Aug. 6, 2021

Ingenuity Scopes Out the Road Ahead on Mars

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 90
*Ingenuity scopes out the road ahead on Mars
Scientists studying NASA’s Mars Ingenuity helicopter’s ninth flight have revealed a spectacular landscape of dunes...

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The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 90
*Ingenuity scopes out the road ahead on Mars
Scientists studying NASA’s Mars Ingenuity helicopter’s ninth flight have revealed a spectacular landscape of dunes and ancient rocky outcrops spread across the dried river delta and lakebed of Jezero Crater.
*Dark matter slowing the spin of the Milky Way's central bar
A new study claims the rotation of the Milky Way's galactic bulge has slowed by about a quarter since its formation due to dark matter.
*New observations test the Standard Model of particle physics
Scientists with the world’s largest atom smasher – the Large Hadron Collider at CERN have observed the simultaneous creation of three massive W bosons for the first time.
*SkyWatch August
Coming up on August Skywatch we look at the red supergiant Antares, Barnard’s star – the second nearest star system to the Sun, and the annual Perseids meteor shower.

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The Astronomy, Space, Technology & Science News Podcast.


SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 90 AI Transcript

[00:00:00] Stuart:[00:00:00] This is spacetime series 24 episode 94 broadcast on the 6th of August, 2021. Coming up on time. Ingenuity, scopes out the road ahead on Mars. Dark matters, slowing the spirit of the Milky way. Central bar and new observations, testing the standard model of particle physics, all that Amol coming up. On space time.

VO Guy:[00:00:24] Welcome to space time with Stuart, Gary

Stuart:[00:00:44] Scientists that a NASA's Mars, ingenuity helicopters night flight have revealed a spectacular landscape of June's and ancient Rocky outcrops spread across the dried river Dota and lake bed of Jethro crater images provide mission managers with an [00:01:00] unprecedented opportunity to scat up the road ahead for the perseverance Rover, as it explores the surface of the red planet in such a science of life.

Ingenuity has provided new insights into way different rock lays, begin and end. The flights also revealed obstacles that the sixth world perseverance Rover will need to drive around as it explores its alien environment. During the flight designed to test the helicopters ability to serve as an aerial scout ingenuity sword over a June field nicknamed seater.

Perseverance is targeting a raised Ridge region beyond seater, but falling ingenuity is aerial observations. Car size Rover will detail south around the Junes, which would be too risky to cross getting bogged in sand is what ended the journey for the Mars exploration rovers spirit back in 2009, five years after it land that inclusive crane.

The color images taken by ingenuity from the altitude of 10 meters off of the Rover team, far greater detail than they could hope to get from orbital [00:02:00] images typically use for our planning while the camera's aboard NASA's Mars, reconnaissance, orbiter can resolve rocks down to about a meter in size.

Mission managers usually rely on Rover images to see smaller rocks or terrain features. Perseverance, deputy project scientist, Ken Williford from NASA's jet propulsion laboratory in Pasadena, California says once the Rover gets close enough to a location mission, manage the forced to move to ground scale images and compare those with the orbital ones.

And that's where ingenuity comes in. It provides intermediate scale imagery that nicely fills the gap in resolution. This is space time still the com dark matters, slowing the spin of the Milky way. Central bar and new observations, testing the standard model of particle physics, all that, and more store to cam on space time.

[00:03:00] A new study claims the rotation. The Milky ways galactic bulge has slowed by about a quarter since its formation due to dark matter. The Milky ways galactic bolt is a densely packed bar shape region of stars at the center of the galaxy out of which the galaxy spiral arms extend the discovery reported in the monthly notices of the Royal astronomical society.

Vindicates predictions of a slowdown first made more than 30 years ago. The findings are based on observations by the European space agency's guy emission. It was looking at a large group of stars known as the Hercules stream, which are in resonance with the central bar revolving around the galaxy at the same rate, as the bar spin, the Hercules stream stars are gravitationally trapped by the spinning bar.

