The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 83
*Discovery of four Earth-sized rogue planets all alone in the night
A new study has found tantalising evidence for a mysterious population of “free-floating”...
The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 83
*Discovery of four Earth-sized rogue planets all alone in the night
A new study has found tantalising evidence for a mysterious population of “free-floating” so-called rogue planets -- planets that aren’t orbiting a host star.
*Cosmic filaments spinning in space
A new study has confirmed that the filaments which make up the cosmic web-like structure of the universe are spinning in space.
*China’s space program moves into high gear
China has ramped up its launch campaign as Beijing continues its build up to war with no less than three orbital missions in four days.
*The Science Report
Study claims symptomatic COVID-19 patients take 80 days to return to a normal heart rate.
The upper atmosphere contracting due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Large Hadron Collider measures lepton flavour universality.
Israel tests a prototype high-powered airborne laser to shoot down drones.
Alex on Tech: Microsoft's PrintNightmare computer vulnerability
For more SpaceTime and show links: https://linktr.ee/biteszHQ
SpaceTime 20210721 Series 24 Episode 83
[00:00:00] Stuart: [00:00:00] This is space time series 24, episode 83 for broadcast and the 21st of July, 2021 coming up on space time discovery of four earth sized rogue planets, all alone in the night. Cosmic filaments spinning in space and China's space program moves into an even higher gear, all that and more coming up. On space time.
VO Guy: [00:00:25] Welcome to space time with stuart, Gary
Stuart: [00:00:44] A new study has found tantalizing evidence for a mysterious population of free floating so-called rogue planets. That is planets, which aren't orbiting our host star. The findings reported in the monthly notices. The Royal astronomical society include [00:01:00] four planets, very similar in mass to the year. The discoveries were obtained in 2016 data from the K two mission of masters pilot hunting capital space telescope.
During this two month camp pain, Kepler monitored, a crowded field of millions of stars near the center of the Milky way galaxy every 30 minutes in order to spot rare gravitational microlensing events. First predicted by Albert Einstein 85 years ago, as a consequence of his general relativity theory, microlensing describes how the light from a background star contemporarily be magnified or lensed by the presence of a foreground star or other object.
The authors found 27 short duration candidate micro-lending signals that varied over time scales of an hour to 10 days. Many of these had previously been seen in dead or obtained simultaneously from the ground. However, the four shortest events in new discoveries that are consistent with planets of similar masses to the earth.
And these new events [00:02:00] do not show an accompanying longer signal that might be expected from a host star, suggesting that these new events could be free floating planets. It's thoughts such planets would have originally formed a Rhonda host, but were then injected into interstellar space through gravitational perturbations, during interactions with other planets in the system.
The study's lead author, Ian McDonald from the university of Manchester says that roughly one out of every million stars in our galaxy is visibly affected by microlensing events at any given time. But only a few percent of these are expected to be caused by planet. The fact that these planets were found are all, is quite an achievement.
See, Kepler was never designed to find planets using microlensing techniques nor to study the extremely dense star fields within a galaxy. This meant that new data reduction techniques had to be developed in order to look for signals within the Kepler database. Confirming the existence and nature of free floating or road planets will be a major focus for [00:03:00] NASA's upcoming Nancy grace, Roman space telescope, as well as ISAs Euclid admission, both of which will be optimized to look for microlensing signals.
This space-time still the case. Cosmic filaments found spinning through space and China's space program moves into an even higher gear, all that, and more still to come on space time.
A new study is found that galactic filaments, which make up the cosmic web, like structure of the universe are actually spinning in space. The filaments are composed of galaxies and galaxy casters. Forming tendrils. Hundreds of millions of light is a crass, which interconnect the larger nodes of galactic.
Superclusters the new findings reported in the journal nature, astronomy, uh, based [00:04:00] on maps of the motions of galaxies using the Sloan digital sky survey. The authors examined the velocity of galaxies perpendicular to the filaments axis by measuring their Doppler shift with a spectrometer, finding that they were displaying motion consistent with rotation.
In other words, the part of the galaxy moving away from us would look red or the other part of the galaxy that moving towards us as it rotates would look blue. The study's lead author, Noam leap skinned from the Institute for astrophysics in Potsdam. And the university of Leon says the observation shared that these are the largest known objects in the universe to have angular momentum.
