July 26, 2021

Australia’s Interstellar Laser Propulsion System

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 85
*Australia’s Interstellar laser propulsion system
Scientists with the Australian National University have designed a new laser powered propulsion system as part...


The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 85
*Australia’s Interstellar laser propulsion system
Scientists with the Australian National University have designed a new laser powered propulsion system as part of the ambitious Breakthrough Starshot project to send a fleet of light sail spacecraft to explore the worlds of Alpha Centauri our nearest neighbouring star system
*The biggest comet ever seen becomes active
Astronomers have discovered the largest comet ever seen and it’s now become active.
*Hubble Space Telescope back on line
Nasa Hubble Space Telescope is back in service following marathon efforts to fix a computer crash that shut it down back on June 13.
*Starliner ready for launch
NASA and Boeing are hoping for better luck second time round as they prepare for the launch of the CST100 Starliner spacecraft on its second test flight.
*Blue Origin’s first space tourist flight
The world’s richest man Jeff Bezos has become the first billionaire to fly in space.
*The Science Report
A single dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine is less effective against the Delta strain.
It’s now been confirmed that China was behind Microsoft Exchange mail server cyber-attack.
New genetic glaucoma test 15 times better than existing tests.
A swarm of more than 141 earthquakes has rattled Yellowstone National Park.
Skeptic's guide to why pseudoscience survives and thrives.
For more SpaceTime and show links: https://linktr.ee/biteszHQ
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Transcript

SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 85 AI Transcript

[00:00:00] Stuart: [00:00:00] This is space time series 24, episode 85 for broadcast on the 26th of July, 2021. Coming up on space-time and Australian interstellar laser propulsion system. The biggest comment ever seen becomes active and the world's richest man, Jeff Bezos becomes the first billionaire to fly into space. Oh that a mall coming up on space time.

VO Guy: [00:00:30] Welcome to space time with steward, Gary.

Stuart: [00:00:49] Scientists with the Australian national university have designed a new laser powered propulsion system is part of the ambitious breakthrough Starshot project to send a fleet of [00:01:00] LightSail spacecraft to explore the worlds of alphas and Tori, our nearest neighboring star system. The giant laser is designed to accelerate ultra lightweight spacecraft to unprecedented speeds, allowing them to travel that 4.3 light years to alpha centaury within two decades.

Breakthrough star shot is one of the breakthrough initiatives, suite of scientific and technological programs founded by Russian philanthropists in physics, Yuri Milner to search for signs of life across the universe. She lives include breakthrough. Listen, the largest ever astronomical search for signs of intelligent life beyond earth and breakthrough.

Watch a global astronomical program, Amy to identify and catheterize planets around nearby stars. The design concepts behind the AAN and use laser propulsion system to launch probes from earth to alpha. Suntory has been described in the journal of the optical society of America. Be the sheer scale and size of interstellar [00:02:00] distances between star systems is difficult to comprehend.

Travel from earth to alpha. Centaury using today's conventional chemical rocket powered spacecraft would take more than a hundred lifetimes. The study's lead author. Dr. Chu TheraBand, the tuner from the Australian national university says the latter power. The sale will come from the earth surface, a giant laser array with millions of lasers, acting in concert to eliminate the sales and push them on their interstellar journey.

Once on their way, the cell craft will fly through the vacuum of space for 20 years before finally reaching their destination. During their fly by of alpha centaury they'll record images and undertake scientific measurements, which will be broadcast back to earth. Of course, the message will take 4.3 years to reach here.

The ANU team's expertise in different areas of optic spanning astronomy, gravitational wave instrumentation, fiber optic sensors, and optical phased array. The founding scientist who pioneered the, [00:03:00] and you noted the project. Dr. Robert Ward says an important part of the grand vision is the development of the laser array itself, designing a system which will have all the lasers acting as one.

The total amount of optical power needed will be around a hundred gigawatts, and that will require around a hundred million individual lasers. One of the other scientists involved in this study, Paul Sibley is determining how to measure each laces. Drift will be an important part of the project. The current plan calls for the use of random digital signals to scramble the measurements from each laser, then unscramble each one separately in digital signal processing, this'll allow engineers to pick out only the measurements needed from a vast shamble of information.

