample from. So small a spot would require both smart technology and deft flying. Cyrus REX says a three point three meter long three jointed arm at the end of which is a circular sample collector about point three meters across dubbed Tag Sam for touch and go sample acquisition mechanism. The flight plan called for the spacecraft to extend it sample arm and then descend from orbit slowing its speed to just ten centimeters a second or point two miles per hour until the tag Sam. Assembly made contact with the surface at that point nitrogen bottles in the tag Sam would fire blasting loose soil and rocks and forcing them into a collection chamber. After just a few seconds, the spacecraft would execute the go part of the touch and go maneuver backing away with its sample secured. That's the way it was supposed to go. And that's exactly the way it did go. Tag Sam was in contact with the surface of Banou for six seconds and collected material for five. The greatest share within the first three seconds it took eighteen and a half minutes where the signal that the maneuver was a success to travel the three, hundred, twenty, two, million kilometers to Earth. Only once it arrived, did NASA Administrator Jim Breitenstein released a Triumphal Statement This amazing I for NASA. Demonstrates how an incredible team from across the country came together and persevered. He said our industry academic and international partners have made it possible to hold a piece of the most ancient solar system in our hands. The question is. How big is that piece the tax collector can accommodate up to two kilograms or four point. Four pounds of material mission leaders want at least about sixty grams or two point one ounces later today, the collector arm will move to put the tag. Sam in front of one of the spacecraft's cameras thus giving NASA engineers a better look a more accurate measurement will be taken on Saturday when the collector arm is extended and the spacecraft's thrusters nudged into a gentle at. The rate at which it spins from a given amount of thrust will be compared to the rate of spin from the same maneuver conducted before Tuesday's collection, the more material gathered the slower. The rate of spin will now be if there's enough material, the sample will be transferred to a secure reentry capsule, which will be the only part of Oh Cyrus wrecks that will ultimately return to the surface of the. Earth. We will use the combination of data from the post tag images and mass measurement to assess confidence that we have collected at least sixty grams of sample said project manager rich burns in a statement if our confidence is high. We'll make the decision to stow the sample on October thirtieth. If their confidence is not high, the team can execute another collection maneuver on. January. Twelfth at a site known as Osprey. Departure from Begnaud is set for March twenty first with the re entry captial set to parachute into the Utah Desert on September twenty, four, twenty, twenty, three. Only then will the little bit of rock and dirt from the seven year eight hundred, million dollar mission be in the hands of the scientists. And only then. Will we begin to reveal the secrets that been Oh may hold
Debating lab monkey retirement, and visiting a near-Earth asteroid
"This episode of the Science podcast is supported by McDonalds McDonalds. New Investment Initiative is helping to add new renewable energy. They're investing in new wind wind and solar projects that will help create so much renewable energy. It'll be like taking more than one hundred and forty thousand cars off the road for one year or planting anything. More than eleven million trees is just one more way McDonalds is using their scale for good welcomes the science podcast for December six thousand nineteen. I'm Sarah Crosby this week's show online news editor. David Brim talks about a push to send aging monkeys. That have been used in research to retirement homes and a talk with Dante Loretta about the. Oh Cyrus REX spacecraft craft and its mission to a near Earth asteroid it's been orbiting the asteroid belt new for a year and has found some surprising things now we have David Grimm online news editor for science. He's here to talk about his latest feature. This one is on monkey retirement. Hi Dave Hey Sarah Okay so I think the last time. We talked about primate retirement. We were probably talking about chimpanzees. Sprayers been a lot of change in their status over the past few years. Ears right right. We're down the. US By medical research on chimpanzees ended so the folks in tremendous now is trying to get as many of them out of lab as possible all into sanctuaries. There are some places which meant these are still going to remain in the facilities. The research facilities they are but the vast majority of them if they're still alive are in the process of being retired well. Let's turn our attention to monkeys which just to be clear though smaller smaller we're talking Macaques Rhesus Macaques Boone's wound those kinds of animals and there are a lot more of them than chimpanzees. Do you know how many monkeys are being used at the peak of chimp research. There was about maybe fifteen hundred chimps in the US with monkeys it's more than one hundred thousands of there's a lot more monkeys and you. They're kind of everywhere. Chimps were kind of confined to a few sort of select facilities but monkeys are. There's BI national primate research centers. That have bunches of monkeys but also universities that have handfuls of monkeys so they're really spread out throughout the US and numerous so. What kinds of research are monkeys being used for? Typically because we're so close to us are often used for studies of the brain so you know how does your brain work mark and also studies at the agent bring Alzheimer's and dementia and things like that. But they're also very heavily used in Vaccine Research Research to AIDS Vaccine Zabol vaccines things like that. And they used test drug sometimes as well drugs before they go into humans or sometimes tested in monkeys for toxicology and safety and things like that so they're used by academia and industry. That's right what happens to monkeys. Now when they're aging out of a research project or a project complete first of all. There's there are some welfare laws that stipulate that you can only do a certain amount of invasive ace of research on a monkey they can look more than twenty years and as they get older even use a lot of procedures and typically when monkeys are at the end of their kind on of research life. They're often euthanized. That's either because it's just a cheap sort of thing to do but also because a lot of these studies require postmortem tissue. You know if you're studying the brain you need actually look at the brain and self therapy happen so lot. Monkeys are euthanized at the end of the studies. It's been pretty rare up until now for them to be retired. Something like a sanctuary and sometimes sometimes they're kept in place so they're retired but they stay in the same place right though Santa Research Facility and often research facility there in a fairly small cage They're always kept indoors indoors without releasing the outside very much our at all actually but some as researchers or or universities or institutions elect to retire than in place. They are sort of rationale now. Is We have a lot of CARE staff here that no these monkeys care about these monkeys and that these monkeys are going to be better here as was made for chimpanzees and actually a future disease. Actually we'll end up retired in place but now there is legislation and there's kind of a political push to move these monkeys out of retiring place in labs and to stopped from being euthanized. If it's not needed for research and get them into retirement facilities. Where's that push coming from? This conversation's happened number levels. Some researchers who work on monkeys that I spoke to said feel these animals deserve to have another life after the lab. He Been in research for ten or fifteen years. They're getting older. They've never really been outside outside. A lot of researchers increasingly believed that these animals should be able to retire to actual sanctuary were. They may be able to see the sun touch grass and stuff like that but there's also legislation in and none of it's passed so far but there's a lot of pending legislation that would actually compel federal agencies to come up with retirement plans for the monkeys that they have. This seemed to be parallel in. And what happened with chimps like this as we did Champs and now we're going to do the same thing with monkeys why think from people on the Animal Rights and animal welfare community it. Certainly you know they had their attention on chimps salvageable. Chimpanzee issue is mainly resolved and now a lot of them are turning their attention to monkeys. This is an animal. That's also not as closely related to opposite. Chimpanzees are but also primate made. Answer their feeling is these are smart intelligent animals. They deserve a life outside the lab. But again you know a lot of primate researchers. I spoke to his well. They send us work with these animals for ten twenty years. They developed very close relationships with them and all them believe. These animals are critical for research. They need to remain in biomedical research. But when it was no longer possible to do studies on them. A A lot of these primate researchers are increasingly. Saying we want to find a way to you. Give them a chance to live a few years where they're not necessarily in a research setting. What about the size of this? It must be really costly to house a primate a monkey for its retirement. That's right this wasn't as much of an issue for chimpanzees because they were that many of them but we're talking one hundred thousand muggy. Now we're not talking about retiring. All hundred thousand monkeys like we were talking about retiring vast majority of chimpanzees. But still there's not a ton of thanks worries out there that take monkeys so there's limited space if allowed must retire. Monkey sanctuary is often asked labs for a large sum of money. Sometimes up to twenty twenty five five thousand dollars because the saints were don't get funding from anywhere else. So they need a lot of money to be able to care for this animal depending on how much time and we'll have slapped. Also you just don't no some of our somewhat distrustful sanctuary community. You know. They feel that while. I think they're run by animal rights activists that forgive among into a sanctuary. Sanctuary is going to start tweeting about out. How like they save this muggy from evil scientists in the university is going to look bad so there's been a lot of anxiety with research even those who wanNA retire? Their monkeys often have a lot suspicion or just don't really know how really had to deal with sanctuary commute or can't afford to actually pay the fees and sanctuaries require as part of a reporting for the story you are able who follow a monkey from its its laboratory setting to a retirement facility in his. It's kind of an interesting collaboration. Can you talk a little bit about this facility facility and how it works with universities yet with his relatively new saints recalled peaceful primate. That's in Northern Indiana and sort of interesting about this sanctuary is first of all. It's been very careful not to sort of denigrate monkey research not all sanctuaries do this. But you know it's been very careful not to take a stance one way or another on monkey research that's made universities. More comfortable dealing with it also has a lot of land in a Lop Tinsel space for monkeys one of the concerns also about primary researchers is. They're not going to get the care that they need when they go to the sanctuary and the sanctuary sort of made efforts to try to recruit people that are very well trained in taking care of captive coast research monkeys and this has made a couple of universities is physically Yale and Princeton Princeton comfortable enough with his sanctuary that they've actually started a former relationship with peaceful primate where they've given them a large money an undisclosed amount of money but basically what peaceful primate is doing. His return is it's building monkey house just for animals for Yellen Princeton which this is going allow Yale Princeton to do is when they're monkeys already for retirement so like searching all over the country country for sanctuary that might be able to take them and not sure about saints although he can just send monkeys pretty easily to peaceful primate piece for prime will take up to six of their monkeys at a time as another Eddie's universities kind of have this pipeline retirement that a lot of places have. What was it like when you visited if it's interesting? I've I've been to a chimpanzee sanctuary before I never Obermann to a monkey sanctuary before the SRI has both macaques and babboons. You know I think the average person within well of course a monkey wants to be outside. It's been its whole life in the lab and I think we can't say for sure whether that's true but it's interesting that these monkeys have to get used a lot of things that they're not they've never see me for some of them actually never seen the sun before some of them have never seen like grass Rasa Derby for some women who were felt a win before seen snow before and they're getting snow now because they're kind of in northern Indiana and so they seem to adapt okay but it's it's interesting to see that they going to sanctuaries not necessarily this cut and dry thing. There's a lot of challenges for the monkeys as well. There's a lot of new things they have to get used to that. They've never sort of had to deal with before and speaking speaking of the fact that there are certain set-aside places for Princeton Yell. I mean is that actually of benefit to them too because it opens up spaces where the they had been retiring in place they would have been paying and housing for those monkeys instead of retiring them out right exactly so you know it actually cost a lot of money to keep a monkey at university or another facility. You Ah Lotte care. Staff there Yada overhead yet inspections and all this other stuff and so by and large is actually a lot cheaper for universities to send their monkeys the two sanctuaries of that is assuming that century space that assuming that they're not worried about PR and other things like that and so yeah you would think it's Essien easy decision but actually there's a lot of complications go along with it because again. There's this little bit of mistrust there between labs and sanctuaries and also you know sanctuaries don't have a ton of space if this movement really catches on and more your primary researchers want to retire their monkeys. It's going to become an issue because again they're not that many sanctuaries out there in the US that take monkeys and those that do we will have space for one or two monkeys so something would dramatically would have to change with the sanctuary community the relationship which lobs sanctuaries for this to really become much more of a movement right now. It's kind of in drips and drabs of monkeys were being retired to sanctuaries. So we already have this problem. The problems outlined here It's lack of space lack of trust. You know the political push but maybe not funding and then to top all that off. It looks like more monkeys will be used in research in the future was. That's the other confounding problem album because NIH did this report last year and they were trying to figure out how many monkeys a comedian the future and it turns out. Researchers actually want to be able to use a lot more monkeys as a big demand for monkeys especially with chimpanzees. Gone in fact in ages suggesting that maybe it's up to twenty five percent uptick a monkey use in the next few years. Accu mean a couple things that could you mean that that's going to create a lot larger pool of monkeys and now GonNa meet place may WanNa retire them but also you mentioned earlier. This space crunches idea that you know. Maybe I'm at a university and all his space for ten and monkeys and I can only use a few these monkeys now because the rest of them are too old or for whatever reason so there may be an increased incentive to try to retire those monkey somewhere else assuming so you don't elect not euthanize the animals to make space for new monkees coming in. Thank you so much Dave. Thanks Sir David. Graham online news editor for science you can find a link to his story. Rei Science MAG DOT ORG slash podcast. Stay tuned for an interview with Dante Loretta about the serious wrecks mission to the asteroid Banu This week's episode is brought to impart by the natural disasters. podcast you rarely see them coming. They're unstoppable forces bent on destruction. We're talking natural disasters and every Thursday. The PODCAST Network Investigates Investigates Mother Nature's most devastating catastrophes in the original podcast natural disasters Salamis tornadoes earthquakes us just the beginning. Each episode explores the impact of such a tragedy analyzing the effect it had on the people places involved like the twenty ten earthquakes exact debilitated Haiti claiming hundreds of thousands of lives or the nineteen ninety. Five Chicago heat wave which led to over seven hundred. He related deaths over a five five day period going back in time. Mount Vesuvius in seventy nine. AD which buried the ancient city of POMPEII. And it's people. This is the stuff of nightmares. It's far more real than anything you've ever dreamt. Discover more in the PODCAST. Original series natural disasters visit podcast dot com slash natural. Oh disasters or search for natural disasters in the spotify APP and listened free today that's Ktar Ceus T.. Dot Com slash natural disasters. Astor's this episode is also brought to you in part by Kiwi Co Q.. WE CO create hands on projects for kids of all ages to make learning about steam fun on this holiday season a QA CO subscription makes the perfect gift for every young explorer engineer and artist in Your Life Kiko is defining the future replay by making an engaging enriching and seriously fun they create hands on projects and toys designed to expose kids to concepts in stem art and design their mission to help kids build creative confidence and problem solving skills and have a blast. Doing it. There are seven lines to choose from catering to different age groups and topics like the panda crate for babies or the Eureka create for kids fourteen. Plus each box comes with all the supplies needed for that month's aunt's project plus detailed kid-friendly instructions. He Co projects are available via flexible monthly subscriptions or for individual purchase. They have gifts for kids of all ages. So there's something for everyone on your list. Qe Co is offering you the chance to get your first month for free to redeem this offer and learn more about their projects visit QE Co dot com slash science mag. That's Kiko. Hey I W I c o Dot Com Slash Science magazine this week in Science Dante Loretta and colleagues published observations from the Cyrus Rex mission go to the asteroid. Benue Dante is here to tell us about the mission and some of its findings. Hi Dante below hi. What did you know about this asteroid astroid before the start of the Cyrus Rex mission the asteroid? Benny was selected as the target for Cyrus REX based on a couple of factors primarily on its orbit and the key aspect of it is that it's an earth crossing asteroid what we would call a potentially hazardous asteroid so earth-crossing means that it it could at some point intercept earth in its orbit. That's correct. Oh and so that is kind of required for sample return because we are leaving the earth for rendezvous with an object collecting collecting a sample and returning the closer. The object's orbit is to the Earth's orbit the less energy is required to execute that mission. And we probably want to know more about birth intersecting orbits of things we do so you know. The primary mission objective is related to origins investigations. Were looking for an asteroid that dates from the early solar system and particularly one that was likely to have water and organic material that would provide important information about y earth is a habitable planet and how the origin of life took hold here but because of its orbit and a in the fact that it does cross the earth which enables the sample return it is also a potentially hazardous asteroid and that's of interest in and of it's own How big is this asteroid Ben who has an average diameter of approximately approximately five hundred meters? It's pretty it's roughly spherical. I would say looking at these pictures here. The shape of Banu is really interesting and it has what is turning out out to be a fairly common shape among these small near Earth Asteroids. We call it a spinning top. It has this really pronounced bulge at the equator. It's almost more often or diamond shaped so. What did you know about its composition before the mission launched when we were trying to assess the best asteroid for our target cricket? We were looking for spectral signatures of organic or carbon rich material on its surface or hydrated material right one of the signs of hydration that we see in the asteroid population is this very small number of objects that we call active asteroids and these are sometimes referred to as main belt comments especially when when they were first discovered so they activate when they're at the position in their orbit that's closest to the sun that we call its perihelion like a comet and so we suspected that these objects these active asteroids had maybe icy material or water bearing material on their surface. That was sublimating. Mating and creating this activity and Banu Spectra looks very much like those active asteroids so it was selected based on its similarity early to these objects in the hope that that would lead us to a water bearing own organic rich asteroid right and when when the spacecraft got to Banu anew and started its orbit. What did you see right away? You got to see some of his activity. Yeah I would say. The biggest surprise of my career indefinitely of the asteroid encounter within a week of going into orbit around this asteroid. We were taking routine optical navigation images and our astronomy lead. He'd Carl Sagan Roster who was joint author with me on this manuscript pulled me over and showed me an image from January six. That looked a lot like the asteroid. Freud was exploding. I I mean I buy jaw was just hanging. I was processing what I was looking at in in trying to make sense of what was going on and of course your immediate thought is for safety of the spacecraft. It's like okay we need to fire thrusters and get out of here or is it okay to continue with the mission and what we do with this amazing discovery. Yeah so what exactly does an exploding asteroid luck like in the photograph that you took the image that came to mind immediately really were the plumes that come. Out of Saturn's moon enceladus Cassini spacecraft captured these gorgeous images of fine particles spewing out of the South Polar region of that moon looking like geysers us which is in fact. Exactly what they are in. Our pictures looked a lot like that. I didn't have a sense of scale when I first saw the images so as far as I knew we were looking at large scale eruption material from the asteroid and once you determine determine that it was safe to stick around you were able to capture a few more instances of this happening what it repeated exposure to this leads you to believe about what is is actually going on. We monitored the asteroid activity for the next two months around the asteroid and in every image we see particles in the Benue a new environment and then onto other dates. We saw additional large events like the one on January. Six is behavior similar to what happens with a comment. I mean it doesn't sound quite the same. That's a great question in terms of what is causing this activity on Banu and we go through a whole series of hypotheses he's including comet like subornation in the manuscript and we're pretty convinced that it is not commentary like activity. There is no signature of ice anywhere on this asteroid. And we've done a very thorough job mapping at spectrum and IT services really hot. You know we're talking almost four four hundred Kelvin Isis not stable under those conditions