Lambskin says they're moving on helixes or corkscrew, like orbits circling around the middle of the filament or traveling along at slang. He says this kind of spin has never been seen before on such enormous scales and speculates that there must be an as yet unknown physical mechanism responsible for these talking events.
To [00:05:00] find out more. Andrew dangly is speaking with astronomer professor Fred Watson,
Andrew: [00:05:05] major announcement slash discovery. Uh, they've been mapping the motions of galaxies. Now we're talking a massive scale here. This isn't. Sort of looking at us and Andromeda and those other tiny little unfortunate galaxies that we're eating at the moment we're talking massive, super galaxy clusters, and they're all linked and how they're all rotating.
They have now, uh, basically confirmed that there's this big movement going on on a colossal scale. And I love that word. And now, you know, and this, this is so typical of astronomy. They've made the discovery and discovery. They've announced. But they don't know why
Fred: [00:05:49] am I right? I mean, is that what we're talking about?
Yeah. Step back from, uh, from the news, just to, to remind people of what the big picture is when we look deep into the [00:06:00] universe. Okay. We see galaxies, of course, as you mentioned, we also see clusters of galaxies. Um, there's a very big one nearby the coma cluster, and these are sometimes thousands of galaxies, but when you really start looking.
Big picture. And you probing now to usually quite significant distances in the universe. Before you can see this picture, emerging are happy to say I've been on the periphery of being involved with this kind of work. Actually, not that much on the periphery because I built the instrument that did some cool, uh, back in the, uh, back in the 1990s and two thousands.
And it comes our knowledge of this phenomenon comes from what we call galaxy surveys. You basically map in three dimensional space where galaxies are over as big as the area of the sky as you can. And in fact, we did it for the whole of the Southern sky with something called the 60 F galaxy survey, which I was project manager for back in the back in the early two thousands.
But there are other surveys that have been done with similar technology. We do it all with fiber [00:07:00] optics and I'm time to talk about that, but that's, that was what, uh, I helped. Pioneer back in the early well, early 1980s, there was a group of us throughout the world who tinkered around with these fiber optics, knowing that the end product could be measurements of galaxies thousands at a time.
And now there are hundreds of thousands at a time and millions at a time at a time with similar kind of technology. So when you do that, when you look at these maps of galaxies, you find. This structure within it, which we call the cosmic web. And it is reminiscent of, you know, walking into a room that's not hard being cleaned for decades and finding the whole place.
You're not looking behind me. Are you? I mean, I was, that's where I got the inspiration from Andrew. Web, but also like a kind of honeycomb. This it's not perfectly hexagonal, but it's strings of galaxies stretched over colossal distances with great [00:08:00] voids in between them where there aren't any galaxies that's called the cosmic web, the voids, the honeycomb cells.
If you. Use that analogy, uh, typically hundreds of millions of light years across their enormous. This is a structure on the ground is scale. And we think it's actually the result of the way matter, behaved in the immediate aftermath of the big bang. You can see the seeds of it in the cosmic microwave background radiation, where we're looking back to a time before the first galaxies formed, but there is structure in the temperature of the cosmic microwave background, radiation, which suggests that what you're going to get when you get matter, forming stars and planets and galaxies, you're going to get this web like structure.
The structure is well established, but what has happened now is that people have looked in detail at what we call the food elements, that sort of cobwebby stuff that joins scaffolding. Let me put it that way of the cosmic web and basically these filaments linked together, gigantic clusters of galaxies, which are at the, what you might call the nodes, the place places where things cross the corners of the hexagon.
If you, if [00:09:00] you think of it as a hunter, So looking in detail at that, and this is scientists from our IP and institution. I know very well because I've worked closely with them. The Institute for astrophysics in Potsdam, they've worked with scientists in China and dystonia. And what they've discovered is that these filaments long tendrils of galaxies, they actually spin.
And that is. Brand new discovery and it's a record breaker in the sense that we've never seen rotation on such a vast scale before, you know, we, we see rotation in pretty well, everything in the universe, but a rotation of the filaments of galaxies. And remember that you have made of galaxies, which are themselves significantly separated.
They're actually rotating. So that's a new discovery and quite a surprising one. Although I have to say, I was interested to see that theoretical astronomers. These are the people who work out the models of what the universe looks like. They've suggested that these things should spin and sent people off looking for them, which is [00:10:00] why the scientists that are sensitive to have discovered that the spin of the filaments in the cosmic web, how did they measure it?
