July 28, 2021

Climate Change on Mars

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 86
*Climate change on Mars
NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has been studying geologic evidence of massive ancient climate change on the red planet.
*Heavy metal found...

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 86
*Climate change on Mars
NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has been studying geologic evidence of massive ancient climate change on the red planet.
*Heavy metal found in comets
Astronomers have discovered iron and nickel in the atmospheres of comets throughout our Solar System, even those far from the Sun.
*India tests engines for its new manned spacecraft
India is continuing with plans to launch its first manned space craft on an unmanned test flight this year.
*China launches more spy satellites
China has launched another three Yaogan 30 signet electronic signals intelligence gathering spy satellites
*Israel plans a science mission to the Moon to help the world’s school kids
SpaceIL the non-profit Israeli initiative whose spacecraft crashed during a lunar landing attempt two years ago have secured enough funding to attempt a second Moon mission.
*The Science Report
A possible link between the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and facial paralysis.
Alcohol consumption was linked to more than 740,000 new cancer cases in 2020.
Just seven percent of your genome is uniquely shared with other humans.
Growing concerns over new syndrome killing rainbow Lorikeets.
Alex on Tech Samsung’s enormous 110 inches

For more SpaceTime and show links: https://linktr.ee/biteszHQ

The Astronomy, Space, Technology & Science News Podcast.


SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 86 AI Transcript

[00:00:00] Stuart: [00:00:00] This is space-time series 24 episode 86, 4 broadcast on the 28th of July, 2021. Coming up on spacetime geologic evidence of climate change on Mars, heavy metals found in comets and India tests. Its engines for its new man spacecraft, all that and more coming up. Um, space time.

VO Guy: [00:00:25] Welcome to SpaceTime with Stuart Gary

Stuart: [00:00:45] NASA's Mars. Curiosity Rover has been studying geologic evidence of massive ancient climate change on the red point. Can you study enriches sciences, understanding of where the mash and rock record preserved or destroyed evidence of masses [00:01:00] past and possibly any signs of life that evidence may have contained today.

Of course, Mars is a planet of extremes. It's bitterly cold. It has high radiation levels on the surface and it's burned dry, but billions of years ago, mass was a warm wet world with streams and lakes that could have sustained. As the planet's climate change, one of these many lakes in Mazda's gal credit, where curiosity now explores slowly dried out the six wheel car sized Rover.

Now as evidence that super salty water known as Brian's seat deep through the cracks between grains of soil in the patch lake bottom and altered the clay mineral rich layers beneath. The findings reported in the journal. Science adds to the, the standing of where the rock record preserved or destroyed evidence of mass it past and any possible signs of ancient life.

Those rocks contained the study's lead author, Mars, curiosity, Rover mission scientist, him [00:02:00] barista from NASA Ames research center in California, says scientists used to think that once these lays of clay minerals formed at the bottom of the lake in Gale crater, they stayed that way. Preserving that moment in time for billions of years.

However, the new study shows that Brian's later broke down. These clay minerals in some places essentially resetting the rock record site is compared samples taken from two areas about half a kilometer apart birth we're in a layer of mudstone deposited billions of years ago at the bottom of the lake at Gale crater, surprisingly in one area about half the clay minerals, they're expecting to find what.

Instead they found mudstones rich in iron oxides and minerals, which give the red planet its characteristic, rusty red color scientists know the mudstone sampled were about the same age and started out the same as those nearby loaded with clays. So why then is curiosity explore the sedimentary clay deposits along gal crater, patches [00:03:00] of clay minerals and the evidence they preserve disappeared.

Minerals are like time capsules. They provide a record of what the environment was like at the time they formed play minerals, have water in their structure and their evidence that the souls and rocks they contain came into contact with water. At some point, previous work had already pointed out that while gal crate is lakes were present and even after they dried out ground water, moved below the surface dissolving and transporting chemicals.

After they were deposited and buried, it seemed some mudstone pockets, experienced different conditions and processes. Do you know interactions with these waters and that changed their mineralogy. This process isn't owned by a geologist as de Genesis and often complicates or erases the SOL's previous history, writing down a new one, the agenesis, however, it creates an underground environment that can support microbial life.