for even very short periods of time but we do have very water rich surface. The water water is not in the form of ice or liquid water but it's bound up in clay minerals and those may be linked to this activity. We do know that if you stress arrests those kinds of materials you can move some of the water out of the crystal structure in effect gets warmed up the gas could expand and 'cause rock fragmentation. Like like. We're seeing well. What would make it stressed at? What would stress it? What would heat it up? What would what might be causing those things to happen on the asteroid? Another characteristic of Ben knew that is contributing contributing to the phenomenon we think is relatively rapid rotation rate so it spins once every four point three hours and its surfaces getting very hot. I am very cold within that timeframe. So you have this thermal stress every four point three hours. You're swinging two hundred degrees in temperature from daytime to nighttime and the Rock and expand and contract and expand and contract in you can build up mechanical stresses and ultimately released that material in a catastrophic event. We were talking about the material. That's being ejected from the surface. How big are those particles and how much of it? How much of it was released so we saw? Aw three distinct ejection. Events from Benue over the period of January and February of Twenty nineteen and they each released dozens to hundreds of particles us. They were moving sometimes with very low velocities on the order of ten centimeters per second which is too slow to escape the asteroid gravity feel back down. Yeah Yeah and and up to three meters per second which is on a hyperbolic trajectory on its way to becoming an interplanetary dust particle so we're able to use a whole series as of observations especially of the ones that were bound in the Benue Environment. Not only did they leave. The service with low velocity but some of them had just the right velocity CD to actually go into orbit around and this is an exciting occurrence for us because we were struggling to get the gravity field information that we wanted you too on this program because we had to get the spacecraft closer to the surface than we thought the risk was starting to look unacceptable and then all of a sudden we've got these hundreds of particles also in the Benue Environment in orbit there free gravity field probes so once you've got an orbital solution you first of all get the gravity field of the asteroid but more importantly you can start to characterize the properties of the particles. You can understand their area mass ratio. You can understand their Albedo or how bright they are and you can understand from that the mass in their diameter. So we're probably looking at particles as high as ten centimeters across Rosso softball size kind of object down two things on the centimeter size scale so smaller than a golf ball. There's one other theory for what might be happening happening here. With these ejection events when we first saw the images of these particles coming off the surface a lot of the team members would right away to an impact event event. Maybe we were looking at an impact from another object meteoroid in near space that hit this asteroid and injected these particles and then we kind of abandoned a an idea that would be such a rare event that it's unlikely that we would have captured that In our camera system we gotta start thinking of all these other ideas and then I sat sat down and I did the math and we have a pretty good model for meteoroid flux in Europe space because it's important for spacecraft safety especially the earth orbiting satellites. By that time we got mature enough understanding that I was getting the energies of the ejection events to be on the order of Miller Gills to a few hundred Miller Gills very very low energies. Even small particle coming in and hitting. Benny surface is going to have a hundred times at energy deposited there and so it it was a good example of our bias. We didn't think about the implications of the micro gravity environment. It doesn't take a lot of energy to object something off the surface so the asteroid so the meteoroid hypothesis went from one that was kind of rejected out of hand at first suggestion to being one of the leading candidates. For what we might be seeing right now another important aspect of this mission besides observing it in its orbit and Looking at the surface is sample return. But when you've got there you've found that the surface was unexpectedly rocky. As we were designing the mission we were relying on interpretation of astronomical data to understand the nature of the asteroid right surface. And I think I literally told the the design team a beach kind of material. He's data and we have a very rocky and rugged environment that we're dealing with right now on this mission. None of each yeah discreet field but just boulders for days right just boulders meter scale L. up to one hundred meter scale. Boulders are just littered across the service of this asteroid. Wow so what does that mean for the sample return mission if the surface is very different than expected. Did you have to make some changes. Yeah we had to redesign the flight software to accommodate the rocky and rugged surface of Banu in in particular we have an onboard guidance system. And we were going to use that for closure as we went in to get the sample because we weren't expecting a Lotta hazards so it was really you just. Are you coming in at the right speed and the right direction. We had to abandon that system completely and repurpose the navigation cameras to develop up a new system. We call natural feature tracking where we are creating a catalog of hundreds of different boulder areas or craters or bridges or anything that's distinctive on the asteroid surface and we're uploading that catalog to the spacecraft as it's going to get the sample it will be taking images and comparing comparing him to that catalog and doing calculation determine where it is and what its velocity vector is and how likely is it to touch a safe spot on the asteroid surface kind. Don't like a self driving car. That has a map already in the city. That's right yeah. We have a self guiding spacecraft already had a number of surprises. But can you talk a little bit about. Oh how this mission compares to other sample return missions from asteroids that have happened in recent decades though Cyrus Rex will be the third mission to return a sample from asteroid. The first two were led by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency or JAKSA. They're higher BUSA and high boost to missions the first high boost mission and went to a very different kind of asteroid what we call a stony asteroid so not this water in organic rich material that we're looking for and they had a lot of challenges operationally a including failure of the sampling mechanism when they make contact with the asteroid surface and then I'll extensive damage to the spacecraft. But they made it back to the earth with their her return capsule and sure enough. They had a few small grains of asteroid particles that were adhering to the walls and a lot of science was achieved with that mission. But we're talking much less than a milligram of material was returned high Busa to which is a team that were very friendly with and collaborate quite a bit just left their the target asteroid Ugo with similar objective of going to something that was vol and carbon rich and they had two successful contacts and sample collection. They are still using the same design they had from the original high of busa which is a ballistic projectile. They shoot into the service shoot the asked her nine get some of it and then they get some of the fragments up into the sample return capsule so they're still looking at ten to one hundred milligrams worth of material with that design. Cyrus rexes says distinctive in that even though we only plan to go in for one sampling attempt. Our sample collector is designed to pick up a lot of material. We're expecting hundreds of grams grams of samples to be collected and brought back to Earth for analysis. When exactly is the sample taking going to happen so we are in the final stages of sample site selection election right now and that lets? The team really focused their efforts throughout twenty twenty on getting to the asteroid surface and nominally. We're looking at August twenty twenty fifth for the sampling event with the asterisk. That everything up until then has to go. According to plan and we could delay that we have margin on our schedule in the event that we're dealing with additional surprises from the asteroid. The return itself would be in twenty twenty three yet. You'LL CYRUS REX spacecraft actually cannot don't leave until March of twenty twenty one similar to when you have a launch window to reach a planetary target. You have to leave Earth at a very specific time same thing when you have to leave the asteroid in order to get the samples back to Earth and the Earth Return is September twenty. Four th two thousand twenty three. We talked about this having an intersecting acting orbit with earth is what you're learning about this asteroid going to help better understand how likely it is for you to actually impact the planet. Ah Yes good. I don't think we WANNA go into that right now because that's work in progress and okay save us all please. Yeah Yeah and it's it's one that will have a lot of no pun intended impact where we're being very careful with that calculation and we're GonNa make sure we got everything reviewed viewed reviewed before we want to say anything about an updated impact probability for the asteroid. All right. Thank you so much Dante. Pleasure Dante Lauretta is the IRAS REX. Principal investigator instigator and a professor at the University of Arizona. You can find a link to his paper at science mag dot org slash podcast and that concludes this edition. The science podcast. You have any comments or suggestions for the show right to us that science podcast at. As Dot Org you can listen to the show on the SCI minds website that science mag dot org slash podcast there. You'll find links to the researcher news discussed in the episode. Or you can subscribe on Itunes stitchers spotify Pandora and many other places. The show is produced by Sarah. Crespi an edited by podgy special. Thanks to Meghan Cantwell and Joel Goldberg. Jeffrey Cook composed the music odd behalf of Science magazine. And its publisher triple A._S.. Thanks for joining us.
Touch And Go: NASA Samples An Asteroid
"You're listening to shortwave from npr madison here with npr. Science correspondent nell greenfieldboyce high. No hey mattie so. It is the final day for voting. Which will prove to be a very stressful day. We have decided to promptly leave earth and go to space gonna escape that easy because you know there is still voting in space astronauts. Get to vote on space. That's true escape. But today we are talking. Asteroids specifically an asteroid named benue. It's more than two hundred million miles away. It orbits the sun in about one point. Two earth years nasa spacecraft to the asteroid in twenty sixteen right right so it reached the asteroid in two thousand eighteen. and it's been surveying benue and in the last few weeks it's been undertaking the most critical part of its mission. And let me tell you. It has been a crazy few weeks. I have been covering the whole thing and it's just been fascinating to watch. Okay first things i know. I know the earth gets hit by little space rocks all the time as a single planetary life-form how worried we need to be about this asteroid. Well technically it is considered to be potentially dangerous asteroid. It's wider than the empire. State building is tall. It shapes sort of like a spinning top. It's all gray and bumpy. And here's what dante lauretta. The principal scientist for the nasa mission. Had to say about this whole danger thing our most recent calculations suggest that it has about one in twenty seven hundred chance of impacting the earth. The good news is such an impact would not occur for at least one hundred fifty years. I mean that's not no chance now. You know what i mean. No it's not nothing but you know. Scientists are aware of it. They've got plenty of time to deal with this if it looks like it's going to become a problem and actually understanding more about this kind of asteroid threat is one of the reasons they built a spacecraft and send it out there in my understanding is that nasa wanted to do more than just look at this asteroid right. The scientists wanted to get up close and personal. They wanted to grab some of it and bring it back to earth exactly and there are so many ways. This mission could have gone wrong. The researchers spent years planning it worrying that they wouldn't be able to nab enough the asteroid to get a decent sample but as it turns out they ran into an entirely different problem instead. One that no one expected it was like something out of a fairytale where some magical creature grants you a wish and then you get your wish but then everything goes ironically awry so today in the show we bring you a cautionary tale about wanting something really really badly and then getting what you want and then realizing that you've got so much of this precious thing that you might just end up losing it all i meant if i and you're listening to shortwave from npr. Okay now i understand why. Nasa is concerned about incoming space rocks in all but i imagine there are lots of reasons to embark on an asteroid mission. Yes oh asteroids are thought to be kind of like leftovers from win. The solar system formed they represent pristine samples of the building blocks that made the planets including earth and because they've been left undisturbed for billions of years. Scientists say you know having samples like clean samples of them in the lab could tell us more about how our solar system came to be the way it is and you know that leads to how we came to be right and there have been other missions to asteroids before right. I know japan for sent a mission to asteroid in two thousand and three but they didn't really bring that much material back in there in the middle of another mission. Now right so yeah. There was a second mission sent by japan space agency that set to come back to earth in december. This is the first time that nasa has had a go at it and how that came about is kind of poignant. Actually it's the little little bit of a story there. I mean the driving force behind this. Nasa mission was a scientist named mike drake at the university of arizona and lauretta. Who's now the chief scientist. worked with. Drake for seven years before they finally got approval from nasa in may of two thousand eleven but by that time mike drake had actually become seriously ill with cancer and loretta told me he died just a few months after their mission. Got the green light and it was a real blow emotionally. It's actually kind of tough to talk about it but The last thing we said to each other was that that he had faith in me and that he trusted the mission and the team in my hands in that we were going to achieve. Great things Well i mean that's that's a lot. I mean missions in space are high pressure already but this just adds another extra layer onto the sun. Yeah and when the spacecraft which is called cyrus rex launched it actually had a plaque on board. That was dedicated to mike. And you know it reached the asteroid as we said a couple of years ago. And it's been going round and round so what happened. Once the spacecraft finally got close to now they finally got their first good. Look at this thing. It didn't look anything like they expected. Loretta told me that they thought the asteroid was gonna be smooth. It's like almost like a sandy surface. And immediately i was struck by how rough and rugged and rocky the surface was so rugged that they had to spend like a year mapping the surface using detailed images to count and catalog individual rocks trying to find a safe spot to land for just a few seconds so that the spacecraft could grab some dirt and rocks in the end they decided to target a place the size of a few parking spaces and this was in a crater. That's about the size of a tennis court. How big is the space craft. It's about the size of a fifteen passenger van. So like a large van and you know it was going to be a tricky maneuver because this crater has got big rocks all around it. One of them was nicknamed mount doom. There's rocks inside it. I mean seriously. I would personally have a hard time parking a van in a literal parking lot but this is like a whole different level of complexity. Okay so. They made their first attempt at collecting a sample on october twentieth. What was what was the scene like. Well they were only getting little breadcrumbs of data from the spacecraft at that time. So you know. They didn't have video or photos. They were just sitting there at their computers. At lockheed. martin. Space in littleton colorado. You know it had to be just a skeleton crew because of the pandemic and they were all wearing masks staring at their computers. Meanwhile poor dante lauretta who had been waiting like sixteen years for this moment in his life had to be interviewed on a live. Nasa webcast in the last few critical minutes and i was watching him and seriously feeling. Very sorry for this dude who had to sit there and talk to an interviewer instead of just watch in nervous peace. Anyway they talked on and on and then it was finally the moment of truth. Overex- has descended below the five year. Mark hazard map is go for tag going in and so everyone was. Cheering is the spacecraft safely back after coming into contact with a surface. Gambling is in progress. You know it was kind funny. Because at that point we knew the spacecraft had touched the asteroid with this arm that had a sample collecting device on it. But they didn't actually have any idea. What if anything. They had collected much less. If they'd gotten what they were hoping for which was about you know at least sixty grams of pebbles and dust. That's two ounces two ounces now. That feels like nothing feels like a lot for not much you know. Two ounces does seem like not much you know like that is how much would get in like a little bottle of face cream or it's like a couple of slices of cheese you know. Maybe it doesn't seem like a very big quantity but if you're talking about collecting stuff in space and bringing it back to earth that is really hard and it's actually only been done a few times other than the moon missions that sent actual astronauts. It's not like we've been able to haul in rocks from outer space. What samples science has managed to bring home to earth through robotic missions have been really really tiny like the ones that japan brought back from an asteroid those were like just grains and there was one mission that brought back about a milligram of comet dust so like tiny tiny amounts. Okay okay so you're telling me for this kind of mission like two ounces is actually on it would be the biggest extraterrestrial sample brought home since the apollo astronaut days. And actually this mission you know. Sixty grams was gonna be the minimum that nasa wanted the space craft was built to get up to two kilograms. That's like four and a half pounds and the researchers were not shy about saying that they really wanted a big hall but remember it's complicated. You know scooping this stuff up isn't easy because stuff can just float away in space so the space craft had to have this special circular contraption at the end of an arm that kind of pressed down into the asteroid. Ragle if you know the surface with all the dust and rupture and then it fired. This burst of nitrogen gas that blasted little rocks and dust so that they went inside the collector device which has a flap that. Then you know was supposed to close to seal stuff in okay. All right i got it. But how how do they know if they got enough space rocks and stuff. They got like a scale up there. What's going on no. There's like indicator gauge of their plan. Was that once. The spacecraft had done its thing and got away safely they could actually spin the space craft or in a way that would let them then estimate. How much mass had been added to it and that would let them know exactly how much they had inside okay. That is an objectively awesome way to way something so now did they hit that two ounce mark like what's the verdict how much they get Well here's the thing okay. It looks like they got a lot a lot and the first indication of this is when they use the spacecraft's camera to take photos of that collection device at the end of its arm and when they did that what they saw was particles floating around it like asteroid material small rocks that were floating around outside the collection device. Okay outside of. I feel like i'm all right. No i'm no planetary scientists but shouldn't stuff be inside of the collection device right right but what happened was the photo showed that some rocks have actually gotten crammed inside the collector in a way that was blocking that mylar flap from closing properly and ceiling. Things in so what they were seeing was that stuff they'd collected floating out of the collecting device and drifting away and the words freak out might be a little strong here. But you know. Loretta said that when these images came in and mission managers saw them there was quote a lot of excitement and i. I was immediately concerned because is loss of sample and sample math. That's him speaking during a hastily arranged teleconference for reporters. He says the good news was they seem to have grabbed plenty of asteroids stuff definitely evidence of hundreds of grams of material. And possibly more my big concern. Now is that The particles are escaping. Because we were almost victim of our own success here honestly in my experience being a victim of your own. Success is not super common during an experiment. You know what i'm saying. Not usual problem absolutely right so the immediately ripped up all of their careful plans. You know there was going to be no spinning of the spacecraft to try to measure the mass of the collected material. They didn't wanna move the spacecraft any more than necessary. They didn't want any more stuff to come out instead. They focused all their efforts on getting the sample collection device into its return capsule and sealing it up as soon as possible. And they did it. They finally got it in the return. Capsule feels i was legitimately nervous during during that whole section. Okay so the return part of this is also interesting like when will the sample actually get back to earth. When will we know what they got. And how much they got in twenty twenty three. So it's going to parachute down in utah and the samples will go straight to a lab. Okay so we've got like a long wait ahead of us so assuming all goes well when they open up this capsule now. Is there any chance of some like andromeda strain stuff. That's going to come out and kill us. All i mean i just feel like i gotta ask you know what i'm saying after this year i gotta ask. It is twenty twenty but you seem deeply concern that asteroid. Benue is going to do us in. I mean. I don't think anyone thinks there's any kind of alien life on this asteroid way back when asteroids may have collided with earth and delivered water in organics to the planet. So you know asteroids like this one may have contributed to making earth good place for life but ben new for all of its. Charms is not a cozy place for astro biology travelling through space. It's getting hit by. Solar and galactic radiation and nasa did say it followed all planetary protection protocols to prevent any contamination of earth. So hopefully that will reassure you. Yes no soothe. My asteroid base nerves. We're going to have you back on. Twenty twenty three to find out what they brought back. Absolutely assuming earth is not struck and destroyed by some other space rock. Before then i'll right now. Ad astra my friend we see. This episode was produced by brit hanson. In fact checked by rl as a beatty was edited by giselle. I'm maddie safai thanks. For listening to shortwave from npr after months of campaigning. We are finally on the cusp of knowing what happens next in the white house and in the halls of congress the npr politics. Podcast will be there with you every day with the latest results will tell you what you need to know in these uncertain times.