Well, by the same way that we always measure rotations, which is using the Doppler. The fact that light from an object moving towards you is shifted towards the blue in the spectrum. Like coming from an object, moving away from you is shifted towards the red, hence the term Redshift. And I love that it's nuanced slightly differently, but on the scale of the universe, but it's the Doppler effect.
It's that's, what's allowed the scientists to work out. The galaxies on one side are coming towards. In effect in spite the fact that they're all moving away because the expansion of the universe, but they're more coming towards us than the ones on the other side, which are more going away from us. So that's how the rotation has been detected.
And exactly, as you've said, even though this is predicted, it's a struggle to understand why the rotation should be there. It's another aspect of it. Just one final thing before I let you get a word in edgeways, the galaxies themselves actually move along. These filaments, the filaments are made of galaxies.
So what you've got is. [00:11:00] Uh, you know, imagine an individual galaxy it's moving like a corkscrew. So it's moving along the galaxy and it'll wind up in a big cluster of galaxies at the corner between your tendril and the next one. But they're moving along in this spiral spiral, all bits, basically along as well as rotating.
So the whole thing is his whole filament is rotating as the galaxies move along it. And it's up to you to work out why that is happening. Yeah, I've got my pen here and I should've mentioned pens cause cause a pen is a good or a pencil is a good analog for the, for the overall shape of these things there that long and that thick, but scaled up to billions of light years, millions of light years.
Andrew: [00:11:41] they sort of spinning on an axis while everything inside's rotating or is, you know, we've got multiple movements happening at
Fred: [00:11:47] once. There may well be, but that would be a much smaller it's spinning around the line. Oh, awesome. Okay. You imagine a pencil being twisted that's what's happening, right?
Andrew: [00:11:56] Wow. Um, and of course here that [00:12:00] opens up the big question as to why and how it all started. And
Fred: [00:12:04] it could, it could go back to,
Andrew: [00:12:07] as far as we know back, you don't
Fred: [00:12:09] know. Line, you could take with this. So the reason why planets revolve around their parents stars is because planets and stars are formed from clouds of gas and dust.
And those clouds are ginormous. They're much bigger than the solar systems that they fall because they often fall many, many solar systems within them. Gas and dust is a fluid. And so they probably got little eddies within them. And it's those eddies. Lead to the, over the rotation of planetary systems and stars, because if you've got something that's collapsing under its own gravity, and it's got a little tiny set of edits in it, there'll always be one editor.
The that's more strong than another one. So that becomes the preferred direction of rotation. And as it collapses, that rotation is locked in evermore, solidly by something called the conservation of angular momentum. And so things rotate faster and that's how you. You know, a flat protoplanetary [00:13:00] disc and young solar systems and the planets forming in a plane.
Now, the thinking regarding the cosmic web is that there is no overall rotation of the universe, but there might be sort of eddies of rotation within the material of the early universe. Could have given rise to a similar process, a rotation of these, of these tendrils. I'm not making that very clear, but it's, it's probably, uh, you know, that the rotation is probably a fossil of general Eddy rotation within that bit of the primordial fireball from the universe was created.
Do we know. This rotation is, or I looked for that. I think it's in the original paper, which I didn't have a chance to look back at it, but it's clearly not once a day or anything like that. It's probably spinning on the scale of many tens of if not hundreds of millions of years for one rotation. Wow.
Andrew: [00:13:49] Extraordinary, uh, will hopefully one day they'll get more ants. To this one. It might answer other questions if they figure it out. Yeah.
Fred: [00:13:56] It's um, well, that's quite amazing. Of course, [00:14:00] it's all intimately linked to Andrew with dark matter, because we think that dark matter is the reason why this cosmic web forms, the way it does dark matters that one of the principle emergence of gravitation.
Stuart: [00:14:10] That's right. That's Dr. Fred Watson and astronomy with the department of science speaking with Andrew. On our sister program space nuts, and this is space time still. The comm China's space program moves into an even higher gear. And later in the science report, the Earth's upper atmospheres contracting due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, all that and more store to car.
China has ramped up its launch campaign even further as Beijing continues, its build up to war with no less than three orbital missions in four days. These have [00:15:00] included along March three C rocket launch from the GI Chang satellite launch center in Sichuan province. The mission carried the T Anglian 1 0 5 data tracking and relay communication satellite for the Chinese military into a 36,000 kilometer high geosynchronous orbit just hours later, a long March four sea rocket was launched from the Jiuquan satellite, low and centric, Northwestern, China carrying the fing young three E meteorological satellite.