And these are excellent places to look for evidence of ancient life and gauge habitability. By comparing the details of minerals [00:04:00] from both samples. Tim concluded that briny water filtering down through overlying sedimentary layers was responsible for the changes. Unlike the relatively freshwater lake present.

When the mudstones first formed, the salty water is suspected to have come from later lakes, lakes that existed in an overall drier environment. Scientists believe the results offer further evidence of the impact of Mazda's climate change billions of years ago. This space time still, the calm, heavy metal found in comets and India tests, engines for its new man spacecraft, all that, and more still to come on.

Space time.

Astronomers have discovered I in a nickel in the code atmospheres of distant comets for the first time, the findings [00:05:00] reported in the journal nature based on observations undertaken by two teams of astronomers using data from the European Southern observatory is very large telescoping chiller. One of the study's authors, Jean Mann Freud from the university of lesion.

Belgium says he was surprised to discover nickel and iron in approximately equal amounts in the atmospheres of some 20 solar system, comets observed over the past two decades, even ones, which were far away from the sun. Astronomers know that heavy metals exist inside comets. But what wasn't known is that these metals could sublimate that it's become gaseous even in very low temperatures and then wind up being seen in the comets atmospheres.

When they're far away from the sun, the Belgian team found spectroscopic readings for both nickel and iron vapors in comments, more than 480 million kilometers from the sun. That's three times further than the earth sun distance. The data suggests that for every 100 kilograms of water vapor in a Comet's atmosphere, there's at least a gram of iron and about the same amount of, [00:06:00] and that's unusual because there's usually 10 times more.

I'm the nickel in the atmospheres of comments, close to the meanwhile, the second study published in nature. This one by a team of poli scientists, looked at the interstellar comet to IBOR resolve, finding gaseous nickel in that comets atmosphere as well. The study's lead author appeared good snake from the Jagger learning university in Poland says the findings was such a surprise.

They repeated the observation several times just to make sure their spectral readings were right. To find out more. Andrew dangly is speaking with professor Fred Watson and astronomer with the department of science metals in comment vapor. This is just been discovered in I'm guessing there's a paper or

Fred: [00:06:43] at

Stuart: [00:06:43] least some form of study.

That's come up with this interesting discovery,

Fred: [00:06:48] this interesting fun. Indeed. Yeah. Um, th there is, there is paper and, um, lots of press about it as well, because it's a really interesting result. And I should tell you that these [00:07:00] studies use the telescopes of the European Southern observatory down there in Chile, which are pretty well the best equipped large telescopes in the Southern hemisphere.

Few other ones down there. It's a pretty damn good as well, but they're four telescopes of the very large telescope they're they're cracking. Good. So they were used to make these observations. What's interesting about this is by heavy metals. Actually, we should perhaps just define that for a minute, Andrew, because astronomers is ID.

I've got a very funny view of what constitutes a metal and a metal in astronomy is anything other than hydrogen and helium. So oxygen is a metal calcium is about right? Yeah. It's always been like that. I guess probably since the start of astronomical spectroscopy, the idea of breaking up the light from stars and finding out what signatures of elements you can get in there.

But yeah, the metal, is there anything. Hydrogen helium. So when you talk about heavy metals, you're really talking about what you and I would call metals in [00:08:00] normal life. And in particular, iron and nickel and iron is the commonest metal in their universe. In fact, one of the communist elements and it's because it's a, it's a byproduct of the nuclear processes that go on inside stars when they're in their normal adult life.

So I, and it's being created. Towards the end of the life of this star actually. Anyway, the bottom line is iron is common. Nicholas comment. Now there is an interesting little factoid about this though, and that is that we find, for example, in the core of the earth, it's an iron nickel core and the iron usually outweighs the nickel when you find it.

Yeah. In nature, like metallic asteroids or, or the core of the planet, it's usually 10 times more iron than nickel, which is understandable. Cause irons more readily produced inside stars. But in this story, we find that in. Comments, you've got more or less equal proportions. And that is unexpected that there are equal proportions of iron and nickel in the comments.

