Sept. 10, 2021

An Update from Mars

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 102
*Perseverance collects its first samples of the red planet
It was a case of second time lucky as NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover successfully collected a sample...

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 102
*Perseverance collects its first samples of the red planet
It was a case of second time lucky as NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover successfully collected a sample of red planet rock for the first time.
*Curiosity celebrates nine years on Mars
NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover has just drilled its 32nd hole into the surface of the red planet marking nine years of exploration in Gale Crater.
*Will it be safe for humans to fly to Mars?
Once you have all the technical issues ironed out – the biggest problem facing humans return to the Moon or for that matter undertaking the far longer journey to the red planet Mars will be radiation.
*September Skywatch
The September Equinox, the constellation Capricorn and the Aurigids and Epsilon Perseids meteor showers are among the highlights of the September night skies.

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The Astronomy, Space, Technology & Science News Podcast.


SpaceTime S24E102 AI Transcript

[00:00:00] Stuart: This is time series 24 episode 102 for broadcast on the 10th of September, 2021. Coming up on space time. Perseverance collects its first samples from the red planet. The curiosity Rover celebrates nine years on Mars and we asked the question, would it really be safe for humans to fly to Mars or that and more coming in space time. Welcome to space time

[00:00:30] VO Guy: Welcome to Space Time with Stuart Gary

[00:00:48] Stuart: Well, it was the case of second time. Lucky finesses, mass perseverance Rover. After it successfully collected a sample of the red planet's rocks for the first time, the sample target was a briefcase sized rock out of a kilometer long Ridge line of rock outcrops and boulders inside Jezreel crater. The location is a dried up lake bed near an ancient river Delta sediments washed down from upstream.

[00:01:14] Stuart: Provide a rich assortment of minerals for sampling. The newly acquired drill core sample will be the first of more than 40 to be taken and stored for eventual return to worth. That'll be done by a future joint mission between NASA and the European space agency. Perseverance is sampling and caching system uses a rotary percussive drill and hollow coring bit.

[00:01:36] Stuart: At the end of its two meter long robotic arm. This is designed to extract sample slightly thicker than an average pencil. Forcing them directly into a hollow tube fitted inside the drawer. After completing drilling perseverance, then maneuvers the Cora bitten open ended the sample tube in the position to be imaged by the Rover's mass cam instrument.

[00:01:56] Stuart: In order to confirm that the sample acquisition did in fact take place. The initial images show intact rock and regular samples inside the titanium sample tube. But mission manages the wedding for better light take additional images in order to confirm the acquisition that follows last months, failed sampling.

[00:02:15] Stuart: The drill cat into the rock as intended, but when it pulled back, there was nothing inside the sample tube. Apparently the sample was so fine. It literally fell out of the tube as it was being extracted. If the follow-up images confirmed sample acquisition, the sample tube will be sealed and moved to an internal caching system inside the Rover for long-term storage.

[00:02:37] Stuart: Well, geology plays an important part in perseverance. His mission demise astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life on the red planet remain the missions primary objective, but perseverance is also characterizing the planets, geology and past climate paving. The way for eventual human exploration of the red plan.

[00:02:58] Stuart: This is space time still the come the curiosity Rover celebrates nine years on Mars. And we asked the question, will it be safe for humans to fly to Mars, all that and more store to come on. Space time.

[00:03:29] Stuart: Well, Walt perseverance celebrates its first successful drilling attempt it's sister Rover curiosity as just drawed it's 32nd hole on the surface of Mars in the process. Marking nine years of exploration in Gale crater, the car size six world mobile laboratory touched down on August the fifth, 2012 on emission.

[00:03:50] Stuart: The determinative Mars was ever habitable enough to accommodate light. Scientists are studying why the red planet, once a warm wet world is transformed the freeze dried desert. It is today. And when it was a warm wet world, was it really capable of supporting life sea for life to occur on a planet? As far as we know, it requires liquid water.

