The Astronomy, Technology and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime with Stuart Gary Series 24 Episode 44
*Mars did not dry up all at once
A new study shows that Mars didn’t lose its water all at once, but over a series of wetter and dryer periods endi...
The Astronomy, Technology and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime with Stuart Gary Series 24 Episode 44
*Mars did not dry up all at once
A new study shows that Mars didn’t lose its water all at once, but over a series of wetter and dryer periods ending about three billion years ago.
*Space junk conference
The European Space Agency is currently hosting the 8th European Conference on Space Debris in Darmstadt, Germany.
*Starlink 24 launch
SpaceX has launched its 24th Starlink mission carrying 60 more broadband satellites into orbit.
*The Science Report
Studies confirm kids are less likely to spread SARS-CoV-2.
Growing concerns about West Antarctica’s Thwaites Doomsday Glacier.
Canberra to purchase additional P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft.
New study claims drinking beetroot juice is good for improving vascular and cognitive health.
Alex on Tech: Australians spending up to six hours a day on their smart phones.
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The Astronomy, Space, Technology & Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime 20210421 Series 24 Episode 44
[00:00:00] This is time series 24 episode 44, four broadcast on the 21st of April, 2021. Coming up on space time. A new study shows that Mars didn't lose all its water at once the European space agencies, eighth European conference on space. Debris gets underway in Darmstadt Germany and space X launches its 24th.
Starlink mission. All that and more coming up on space time. Welcome to space time with steward, Gary.
Any study shows that the red planet Mars didn't lose all its water at once, but rather over a series of alternating wetter and dry periods ending about 3 billion years ago, the [00:01:00] findings reported in the journal geology are based on observations, taken by NASA's Mars, curiosity Rover, which is exploring the base of Mount sharp inside gal crater.
One of the primary goals of the curiosity mission is to study how Mars changed from a warm, wet habitable world, capable of supporting life into the barren freeze dried desert. It is today. One of the study's authors, Roger Weins from the Los Alamos national laboratory says the analysis shows that the Martian climate alternated between wetter and dry periods before it finally went completely dry.
Spacecraft in orbit around Mars had previously provided clues about the mineral composition of the slips of Matt sharp. That's one of the reasons curiosity was sent there once on the ground, the six-fold robe has been at a use its high resolution camera and rock vaporizing laser to analyze the chemical composition of those rocks, making detailed observations about the sedimentary beds and revealing the conditions under which they [00:02:00] formed.
The Casa is Rover's. Laser instrument uses an infrared colored laser beam, which heats rock fragments to around 10,000 degrees Celsius. I don't have to vaporize them. The plasma produced by this process allows scientists to take a special analysis of the chemical and mineral composition of the rocks.
And that conveys information about the geological history of Mars. Moving up through the terrain. Curiosity is observed that the types of bedrock changed drastically. Lying above the Lake deposited clays that form the base of Mount sharp sandstone layers show structures indicating their formation from wind form Junes, and that suggests long and dry climatic periods higher up then alternating, brittle and resistant beds are more typical of river floodplain deposits, signaling a return to wetter conditions.
These changes in terrain it Shen. And the rock strata indicate that the climate of Mars underwent several large scale fluctuations between wetter [00:03:00] and dry periods until the generally arid conditions observed today. Finally took hold during this extended mission. Curiosity will climb the foothills of Mount sharp and drill into its various beds for a closer look at these minerals.
The layer cake nature of Mount sharp is providing curiosity with a geological history of the Martian and landscape uncovering secrets. Simply not possible to read from space. This space-time still the com the eighth European conference on space debris now underway in Darmstadt Germany and space X launches its 24th styling mission, or that a much more sort of calm on space time.
Not all that long ago, we [00:04:00] were able to tell you that the United States strategic space command as it was then called, was tracking over 18,000 artificial objects in orbit above the earth of those around 1500 were operational satellites and the rest were either disused. Spacecraft spent rocket stages or largest segments of space junk.
Big enough to be tracked from the ground problem is we can't say that anymore. Things up there have gotten a lot more crowded. As of January the first, this year, the union of concerned scientists reports. There were some 3,372 operational satellites orbiting the earth. Now with the ongoing launches of hundreds of Starlink and OneWeb broadband internet satellites and the ever growing numbers of Chinese spy satellites being thrown into space, the skies are getting ever more crowded and the risk of collision is becoming ever more likely.