They can then break the problem then in a smaller arrays and link them together in sections. To orchestrate the whole show. The you design calls for a beacon satellite, a guide laser placed in earth orbit, which acts as the conductor, bringing the entire laser array together. Professor Michael Ireland says the design of [00:04:00] this laser engine requires compensation for the distortion and turbulence in the Earth's atmosphere unless corrected for atmospheric distortion.

The outgoing laser beam would be diverted from its intended destination. Island says the, a new proposal uses a laser guide star sort of like adaptive optics. In this case, it will be a small satellite with a laser, which illuminates the array from earth orbit. As the laser guide star light passes through the atmosphere on the way down to worth it measures the changes in the atmosphere, get a turbulence and different temperature layers.

Bandit tuner says the next step will involve testing some of the basic building blocks in a controlled laboratory setting. The idea

Guest: [00:04:40] behind the breakfast initiatives is to have a solar style or lifestyle. I should say that's propelled from. Round base laser. Uh, right. So this light arrived will provide the propulsion for this lifestyle and it accelerates up to a fraction of the speed of light and hopefully explore [00:05:00] into cell bodies.

Target is alpha Centura.

Stuart: [00:05:04] This all started when it was discovered there was a planet orbiting, the habitable zone around the approximate Suntory. Uh, yet

Guest: [00:05:11] approximately was the, was the planet that was discovered that, and that's one of our main goals is to see if we can explore that system and hopefully get a glimpse of what it looks like up

Stuart: [00:05:23] close.

It's not just a single probe that's being launched there. These are going to be small micro pros.

Guest: [00:05:31] Yeah, that's right. You order to get the speed. The probe needs to be really small and really light. It's going to be a small dot on the file you can imagine. And we can launch one of these at a time, but then we can launch it.

However, a couple of days we can launch one every few days, one at a time, but we'll have a spring of them heading out towards the office. Some

Stuart: [00:05:52] tourists. Explain the principles of light sounds. You're not relying on the solar wind as such the stream of charge [00:06:00] Packers from the sun. You're relying more on the momentum of that's right.

Guest: [00:06:04] Anything with energy will have a momentum that it carries with it where using the momentum of these photons, push our LightSail along. Now you could do the same thing. Like from a star fund, for example, but you need a lot of it. And that's where I lay that right. Comes into effect. So by having a laser array, that's so large and able to coordinate its beam onto the LightSail, we're able to maximize that effect, get enough light on it in order to get the speeds that

Stuart: [00:06:33] we made all the way along.

It just gives it the push. It needs to get it going.

Guest: [00:06:41] All of 10 minutes and that will take it from where it stops off, which will be in an high a little bit, but it will provide that initial kick to get it up to speed and cruising on its way to alpha Centura. By the end of that 10 minute window, it'll be on Mars approach. So that gives us [00:07:00] scale of how quickly it will be moving by the end of this momentum transmit.

Stuart: [00:07:04] That's. Uh, that's, that's pretty incredible. When you think about it.

Guest: [00:07:10] The scope of it really text me by surprise even now,

Stuart: [00:07:14] 20 years to get to the office and Tory system. You're focusing, I take it just on the propulsion side of things. You, you don't know what the probes themselves will be, will be designed to do what they'll be capable of doing.

Uh, that's

Guest: [00:07:25] right. As a specialty, we have a pretty diverse team here, but our specialty is. On the license system and how to warden all the lasers and Metro that they phase out and impart maximum photon pressure on the lifestyle. There are other teams that are working on the two challenges that you talked about, the probes, the sale.

There's also the challenge of getting communications back from alpha center. Once we do reach out destination, I said, these are all challenges that are being worked on by different teams

Stuart: [00:07:53] around the globe. Yeah, the point isn't it. Unlike star Trek, we don't have subspace to talk through. So. We have to [00:08:00] wait four years for well, eight years for a conversation to take

Guest: [00:08:03] place.

That's right. And it's an interesting question to figure out how the best way to package that information so that we get as much of it as we can back here

Stuart: [00:08:13] from Yuri Milner himself, as he said anything about the, the work you got,

Guest: [00:08:18] I've heard that he's pretty excited, but not from him personally.

Stuart: [00:08:22] Tell me about the research that you guys are doing in general.

Place yourself in a position to explore the possibility of developing this propulsion system.

Guest: [00:08:31] Cool. So we have a technique that was developed over the past decade or so at the Australian national university, which is called digital interferometry. And what this allows us to do is make a really precise measurements of how the license behaving.