[00:04:14] Stuart: And so finding evidence of past or present liquid water on Mars was one of curiosity's primary mission. And it managed to accomplish that confirming the past presence of liquid water on Mars within its first few weeks on the red planet. He quickly discovered minerals, which could only have been created in liquid water and explored stream beds containing rounded pebbles formed by flowing water.

[00:04:37] Stuart: And it found atmospheric traces of methane, a gas, which on earth at least is commonly produced by microbial life. Although it can be made by geological processes as well. Curiosity has now traveled more than 26 kilometers since landing on the red planet. The Rover's now slowly making its way up the side of the eight kilometer tall Mount sharp, the central peak inside of the 154 kilometer wide gal.

[00:05:03] Stuart: Create a basin. Its latest observations are showing mission managers, a Panorama of knobbly rocks and round that Hills captured by its mass camera. Audit's 3167th mush and day. Spacecraft in orbit around Mars show. Curiosity is now somewhere between a region enrich with clay minerals and one dominated by salty minerals known as sulfates.

[00:05:28] Stuart: The central Piguets. Now climbing is highly layered providing an area that can be read almost like a geology book, revealing how the ancient environment changed over time. Curiosity is now started up a path wining between a large shell on the tearing. Butte told the full story. In the coming year, the Rover will drive past these two features and into a narrow canyon before revisiting the green bow pediment, a slope with a sandstone cap that the Rover briefly submitted last year.

[00:05:59] Stuart: This space-time still the com humans hope to visit Mars sometime during the 2030s, but how safe would such a journey really be? And the September Equinox, the constellation Capricorn, and two media showers are among the highlights of September sky. Watch all that and more still to come. Um, space time.

[00:06:37] Stuart: the United States hope to launch a multinational man mission to the red planet. Mars, sometime during the 2030s, of course, they've got to make it back to the moon before then. They'll then use the moon as a jumping off point for Mars. But once you have all the technical issues ironed out and some of them are still pretty insurmountable, the biggest problem facing humans, both returning to the moon and for that matter and detecting the far longer journey to the red planet.

[00:07:04] Stuart: Mars will be the issue of radiation. NASA currently limits the national its total lifetime radiation exposure to 600 millisievers. But that's still enough to increase in astronauts chance of dying from cancer by 3% that put all that in perspective, a six month stay on the international space station exposes an astronaut to between 50 and 120 million servants that spacecraft like the international space station are flying in.

[00:07:32] Stuart: What's known as lower Thor. Here they're shielded from the worst effects of radiation from the sun and high energy galactic cosmic rays from deep space or the Earth's magnetic field and van Allen radiation belts. These together with a planet's atmosphere act like a barrier, protecting the earth surface and allowing life to thrive.

[00:07:53] Stuart: Of course, the Apollo astronauts were forced to fly through the van Allen radiation belts to get to the moon and cruise of the upcoming items. Missions will need to do the same. Passing through the van Allen radiation belts means increased radiation doses about the equivalent of a couple of CT scans.

[00:08:11] Stuart: And once beyond us protective magnetosphere, the Adams crews as were the Apollo crews before them will be subjected to constant elevated levels of radiation. The Apollo crews suffered from what's known as cosmic gray, visual phenomena, sudden spontaneous flashes of light thought to be caused by separate time like particles passing through the retina vitreous material and the astronauts eyes, or through direct interaction with the optic nerve or possibly through visual centers in the brain.

[00:08:40] Stuart: Now, while this effect was most noticed on deep space missions to the moon, even relatively short excursions that service the Hubble space telescope, which orbits about 120 kilometers higher up than the space station. We're still enough for astronauts to begin to experience cosmic Ray visual phenomena, and the bombardment of radiation is constantly.

