Aug. 30, 2021

New Observations Say Saturn’s Core is Fuzzy

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 97
*New observations say Saturn’s core is fuzzy
A new study has concluded that Saturn’s core is a fuzzy diffuse soup of ice, rock, and metallic fluids rather than a...


The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 97
*New observations say Saturn’s core is fuzzy
A new study has concluded that Saturn’s core is a fuzzy diffuse soup of ice, rock, and metallic fluids rather than a solid ball of rock.
*Extraterrestrial radioactive isotopes discovered on Earth
Scientists are needing to rethink the possible origin of some of the heaviest elements on the periodic table following the discovery of plutonium-244 alongside radioactive iron-60 in oceanic crust.
*Moon mission delayed by at least a year
NASA’s hopes of sending humans back to the lunar surface in 2024 have just been dashed because of delays in the new spacesuits being developed for the mission.
*We’ve just had a Blue Moon – or did we?
In case you missed it – the full moon on Sunday, August 22nd was a "Blue Moon" according to the original - but not the most popular - definition of the term.
*The Science Report
July had gone down in history as the hottest month ever recorded on Earth.
A new study warns that vaping impacts your body from the very first drag.
Swiss researchers have set a new record for the famous mathematical constant Pi.
Skeptic's guide to phrenology and zombie science
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Transcript

SpaceTime 20210830 Series 24 Episode 97

[00:00:00] Stuart: This is space time series 24% 97 for broadcast on the 30th of August, 2021. Coming up on space time, new observations suggest the planet center has a fuzzy core, extra terrestrial radioactive isotopes discovered on earth. And it's official NASA's mission to put people back on the moon delayed by at least a year or that, and more coming up on space time.

[00:00:30] VO Guy: Welcome to space time with Stuart Gary

[00:00:50] Stuart: A new study has concluded that Saturn’s core is a fussy diffused soup of ice rock and metallic fluids rather than a solid terrestrial [00:01:00] sphere. The findings reported in the journal nature, astronomy are based on an evaluation of observations of ripples in Saturn’s majestic ring system. In the same way that quakes on terrestrial worlds can provide insights into their internal structures.

[00:01:15] Stuart: Oscillations in Saturn’s interior caused the gas giant to jiggle, which in turn causes ripples in its rings. The findings based on 13 years worth of observations by NASA Cassini spacecraft also suggest that sentence core is huge extending across 60% of the planet's entire diameter, making it substantially larger than previously estimated.

[00:01:39] Stuart: The data also shows that saddens caused some 55 times more massive than the entire earth with 17 earth masses of that being ice and rock and the rest of fluid of metallic, hydrogen, and helium, the study's lead author NASA. Christopher Malcovich says the findings off of the best evidence yet for satins fuzzy [00:02:00] core and are also in line with recent evidence from NASA, Juno emission, which suggests that Jupiter may also have a similar diluted core.

[00:02:08] Stuart: He says these fuzzy cause are a lot like a sludge of hydrogen and helium gas, which gradually mix with greater and greater amounts of ice and rock. The deeper one moves towards the planet center. Mag of it says, sat in is always quaking, but it's subtle with a planet surface only moving at about a meter, every one or two hours, like a very slowly rippling layer.

[00:02:31] Stuart: And that's a rather appropriate analogy because satins overall density is incredibly light. In fact, it's less than water, which theoretically at least means if you could put satin on the lake, it would float like a seismograph sentence rings, pick up these gravitational fluctuations and the ring particles, then start to wiggle around and respond.

[00:02:53] Stuart: The gravitational ripples. Also show that while slushing around as a whole sentence, interiors composed of stable [00:03:00] layers that formed as heavier and heavier metals sank towards the middle of the planet and start mixing with the lighter materials above them, classic differentiation. And that's only possible if the fraction of ice and rock gradually increases with depth.

[00:03:15] Stuart: Of course, there's a big problem with all this. The findings challenge, current models for gas, giant planetary for me. As models have always held that the Rocky cause formed first and then they attracted lodge, gaseous envelopes. But if the cause of the gas giants are indeed fuzzy and the data on satin and Jupiter tend to suggest that's the case, then planets might instead incorporate guests a lot earlier in the process.

[00:03:41] Stuart: And that'll give astronomers a lot to think about this space time. Still the calm, extra terrestrial, radioactive isotopes discovered on earth and NASA long awaited mission to send people back to the moon delayed by at least a year, or that are more store to come [00:04:00] based

[00:04:00] VO Guy: time.