Podcast #31: Clem Unger talks about OSIRIS-REx
"This is the urban astronomer pod cost. Hi. Welcome to episode city, one of the of an astronomer, pump cost. It feels good to be getting back into a simulated rhythm, go to say and I was feeling really positive, but we were taking this thing. And then lost night's somebody message me to say that they were enjoying the show and could I please help them to find my patriot page? It's patriot dot com slash openness. Trauma, put cost Poway. Anyway, it was great to hear that somebody was giving me money. But really the thing that touches me is just knowing that people are out that taking time out of their day to listen to my little show. And, and apparently that like it enough to reach out and tell me, that's so nice wonderful. And it makes me very happy. I've gotten out of the habits of thinking you'll listening, so thank you. It means a lot to me. Anyway, to business lost bestowed. I hinted that we would be doing an interview again, who had no connection at all to sell ever gonna straw me while I'm about to play that recording for you. Now, if you weeks back is spoke to Clem Unger who lives in Australia, and serves in his spare time in the ambassador program for the iris Rix mission, which will be arriving at the asteroid Benue in December this, yo. Although it begins his approach in just over a month from the time this episode is claims and our trust trauma, like myself and might be back on the show in the near future offer. The interview we will also be continuing without supernova story, although it learning be a short one day, just cleaning up a few loose ends on stellar of illusion before returning to our example, stall on his road to exploding as a supernova. But meanwhile here is Clem Unger. Okay. Can you just tell us what is your name? What you do. What's your background? What do you work? Okay. So my name's clemen. I live in Australia in a place called Mornington mature sort of an hour, southeast of Melbourne. And as you may recognize from accent. I'm not owning Australia. Originally from Germany and came out here twenty two years ago this year, Tom flies, and my background, originally is chemistry. I'm an industrial chemists chemical, engineer Scott little business degree on the side, as well. And it twenty something years ago, I made a lifestyle decision came out to Austrailia to the great horror of Muhdad in Germany. And I'm I'm still. Still here and enjoying it. And yeah. I'm working in a totally different field. Now, I'm mainly doing consulting in the nonprofit sector area and. Mainly with organizations involved in disability management, and on, on the private side for over forty years. And that makes me really feel old now and amateur astronomer. So my Granddad back in Germany, was an avid stargazer, and that's sort of one of my Elliot's memories going outside, and that was the Thomson pollution, wasn't quite what it is these days. And we had fabulous time and I joined the, the local astronomy club over there. That's back in a place called Dom stuck to just south of Frankfurt and in back, and then I came here to Australia and festival, you have to get used to the fact that. You the constellations you from the north, you can see from EM upside down, since we, it's when you have Iran suddenly, the other way round, and, and so you need to learn your you styles again, down here, and specially funding the southern pole is a bit more interesting than. The line telescope. But then then up up in the northern hemisphere. But, you know you get the hang of it. And yet, so fabulous, and I emphasise on in astronomy, and on Blackie of got a very understanding wife, who allowed me to build a an observatory in my backyard. And so got this, this lovely dome out there, which allows me whether meeting just to go outside, and, and do my thing, and not have to set up and worse. You know, dismantle all you Ghia after a long night. And then bit cold fingers drop an eye piece, which is a bit of a pain. Yeah. If anyone has the opportunity are highly recommended. So you get so many more hours out of it. So it's really great. So that's that's it in Chelsea pretty much. Observatory. Sorry, what tennis go? Have you gone name Osco to six inch refractory in the which are predominantly use for? Photography. So I mean, I take pieces out initially voted to have sort of the best of both worlds something that is still a portable, even though I haven't done that for years now and, and you can visually observe, but it's, it's very good for planetary work, and on sort of hunting out, little minor planet down. So it's really good to that. And of got direct Josh mounts, which can be a little bit temperamental. It's an Australian, I s I mount of totally new learning curve. They had to get that going. And but once you lost at that said it rewards it with I'm guided exposures, so it's, it's, it's, it's good. But it takes its Tom, and it's you can't draw. The telescope without a computer. That's probably the downside, so on missile little bit. You know, just if you haven't in the field, Plunkett, down, and switch it on that you can't do this with that. That's set up a little bit down, but because of the observatory it's not happening. So just open the, the dome of Rigo, especially something set up. Permanently. I, I have a dome a honestly, I would have preferred actually an observatory with the role of Reuss because. I didn't have the space. So a head to settle for domer- and what I don't like with the dome is the fact that you miss out on this all sky experience. He. We have only this opening in, in the roof and, and. Yourself way and saw it and it tells you where the point you telescope. But you his out x-xi on a nicer fireball or something like that. And, and that's our think a little bit negative. And also, the fact that dome is exponentially dearer than than a role of roof. Observatory, but. L ten Kate works, well, and it's, it's Nause automated. So if you point the tennis cope somewhere, the, the dome rotates wicked, and so that took a little while to get that going. But it's it's good. I mean, technically I could sit in solid, he and, and do it remotely. But often that's a than I would rather subscribe to telescope and let it. Funny having my ideal setup. Now, I remember twenty almost city is ago, the idea of nuts, funding and objects by stall hoping painfully, one time was cheating. But but older now sitting getting cramps in the in the do. I totally agree. But I have to say I mean, if you have any else, the, the, you know, the planetarium softwares, which link into your mountains, sky, aches and STA Larrea, and whatever they is, and you just plan you're observing session. And in you, you take it through is just amazing. It's come a long way in enough. Think back to the Tom's with my Granddad, and I had a small refractory and, and a Newton and at home and you basically locked it around and you pointed. And yes, you said, you star hope that's I mean, it's very ancient east as and it gets it gets people quicker into the into the hobby, but on the other side, you, you lose out a little bit. Because. That style hoping. Teach you actually where you are as if you just push a button. It's not necessarily so good. So astronauts, Griffey IVA, very old, amounts that Scott say it's and this is just a is just a budget problem. It's not a. This is what my, my choice to do it the hard way. But while until you the, the amount of time, I take sitting up carrying everything down stays at game, opponent alignments rights and in the battery dies in haven't taken a single photo. You. Yeah. I mean, I remember of annoy was sitting in, in, in the deepest winter in, in Germany somewhere outside and not didn't have actually at Tom's have amount, which is driven. So I on manually guided with the gods scope, the mounts and. And precede was not digital cameras. It was all film, and we experimented around with hot percents tossing film, with hydrogen among surprised at we didn't Ben house down. And so it it's amazing. And now you can buy these fantastic CD cameras, which are cooled. And, and it's just yeah, it's a quantum leap ahead. And if you see results from people like Damien peach, with a lot of listeners to know from, from the UK, does the most amazing, planetary photographs for the Selous stran- fourteen. And and I mean you, you would have killed for that at that time is unbelievable. Very professional. And, and, and I think it will continue like that. So it's, and it's makes makes the hobby even more rewarding than it ever has been out, say, if it was only for the light pollution, which is creeping in every way. All right. Let's let's move on. Can you tell us believe you all involved with the Cyrus Rix mission? What is that? Okay. Sarah Rix is a current NASA mission, which is run in conjunction review university of Arizona, and eat goes to Niaz Troy, the name of Benue, and it is a sample return mission. So the spacecraft at the moment is on the way, and it is expected to rive at yesterday this year middle August, and it will then similar to the Rosetta mission. Lot of people know go into a very extensive survey old bit around the asteroid. And then in twenty twenty the whole thing will culminate in an attempt to acquire a sample from the surface, which then. Will hopefully be safely returned to earth in. Clone of the stardust resemble return capsule similar technology and twenty twenty three hopefully it lands in Utah, and assault. Like so as exciting and the Asaraha's Rex mission, which is a Cyrus Rex is, again, one of these lovely NASA acronyms are supposed to have someone sitting in back rooms, simulate Ikya thinking of names, -ly, all day, long and says. So it's it stands for origins spectral into protection resource audit deficient security, regulus explorer, so obviously long long gone at words also respects. Quick over the tongue and. Like NASA has domestically in the US a, a group of what they call solar systems ambassadors, which it's only open to US citizens at least at small ask sort of information, but with Assad, Rex the group around the principal. Investigators names, Dante Lauretta from university of Arizona decided to cost a net a little bit. Why done? And I mean the is a lot of ambassadors. Outbid majority, of course, in the US, but you'll find some dotted around the world and on one of them, he and Australia to Manala, the only one in Australia actually and said. It thought to basically tell the general public about the mission and why it's important to, to send missions to near earth asteroid like banner, and what we can learn from it, and also apart from the actual science do a little bit of stem out region, and hopefully sort of spark interest of some young students who are in grade seven to man. Greg twelve Australia to maybe look into this at as a career in, in space, San's, and an engineering, the so that is actually something out there. You can make career out of. So and that's what I'm doing. Predom-. Bentley I go to schools most of my Tokes in, in schools, and it's, it's quite nice to say when the kids, look at the presentation enough, God, lots of videos in its of the launch of the mission. And the research group has a fabulous assortment of educational short videos, you can use how the sample will be quiet and so on. And so you, you can captivate the audience nicely that and Sperry boarding. So I do that pro Bono. That's my Hobie and, and I you get something out of it, and very enjoyable understand that I mean everything I'm doing here this putt costs, the website also it's just to, to, to share what we do and get people excited. About it and. But it's a Borton because it's astronomy that sort of an observation I made around here. It's, it's sort of a. The bits of the poor relative. I mean is not much mentioned in school and, and. You find when you approach signed staf and you tell them about it. They usually excited that jump on it because there is not much out there many other incursions happen at schools, and unfortunately, is on teaches on not always very experienced when it comes to strana me. So a hope to, you know. Wake some interest as well. And if you possibly meteoroid around in Baru and people, the students can take it in the hand, and it's, you know, this is actually probably the eldest thing you ever hell. Helton yan. It's a few billion years old and, and. That's usually, you know. You see the penny job, sometimes some kids, and it's really, really fun than a like it. And so, and I hope a little heaven, the future always time to do it because obesity, school and normal work often is at the same time of, but I've been fortunate to be able to, to set some Tomasson for it. Are they? Phrase. So with the mission you mentioned when the when the coughed is arriving in that thing, any other highlights always watching out full interesting times when it's going to be information coming out, so all footage to we can see. I mean definitely what I would follow on the Assad is Rex website, which is asteroid mission dot org. And is the rival of the probe in in August? Because at the moment, Banou is like most other asteroids just just dot in staff hield, and so it will be quite exciting men, than the space craft actually is on approach and similar, like Pluto and say, the don't mission at, at Besta in, in series actually suddenly, you get every day, you get a better, Mitch and, and I expect that to happen. And it will be really exciting to actually see what the service structure of Banu, so. Assumptions the don't for some reason. Yeah. Like, Juneau actually, the camera is often thought to put it on. So I think full space missions, just to get this public by in a do belief that has to be a cap Brown board. And it comes to RS Matt Rex is a very extensive cameras suite on board bitch will really analyze the, the surface and, and composition of, of the asteroid very, very closely because the, the composition is important we wanted to know what new can tell us because it, it's a, a near earth asteroid. It's a, a carbonaceous asteroid, so. One of the rarest sort, and it comes every six years, close to earth, and there is a remote possibility that it could get even closer and strike earth, very remote chance. But still, and as of the moment meal to say as as. Humans have no no means of deflecting an asteroid and the movie know about them and, and said the movie, learn down the track re oversea can hopefully do something about it. And Ben who is one of these candidates said about five hundred meters in, in diamond as Hess, roughly the shape of, of a walnut and rotates once in four four and a half hours, roughly, and yes, so if something like that it's us that can really ruin your day, and so the movie no, the bed at is so hence saris Rex one of these key missions of that important to learn about these near-earth objects and at is a few other missions out there. In. You've got currently the Japanese mission Haya Bouza out there, and similar so you, you can sort of deduct the trained a little bit. So I think the. The reality that, if something like that happens, and the consequences has sunk in with the decision makers, and it's a good thing. So to send these machines out there and learn and hopefully than. Come up with the solution what we can do to, to prevent an asteroid strike, which would be really good for us. Moan. We chatting a few days, a few weeks ago, I was asking about saying citizen science projects. And you mentioned target esta Royd DM. How much do you know about that? What, what can? Target asteroids is a programs run by the same research group and. Reaches out soon amateurs have equipment sodo, eight inch telescopes and up and do obsessions graphically off a selected target list of asteroids and report. Their observations. Back to the team because you, you just don't get the manpower with professional observatories to bury fall all bits cetera of, of asteroids. And that's where amateurs have a really, really good place in, in, in science and research and. These research teams are really grateful for amateurs, and you can make really meaningful contribution to I'll help astronomy as a whole. So it's, it's, it's a good thing very rewarding. The obviously need have the set and saw his pot. Just by some of the, the people, I know. And I'm familiar wrist. That's not a problem. It's, it's more the dedication of time and, and in going out, then take photos, but it's cool. Target asteroid stays links, also was the asteroid mission website. So I'm sure that the team will be grateful. If some people must have a look at it. Great, thanks disapprove of a signed. Check yet, coach me one. While while you were talking earlier, bouts, and events that you work with his vixen visiting schools. And so have you ever had people like moon landing denies inflators types confront you about this awesome to confess that you're? You making it up. Jeff to say not so much in schools. I think they've got all screwed on the roadway and, and things, especially the kids, which are really network, these days of a think they, they believe it because they all very tech savvy. And, and so the fact that someone can go up to the moon and walk around on it. That's that's definitely is not questioned think I get it more some of the, the older Ordonez of got one of my hobbies pasta is I collect sort of space Monrovia. So if I can afford it that is, and so, like, flown artifacts from Apollo missions, and so on. And, and so and every now and then you get that you think that. Really were. They in the stadia. Yes. ABC were. And it's, you know, it, it, it amazes me that, you know, you would be able to festival. Get a fake story like that pasta, the almost four hundred thousand people who worked on the Apollo missions for starters. And then. Pasta the Russian competitors, who very closely what was going on. I mean, it would have been an actually condemning him off to its. Nothing. Would have been better than than, you know, they finding out, it was all happening somewhere in, in, in the American desert somewhere. So look, of course it's real and enough been fortunate to, to meet some moon walkers and every time you actually in the presence of someone like that they are. It's, it's a special top of personal any astronaut as a as a matter, so like Chris head Hatfield. And so on day they have to oral of, you know, they don't have to prove anything around them. I found that immensely inspiring and, and. Yeah. To, to go to, you know, Buzz Aldrin intelligence, all of fake off and is is is just an insult so. If he's treated as an insult the any punch. Lost his temper. Lord someone. And that was think it was a bit younger then. But yeah, but you know of of seen him a couple of dons and, and he's, he's, you know, he's very opinionated. And, and. You know, he's got an awful lot of experience and, and. So often also, as respectful his colleagues from from Apollo one who, who you know, gave their loss or lost their lives in the pursuit of getting there. Of course it's an insult, and you don't wanna hear stuff like that. So. I mean, if you look at it this way this, the, the they had what's out there now? They went to the moon and back and and, and. The computing power in the average smartphone is better than they had in the camman mode. Jill. So Hello Amine. That's amazing. It takes balls, and, and special top a person to do that. Yeah. If people want to know more or Kip sedate. So where can people go to learn more or festival astronomy in general? If you're in South Africa talk to Allen. If days a is a local astronomy club, wherever you are have look and speak to them. Usually, these people are very friendly. And, and especially if you need to the Hobie go they, and, and you get a helping hand, especially if you consider buying telescope, it's always good. If you have someone who's experienced to help you to avoid these additional mistakes, and buying something wrong than than being disappointed, and starting the Hobie the wrong way, if you interested in, in Asaraha's, Rex have a look at the mission website, I mentioned earlier. It's WWW dot asteroid mission dot org. And there's plenty of information on the inclusive mission overviews space Kroft. Looks like key dates of the mission. And of course, news updates when something new happen. So as I mentioned, August is sort of a key, malls, down this year when the space craft the Ross at the asteroid, definitely definitely have a look there and NASA met website, NASA dot org. Good of entry point in having a look around what's going on out bay? And if anyone is interested in talking to me, if you Australia, but any way of really say, if my contact details to Allen? So if someone's interested to contact Allen Yelm, be more than happy to, to chat ten and take it from there. Thank you very much. It's been great chatting to you. Lost episode. We talked about the palace that makes stalls shine nuclear fusion. I explained how thanks to gravity and the gas lows contracting, clouds of gas will get hotter and denser, they cause until the temperature and pressure on high enough that naked hydrogen atoms, which already just individual protons will overcome their enormous dislike of each other and collide resulting in deteriorate nucleus, which is made from one proton and one neutron, and we lost over how the prisons of neutron makes it proton much easier to approach to tween these deteriorate nuclei, or a whole huge amount less unlikely to happen. And we talked about how this leads to various sequences of possible reactions that result in the formation of helium in the core of every stall. And that this is not only what provides the enormous amounts of energy needed to find all the interest crush of gravity. But also what creates extra energy to warp the rest of the gas and make stalls as Brian halts as they all. But that was. A bit of a bit of a simplification who because as I hinted at in the first part of the series, it's all a little bit unpredictable. Just how much gas is going to be available to make your star in the first place. So some styles are relatively small others are absurdly huge and it sends out that the amounts of gas it goes into a stall its mass is really the most important variable in predicting, what type of all you're going to get so since this is going to be a short bit. Let's talk to the possibilities as we understand them. Previously, we talked about how collapsing core of gas, one of these big clouds might run out of material and end up nothing more than a woman seer of gas and dust, compressed, the sensor, liquids and solids a planet, basically. But if it's big enough in the neighborhood of Jupiter, then the courts in porter and Chris can get quite high almost hot enough to begin nuclear reactions, but not quite, where does the energy come from? Well, it's simply all the kinds of energy of the gas, falling into its ramming into the gas has already there and compressing it, and as those Gasol's I keep hoping on about that gives you heats so that they shine dimly in infrared, and since it's big it takes a very, very long time for that. He's to radio talented to space. And so it'll stay hot for billions and billions of years. But if it's a bigger anything more than thirteen times, the size of Jupiter, then we into his own, where nuclear can do Tyrian fusion, C earlier, we talked about hygiene atoms fusing to make Tyrian, but the thing is that Sunday. Tyrian already exists naturally, any volume of hydrogen gas is going to contain a mix of the various isotopes of hydrogen, which include deteriorate, and you'll remember that, while the proton proton collisions are rare and halter force. Did your reactions are relatively easy? So the deteriorates already naturally inside the core. Actually stunts fusing at much lower temperatures in precious than the proton proton reaction this object. This core of gas inside a larger cloud isn't massive enough to reach the high temperatures and precious needed for standard hydrogen fusion, which means that there is no salsa Tyrian, but it is big enough to fuse, the deteriorate that was already there. So kyle. Kind of an a Grazer in between plaza and star. And recall this object a Brown wolf because there's such a limited supply of fuel Latakpi laws listenable in years, sometimes any for few million. And when the deteriorate fuel runs out, they just stop came over Brown USA, generally hot. But not as hot as stars not hot enough to glow invisible, lights this service temperatures all below thousand degrees celsius. Now if I'm starting cloud was bigger. We get a hotter more massive stone. You get a cold that can sustain true fusion, combining protons to make you tear them as in the nuclear reactions. It'd be talked about lost as the stall burns generating heat in its core. It's also formed conviction currents that with cooler material, Costa service falling in and the hottest rising. So as the hydrogen gradually gets converted into helium, the entire stall, slowly churns stirring and mixing, the helium ash spreads outs. And Frisch hydrogen is concentrate ports into the hot core to keep their reactions going these stalls small, they have service impetus, between two and four thousand Kelvin's and lost way, very, very long time according to theory, racial keep going for trillions of years. But since that's almost one hundred times older than the universe. Nobody's ever watched one for long enough to confirm this. These dolls a cold red dwarfs, those close to attornal as you can get. And they all by fall, the most common type of in the universe, probably about eighty percents of all stars in our Milky Way. Galaxy or red wolves. Right now make that cloud even bigger, you end up with a coal that's hotter and more massive with a much larger volume of material rounds. Unlike an original on over there is an area between the convictions zone and the cool called the radiative zone. It's cooled as because the heat news to directly by means of radiation. It's, it's photons traveling carrying the energy. There is no conviction that only happens further out swords the service in the conviction zone, and that means that the gas or roles of the plasma doesn't move. No movement means helium can't leave the core and fresh hydrogen Collins, enter. So unlike the red dwarf, which constantly cycle material in and out of the call, we now have a stall with nothing moving in a lot of the cool, the hydrogen, that's they slowly burns into helium and is not replaced. Eventually the hydrogen runs outs least all's have ally, spend measured in billions of years, not trillions. And so if we look widely enough. F-. We can seize offals of all stages of these dolls lives, which hasn't to be very helpful in understanding how they all born. Now they grow age and die. We saw called yellow dwarfs and our own sign is a fairly typical example. Unlike red dwarfs and Brown dwarfs, they don't stop. Putting on that of hydrogen, these which fuels mid amorphous is into something much bigger and fiercer. Biggest of course, with shine halter burn foster and only live for a few tens of millions of years and live far more exotic if shorter lives before expecting a supernova leaving behind, and neutron stall even black hole naturally visa the ones that we're most interested in but I'm gonna stop now and that story for the next episode. I mentioned lost episode that I was taking on the role of director of these citizens science section of the economical society of South Africa. Well as of most recent meeting of the committee of Esa those post is now official. So I cannot get to work. One of my first access director will be to try and build relationships between SM members and up societies involved in citizens around the world as what is the teams behind citizen science projects. And if you an Esa member or considering joining up and involved in citizen science thinking about it, please visit the ECE websites at s- she'd EP slash slash A, S, A dot SAAO dot Asia today and find the page will be citizen science section. The pages Linda construction has recalled this, but it will soon have some information for you, along with contents. Details alcohol is to support you in any form of amateur science, whether it's traditional gamut of science, like observing. Stalls, all the sorts of modern work that what we normally think of as citizen science like galaxy will mean Memphis on you. And of course, we once you recognize your contribution above what you'd all over getting from the projects themselves. On the flip side like yo supports in turn the annual scope IX expedition is coming up soon in September, as always, it'll be held at the military history museum in Johannesburg whistle confirming. Details exhibits sponsors and speakers. So I'd recommend checking out the websites at WWW don't scope aches dot Seattle today for updates I can't confirm her that we all flying Roberts Omer owed, as our special guest, speaker Romas, and award winning photographer from Scotland, who has worked, National Geographic, vice magazine, the New Yorker and many, many more. He'll be presenting. It's all on photographing the Northern Lights which I'm personally quantum Ford, too. Anyway. That's all we have full the show today. Thank you so much for listening. And if you enjoy the show and know anybody else who might be interested in listening in the moment to WWW dot urban dash astronomy dot com. They will be able to play through the archives and we'll find these squabblings for whatever platform they normally use for his into podcasts. All they can just search for urban astronomy on I tunes or Koogle podcasts, or Stitcher, or pretty much any other Costa Chee can think of, if you know of one that doesn't have me listed, lemme know, and I'll fix it. If you would like to leave a rating review, on any of those platforms, that would also be lovely and greatly appreciated. If on the other hand, you offer something we'll concrete. Well, I do have a patriot accounts. I don't have a huge number of patrons on the which is fine since my expenses are low. But if you'd like to join him head on over to patriot dot com slash open astronomy podcast, all just kicked, a patriot link on urban, astronomer dot com. If you'd like to hear more from me and besides what's on the podcast, I'm on Twitter at you strana, and we have a Facebook page at Facebook dot com slash overnight, stronger, and if you'd like to reach out to me, ask questions or correct mistakes deferred. You can mail at podcast at Odessa trauma dot com, all evil coins on the show notes page. And I guess that's it. So thanks again for listening. Don't forget to subscribe, so make sure you catch next episode as soon as it is. And until then clear skies.