Now we've known for a long time that [00:09:00] comments must have this sort of stuff in their material. Remember become itself. I see bodies with lots of dust embedded in the eyes, and that dust includes heavy metals and the temperatures of these things are typically colder than minus a hundred degrees Celsius.

So they're very, very cold. The metal is normally remain very much as grains. Basically not anything that's vapor, but that's the surprise with these observations. And it comes from groups in Poland of Belgium. I think the main centers where the astronomers who worked on this come from, there are two studies, actually.

In fact, let me get it right. The first study is the, the solar system comets and that's the Belgian study. The second one is our old friend comment bar itself, which has been looked at by a group from Poland. Boris that's the one, yet both of them have found this unexpected result that the metals turn up in the vapor of the comment, the stuff that's ejected from the comment when it gets near the sun.

So that material vaporizes now, [00:10:00] normally these elements, they vaporize at very high temperature. 700 degrees Celsius or thereabouts. And we're talking here about minus a hundred. So what's going on? I should just clarify there that when I say vape, I mean they sublimate and sublimation is the process when a solid turns directly to a gas, which happens a lot in astronomy because it's what elements do in a vacuum.

Basically go straight from solid to gas. It's why on the surface of Mars, which is not a vacuum, but not quite ice. Doesn't turn into water. It just turns straight into water vapor. So that's the process sublimation. The mystery. Yeah. Why, why is it that at these ultra low temperatures, these metals are turning into vapors.

And I think as I understand the research, I can quote actually from the paper and you'll see the problem. The paper says Unbound nickel, atoms seem to originate from the photo dissociation of a short-lived nickel containing molecule that sublimate said not low temperatures or is otherwise released with major volatile compounds.

[00:11:00] You get all that Andrew cause that's the. Yes. Yeah. Okay. What it means is that the key word there is footed association. It's the radiation of the sun hitting these things. And it's a nickel containing molecule. And basically the radiation from the sun shoots out the, the nickel atoms. And the same is probably true with the iron.

I think that's the story that it's all about. The sun's radiation acting directly on these atoms. You asked me Fred, if

Stuart: [00:11:25] you'd asked me to guess. Before you told me the answer, I would have said I'm, I'm going to imagine it's something to do with the sun hitting the comment. Yeah. You see

Fred: [00:11:33] what I want to say?

It should be an astronomer, Andrew. Cause you, well, you've been mixed up with them, but yeah, absolutely. Right. I'll be a journalist. We don't have to think much. I think that's not quite true, but nevermind. Sorry. I don't think you think at all. No, no. I never said that. Um, so I think I have to think now an awful lot.

And, um, a lot of them, these forensic journalists and, you know, investigative journalists, they're doing a fantastic job, uncovering all [00:12:00] kinds of mistakes that make many friends now, but you don't, but you know, it's a good job. You've got me. Isn't it really? Yes. Going back to that, you were right on the money it's to do with the sun's radiation.

To be honest, I would have. Something similar, but I think I would have got it wrong. I think you've got it right. I would have thought, oh, it's the subatomic particles in the solar wind that do this. And it doesn't look as though that's what it is. It's the, it's actually the radiation, the light radiation from the sun.

So there you go. Well, when I, when I say,

Stuart: [00:12:30] I think it's got something to do with the sun,

Fred: [00:12:32] that's a pretty broad answer. Yes. That could mean anything. So that's a journalist at work. Yeah, that's right. Make it broad. So I guess the nice twisted, this is the Polish work that has looked at comic Boris off the first interstellar comment that we've ever observed and found that he's got very, very similar properties to solar system comments.

It seems to be like a solar sister comment in every way, except it's never been near a star. So it's a pristine [00:13:00] sample of the raw material. Of stars and planets really interesting that it's an IC remnant of the gas and dust cloud, that solar system, wherever it was, was formed. And this work, you know, kind of underlines that I'm not surprised the Polish looked at Borisov off.

It's a very Eastern block, Eastern block. I wonder if that's why they chose to look at it.