[00:04:17] Stuart: Scientists needing to rethink the possible origins of some of the heaviest elements in the periodic table. Following the discovery of plutonium 2 44 alongside radioactive I in 60 in earth, oceanic crust, the findings reported in the journal science suggest the two isotopes evidence of violent cosmic events in the vicinity of earth, millions rather than billions of years ago.

[00:04:41] Stuart: Light elements like hydrogen and helium together with tiny amounts of lithium and beryllium were formed during the creation of the universe in the so-called big bang, 13.8 billion years ago, elements heavier than hydrogen going right up to iron can be fused in the cause of stars through a process called nucleus [00:05:00] synthesis.

[00:05:00] Stuart: But some even heavier elements like say galley, moon, bromine needs something more such as the explosive death of a star in an event called a supernova. And still even heavier elements, such as gold, uranium and plutonium, which are the most neutron rich require process called rapid neutron capture in which the atomic nucleus is bombarded with neutron Sophia.

[00:05:22] Stuart: It doesn't have time to split apart. These types of events it's always thought to be caused by far more violent events in supernova, such as the merging of two neutron stars, the super dead, still a cause of stars far more massive than the sun that have already gone supernova. The problem is that discovery of plutonium 2 44 in the Earth's ocean crust.

[00:05:43] Stuart: Dare I say, muddies the water forcing scientists to rethink the origins of these elements. Eddie's lead author, professor Anton Wolmer from the Australian. Well university says the discovery suggests a complex picture. You see any plutonium, 2 44 [00:06:00] iron 60 that exists, and the earth formed from interstellar gas and dust.

[00:06:04] Stuart: Some 4.6 billion years ago would have long since the case. So the current traces, which have been detected on the Asian crust, must've originated far more recently from some fairly recent cosmic event in space. Walnut says that discovery suggests that the paternity and may have formed in a supernova or it's left over from something even more spectacular, such as a neutron started to nature.

[00:06:30] Stuart: Wallner and colleagues use the vaguer accelerator and STO the Australian nuclear science and technology organization in Sydney to identify the tiny traces of plutonium. 2 44 Walnut says the dating of the sample confirms two or more supernova explosions must've occurred near earth. He says this that it could be the first evidence that supernova do.

[00:06:53] Stuart: Indeed produce plutonium 2 44. Or it could be that it was already in the interstellar medium before the [00:07:00] supernova went off and it was simply pushed across the cosmos to rain down on earth, together with a

[00:07:10] Guest: one is a form of firearms. And the other one is a very heavy one is a very neutral. They do not naturally exist existed on earth while this sort of system is formed. But since then, so the idea was if we find some radionuclides, it's very likely that the inputs. There is a bit of production. This means man-made production of iron, but this is very much related to the last 70 years or so since nuclear activities have

[00:07:53] Stuart: started, your elements were found at the bottom of the ocean in, in ocean sediments.

[00:07:58] Guest: So, yeah, we were [00:08:00] looking for quick, your remote areas and in the deep ocean sediments crops, which grow very slowly over time and they incorporates poppy and an at-home switcher in the ocean. And this is happening over millions of years. So we had samples that cover the time period from presence up to about 10 million years into the past.

[00:08:24] Guest: And we had a time profile, so we could different layers at different layers for response times. And. It'd be cool to identify different concentrations of

[00:08:38] Stuart: by doing this. What was the picture you were able to build on? Yeah,

[00:08:41] Guest: what we found is first of all, we found that the concentration of the sixties around 60.

[00:08:49] Guest: Is largely used in supernova, explosions and supernova explosions happening organically, maybe two times per hundred years. [00:09:00] And now it can happen to such a supernova explosion can take place close to the solar system and the checklist material from the supernova can penetrate deep into the solar system and may eventually find its way into

[00:09:17] Guest: where we found. And actually we found two signals, one enhanced influx of this very special super indicator. This was between one and about three to four minutes before presence, but there was also a second influx at the hound six and a half to seven years ago. So these IRAs 60 presence tells us about 10 million views.

[00:09:42] Guest: There were two events of supernova explosions in the solar system,

[00:09:47] Stuart: least likely to be the progenitors to the local bubble that we're going through now.

[00:09:54] Guest: Um, we don't know, but there are models which, [00:10:00] which actually simulates the conditions and the predict that about maybe 10 to 15 supernova explosions, might've happened in the last 10 to 15 million years and responsible for this structure.

