The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 139
*Jets discovered erupting from the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole
Astronomers have detected jets erupting from Sagittarius A* -- the supermassive black...
The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 139
*Jets discovered erupting from the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole
Astronomers have detected jets erupting from Sagittarius A* -- the supermassive black hole at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy.
*A new tool in the search for life beyond Earth
A new study says scientists need to know more about the chemical make up of the Venusian atmosphere before they can really speculate about the possibility of life in the clouds.
*Antarctic solar eclipse
The Antarctic has experienced a rare total solar eclipse is giving researchers a unique opportunity to learn more about how solar eclipses affect space weather.
*The Science Report
China has launched another cyberattack against Australia
AI-designed life forms develop a new -- never before seen in nature -- form of reproduction.
Archaeologists have discovered a 2,100-Year-Old Hellenistic fortress in central Israel.
Skeptic's guide to a 12-year study psychic predictions.
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The Astronomy, Space, Technology & Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime S24E139 AI Transcript
[00:00:02] Stuart: this is space-time series 24 episode a hundred and thirty nine four broadcast on the 17th of December, 2021. Coming up on space time. Jets discovered erupting from the Milky way. Supermassive black hole, a new tool in the search for life beyond earth and a rare Antarctic solar eclipse. All that and more coming up on space time.
[00:00:28] VO Guy: Welcome to spacetime with Stuart Gary.
[00:00:48] Stuart: Astronomers have detected jets erupting from Sagittarius, a star, the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky way, galaxy most, if not all galaxies have supermassive black holes that their centers located some 27,000 light years away cemetery say stock contains some 4.3 million times the mass of the sun.
And it's the anchor point around which our entire galaxy revolt. This monster has long been thought to be quiescent that is in a state of inactivity or dormancy, a sleeping giant, however, new observations by an essence Hubble space telescope shows that this black heart of our galaxy still has some vestiges of its blowtorch.
Like J. The findings are reported in the astrophysical journal show that why Hubble wasn't able to actually physically image these streams of energy and matter. It was able to find circumstantial evidence showing the jets pushy into a huge hydrogen cloud, and then splattering. This discovery provides further evidence that the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.
Isn't a sleeping monster, but periodically awakens as gas and stars fall in. The physicists a black hole is a point of infinite density in zero volume. As the name suggests these points in space time are so dense that nothing not even light can escape once it's past the point of no return known as the event, horizon material drawn towards the black hole by its immense gravitational pool forms.
An accretion disk spinning around the event horizon like water swirling around a drain before falling in. As this material swirls around the equation disc, it hits up to millions of degrees. At the same time it's being torn apart at the subatomic level, releasing huge amounts of energy and particles while Merce will eventually pass the vet horizon and fall forever into the black hole.
Singularity summit, Terrell is caught up in powerful magnetic field lines and then fired out from the black hole is perpendicular jets into deep space. It's narrow beams are accompanied by a flood of deadly ionizing radiation. The study's lead author, Gerald sessile from the university of North Carolina says the black hole in the center of the Milky way is dynamically variable.
Currently powered down sessile was able to piece together a jigsaw puzzle of multi wavelength observations using a variety of telescopes. Combine, they suggested the black hole erupts with many jets. Every time it swallows something hefty like a gas cloud or a star back in 2013 evidence for a stubby Southern jet plowing into gas near the black hole came from x-rays detected by NASA's Chandra x-ray telescope, and then radio waves to take the, by the very large array radio telescope in New Mexico, sessile was curious to see whether or not there was a Northern cat apart to these seven gen.
So we first looked at archival spectra for molecules, such as Mitha, alcohol and carbon sulfide from Alma. The Atacama large millimeter submillimeter array radio telescope in Chile. Alma uses millimeter wavelengths to appear through the veils of gas and dust between earth and neglected core. The data revealed an expanding narrow linear feature in molecular gas.
That could be traced for some 15 layers back towards the black hole. By connecting the dots. Sessile next found in Hubble, infrared wavelength images, a glowing inflating bubble of hot gas, which aligns precisely with the jet at a distance of 35 light years from the black hole put together, the data suggests a jet from the black hole is plowed into this bubble, inflating it, these two residual effects of the fading jet of the only visual evidence of an impact in molecular gas.