The spacecraft, which is the Quip with 11 remote sensing payloads was placed into an 800 kilometer high polar orbit, and then Duran off an incredibly busy week. Along that six rocket was launched from the tie U and satellite launch center in Northern China's Yangzi province. It was carrying five new generation ninja, one signals, intelligence gathering satellites, which were placed into an 860 kilometer high.
The us space command says China now has more than 400 satellites in orbit. Second only number to the United States and [00:16:00] is expected to have at least a thousand satellites flying around the earth. By the end of the staircase, by comparison, back in 2010, Beijing had just 70 satellites. The majority of Chinese spacecraft, I'd a vetted a space-based intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance gathering missions closely followed by its Badu, satellite navigation, satellite constellations, and then its communication satellite systems.
Combine these capabilities provide Beijing's military with a global command and control ability. Fish space time.
And Tom had to take another brief look at some of the other stories making use in science this week with a science report, a new study has shown that symptomatic COVID-19 patients can take an average of 80 days to return to a normal heart rate. A report in the journal of the American medical [00:17:00] association looked at some 900 people, reported symptoms of an acute respiratory illness.
They found that around a quarter tested positive for COVID-19. They were fitted with wearable technology, tracking their heart rate, sleep, and step count scientists found that those with COVID 19 took longer to return to a normal resting heart rate, normal sleep patterns and normal amounts of exercise compared to those with other respiratory illnesses.
The authors found that COVID-19 patients took about a month on average to return to normal sleep and exercise, but took an average of 79 days to return to a baseline heart rate. The world health organization. Now estimates more than 8 million people have been killed by the COVID-19 coronavirus with more than 4.1 million confirmed fatalities and some 190 million people infected since the deadly disease.
First spread out a whack. A new study has confirmed that parts of the Earth's upper [00:18:00] atmosphere, uh, gradually contracting in response to increasing levels of manmade, greenhouse gas, emissions scientists, combined data from three NASA satellites that have over a long-term record, which reveals that the Mesosphere that's the layer of atmosphere between 50 and 80 kilometers above the surface is cooling and contract.
Researchers have long predicted this effect of human driven climate change, but it's been difficult to observe the trends over time. The findings reported in the journal of atmospheric and solar terrestrial physics is based on 30 years of satellite observations by NASA and show that the summer Mesosphere over the earth is cooling by around eight degrees, Celsius and contracting by around 150 to 200 meters every decade.
The upper boundary. The Mesosphere is where the neutral atmosphere begins transitioning into the tenuous elect recharge gases of the ionosphere, even higher up around 240 kilometers above the earth surface. The air causes what's known as [00:19:00] atmospheric drag, the friction, which causes satellite orbits to decay, but also helps clear space junk.
So as the Mesosphere contracts, more and more space junk will be left in lower earth. Scientists using the world's largest Adam smasher, the large Hadron Collider at CERN have successfully measured. Let them flavor universality of fundamental principle of the standard model of particle physics. The findings reported in the journal nature support the fundamental foundation stone upon which our understanding of the universe is based Lipton's or one of the building blocks of the universe.
And they come in several types known as flavors. These include electrons, Mia ones and towers scientists tested the attractive force between murals or towel Lipton's. And another type of fundamental particle caught a w bows on a force particle. They found the attractive forces were the same for birth types of leptins, which is known as the Lipton flavor universality, [00:20:00] thereby confirming a key assumption of the standard.
Israel has used a high powered airborne laser to shoot down drones in a series of tests. The IDF says the new system can target and down any flying object, including drones, mortars, rockets, and ballistic missiles, outdoor range of 20 kilometers. The system uses Israel's existing aerial defense technologies to track and lock onto a target before firing a hundred kilowatt laser beam, which burns through the target.
The IDF is now also developing a parallel ground-based laser defense system for aerial threats. The lasers will be used alongside Israel's existing short range, iron dome missile defense system, as well as its medium range. David sling missile system at its high altitude Aero missile interception system.
The growing urgency for these anti missile systems follows attacks by Hamas terrorists over recent months, which saw over 4,000 friends and, and missiles fight against Israeli [00:21:00] civilians. Well, it seems Microsoft print nightmare. Computer vulnerability has been somewhat of a nightmare to fix, and we're still, it's not fully resolved yet.