[00:10:17] Guest: Because the solar system is not volume pretty much just in the pocket. The idea is that the supernova explosions basically emptied this volume in the last few years. Yes. So it's pretty likely that one of the supernova also close part of the solar system at some stage, so that could ensure it's material.

[00:10:46] Stuart: It makes that even more interesting is that we think we can see the remnants of all that in the ladies.

[00:10:55] Guest: Yeah.[00:11:00]

[00:11:01] Guest: The trajectories. Yeah. So if we know that the supernova explosions happened, maybe 2.7 million years ago, it's not cleaner because the influx is pretty broad. And we don't know what, even if we do not understand yet why influx it is the youngest one is still maybe for one, two, or even three rather long term influx.

[00:11:22] Guest: So people try to.

[00:11:26] Stuart: Yeah.

[00:11:26] Guest: Yeah. People try to model the trajectories of one could be what you mentioned, but there are other candidates as well at the time, about two to three years ago is a theme within a system. So let's say between fifty two hundred, a hundred twenty pounds, and people are trying to, to get what information also from observation.

[00:11:52] Guest: Just see if they can get better in order to have a more precise.

[00:11:59] Stuart: What about the [00:12:00] plutonium? 2 44?

[00:12:02] Guest: It's a bit different because in contrast to Ireland, we do not know where it is perfused, and this is one of the candidates for the so-called our process. And our process is a process. We know, exist in nature, and it is responsible for the production of about half of

[00:12:24] Guest: run in heavier. We know that, but the second half of this process is still a mystery and in particular plutonium 2 44, because it's a very. It's brought us into this process and, um, the two candidates, which we'll see leave in the past could synthesize is still unknown. Again, supernova explosions like island 60, and the other one would be useful.

[00:12:53] Guest: For example, people in between these two.[00:13:00]

[00:13:00] Guest: support the effect of thousands or so three era supernova explosions in our candidates. And our idea was then can we find,

[00:13:14] Guest: because the medication that it needs to be coordinated, maybe even we could link it to. Production and

[00:13:29] Guest: samples correlated with the iron's. Interestingly, however, the concentration of 2.2, four, four to be too low in order to explain it, supernova, make all the opposites. So we see some of the plutonium, maybe not enough. It's not sufficient. Supernova can be

[00:13:57] Guest: compared to the typical times [00:14:00] to generate the next generation. No thoughts about what this cost. Would it be possible? Neutron star merger checked it into the interest in a medium. And in a later time, then supernova independent over the material from the interest of a medium that contains

[00:14:30] Guest: 60. You're pointing to four, four being pushed against the solar system.

[00:14:39] Guest: Much longer time ago. And at the same time in just a few rows,

[00:14:47] Stuart: do we find the plutonium 2 44 in both iron peaks? Yes. We find

[00:14:51] Guest: it in both arm peeps. One thing still is that we have a much higher concentration. It's about a four. What is it? Making it more Ireland? 60 in this [00:15:00] class, plutonium 2, 4, 4. So the detection of plutonium is even more difficult.

[00:15:06] Guest: And would this be too broad, which means you only have three independently cross material with covering is 10. So you have no time resolution in here. The next step would be in progress. We have a much in shop samples, which allows us to get a bit of time green solution influx. Beta idea really follows the crime profile at this stage during this to peak the concentration of plutonium and Tyrone seems to be the concentration itself is lower.

[00:15:45] Guest: But this is coordinated so higher and lower and lower. This is a coordination between these two, but where did the origin, the productions you supernovae or not? It's difficult to [00:16:00] charge. What we know, of course the concentration of seems to be lower as mentioned before, in order to explain the opposite, this is a business, the other fine.

[00:16:12] Stuart: It makes it sound like we're in a pretty busy part of the, uh, galaxy.

[00:16:16] Guest: If you look through the map, then you'll see two supernova explosions, hundreds, meaning. Uh, roughly that you would expect every 3 million years or so explosion that happens close by so that you might find in some, uh, terrestrial deposits.

[00:16:36] Guest: So it's not unlikely that this happened. It's probably unlikely if it becomes so close that you would expect a direct impact, let's say boss extinctions, or, or maybe. So the climate response, since this is not a, another

[00:16:53] Stuart: story, Anton Walnut from the Australian national university, and this is space [00:17:00] time still to come NASA's mission to return people to the moon delayed by at least a year.

[00:17:06] Stuart: And in case you missed it, we just had a blue moon. What did we oh, that a more steward a cam on space time.