The study's authors say the discovery provides new insights into the nature of dark matter, which acts like a cat await slow in galactic. [00:04:00] Scientists have no idea what that matter actually is, even though they know it makes up around 80% of all the matter in the universe, they know dark matter exists, even though it's invisible because they can see it's gravitational interaction with normal matter.

If the Milky way central bar spin slows down, then the stars and the Hercules stream would move further out in the galaxy in order to keep their orbital period and matched to the bars. Spin. Stars in the Hercules stream can be identified by their higher medalists city. That is they're richer in elements heavier than hydrogen and helium.

And that proves they've traveled away from the galactic center where stars and star forming gas are about 10 times as rich in metals compared to stars and the art of galaxy using this data. Your authors inferred that the bar, which is made up of billions of stars and trillions of solar masses has slowed down at spin red by at least 24% since the first form.

One of the study's authors, Ralph Sean, rich from university college. London says the counterweight [00:05:00] slowing this spin must be dark matter until now. Astronomers have only been able to infer dark matter by mapping the gravitational potential of galaxies and subtracting the contribution of visible matter.

These new findings provide a new type of measurement of dark matter, not of its gravitational energy, but of its inertial mass. That is the dynamic or response, which is slowing the bus speeds. See different models for dark matter will show different changes in the inertial. Pull on the galactic. This is space time, still the calm, your observations, test the standard model of particle physics and coming up on August sky, watch, we look at the red super giant Antares Barnard star, which is the second nearest star system to the sun.

And we check out the annual Perseids meteor, shower, all that and more stores. Um, space time

[00:06:00] scientists. We're the world's largest Adam smash up the large Hadron Collider at CERN have observed the civil tennis creation of three massive WBOS ons for the first time. Definitely a Bose on a subatomic force particles, which carried the weak nuclear force. This is the force underlying some forms of radioactivity governing the decay of unstable subatomic particles, such as masons and initiating the nuclear fusion reactions fan in the sun.

The discovery of this Ray of process creating www beaus ons allows researchers to make precise measurements, testing the standard model of particle physics, the foundation stone of sciences, understanding of the universe. The findings by the Atlas collaboration, uh, based on an analysis of data from the full large Hadron Collider run two data set recorded by the cathedral size Atlas detector between 2015 and [00:07:00] 2018.

In order to make their findings physicist analyze some 20 billion high energy proton proton collision events recorded. And pre-filtered by the Atlas experiment looking for just a few hundred events expected from the triple w process. These events were buried her almost five times more background events, which just happened to mimic the signal signature.

See the thing is, is one of the heaviest known elementary particles, the WBEZ on Zabel that a K in several different ways. Ellis physicist Fergus their search on the Ford decay modes with the best discovery potential due to their reduced number of background events. In three of these modes to WBEZ ons, decay into neutrinos and into electrons  carrying the same positive and negative charge while the third w boson decays in a pair of light quarks in the fourth decay mode, all three w burrs ons decane to a charge leptin, any trainer.

To pick out the www signal from the large number of background events, [00:08:00] researchers utilize the machine learning technique called boosted decision trees, motor to identify specific signals and spotting small, but key differences between variables. They observe the process with a statistical significance of 8.2 standard deviations.

Well above the five standard deviations or five Sigma threshold needed to declare an observation. This detection allows physicist to look for hints of new interactions and particles that might exist out there beyond the current energy reach of the large Hadron Collider, the large Hadron Collider at CERN that European organization for nuclear research is a 27 kilometer long ring buried a hundred meters beneath the frankness with sport in each Navy.

Part of a large complex of particle accelerators synchrotrons and other high energy laboratories. The LHC includes four massive detectors called Atlas, Alice CMS, and LHCB each located in one of four massive underground Kevin. Packets of protons or other [00:09:00] subatomic particles are accelerated to within 99.9999%.