As it blows through the gas, the jet hits material, and then bends along multiple streams, creating a series of expanding bubbles, extending out at least 500 light years. Settling colleagues then ran super computer models of the jet outflows in a simulated Milky way, disk, which reproduced the observation.
The work suggests that Sagittarius a star surged in luminosity increasing by at least a million times current levels in the last million years in the process, producing a jet at punched into the galactic halo, previous observations by Hubble and other telescopes found that the Milky waist black hole had an outbursts between two and 4 million years ago.
And that was in a genetic enough to create an immense pair of bubbles tearing above and below the galactic. These bubbles still glow today in gamma rays, they were first discovered by NASA Fermi gamma Ray space telescope in 2010, and have since been named for me bubbles. They're surrounded by x-ray bubbles.
First discovered in 2003 by the rosettes satellite, and then Matt blast year by the era Zita spacecraft Hubble ultraviolet light spectra is being used to measure the expansion, velocity and composition of the ballooning load. The hobbled spectra later found that the burst was so powerful. It lit up a gaseous structure called the Magdalen extreme some 200,000 light years from the galactic center.
And gas is still glowing from that event today to get a better idea of what's going on. Sisal looked at hobble and radio images of another galaxy, which also has a black whore outfit. Located some 47 million light years away. The active galaxy NGC 10 68 has a string of bubble features aligned along an outflow from a very active black hollered at center.
Sessile found that the scales of the radio and x-ray structures emerging both from NGC 10 68 and from our Milky way, galaxy a very similar. The bow shock bubble at the top of NGC, 10 68 outflow coincides with the scale of the Fermi, but we'll start in the Milky way. So it seems NGC 10 68 may well be showing astronomers what the Milky way was doing in its major power out surge several million years ago.
This report from NASA TV, our Milky
[00:06:59] Guest: way, central black hole has a leak. This supermassive black hole over 4 million times more massive than our sun looks like it still has the remanence of a blow torch light jet dating back several thousand years. Masses, Hubble space telescope hasn't photographed the Phantom jet yet, but it has helped find circumstantial evidence that the jet is still pushing feebly into a huge hydrogen.
This is further evidence that the black hole is not a sleeping monster, but periodically hiccups as stars and gas clouds fall into it. The hiccup results in superheated material blasting away from the black hole as narrow beams or jets shooting in the same direction. As the black hole, spin axis along with a flood of ionizing radiation.
As the jet blows through the gas, it hits material. Which creates a series of expanding bubbles that extend out to at least 500 light years, the streams continue to percolate out of the Milky ways, dense gas disk into the galactic. Scientists concluded that the black hole clearly searched and brightness as much as 1 million fold in the last million years, that would be enough for a jet to punch into the halo of material that surrounds the galaxy galaxy NGC 1 0 6, 8 shows a similar scenario occurred.
Previous observations by Hubble and other telescopes found evidence that the Milky ways black hole had an outburst about two to 4 million years ago, that it was energetic enough to create an immense pair of bubbles towering above our galaxy, that glow and gamma rays Hubble was used to see how fast the bubbles were expanding and what they were.
Hubble later found that the burst was so powerful that it lit up a gaseous structure as far away as 200,000 light years from the galactic center called the Magellanic stream. This gas is still glowing from that event. Even today, the residual jet feature is close enough to the black hole, that it would become much more prominent.
Only a few decades after the Milky ways black hole powers up again. Whenever that does actually end up happening. It's sure to be quite a spectacular
[00:09:15] Stuart: show. This is space time, still the com and YouTube and the search for life beyond it. And at Arctic air experiences, arrest solar, eclipse, all that and more store to come on.
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[00:12:23] VO Guy: This is space time with Stuart, Gary,
[00:12:29] Stuart: and you study once that scientists really need to learn more about the chemical makeup of the venues and atmosphere before they can start to speculate about the possibility of life in Venus's clown. The apparent detection of phosphene a chemical compound made up of one phosphorous, Adam surrounded by three hydrogen atoms in Venus's that cloud cover has sparked worldwide speculation in the scientific community about its implications for life beyond earth could primitive single sewed micro organisms exist them via.