But on top of that, it allows us to identify lots of these measurements, even when they're put together. The problem we faced with such a large laser or right, is that this so many measurements that we [00:09:00] need to make, we need to make them in a way that, that we can understand, and we can pick out the ones that we need at any given time.

So that's where this technique becomes really powerful in allowing us to select out individually.

Stuart: [00:09:14] The end use doing a lot of work with lasers right now. There's the work being done with adaptive optics. There's the work being done to target and eventually slow down and maybe even encourage the re-entry of space junk. It seems to be a growing

Guest: [00:09:28] field, a lot of exciting work here at the Australian national university on laser development and specifically optical phase derives.

So this is the laser, uh, right architecture that way. To build our platform on, as you've mentioned that work on space junk and space debris tracking, and the neighboring adaptive optics and the light is required for guide stuff. And then we're taking that to a larger scale for the breakfast

Stuart: [00:09:55] dash project.

Achieved the sort of propulsion figures you're [00:10:00] talking about. It must be a heck of a big, the

Guest: [00:10:03] material of the sale needs to be extremely robust and it needs to not absorb too much of the life. Otherwise it will not survive, but it's not actually that big, it's only a couple of meters across is the current design specifications.

So even from its initial launch, It would be like hitting a pin from about a hundred kilometers away. That challenge will only get hotter and hotter as it accelerates

Stuart: [00:10:27] away from the about the June. Will you be releasing these spacecraft and aiming for the initial boost from so at the

Guest: [00:10:33] moment where we've planned for a 200,000 kilometer orbit, so that'll be the launch altitude and it will expose or eliminate the sale from them.

About 10 minutes.

Stuart: [00:10:46] The other thing is guidance. How do you guide something like this?

Guest: [00:10:50] That really depends on the final space prop design, my current thinking. Uh, this is subject to change is that there won't be any additional [00:11:00] correction once any meaningful, additional correction once the sale is in motion.

So I really it's a shot towards the center. Right. But we do have multiple shots that we can take. So as we talked about before, we can send multiple pros, one every. And so we have a bit of

Stuart: [00:11:17] redundancy in that respect, visible in the Southern hemisphere. The

Guest: [00:11:22] location for the laser array is yet to be determined, but there's a couple of things that we need to take into account.

One of them is being in the Southern hemisphere, but also we need to look for places where the atmosphere is not

Stuart: [00:11:34] too turbulent, probably south America then. Yeah.

Guest: [00:11:37] Yes. That's one of our candidates at this stage, still subject to change as the project evolves.

Stuart: [00:11:43] What about the Earth's atmosphere itself? Will you be using a lot of adaptive optics technology to correct for that?

Guest: [00:11:48] The atmospheric correction is a challenging problem because the earth right is so large. We have to do adaptive optics on something that's kilometer and scale or several kilometers. [00:12:00] So the way that we've gone about integrating adaptive optics into our system is to use a second satellite one that will not be launched, but it's in a similar role to that, of the silo.

It will have a laser on it and it will shine back towards the right illuminating the array and the light from that satellite will therefore pass through the atmosphere and give us a minute. All of the atmosphere and how it's changing in real time, we can then use that to pre distort our outgoing lasers so that they read correct.

As they pass through the atmosphere and focus

Stuart: [00:12:33] onto the style in the atmosphere, then

this gets up and running. What's next. As far

Guest: [00:12:42] as the breakthrough Starshot is concerned, uh, what's next for us is to. Test out some of these ideas, you know, controlled Labar crews. So the two ideas we want to test out is how to make these links between smaller rise. So we can make a bigger Eliza erect and then also testing out the [00:13:00] atmospheric correction ideas that we flexible about

Stuart: [00:13:02] previously.

If there were a band, the tune guy from the Australian national university, and this is space time. Still the come, the biggest comment ever seen becomes active, and this is Hubble space telescope back online, all that, and more still to come on. Space time.

Astronomers have discovered the biggest comment ever seen the comment named C 2014, UN 2 71 Bernardi Nellie Bernstein after it's two discovers is more than that. A hundred kilometers wide. It was found by re-processing four years of data from the dark energy survey, which used the format of Blanco telescope at the Sara to Lulu Inter-American observatory in Chile, [00:14:00] between 2013 and 2019.

When first image, the comment was some 4.3 billion kilometers from the sun. It's almost as far out as the orbit of Neptune, although initial observations, fan no activity on the comment follow-up studies by the last Canberra's observatory have found the huge comment, which is inbound from the code rages of the solar system is showing it now as a coma and it's become active, although it's still twice as far from the sun as the orbit of Saturn.