The speed of light in opposite directions into particle beam lines around the ring guided by cryogenically cooled superconducting magnets. The beam lions can intersect at any of the four detectors colliding the particle packets and creating the sorts of conditions, pressures, and temperatures that would have occurred just after the big bang 13.82 billion years ago.


VO Guy:[00:09:27] time

Stuart:[00:09:36] and time out of turn wise to the skies and check out the Celeste Jewess fee for August on sky. Watch August is the eighth month of the year in the Julian ninja Gorian calendar. It was originally named six Telus in Latin because it was the six month of the original 10 month Roman calendar under Romulus in 7 53 BCE.

When the year started in March, it only became the eighth month when January [00:10:00] and February were added to the start of the year in the year eight BCA was renamed in honor of the Roman statesman and military later Augustus who had achieved several military victories, including the conquest of Egypt during the.

Okay. Turning to the heavens and the constellation Scorpius the scorpion is high overhead. This time of year covering almost a third of the August night skies at the heart of Scorpio. Yes. Located some 470 light years away is the red super giant and Tyrese. A light year is a distance of about 10 trillion kilometers.

That distance of photon can travel in a year at 300,000 kilometers per second. The speed of light in a vacuum and the ultimate speed limit of the universe. Red supergiants have the largest diameters of any known star. They evolve out of main sequence stars with more than eight times. The mass of the sun, a main sequence star is a staff using hydrogen into helium in its.

When star stopped fusing hydrogen into [00:11:00] helium in their core, the balancing act between gravity pushing a stars mass down towards the center and energy from nuclear fusion and the core pushing outward ceases and gravity wins causing the star to begin to collapse, inwards, crushing the Stella core until the increase in pressures and temperatures trigger helium.

At the same time, a shell of hydrogen around the core begins to fuse causing the stars out of gaseous envelope to expand out into a bloated giant. And now being further away from the core, the stellar surface starts to cool down becoming rendering color while sun-like stars will become red giants.

Those that are far bigger, eight times or more, the mass of the sun, he can't read super giants. Super giants will fuse all their core helium into carbon and oxygen within just a few million years. So then begin fusing this core carbon and oxygen into progressively heavier and heavier elements until they eventually begin to produce iron in their core nurse.

That no matter how massive it is, is big enough to [00:12:00] fuse iron into heavier elements. And so then the star will collapse catastrophic only in what's known as a core collapse, supernova explosion, bright enough to outshine an entire galaxy. The end result of this core collapse, supernova will be the creation of either a neutron star or a black hole, depending on the progenitor stars, mass.

The name Antares means rival of Mars. And indeed when they're close together in the sky, they do look very similar and Terry's, or alpha scope is that sometimes code has some 12.4 times the mass and an incredible 450 times that I am at her of our son and is one of the largest known stars in the universe.

And terrorism is so big that we're a place where the sun is at the center of our solar system. It would engulf all the inner planets, mercury Venus earth and Mars. Its outer surface would reach almost as far as the orbit of Jupiter and Terese is a binary system. There's a companion star orbiting with it called Antares [00:13:00] B a massive spectrum type B blue white star Elise 7.2 times the mass and 5.2 times the radius of the sun.

It's located about 224 astronomical units beyond the primary star and astronomical unit is the average distance between the sun and the earth. About 150 million kilometers or 8.3 light minutes. Astronomist describes stars in terms of spectral types, a classification system based on temperature and characteristics, the hottest boast, massive immerse luminous stars, a known spectral type earth blue star.

They're closely followed by spectra type B blue white stars in spectral type, a white stars, spectral type F whitish yellow stars, spectral type G yellow stars. That's where our son fits in spectra type K orange stars and the coolest and least massive of all stars are spectral type. Em, red stars commonly referred to as red dwarf.