After all the innocent earth assist the planets at the same size and mass, they were formed at the same time and at the same part of the solar system and out of the same material under the same conditions. So if earth has life, why not Venus as well? It's a tantalizing prospect and the initial detection of phosphene, which is produced on earth by bacteria, further fields, the speculation.
However, those discussions were soon dashed when follow-up studies suggested that instead of phosphene, the signatures were more likely due to other chemicals associated with the planet, SOF uric acid clouds. Now a report at the journal frontiers and astronomy and space sciences is providing a new guideline showing how an initial detection of a potential bias signature should be followed by searches for related molecule.
The author has used computer algorithms to produce a database of infrared spectral barcodes for 958 molecular species containing phosphorus. Phosphorus is an essential element for life yet up until now, astronomers can only really look for one polyatomic phosphorous containing molecule phosphine phosphine is a very promising bio-signature because it's only produced in tiny concentrations by natural process.
The study's lead author, Dr. Laura McCamish from the university of new south Wales says the new database means when insiders look for evidence of life and other planets, they don't need to go to space. They simply need to point a telescope at the planet in question and search for specific chemical signatures, spectral signatures of other associated molecules in the planet's atmosphere.
However McKenzie says, if scientists can trace how it's produced or consumed, they can answer the question of whether it's unusual chemistry or little green men who are producing phosphate in the planet. The authors look for which phosphorus Berry molecules are most important in atmospheres, but it turns out very little was known.
So they looked at a large number of molecules, which could be fan in the gas phase, which were otherwise go undetected by telescope, sensitive to infrared light. Barcode data for new molecular species and normally produce just one molecule at a time. And that's a process which often takes years. So instead the authors used high throughput, computational quantum chemistry to predict the spectrum of 958 molecules within just a couple of weeks.
Although the new database doesn't yet have the accuracy to enable new detections, it can prevent miss assignments by highlighting the potential for model molecular species. Having similar spectral barcodes. For example, in some telescopes that low resolution water and alcohol could look indistinguishable.
This recent addition to the knowledge of what can be detected using telescopes will be important in the detection of potential signs of life on exoplanets at his planets in other star systems. Kim, it says the only way scientists are going to be able to look at exoplanets and see whether there's life there is to use spectral data collected by telescopes.
And that's where this new tool comes in.
[00:16:07] Guest: I was shaming. If we had found. How would we understand how, what are the causes? So was it biological wasn't geological seems like that. And we propose that you could do that by understanding more and trying to look for the molecules that it could be, aside from the molecules that could be present that could form and could be produced by.
So I guess that's might be the bit of work that I. But simultaneously, I think it's really important to recognize that since the original detection there's been quite a few challenges, I think I'd say to the detection. So people have queried the announce technique, and there was only one spectral line that was found for four things.
So basically you're trying to take a fingerprint to identify a person, but you only got a really, really tiny portion of the scene and they hoped that was unique to phosphate. You also have to check. There was actually a fingerprint there and there's some people the astronomist sort of raised some
[00:17:04] Stuart: concerns about yeah.
They found that the section of the fingerprint they have was common to other molecules as well, including cell Farlands.
[00:17:13] Guest: Um, so if you're like acid, I don't, I'll leave it to the astronomers to debate whether it's self uric acid. Oh, sulfur dioxide. Well, the important thing there is. There's a spectral line.
And I guess it relates to the work that we did. There's a, there was one spectral line and it can be attributed to some other people say that it might be a self-esteem because it's very, very close. But I think the important thing to recognize is that the number of molecules that we've got that really, really accurate data is a tiny fraction of all the molecules that can exist in an atmosphere.
So it has lots and lots of trace species. I mean, being, this is a really, really different atmosphere. It, might've been lots of different molecules there, and we only have data for a certain number of them. And if you don't have data, then you can't get
[00:17:59] Stuart: anything. So what did you guys do about this? So what our
[00:18:02] Guest: research was about is producing approximate spectra.
So approximate barcodes or finger. Well, a whole set of, um, phosphorous containing molecules. And these we picked phosphorus is sort of our first example, but we're going to extend that research to other molecules and eventually produce proximate the picture of thousands of molecules because 16,000 is our target.
And the interesting thing here is that previously there's really, really high resolution data on probably. You know, a hundred to a thousand molecules, depending on what sort of data you're looking at. Whereas there's no data on a whole bunch of other molecules. So we actually got some approximate data using a technique called computational quantum chemistry, which basically means we put molecules into a computer.