With the details we're joined by technology editor, Alex from ity.com lip print, nightmare
Alex: [00:21:17] vulnerability allowed remote hackers to break into server business and consumer windows computers. But there's a catch that Microsoft will undoubtedly have to fix in a future update. The windows update server should have updated your computer by now and a windows 7, 8, 8 0.1 and windows 10 computers are effected.
Earlier versions of windows are affected as well, but that long ago lost their support. And if you ask them using those computers, you should use them offline only. But interestingly windows seven, because Microsoft knows there's still 30 or 40% of the windows users have. They're still using windows seven.
This has received a patch as well, and it stops the remote ability for hackers to break into your computer and use the vulnerability. [00:22:00] And the principle works and then install software onto your computer. So the patch does stop that. You have a hacker who's in front of your computer or in your networks physically there, they could still use this vulnerability to break in, which has been reported by a number of online news organizations.
But the reality is that if the hacker is right in front of your computer or in the building, you know, it's very difficult to stop them from being able to use other means to break in. The end of the world, that, that hasn't been patched yet. Microsoft rule patch that, but people who use zebra printers, which is often used in retail and industrial settings, apparently the zebra printer stopped working.
If you tried to re-install the zebra printer you had to do so in admin, Yes. We logged in as administrator, which is not always the case for industrial computers. And the other way of getting zebra printers to work was to roll back the update. But of course that's not recommended. And that just shows how complicated security is in 2021 and all the crazy wise that heck is.
[00:23:00] Places to break into computers who would have thought that the print spooler the thing that talks to your printer and sends the information would be a way to break in, but you act as a, a challenge and now
Stuart: [00:23:11] they've made it. I was a kid. I looked with envy at the, uh, tag Hoyle watch and, uh, I didn't mind playing Nintendo occasionally.
And now these two dreams of my childhood of combined. Yes. Well,
Alex: [00:23:23] Nintendo has been in the watch business for a long time. If you think about the fact that they had the game and watch, I mean, it wasn't really a watch. It was the handheld console, which has of course grown into the intended switch. No in love today, but yeah, tag Hoya has announced a long-term collaboration with Nintendo, which probably means a whole series of other watches are yet to come.
But they've announced 2000 limited edition, super Mario tag CLIA connected watches at a cost of reported us $2,150. They run the Android where iOS or the proper smart watches. And they'll do all those various things. The smart watches do for fitness. Run running different apps, but they now have a special series of Mario [00:24:00] watch faces.
So you can see Mario various poses as a video of mine can see, you can see Mario growing, you can see him jumping out of one of those tunnels. You can see the star and the mushroom and even Mario swirling around the pole. The watch itself has Lackid sort of an em symbol on the crown. It's got a red case travel case and it's got these little sort of touches.
That's sort of what a game of five, the Mario experience. I mean, there's no actual Mario game on the watch, which is a shame that would have been fun. If you could sort of have played super Mario that's what I thought was going to happen. The problem is that it's, it's only sort of a, an inch big, I mean, it's not a very large space, so it's, it's more like a statement.
It's a way to show off that you have the ability to buy a tag
Stuart: [00:24:40] line. Yeah,
Alex: [00:24:44] look, I'm sure somebody will come up with some sort of Mary. I gave him, I mean, on your iPhone, you can get a Mario runner type game. So there is Mario and I found an Android, but really if you want the true Mario experience and Nintendo wants you to have to buy a sweet shore, one of its previous consoles, I mean, you can still get [00:25:00] the, you can still buy those little game and watch the devices for very expensive amounts of money on, on eBay.
And probably people have them sitting in their garage or in their bedrooms that could be worth some money. Anyway, if you are an existing tag hire connected owner, and you're thinking, damn, I want that watch rights as well. They will come to you later this year, but at the moment, of course, they're keeping it as an exclusive for people to buy one of these 2000 limited edition watches.
And then we'll have to see what else tag Hoya and Nintendo collaborate on in the months and years to come.
Stuart: [00:25:30] From ity.com
VO Guy: [00:25:47] and
Stuart: [00:25:47] that's the show for now. Space-time is available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through apple podcasts, iTunes, Stitcher, Google podcast. PocketCasts Spotify outcast, [00:26:00] Amazon music bites.com SoundCloud YouTube favorite podcast, download 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.
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VO Guy: [00:27:21] You've been listening to space-time with Stewart, Gary. This has been another quality podcast production 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.