[00:09:00] Stuart: As cenotes on the lunar surface or orbiting around the moon or exposed to around 60 microsieverts of radiation per hour. Now that's some 200 times higher than normal background radiation on the earth surface. And up to 10 times higher than the rate experienced on an average transatlantic passenger flight.

[00:09:18] Stuart: Now, what all this means is that the average 180 day journey to Mars will expose humans to radiation levels two and a half times higher than what astronauts currently experience on the international space station. So sending humans to Mars will require scientists and engineers to overcome a range of technological and safety obstacles.

[00:09:37] Stuart: NASA has already been considering limiting missions to master older astronauts there's life expectancy means they don't have as many years left for Kansas to develop now a report of the journal space weather as looked at the amount of time and the sort of circumstances under which a trip to Mars should be entertained.

[00:09:55] Stuart: They say the entire round trip, including the time on the surface should be kept under four years. And it should be time to coincide with solar maximum. The peak of the son's 11 year solar cycle. The authors have determined that humans should be able to safely travel. The Mars provided the spacecraft has sufficient shielding and the timing of the human Mars mission also makes a huge difference.

[00:10:19] Stuart: Your sister determined the best time for a flight to leave earth would be at solar max. When the sun is 11 years, solar activity's at its peak. Now that might sound counterintuitive, but comes about because galactic cosmic gray activity is at its lowest within the six to 12 months after the peak of solar activity.

[00:10:37] Stuart: And that's because the enhanced solar activity acts to the flick, the high energy galactic, cosmic rays. The author's claim. We have the technology now to shield the Mars bound spacecraft from energetic Packers from the sun, simply by using a very thick shell, but they say you don't want the shielding to be too thick.

[00:10:55] Stuart: That would actually increase the amount of secondary radiation to which the astronauts would be exposed. Ethica was particles, which found their way into the spacecraft would simply bounce around inside. One of the study's authors, year-ish Brits from the university of California. Los Angeles says the average flight to Mars takes about nine months.

[00:11:13] Stuart: So depending on the timing of the launch and the available fuel, it is plausible that a human mission to the red planet could reach Mars and returned to earth in less than two years, he says any longer than four years would expose astronauts to a dangerously high amount of radiation during the round.

[00:11:31] Stuart: The idea of using a more active kind of shielding that simply acts as a barrier similar Earth's magnetic field was considered. It would be possible using superconducting magnets. The problem is that afflicted children would be huge, very heavy and just about impractical because of the high energy requirements and constant cooling with the liquid nitrogen.

[00:11:52] Stuart: So the good news is the trip to Mars is on again, but only for a limited time. This is space, time.

[00:12:11] Stuart: And Tom out of turn, I wise to the skies and check out the night skies for September on sky. Watch. September was the seventh month of the year and the old Roman calendar, which had just 10 months that's before the addition of January and February. But 10 month year is still reflected today in the name September or septum being Latin for seven October Octo, meaning eight November and November nine and December.

[00:12:38] Stuart: Dessi mini 10. It really wasn't until the good Gorean calendar that January, the first mark, the start of the new year. But in the beginning, it was mostly only Catholic countries that adopted it. Protestant nations only gradually moved across with the British, for example, not adopting the reform calendar until 1752.

[00:12:58] Stuart: Prior to that date, the British empire and its American colonies still celebrated the new year on March the 25th marking the face of the announced and Easter. The earliest recordings of a new year celebration, I believe to have taken place in Mesopotamia around 2000 BCE around the time of the Northern hemisphere Vernal Equinox in mid-March, a variety of other dates tied to the seasons are also used by various ancient cultures.

[00:13:28] Stuart: The Egyptians for nations and Persians began their new year off with the fall Equinox and the Greeks celebrated it on the winter solstice. Well, the Jewish new year or Russia, Shauna, the festival of trumpets occurs in September. We're at marks, the beginning of the Northern hemisphere cycle of sowing growth and harvest, and apparently the creation of Adam and Eve, according to the Jewish Bible, the old Testament.