And then we sold the equations that describe the motion of electrons within that molecule and the motion of nuclei within that molecule. And then it gave you.
[00:19:00] Stuart: It's like a barcode patent. You can place it on an atmosphere and say, ah, there are these points here, which are common and that indicates this sort of molecular compound.
[00:19:11] Guest: So in general, spectra is what we call them basically a barcode. And it says. Each molecule has a unique back card, which tells you which colors of that molecule absorbs and at what intensity, and that changes as a function of temperature and the amount that it absolves obviously changes with how much the molecule is there.
And currently we can only detect a certain number of faces, but the paper that we wrote paves the way for us to detect many more spaces, it's not sufficiently accurate for many purposes, but what it is. But figuring out, even now he's even astronomy site. I think we've found this molecule in an exoplanet or this molecule in Venus or a different planet.
We can use our data to science. That's one molecule. You think Don is most likely in the particular atmosphere. So it helps identify other potential candidate molecules that a particular barcode could be. And that will inform future speculation. So for example, exoplanets , but the specter of a settling is really quite similar that C H H, and so.
Um, people which one they actually found embedded that I can help you. That sort of
[00:20:24] Stuart: thing.
[00:20:26] Guest: Exactly. So you need the correct barcode for lots of molecules in order to be able to find the molecules
[00:20:33] Stuart: is going to be an important piece of software to have, because. With programs like James Webb about to come online?
Well, hopefully that's the sort of, one of the things that James will be looking at will be atmospheres in exoplanets.
[00:20:48] Guest: Amazingly. I think when James Webb was hypothesized that I don't think exoplanets have been discovered yet. And now that James Webb is hopefully gonna launch exoplanets and searching, searching the atmospheres of exoplanets and molecules is one of the key fights.
The James Webb space telescope, and it will spend a lot of its time hunting for molecules and exoplanets. And part of my research is giving them the data that will allow them to do that. So one molecule I've studied in the past is titanium oxide, which just imagine titanium bonded with oxygen. And it's a really weird molecule to chemists that to astronomers.
It's really, really important in hot objects. We give them a lot of this really, really accurate data. But the new paper that we've just published is about going will with only giving you data, a handful of these. What is it something else that we haven't given you really, really accurate data for? What if we give you an approximation?
Just so you can check. I think an analogy might be a good way to think about it. So you've got fruits in a shop and, you know, the 10, most common fruits, you know, an apple banana orange and strawberry, and that's fine. But what if you had some unusual fruit because you're in the tropical environment. Yeah, exactly.
And if you don't have. Knowledge about what a plant looks like or what he, what he's or what unusual fruit look like. You might look at some of these things and go say, you didn't know what a lemon wasn't you looked at a lemon, you might go, oh, that looks fairly similar to an orange. So I'm going to call it an orange, but it's very, very much an orange.
And that's the sort of thing that we're, there's a risk with the James Webb space telescope. We might be looking at the apples, so we find apples, but there might be unusual fruits that we don't look for. Unusual molecules
[00:22:36] Stuart: code. What about the sorts of things you're likely to find in the atmosphere of an x-ray?
[00:22:41] Guest: That's an excellent question. And I think to figure out what we're likely to find, we actually really need to use an interdisciplinary team and we need to work with the people who the astrobiology. And the people that, uh, searching for the origin of life on earth. And there, the interesting thing about this particular paper that we worked with, we actually got experimentalists and computationalists we got astronomers, we got geologists, we got origin of life experts and put them all together.
And it was really insightful, I think, to understand what the origin of life, how can we, they've got theories about how life. And actually one of the key questions is how did phosphorus become bioavailable? So how did phosphorus getting to our bodies in phosphorous is one of the most important elements in our body.
Biologically, it's actually really, really hard to get out of work. And when I was talking to the origin of last and the geologist, PayPal, what the collaboration did was allow us to take the next step and say, okay, how can we see that it's gotten out of work? How can we see it atmospherically? And. Look at the atmosphere of a planet and understand what's going on geologically and what's going on chemically and maybe start to understand that will origins of life, which is of course, really the main, it's the main hope of.