[00:17:29] Stuart: this has hopes of sending people back to the Luna service in 2024 have just been dashed because of delays in the new spaces it's been developed for the. And Europe port from NASA's office of the inspector, generalists confirmed that the new exploration extra vehicle or mobility units or XEM uses the space suits are called the NASA speak.

[00:17:49] Stuart: Won't be ready until at least April 20, 25 at the earliest. And that's well after the plan, November, 2024 launch date for the Artemis three mission, which is meant to put [00:18:00] people back on the lunar surface, NASA needs to have two flight ready ex emus available for them. Using the original Apollo era spacesuits, which formed the basis of those used for space walks during the space shuttle era.

[00:18:13] Stuart: And it's still used today about the international space station would simply never work that's because the Apollo crews not only found them difficult to walk around and bend over in, but they found the racist, sharp glass like lunar dust was literally cutting into the suit fabric after just a few hours, making them potentially dead.

[00:18:33] Stuart: The new space suits are designed to overcome these issues, providing greater protection, improved mobility and flexibility, and also better communications, more of those Snoopy caps. But instead of NASA using a single manufacturer, then you space it's 92 primary components are being supplied by 27 different companies.

[00:18:54] Stuart: Add to that continuous changes in their specifications, such as cutting the massive each space. It from [00:19:00] 186.6 to 177.1 kilograms. And not only is that have all been scheduled, blown out by some 20 months. But so too is the budget to well over a billion us dollars. The animist program is complicated. It involves nurses, new Boeing managed SLS, super heavy lift rocket, launching a new Lockheed Martin dot spacecraft Porter, Ryan carrying a crew of four to the moon where they'll run the VU with the new yet to be built.

[00:19:27] Stuart: Lunar space station code gateway dock to gateway will be the space X, the volt spaceship, HLS or human landing system. It's based on the reasonable Starship loan system napping developed in texts. But because of lonely be used around the moon, it won't need the atmospheric hate shield or air brakes, and instead, or feature mid-body landing thrusters to avoid lunar regular dust plumes.

[00:19:52] Stuart: Of course, the gateway space station may not be ready in time. In which case the Orion capture will dock directly with a Starship [00:20:00] HLS. The first SLS is now being assembled or stacked at the Kennedy space centers, vehicle assembly. It will be used for the autonomous one test flight mission, which will carry an unmanned Ryan calf show to the moon.

[00:20:12] Stuart: And back in November F all goes well, Adam, this one will be followed by an item to mission, and that will take a cruel forest to notes around the moon and back probably sometime around 2023, and then comes to the historic Artimus three flight to the lunar surface. Now showed you for some time in the middle of 2025.

[00:20:32] Stuart: We'll keep you informed. This is space time still the cam we've just had a blue moon wood. Did we explain all that in a minute? And then later in the science report, July has gone down in history as the hottest month ever recorded on planet earth. Oh, that and more store to come on. Space time.[00:21:00]

[00:21:10] Stuart: Well, in case you missed it, a full moon on Sunday, August the 22nd was a blue moon, according to the original, but not the most popular definition of the term in modern usage. The term blue moon has come to refer to the second full moon in a month. The last time that occurred was back on October the 31st, 2020, but that hasn't always been the case.

[00:21:33] Stuart: See this popular definition was actually a journalistic and editorial goof up in the pages of sky and telescope magazine back in March, 1946, and then spread around the ward from there that traditional astronomical definition of a blue moon actually goes back to the main farmer's Almanac in the late 1930s.

[00:21:52] Stuart: The Almanac consistently used the term to refer to the third full moon and a seasoned containing four, rather than the usual [00:22:00] three full moon. Sky telescopes observing editor, Diana honey Canaan says introducing the term blue moon meant that the traditional full moon names such as Wolf, moon, and harvest moon stayed in sync with their seasons.

[00:22:15] Stuart: But in 1946, amateur astronomer and frequent contributor to sky and telescope magazine, James G. Pruitt incorrectly interpreted the almanacs description. And the idea of the blue moon being the second full moon in one calendar month was born. By either definition, blue moons are relatively rare on average.

[00:22:34] Stuart: They happen about once every 2.7 years, we get a true blue moon. That is the third full moon in a cycle of foreigner season. When the cycle of lunar phases causes a full moon to occur within a few days of either an Equinox or a solstice. The last such occurrence was in February, 2019, and the next will be in August, 2024.

[00:22:56] Stuart: On the other hand, we get the sky and telescope blue moon. [00:23:00] After a full moon occurs on the first or second night of a month, having 30 or 31 days, respectively because of this, there can never be this type of blue moon in February. It goes full moon sicker every 29.5 days. And in case you're interested the next second full moon in a month, blue moon comes in August, 2023.