[00:13:52] Stuart: This year, the September Equinox takes place at 5 21 in the morning of Thursday, September the 23rd Australian Eastern standard time. It's 3 21 in the afternoon of Wednesday, the 22nd of September, us Eastern daylight time and 1921 in the evening, September 22nd. Greenwich. Meantime. The day, max, the point in Earth's orbit around the sun, when the planets were attentional, axial tilt means the sun will appear to rise exactly Jewish east to someone standing on the equator.

[00:14:23] Stuart: It means almost equal hours of darkness and light. In fact, the word Equinox is derived from the Latin meaning Aquinas or equal and Knox meaning. It all comes about because Earth's rotational axis is tilted at an angle of around 23.4 degrees. In relation to the ecliptic. The plane created by earth orbit around the sun and earth.

[00:14:45] Stuart: Axial tilt is pointed in the same direction in the sky, regardless of its orbital position around the sun. So on other days of the year, either the Northern or Southern hemisphere, it tilted more towards the center. But on the two equinoxes around March the 21st and September 23rd, the tilt of Earth's axis is directly perpendicular to the sun's rays.

[00:15:07] Stuart: For those in the Northern hemisphere, it means the start of fall or autumn. Well, those of us, south of the equator moving into spring. Now it's also worth noting that on geological timescales, the sauce, the season equinoxes change because of a process called procession, which causes a spinning access to wobble like the axle of a spinning top.

[00:15:28] Stuart: The rate of precession is only about half a degree per century. So people don't notice it on human timescales. But because of the direction of earth, axes of rotation, determines at which point in earth orbit, the seasons occur pre-session will cause a particular season to occur at a slightly different time from year to year over a 21,000 years cycle.

[00:15:50] Stuart: Of course, as well as procession, the Earth's orbit itself is also subject to that small changes called perturbation. That's because it's all orbits in the lips. And so there's a slow change in its orientation, which gradually shifts the point of perihelion its closest orbital position to the sun. Now these two affects the procession of the axis of rotation and the change in the orbits orientation work together to shift the seasons with respect to perihelion.

[00:16:18] Stuart: And because we use a calendar year, that's aligned to the occurrence of the seasons. The date of perihelion will gradually regress through this 21,000 year cycle, unless we compensate for it. Okay. Let's start out to of the September night skies, but looking towards the east and the constellation of capricornus the goat, the name comes from the ancient Greek tale about the demon Typhon emerging from a fissure in the earth and attacking Zeus, the king of gods during a bank.

[00:16:48] Stuart: The sudden appearance of typhoon, scared pan flute playing good boy, who tried to escape by turning into a fish and swimming away. However, he realized his cowardice before completing the transformation and so distracted the demon by playing his flute stead. And this gave Zeus enough time to use the Thunderbolt from the heavens to frightened Typhon away.

[00:17:11] Stuart: Because of his actions, both cowardly and brave Zeus placed pan in the sky forever more still. And he's half goat, half fish guys. The brightest starring capricornus is Delta Capra corny, also known as den about jetty or the tail of the goat. It's an ear neighbor located just 39 light years away. A layer is about 10 trillion kilometers.

[00:17:36] Stuart: The distance of photon can travel in a year at the speed of light, which is about 300,000 kilometers per second in a vacuum. And the ultimate speed limit across the universe then about Jedi is a spectral type, a white beater, Lyra variable, eclipsing binary. It's comprised of two stars, closely orbiting each other.

[00:17:57] Stuart: Yeah, astronomy has described stars in terms of spectral types, a classification system, based on temperature and characteristics, the hottest most massive and most luminous stars. I noticed spectral type earth, blue star. They're followed by a spectral type B blue white stars, then spectral type a white stars, special type F whitish yellow stars, spectral type G yellow stars.