Karen estimates suggest there were more than 200 million bits of space junk, a few centimeters Alyson [00:05:00] size, orbiting the earth. And remember these objects to traveling at orbital speeds of around 28,000 kilometers per hour. That's faster than a speeding bullet. And it means when they crash into each other, they're hitting it over 56,000 kilometers an hour.
One of the big fears. Scientists have AFA cascade events. That's where satellite spent rocket stages or bits of space junk slam into each other, creating more space junk, which then slams into other space graft or space junk, creating even more space, debris and so on. Ultimately, the fear is that the earth could face a Kessel syndrome.
First proposed by a NASA scientist, Donald Kessler, back in 1978, the Kessler syndrome involves a runaway chain reaction of collisions exponentially increasing the amount of debris clouds, orbiting the earth, eventually reaching a point where the distribution of space junk and debris could render space activities, and the use of satellites in specific orbital regions, completely [00:06:00] impractical for generations.
And the idea that isn't very far fetched. Right now the international space station is regularly forced to change orbit in order to avoid space junk crews needing to seek refuge in dock capsules, just in case there's a collision and a need to undertake an emergency escape back to earth and collisions do happen.
Spacewalking astronauts have recorded impact damage on the orbiting out purse. Luckily, nothing big enough to penetrate the inner hole yet. And returning spacecraft have also shown evidence of debris impact damage caused while in orbit. And it's actually been going on for a fair while. The first major recorded space collision occurred back on February the 10th, 2009, when the 560 kilogram Iridium 33 telecommunication satellite collided with the dishes 950 kilogram, Russian cosmos 2251 satellite.
The collision occurred 800 kilometers above Northern Siberia at a relative speed of 11.7 [00:07:00] kilometers per second. That's around 42,120 kilometers an hour earth spacecraft being blasted to bits in the collision. But today the worst incident polluting space with deadly shrapnel. Wasn't an accident, but deliberate.
On January the 11th, 2007, China conducted an anti-satellite missile test using a DF 21 ballistic missile launch from the giant shank satellite lawn center to deliberately blow up a dish, use Chinese weather satellite for no other reason than to demonstrate to the rest of the world that they could do it.
The missile slammed head on into the 750 kilogram frame. Young FYI weather satellite at an altitude of 865 kilometers. Traveling at some eight kilometers per second at smashing both spacecraft into a massive debris cloud entertaining hundreds of thousands of bits of shrapnel. The event was the largest recorded creation of space debris in history.
Beijing was condemned by other nations, including the [00:08:00] United States, Britain, Japan, Russia, and Australia for their actions, which dramatically worse than the problem of space junk and increase the danger posed by space debris, to both people and spacecraft. And those fears were proven to be justified in January the 22nd, 2013, when a Russian laser ranging satellite was struck by a piece of debris from the Chinese missile test, damaging the spacecraft, changing its orbit and altering it, spin rate to address this ever growing problem.
The European space agency is currently hosting the eighth European conference on space debris in Darmstadt Germany. Scientists engineers, industry experts and policy makers are spending the four day virtual conference discussing the latest issues surrounding the growing problems of space junk. They are looking at the latest research and trying to come up with the best workable solutions to deal with a hundreds of millions of bits of space junk.
Now orbiting the earth. This report from ISA TV, [00:09:00] pan ATV supplies, ship burns up in the atmosphere over a remote part of the Pacific ocean. This re-entry was carefully planned and controlled. It's the unpredictable damage that space debris could do to orbiting spacecraft, but it's now a major cause for concern.
Space debris can be anything from the Spence upper stage of a rocket and a disused satellite to an astronaut glove or flack of paint. There are over 129 million objects estimated to be in orbit, but are larger than a millimeter and even a coin sized piece of DeBry traveling. It's up to 56,000 kilometers per hour.
We'll rip through a satellite faster than a bullet with destructive force. At the moment, the most known encounters. So between active satellites and space, they bring an example of such an event happened in 2009, where we had the collision between an active [00:10:00] telecommunication, satellite Iridium with an inactive space degree, um, satellite cosmos.
So this coalition actually resulted in, uh, thousands of fragments. And then many of them are stealing orbiting. Fragments can potentially hit other objects, producing more fragments and more collisions, a dangerous chain reaction known as the Kessler effect suggested technologies for removing space.
Debris have so far included everything from harpoons and nets to robotic arms, nothing is off the table. ISA has also commissioned clear space. One for 2025. It'll be the first mission to actively remove a piece of space junk in the form of a vaguer launcher that nobody has ever removed his space debris.
And it's a very challenging mission. So first thing is. Proving that it can be done. And that's what we are planning to do with a clear space. One mission in ISA. Then the scientists are [00:11:00] unanimous. What you need to do is to remove the big object from the most populated orbit. Why because those are the objects, which I have a higher risk of collision and which will create a cloud of smaller debris more than 6,000 satellites.
Currently orbit earth around half of these are no longer working. While many of the active satellites are essential for our modern world. Be it telecommunications, weather updates, the internet and GPS, if damaged or destroyed the impact on society would be huge. We know that space, Debra is a global problem and that calls for global collaboration.
And, um, this collaboration is done of cross to in, in scientific areas, but also among agencies. And one example is the inter agency Debbie coordination committee. IADC where they made sure space agencies work together on defining the appropriate space w [00:12:00] mitigation, uh, technologies. Forecasting the evolution of the environment and also exchanging data and info ISA, a founding member, and one of 13 space agencies on the committee is also hosting the virtual European conference on space debris from its site in Darmstadt Germany, scientists, engineers, and industry will discuss the best ways to approach the problem and how to make space more sustainable.
Agencies are currently tracking 28,000 space debris objects, and ISA is also developing laser tracking technology and AI supported automated collision avoidance systems to reduce the number of false alerts for potential collisions, the AME, however. Is to act now and tackle space debris before it's too late in that report from ISA TV, we had from xanthan economy too, [00:13:00] from the European space agency space debris office, and Louisa in a Senti and Tim flora from the European space agencies, clean space office.
This is space time still the comm space X launches its 24th Starling mission carrying another 60 broadband satellites in orbit and later in the science report and you study confirms their kids really are far less likely to spread. COVID-19 all that and more still to come. Um, space time
space X has launched its 24th Starling mission carrying another 60 broadband internet satellites in orbit. The flight about a Falcon nine rocket from space launch complex, 40 of the Cape Canaveral space while stationed in Florida brings the total number of styling [00:14:00] satellites now placed in orbit to 1,445.
That 270 kilograms satellites were successfully placed into a 550 kilometer high orbit with a sky train visible for around 20 minutes. As it orbited over Eastern Australia with sightings ranging from Melbourne to Newcastle. The constant trains of space, X styling satellites. I becoming a growing problem for astronomers they're ruining celestial images and affecting a growing amount of important scientific research.
Still space X has permission to launch at least in the 30,000 styling satellites with an option for thousands more. The mission's first stage, which had been used on six previous flights returned to earth, safely landing on the drone ship. Of course, I still love you, which had been positioned downrange in the North Atlantic ocean.
The flight was the 10th mission this year for space X, this space.
[00:15:00] And Tom Meditech, another brief look at some of the other stories making using science this week with a science report and you study as confirmed earlier research showing that children may not be as infectious in spreading the SARS cov two virus to others as previously thought. The findings reported in the Canadian medical association journal analyzed samples from 175 kids and 130 adults in Manitoba who were infected with SARS COVID to see if there's any difference in their infectiousness.
The researchers investigated viral loads in both groups that determine which were the more infectious finding that kids didn't appear to be the main drivers of SARS cov two transmission. Of the 305 samples cultured 97 were from children aged 10 years or younger. 78 were from kids aged 11 to 17 and the remaining hundred and 30 were from adults 18 or older.
The authors were able to [00:16:00] successfully grow SARS cov two virus in 93 out of the 305 samples. That's 31%. These included 57 samples or 44% from the adults. But by contrast, the virus can only be cultured in 18 samples. That's 19% of kids, age, 10 years or younger, and only 18 samples or 23% of children aged 11 to 17 put simply it means the likelihood of growing live virus from children's samples was 55% lower than from adult samples.
Some 3 million people have now died from the COVID-19 virus worldwide with another 140 million infected with a deadly disease, since it first emerged in China and spread around the world. And you study has for the first time obtained data from below West ed glacier and the news. Isn't good. Using a remotely operated submersible vehicle, ROV scientists from [00:17:00] the British Antarctic survey and the university of Gothenburg, South Florida and East Anglia found the supply of warm water to the glacier is far larger than previously thought.
And that's triggering concerns of faster melting at an accelerating ice flow. The submersible measured the strength, temperature, solidity, and oxygen content of the ocean currents under the ice shelf. The findings published in the journal. Science advances shows that warm water is approaching from all sides.
Underpinning points, critical locations with the ISIS, connected to the seabed, giving stability to the ice shelf. Bolting around these pinpoints will eventually lead to instability and retreat of the ice shelf. And subsequently the upstream glacier flowing off the land global sea level is affected by how much ice is on the land.
And the biggest uncertainty in the forecast is the future evolution of the Western Arctic I shade, which accounts for around 10% of the current rate of sea level rise, [00:18:00] billings just been awarded new contracts for 11 more PAs, a Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft for the us Navy. And two more for Australia that brings the us Navy's total Poseidon contract to 128 and 14 for the ADF.
Britain New Zealand, Norway and South Korea have also purchased pad Poseidon's while India is purchasing a variate nearness to PA I and Germany is also looking at purchasing the aircraft hammers. Also confirmed that steel to purchase three upgraded versions of the global Hawk reconnaissance drone.
That is the MQ foresee Triton and you study claims drinking beetroot juice is good for improving vascular and cognitive health. The findings reported in the journal. Redox biology share that beets are rich in inorganic nitrates, which promote communities of oral bacteria associated with healthier blood vessels and brain function.
Many oral bacteria help process inorganic nitrates found [00:19:00] in vegetable rich diets and tonight trites which act as a precursor for nitric oxide, which is a regulator of vascular tone and neurotransmission. The research by the university of Exeter suggest that adding nitrate, rich food to the diets, such as beet juice for as little as 10 days can substantially alter the oral microbiome.
Previous studies compared the oral bacteria of younger and older people and healthy people compared with those with diseases. But this is the first to test nitrate, rich diets in this way. And you steady claims that Australians are now spending up to a third of their waking hours with their eyes glued to their smartphones.
With the details we're joined by Alex. from ity.com. Apart from reviews.org has analyzed a thousand Australians and they've come up with some pretty amazing stats that extrapolate about 17 years of your life spent looking at your phone. And of course, that doesn't include. Watching TV or [00:20:00] looking at the computer screen.
So we spend a huge chunk of time on our phones. And the average is 5.5 hours per day. Now over a lifetime, that's 145,800 hours, or over 33% of your waking hours because we spend theory about eight hours a day asleep. And, uh, you know, Jen. Z is spending 7.3 hours per day, looking at their phone, you know, millennial millennials, 6.7 hours, gen X, which is from 65 to 1980, about 6,000 boomers from 46 to 1964 spent about 2.9 house.
And even the solid generation that was born between 1928 and 1945. Even they spent 2.8 hours a day. Looking at their phones. So, um, the phone has become an integral part of our lives. And of course it also goes to show that we have an outage. We had a big outage in Australia networks. Yeah. They went down for hours and people couldn't make calls or couldn't get data.
It was flipped over to three. If he couldn't get a connection, it was very slow. And so much of our lives is tied up in the digital realm. And that's why we also worry about nation state, cyber attacks, [00:21:00] Lee and pays, or those sorts of things because life was, you know, it could be wiped out well in data will be when that happens.
I mean, the, uh, the first. We're going to know about the next world war is when our fence stopped. That's right. And look, you know, some of these things can happen from space activity. I mean, in theory, there could be some knocking out of satellites by solar flares or that sort of thing. So the first interesting that maybe it's our lives are very much intertwined.
And part of the thing about Ian pace, for example, is that, and also just in terms of connectivity, Going through an outage is that we shouldn't be building technology to withstand the MPS, but that would make things a lot more expensive. And secondly, a lot of the military, the military out of the military, totally hot now show, you would hope so, but I mean, certainly the average computer at home, your phone, the typical data centers, they're not hard to such degree.
If you're a seller. Personal computers, the PC market swore by some 55% during the first quarter of 2021. Yeah. Look over the past decade and even a bit longer, patient shelves are full of, as people have purchased tablets, [00:22:00] but more importantly, smartphones with smart phones, personal computers. That's the actual computer industry hope that computers would be, but of course my friends can see my pocket, but the last quarter saw PC shells bounce back.
Well, that's all thanks to COVID. Surely people have needed to work from home. These things are up 55% on Q1, 2020 when the COVID pandemic was just hitting. And we did see that in the first few months of quarantine, certainly in Australia, but probably elsewhere around the world. It was very hot to buy new computers and printers and laptops and monitors and even secondhand stocks where.
What happens is people have to work from home to get their children studying from home and people want it to have better experience. So there was a lot of pent up demand over the past few months where people couldn't purchase things because there was no stock available. And that's something that's still happening to some degree today in Australia, it's very hard to find laser printers, a friend wanted to buy a color laser.
All the correlations are gone, and it's also very hard to get a lot of ink cartridges because so many people are now working from home. But the good news for the PC industry is that sales did go up. So claims over the past decades that [00:23:00] the PC is dead clearly is not true. And, uh, you know, Lenovo, Apple, HP, Dell, and Acer at the top five.
And not in that necessarily in that order bit of the top five vendors. And they all had double digit growth, which is a great sign. We just have to hope there are no. And pays or outages that calls are expensive technologies to become paperweight. Tell me about the upgrade for free in Australia. We have a thing called free view and TVs from about 2014 onwards.
Some of them anyway, some of the connected TVs have this free view interface, which allows you to both look at free to air TV, see an electronic program guide, and also catch up on. Uh, the free to air TV programs so they can watch them as though it was like a Netflix. We can watch them on demand. And, uh, as of the 14th of April, this system in Australia was upgraded and upgraded on TVs back to 2014.
Now certain TVs will only get a version of the accredit experience. Depending on the technology and the cheeks inside that TV, but it just makes it easier to be able to access all of the freedom services in one app on your [00:24:00] screen. Instead of having to, you know, go up and down with the remote control and flip through channels at a more basic electronic program guide, this is a much more advanced system.
And I'm sure other countries have something similar, but in Australia, if you do use TV, a lot of people don't, they use the Foxtel box or some other sort of box that has its own channels. By the way, doesn't always have all the channels, but the freeway TV, there's about 35 freeway TV channels in Australia.
There's the five major TV networks. And then they have these offshoot channels, which often playing TV shows from the eighties or the stuff that has very low viewership. Also things like shopping channels. I mean, it's the whole thing about hundreds of channels and nothing to watch, but, uh, Industry hit the free view industry.
The free television industry has upgraded the experience. And so if you do have a free view TV and you notice something different, well, they've made a change and it's not just you imagining it. Only 90% of iPhone users have iOS 14. Well, actually that's not disturbing at all. It's actually amazing because if you look at the number of people using.
Well, it should be. But if you look at the, [00:25:00] the latest, uh, the steps for the number of people using the latest versions of Android each in the single digits or in the very, very low double digits, because it's much harder to upgrade Android devices to the newest version of Android, unless it's a Google pixel phone in which patient goes back, you know, three or four years, but most Androids after a couple of years, that's it, they get no more updates and people are using older devices that are out of date, but on the iPhone side of things, you can still upgrade an iPhone six or above the iOS 14, which is.
Quite incredible. Well, it is because every time there's a new update currently we're up to iOS 14.4 0.2 or four. I can't remember which I was 14. Point five is coming soon, but every time there's a new version. Not only do they introduce new features, but they fixed bugs. And the last series last couple of updates.
But Apple themselves said we're being actively exploited by bad guys. They would allow people to run third party. Alicia software on your device could chuckle the information off your phone. You could even do things like activate [00:26:00] the camera or the speaker. I mean, they the microphone, but there's sorts of things normally used by governments to target, you know, people that, that are like journalists or rebels, whatever it might be, but it can also be used by shop criminals to just try and hack as many phones as possible and checkup as much information.
So when Apple and when Android. You know, other people have updates. It's generally an excellent idea to up straight away. And with 90% of iPhone users on iOS, we'll say 90% of people are in theory protected, but that doesn't break down, whether they're on the latest version of iOS 14, and that also leaves 10% who are on iOS 13 and iOS 12.
Now I was 12, which is for iPhone five S and lower that did get an update to guard against these vulnerabilities. But I was 13. Probably didn't because Apple wants you to move to IRS 14. So it's very important if you valve using security, all of your digital information on your phone, which is like your digital twin with all of your digital life on it, you really should make sure that you are applying all of these updates for windows, your max, your connected [00:27:00] TVs, for everything in your life that can be updated.
And if you're not sure how to do it, get the help of a friend, one of your children, get the geek, squad those guys in to come and help you because it's important. From I T y.com.
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