Ep. 584: Sample Return Missions From Asteroids
"Episode five eighty four asteroid sample return missions to astronomy caster. Weekly facts based journey through the cosmos. Where we help you understand. Not only what we know about how you know what we know. Kane publisher of university with me as always dr pamela. Gay a senior scientist for the planetary science institute and the director of cosmo question. Hey how you doing. I am called. Our heat is out. We need to get it fixed but other than that life is good. Yeah have you recovered from the hang of you. Couple of good night sleep i. I'm going to definitely sleep in this weekend. Streaming for thirty six hours and then going into a full work week is is not. There will be much sleep this weekend. Yes well you've earned it. It was you guys did a great job. You built minecraft. You raised fifteen thousand dollars. If people still want to donate they can go to cosmic dot oregon and contribute to help cover. Cosmic quests expenses. Help pay for the salaries of the people involved including their medical expenses. It's an important work that you're doing and definitely we all appreciate it so definitely if you're having already contribute or even like watch the hang on to found it's all archived until twitch throws it out so and we will be updating as much as we can on to youtube. The last hour was extremely touching memorial to one of our dear friends and we blew up. Ben now rights. Which sometimes you just need to do speaking of. Let's talk about this. This week's episode so with the sample of asteroid ben firmly inside of cyrus rex's return capsule. It's time to bring this treasure home. So scientists can study the composition in history of the space rock. But it's not the only sample return mission out there with japan's high boots to mission also bring asteroid debris home so today. Let's talk about the mission's learned so far today. We're gonna talk about asteroid sample return missions. And but it's not just the to cyrus wrecks which which we watched launch together and separately watched the the whole retrieval process happen. There's high which is one of my favorite asteroid missions ever but there was also high one which i have to admit is the mission i continually forget about even though it was a mission. That was just like okay. Problem going to overcome it okay. Problem can overcome up another one going to overcome and they just had to keep figuring out ways to overcome issues. Yes so let's talk briefly about hybrid one before we go onto the other to the other missions so so high busa one is a mission that i think part of the reason i keep it is it came out right after i finished my phd. I suspect my brain has blocked most of that year out of existence. It was originally scheduled to launch in two thousand and two rocket had a issue with a different mission so they delayed the launch of a wine in order to make sure they are rocket was working and just additional stuff came along the way. They missed their window for their initial asteroid they had to go to a different asteroid but they eventually successfully took off in may two thousand and three and headed their way out to eat a cola. The asteroid that we really really thought ben would look lake. It didn't didn't yeah. I mean if there's one thing that we've learned from these three separate asteroid sample return. Missions is asteroids. Don't look similar to each other. Yeah well unless it's really and banu in which case they're hard to tell apart unless you look closely but ito cholewa really looks like a cashew. The few places has been dipped in granular material. It's it's a cashew with periodically grainy surface and the poor spacecraft though while it was on its way to the little cashew itokawa it found itself in the path of the largest solar flare recorded in modern history. All this is damaged its solar cells and it ended up with less electrical energy than it planned to have a then in two thousand and five. Two of three reaction wheels failed right and in fact the the reaction. I think they were the same reaction. Wheels that we that were lost on kepler and a couple of there was there was a bad batch of reaction wheels out there. Mistakes were made. Yeah yeah so okay. So here's the spacecraft hit by a solar flare down reaction wheels but it still made it it a car. It made it to eat a call It had a bad dress rehearsal for doing it. Sample they finally were able to get there and they released the nerve. Many probe it fails this. Yeah but they made it. They sent back beautiful beautiful data beautiful data and they also sent back a sample. They did yeah and the first and this is what i love is a you know they were hoping to bring back hundreds of grams of of material and and in the end they were able to bring back just grams just a couple of times. Just a few tiny pieces of dust so here. We're talking about like a dimes worth of material. So so it wasn't a lot. But it was a pioneering michigan and after something has been hit by solar flare. You really need to lower your expectations. People and the fact that it succeeded in doing anything after getting blasted by that much radiation testament to how well this stuff is how well shielded. The stuff is it. Had a bad day it kept on going and it returned science. And that's all you can ask for from any space returned science so learning from those lessons the japanese went back and prepared a second mission. And what i love is with their second mission. Haya besa to. They seem to have taken. The approach of we will take every single little tiny robot we possibly can with it flying all of the asteroid all of them at the asteroid. And see what works. Germany's we've got one. Jeff is no problem. Throw it on board. We'll try everything including the kitchen so they had minerva to mascot rover to. They had cameras on board. They had an anti cut. They dropped they had target markers that they dropped to help them maneuver around. They just kept flinging things at review and then eventually they flooding themselves at rigo grabbed a sample and they grabbed a sample with so much energy that they actually sent the asteroid vibrating. According to a paper that came out just in the past forty eight hours. Yeah so it's funny. I was going to bring that up as well. We probably bo saw the same. The same paper that the surface the are actually able to to measure after the space craft bumped into interactive as well as hitting with impacter. They're able able to actually detect shifting movements across the surface of riots in response to the damage that they had done from visiting it. So yeah that that alone is going to be very helpful for for just getting a sense of of like what it might take to be able to move an asteroid in the future if we run across them and sort of shows how much they really are rubble piles and not space rocks and with high visa to take a sample. It attacked radio. It did two different samples the first one it went down and this was a surface sample. It went down and it fired a five. Graham tantalum projectile three hundred meters per second into the surface of radio this allowed them to get a surface sample the material that was blasted up by the projectile they collected but they were not content to merely get a surface sample like any other mission would be content to do now not at all. They want to subsurface sample as well and this is where that antitank weapon came in. They had what was called a small carry on impacter. That carried a two point. Five kilogram copper per jack kc which was shot with explosive propellant into the surface of Creating a fresh crater in the process right and so that is such a brilliant idea that that you know the surface of the asteroid. Okay great you grab a quick sample of the surface but the deeper question is what does it look like underneath the surface which hasn't been blasted by the sun for billions of years. Will you find volatile. Will you find water. Other interesting samples down deep. And so you need to you. Need you need a crater. Like like on mars right the way. The way curiosity is driving up the side of crater to or inns inside a crater looking for essentially the history of mars hybrid to wanted to look at a crater fresh crater on so it made one their crater made the that this is. This is just insane so so they shot ruge. From a distance of five hundred meters and the crater they made was ten meters in diameter exposing pristine material and they did a touchdown sampling of this as well. So so here. They were february. Angelides two thousand nineteen maneuvering their spacecraft to go pick up samples so they have both fresh and not so fresh that they have collected. So before we get onto a cyrus rex. I just wanted to say again like if you are excited about interesting missions across the solar system i highly recommend you follow what the japanese are doing they are just incredibly creative and willing to take big risks and try interesting ideas at a fairly shoestring budget to be able to do this and so high was just like the bible to the perfect example. Had an ion engine it. It had this equipment to methods of doing sample collection. Had it had three to three. Lander rover had one thing that just sort of flip flopped across the surface of the asteroid. Like they just the level of creativity and innovation is just so high. And i have even heard interviews with with people from the jaksa team that worked on this and you can just sense this this really beautiful balance of wanting to get interesting science but also wanting to to test new ideas and and they're not saying Concerned if they don't work out right and and obviously it can go horribly wrong with highway one but it can also go incredibly right and so when you look at their future mission. They've got the the martian moon explorer mission coming up to phobos. You're going to see a version of that. They're going to try all kinds of really clever ideas to study phobos. And and i cannot wait. I think if there's one future mission that i'm really excited about it's going to be the the m so stay tuned on that. Let's let's so high to gathered samples and now it's bringing them home and this is one of the parts of the mission that is most remarkable to me at a gut level like mathematically engineering wise. This should be trivial but they have run the math so that they depart on time fly towards earth release their sample flinging it at our planet so that the planet will rotate underneath the sample and the continent of australia in a fairly specific part of the desert will catch the sample. There's a helicopter involved will catch the sample from high busa. To the fact that we can fling things at the earth from greater than the distance of the moon and nowhere on the earth. They will hit months ahead of time. It's just absolutely incredible. Yeah so australia. Look forward to receiving a sample of an asteroid. The number of this year. We will bring it to you. Live on 'cause incredible twitch all right but that's not the that's to asteroid sample return missions. There is a third service and this is the mission that we got to go. Watch together launch in september of two thousand sixteen and this little mission. I was one that had the youngest nasa of spacecraft today dante lauretta. It was run by really cool. Team of people university of arizona working with international partners nasa centers myriad of other institutions and. Canada had a laser altimeter. The sample they collected is going to end up getting split between the canadian team with that laser. Altimeter that we're going to return to because it was not used as planned the japanese team that they're going to be doing an exchange between The sample that comes back and the new sample that comes back. And then the rest is heading off to arizona for processing so in this case cyrus rex arrived at banu. In december of two thousand and eighteen. We began to get our first high-resolution images in two thousand and nineteen which caused me for one to completely panic. You have a little little skin in the game on this. One i did i did. So the cosmic christ citizen science community was part of the process for mapping out all the hazards benue. Now as i said before we expected benue to look a bit like eat akaba mostly smooth with areas. That were hazardous. We were expecting most of the images that came back would have a few boulders boulders. A few dozen rocks and we just map things out no big deal. The reality was each image had dozens of boulders and hundreds of rocks and all the software that we had written the process. Everything and sort everything. Do everything had to get redone to deal with the complexity of this little world that we found and making it even worse as the space craft approached benue cyrus wrecks in its camera glint of light from pebbles being flung by bhanu space. We had found a rock throwing asteroid. Right right yeah. I mean it's funny when i think i think it was donte was saying the landings the final landing site. That was chosen. I would not want to land a spacecraft. They're like it's a nightmare and yet it was the best possible landing site on on a nightmare rock. Yeah they they had to change their hazard conditions to go from having a area big enough to park a couple semi trucks to having an area big enough to park a couple. Suv's as their safety margin. And so they had this need to find some place that they could go down not hit the wings of the spacecraft on anything and that would be smooth enough that in all likelihood when they're tag instrument which is a flat disk hit the surface it would hit flat in the space craft wouldn't tell more than a few degrees and it turned out the only places that vaguely matched these conditions were areas. That were either craters creditors inside of craters. And these weren't normal looking craters. What these were areas where the rocks were more smashed than the regions around them and smashed rocks were in a fairly circular pattern indicating. This is a crater with the rocks. There got crushed Ninety gale crater where. They ended up. Doing their sample collection was in the northern part of the asteroid about fifty five degrees latitude and it was a crater with a few boulders that they had to make sure they didn't have and because the surface was so much more complex than anticipated they had to take a spacecraft that had been planning to maneuver by laser. Just like a lot of modern cars will use a laser on the front part measure the distance the car in front of them and then back off if they need to when they get too close candidate built instrument. It was supposed to be the way. They've found their way to the surface. Except oh cyrus record. I'm going to complicate it. And what ended up having to be done instead. Programmed vision into the spacecraft allowing it to natural feature mapping right in real time autonomously from eighteen and a half light minutes away from earth. So that the as the space craft is descending it's taking images comparing the images the existing maps and as long as the area below the spacecraft doesn't go read they keep proceeding but this is not how the spacecraft was designed and their ability to retroactively. Add this powerful feature really says something about their programming and navigation teams. It was pretty exciting to watch. The actual sample collection happened a week ago. And you got this like as it was descending to the surface and as they were watching it and they were talking about how closely the spacecraft had gotten to their predicted model and how far away it was and they're also just noting that the spacecraft hadn't hadn't abandoned the head to boarded because it was the spacecraft to make how descending towards the asteroid. and going i think it's still fine. This is yeah. This is okay. I think you know it had tucked in its solar panels and was slowly making its way down to the surface and it just wasn't making the call to abort abort which was amazing and and it was intended that the space craft would touch the surface. Fire off a nitrogen. Canister national took a gentler approach than jaksa fire off nitrogen canister that would then last dust and small particulate nothing bigger than two centimeters could fit up through the capture two and nitrogen blast with deploy and then within five seconds the spacecraft would would pull away accept it turns out the surface of benue wasn't exactly a solid surface right and so instead of tapping the surface of the world. Giving it a nice gentle snoot boop yard. It's snood of cyrus wrexham getting booed by now. No they instead punched. The asteroid going down many centimeters the surface. Like i imagine it's sort of like going into snow. Yeah right like it just dropped. Its sample return sample capsule into snow or its collection you know vacuum cleaner and then and we and we saw as it successfully captured it sample and started to move away from the asteroid. There was debris coming out of the example collector. Yeah it was set in the images that it looked like someone dumped a box of cornflakes outside of the tag. This is the touching go sample collection system and the problem was the way the system was designed is they. They had this desk on the outer ring of the disc. There was essentially metal velcro little tiny metal hoops designed to pick up dust and debris from the surface in the velcro and then in the center there was an opening that was supposed to have a mylar flop that would slide in like shudder to close off the collection tube and make sure that nothing would escape and iraq something got jammed in there and so small material was escaping. It's unknown exactly how much material they got. They were aiming to get roughly two ounces weight of c cell battery and nothing bigger than a c cell battery. That was the goal anything bigger just win to fit into the detector. They don't know how much they got. They think that it was potentially significantly more. There were originally plans to spin the spacecraft. It was such a. It's such a brilliant idea. That how they were going to test. How much sample. They got plan. Was you lift up. Start to rotate the the spacecraft around. And you could detect the wobble from the mass inside the collector as compared to what it was without the mass inside the collector. And that would tell you whether you got a good enough sample or not. But they just decided forget it. We're not gonna do this test. We don't want to risk losing this material because it's easy to get inside the capsule in college day. Just they even delayed a braking maneuver. They were planning to do to keep themselves in the orbit they meant to be it was no acceleration do nothing that could possibly exert force on the sample and cause any more material to escape than was already escaping so several days ahead of plan in fact more like a week ahead of plan They folded the sample collecting. Had up into its return capsule to bring it home and this is a super ingenious way that they did it it. It had this long arm that extended with the disk and suction device on the end and ideally when they spun it because it was this long arm it would be like an ice skater holding a barbell dining one and it just changes the way the spacecraft spins but then taking that arm folding it up and pressing it into a set of latches. So we've we've all had various devices where you can clip something and then when you go to pull it back out. It's like the clip. Suit have gone and you have to fuss with the clips to get your thing out but sliding in an super easy so they very carefully over twenty four hours and here. they could nominate it. They had to see images of every single stop in case debris came out. Dust got in the way they needed to have human beings with eyeballs looking out the images coming in and decide so. They folded the arm image folded. The are more image touched the tag device down in to the capsule to bring things home major. It was fine clipped it in pulled up on the arm. Major was still fine disconnected. The arm made sure it was still fine. They worked around the clock with a thirty seven. Minute round trip or bit of information and at work So now it's going to be coming home it. It's gonna be a little while so they have to wait for everything to get lined back up. They planned the sampling. So that if things didn't go well if they did have to steer off they'd have time to try at least three more times. This is why they had four potential sites. Well it worked on the first try and then they had to speed up their time zone to latch everything in place. Protect everything all up in the capsule to get time to kill. Yeah so they're going to be there until march they are. Now projecting that the orbit alignments and maneuvers will allow them to make it home in september of twenty twenty three. And i look forward to all the images that they're can be able to continue taking seeing just what they did to the surface at nine gale and hopefully even more science will be made possible from a safe distance from safe distance. So win does the sample come home. And where will it go. It's going to go to utah in september. Two thousand twenty four once the samples collected from where it gets thrown in utah. It will be sent down to the johnson. space center. were all space samples. Go right and then divvied out to the canadian japanese and university of arizona partners fantastic. Well cannot wait for all of the samples to come back and for us to finally learn these deep insights about the formation of the solar system. The government environment out there in space. What they're made of do they. Will they be resources that we can use for. The exploration of the solar system is so much to learn from these pristine sample. So let's hope they both safely make it back through the years atmosphere so we've got more than just a couple of grams to to allies of asteroids. This is true. Right thanks pamela. Thank you so much. Do you have any names. I this week this week. We have a bunch of people that we'd like to thank for their contributions over at patriotair dot com slash astronomy cast. These are the people that make it possible for us to do all the things that we do here at astronomy cast. I would like to thank then. Catches chari thomas Joe hallstein sinai's sylvan espy. William andrews collins herald barden haagen. Ben floss stephen. She water merrick. Varney arctic fox nate wiler. Brian gregory mount rucker phillip walker. Ron thorson kevin. Nigga allowed adron dave lackey car thick. Then ca trauman cooper g force one eighty four and ashore cox zara dean mcdaniel paul de disney roland farmer dom chris scheffer hoffer jason. Graham father practice and sarah turnball. Thank you all so much for being part of our patron community. Thank you pamela. We'll see next week. Thank you see you later. Astronomy cast is a joint product universe today and the planetary science institute. Astronomy cast is released under a creative commons attribution license. So love shirt and remix it but please credit to our hosts fraser. Cain and dr pamela. Gay you can get more information on today's show topic on our website. Astronomy cast dot com. This episode was brought to you. Thanks to our generous patrons on patriot. If you want to help keep the show going. Please consider joining our community at patriotair. Dot com slash. Astronomy cast. not only. 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Visiting a once-watery asteroid, and how buzzing the tongue can treat tinnitus