[00:18:22] Stuart: That's where our sun fits in. Then this spectral type K orange stars and the coolest and least massive stars and noticed spectral type M red dwarf star. It's special classification can also be subdivided using a numeric digit to represent temperature with zero being the hottest, the nine, the coolest, and a Roman numeral to represent luminosity.

[00:18:44] Stuart: I put all that together and our son is officially classified as a spectral type G2 veal, G2 five yellow dwarf star. Also included in the Stella classification system, a special types LT, and Y which are assigned to failed stars, known as brown dwarves, some of which were born as spectra type M red dwarf stars, but became brown wolves after losing some of their man.

[00:19:10] Stuart: Brand wolves fit into a category between the largest planets, which are about 13 times the mass of Jupiter and the smaller spectral type Emirate Wolf stars, which are usually about 75 to 80 times, the massive Jupiter or about 0.08. Solar masses, as we mentioned earlier, Denae bow jetty is a beta Lyra variable eclipsing binary system.

[00:19:32] Stuart: It's made up of two stars, closely orbiting each other. The total brightness of the system changes because the two component stars periodically pass in front of each other as seen from earth, thereby blocking out the light from the other star in the system. The two component stars of beat Alara systems are usually massive giants or super giants.

[00:19:52] Stuart: So close to each other, that their shapes are heavily distorted by their mutual gravitational forces. This gives each of the stars in the system and ellipsoidal shape with extensive mass flows from one competitor to the other, just below capricornus on the Eastern horizon. You see the constellation Aquarius, the water carrier to the gods.

[00:20:14] Stuart: Greek mythology describes a queer is as the most beautiful looking boy that ever lived. And so it was carried from earth up to Mount Olympus by Zeus in the guise of Aquilla the ego to become the water carrier. The two brightest stars in Aquarius are alpha and beta. Akhwari a pair of luminous yellow, super giants that will want special type B blue, white stars, the payor moving through space, perpendicular to the plane of the Milky way.

[00:20:41] Stuart: Galaxy. Beat her accuracy. The brightest of the pay is also known as Sadat Seward. It's a multiple star system located about 540 light years away. The primary stars, about six times the mess of the sun, but admits roughly 2,300 times the sun's luminosity implying a radius, at least 50 times that of our sun beta.

[00:21:03] Stuart: Akhwari a to have at least two faint companion stars, but you'll need a decent sized telescope to see them. The second brightest star in Aquarius is alpha. Akhwari also known as Sudan. Milic it's about 520 light years away around six and a half times as massive as the sun and some 3000 times as luminous next, we moved to the Southern constellation of Patsy's Australian is the Southern fish.

[00:21:29] Stuart: The brightest star in the constellation is former halt, the mouth of the Southern fish and the 18th brightest star in the night sky. Interestingly thousands of years ago, it was used to mark the position of the winter solstice. The sun's most subtly position, the same from the Northern hemisphere, but the procession of the equinoxes, which we talked about earlier has now moved the Northern winter solstice to its new position.

[00:21:53] Stuart: December located only 25 light years away. Former Hort is a spectral type, a white, yellow star about twice the mass of the sun. And around 16 times as aluminum. It's also a really young start, only about 400 million years old by comparison, Alan star, the sun is some 4.6 billion years of age, former halt exhibits, and excess of infrared radiation indicating that it's surrounded by a circumstellar disc.

[00:22:21] Stuart: It's also part of a triple star system together with a spectral type K orange dwarf star TW passes, a stringy and a special type in red Wolf. Stir LP 8 76 minus 10. Turning to the north. Now they all see the constellation Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology. Pegasus is the one that delivered Medusa's head to poly deck DS after which he traveled to Mount Olympus in order to become the bearer of thunder and lightning bolts for Zeus, the brightest star in Pegasus is the orange super giant Epsilon big-ass, which marks the horses.

[00:22:57] Stuart: Almost 12 times the mass of the sun it's blurted out to a special type case, super giant, and nearing the end of its life. Astronomers are still debating it's. The weather will end. It stays as a core collapse supernova or a Ray neon oxygen white dwarf also in the north is the constellation Cygnus, the Swan, which lies on the player.