Now each spectral classification is [00:14:00] further subdivided using a numeric digit to represent temperature with zero being the hottest and nine, the coolest and a Roman numeral to represent luminosity and put all that together. And now sun is a special type G2 veal, G2 five yellow dwarf star. Also included in the Stella classification system, a special types, L T and Y, which are assigned to failed stars, known as brown dwarves, some of which were actually born a spectral type M red Wolf stars, but became brown dwarves after losing some of their maps.

Brand was fitted or category between the largest planets, which were about 13 times the massive Jupiter and the smaller spectral type Emory dwarf stars, which were about 75 to 80 times, the mass of Jupiter or 0.08. Solar masses located near and Tyrese is the spectacular globular cluster, Missy for M four, for sure.

Named after the 18th century, French astronomer and combat hunter, Charles [00:15:00] messier. It's one of a catalog of 103 fuzzy objects, which weren't. And so we're of no interest to messy air. And so he made a list of them. So he didn't waste his time, looking at them. Other astronomers have since added further celestial objects to the catalog, bringing the total to around 110.

Located some 7,000 light years away, messier four can be seen through a pair of binoculars making it one of the closest glabella clusters to earth. Globular clusters are densely packed, fits, containing thousands to millions of gravitationally bound stars, which it's thought were either originally all born at the same time at the same stellar nursery or the surviving cause of galaxies that have been cannibalized by a larger galaxy.

They're almost always found orbiting the halo of galaxies. The Milky way has about 150 of them. And they're all usually very ancient, some dating back to around 12 billion years located just below the sting of Scorpius are two open star clusters, M six and M seven [00:16:00] M sevens. The nearer of the two located about 800 light years away while M six is a more distant 2000 light years.

Open clusters are less densely packed than the globular cluster counterparts with the stars inside them, less gravitationally bound, and more prone to drifting away over time. Another open star cluster in Scorpius is NGC 62 31 located about 6,500 light years away just near the star Zita Scorpio. NGC 62 31 is a bright open star cluster containing around 120 stars, including a significant population of highly luminous.

Supergiants humorous white, yellow stars, and at least two will fray it. Stars. Wolf rates are extremely luminous evolved stars, reaching the ends of their lives. Having run out of hydrogen for core fusion, they're no longer on the main sequence and are instead fusion, progressively heavier and heavier elements in their core.

This causes them to have surface temperatures of up [00:17:00] to 200,000 degrees Celsius and such extreme temperatures generate powerful stellar wins just behind Scorpius. It's the constellation Sagittarius, the half man, half horse of great mythology. And as we mentioned in last month, sky, watch the center of the Milky way.

Galaxy is found in Sagittarius, roughly 27,000 light years away. The name Sagittarius can be traced back beyond the Greeks to the ancient Mesopotamian Archer. God Nirmal Sagittarius is known for its many Nebula and clusters more than any other constellation. One of the largest and brightest is the globular cluster M 22.

Big enough to be visible to the unaided eye located about 10,600 light years away near the galactic bulge. M 22 is more elliptical. The most globular clusters. It's located just south of the ecliptic, the plane in the sky, upon which all the planets orbit the sun, and it contains over 70,000 stars covering an area of around a hundred light [00:18:00] years.

It also contains at least two black holes, and he's one of only a handful of globular clusters known to contain planetary nebulae, the puffed off out of gaseous envelopes of dead sun-like stars. Located in the sky next to Scorpius in the west and Sagittarius in the east is the constellation of useless.

The healer or serpent bearer often portrayed as a snake called a random man in Greek mythology of Yeshua's raises a Ryan from the dead after he was bitten by Scorpius overuses contains several star clusters and other interesting phages, including Barnard star. Bernard star is the second nearest star system to the sun beaten only by the office and Tory triple star system located some 5.9 light years away.