Stuart: [00:13:20] Well, just the opportunity presented itself, I imagine. And I don't suppose we'll ever, can we ever figure out exactly

Fred: [00:13:27] where it is came from bar itself? No, it's kind of a bit of a mystery. Really. You can see what direction it came from, but you don't know how long it's been traveling in that direction.

Um, and like our old friend , which came from the direction of the bright star Vega, but. You know when  was where Vega is Vega wasn't there. It was somewhere else because Vegas is moving as well. They're moving in Vegas anyway, so we'll probably

Stuart: [00:13:53] never know. That's Fred Watson and astronomer with the power of science speaking with Andrew Dunkley on our sister [00:14:00] program space nuts.

And this is space time still the cam India test engines for its new man space. And China launching more spy satellites, all that and more store to come on. Space time.

VO Guy: [00:14:30] Well,

Stuart: [00:14:30] despite the devastation of COVID-19 on the sub-continent India says it's continuing with plans to launch its first man spacecraft on an unmanned test flight. Later this year, the mission slated for December we'll test all systems, the board, the Ghanian capsule, and will be followed by a second on man test flight either next year or in 2023.

Now, if all goes well, the Indian space research organization, ISRO will then undertake the nation's historic first ever man space flight. [00:15:00] As part of the buildup to that mission, Israel has successfully conducted its third long duration test of the vigorous engine that will propel the core. L one 10 stage of the GSL V mark three launch vehicle.

The liquid fuel, the engine was hot fired for 240 seconds at the test facility in Tamilnadu meeting all its test parameters. Does this space-time still the com China launches, three more spy satellites and Israel planning, a science mission to the moon to help the world school kids, all that have more stores.

Um, space time.

China has launched another three y'all gang, 30 spy satellite. The spacecraft together with a micro communication satellite, we launched the board along much to see rocket from the GI Chang. Satellite launch said it in Sichuan [00:16:00] province described by Beijing as remote sensing satellites designed to conduct electromagnetic environmental detection and other experimental operations.

The yang 30 are actually signals electronic signals, intelligence gathering satellites, designed to eavesdrop on the radar communications of other countries. The launch is all part of China's ongoing preparations for war with analysts now expecting the people's liberation army to undertake a full scale invasion of Taiwan within the next six years.

Last week, the Chinese communist party warned Japan that if Turkey tries to defend Taiwan from Chinese invasion, Beijing will carry out a preemptive thermonuclear attack on Japan. Since 2016, Beijing has launched more than 135 earth observation satellites it's designed to provide near continuous high resolution monitoring of areas of interest.

The China it's also launched some 84 gang spy satellite. These include highly maneuverable spacecraft [00:17:00] equipped with high resolution synthetic aperture radar is designed for all weather day night, reconnaissance optical satellites with high resolution CCD remote sensing. Camera's giving resolutions down to 0.1 meters and Cygnet signals, intelligence gathering satellites.

The launch mark, the 380th flight. Have a long March rocket China's largest launch vehicle fam. This space-time still the com Israel plans, a science mission to the moon to help the world school kids. And later in the science report and new study shows the just 7% of the human genome is uniquely shared with other humans, or that are more static.

On space time.

Space IO, a nonprofit Israeli initiative [00:18:00] whose spacecraft crashed during a lunar landing attempt two years ago. And that secured enough funding to attempt a second moon mission. The company says new donor pledges means it's now raised most of the a hundred million dollars little cast to try for another moon mission in 2024.

The new funding comes from south African Israeli. Billionaire can the bank road much of the first mission as well. French Israeli, billionaire Patrick Dre at south African philanthropist, Martin mercial from entry capital. The first Genesis spacecraft built by space IO with hope from Israeli aerospace industries crashed as it was on final landing approach moments before its expected touchdown in April, 2019.

The new Genesis two mission is, will be called. We'll be even more ambitious with plans for a lunar orbiter to deploy two lunar Landers. Each of the 60 kilogram Landers will aim for a different spot on the lunar fast side. Meanwhile, the Orbita will remain in lunar orbit, serving as a platform for educational science activities, specifically [00:19:00] designed to allow school kids from around the world, participate in deep space research.