Yeah, exactly. We're going to be lucky if we get that, but that's one of the big nuggets to understand if life was there. And if so, how did it arise? And is it similar to how
[00:24:18] Stuart: let's talk? The Laura McCamish from the university of new south Wales and this space? Still the calm, a rare at Arctic solar eclipse and later in the science report, the artificial intelligence design life form, which has developed a new never before seen in nature form of replication, all that and more store to calm on space, time.
The Antarctic has experienced the rare total solar eclipse. And it's given researchers a unique opportunity to learn more about how solar eclipses affect space, whether a total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes directly between the earth and the sun covering the son's entire face. The seen from her.
Yeah. Although the sun is 400 times bigger than the moon. It's also 400 times further away. Usually the moon will orbit just a little bit above or a little bit below the sun and see you don't get a solar eclipse, or if you do, it's only a partial eclipse, but every now and then orbital mechanics allows the moon's orbit around the earth and the Earth's orbit around the sun and the distance between the three bodies to line up.
Exactly. So the moon appears to totally cover the face of the sun as seen from her. And for it to happen and neither the Arctic or Antarctic is even rarer. For example, the next total solar eclipse in Antarctica won't take place until 2039. The thing you've got to remember about this is that during the Southern hemisphere summer, the sun never actually sets below the horizon.
And so even when the eclipse took place, which is around four in the morning, the sun was still present or that very low in the sky. Event was only visible in Antarctica, swimming across the runny ice shelf and Ellsworth land with the rest of that didactic, that impartial shadow, total solar eclipses provide researchers with an opportunity to understand how switching the sun on and off affects local space.
Whether the natural fluctuations in the space environment close to worth caused by the. Professor Mervin Freeman and fellow scientists from the British Antarctic survey use the event to measure changes in Earth's magnetic field caused by the turtle eclipse. They placed low power of magnetometers along the alignment of the eclipse to examine variations in the Earth's magnetic field strength, these form part of a network of space where the sensors located at both polar regions and in space changes to its magnetic field of caused by electrical currents in the upper atmosphere.
And these currents are created by space weather. As solar wind particles streaming from the sun, slam into the earth, ionosphere and magnetosphere. They then follow a magnetic field lines down towards the north and south magnetic poles. And these are the same carrots which generate the Aurora Borealis and Aurora plus the Northern and Southern lines.
And while the auroral activity looks spectacular, they can also cause unwanted electrical currents and power grids, overloading circuits, and damaging transformers. Scientists knows solar eclipses change electrical currents in the upper atmosphere by increasing electrical resistance, but they don't fully understand how this happens.
That's where this research. We also want to see how it changes to the Antarctic. Current caused by the eclipse could indirectly affect currency in the Arctic, in the upper atmosphere, and even in space affecting satellite navigation. This space-time
And time to take a brief look at some of the other stories making using science this week with a science report, China has launched a cyber attack against Australia. This one targeting to Queensland power stations had the hack been successful. It would have blacked out up to 3 million homes. The attack has tried to gain access through the pal company's corporate computer system.
In order to reach generators, supplying the grid with 3,500 megawatts of electric. I T security technicians say the event was part of China's people's liberation armies efforts to test cyber security systems using a sustained ransomware cyber attack tactics, which Beijing will use during times of war.
The attack was thwarted by kind of measures, designed to separate the company's corporate and operational computer systems. Last month, China's cyber attacks, targeted India's utilities and infrastructure sites. Also trying to shut down a powerful. Less G Beijing was also behind the malicious and sustained cyber campaign designed to infiltrate Australian banks, transport networks, hospitals, universities, crucial infrastructure, and the military that followed earlier attempts to hack into federal parliaments, computer networks just last week, Microsoft disrupted one Chinese hacking group, which had carried out attacks across the United States and 28 other countries.
And Taiwan says it's subjected to some 5 million cyber tax every day. Most of them from Beijing Australia has seen a 15% increase in cyber tax over the past year. That's roughly one, every eight minutes. Almost all of them originate from either China, Russia, or Iran. Scientists have used artificial intelligence designed organisms based on living frog cells to develop a new never before seen in nature form of reproduction.
COVID Xeno bots. These computer designed hand-built organisms can self-replicate in the lab by manipulating loose cells together to form you multicellular organisms. Michael Levin from Tufts university in Massachusetts and Josh Bangarra from the university of Vermont. Together with colleagues began extracting rapidly dividing frog, embryo stem cells.