Barnard star is a spectral type M red dwarf about 0.144 times. The mass of the sun. Our sun is around 4.6 billion years old at between seven and 12 billion years of age. Barnard star is [00:19:00] considerably older than the sun and maybe among the oldest stars in the Milky way. Galaxy. It's lost a great deal of rotational energy and it's periodic slight changes in brightness indicate that it's rotating about once every 130 days by comparison.

Our sun rotates roughly once every 29 days, given its age, Barnard star was long as she had the be queer set in terms of stellar activity. But in 1998, astronomers observed an intense still of flare indicating that Barnard star is indeed a flare star. Flare starts a variable stars that can undergo unpredictable dramatic increases in brightness lasting a few minutes.

It's believed that the flares of flare stars are analogous to solar flares in the sun. In that they're generated by Stella magnetic energy stored at the stars atmosphere lying just to the west of the scorpion is the constellation labor at the scales. Great mythology Libra represents the clause of scope is the scorpion.

[00:20:00] However, the Romans considered Libra, a distinct, separate constellation from Scorpius and thought them to be the scales symbolizing the equinoxes the times of the year in March and September when the earth gets equal lengths of day at night that's because 2000 years ago, when all this was made up, the sun moved into Libra at the time of the September Equinox.

But Judah procession as the earth spin acts as wobbles indirection. This point in time has now moved into the joining constellation of Virgo. If you look to the south and the Southern cross that's the constellation sent tourists. Another half man, half horse mythical beast Centaurus was the teacher of many of the Greek gods and heroes.

It was placed among the stars in the heavens after accidentally being cured by a poison arrow fired by Hercules. Close to the point of star nearest the Southern cross beta centaury lies, NGC 51 39, a mega Suntory, the largest and brightest globular cluster in the visible sky [00:21:00] because of its brightness, the ancient great mathematician and astronomer Claudius Ptolemy originally thought Amigas and sorry was a star.

It has a diameter of more than 150 light ears and contains an estimated 10 million stars giving it some 4 million times the mass of our sun located some 15,800 light years away. And mega Suntory is another very ancient globular cluster around 12 billion years old. And it contains many so-called population.

Two star. These are the second generation of stars to have formed and were created directly out of the remains of the very first stars in the universe stars in the core of the biggest and Toria. So crowded the rest of mated to average only 0.1 light years away from each other. And that compares to the nearest star, our sun Proxima Centauri, which is some 4.2 light.

Is this. Located close to a mega centaurian. The sky is the giant lenticular galaxy NGC, [00:22:00] 51 28, Centaurus a, which we see looking like it's split in half by a thick band of dust. The galaxy was discovered in 1826 by astronomer James Dunlop from his home in what is now the Sydney suburb of Paramatta a time long before the bright lights of a modern city would make such a discovery.

Impossible. Located some 13 million light years away. Centura is one of the strongest radius sources in the sky and is thought to be the result of a merger between an elliptical and a spiral galaxy. It can be easily seen using a pair of binoculars, but you'll need a telescope to make out it spectacular dust lanes.

August is also the time of the peak of the annual Perseids meteor shower. The medias are the debris trail ejected by the comments with Tuttle, as it travels along, it's 133 orbit through the solar system as its name suggests the Perseids radiant. That is the point of the sky from which the media has appeared or originate lies in the constellation [00:23:00] of Perseus.

The Perseids are one of the oldest known meteor showers with early Chinese historical records of its activity. Going back almost 2000 years. They're active between July the 17th and August the 24th with a peak on August 12th, with around 60 meteors and our being visible, the Perseids are very bright and fast moving meteors, traveling at speeds of 59 kilometers per second.

The best scene between midnight and just before Dawn producing long, bright trails and some fireballs, most Perseids burn up in the atmosphere out the Judds of over 80 kilometers. They're best seen from the Northern hemisphere. So for Southern hemisphere sky watches, look to the north with a radiant below the Northern horizon.