[00:23:17] Stuart: The Milky way. Galaxy sickness contains the star den Abe, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. And one of the corners of the summit Trang. It's also home to the giant Cygnus OB to stellar association, which includes one of the lunch nine stars in the universe, M and L Sydney, a red hyper giant about 1,183 times the radius and 50 times the mass of our sun.

[00:23:43] Stuart: In fact, weren't placed at the center of our solar system where the sun is, its surface would extend out beyond the orbit of Jupiter. It's so big. It contains a volume, approximately 1.6 billion times that of the sun animals. Sydney is located about 5,300 layers away. Now, Cygnus is also home to Cygnus X one, a powerful galactic x-ray source, which became the first widely accepted black hole.

[00:24:12] Stuart: It was discovered back in 1964, and even today remains one of the most studied astronomical objects in the sky. The black hole is estimated to have about 14.8 times the mass of our sun, all crammed into an event horizon with a radius of just 44 kilometers, little wander black holes of the densest objects in the universe located just above the Northern horizon.

[00:24:36] Stuart: This time of the year is the star. It's the brightest star in the constellation Lyra and the fifth brighter star on the night sky Vega has about twice the mass of our sun. And it's a relatively young star, less than 500 million years old. And it's also fairly close, just 25 light years away. Now, once again, due to the precession of Earth's rotational axis, Vega used to be the Northern Pollstar around 14,000 years ago.

[00:25:04] Stuart: And it will do so again, in another 12,000 years time. Just above Vega is alpha a Quilly or all tear the brightest star, the constellation Aquilla, it's a special type, a white, yellow star with about twice the mass of our sun. All Terry's located really need by just 16.7 light years away. And it rotates very rapidly with an equatorial velocity of about 286 kilometers per second.

[00:25:31] Stuart: And that's a significant fraction of the stars. Estimated breakups speed of around 400 kilometers per second. Yeah, this high rotation rate means all tech isn't spherical or highly flattened at the poles. All tear is the eye of the Eagle that carried it queries up to Mount Olympus to become the water bearer for the gods, looking to the Southeast now, and you'll see the bright star it's the brightest star of the constellation era, Dennis, the river located around 140 light years away.

[00:26:01] Stuart: has seven times the mass and 3000 times the luminosity of our sun. The star rotates so rapidly. It's elliptical in shape with a tech tutorial, diameter being about 56% wider than its polar diameter. September also sees the bulk of the origins' media or shower, which is produced as the earth passes through the debris trail lift by the comet care C 1911, and one, this is a long period comet and he reaching the inner solar system every 18 hundreds of 2000 years.

[00:26:33] Stuart: It's meteor shower runs between August the 28th and September the fifth. The origins provided the five swift and bright media is an hour with its peak just before Dawn on September 1st. It's best viewed from the Northern hemisphere as it's radiant. That is the direction the meteors appear to be coming from lies in the Northern sky constellation of central region.

[00:26:55] Stuart: A second media or share in the month of September is the Epsilon Perseids, which run from September the fifth to the 21st. Although they're called the Epsilon Perseids, the radiant actualized closer to the star beader Perseus, or ALGOL now the Epsilon proceed should be confused with last months per seeds, media or shower that's because well, both appear to have their rate in the constellation Perseus they're caused by debris trials from two very different comments.

[00:27:23] Stuart: And now with more of the September night skies, we're joined by Jonathan, Nalli the editor of Australian sky and telescope magazine. Well, we'll

[00:27:31] Jonathan: start with the Milky way. And some of the more prominent constellations we can see at this time of year, so admitted eating in September the Milky way. That's our home galaxy scene.