The cells would naturally form bullshit clumps of around 3000 cells within five days. The half millimeter wide organisms were covered in minuscule hair-like structures that acted like flexible ORs or flanges, which propelled the scenar butts forward in corkscrew paths. The authors then discovered that individual clumps appear to work together in a swarm, pushing together, other loose cells in the dish, creating new generations of Siena bots.
However, initially the process only worked for a couple of generations. The team then allowed artificial intelligence to take her. It designed a C shaped Zena bought that look like a Pac-Man, which would gobble up the loose cells and then form them into new generations of Xena bots, which could then repeat the process over and over again.
For successive generations, archeologists have discovered the remains of a 2,100 year old Hellenistic fortress in central Israel. The fight includes a two story high structure with seven rooms, stairwell weapons, burnt wood beams and dozens of coins. There remains a locator on the Hilltop and are about 15 by 15 meters wide and some five meters high and include sloping, perimeter walls built from large stone, some three meters.
The site piece will be part of afforded fired line erected by the Hellenistic army to control the main road, connecting the coastal Plains region of Israel with the central Highlands side, to say that based on the location and the actual logical finds there, the fortress would have been one destroyed by the has Simonian leader in Jewish priest, John high canis during his conquest of the region in 112 BCE, which is described in the book of the Maccabees.
The timing of the find was fascinating. Considering Jews were celebrating Hanukkah whose central theme is that hat Samoans, defeat of Hellenistic and the return of Jewish sovereignty to the region. To quote, the immortal Dr. Sheldon Cooper. I know we do this a lot, but it's so good. There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support clairvoyants of any kind, which means that fortune telling is a fraud.
The profession is a swindle and its livelihood is dependent on the gullibility of stupid. And with that in mind, we report a 12 year study looking at thousands of predictions by so-called psychics, which has confirmed that they're wrong. Almost 90% of the time. The greatest rate of psychic prediction project examine some 3,800 predictions made between the year 2020 20 by more than 200 well known Australian psyche.
Researchers troll through magazines and newspapers, TV, and radio websites, YouTube, and the social media in order to compel the most comprehensive list of predictions possible to them from Australian skeptic says they found only 11% of all psychic predictions turn out to be correct. Which when you think about it, it's even worse than simple guests.
[00:33:25] Tim Mendham: the greatest. I am psychic prediction project started off by one guy within the skeptics, and it just gradually grew like topsy to involve a lot of other people. It looks at all those predictions that quote, psychics, close quote, make at the start of the year, predicting what's going to happen in the next 12 months.
Sometimes more than 12 months, some of them, some of them go for years, et cetera, in. So we've looked at as many places and as many predictions as we could find scaring libraries and this sort of stuff. And this
[00:33:52] Stuart: is more than just, um, there'll be a major political disruption sometime this year. This is actual things you can put your finger on and say, Joe blogs will die tomorrow or something like that.
[00:34:02] Tim Mendham: that's the hard bit actually, cause we actually included every prediction. Ah, I've uh, I've a 3,800. Scientific mind over 3,800 predictions made by over 200. Psychic's over a 20 year period. Okay. No one, as far as I know has ever done this before, anywhere in the world, certainly not in Australia and I data Siemens done at this extent, it took 12 years of work on and off to Esther together.
This stuffs and the prediction. Of those 3,800, where we had a panel of people to work hours and hours assessing the senior pastor collecting also assessing these predictions and they were classified according to correct. Actually say, bill blogs are going to die next Thursday, and he's going to be hit by a meteor, right?
That, that could be correct. Although there was none that was as clear. Cut. And then there were others that were so vague. You just couldn't even literally yes. Yeah. That sort of thing. Right. And then let people say, there'll be an earthquake in California. That's going a bit more detail, but you say, yeah, so it has more than one because that's the expected ones, right?
Yeah. Sort of flying freely could predict that one Nestle stating the bleeding obvious. Then there's the unknowns. You really don't know. You know how you can even find out whether something is true, might be ultra personal Nicole, Kidman's going to have an ingrown toenail fixed up. I'm not going to ask them to call.
Cause then there's those that are just wrong. Right. And that are just made of specific prediction and it didn't happen. So
[00:35:25] VO Guy: drum roll.