And now with the look at the rest of the August night skies, he's Jonathan, Nalli the editor of Australian sky and telescope magazine for

Jonathan:[00:23:51] us down here in Australia, where I am temperate latitudes down south. It's still out. We it's the last month that we had to. So I went up to the first strategy. We go June, July, August is [00:24:00] our winter, right?

So this is the last month. Then the springtime comes and gets more disturbed, sort of, uh, weather and weather. It gets worse actually pretty nice during winter in where I live clear spies and everything. So that's, that's pretty good. I'm pretty lucky in that respect. I mean, during August, we still get some really nice guys, really nice night skies and it's still dark for quite a long time.

The hours of darkness haven't drunk too much yet in the hours of daylight art critic creeping up too much just yet. When we get into September, it will be different. Of course. So if you go outside in the mid evening during August, this. You look up, you'll see the Milky way stretching right across the sky from the Northeast down to the Southwest.

And for us down here, we're really lucky because this time of year we've got the center of the Milky way, pretty much directly. I behaved from sort of mid middle latitudes down south and, and the stacks of really good stuff to say in there. If you're a stock guys and professional astronomers, really like a two, because there are lots of really interesting things to see in the direction of the center of our galaxy, because we're looking through more of our gallons.

What is it about 30,000 light years or something we're looking through between here and send it back out. Roughly, if we look in the other direction, we're looking at the [00:25:00] outskirts of the galaxy is lifted. And if we look up or down, down out of the galaxy with just looking through a very thin part of the galaxy, the galaxy sort of disc is shaped.

And so we've got two thirds of the way out from the center of the disc is so there's not much to see going out of the disc is straight up or straight down or afterwards the edge we're looking into the middle of the disc is where it's all thick and thicker and multiples. Because they have lots of good stuff and including of course the black hole is at the center of that galaxy professional astronomers are really interested in that because it's the nearest big black hole we can ask.

We can start, we can get our hands on, but the nearest big one that we can see and just be one we can study. And it's the nearest electric center that we can study too. So we're pretty lucky in that. Down in the south, from where I'm looking, we got the Southern cross in the sort of Southwestern part that's gone now.

It's now no longer standing up right in the early part of the evening. It's laying on its right-hand side. About halfway up from the horizon. The Southern cross itself is located within the band of the Milky way and stretch Norford from it along the Milky way. Lots of other things. An interesting constellation.

You've got Centaurus, you've got Scopia, Sagittarius, and constellation, excuse him down in the south, down towards [00:26:00] the horizon, down the south, you've got the famous Magellanic clouds. These are these two large or largish galaxies in a nearby to the Milky way. And the nearest large-ish galaxies. They're sort of oddball galaxies, but they're still reasonable side.

And you can see them with the naked eye. If you go dark scars and you'd let your eyes get a depth to the dock, they just look like fuzzy clouds in the sky. But when you look at them and you think, wow, that's actually a galaxy. That is pretty spectacular. I mentioned that constellation skewed them a moment ago, but what the name Scudamore stands for?

Very good. It's actually named after an Italian scooter. You're right in that respect, but S C U T a. The scooter is not a scooter that you're right on the screw to se UTA means a shield. It's an ancient Roman shield. That's what screwed him is the constellation of the shield. Now, if you're at the start guys, you for long enough.

Now I said that the middle men go out early part of the evening. You'll find a Milky way stretching to Northeast, down to the Southwest. But if you leave it long enough, the earth will turn on its axis. If you go out again [00:27:00] and you have a look, you'll find that the Milky way has shifted to the north and the Western it's getting lower and lower in the sky.

It's up about 4:00 AM. It's disappeared. You actually really don't sit in Oakey. Why? Because it's gonna be circling around the horizon just from our point of view now with you as his turn. So you've got okay. Rest of the sky. Nice and high above you. So I've Sagittarius for instances, sort of dispute reviewed largely in school.