This comedy is so huge. It's more than three times the size of the next biggest comment nucleus known that's the comet Hale-Bopp discovered in 1995. However, unlike hail bot, which turned out to be spectacular, this object's not expected to become a naked eye comet that's because it's on an extremely elongated orbit journey, inwards from the distant or cloud over millions of years.

And its orbit takes it from far above to far below the ecliptic, the plane about which the planets in our solar system orbit the sun. [00:15:00] In fact, comments, see 2014, you went to 71 orbits, almost perpendicular to the plane reaching perihelion in January, 2031. It'll be swooping around the sun still far beyond the distance of satins.

This spacetime, still the comm Nessus Hubble space telescope. Finally back online and Boeing Starliner CST 100 readies for its second. Test flight, all that and more store to come on. Space time.

Neces Hubble space. Telescope is back in service, following marathon efforts to fix a computer crash that shut the Albany observatory down, back on June the 13th, the telescopes delicate science instruments were put in safe mode. When the glitch [00:16:00] occurred, shutting down all non-essential systems. Mission manages eventually traced the problem to a power regulator in the power control unit, which is designed to ensure a steady volleyed supply to the payload, computers, command unit science data format with sins and formats commands and data.

Technicians at NASA Goddard space flight center in Greenbelt, Maryland. We're forced to practice a complicated procedure needed to switch to the onboard backup computer. See, the problem is switching to the backup system meant several other hardware systems on the opening observatory also needed to be switched over due to the way they're all connected up to the sides, instrument, command, and data handling.

Finally on July the 15th, they perform the switch for real. And we're pleased to say it all went smoothly with all systems coming back online, just as expected. He side's observations are already underway. And mission managers are working hard to reschedule observations lost during the shutdown course.

None of this is really new technicians were [00:17:00] forced to perform a seamless, which back in 2009. That allowed hobbled to continue normal sides operations. After another command unit science data format, a module failed the fifth and final Hubble servicing mission abort. The space shuttle had lighters on STS 1 25 back in 2009, then replaced the entire science instrument, command and data handling unit, including the 40 command unit science data format, a module with a unit currently in use.

Since that mission Hubble's ed perform over 600,000 additional observations, bringing its total to more than 1.5 million during its lifetime. The 11,110 kilogram space telescope was launched in 1990. I bought the space shuttle discovery, our mission STS 31. It was placed into a 541 kilometer high GA centric, lower Thor.

Hubble's design is based on a national reconnaissance office, keyhole spy, satellite that equipped the point. It's 2.4 meter telescope outwards into the [00:18:00] cosmos rather than down on the earth. Its observations have changed. Humanity's understanding of the universe studying distant planets and stars and seeing galaxies and quasars up to 13.4 billion light years away.

This space-time still the calm Starline are ready for launch and the world's richest man, Jeff Bezos becomes the first billionaire to fly in space, all that, and more stood to calm on space.

NASA and Boeing are hoping for better luck. Second time round as they prepare for another launch of the CST 100 style on a spacecraft on what will be its second test flight. The reusable spacecraft is now been secured on top of its United launch Alliance. Atlas five [00:19:00] rocket in preparation for the launch from the Cape Canaveral space for a space in Florida on July 30th.

Starline his first test flight back in December, 2019. Failed with computer problems. Firstly, the mission clock triggered an orbital insertion burn at the wrong time, placing the spacecraft into an orbit too low to reach the international space station as intended. And then while they were trying to work out what to do next, she manages, found more computer programming issues, these ones so severe had they not been corrected in time, they would have caused the spacecrafts crew captured to collide with its service module during the reentry phase of the mission.

And that would have resulted in the capture being destroyed. The new test flight slated for this Friday, we'll carry 200 kilograms of cargo and crew supplies to the space station, autonomously docking with the orbiting, our post undocking autonomously and returning to worth eventually landing under parachutes on the white sands missile range in the new Xicano desert.

Now, if the second test flight is [00:20:00] successful, NASA will attempt to man mission tentatively scheduled for sometime towards the end of the year. And if that all works out smoothly, Starliner will join space. X's dragon transferring, cruise to and from the space station sometime next year. This is space time still to come the world's richest, man, Jeff Bezos becomes the first billionaire to fly in space and later in the science report and you study as confirmed that taking just a single dose of the Pfizer AstraZeneca vaccine is less effective against the daughter strand of COVID-19 and allying the need for that second shot or that a more story.