"The award winning curiosity daily podcast from discovery will help you get smarter about the world around you every day in less than ten minutes, you'll get a unique mix of research based life hacks, the latest science and Technology News and more discoveries. Cody Goff and Ashley Hamer will help you learn about your mind and body outer space and the depths of the sea and how history shaped the world into what it is today. This week's episode is brought to impart by bio eats world. I WanNa tell you about a new podcast called bio eats world about how biology and technology are shaping our future as a pandemic has clearly shown US biology matters big time, but it's power and potential goes way beyond the current health care crisis. This new show from the team behind the A sixteen Z podcast explorers through conversations with experts how biology today is where the computing revolution was fifty years ago on the precipice of changing everything much like software before it, and because of our ability to engineer it biology is eating the world. You can subscribe now to bio each world wherever you get your podcast. Welcome to the science podcasts for October two thousand twenty. I'm Sarah Crosby. Weekly feature the most interesting news and research published in science and the sister journals. First Up, we have staff writer, Paul Ryan, he talks about the. Rex Mission to. The asteroid venue. was has been there since two thousand eighteen and will finally a sample on October twentieth few weeks away. What have we learned so far? We also hear from researcher Hubert Lamb about a new treatment for Tinnitus. What used to be called ringing in the ears the team uses by modal stimulation, laying sounds in the ear and buzzes on the ton to change the brain and turn down the Tinnitus. Now, we have staff writer Paul Loosen. He wrote a story this week on a stack of papers published in science and science advances on the OH. Cyrus Rex Mission to the asteroid Banu Hi Paul Hello Okay on the podcast we last checked in omnia Cyrus Rex Mission in December twenty nineteen, the craft had been orbiting and surveying this asteroid for quite a while and some surprising things that popped out. For example, there are small ejection events, tiny rocks, jumping off the asteroid and surprisingly big boulders littering its surface, and that's meant a change to plans for a sampling from asteroid. What's changed about that? Paul before the spacecraft reached do they had thought it would look like this kind of. Plane like a beach was kind of the infamous term that Dante Lauretta. used. Had all these boulders kind of shocking. These polders are safety hazard and there's no spot that reached the criteria for a safe approach from the original plans. So they've had to reduce the area that they will sample by ten times. So much smaller sample area they had to pick a site they had to figure out if the crash could actually land there, but it hasn't happened yet. We're not there sampling is coming up in a few weeks October twentieth. In the meantime, we have this package of six papers. They tell them more detailed story of the asteroid surface. It's gravity or about these boulders what did you find particularly interesting in this in this new information about the asteroid one big question with sampling asteroid and bring it back to Earth is why are you spending one hundred million dollars to get a sample when we have all the stuff on earth we have tons of meteorites on earth kind of the volunteer sample return. These papers really show examples of several things that could be caught these samples that you just wouldn't be able to learn from a meteorite thing that really stands out to me the mess of carbonate veins in these boulders. At the parent body, the kind of planet testimony that venue Brokaw from once this major water system, Moeen through it as an ancient water world. When you save veins, you mean, there's just like you know what does that mean? Exactly this bright slash linear slash of mineral that deferring from the rest of the rock it's different than Iraq and you think it's made of something that indicates water y. so these carbonates are known to perform from water from hot water in precipitate out that water, you just don't get them. So the same things are evidence of water on Mars as well, and it's not just a little rock in of water it's like a little river of water. Yeah, so the ideas from meteorites they'd always, yeah, there's on these asteroids, but there's only little tiny pockets that don't around you know a couple of millimeters or something like that. But this is kind of showing that these. Mike had at least the parent body of Ben New had water flow in throughout the whole asteroid and probably a lot more water than once thought this definitely connects to the main this mission. What can we learn from asteroids that we can't learn for meteorites, but it also tells us something about the formation of the solar system. Then like what was going on way back when when we had has mills running around the have there's there's also the story of the Solar System? Merged even as Cyrus rex was launching, they realize that asteroids like Ben New Form Beyond Jupiter and migrate all the way in this is something only emerged meteoroid stays in the past decade realizing they have these two separate pools of asteroids and the samples from Ben you might be able to actually say if that's true does finding this carbonate, these veins of carbonate support the idea that asteroids delivered water to Earth definitely in this is a fairly well accepted ideal already with this further bolsters that claim provides institute remote-sensing evidence of Hey these probably had a lot of water. So maybe this was one source of the water it's not. Definitively rule something out because who knows. Yeah, it's definitely a major support for that one. Sad. But here is the boulders aren't the exact target for sampling was ours rex is not going to land on a boulder if it's just not possible, but we'll still be able to tell us more about these veins more about water content more about carbonates from the sampling that a new. Yes. So the this instrument that they used to detect this carbonate I that came from a close fly over the sampling site earlier surveys have shown that it's covered in carbonates. Or carbon burying molecule. So that could be like organic compounds like amino acids, other stuff stuff that they expected to see but there are signatures of that throughout the asteroid. So even the pebbles will have some stuff we mentioned earlier that the parameters for where the sampling can happen changed. Once the crafts had reached asteroid what are the risks here as we get closer to the date? Is there still big questions about whether this would be successful or or how much you can get the definitely they've created this hazard map. Of, the sampling sites, this kind of pure circle of green there's a chance they come in to this red area that is hazardous, and then the spacecraft students. Autonomous Louis will waive itself off and kind of retreat back testing that five meters away, or there's the chance says, hit a boulder a little bit and skews needs to press flat against the surface to be able to suck stuff up. So there's a chance that doesn't happen. They've the ability to says, and then try again at a backup site in January. If it doesn't work out. There is a chance that these boulders are very soft, but we don't want to find that out by landing something on them. You know they're really curious why they got what Ben will look like. So wrong what the surface would look like one of these papers try and figure that out and it finds that a lot of these boulders are so porous that they're kind of fluffy. So they always look like what a beach might look like in the radar or infrared signal that they got. Of Ben who explains why they had this kind of signal suggesting a beach the spacecraft could probably crush these borders if rammed into them, but they don't WanNa do that. That makes sense. So l know how much they got, but we're GONNA have to wait for the analysis for quite a bit. It's due to arrive in twenty, twenty three in Utah. We should mention why it's autonomously sampling to near Earth asteroid but right now it's not near Earth and it's much farther than Mars from Earth right now, there's a about an eighteen minute lag between what happens there and wheel here. So all has to be done a ton misleading because of that is there anything else you think we could learn from the sampling? There's the question of these one of the sources of life, this kind of chemistry and that was going on in the. Early Solar System for these organic molecules that men were delivered to Earth. Maybe there's some way of teasing out what this looks like for the altered on impact with Earth could be something that holy surprising when you get those samples back. All right thank you so much Paul. Thank you haul in as a staff writer for science you can find a link to his story and the related papers and science and science advances at science mag dot org slash podcast. Stay tuned for an interview with Hubert limb about a new way to treat tinnitus. This week's episode is brought to you in part by the healthy minds APP. Why bother with yet another meditation APP because the healthy mind program APP was built by narrow scientists who first brought the powerful effects of Meditation and contemporary of practices on the brain to the world it's a shot in the arm for your mental health that doesn't leave you guessing but offers a hands on deeper journey for times of unrest and beyond. A fully realized program wellbeing that goes beyond mindfulness providing real relief for users including stress management, the ability to develop a deeper understanding of oneself and the mental relief that comes from well being and resilience with science filled podcast style lessons, and thousands of hours of meditations even active meditations that you can do on the go. The healthy minds APP is freely available. Thanks to generous donors. You can train your mind to be more focused, Tom and resilient take control of your wellbeing today visit HMO evasions dot org slash science to learn more. That's. H. M. Innovation Dot org slash science to get started today. This episode is brought to you in part by Varsity tutors many of us are wondering how the new normal will affect our children's education transitioning from being in a classroom for seven hours. A day to learning from home can be difficult to keep kids learning and engaged checkout varsity tutors. I E tutors delivers free live in Richmond classes taught by experts that make learning fun. What I found especially helpful is at all these free classes could help you help your child needs to brush up on high school physics or math need to remember how to learn. To, read varsity tutors can help on top of that. versity tutors has hundreds of free online classes that are guaranteed to enrich your child's educational experience whether it's a class taught by an astronaut musician or wildlife expert. There's fascinating subjects for everyone. Bercy tutors has you covered for all your back to school needs from one on one tutoring self study tools, learning pods, and home schooling resources. To Reserve your spot in a free class. Go to varsity tutors, dot com slash science bag that's varsity tutors dot com slash science mag gave your child the confidence and keys to success today at varsity tutors dot com slash science mag. Today we're GonNa talk about Tinnitus sometimes called tonight us and this is the perception of annoys either all the time or intermittently this noise that isn't really there, and this is pretty common about ten to fifteen percent of people have it and it's not caused by any one thing could be some really loud noise injury to your ear age relating deafness, which all in all makes something that's really hard to treat. Hubert lemon colleagues wrote about an approach to treating tinnitus this week in science translational medicine. The technique is called by Modal Neuro modulation and is shows much promise in a clinical trial high Hubert. You tell us how tennis works. It's something that could affect started the ear or it could be in the brain is that correct? That is correct. There's different types of Tinnitus but if you WANNA simplify to a kind of more objective where they're sounds actually being produced by your ear with that tennis or subject if Tim`rous, Inada more believed to be happening in the brain and so what we're talking about today, his four subject Tinnitus, a sound being produced in your brain without actually any sound coming. Into your ears in our approach is than to try to adjust the brain to reduce that sound. Can you tell from the outside when someone has subjective? Tinnitus. For the most part no, there is no method to measure the Tinnitus, the loudness and the tears per set that individual has and that's one of the challenges of how we actually measure and assess how treatments work. Can you tell through testing where along the auditory pathway? This is originating you know is there way to know which kind of person? Has There isn't way specifically identify where along the auditory pathway the community generally are realizing that multiple brain regions are being involved with tennis perception not only just auditory where you think it would be also non auditory things like emotional centers, lyndyk pathways, people call it memory pathways to there are lots of regions involved. One thing you can do is you can assess the type of Tinnitus that they have in terms of the sound quality of the sound perception so you can ask them first of all. Know is it tonal like or is it noise like? Is it fluctuating? So you can get a sense of that aspect of it and can also do some matching play sounds even tone generator individual can adjust the frequency of the loudness and do their best to match it. Some individuals will have more complex sounds that are just not. So easily pinpoint actually have a few samples here, and if you don't like irritating noises, you might want to skip ahead a few seconds we have one that's a tone. And one that's more like a shushing noise. These are individuals, sounds but some people actually hear a bunch of overlapping noises right does correct before the approach we're going to talk about today you know the paper that you wrote, you talk a little bit about how this was treated in the past tennis is interesting in that there has been so many different approaches that have been tried simple sound generators you play music could be like a background noise generator could be more specific tailored sounds of regent vigil, and those can cover up the Tinnitus and or interact with tinnitus to help reduce the burden on the individual. Currently, there is no clinically validated medical device or. Drug Treatment for Tinnitus the only clinically validated option right now, which is shown to be quite effective is using more cognitive behavioral types of approaches. One that is a more well known inter field is cognitive behavioral therapy to help a person deal with the tinnitus in overtime. Then the brain itself does adjust and adapt so that they truly do not many of them are not even aware of their tennis anymore in certain conditions Ryan that hostility city of the brain is none of the target of what you're trying to do here. Let's talk by Modal Neuro modulation big words loss of syllables can you break it down for us? I. In the word neuro modulation. A lot of that stands from the Neural Engineering Neuro modulation world casing electrodes into the brain for stimulating regions. For example, like Parkinson's disease where people have tremors and they'll apply electrical current, you could stimulate the coke Leah on after restoring hearing with cochlear implants, visual prosthetics. So a lot of that concept of kind of modulating or altering cell activity in your brain for restoring function but also treating function I mean that that's where this. Word Neuro modulation stems from we are trying to do something like that. We're doing it from a noninvasive approach if you think about Canada's as being coated in some neurons or cells in your brain, your guess, how do you disrupt that activity? Have you reduced activity and there's two ways to approach this one is you can actually try to suppress or reduce switch off those themselves. The other way which is what we're trying to do is more tried to make other. Cells more sensitive and more active and you kind of make those tinnitus selves be not important anymore because then the brain k. these other sounds these other cells, these are important. You do this with sound and electrical stimulation of the tongue that's the by modal part. We actually play a rich core of sounds in the treatment combined with tongue stimulation we might play like one kilohertz and then we stimulate your tongue and we know by carrying those two from. Animal experiments in my lab and other previous research that you can actually make more cells become aware sensitive to one kilohertz and just activate more selves, and then you do it for eight kilobits overall you keep doing this you will start to make the brain more sensitive to lots of different sounds, which then distracts the brainwave from Tinnitus I'm GonNa, play the treatment sound here. This one I promise will not be as annoying as a symptom sounds. So we played before. So. Does that sound like a tone or does that sound like the beach heard of it sound like music? One part is is tones. They're not exact like very sharp towns. They have some kind of brought to them in sense that like is multiple tones can make Jelly speaking most energies in a given tone one kilohertz that sound than will be presented for short period of time depends on the stimulation condition we provide but eighty milliseconds. Is How fast we do it but the stimulus itself could be more like underwater twenty milliseconds. So very short from traveled file, it changes frequencies. But with that, we have background sounds and that background sound is more rich broadband wideband, sound noise legs out but it actually sounds a bit like music. It's adjusting with US towns to make everything more comfortable to listen to I'm GonNa, play it just a little bit more of the treatment sound. Is there something about having a mixture of sounds that makes the brain pay attention? The key thing we're fighting is it really is about the phone haired with the tongue stimulation that is driving changes of the brain. Let's talk about why get the tongue involved? How are you stimulating? Hug does it tastes like does it feel something Jerry speaking there's no taste changes, but there is definitely a tingling sensation on the tongue kind of waited to like very soft version of pop rocks for people. That when they're young, maybe not little. Fizzy Fizzy Candy or soda and then switches around different locations on your tongue paddle looking device that is placed in your mouth, and we asked him to use it for about thirty minutes the session at the same time as this audio that we were just talking about correct the audio then is is presented in a coordinated way with the tongue stimulation. For. The study we use three different stimulation settings. It's more about the timing of land tongue stimulation happens relative to the sound in one setting. We have them happen at the same time. In another setting, we have some offset between when the tongue is stimulated and the sound occurs. Then another settings much more offset delay. Why get the tongue involved? What is that doing to signal to the brain? Pay attention to this and forget about that other thing that's been annoying you for however long there's been multiple groups that have independently working on this. This approach we ended up on the tongue through different pathways by lab we weren't sure which body region would be the most effective driving changes. We just know from many studies before that if you combine sound like pure tones with another non auditory input I mean it doesn't Have to be a sensory could be visually to be emotional pathways or be sending memory pathways. But if you pair it, you can cause these changes. So we just did a trial and error approach. We stimulated all over the body, the tongue, the s, the neck, the back legs you name it, what we found was that electrical stimulation of the ear or the tongue appear to be the strongest drivers of plasticity or changes. In. The brain that we believe evolved from for Tinnitus treatment in parallel neuroma devices, they were interested in the tongue. They had more a systematic approach and they came across my paper and then it was like, oh. My goodness. We both found similar things of what we team up in restless history hugh tested this on a large group of patients. Can you talk a little bit about Queer patients were and how much of? This treatment did they get? We try to keep it as open as possible we were looking for adults who are eighteen or older and those who have subjective tinnitus and we call it chronic. We basically defined it as having tennis at least three months and up to five years. We did some questionnaires for assessing the burden level of Kansas. For the most part, the required a broad range of individuals that were we to the. You mentioned that the tongue stimulation was thirty minutes and they had the ear the sound going on at the same time. How often did they do that and and for how many days we recommended that they used the device one hour per day that one hour could be broken up into two sessions of thirty minutes. For twelve weeks and after treatment whether any changes in what did you see you know it would be nice to have more reliable objective measures to characterize the loudness of Tinnitus. There are some approaches that people are looking into using I'm one of the people who believe that questionnaires are more useful ultimately ended the day I'm more interested in you know, are you feeling better and has your symptom severity reaction to emotional your functional reaction to the tennis has that calmed down and so that's why for us we use tinnitus handicap inventories, one of the most widely used, and so there is another one called Tinnitus is functional. And that also is beginning to be more widely used and how did the patients fair breath three, hundred, twenty, six are disciplines in the study in terms of those returning back we had more than eighty percent of individuals coming back eighty six point two percents showed improvement on tennis hadn't kept in Detroit t hi, and then we had eighty one point, two percent that showed improvement on the tennis functional index ended departed mentioned, which I think is the most encouraging and has been shown in previous studies. The long term benefit is that we took the device back after twelve weeks. This is the party did not anticipate what happened. I thought that it would recover back after a few weeks. Few months, but we have a large number of individuals who out to twelve months had these improvements can this approach by modal Neuro modulation be used on other disorders where neuro pathways are acting up I'm not sure I know of an exact parallel case could be migraines or seizures or things like that without sounding to alternative medicine light my view has always been even deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's trump. You know it's a complicated network and you have these trends somehow you electrically stimulate the brain and then the tremors suppress. It's not that you're we recovering or restoring the complex pattern that was lost somehow you're almost kind of shifting things and letting the body do what it does best. To get it to a stable state and in the same attendance, we're providing all these many different inputs but we're really relying on the brain, the body itself to find its happy medium to use this information, and then get out of this abnormal pattern driving details or the attention to the tendency, and so I think many other neurological and psychiatric conditions can be viewed this way. So if that's the case, then you can use different types of inputs to interact with the circuits that are driving those conditions. What are the next steps to get this type of treatment into use in the clinic? It is available in Europe in Ireland and also Germany, and so we do hope that we. Can bring it also to the US. Do you know what happened to these people do know what is different for them I mean you know their symptoms are the sensation is different do you know what happened in their brain that is the question I'm so interested in you have a second study we were able to go down that route that question you ask we are analyzing that data still, and you know hopefully in the year we can publish that I feel like what we're doing here. We're just opening the doors to this new approach and I'm hoping that my lab but other groups will take on the challenge to figure out what's going on in the brain. Thank you so much. Thank you Sir I really an honor to be in a few tear Hubert limb is an associate professor in the departments of biomedical engineering in odorless. At the University of Minnesota and chief scientific officer at Neuroma Devices Limited you can find a link to his science translational medicine article that science mag dot org slash podcast, and especial. Thanks to the American Tinnitus Association for those tinny sound samples. And, that concludes this edition of the Science podcast. If you have any comments or suggestions for the show, right to us at science podcast at a s dot Org. You can listen to the show on the science website at Science Mag Dot. Org Slash podcast. On the site, you can find links to the research and news discussed in the episode, and of course, you can subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts. This show was edited and produced by Sarah Crespi with production help from Prodigy Meghan can't well and Joel Goldberg. Jeffrey composed the music on behalf of Science magazine and its publisher triple as thanks for joining us.