This is space time,

and Tom Meditech, another brief look at some of the other stories making use in science this week with a science. And you study in the British medical journal has found a possible link between the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and facial paralysis. The case involves a patient who experienced two episodes of facial paralysis, nerve spills palsy one after the first and another following the second dose of Pfizer vaccine.

Scientists say it suggests that Bill's palsy may be linked to the treatment. The report says the 61 year old man experienced the weak or paralyzed muscles on the right side of his face five hours after receiving his first dose of Pfizer BioEnTech and a more severe episode on the left side of his face.

Two days after receiving his [00:20:00] secondary. The authors report, his symptoms have now greatly improved and the patient is almost back to normal. The potential new side effect follows previous reports of inflammation, of muscles surrounding the heart, showing up as another potential side effect those taking the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

The world health organization. Now estimates over 8 million people have been killed by the COVID-19 Corona virus with over 4.15 million confirmed fatalities, and some wonder 93 million people infected since the deadly disease. First spread out a warhead China and you study has found that alcohol consumption was linked to more than 740,000 new cases of cancer in 2020.

Researchers found that 4% of newly diagnosed cancer cases last year may have been associated with drinking alcohol. The findings reported in the Lancet medical journal looked at levels of alcohol intake per person, per country in 20 10, 10 years prior to the cancer case [00:21:00] data in order to allow for the time it takes for the alcohol intake to affect cancer development there, then combine that data with statistics for new cancer cases in 2020.

Risky and heavy drinking was estimated to contribute to the highest number of cancer cases, but even moderate drinking. The equivalent of just two daily drinks was estimated to lead to more than 103,000 cases in 2020. That's almost one in seven of all alcohol associated cases. The study found that men accounted for 77% of all alcohol associated cancer cases.

The largest proportion of cancer cases linked to alcohol were found in Eastern Asia, closely followed by central India, just in Europe, but among women, the largest proportion of cancer cases that were attributed to alcohol were in Australia and New Zealand, as well as central and Eastern Europe. And you study has found that just 7% of your genome is uniquely shared with other humans and not shared by other early hominid ancestors.

The findings reported in the journal [00:22:00] science advances are based on DNA comparisons between 179 modern day hummus, sapiens, and now extinct Neanderthals and innovations dating back to between 40 and 50,000 years. The authors found that an even smaller genome fraction, just 1.5% is both unique to hummus, sapiens and shared among all people living today.

Researchers already knew that modern day humans shared some DNA with Neanderthals, but different people seem to share different parts of their genome. The new research focused and finding out which genes are exclusive to hummus Sabian. There are growing concerns that rainbow lorikeets in Northern new south Wales and Southern Queensland, I becoming paralyzed often fatally because there's some mysterious illness.

Scientists with a university of Sydney in the RSP CA uh, studying this lorikeet paralysis syndrome, which appears to affect thousands of birds between October and June researchers and are asking the public to help them identify the likely [00:23:00] source of the disease, which is thought to most likely be a plant toxin.

The syndrome causes limb, neck, and tongue paralysis, and an inability to blink or swallow rendering the birds and able to fly in. And therefore to survive the study published in the Australian veterinary journal found lorikeets only have a 60% chance of recovery and their treatment requires intensive care followed by extensive rehabilitation.

Based on the pathology, researchers have ruled out an infectious disease like a virus and are instead looking at a toxin released by a plat that only blooms are as fruit during the warmer months of the year. Well, if you like your television, we'll probably be really interested in Samsung's enormous.

110 inch micro led 4k TV, but it doesn't come to you. With the details we're joined by technology editor, Alex,  from ity.com.

Alex: [00:23:53] Yeah, well it's 110 inches, so it's huge. It's priced at over 150,000 us dollars, which is [00:24:00] 200,000. That's right. And it's over $200,000 in Australia. Now this is a 4k TV. The thing is that micro led technology.

Putting you and for them to be able to release 110 inch model is quite amazing and there's ever more 4k content. And the chips inside the TVs are very good at like an upscale Tinetti Peter 4k. They can upscale 4k too. I mean, it took a while for there to be a lot of 4k content. And now there's plenty of


Stuart: [00:24:28] What is micro led?