On space-time

the world's richest man. Jeff Bezos has become the first billionaire in space. Bezos's [00:21:00] company blue origin is devolving. A fleet of spacecraft to meet different needs was on the first passenger carrying flight of the company's new Shepard, rocket and capsule designed to carry tourists to the edge of space.

11 minute flight takes space tourists on a ballistic suborbital trajectory to an altitude of over a hundred kilometers. The official start of space. The flight took off and blue origins. Van horn launched pat in Texas reaching an eventual Apogee of 351,210 feet. That's 107 kilometers above the earth surface.

The flawless mission was the 16th test flight for new shepherd time to coincide with the anniversary of the first man lunar landing by the crew of Apollo 11. You ship. It is named after Alan Shepard, the first American in space. Little origins, also developing a heavy lift rocket code, new Glenn it's named in honor of John Glenn.

The first American to orbit the earth joining basis for his flight was his brother mark as well as 82 year old, Mary Wally funk, [00:22:00] who trained as a NASA astronaut during the mercury days of the 1960s. But wasn't allowed to go into space because NASA didn't allow women to fly to space back then she's now the oldest person to fly in space.

The fourth member of the team was 18 year old Oliver Damon from the Netherlands. He was given the ride by his dad had paid $28 million for the ticket. The ticket had been originally auctioned off for charity, but the person who pay the top dollar for the ticket was eventually forced to decline that journey because of other commitments.

It's an Oliver's dad who offered the second highest price. The auction wound up winning the historic seat and like a good dad. He gave it to his son. Oliver's now the youngest person ever to fly in space. Of course rich space, tourists and nothing new then as Tito was the first back in 2011, paying some $20 million back then to ride a border Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the international space station for a week.

Looking at today's prices. That was a bargain. And there've been several space [00:23:00] tourists since then. One of the Maven traveling twice. Unlike Richard Branson's flight nine days earlier, a board Virgin Galactic's unity, rocket plane, which is dropped from a jet powered mother shipping glider to a runway landing after Richie and Apogee altitude of 86 kilometers.

You shepherd conventional rocket flight. Launching vertically with Tim and it's in 20 seconds of powered flight from its liquid, hydrogen and liquid oxygen B3 engine reaching a spirit of more than 3,700 kilometers per hour. An altitude of over 188,000 feet before Maaco the passenger carrying capture, then separates from the booster and continues climbing under its own momentum to an Apogee altitude of well over a hundred kilometers, the official start of space.

The capsule, then the sins using parachutes and soft touchdown thrusters to provide a smooth landing while the boosted, the Sen separately, and the taking a powered vertical landing page is retracting we're in auto sequence. All right on when that [00:24:00] engine gimbal check occurs and that engine Springs, they should actually be able to feel it in the cabin because it will sway the stack back and forth.

There go the AFT fin checks, the engine gimbal check, just peeking out at the base of it. Good. All right, here we go. Everybody. Thousands of people contributed years to this historic moment. Ladies, it's time for boards and first human flight Godspeed. First crew of new Shepard let's light. This place. Do you want to 16 guidance internal T-minus ten nine

Guest: [00:24:31] eight seven six

Stuart: [00:24:34] five four.

Command engine start. Why

oh my goodness. Listen to the roar of the B3 engine, we were just about to [00:25:00] pass through max queue, maximum dynamic pressure. That was one of the stresses on the vehicle or at their maximum. The skew is confirmed youthful burn on that B3 engine, liquid, hydrogen, and liquid oxygen as the propellant. It's a nice, not just clean in terms of a beautifully performing, but what comes out.

It steamed right. To see the glow of the, of the engine underneath the rocket, just under our shoulders. And to know that we've got a crew that is going to space, it just feels different. Doesn't it? Gary, it's totally different. So far appears to be a nominal thing. All right, coming up here on Mico main engine cutoff that will be followed shortly by separation.

And at that point after separation, we're going to let the astronauts unbuckle and take in the freedoms of zero G. There is Mikko main engine. Awaiting separation here. [00:26:00] Standby. You're going to see the separation of the capsule from the booster itself. And there we go. Our astronauts have passed the Karman line at about 328,000 feet.