[00:35:30] Tim Mendham: The end result is that out of these 200 psychics, 3,800 on predictions, 11% could be classes, correct? That's
[00:35:38] Stuart: less than what you'd expect on a yes or no average,
[00:35:41] Tim Mendham: isn't it? That's right. I mean, yeah, it's probably, it's going to be no better than guessing. And in fact, skeptics often do the same thing as us.
And we did this for one particular year, made a lot of predictions for a particular year. And we actually did better than that. We had some that were vague as I did a vague on purpose, but yeah, no, we may have had a higher percent. Correct. Right. And you know, we're talking correct. As in sort of stating something that came to say, yeah, Did happen and it's not pure guesswork or it's not stating the obvious.
So, I mean, the wrongs were about 58%. I mean, 50 odd percent that were just flat out wrong. You said something specific and it didn't happen. So yeah, if the old story is that if your car mechanic got a ride, only 11% of the time, you'd say I've got to find a different car mechanic, but if all the car mechanic.
I only got a ride at 11% of the time. You think there was something wrong with the car mechanic industry? Well, the same thing applies to the psychics. I mean, these people make money out of their predictions and character assessments and that sort of stuff. I appear on TV and the TV stations who, and are over them and say, wow, this amazing United these predictions, because they have a bother going back and checking and skeptics being spoiled sports as they are.
We went back and checked for a 20 year period. It's a big, it isn't going to show you. So you're not getting bill blogs will be hit by a meteor on the 15th of July at 9:58 PM. I, while walking around the city, there was nothing like that. Now there's a whole lot of reasons that people might criticize the surf thing.
We've covered all those. We've got a report in African art magazines or skeptic, which also available publicly. This. And there are some obvious examples that people are going to use other skeptics of biased blah-blah-blah if something was expected that it should be correct. No, they are different things, all sorts of things like that.
And that we do cover, we do
[00:37:16] Stuart: explain, follow the scientific method in this pretty closely.
[00:37:19] Tim Mendham: We tried really much, we were very concerned about, uh, some predictions when we were setting them would take. To a safe, because you're looking about, you know, sort of some how well a certain team perform during a year of a football competition, you've got to go back and check every game and that sort of stuff.
So some of them took a long time to process to see if they were correct or not. Some were obviously incorrect. The most interesting thing is the things they didn't predict. It's like two Malaysian aircraft going down. And the one year Michael Jackson dying and the things I did predict that didn't happen.
Like the claim was supposed to advocate about five different times. Over the last 20 years, prince Harry wouldn't have be king Harry. We would have anti-gravity machines, all sorts of, he had the weed on the
[00:37:56] Stuart: wonderful, when I was making them a flying car by now. And it's still not definitely horrible.
[00:38:01] Tim Mendham: It's yeah.
The thing is this person, the psychics will make a lot of vague predictions and some specific ones. Specific one comes true, even by chance, they will dine off that for the rest of their lives. It was a fairly scientific assessment done in a very, as, as unbiased away as possible. We think we found every prediction.
There's probably a band that be somehow that's out there that we haven't found. And then we've looked at these clients, assess them closely by a panel of people over a long period of time. And the result is 11% could be classed as correct. And that's not enough to actually build an industry. And now there's some, some of the sockets coming in saying, well, we don't really predict.
We're actually there to help people. So yeah. Run away, run away from the results.
[00:38:43] Stuart: We'll leave them off their money. What sort of reaction I've had among the legitimate community about this?
[00:38:49] Tim Mendham: I mean, obviously there's a lot of people out there who believe in psychics, but there's a lot of people out there who say.
If stating the bleeding obvious to say that it's like he's of doing it, but yeah, this is
[00:38:58] Stuart: stating we have this documentation, which has figures and reports in it that actually provides the evidence. That's the key thing here. Isn't it? That's right.
[00:39:06] Tim Mendham: Hard numbers. So it's not just a feeling I know from anecdotally the psychics don't work.
This is hard numbers, hard research over a long period of time as comprehensive as possible, as far as. And never been done before. And that's it. He just, the numbers are there. I see. You know, and in this case, the numbers that
[00:39:24] Stuart: that's to Mendham from astray in skeptics,
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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.