Most of the ones based on the seat, I was just figuring out in the evening, Napa planets metal, planets, Jupiter, and Saturn. The stars of the show this month. No pun intended. That was, of course, both of them will be reaching opposition in August. Okay. Now opposition is when an outer planet, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, or Neptune in this case, Jupiter and Saturn is when now the planet and the sun are in opposite directions in the sky as seen from the big deal.

And you might say, who cares? Well, it is a big deal if you're not looking at the planets, because when a planet set opposition, you'll find that the planet is rising in the east, as the sun is going down in the west. And that means. Because it's rising in the east at sunset, it will be visible for more or less 12 hours, all the hours of darkness.

So as [00:28:00] the earth turns on its axis, that planet will rise in the sky and it will then start to set in the sky in the west. And as it's setting in the west in the morning, the sun will be coming up in the east in the morning. So opposition means the planet's going to be visible all night long. And that is good.

So for instance, if you go out in the middle of the evening, I'm going to have a look at Juba and you go outside and you think. There's clouds. I can't say Jupiter when you can get up in the morning and have a look at it instead, or vice versa. So you've got all that time to, to see the planet because very often with planets, they might set an hour or two after sunset.

So you've only got a short time to look at them and ethical thing about opposition to, and the ability to see planets all night long is that you get the best viewing of a planet when it's up high in the sky, which will be in this case of an opposition at midnight, when the planet is highest, as the unit is turned, the planet will rise up from the east and get higher and higher and higher in the sky.

Because when it's higher in the sky, looking through your lens, And listen to us atmosphere. So you don't have the, all the merch and the Mac and the small gun, all that sort of thing. And you don't also get the twinkling effect who was by the occurrence in the U S atmosphere that you get when you're looking directly at the horizon.

For instance, if the planet's very low down, [00:29:00] you still get a bit of twinkling up in the upper atmosphere. If you're looking at the planets high up, but not as much as you would get with the plaintiffs down towards Haraj. And in fact, there've been you if I report what's for instance, when Venus is very low on the horizon, the sprain is very bright.

I want to slow it down. And if there's a lot of air currents between you and the. When you're looking at it, when it's low down, then Phoenix can actually appear to change color, the white and red and green, and doing all sorts of funny things. It's just the refraction through the USF. And if we ring up and say, oh, I've seen a UFR is changing Talos.

Can't possibly be a planet or a style of airplane, whatever, but it's changing color as well. That can happen. So anyway, opposition is a really good time to see the other planets as for the other planets at the moment where Mars it's really low down on the Western horizon after sunset might be a little bit difficult to see if you don't have a clear hero.

But, I mean, if there are trees or houses or Hills and things in the way, but if you can get up high or if you go to clear horizon, then you should be able to see Mars, a little the Western sky after sunset, but it's going to get lower and lower as each day passes. And by the end of the month, it's going to be pretty much at a view in the neglect of the sunset, nice and bright and [00:30:00] climbing higher in the sky.

And each day you guys possible being Venus also out in the west after sunset is you simply cannot miss Venus, but so big. And it will get Nash and bigger and broader as the day goes on because it's getting higher and higher. And the other planet that can see what the naked eye is, mercury sign, direction, looking the direction is Venus, but mercury will be lower down just above the Western horizon.

After the sun had set, it looks like a little white star, but it's actually, as a course, it'll be climbing a little bit higher and higher. So the second half of the month will be the best time to

Stuart:[00:30:29] see mercury. That's Jonathan, Nalli the editor of Australian sky and telescope magazine. And don't forget if you're having trouble getting your copy of Australian sky and telescope magazine from your usual retailer because of the current lockdown and travel restrictions, and always get a print or digital subscription and have the magazine delivered directly to your letterbox or inbox.

Subscribing is easy. Just go to sky and today. That sky and And you'll never be left in the dark again.

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

Tim MendhamProfile Photo

Tim Mendham


Editor with Australian Skeptics

Jonathan NallyProfile Photo

Jonathan Nally

Editor Australian Sky & Telescope Magazine

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