Alex: [00:24:30] So well, this is a tiny little light emitting diode, which is. To indifferent from old led users, organic light emitting diodes, which is why it's called O L E D. And they have a limited life span in it's also prone to what's known as permanent burning, and they're also supposedly out restricted in peak brightness.

Now micro is Kelly D it'll be a little led. Can emit its own light as well, but it's not organic, not in the same way that micro LEDs is a technology [00:25:00] that is delivering the same kind of ability for the individual pixels to be their own light source. I mean, normally LCD's will have a backlight that shines through and when a back light is shining through pixels, it's very hard to get deep blacks.

And so micro. I meant to be brought to the older displays. And in fact, apple has been working on micro LEDs for the apple watch and iPad. These Microsoft's LEDs. I supposed to last for over a hundred thousand hours. So that's in theory more than a decade, typical TV watching the micro led is meant to be the successor to the LCD screens that we've had.

The Q led screens with Samsung is spoken about, and it's meant to be there. Better form of technology. And we're going to hear a lot more about it to see 110 inch model at 150,000 means most of these things start off quite expensive, but you know, within five years, it'll just be the standard technology souls in the best buys in the U S and JB high-fives in Australia.

And, uh, you know, everyone will, people will have forgotten about the old date technologies and the old be talking about. [00:26:00] How much is

Stuart: [00:26:01] it the led and how much is it the processor that the TV has? It's a

Alex: [00:26:05] combination of the two. I mean, obviously the processes, these days are very advancement. You're talking about smart, you know, the latest collection smartphone type of processes, and Samsung has their own micro AI processor, which is designed to maintain consistent 4k HDR and talking about Brighton hood and realistic picture quality.

I mean, you often see these two TVs or at least you saw them in years gone by where they said, oh, we have a Samsung panel. Or we have an LG panel that comes out of the same factory that Samsung. And the differences in the processor processor is what takes all of the video. And especially with things like sport, when you've got balls going across a field and are on all the TVs, you would see a ghosting effect or you would see jerkiness and the most modern TVs or the latest person, all that is smooth as silk.

And that the TV can even convert older stuff and allow it to be upscaled to high quality or to. High HDR type of effect where the picture is of much richer quality. And sometimes you need to have two TV side by side to really appreciate. I [00:27:00] remember seeing Alaysia TV back in the mid two thousands, and they had a plasma TV next to it, and they had the laser TV next to it.

And Alaysia TV had much richer colors and they explained that, you know, your brain only really sees these when they're side by side. Once you turn the laser TV off and you start watching these guys for plasma TV, again, after a few minutes, your brain stopped noticing that it was. Right. And as clear as realized he was.

So that's why a lot of people buy this $600 TV, 40, 50, 60, 65 inches, $600 in Australia. It will be definitely cheaper than the U S and you have an amazing TV, which is genuinely, genuinely better than the TVs from 3, 4, 5 years ago, that a lot of people are still using. My brother purchased a 55 inch TV for 150 bucks, which probably use about, you know, less than a hundred.

U us money, uh, from 2013 and it looks fantastic, but you buy the latest TVs today. I can connect to X boxes and glow stations and the lettuce Blu-ray place to have the most vivid and incredible colors with the smoothest of graphics, as well as very advanced built-in smart TV technology that can have all the [00:28:00] next sixes in YouTube and other TV apps that we're used to.

And a lot of people though, don't want to spend $5,000 on a new TV show. Uh, Google crime is Google TV or an apple TV or a Roku, or one of those sorts of devices that can upgrade the smarts of their TV. So just because Samsung watches are $150,000 TV and 110 inches, that's like a statement piece. That's the technology that will trickle down and become available in every TV is itself, you know, within the next week, I think, probably say.

Stuart: [00:28:26] From ity.com

and that's the show for now. Space-time is available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through apple podcasts, iTunes, Stitcher, Google podcasts. Okay. Casts, Spotify outcast, Amazon music bites.com. SoundCloud [00:29:00] YouTube favorite podcasts downloaded provider. And from space-time with Stewart, 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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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Technology Editor

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows.