The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 113
*Cosmic impact that destroyed a city
A new study claims the ancient bronze age Jordan Valley city of Tall el-Hammam was destroyed by an asteroid impact. In the...
The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 113
*Cosmic impact that destroyed a city
A new study claims the ancient bronze age Jordan Valley city of Tall el-Hammam was destroyed by an asteroid impact. In the same way that the biblical story of Noah’s flood could have originated in accounts of the ancient Mediterranean Sea’s inundation of the Black Sea -- was this the basis for the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah?
*TESS finds its smallest planet yet
NASA's TESS -- Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite has discovered its smallest world so far – a planet between the sizes of Mars and Earth.
*NASA’s new mission to monitor the Earth
NASA has successfully launched the latest Landsat 9 environmental Earth observation satellite designed to monitor changes on the Earth’s surface.
*The Science Report
Fruit and veggies may be the key to preventing your child becoming a grumpy teen.
Palaeontologists discover the earliest known Ankylosaur.
Archaeologists unearth a vast second temple period quarry in Jerusalem.
Alex on Tech looks at Europe’s decision to standardize the USB-C.
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SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 113 AI Transcript
[00:00:00] Stuart: This is space time series 24%, 113 for broadcast on the 6th of October, 2021. Coming up on space time. The cosmic impact that destroyed an ancient city, NASA’s TESS finds its smallest exoplanet yet. And the launch of Landsat nine on nurse's new mission to monitor the earth, all that are more coming up on space time.
[00:00:27] VO Guy Welcome to space time with Stuart Gary
[00:00:47] Stuart: A new study argues that the ancient bronze age Jordan valley city of her mom was destroyed by an asteroid impact in the same way that the biblical story of Noah's flood could have originated in accounts of the ancient Mediterranean seas inundation of the black sea. Was this the basis for the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah?
In the middle bronze age, about 3,650 years ago, the ancient world city of telltale, her mom was a busy growing commercial hub located on the high ground of the Southern Jordan valley, Northeast of the dead sea. The settlement in its time had become the largest continually occupied bronze aid city in the Southern Levant with a history going back thousands of years.
At that time tell L her mom was 10 times larger than the capital of the Jews, Jerusalem, and five times larger than Jericho. The study's lead author. James Kennett from the university of California. Santa Barbara says this was an incredibly culturally important region, an area where match of the early cultural complexities of humans developed tile hamam has become a favorite site for archeologists and biblical scholars.
The mad hosts, evidence of culture all the way back to the copper age, all compacted into layers as the highly strategic settlement was built, destroyed, and rebuilt over millennia. However, there's this one and a half meter interval in the middle of the bronze age stratum that caught the interest of researchers because of its highly unusual material.
In addition to the usual debris you'd expect from distraction through warfare in earthquakes, scientists found pottery shards without a services melted into glass bubbled, mud brick, and partially melted building material. These are all indications of an anomalously high temperature event, greater than 2000 degrees Celsius and much harder than anything.
The technology of that time could produce. At the time Ken and his research group, we're building the case for an ancient cosmic airburst about 12,800 years ago, which could have triggered major widespread burning climatic changes and animal extinctions. But seeing these chartered melted materials at TL El hamam triggered their interest.
Ken, it says there's evidence of a large cosmic Airbus close to Talla mum of an explosion. Similar to that Angostura event in 1908, tango SCA was a roughly 12 megaton airburst of a 60 meter wide Meteo over Eastern Siberia. The blast was enough to flatten trees in the matte sticks over an area of over 2000 square kilometers.
And the flash was bright enough to be seen a third of the way around the world in London. And Kennett was seeing evidence of what looked like similar levels of devastation at tele hamam. The findings reported in the journal nature. Scientific reports showed that the shock of the explosion over tower hamam was enough to level the city, Fleming, the palace and surrounding walls and mud brick structures.
The distribution of human bones indicated extreme disarticulation and skeletal fragmentation in nearby. Can it found further evidence of an airburst event by conducting detailed soil and sediment, analyses of crucial layers, which turned up tiny iron and silica, rich verticals and melted metals, both telltale signs of asteroid impact, just as importantly, were findings of shock quartz, sand grains containing cracks.
That form only under extreme high pressure. This is another clear signpost of an asteroid or comet impact. The author say the Airbus could also explain the unusually high concentrations of salt found in the distraction layer, an average of 4% of the sediment and high size 25% in some samples, it's thought the salt was thrown up due to high impact pressures of the media.
As a likely fragmented upon contact with its atmosphere. It may be that the impact partially hit the dead sea, which is Richardson. And the local shores of the dead sea are also rich in salt. So the impact may have redistributed those salt crystals foreign wide, not just at tell El hamam, but also nearby tell us a ton which has long been proposed as a possible biblical Jericho, which also underwent violent destruction at around the same time.
And a third city tell me, and Ren was also destroyed around this time. The author suggests that this high salinity soil could have been responsible for the so-called late bronze age gap. During which time cities along the lower Jordan valley were abandoned, dropping the population levels from tens of thousands.
Dad had just a few hundred nomads, nothing could grow in these formerly fertile grounds, forcing people to leave the area for centuries. Evidence for the resettlement of Tyler hamam antibody communities doesn't appear again until the iron age, roughly 600 years after the city sudden devastation in the bronze age, of course, Talla hamam has long been the focus of an ongoing debate as to whether it could be the biblical city of Sodom.
One of the two cities in the old Testament book of Genesis that were destroyed by God for how wicked their inhabitants had become. According to the Jewish Bible story. Only lot. And his family was saved by two angels who instructed them not to look back as they flee. However, lot's wife couldn't resist.
She looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. Meanwhile fire and brimstone fall from the sky. Moddable cities were destroyed. Thick smoke rose from the fires city inhabitants were killed in area crops destroyed in what sounds like an eye witness account of a cosmic impact event, true or not.
It's a satisfying connection. Ken, it says that all the observations stated in Genesis are consistent in a cosmic airbrush. But there's no scientific proof that this destroyed city is indeed Saddam out of the old Testament. Still researchers say that disaster could nevertheless have generated an oral tradition that may have served as the inspiration for the written account of the book of Genesis, as well as the biblical account of the burning of Jericho in the old Testament book of Joshua.
This is space time. It's still the calm nurses' test finds its smallest exoplanet yet. And the launch of Landsat nine NASA's new mission to monitor the earth, all that and more store to come on. Space time.
That's his tests. Transiting exoplanet survey satellite has discovered at smallest world so far an exoplanet between the sizes of Mars and earth. The planet called El 98 minus 59 bay orbits, a nearby red dwarf star, just 35 light years away in the summit. Constellation of vol lands. The findings reported in the astronomic would journal showed two other worlds are also orbiting in the same system.
L 98 minus 59. B is around 80% the size of the earth and around 10% smaller than the previous record holder discovered by tests as for its host star L 98, minus 59. It is about a third, the mass of the sun as to the two other worlds in the system, L 98, minus 59, C and L 98 minus 59 D there are around 1.4, 1.6 times the earth size perspective.
L 98 minus 59. Be the in immerse world, orbits, a tow star, every two and a quarter days. Staying so close to the state receives as much as 22 times, the amount of energy the earth receives from the sun, the middle planet, L 98 matters 59 C orbits every 3.7 days and experiences around 11 times more energy than the.
And the most distant of the three worlds, L 98 minus 59 D orbits every seven and a half days. And he's blasted with around four times the rating energy that the earth receives. So all of these planets are too close to the host star to be in the stars, habitable zone the region out from a star where temperatures would allow liquid water essential for life.
As we know it to exist on a planet surface. However, one of them occupy, what site is the calling? The venous zone, a range of still a distances where a planet with an initial Earth-like atmosphere could experience a runaway greenhouse effect that transforms it into a Venus like atmosphere based on its size.
The third planet could be either a venous like Rocky world or more like Neptune, a small Rocky cork. It couldn't beneath the deep atmosphere. Well, all three planet sizes and are known further study will be needed to determine if they have atmospheres. And if so, what gases are present the L 98 minus 59 worlds, nearly double the number of small exoplanets that is planets beyond our solar system and have the best potential for this kind of followup.
The study's lead author. Veselin Costa from the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, SETI Institute and NASA Goddard space flight center in Greenbelt, Maryland says for atmospheric studies of small planets, you need short orbits around bright stars, but such planets are difficult to detect. And so this system has the potential for some fascinating future study.
Well, L 98 minus 59 BS, a record for tests, smaller exoplanets have been discovered in data collected by NASA's Kepler planet, hunting satellite, including Capla 37 B, which is any 20% larger than the Earth's moon. All three of these newly discovered planets were found by tests using transits. That is a periodic dip in a Star's brightness caused as a planet passes in front of it as seen from earth.
This report from messaged TV
[00:10:53] Narrator: tests,
[00:10:54] Stuart: the transiting exoplanet survey setup. Is NASA's newest exoplanet mission led by MIT tests will find thousands of new planets orbiting nearby stars during its two year survey test we'll watch a wide variety of stars looking for signs of planets ranging from earth size to larger than
[00:11:15] Narrator: Jupiter.
Each of Tess's
[00:11:18] Stuart: camera's has a 16.8 megapixel sensor covering a squared 24 degrees. Large enough to contain an entire constellation test has four of these cameras arranged to view a long strip of the sky called an observation sector tests. We'll watch each observation sector for about 27 days before rotating to the next.
It will cover the Southern sky in its first year, and then begin scanning the north.
[00:11:48] Narrator: Test we'll
[00:11:49] Stuart: study 85% of the sky, an area 350 times greater than what neces Kepler mission first observed making tests. The first exoplanet mission to survey nearly the entire
[00:12:01] Narrator: sky,
[00:12:03] Stuart: because test is observation sectors. It will have an area near the pole.
Under constant observation. This region is easily monitored by the James Webb space telescope, which allows the two missions to work together to first find, and then carefully study exoplanets, expanding our understanding of worlds beyond our own time. Still to come. The launch of Landsat nine NASA's new mission to monitor the earth.
And later in the science report, paleontologists discover the earliest learning. Carla saw, think of it as being a sort of dinosaur tank, all that or more stores. Um, space time
NASA has successfully launched the latest Landsat nine environmental earth observation. Satellite. The spacecraft is designed to mama to change is on earth surface. The joint mission by NASA and the United States geological survey lifted off a border United launch Alliance, Atlas five rocket from space launch complex three E the Vandenberg space for space in California, weather and remains go.
And the United space force has assured us that we have agreed. All the way through launch and once they go green, and once this thing launches, it will be the 2000th launch from Vanderberg space force base, as well as the 300
[00:13:40] Narrator: Atlas. Let's listen in now, as they conduct that pull status check to
[00:13:44] Stuart: proceed with terminal count Atlas system propulsion go hydraulics, pneumatics,
[00:13:50] Narrator: go.
Hello to go water, go sent to our systems propulsion.
[00:13:56] Stuart: So hello to
[00:13:58] Narrator: go LH to go has gas, electrical systems, airborne ground facility. Our FFTs go buy control. GCQ operation support. Go, Tom, go. Umbilicals ACS go. Red line monitor
[00:14:17] Stuart: quality, go off safety manager, go ULA safety officer vehicle system engineer. And I'm like chief ranch coordinator,
[00:14:29] Narrator: the seed launch director.
You have permission to launch. We are go for launch rock report range
[00:14:34] Stuart: status. The range is green. That is a great sign to hear ranges, green Darryl, that we are good to go. Status check, go out. Let's go. Sentara go. Landsat 9, 10,
[00:14:45] Narrator: 9, 8. 6 5, 4, 3,
[00:14:51] Stuart: 2,
[00:14:52] Narrator: 1, and lift off lift off of an Atlas five rocket and landset nine.
Continuing the legacy of an irreplaceable 50 year record on our ever-changing planet
[00:15:07] Stuart: control system. Responsible good RD. 180 engine operating parameters. Continue to look good. Equal has begun the pitch over maneuver body. Rachel Good children maneuver heading it to the south towards Southern California, downtown Mexico.
Now passing 40 seconds in a flight engine operating parameters. Continue to look good on stage and injector pressures all with unexpected ranges vehicles. Now completing the pitch over maneuver body rate responses. Continue to look at on speeds and injector pressures on the RD. 180, continue to look good.
And at one minute, 20 seconds into. Alison is now supersonic vehicle passing mock one critical moment for the rocket vehicles now passing next cue, maximum dynamic pressure already. 180 performance continues to look good throughout boost stage engines. Now throttling down slightly as expected. Engine response looks good that
[00:15:51] Narrator: throttled down reduces
[00:15:52] Stuart: the stress on the 19 story tolls.
One minute 50 seconds into flight vehicle is now 13 miles in altitude. 7.9 miles downrange distance traveling. 1500 miles per hour at two minutes, 18 seconds. The Atlas five vehicle now is just one half of its liftoff, weight and vehicles gone to closed loop guidance. Body rates indicating a slight adjustment, uh, could be expected for this phase of flight.
Andy reaction control system on the center is now pressurizing the flight levels. This pressure response looks good. So the reaction control system on center prepping it. 80 engine operating parameters continue to look good throughout boost phase body rates remain stable coming up in 60 seconds.
[00:16:30] Narrator: Booster engines. We'll call
[00:16:31] Stuart: them. Atlas is 48 miles an hour to 70 meltdown distance traveling at 5,600 miles per hour. And yet was five to now throttling to maintain a constant 5g acceleration limit engine response looks good. Speed. Currently 7,700 miles per hour. Now throttling to maintain a constant 4.6 acceleration limit in preparation for Vico.
This is where the booster engine cuts off and then separates. And we have beco booster engine cutoff standing by for stage set, and we have good indication of ATLA since our separation. We have pre-start on the RL 10 standing by for ignition. We have ignition and full thrust on the RL. 10 chamber pressure looks.
Body rates look good. No Norway's foul bad. Satellite monitoring ground station acquired signals from the spacecraft about 83 minutes after launch with a Landsat nine performing nominally as it traveled towards its final orbital altitude of 705 kilometers built by Northrop Grumman. The 2,711 kilogram spacecraft is equipped with operational land imager and thermal infrared sensor instruments designed to monitor the planet in 11 spectral band.
The data gathered by Lansette nine over the next 15 years will add to the 50 years of continuous satellite observations already obtained by the landset series. As they monitor the growing changes to the planet caused by global warming. The first landset satellite was launched back in 1972. Lance at nine will join its sister Lansette eight spacecraft to collect data, covering the earth every eight days.
Birth probes we'll work with other landset spacecraft, as well as the European series Sentinel, Copernicus environmental satellites to maintain a detailed account of the planet. United States. Secretary of the interior, Deb Helen says the data collected by Landsat nine will provide science with information that shapes government policy on key issues, including water use wildfire impacts, coral reef, regeneration, glacier, and I show for treat and tropical deforestation.
This report from messaged TV
[00:18:33] Narrator: researchers and well, just about anyone can download scenes from the land set archive managed by us GS lens that holds the title for the longest continuous space-based record of earth in existence, helping scientists and researchers understand how our planet is changing over time.
It will take Lance at nine and it's sister satellite Landsat eight, eight days to image all of Earth's land and coastal areas. That means we get a complete picture of earth. Every eight days. In this case, two satellites are better than one
Landsats eight and nine can work together to provide near real-time data about what's happening on the surface of our planet.
Landsat collects images of each of our planets, seven continents farms, forest, waterways, glaciers, urban areas. Landsat sees it all. Remember you can't manage what you can't measure, whether it's deforestation in the Amazon or ice loss in Antarctica or urban sprawl in Shanghai.
[00:20:09] Stuart: MPG
[00:20:10] Narrator: kick murder should ignite
[00:20:11] Stuart: right now
[00:20:12] Narrator: and take Lansette to its final
[00:20:14] Stuart: circular.
[00:20:15] Narrator: But it never made it to orbit NASA team of scientists and engineers got to work immediately to figure out what went wrong. Turns out it was a rupture in the rocket fuel chamber.
They used failure as an opportunity to learn six years later, the team launched Lance at seven to rocket with the advance. One of the most technologically advanced earth observing satellites of its generation. Still in use today,
at least one Landsat satellite has been orbiting earth since 1972. That's nearly 50 years of steadfast observation. That first Landsat proved we could gather digitally encoded data from. And change the way we look at earth forever, never before seen snapshots of land resources and the environment would be key for critical decision-making decades into the future.
Landsat collects light. How intense that light is, tells us about what's on the ground. You can think of intensity like shades of a different color. Landsat nine, the newest satellite to join the. The fleet sees 16,384 shades. That's four times the depth of color of the previous landset meaning we'll be able to see more detail in darker spots like coastal waters and dense forests.
True color images are made by combining red, blue and green light combined together. These visible bands of light makeup, all the colors in the room. And all of Lance adds true color images, Lance, that also captures light that we can't see that type of light can reveal some incredible things. When you look at a false color image, like the difference between types of plants, how healthy those plants are healthy, coral reefs, and even dead grow reefs, fire tracking, ocean pollution.
The possibilities are nearly.
There are two instruments aboard Landsat nine O L I T is all about light. Once an orbit collects sunlight reflected off earth surface. The light passes through a set of filters to separate out nine specific wavelength bands, invisible and infrared frequencies. Each band provides different pieces of information about what is down on the surface.
The second instrument aboard Landsat nine called tiers to collect thermal infrared wavelengths, or temperature signatures emitted by the earth itself.
50 years ago, the us geological survey had an idea satellites, orbiting earth that could help us monitor our natural resources today. The Landsat program is jointly managed by NASA and the U S G S providing an unparalleled record of earth changing landscapes for the benefit of
[00:23:30] Stuart: all.
and Tom, out of take another brief, look at some of the other stories making use in science this week with a science report. Well, they say grumpy teenage is a, one of the things you've just got to put up with in life. If you're a parent. But a new study suggests a lots of fruit and vegetables, maybe the kid to preventing your child, becoming a grumpy teen, a report in the British medical journal shares a survey of nearly 10,000 school students in the UK found that the more fruit and vegetable portions teens ate for breakfast and lunch, the more likely they were to have a good mental health rating.
Researchers say skipping breakfast, or just having an energy drink was associated with lower quality mental health. And so two was skipping lunch. Paleontologist of unearth the fossilized remains of the early stoning. Carla saw a typically three meter long, heavily armored dinosaur. The newly discovered species named spike MLS alpha live during the middle of Jurassic, about 168 million years ago in what is now Morocco's middle Atlas mountains.
The findings reported in the journal nature, ecology and evolution consists of a rib with spike dermal armor fuse to its dorsal surface. So this herbivore had a series of spikes attached to the rib, which must've protrude at, above the skin covered by a layer of something like keratin. And this is unlike any other in Carla saw, known is armored spikes are usually embedded in their skin and not fuse to the underlying bone.
Archeologists in Israel have uncovered a vast second temple period quarry in Jerusalem. Because some of the stones will lift in situ the 2000 year old quarries providing scientists with a golden opportunity to study the techniques used by ancient masters stonemasons in order to recreate the processes by which the stones up to several meters wide were cut up and quarried, large scale building projects in ancient Jerusalem, such as the temple Mount required vast amounts of building materials and the ability to organize and coordinate the quarrying and transportation of thousands of stone blocks.
The second temple was built, bothered Jewish people in the year five 16 BCA and was destroyed by the Roman empire in the year 70 as punishment for a series of Jewish uprisings, which also saw the Romans exiled the Jews from their Homeland. It had replaced the original temple built by king Solomon in the year 9 57 BCE, which was later destroyed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in 5 86 BCE.
After the Babylonians had conquered the Jewish people and took them into exile to Babylon the European commissioners announced plans to force electronics manufacturers. Do you standardize USB-C plugs for charging all small electronic devices and cell phones. The plan will reduce waste by encouraging consumers to reuse existing charges when buying a new device.
But apple wants that the move will hamper innovation. With the details on these stories and more we're joined by a technology editor, Alex from ity.com and one
[00:26:56] Narrator: of a false apple to switch to the USB C standard for the plug that goes into the iPhone. Currently the lightning port and on Apple's iPads for the iPad mini and the iPad prize may not it every iPad except the most cheapest type, then they will use an USB-C max switch to USB-C.
Yeah, I find it still lightning. And that's because the lightning connector was actually around before USBC. In fact, some of the advancements that I make with lightning went continuously
[00:27:29] Stuart: see,
and it was
[00:27:34] Narrator: reversible it's smaller than USBC and apple had the made for iPhone program, which has made for iPhone iPad. I put touch. Mint the cable customer, because it had a special chip inside and had to be certified by apple to work, but it also meant the type of work you could buy it and be guaranteed the type of wood work.
There was a famous episode, I think, back in 2016, where one of the first Google pixel tablet Ken met with USB-C and the program I wrote about how that. A USB-C cable that ended up hurting the port of that tablet and damaging it so that it was, you know, you could not only charge it it'll because without a, from it, which effectively rendered useless.
And today, many of the USBC cables, some of them are just charging some of the day. Well, some of them are USB to some of them USB three states. Uh, you also have Thunderbolt cables which have the same connector as USB C, and you've got some fundable monitors, for example, from Samsung and others, where if you plug a USB-C cable in, cause the plugs in it's the same physical cable connection type.
If you start getting into a Mac or a PC and into the back of the monitor and it's not a fundable cable, it. Send any video that doesn't work, you've got to have the right sort of cable. So there are many different types of USB-C cable. I mean, the situation today in 2021 is much better than it was in the past.
You can still get cheap USBC cables or expensive ones. Look, apple has made the transition, but apple is saying that, uh, you know, forced to stick to one. Uh, table type, it's going to stifle innovation and we have had a huge Renaissance in the number of cables that we no longer have to carry around. I mean, the, in the old days you had to send the Ericsson, Motorola, you had a whole different stack of cables.
It's sort of the same thing with a lot of the Paysafe that had done a little bit. Uh, DC plugs, uh, many of which have not been replaced by USBC. It would be good if everything was USBC, but not at the expense of companies deciding upon creating fast charging spades. When the EU doesn't want the ability in the USBC standard for there to be fast charging.
But I think we've spoken about on this program, there's a CME, a phone that can recharge to full in about eight minutes or something crazy like that because he didn't 200. What charging. You know, apple, uh, is probably gonna end up having a phone with no ports at all. They really got rid of that 3.5 millimeter headphone Jack eventually.
I mean, I already have mag sites on the back, which is an excellent standard 16 Watts. It's not as fast as a 21 wide charging that apple offers, but still. And it's only going to get faster. And one less port means the find is even more waterproof. So apple may, you know, summits knows that the, because he said, look, if.
But while it's charging, it doesn't matter. You don't have to have a USB-C or, but I'm not really in favor of governments, mandating things.
[00:30:38] Stuart: That's Alex, from it. y.com.
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VO Guy: You've been listening to space-time with Stuart Gary. This has been another quality podcast production and from bitesz.com
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.