Continuing their ascent. First rent check, astronaut Oliver in flight on new Shepard. So far nominal flight. Our booster is about to return to its landing pad engine realized that a Sonic and booster touchdown. Welcome back new shepherd. A beautiful rocket that provided a beautiful flight to space.

Booster has landed.

hear about the booster. Very happy. Grew up here. I want you to go stand by. Stand by drove, stand by me. [00:27:00] So far a nominal flight here comes the crew capsule back from space. The drug's deployed here. The main site. Reefing and coming to full inflation. Our rocket went over Mach three and now they're coming floating back down at just about 15 or 16 miles an hour.

About to join us home back here in west Texas. After having gone over the carbon line, the internationally recognized line of space just got about a minute. Of floating before the activation of the skirt yet for a soft touchdown at this point, um, there are sensors on board that are detecting how high they are above the ground, multiple sensors, and just six feet above the ground that cushion of air will, will puff.

And they will have a soft touchdown, almost like just sitting in a chair, but I'm sure their adrenaline is

Guest: [00:27:53] pumping

Stuart: [00:27:55] touchdown. Welcome back new shepherds [00:28:00] first human crew, like a flight first step. Congratulations to all of you. What a day, what a day first step would control your appetite with 351,210 feet.

It's space time

and time out of take a brief look at some of the other stories making use in science this week with a science report, a new study has confirmed that a single dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine is less effective against the daughter strand of COVID-19 than the alpha variant that previously dominated infection.

The new findings reported in the new England journal of medicine show that two doses of other types of vaccine are far more effective than just the single jab. When it comes to the daughter, variant, [00:29:00] the authors say the data supports efforts to maximize vaccine uptake with two doses among vulnerable populations.

Scientists found the effectiveness of one dose of either Pfizer or AstraZeneca. Vaccines was only around 30% among persons with the Delta variant compared to 48% among those with the alpha strain. But after two doses, there was only a modest difference in vaccine effectiveness against the Delta variant, compared to the alpha variant.

The daughter variant is twice as infectious as other COVID-19 strain. And despite claims to the contrary, those infected with a Dota variant are twice as likely to end up in hospital. The world health organization, estimates over 8 million people have been killed by the COVID-19 Corona virus with over 4.15 million confirmed fatalities and some 193 million people infected since the deadly disease.

First spread out of war and China. It's now being confirmed that Beijing was behind the Hafnia [00:30:00] Microsoft exchange mail service cyber attack in January, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the European union, New Zealand, Japan, and NATO have all issued statements, condemning China for the halftime attacks, which gave Beijing access to vast troves of variable data and intellectual property.

The hack by Chinese state security targeted more than 30,000 federal and state government departments, as well as local councils it and media sectors and businesses, even healthcare and social and community service providers were victims of the attack. There are now growing Coles around the war for Beijing to suffer consequences in order to force changes in the Chinese government's criminal behavior.

The lettuce revelation comes as the Chinese communist party has released a new video warning that Beijing will destroy Japan with a Thermo nuclear weapons bombardment. If Tarkio attempts to defend, I won from a Chinese invasion. The warning came as China.  [00:31:00] preparations for war with analysts. Now expecting the PLA to undertake a full-scale invasion of Taiwan.

What Beijing would call reunification sometime within the next six years. Beijing currently has two people's liberation, army spy ships in international waters off the coast of Queensland monitoring the joint, Australian, us talisman, saber military exercises, Britain, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand will also be taking part in parts of the exercises with France, Germany, India, and Indonesia invited as observers.

Scientists have found that a promising new genetic test for glaucoma has the ability to identify 15 times more people at high risk of glaucoma than existing tests. Glaucoma is one of the world's leading causes of blindness in people over the age of 60, it's actually a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve.

This damage is often caused by abnormally high pressure in the eye. The [00:32:00] study reported in the journal of the American medical association builds on a long running international collaboration between Flinders university and the cure IMR. Berghoff a medical research Institute working to identify genetic risk factors, forklift.

A swarm of more than 140 earthquakes have rattled Yellowstone national park. The site of one of the world's biggest supervolcanoes, the us geological survey says the earthquake swarm was centered beneath Yellowstone lake. They've included 40 earthquakes, bigger than magnitude two and two above magnitude three.

A similar trembler group happened at the same place during December, 2020. And while the U S G S says, there's nothing to worry about. The fear is that these tremors could be assigned that the Yellowstone supervolcano is starting to wake up a Yellowstone, super volcanic eruption would have global consequences with a global climate change affecting the planet for years to decades.

State surrounding Yellowstone, [00:33:00] such as Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming would be flooded by pyroclastic flows or other places across the United States. And parts of Canada will be impacted by falling Ash. The good news is that U S G S says, they're not expecting Yellowstone to erupt for thousands of years. And the alert level at the Yellowstone volcanic observatory remains green.

The service says earthquakes at Yellowstone typically happen in swarms and a caused by water. Getting defaults in the Earth's crown. The scientific method involves making an observation, coming up with a hypothesis to explain it, and then undertaking experiments to test your hypothesis. See if it stands up.

If your experiment demonstrates your hypothesis correctly, explained your observations, then you can be assured that your fellow scientists will try to find fault with it, reviewing your data, to see what you may have missed. This is the scientific method. And a new book claims it's adversarial nature is partly to blame for the [00:34:00] continued existence of pseudoscience.

Tim Mendham from Australian skeptics says to you that scientists here to stay because making stuff up is easier than letting facts get it. Yeah, we always have.

Guest: [00:34:12] It has been

Stuart: [00:34:12] around even before there was some, people's trying to find that why see that science is quite prevalent. This is an interesting alternative.

What most people would, uh, responded when I've often responded themselves to say that, see their science is around because it's easier to spread these days with the

Guest: [00:34:28] internet and social media and all that

Stuart: [00:34:30] sort of stuff. Whereas once upon a time, if you want it to spread, see that. So I'm seeing it to go down to like we'll pack and stand on a, on a, on a, on a stool and sort

Guest: [00:34:37] of.

Well, you had to publish something which was

Stuart: [00:34:39] a bit slow to spread the information. Now you can do it on social media and do it within milliseconds, but there's a study or at

Guest: [00:34:45] least it's, it's a suggestion. A theory that's come out from one particular author and a book called

Stuart: [00:34:49] on the fringe, which says that science itself and the way science operates is a cause of CNSI or at least encourages people to believe.

See, that's not many because scientists [00:35:00] disagree with each

Guest: [00:35:00] other and it's people who continue it. So that's the way science works. You actually disagree and you refine and

Stuart: [00:35:06] refine your ideas. But in the meantime, he'd do get signs disagreeing

Guest: [00:35:10] and suggesting that the other person was wrong, et

Stuart: [00:35:11] cetera. And to some people, according to the author of this book, that would encourage them to say, well, scientists and scientists are wrong.

Therefore I'll believe this person who says it's a hundred percent accurate.

Tobacco use and the people who promote carbon use now say also suggestions that it was more than just scientists disagreeing.

Guest: [00:35:33] It was scientists who were in the payer organizations

Stuart: [00:35:36] to actually make these statements. But certainly that created a sense of doubt that the assumption scientists besides making is mandatory or some scientists for whatever reason for saying,

Guest: [00:35:44] it's not that bad for you.

I'm the same for climate change and all these sort of.

Stuart: [00:35:47] That, that disagreement sort of put people off and saying, well, you know, it's fine. Just kinda agree. And see the eye doctor, bill Bloggs down

Guest: [00:35:53] the road and says, I have this cure for cancer when it's a hundred percent effective. And I say,

Stuart: [00:35:57] well, yeah, fine.

I'll [00:36:00] follow the person who's leaving aside. The fact that that's saying I'm certain is a good thing because it encourages further development and further research until you refine and refine and refine your ideas, build blocks down the road with a hundred percent.

Guest: [00:36:10] Cancer's never going to do any research.

Stuart: [00:36:12] It's never gonna sort of do any sort of. Plus thinking about what he's saying, but that's what, that's why people feel some sort of faith, because he seems to be certain. So saying that not just the wave sit sprints, but actually the environment in which it spreads so that scientists can be the right worst enemies.

It's Tim Mendham from Australian skeptics.

And that's the show for now? The space-time is available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through apple podcasts, iTunes, Stitcher, Google podcasts, podcasts, Spotify, a cast, Amazon music bites.com. [00:37:00] SoundCloud, YouTube, your favorite podcast, download provider and from space-time with Stuart, gary.com. Space times also broadcast through the national science foundation on science own radio and on both iHeart, radio and tune in radio.

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Your window on the universe. You've been listening to space-time with Stuart Gary. This has been another quality podcast production from bitesz.com.

Tim Mendham

Editor

Editor with Australian Skeptics