04: The First Clue To The Makeup of Dark Matter
"Mississippi USA, the space Tom's made possible with the help of the great courses. Plus learn anything anytime from the leading professors and experts in their field. Sign up for your free trial now by getting to a special URL. That's the great courses plus dot com slash space. The great courses plus dot com slash space that way they'll know you came from us and you'll be hoping to support a program. That's the great courses plus dot com slash space. This is space time series. Twenty two episode four for broadcast on the eleventh of January twenty nineteen coming up on space time, the first clue to solve the mystery of dark matter Cyrus rigs and his orbit around the asteroid Banou and the mystery deepens as to what's parrying, the corona seen around months, the black holes all that and more coming up on space time. Welcome to space time. We'd Stewart Gary. There's evidence that star formation can hate up and moved out matter around the findings reported in the journal, the monthly notices the Royal astronomical society provides the first real up station evidence of an effect note. Is that matter hating and may provide new clues as to what that matter really is dark matter is a mysterious invisible substance, which makes a bet eighty percent of all the matter in the universe. It often comes as a shock to paper when they realize that everything we've seen the universe from people and houses cars dogs and cats through the planets stars and galaxies combined make up only about twenty percent of the total mess of the universe. The wrist. Eighty percent is that matter the problem is scientists have no idea. What doc Matt is composed of they know it's real because they can see its gravitational interact with normal matter. But that's it for years. Researchers have been trying to study the effects of dark matter at this. Centers of me by what galaxies dwarf galaxies, a small faint galaxies that typically found orbiting logic alexy's like our own Milky Way. And the thing is dwarf galaxies appear to have proportionally more matter than logic galaxies. Like, the Milky Way they could clues that may help science better understand the nature of dark matter and the K to studying doc matter may line house Taza form these little galaxies Winstar form, strong winds can push gas and dust away from the heart of the galaxy. As a result, the galaxy said it has less mass, and that may affect how much gravity is filled by the remaining dark matter witless, gravitational attraction, the dunk mata- gains, energy and migrates away from the center and affect cold dark matter heating to get a handle on the issue astrophysicist Michigan. The amount of dot matter at the centers of sixteen off galaxies with very different style formation histories. They found the galaxies that stop forming stars long ago had higher dark matter. Densities of this. Citizen. Those still forming staff today and this supports the theory that only galaxies headless stock meditating the study's lead author. Professor Justin read from Sarah university says a truly remarkable relationship was discovered between the amount of dark energy at the centers of these tiny dwarfs and the amount of staff formation of experience of their lives. It seems that matter at the centers of the staff warming to off galaxies a piece of being heated up and pushed out the findings help provide new constraints on Madame models. It means that matter must be able to form to off galaxy that exhibit a range of central densities, and those densities must relate to the metal staff formation taking place, the findings could represent a smoking gun taking scientists the step closer to understanding what that matter is the authors now plan on expanding their search by measuring the central dock matter density in a larger sample of dwarfs pushing the wave and faint galaxies and testing a wider range of dark matter models. I'm Stewart Gerry. You're listening to space time. Okay. Let's take a short break from the show for a word from our sponsor, the great courses. Plas just like you. My love of learning has never stopped this still so much. I want to know an explore and with the great courses. Plus, I have unlimited access to learn about virtually anything. And that makes me a big fan of the great courses. Plus, which is why I want you to check it out too. With this great streaming service. You can expand your knowledge on a huge variety of different topics. There. Let you watch or listen whenever you want to wherever you are. And of course, with the great courses. Plus there are literally thousands of lectures to enjoy and it's not just a strana me and physics with the great courses, plus this history cooking learning a new language, even how to play music. Most importantly, it's all presented by real experts in their field people who know what they're talking about right now, I've been enjoying a visual guide to the universe. Presented by professor David Meyer. It's full of great animations videos, images and simulations. So it's really worth checking this out and. If you look carefully at the background sees got some great little toys stashed around the office to believe me. I want my office to look like that now to check out of jewel guide to the universe. Or any of the other foulland's of lectures, available dedicate us special offer as one of our listeners, you get to sample the great courses plus to enrich your life for free with unlimited access to learn about anything. So what if you got to lose to start your free trial right now? Go to the great courses plus dot com slash space. That's the great courses plus dot com slash space that way they'll know you came from us, and you'll be helping to support our show. That's the great courses plus dot com slash space. And of course, we'll put that Lincoln the show notes and on our website. And now it's back to our show. You're listening to spend time with Stewart Gary. Necessaries? Rick spacecraft is shaved orbiting certian around the near earth. Asteroid Banou the four hundred ninety two meter wide space rock as one of the highest known chances of hitting the earth with a one in twenty seven hundred chance of impacting the earth sometime between twenty one seventy five and twenty one ninety nine if it were to hit the earth, the resulting impact would be the equivalent of twelve hundred megatons of TNT ten nineteen fifty-five Banou is what's known as a combination. Apollo group asteroid that means it's a near near earth object with an orbit that intersects with and crosses earth's orbit around. The sun Banou is what astronomers call a beat-up carbonaceous asteroid, the generally similar to regular C-type Kaban asteroids, but with surface spectra suggesting and hydra silicates hydrated, claiming enrolls organic polymers magnetized and sulfides launched back on September, the eighth twenty sixteen from the care Canaveral air force station in. Florida aboard an atlas five rocket the two thousand one hundred and ten kilogram. Cyrus wreck spacecraft arrived at Banou in October twenty eighteen the spacecraft spending three is orbiting the asteroid and mapping it surface geology studying civil Lucien, composition chemistry and mineral allergy the orbital insertion maneuver carried out some wanted and ten million kilometers from earth. Sit a new space exploration Rickard for the smallest object ever to be orbited by spacecraft inching around the asteroid at Snell's pace, Asaraha's Rex's first orbit max, a huge leap for humankind. Never before as spacecraft circuit so close to such a small celestial object when with barely enough gravity to Cape vehicle in stable orbit almost lost in the news of new horizons in Kano was the arrival of the spacecraft that asteroid venue. It's been a two billion kilometer two year journey to catch up with this asteroid approaching the last few months getting close but on the knee. By actually into all. But an incredible very tiny over quite close to the surface and actually opening the spate of just centimeters per second. So it's probably the tiniest and slowest orbiting object and suddenly the smallest object as have been over to round. That's Glenn Nagel from this space communications complex, knee camera. Asaraha's Rexy circling Banou at just one point seven five kilometers from the asteroid center that's closer than any other spacecraft is ever orbited a Sylla's Jewell body the previous closest orbit for planetary buddy was set back in may twenty sixteen. When the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft orbited about seven kilometers from the center of the comet sixty seven p share them of Jerusalem. Anco the one point seven five kilometer distance is considered comfortable enough to Cape us IRAs. Rex luck to Banou which has a gravitational force. Just five million that averse spacecraft will remain in orbit around Banou through the mid February. Circling the body at allegedly sixty two hours per orbit Asaraha's Rex principal investigator, Dante Lauretta from the university of Arizona in Tucson says the probes eight second burn of its thrusters which placed it into orbit meant the navigation campaign was now coming to an end and the scientific mapping and sampled site selection. Phase of the mission is now beginning now that the Sarah's were expense craft is closer to Banou physical. Details about the asteroid will leap into shot. A Fergus and the spacecraft's tour of this rubble. Pile of primordial, debris will become increasingly detailed. Cyrus Rix flight dynamic systems manager, Mike Meru from this. As God spaceflight, centering greenbelt, Maryland says, the orbital design is highly dependent on bananas physical properties such as the asteroids mess and gravity field, which simply won't known before the spacecraft's arrival up until now scientists federal count for a wide variety of possible scenarios in that computer simulations just to make sure they could safely navigate spacecraft so close to Banou. As the team. Learn more about the asteroid they're able to incorporate more information to hone in on the final orbital design having completed a preliminary survey of banner with fly bys of the south pole on December. The sixteenth the spacecraft moves to a safe holding patent fifty kilometers from the asteroid giving the navigation team a chance to regroup and prepare for orbit insertion next Lockheed. Martin engineer build the spacecraft programmed at to begin moving back to a position about fifteen kilometres over banners North Pole that position the probe for three burns of thrust over the course of ten days designed to place the spacecraft war. But even though a Cyrus Rex is now in the most stable but possible penins gravitational pull so tenuous that keeping the spacecraft's safe will require close monitoring and regular adjustments. You see the Grefe of bananas small forces, like solar radiation, even thermal pressure from the new surface become much more relevant. They can push the spacecraft around in orbit much more than if it were ordering say the earth or Mars with. Gravity's by far the dominant force. So the Sarah's Rex navigation team will use trimming tubers dislike thrust the spacecraft in one direction or another to correct its orbit to county small forces me, well, mission managers have developed free dimensional model Banou surface based on a preliminary global imaging and mapping survey of the asteroid terrain. This means that instead of celestial navigation, they'll now be a rely on landmarks identified them beneath the surface to track. Cyrus wrecks and ultimately guide the spacecraft was Sabah collection site, clear of boulders and lodge rocks. Another crucial objective involves getting a better handle London's mass and gravity features. That will influence the plenty of the risks of the mission. Most notably the touchdown on the surface for sample collection in twenty twenty in the case of Banou, scientists Kennedy major these features by getting Cyrus wrecks, the fly very close to the surface to see how it's trajectory bins from bananas gravitational pull in late February the spacecraft will perform a series of close fly bys have been several months, at least that. Scientic high resolution images of every square centimeter of the asteroid in order to help select a sampling side, then by the middle of twenty twenty spacecraft will briefly touch down on the asteroid surface to retrieve its first samples Cyrus Rexy slated to leave orbit in March twenty twenty one with a sample return captial being jettison for a parachute landing in Utah in September twenty twenty three we'll keep you informed. This is space time. I'm Stewart Gary. A new study is found that the magnetic fields around supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies on strong enough. The pow the krono clouds of survey plasmas sane around them. The surprising findings reported in the Estra physical journal main sciences understanding of the physics of Blackhall still has an awful long way to go. The study MAC the first time that researches relative may to the strength of these magnetic foods found around months the black holes. Astronomers have often seen bright Karenni of superheated plasma similar to the kroner around the sun. But shining brilliantly around Sipa massive black holes. They supermassive black hole. Krona can be hated to phenomenal temperatures will ever billion degrees celsius it was long as human that. Like that of the sun these black hole corona would being hated by magnetic field. Energies problem is magnetic fields had never been measured around black holes leaving fit agree on certainty regarding the exact mechanism back in twenty fourteen. Researchers had predicted that. Electrons in the plasma surrounding black holes would emit a special kind of light and synchrotron radiation as they exist together with the magnetic field forces in the corona specifically this radiation would be in the radio band, meaning electro-magnetic ways with very long wavelength and low frequencies, and so the authors of our study set out to measure these fields the team used observations from the European southern observatory's Atacama large millimeter submillimeter array telescope alma in Chile. They studied the supermassive black holes at the centers of two relatively nearby active galaxies. I see forty-three twenty nine a which is about two hundred million light years away and N G C nine eighty five which is about five hundred and eighty million light is distant then compare these measurements with observations from two other radio telescopes the very large array, New, Mexico and the Australia telescope compact rainy now O'Brien you south wiles. Both these observatories measure slightly different frequency bands, the authors did detect the. Expected excess in radio emissions originating from the synchrotron radiation as well as emissions from jets five by the black holes as they fed on in falling matter, they're able to determine that the krona had a size of around forty schwartzchild radii that is the radius of a black hole from which not even light can escape though. Also at the determined that the magnetic field had a strength of ten gals. That's figure a bit stronger than the magnetic field at the surface of the earth, but quite a bit list and that given out by even the typical refrigerator magnet, very passively. Indeed, the findings made the magnetic food is far too. Weak to be able to drive the intense aiding the kroner around these black holes. So it's a case of back to the drawing bodes as the team. Now, look for alternative methods to try and explain Colonel hating. I'm Stewart, Gary you're listening to space time. During twenty eighteen the moon moved to further three point eight centimeters away from the earth. The sun lost over one hundred and seventy four trillion tons of its mass resulting in the earth orbit around the sun. Increasing diameter by one point five centimeters over one hundred fifty billion you styles performed in the visible universe and the universe expanded by over sixty trillion kilometres, Jim mostly deduct energy. Meanwhile, and you issue of a straight guy, tell us go magazine is hit the newsstands previewing. Some of the economical highlights for this year. Joining us now with details is the magazine's editor Jonathan alley on the January issue of Australians telescope. We have a new mission essentially a double mission that's been sent off to the innermost planet of masala system victory, which is actually how to get to. It's easier to get to Pluto in most ways than it is to get to mercury. Why is that that's because as you as you get closer to the? Sun, the some tries to pull you in faster and faster. It's like going downhill, basically, you going downhill gravitationally. So as you get closer to the sun, you're going to pick up speed, and you're gonna pick up more and more and more speed. And the problem then becomes if you're aiming to go to mercury which is, you know, two thirds of the way closer to the sun than we are. Then how do you stop yourself when you get there? You know, you you're gonna go sanding stripe pass. And this you've got an almighty big rocket to slow yourself down. But the problem is by carrying an almighty big rocket to slow yourself down. You won't have any room or or mass availablity to have anything useful like cameras, and that sort of thing. So when they send spacecraft off to the inner planets Venus and mercury they they do what they the qualities plenty of three fly bys, and they're going to do multiple fly bys of mercury, and I think Venus earth for these are another type of gravity assist. They have the assist. Yeah. And the idea in this case will be too slow yourself down as you. Going into the unit part of the solar system and do some big looping orbits around the sun going around a couple of these planets if you times to sort of bring yourself into a slow soft and bring yourself nice over finally to reach your target which in this case of victory when you when you do a gravitational assist in the other way, and the outer part of the solar system you want to pick up speed as you do these gravitational slingshots passe Jupiter or satin. So yeah, it is actually pretty getting to in the most. And that's why in fact, it's only ever been visited by two missions one in the nineteen seventies and one just in the two thousand about seven eight years ago. It's Mississippi, exactly. So some basic facts about mercury it's covered in crisis. And it looks a lot like the moon it orbits the sun as I said about two-thirds closer in than than we are. It's masses on the about six percent of that of years and being so close to the sun. Of course, you imagine. It's hot will certainly is in the areas that are in direct sunlight, it's four hundred. Twenty seven degrees celsius which is pretty warm, but there are shadowed areas in craters that can get down to minus two hundred and twenty three degrees. Mention that. So you so close to the sun, but you can be more than two hundred degrees below zero celsius timely locked. It's sort of it's gonna complex resonance. They call it between its its rotation period. And and period around the sun. It's it's not a one to one Todd locked thing. Like the moon is the the moon as it goes around the youth only shows the one face towards us because its rotation period is the same and it's all the period around the youth. Yeah. Mercury's not like that. They thought it longtime ago that it used to be, but it isn't. No. But there is a resonance between its rotation period. And it's all little period around the sun. And that's a confused. A lot of strontium is a years gone by infected took Eddington an Einstein to work that out didn't it. Yeah. And in fact, this particular mission that's the that I've sent off. Now, it's it's two spacecraft mission which joint thing between Europe and Japan Europe, contributing thing called the mercury planet overto- mercury. Planetary orbiter and Japan is contributing the military MAG. Majors Ferrick orbiter and the overall mission is called Betty Colombo. Colombo a strange sounding name, you might think it's named after Giuseppi baby Colombo's Italian scientists who worked out this thing about MC resolve it. And it's right to action period. So that named after him. He's also the due to I implemented into planetary gravity assist. Nova. He used in nineteen seventy four with mariner ten mission now technique, of course, use commonly, but pretty well. All inter-planetary probes. And in that case, I think he's probably the first interplanetary fly by scientists to be called a dude, I'm sure he'd very much appreciate being known as do. But I think that's the only time I've ever used it. We're at my whole life. There's no where we come from different worlds different world, mourn or right? So what are we going on with EDS mercury's, an interesting place for all sorts of reasons is orbital resonance, we spoke about about the rotation period in the orbital period, and the fact that it's so close to the sun. And yet there are there are thought of actual positive ice at the bottom of deep craters that never see some of these these places where I said temperatures really really low. So the bitty Columbia mission is going to tell us more about the planet's history and its geology, and where that is might have come from pilots is twenty nineteen in the January issue. We give you a full rundown of what to see the nights for the coming year. So that'll be lots of things to look forward to actually in two thousand nineteen major stargazing events. There's going to be a partially through to the moon for a start in July, visible across Australia. It's in the morning of July seventeenth, well that won't be the best eclipse at the same. But it's the only one we're going to get this year. And that'll be followed in December by partial solar eclipse, but that'll any visible from across the. Northern part of a stranded. So really we just talking that. Dial one day that's going to be in December cousins in New Zealand are going to be treated to a fairly rare event later in the year, though, of course, and that's called a transit of mercury. This is where the union most planet. Mercury gets between us and the sun, and from our point of view, it looks like a little black dot. So the creeping across the face of the sun transmission, far more common in the transits of Venus the last one which was a few years ago. And we went to see another one in our lifetime now because it's going to be more than one hundred years for yourself. You're gonna you're gonna cry in if he frees yourself and come back. I would just the head hit it. Just to get the rest of it. Just the hit. Yes. I if you're in New Zealand later in the year, you'll be able to see this transit injury. They're going to be several lunar rotations of Saturn during the year visible from strata a lunar rotation is where the moon as trundling along in its orbit around the earth, temporarily blocks from view anything that's in the background. It's sort of like an eclipse, especially you'd call it. And in this case, it's going to be sentenced several times, the the moon's going to be going along and you'll see it come up to seven seven being in the background. And all of a sudden seven we'll wink out as the moon goes in front, and then little wall seven Papa interview again on the other side of the moon. So it'll be really interesting to see a good demonstration that the moon is actually moving in its orbit around the youth because as it covers up satin and then later on as it uncovers seven that means the moon has moved that far through space and seven pops back into viewing him. And of course, the way the usual, Meteo showers almost one of them a month and. Of good views of the planets and groupings of planets stood and the one hundred divers who the international snorkel union. Yeah. Yes. So the the one hundred anniversary of the international astronomical Union's going to be pretty good. They're organizing or coordinating lots of activities all around the world, including here in strata know, many people in public land know about the I was it's cold elicit fans of Pluto. Of course. Yeah. Yeah. What it costs to the the decision was made at the I demote Pluto. But it's the worldwide body of astronomers h h signs has its own national bodies. And then their international body suffer astronomy, the IRA. You is it and. Yeah. So there should be lots and lots of things happening around the countryside. St. Jude let's jump finale, the editor of a stray and sky, tell us go magazine. And this is space time. I'm Stewart Gary. Beijing is carried out to more rocket launches to round out twenty with no less than thirty nine missions more than any other nation on earth. China's final launches of the year included along much three C rocket which blasted off from the Chiang satellite loan center in southwestern China Sichuan province. It was carrying. What was described by Beijing as the number three telecommunications technology tests satellite in reality. The spacecraft was the third in new constellation of TJ early warning Chinese military satellites the People's Liberation Army that is that tech and track ballistic missile launches by the infrared signatures before it was followed a few days later by the launch of along much today rocket as you one satellite Lewin center, the remote Gobi desert region of northwestern. China's in among goalie the mission was carrying the hung wine experimental telecommunication satellite and six high to satellites the two stage long much to d- was a quick with the new liquid fueled third stage designed to provide model firings. And they'd to place the seven satellites into this specific orbits three of the six you high set alight were released into a five hundred twenty kilometer high orbit with the three remaining you'll high to series spacecraft boosted into a one thousand ninety five kilometer high orbit the young high to said lights, global navigation satellite system radio cultivation to collect atmosphere. Data for weather predictions, and for honest for climate and gravity research, the seventh spacecraft in the payload was the Hong Yang one experimental satellite. This one isn't experimental telecommunication spacecraft testing, Ellen K-band radio technologies in orbit as part of what will be a plan new sofa Tele-Communications constellation of more than three hundred and twenty spacecraft in low of orbit. This flight Michael thirty ninth over launched by China in twenty teen and the two hundred ninety seven launch of a long might series rocket those thirty nine launches for twenty eight teen compared to just thirty one orbital launches for the United States twenty for Russia. Eight the European space age. Seven for India, six Japan and three or the launches for New Zealand. And time to take another look at some of the other stories making insci- this week with the science report. And you study shows the rate of men dying from malignant melanoma has risen around the world while it some countries the rates steadily falling for women the findings reported at the twenty eight teen NCRI cancer conference looked at data from thirty three countries, including stralia of rule the highest three ravage death rates twenty thirteen to twenty fifteen were found in Australia with five point seven two Melva Talib's for every one hundred thousand men and two point five three for everyone. Two thousand women. And you report ones that half of all strain adults are consuming more sugar than the would health organizations recommendations to Cape less. Listen ten percent of total calorie intake researches found. Forty seven percent strain surveyed were high for Chauvet consumers free show biz include added sugars and shook his naturally prison. Honey, syrups and Fritz uses beverages contributed the most free sugar in diets, especially for young adults with a made up almost half of the turtle ratio energy intake. Paleontologists say a newly discovered species of the famous I bird that he's akyab Drake's supported state as the transitional fossil between dinosaurs. And birds a report in the journalist archaeology claims that contra some previous studies, Ocoee, optics cannot be conclusively shown to be a primitive bird antecedent and Evelyn ary intermediate between dinosaurs and birds which possessed both teeth and clawed fingers. The new study also used that of the three dimensional synchrotron micro tomography to help virtually dissect the fossil and identify Skillet actions. That would have helped this particular species archaeopteryx Albers doer free to fly the Fussell discovered in a quarry in southern Germany nineteen ninety is around four hundred thousand years younger than any other archaeopteryx found so far the analysis shows that it had more features in common with modern birds, then with a dinosaur ancestors, including finish burns increased area for the attachment of flight muscles on the wishbone and reinforce can. Figuration of bones in the wrist and hand, the one hundred and fifty million euro fossils of archaeopteryx have been known since eighteen sixty one with some twelve specimens having been recovered so far. It's been confirmed that my great Neolithic farmers from the near east Broadway dogs with them as they sprint into your as your around nine thousand years ago. It already been known that these people brought shape cows waitin' Bali, my other domesticated species. But a new report in the journal biology letters found their dogs also came along for the ride and then intermingled with native European dogs upon arrival. You're listening to space time. I'm Stewart, Gary, and that's the Shifu now you can subscribe and download space time as a free twice weekly podcast through apple podcast. I tunes Stitcher bites dot com. Pucca casts soundcloud YouTube audio boom from space time with Stewart Gary dot com, all from your favorite podcast. Download provider space times also broadcast coast to coast across the United States on science three sixty radio by the National Science Foundation in Washington DC and available around the world unto in radio. If you want more space time checking our blog where you'll find all the stuff we could. Fit in the show as well. As loads of images me stories, videos and things on the web. I find interesting or amusing just go to space time with Stewart Gary dot tumbler dot com, that's all one word and in lower case. And that's tumbler without the you can also follow us on Twitter through at Stewart. Gary at space time with Stewart Gary on Instagram and on Facebook, just go to WWW dot Facebook dot com slash space time with Stewart. Gary space-time is brought to in collaboration with Australian sky and telescope magazine your window on the universe. You've been listening to space telling me steward. Gary this is being another quality podcast production from bites dot com. Mischievous space Tom's made possible with the help of the great courses. Plus learn anything anytime from the leading professors experts in their field. Sign up for your free trial now by going to a special, you arrow, that's the great courses plus dot com slash space. The great courses plus dot com slash face that way, they'll know you came from us and you'll be hoping to support our program. 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NASA's Big Tease
"Love this podcast support this show through the ACOSS support supportive feature. It's up to you how much give and there's no regular commitment. Just hit the link in the show description to support now. Fifteen seconds guided, Journal. Admission sequence space nuts. Three To. What it feels good. Alot once again welcome. Thank you for joining us on the space nuts podcast episode two, hundred, twenty six. My name is Andrew Dunkley and joining me as always is the good professor Fred Watson Astronomer at large Hell Fred. I'm delighted to be thought. It was good. It's always good to be good. Yeah. Sometimes you know sometimes people think show go. Thank you. To dont believe that for one moment nine, nine, that at least three people to listen to our podcast field assign. Today. We're going to be Told me about a couple of stories set a big in astronomical news this week one I've been teasing us about. and. Finally announced in that is that they might be more water on the moon than we first thought, and while we're on the moon, we gotta talk about that collaboration between NASA Inaki to put a four g network, a mobile phone network on the Moon the deadly serious about it but that radio astronomy thrilled and we guide to revisit as promised the Asya required mission, which successfully bounced off asteroid been kicked up the dust collected. Some samples and looks like Motoo much because get the lead on so We'll see what's happening. And a couple of really interesting questions one about the use of the Sun as a gravitational lens and another as to why after the summer solstice in the southern. The sun still continues to sit lighter, which is a little bit of a confusing. Normally we'll explain all of that and much much more today on spice nuts now fred you on a bit of a road trip. Last while you not indeed yes. It was down in the south of the state we visit the. Decisive Cambra. The astronomical sites have camera which included monstrum low observe a tree had a look at some of the the. Remains of telescopes after the fire that went through there in two thousand and three But also spoke to our group about what's going on now, which is great stuff Then we went to Tidbinbilla to the tracking station which is spice network along with Goldstone Madrid. To Been Bella provides the. Coverage for deep spice vehicles a towel along a Tude and. They've got some very impressive dishes including three new ones which working a slightly different way from the old ones. But one thing that was a highlight of visit an might give a shoutout to Glenn Nagel who's a good friend and Somebody who is actually head of communications at communications and outreach He gave up his Sunday for us week ago last Sunday to to give a certain fool Toa, which was brilliant the the highlight of the tool for so many people was the old honeysuckle creek dish which was moved to Tidbinbilla. Right doesn't operate anymore but that was the one that got first signals from Apollo. When the astronauts walked on the moon. Despite what the movie says it was only Creek I. then. That's right. Yeah people in the know know that but. They certainly tried it as as the pox radio telescope and it was instrumental in getting signals ATAS wells are. play very big part in the Apollo, eleven landings and. Fantastic. Love. Frayed the Australian names Tidbinbilla. And some some of the aboriginal names to get attached to things where I live in Dabo the would. Is supposed to be and the I think they've always had trouble confirming this, but it's supposed to main writer in the wind you are allowing windy. In the local aboriginal language rate of this because this region, he's red soil. A ticket further at West when it turns black and gets very sticky when it rains. We have some really amazing straight to Fred we've got wind Jawara Straight. which I believe I started remember the meaning of it. We're another one cold wilander. Now I think that means swamp. And we've got another one cold straight. There will aboriginal words from the local each other we're language. Near they've been. Used here and a lot of street signs might up with local aboriginal odd as well. Capturing the local culture I think it's terrific. Yes. When when I lived in Coonabarabran, of course that to is it's gum or Gummer I would. Do. You know what it means couldn't about Auburn. I do not, but I'm going to think it's something to do with mountains. Even more appropriate than that. It's inquisitive person. Can that's perfect. That is perfect for. Great. Yeah. So, just continuing the story we then we then spent some time in the snowy mountains and there still a little bit of snow and then down to the coast where we. Had some sell things I've never seen before some extraordinary places down in Eaton and. Tobago Bay. Parts of partner was that I've never explored before and the best thing. Despite the fact that the Bureau of Meteorology Forecast, doom and gloom weather conditions for the whole week, it was perfectly fine. The whole it was great. Yeah we'll got them up north instead and I'm very sad to say that we were talking about the cropping around here recently and how this just crops, his files, the consent, and they just needed a couple of weeks of dry weather to get the crops in. Sadly a couple of areas of been absolutely decimated by hailstorm. So that's very, very sad news indeed. Hopefully that can get those crops off because they desperately need a good season. We haven't had one for three or four years. Let's get onto our first topic, Fred Monarchic Better Strategy and history and information for ages. The hidden pockets of water that may exist on the moon. This is a story that's fondly That would teasing us for a good Waco side leading up to this but NASA has made the announcement that they might be a lot more water there than they first thought. That's right an. The main the data to discover is involved with this. Of which one is confirmation. Excuse me that the infrared signal that we see when you use infrared telescopes to look at the moon that infrared signal comes actually from water because earlier results. Dating from about two thousand and nine were ambiguous it could been either H to water. All the. Radical hydroxyl radical which. In some ways is a form of wall. Street's combination of find your oxygen, but he's not water we know it. So. The signal that was detected back in two thousand nine could have been either. People assumed it was water but now it has been confirmed and it's been confirmed actually by a fascinating telescope that one of my colleagues is used several times. It's a NASA facility. As a telescope built into the after section of a seven, four, seven S P, the old special performance seven, four seven. This is probably an elderly aircraft, but it's been modified. To have a large telescope, a poking through a huge hole in the back is probably. Sign the one. In diameter. Square in fact, is one point. Sorry. It's a two point four MI telescope in two hundred inch telescope that they've got mounted in the back of the seven, four seven. The aircraft is called Sophia, which is the stratospheric observatory for infrared astronomy, lovely acronym and it flies from time to time to make evasions usually at tight in the region of forty, five, thousand feet you know you're there in the above, all the moisture, virtually all the moisture in the atmosphere. which is way you can make these fine of mid infrared observations until it was sophia observations that were. Used by astronomers. Think based in the University of Hawaii. To detect the infrared signal that is categorically from H. Two O. Rather Than Oh. So we know that it is water. That's there. Now the extraordinary thing is that That has that work has been done. So the in conjunction of suddenly parallel with work that has been carried out by scientists. I think the University of Calcutta Colorado Colorado buggy pardon if I remember rightly or allies the next state across that's right. It's pull Hain of the University of Colorado who's lead the paper. which is so what they dumb he's looked at the areas of the moon the drink permanent shadow because that's where we think this water is mostly concentrated as ice. Although it's possible that might be liquid water not of course, not open to the. Know to the empty space probably trapped inside minerals may be mineral glasses. It sounds bizarre but that sort of thing can happen when meteoroid impact. The surface of the moon, he might have liquid water trapped tiny. Vials of of volcanic or a meteoroid glass. Anyway and the probably the bulk of it will be in the form of ice either bound up with the soil. The soil grinds or maybe even certainly in the base of some of the bigger crisis that never see sunlight maybe even if she. A sheets of ice because. Lunar reconnaissance orbiter the NASA spacecraft to the moon still active. Has detected radar signals of radar returns from those very polar craters suggests that what you're looking at surface this basically shiny very, very smooth and shiny. So maiden device. And the reason why that is a stable is because as I said the creative flaws never see. The light of day they never say the some the temperature. Because of that can get as low as minus two, hundred, fifty degrees, Celsius you might WanNa come into. But I'M NOT GONNA do it in my head a minus fifty degrees Celsius you know thirty degrees or so to. Twenty thirty degrees above absolute zero it's very, very cold until the ICIES, essentially stabilize just like a rocky surface. The. That's that's where the bulk of this water is Bob. This other type, this poll hain paper it'll from the University of Colorado what they've done. is about to say they've they've looked at what they called cold traps a place that is in permanent shadow. And it doesn't have to be in the floor of the crater. They're all in the in the polar regions of the some a sorry the moon. But they don't have to be in Christ is because he can imagine a situation where you've got. A hill or even something small like a boulder that casts a permanent shadow where you will never going to see some light and so what they've done is they've they've looked at the surface of the moon, of course, which is very well matched by. Things like the lunar reconnaissance orbiter a Dave. What tout where these places have permanent shadow down to a scale of one centimeter. Now, they come to the conclusion that forty thousand square kilometres of the moon surface is in permanent shadow. And contains these cold traps which range from the floors of craters to something a centimeter across they reckon there are billions of them basically. What that means when you combine that with the idea that you've got probably most of these opponent. Shadow regions. You've probably got the ice because the signal is so strong Then you can calculate how much water there is on the movement and they're talking somewhere in the region of. Well two to three billion tons of water for crave, which is a big resorts, and of course that is exciting for would be explorers of the moon because not only is water something that will support Habitat's. It also is rocket fuel because use use sunlight to generate electricity to to electrolytes it so that you've got the the component hydrogen and oxygen. Atoms than you recombine them. That rocket fuel. So there is work already being Donald Making a business case for. The exploration of the moon in terms of of using it as a fuel depot. Strossen aid and. By. Four hundred and eighteen degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Thank you for that. The number looking. which is damn called Namco. Dan called. Yeah. Actually the discovery of water on the Moon was portrayed in that TV series I was telling you about a couple of weeks ago for all mankind the alternative history series where Russia landed I I also landed the first female on the moon the American set up a base. Near. Crater to try and sort of take the lead in the spice rice. And they discovered water in a in a lava tube in a crater. And water ice and they Yes. The whole story of establishing base was built around the discovery of us. And we're talking back in the seventies when I supposedly set up a human base on the moon, which in the alternative reality of the of the movie is feasible. But I think would have been in the realms of science fiction in reality probably not today but back then visual. Fascinating series if anyone wants to watch it, it's It's really well done highly highly professional, great acting and just a really fascinating story line. And some of the political. Story lines within it fascinating too as to WHO's the president at various times and? I think find a mess I. Think it's on Apple TV. Oracle but. Enjoy show really really just mesmerizing I just loved it. And hopefully, they'll make a second season. we done with that topic. Actually we're not because On the Moon they are now looking at putting afford J. Mobile Phone Network Cell Network on the moon with the support of Nacchio which has got a few people upset in the astronomical. Oiled yes. So it till almost follows on from what we were just saying the. The ultimate project. Ultimate project, which is. Aiming to sign the first woman and the next man to the Moon in twenty twenty four. That project. Is aiming actually at the southern polar region of the moon. So they hopefully, we'll find out for certain. What for this is is in, but part of the project is to build a sort of you know a kind of permanent base on the moon. Permanently habit habit bay inhabited base. With a view to learning about A. LONG-TERM SPACEFLIGHT Principally with the idea of going tomorrow's in the next decade. So The the ultimate program is actually. Pretty broad brush thing and I imagine envisages. Luna landers may be habitation modules actually sitting permanently on the moon's surface. So what has happened is that NASA has recognized that if you've got Astronauts wandering? Around. A Lunar Rovers. And things of that sort of trying to find their way. With the Without the benefit of GPS. The the need is for solid communications and what they've done what NASA has done is to basically contracts Nokia the Nokia Company actually the American Naccache Company to develop a cellular cellular network on the moon and to facilitate as long term loom lunar habitability providing communications for key aspects such as Lunar Rovers and navigation. The lunar four G. Network. So that contracts already being awarded forty point one million dollars to develop that network and the immediate consequence was a lot of very upset radio astronomers because. Johnny uses the most sensitive antennas in the world to look at signals from space, which would be basically flooded out by the by the nausea. A cellnet. At specific frequencies that this is one thing that we have to be clear about it's not. It's not like flooding. A something on the ground with white light where you've got every frequency represented, these communications preconceived quite specific. But. At least one of them, certainly one, the the styling network as using as very close to a radio, strongly band of interest and interest because it's where a lot of organic molecules actually emit that Radio Ways David, space, precursors, life things of that sort which, of course radio is that really interested and if we're going to be flooded out in those wavebands by. Communications either from. constellations of spacecraft above the earth or by. Radio. Phone networks on the moon we we are struggling. We're going to be struggling and I think radio astronomy are going to have to be working with the communications people to try and mitigate the consequences of all the already happening sandwich spice eggs. I'm sure radio astronomers are talking to care as well about what the lunar. Lunar proposal that look like. Now hyped I can come to some sort of a agreement or understanding it would be a terrible thing to have basically an arm cut off by radio signals. From satellites and a alumina four, J. Network and Lose, that connectivity with the potential of discovery I think that would be a a really big jointly backwards The big question for me is with this four J. Network on the moon will the astronauts be able to phone home? Probably. Add to ask someone had to ask. Berbick and phone home except case. Exactly. Right. You're listening to the space and that's podcast. Andrew, gently here with Fred Watson with. North space nuts. Now before we get onto our next topic, I got some exotic news freedom a little bit thrilled. As you know, I, released early this year. Another Sohn's fiction novel called the terrain Ian Nick Moore and I decided after. Pressure will several requests. Let's call it that to put it into audio form which took me a long time. But it finally got released and is out there on Google books and Apple. audio. I am very pleased to be able to say that it's now an audible. A lot of people use audible, which is an Amazon company to download the books and a few people have been waiting for me to be able to say that it's on audible and yes, it is. So it's on audible dot com. It's also available in Australia on audible Dot Com dot a U Sarah if you'd like to download the audio edition of the Iranian `Nigma? it is now available on just about every audible audiobook platform but now an audible dot com, an audible dot com, you very excited about that. Congratulations. Notably Is a big coup. That's fantastic. Yeah. And it's damn hot work on Albanian radio for a long time and doing voice what goes with the goes with the GIG. But recording an audio book, a completely different animal and it really can. Be Quite texting and I think I've mentioned before that when you're doing it by yourself and have go the backing of a studio or a producer or you've really got to do everything yourself which did. In this spot where I'm sitting on this marker talking to you on, sorry you gotTa Bring Quality and apply and try and keep it all the same standard even recording segments weeks and weeks and weeks apart. But then go watch out for getting a cold and your voice changing or losing your voice will. So all sorts. In favor because it can all change there's a lot of pitfalls but the the the big struggle ahead had didn't bother to fix it. Was Of got into the story was recording a segment weeks off the recording another segment I couldn't remember what voice used for the character. Of? A, blow it all this. Does go with something else hyper this design fewer. Just left and actually. I had a bit fade back from someone who listened to it nigh. They loved it and I said it was a bit worried about the character voices and I went Oh, we didn't notice. So that's good. Probably shouldn't have mentioned. But anyway. It's gripe with paying someone who hates editing it that's the hard long. Living. Longer than actually rating. CHAPA. Recording it. Unless you really good at reading make mistakes but that's very. Very. Unlikely for most people even the best in the business manfred. Let's get onto the. Rex Mission This was a mission way we yet we sent the our SARS rex probe to the asteroid Banu, which it sorta hung around. Looking for a good long while up until last week when I decided I, Kai we're GonNa land on this thing and take a sample while it was a success. until it may be wasn't where we we've Houston, we have a problem. Yeah. Hopefully, not long term problem hopefully solvable but Yeah I think I think the bottom line is they were too successful would that be way of describing it? So the just to recap the the device that they use, it's so the spacecraft itself approaches the surface of of asteroid. Benadryl did this last week in fats. With a kind of almost like a miniature BECO-. Stretched out, which contains a device on the end, which is called Tag Sam. Tag. Sam Is an acronym for touch and go sample acquisition mechanism scrape. On. Mind that one. That one at all go to the feeling of just touching the surface to it hasn't it tax tag lock the game. Exactly. So I'm so this is sort of like a pan. which collects the the sample. Then there apparently is. as a Myla flap, which is meant to seal shocked wants the sample has been collected. Box they were so successful with the tags on the some of the some of the bigger bits of soil and doug that didn't go through the flat properly have wedged it open. Now. They've been the they've collected more than they expect it to. And Dot. Essentially. Maine's that. I feel that they have the possibility of collecting. If they didn't feel that got enough they have the possibility of collecting another sample in January I think the eleventh of January but that I think has now been ditched because they feel they've got enough. In fact has as the NASA bulletin says because the first sample collection event was so successful Nasa Science Mission Directorate has given the mission team the go-ahead to expedite sample storage. In originally scheduled for the second of November. In the space craft sample return capsule to minimise for the sample loss. So this is a separate capsule, the Ash L. see the sample return capsule. which they've got a stow, the sampling and. One there's a quote from Dante Lauretta who's the principal investigator for Cyrus? Rex University of Arizona, the abundance of material we collected from new made it possible to expedite our decision to stow the team is now working around the clock to accelerate the storage line. So we can protect as much of this material as possible for return to Earth now. This is where it gets tricky because what was expected to happen with the storage procedure was that? Cyrus. Rex. would run autonomously through a sequence of events. and. So what they're doing now. A saying, no, we don't want that to happen. We want this to be done. So carefully, carefully enough that we don't lose soil face so they gotta do it all by hand in other words, send a command watch. What happens. And then send the next command watch. What happens the problem is you've got thirty seven minute delay between sending the command and knowing what he's done because they signal travel time at the moment between us and the spacecraft is eighteen point four, five minutes. So each step means that you've got a way for thirty seven minutes while you take the step and then wait to see what happened. In in the in the consequences, it's GonNa be very, very painful I. Think Andrew. This is probably happening as we speak 'cause shadow for the twenty seventh of October. USTA. I would we are the following day? So I, think it's happening now so By the time this this goes to add the outcome might note already oh drought. We've lost it all up. Sure it will be why. Hope not but yeah, it's In terms of glitches when it comes to space missions, this is not the worst. It's ever happened on a visit to another world or another object but. Know, there's been the famous cases of lind's caps getting stuck on by hate all sorts of weird and wonderful things but. it sounds like that go to solution and when Libby Watch. Documentaries or movies about problems in space it's always about working the problem and they obviously have got an idea on how to deal with this. The just GonNa have to be very careful with the execution. Thus correct exactly which is why the doing it one step at the. Rock will we might have a follow up to that yet again next week so we'll Kepa on the Sarah rix mission. which I think will only be the second time that a private is brought back matter from my an asteroid. I think the Japanese have done at once well, done it once already, and there's one other Japanese will on the way back, which will come down. Here in Australia in fact in December think. So. Not, Third attack is. Very good. While the more we get the more we learn that's what it's all about. Greed. Sorry. Any samples at least that we can get back. Absolutely invaluable scientifically. Indeed totally agree this is the space nuts podcast episode two, hundred, twenty, six with Andrew. Dunkley, and Professor Fred Watson. Today's show is brought to you by express VPN protect your online activity today and find out how you can get three months free at trikes. VPN DOT com slash space. That's try express VPN DOT com slash space for three months free with a one year package visit try express vpn. Dot Com slash spice to learn more space nuts a big share out to patrons Hey you support us we appreciate it the the Patriot dot com slash spice nuts page is an option where you can choose as little or as much as you wish to contribute once a month totally Voluntarily if you'd like to become a patron spice Nazis on patriots, dot com slash spice nuts there's also the option to go through were subpoenaed cast and also packages available through super cast Again, not expensive, but you can choose whichever but it also gives you access to multiple podcasts. So he can. You can buy package if you want to do it that way or you can just make a strike nation I think pipe pile is now an option if you want to do it that way and as I say all the time, this is not a requirement is not. Something we. Want you to absolutely do as a must. It's totally voluntarily voluntary. We would not forced to do that will never ever switch it to a pay only service so We just appreciate those people who've come to us and said, we wanted to give you something for the work you do. That's how you do it at all the details or on our website spice nuts podcast dot com. Now, let's tackle a couple of questions this one I. Now you particularly love this comes from Manson in Sydney. of always been intrigued as to why the longest day of the year doesn't have the lightest sunset time of the year. In Sydney. The longest diet is the twenty first of December. But the sunset time continues to get lighter in the evening h day for some time after this, I haven't ever really been able to conceptualize why this is. So perhaps Fred could help edify may such that I can demonstrate my superior knowledge to my old man who has always asked this question who's also asked this question before thanks now I do recall we have talked about this I think on the radio used IT IS A. Strange thing because after the the longest day. The summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. it would be natural to assume that the days start to get shorter after that and the do but the sunset continues to happen a lighter and that's where he's confused. Yeah it look say it is a great question. Is a you quite rightly? So one one of those that I've always relished since I I answer the actually for. A newsletter was worked for Her Majesty's Nautical ALMANAC office. Observatory, back in the nineteen seventies nineteen seventies so. Might actually just do it because I cover these questions in my book. Wise. Uranus upside down another questions about the universe which published actually quantum. Tell Him we go back in two thousand seven. Hundred fifty questions that people ask is on the radio. This is one of them. Why doesn't the at least what for the longest day? Coincide with the Early Sunrise on the latest sunset. it actually in the books, count she of the way to by the shortest because the same thing happens. So let me give you the figures. Okay for the summer solstice. Exactly as as I mentioned. Only. I'm doing this. I'm reading from the book for two thousand, seven of the date said just very slightly different but basically eat. The same thing in some the earliest sunrise is on the sixth of December. This is in Sydney again. Six of December is the earliest sunrise. So after that the sun rises stop getting lighter and you know you would think the days are getting shorter but they know not. Getting longer. Getting longer the Solstice, which is on the twenty second of December. And then start getting shorter as you said, but the lady sunset is actually not until the seventh of January the following year. This skewing, the early sunrise, six, six of December. The shortest. Sorry. The Longest Day is the twenty second of December. The latest sunset is. Until the center January and you'd expect intuitively all those things to be on the same date you'd expect to be on the twenty second of December Butler dog it's actually A. Slightly complex reason but it is all about. The fact that. The Sun as a timekeeper is not very good and we know that because if you have a Sundial. The time that you record with a Sundial is not the same as you clock time. Varies throughout the year it averages out to be the same over a year but there are times in the year when the clock is running ahead of the Sundial, times of the year when the clock is running behind the Sundial and the difference between them is something that for centuries has been called the equation of time an implicit graph of the equation of time in fact, anybody who's listening to this if anybody does. If, you check out on the web and you can see you'll be able to see just google the question of Taibbi. Well to see the way varies throughout the year that equation of time is the difference between a clock time and Sundial telling, and it comes about because the Soviet first of all is not circular the SOB political we are closest to the sun and the third of January. And For, this away on about the July. So it's It's a an elliptical orbit that means that the the US progression around its orbit is not constant speed and that combined with the fact that the. The tax is tilted with respect to the pope indicator. The on celebrates that is what produces the equation of time is what gives you this funny little graph. That shows the difference between clock time and Sundial time now. Okay. How does that relate to the solstice? Probably the easiest way for me to deal with this really out the Buke. Book Myself. Read so that you'll woods. Yeah. So. Okay. So if you Can think about. The. Chairman, just let me just really upset. So, says, why don't least to Berlin why? Why doesn't this bewildering set of dates coincide? That's what the ones who are just given reason has to do with the sun's bizarre behavior in running fast and slow. As described in the book you'll have to read. It's the good old equation of time again at certain times of the year, the interval between. Nunes. On successive days is slightly greater than twenty four hours of telling. And other times of the year, a slightly less the differences counseling one another out over the whole year. Nia, the southern summer solstice. The time between successive nunes. As thirty seconds less than twenty four hours. So. That's the the crucial part of this. Big Chunk. It. It's a lot of time. Yeah. So it's it's when the equation of time is the extreme. That difference and? Here's the crucial point that difference of a thirty seconds per day. Greater than the difference between the sunrise and Sunset Times on on successive days. and. So the equation of time becomes the dominant effect. The fact that that's changing more rapidly than you sunrise and Sunset Times on the result of that is to stagger the date. Of the earliest rise on sunset times on the SOLSTICES booksellers disease, not actually more pronounced in December in June because of the larger discrepancy between the solar. Day, and twenty, four, a clock Tyne, and here's another thing. It's less pronounced at high latitudes. So it was something I never noticed when I lived in the UK, latitude fifty five also whereas down here in Australia latitude. Thirty seventy, three, thirty, four in Sydney your at about thirty one in. About thirty two, I think in in the double. Its Greater daily change in the sunrise and Sunset Times, and this is the bottom line. If you were to plot tables of sunrise and Sunset Times they stone Sundial time rather than clock time the effect would disappear altogether. So it's all about the fact that the sun. Moves apparently moves around our skies. As seen with the Sundial is not a good timekeeper. So we never invented the clock we wouldn't have noticed. Yes. That's right. If we don't always relied on Sundays, we would notice. A Good time timekeepers. So it was really with the mechanical clock, the invention of the mechanical clog, the the idea of. Of the question of telling emerged. It's an excellent. It's not easy. So, go ahead. Now. My brain hurts just China. If possible to try and get my head around a bit if you asked me to explain it right now at odds collapse and ED good lack explaining it to your dad well, the best. Could is give him a copy of Weiser upside output personally. Jewish. Is the sales paged. Medicine. Great Question. I was. So as you spoke and explain to allow my thought was will wouldn't have Sundall always be seven minutes behind. In it's because of the travelling time of lots but. Sometimes don't take into account to toll. People dinner when I invented thousand no idea that there's somebody takes eight minutes to get here. Yeah. So all sorts of things to consider but don thanks for the question that it's an absolute ripper in a much more complex than I think you might have been anticipating. Now. Let's move onto our next question and comes from Brooke Pederson. now Bracha dropped an audio question down that we haven't been able to collect those. Siwa he very, very thoughtfully. Senate. To in text just in case and he said on a recent episode of Cosmos with Neil degrasse Tyson he says that we could set up a telescope in spice that uses the spice curvature of the Sun as a lens to view distant far off locations with extreme magnification a points to the question why we haven't done this yet as we have the technology do you know why we aren't doing this and do you know why at what kind of resolving power we would get Could we look at planets orbiting in the ANDROMEDA? Galaxy, for example, great podcast you too and I hope because forever pay US Fred I, you ever going to be able to guest on stargazing live again love seeing you on it. Last time Pederson I think also you last time to read. Well hopefully when stargazing live returns, it will do eventually. We'll see what happens. The time stargazing was couldn't be there because that was how she leading an eclipse in in south. America. That was last year. So that's why. I couldn't. Tell. Eclipse to way because I wanted to be on stargazing live just didn't work that way. Refer, to. The previous question. Exam. Okay. So This is an interesting. Certainly an idea that has been discussed fool. Why hasn't? Dumb, yet well, because it doesn't work. Not. As not as neatly untidily as a suggestion from Neil degrasse Tyson comes about about she say nappies. Of Cosmos the problem is an okay. You have gravitating body like like the Sun and first of all, it will be a lot easier to do this with the earth than the sun because the sun is a luminous object until he tried to if you're trying to use the space curvature to to bend the light from distant objects. You. Festival have to get rid of the light of the Sun One Way to do that is by means of an eclipse in that she how relatively was first Confirmed in one, thousand, nine, hundred, nineteen by total clips of the Selo. The I think the twenty fourth of. May. I, remember rightly. And so that was in a in a sense doing while this question, he's talking about they they look to the way the images of stars were moved away from the disk of the Sun by the gravitational coverage of the spice around the Sun. But the problem with well, that's okay. So let's get rid of this song because that's a terrible idea that sounds too luminous, but you might think about doing it with the earth. So. Or even the moon actually you the moon would distill space to some level. The would let you. Actually form an image a long way from the moon along the Axis between the moon and the object that you're looking at trying to study. But the difficulty is that it's not a lands as we think of it it's actually If you. If you think of the telescope, it's a bit like a spectacle lenses you know. Usually convection in the middle ticket in the middle of the than at the edge to make a comeback that's the basic form of Telescope Lens. Lands that would mimic the gravitational distortion of the sun is a different shape, and in fact, is more or less the shape of the bottom of the wine glass. Somewhere. I've got a broken off bottom of the wine glass which actually simulates very well watch. The imaging properties of an object in space. And it doesn't form an image of the kind that you can examine. microscopically to look details like planets orbiting thousand Andromeda galaxy what you get is what what is called? What is it cold of forgotten the name that's ridiculous. It'll come to me in a minute Piece of optical terminology. Way You've basically the the the the light forms accussed. and. Counter another name on the tip of my tongue never mind it doesn't matter. Timeframe. Sorry. Saying Andrew. To me all the time. Okay I've got it now. Forms a caustic. The technical name is a caustic curve image, and that is not the kind of image that you can magnify with. You know the kind of equipment in to look at planets around stars. The might be ways that you could do. that. You could modify that correcting lenses but. It actually becomes an engineering. Challenge, which is kind of. A on a hiding to nothing because the more. Engineering, you do to try and give yourself a proper image from the custody image that you get that you would get. Is actually quite serious stuff and in the end is a lot better to use a conventional telescope. Like You know the extremely large telescopes that are on the horizon. At the way, you can control the imaging properties at first hand. I'll come back to that in a second because I want to point out one of the other issues with trying to use a natural object as a as A. Telescope and that is that you've got to be you know you've gotta get the spacecraft to detect the image in the same direction are opposite the Athol whatever you look using your gravitational lens as the target that you're looking at so. You've got all the dynamics of that to cope with as well and just basically amounts to being a starter. So. Neil degrasse Tyson positing the question why we have done it yet has a lot of very sensible answers. If you want you send it to me, I'll tell you why w. yet because we don't have the technology absolutely not. Just one other aside on this. Is that yes, we do use this phenomenon for. The. Mike defecation of very distant galaxies. We use it all the time you enough to spoken about saying where you go the cluster of galaxies. and. Gravitational distortion lets you see all these strangely curved images which cost stakes exactly as described of much more distant galaxies and you can actually some level reconstruct goes images to to give you some sort of idea what's going on we? We actually had I think we talked about this with a with a ring of light at an Einstein ring that was reconstructed into image of his property galaxy. We've we've done that already. But this is an situations which are very different from using the sun or a planet as a telescope that you can point around the sky they're just taking advantage of. A natural alignment. The technology does exist to reconstruct the images, but it's a very poor resolution. Because, they know the difficulties quite high. So going back to what I was just saying. With. The extremely large telescopes and in particular, the European won the LT which will have a mirror thirty, nine meters in diameter that will have the resolving power. To, see the planets of stars in the andromeda Galaxy it's it's phenomenal. The level solution that you will get with that. Now, it's a very difficult. Problem to do that because. You've got A. Lot Out the light of the star before you can see a planet but at the You know extreme resolutions that we will get with these Lt's. That will actually let us explore. The stellar population of of galaxies like dromader. At close at close hand at least it will if there's one in the northern hemisphere, the TNT thirty meter telescope is the Northern Hemisphere. Equivalent of the of the European Southern, Observatory's down in Chile the Lt. That sadly held up at the moment because of issues with the location of the summit amount, of K., which. Is All to do with the traditional owners and it's a very, very difficult problem much more difficult than imaging starting different Calix. Planets in different galaxies, you know a problem that really has no easy answers. It might result in telescope being built elsewhere. Perhaps of LAPA on the island of power in the Canary which is. Not Quite as good as scientists. Monica. But still pretty good. I've got off the track there but. Regular telescopes who've got a lot to offer and You know the meteorite likewise in the radio spectrum will have very fine resolving. Because antennas spread over Lounge area, and so we don't need to worry too much about looking at gravitational lenses they're paying to deal with. And once in a while, we get a fortunate. Juxtaposition that let's see galaxies behind a cluster of galaxies. Let's get decent results from it, but it's not something I? Think you could use as a routine method of observing. They you go. Along to a short question. But a good question well, worth asking brock. Thank you so much we. It, and thank you everyone who sends in questions with starting to pull them up again But of course, as always if you'd like to send in a question, go to our website spice nuts podcast dot com, you can send it the traditional way through contact portal or you can click on the Tab and record you'll question just tell us who you away from and ask your question as long as you've got a microphone attached to your device that operates Will We will receive it and more than happy to they got through them and pick and choose which ones get put on the we can't do the Malays is just too many that we had a little drought, but that's certainly not the case Nabet. Cape him coming that's what we like. Fred that brings us to the end of what turned out to be lengthy episode that very, very good. Indeed. Thank you so much integrate hundred. Actually turned out to be lingering. Good. Well, never mind. It's all good stuff. Thank you very much. It's under for because we're approaching the summer solstice and now that. The length of our episodes is actually longer than I a p. That's what's happening. She'll be doing Sundial by this little number. Maybe. That's how tell the time on radio by the way. Thank you fred. We'll catch you next time. Sounds Great. Hundred. Say. Fred, Fred Watson Astronomer. Lodge here on the space and that's podcast and for me Andrew Dice. Clay. Thanks again for listening. Tell you friends say hi to your mom for me and we'll catch you on the next episode. To the spice nuts podcast. Subscribe to the podcast on Itunes and stitcher all your favorite podcast distributed. This is another quality podcast production. Dot Com. All Gin joints in all the towns in all the world. She walks into mine. Welcome to a new podcast for the movie lover and all of US high type is here host of the classic film. Club. 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