[00:27:40] Jonathan: The. Stretching right across the sky from north to south, it's really quite spectacular. If you've got some docs, guys, you know, not bright city lights and that sort of thing, but if you've got some docs, guys, you can see the Milky way. And for those of us in the sort of middle latitudes and the Southern hemisphere, the center of the galaxy, the center of the Milky way and the star fields of scorpions and Sagittarius a more or less directly overhead.

[00:28:00] Jonathan: Oh, cities like Sydney and other ones that are near enough, that sort of attitude. So it really does look amazing. This region is great to view, even just with a pair of binoculars, you've got to get outside and just look straight up, basically the Milky way. But they're trying to get away from any sources of nearby light pollution, like street lights, or, you know, Well, I'd have to try and get some way

[00:28:21] Stuart: to give yourself time to adjust as well.

[00:28:24] Stuart: Yeah.

[00:28:25] Jonathan: Give me, give me 20 minutes or so to adjust at least. And by that we both mean don't stare into any lights, so go outside and get yourself into some way to document it. Yeah, I ran the side of the house, I think in shadow whether you didn't, there

[00:28:37] Stuart: are no lights, shine just creep

[00:28:41] Jonathan: around in the night. No, no, no.

[00:28:42] Jonathan: One's ever bothered by that as far as astronomy, so way down south, because the Southern cross it's lying on his right-hand side at the moment, this time of the year with the tube. Point of stars above. If you have really dark skies and you let your eyes adapt to the doctors we were saying, see if you can spot a dark patch just next to the Southern cross.

[00:28:58] Jonathan: This is a huge cloud of dust and gas floating in space. And it's called the coal second, the dark Nebula. It's just next to the Southern cross and just near the left-hand star in the cross. And at the moment, that's the one that's highest cross line left side. There's a little cluster of stars

[00:29:13] Stuart: called the Juul

[00:29:14] Jonathan: box.

[00:29:15] Jonathan: And even the pair of binoculars will show you. Really beautiful to see. It's really pretty because some of them are white and some of them have got colors. So it's, it's a really lovely little

[00:29:24] Stuart: dance cluster.

[00:29:29] Stuart: It is really,

[00:29:30] Jonathan: really nice. Yeah. And you can see that's really good to have a look. As the night goes on in the earth, the stars will appear to move towards the west with some going below the Western horizon. Coming up in yeast. That's just the way it works. The Eastern part of the sky we'll see quite fair, but this time of year, all the way through, till after midnight about 1:00 AM or so.

[00:29:47] Jonathan: But then, then we started to see the mighty constellation of Ryans, starting to rise up over the horizon

[00:29:54] Stuart: for

[00:29:54] Jonathan: astronomers in the Southern hemisphere. This means that summer is coming in, not too far away. There's a Ryan is making this appearance for our friends in the Northern half of the planet that signifies that winter is coming as someone.

[00:30:04] Jonathan: I must be sitting on some TV show that I didn't watch when it was coming, but for us summer is coming down here. This is actually really good time of the year for stock. I think because in the evening time we've got Sagittarius neglect, Sandra overhead, there that's sort of the last of the winter constellations and the summer constellation started to make their appearance in the morning sky.

[00:30:20] Jonathan: So we get a bit of the best of both winter and summer. Now let's look at the planets. What are the planets doing in the west after sunset? Not far above the horizon, you'll find. Will be there all month long, about 10 to 15 degrees above the horizon. It just looks like a small, bright star. And even if you get a pair of binoculars or a small telescope onto it, you're not going to really see anything.

[00:30:40] Jonathan: It just looks like a small, bright star, but higher up above it, you'll find Venus. And unmistakable Venus, you just can't miss it so bright. It is really, really bright. It's one of those things where you, maybe you're walking along the evening when you're driving home and you look up, goodness, me, what is that big, bright stuff?

[00:30:54] Jonathan: Well, that's actually a Venus. Venus will slowly climb higher and higher as each day passes through September. So you won't have any trouble spotting it and it will be, get up really nice and high. I'm reading out some broad, the two giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn. You can, now you can see that. In the east after sunset.

[00:31:09] Jonathan: So if you've got a good at Eastern horizon, you should have no trouble seeing them there. They're big and bright. Uh, Jupiter is the brighter of the two sentences. A little bit dimmer, just go outside off the sunset, looking east. Now, if you've got a pair of binoculars, have a little bit, you get to train them on Jupiter and see if you can.

[00:31:23] Jonathan: One or more of the planets for big moons. Cause this is what Cavalera did always easy to get out with these little telescopes. A pair of an Oculus has about the same power as a telescope. So have a look bit juvenile and see if you can see any tiny pinpricks of light on one side or the other of the planet.

[00:31:39] Jonathan: Maybe it's one on this side and two on that side on three on this side. And one, the thought, it all depends on where they are in their orbits, but you can see them. You can actually sit and just put a pair of binoculars. Really amazing to see. And if you, if you go out the next night to see they've moved position, cause they're all opening Jupiter all the time.

[00:31:56] Jonathan: I just think it's incredible that we can see moons around another planet from this distance. And that was the amazing thing that Galileo discovered all those years ago, but they do move. Yeah. So it showed that the heavens were not unchanging. As people had thought.

[00:32:12] Jonathan: Yeah. Now the plan is I have left to last is Mars and that's because we can't say it at the moment. It's lost in the sun's glare. It's dropped out of sight in the Western sunset Twilight, and the sun's gone down. It's too close to the sun. In fact, in a few weeks time, it's going to be exactly the opposite side of the sun from us.

[00:32:29] Jonathan: So we just can't see it. It's in the solar glare

[00:32:33] Stuart: when it's on the other side, conjunction.

[00:32:36] Jonathan: Just in conjunction, you basically went through things you're in the same direction. You called it a conjunction. Yeah. So it's going to be directly on the opposite side of the Sunday on October the eighth, and it's not going to reappear in our spas until December.

[00:32:47] Jonathan: In fact, it goes out of view for quite a few months. We're going around in our orbit and it's going around its orbit and we're sort of chasing each other and it's staying over there and eventually we'll catch up because we go a bit

[00:32:57] Stuart: faster. We'll drop significantly.

[00:33:01] Jonathan: Well, that's what I have to do with the Mars missions too, because, um, you know, But it is around the other side of the sun.

[00:33:07] Jonathan: You can't get any radio signals through. So I have to store data up or sometimes reduce the amount of work that the spacecraft and just wait until I get back in communication again, a few months time. So yeah, it'll be early December until star guys will be able to see my eyes again and is having disappeared above the Western horizon at sunset in December it reappeared above the Eastern horizon just before sunrise and that's due.

[00:33:30] Jonathan: What's the sky for

[00:33:30] Stuart: September Jonathan. Nalli the editor of Australian sky telescope magazine. And don't forget if you're having trouble getting your copy of Australian sky and telescope magazine from your usual retailer because of the current lockdown and travel restrictions, you can always get a print or digital subscription and have the magazine delivered directly to your letterbox or inbox.

[00:33:50] Stuart: Subscribing is easy. Just go to sky and today. That sky and And you'll never be left in the dark again.

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Jonathan NallyProfile Photo

Jonathan Nally

Editor Australian Sky & Telescope Magazine

Our editor, Jonathan Nally, is well known to members of both the amateur and professional astronomical communities. In 1987 he founded Australia’s first astronomy magazine, Sky & Space, and in 2005 became the launch editor for Australian Sky & Telescope. He has written for other major science magazines and technology magazines, and has authored, contributed to or edited many astronomy, nature, history and technology books. In 2000 the Astronomical Society of Australia awarded him the inaugural David Allen Prize for Excellence in the promotion of Astronomy to the public.

Tim MendhamProfile Photo

Tim Mendham


Editor with Australian Skeptics