[00:23:20] Stuart: This is space, time

[00:23:30] Stuart: and time to take a brief look at some of the other stories making use in science this week with a science report, July has gone down in history as the hottest month ever recorded on earth. July is average temperature. Worldwide was 16.73 degrees Celsius. Or if you prefer the old scales, 62.08 degrees Fahrenheit that 0.93 degrees Celsius.

[00:23:55] Stuart: All 1.6, eight degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century. Average of [00:24:00] 15.8 degrees Celsius or 60.46 grease Fahrenheit. It's the highest average temperature since official record keeping first began 142 years ago. The findings by the United States, national oceanic and atmospheric administration NOAA are based on combined global land and ocean surface temperatures as well as setting a new global record.

[00:24:23] Stuart: It was also the fourth warmest July in Australia and the sixth waters in New Zealand. And you study warns that vaping impacts your body from the very first draft. Previous research has already shown that both tobacco and e-cigarettes increase your levels of cellular oxidative stress, which assists in the development of many diseases for the nearest search scientists tested the level of cellular oxidative stress and a group of 32 people birth before and after either vaping or sham, vaping, puffing on a straw without nicotine.

[00:24:57] Stuart: The findings reported in the journal of the American medical [00:25:00] association show that all the 11 participants who had not previously smoked or vaped researchers recorded an increase in cellular oxidative stress in there vaped, but not those who sham vaped. On the other hand, participants who were already regular tobacco smokers or e-cigarette users, researchers didn't record any increase in cellular oxidative stress after one vaping session.

[00:25:23] Stuart: However their baseline cellular oxidative stress levels were already found to be far higher than for non-smokers Swiss. Researchers have set a new record for the famous mathematical constant PI. They have now calculated it to 62.8 trillion places using a supercomputer at the gal Boden university. The calculation took 108 days and nine hours.

[00:25:48] Stuart: PI usually simply representatives 3.14159 is defining Euclidean geometry as the ratio of a circle circumference to its diameter. And it appears in many formulas in all [00:26:00] areas of mathematics and physics, by the way, the world record for memorizing PI stands at over 70,000 digits. Imagine sitting next to that guy to identify.

[00:26:11] Stuart: For Knology is the discredited study of the relationship between cranial sizes and shapes as a proxy for brain size and shape practitioners of the pseudo science believe themselves to be able to use this information as an indicator of both the character and mental abilities of the person whose brain is being investigated.

[00:26:31] Stuart: Now, it might all be woo, but the vestiges of phrenology do remain, and they're still being used to just the fire, some common beliefs and inferences. Now a bunch of Frankenstein type scientists have used human genes to try and make monkey's brains bigger. Clearly a step toward some kind of planet of the apes movie scenario, where is developed human intellect and take over the planet.

[00:26:53] Stuart: Of course, that could only work if phonology was real. That because just as a human, with a smaller than normal [00:27:00] brain doesn't result in a loss of human intellect and monkey with a larger, the normal brain, didn't make it any smarter, just very sick and in a lot of pain. Tim minim from Australian skeptic says it's strange that beliefs such as phrenology can stick around and flourish even among so-called educated people.

[00:27:17] Stuart: He says it shows how easily group think happens, even in sight.

[00:27:21] Tim Mendham: That's kind of the bumps on the head. First that's phonology, where you can sort of shave someone's hair off, maybe hands across that one skull a little bit like you're reading a crystal ball saints where the bumps are

[00:27:33] Tim Mendham: a lot of stuff, including flying sources and astrology and Nostradamus, you name it that are into it. But, uh, phonology was sort of. Hundred and 50 years ago was so very much a Victorian era science, right? Which like I recommend, could read the character of people by the bumps on the head and you get those famous, quite attractive looking, little statuesque busts of his, all the top of the head divided up into little bits and pieces.

[00:27:54] Tim Mendham: That's not necessarily about which part of the brain they're looking at. It's actually, which part of the skull, the bumps on the [00:28:00] head suggestions later on that does the brain affects.

[00:28:04] Guest: Exterior of the skull. No,

[00:28:06] Tim Mendham: necessarily he might've had a bump at some sites, which has done something to your scalp. But what they're suggesting is that you don't need all either brain that's some people calling accidents, et cetera, and you have a partial brain that's, uh, some animal experimentation that can remove part of the brain and

[00:28:19] Stuart: that's dude who was born with literally just the very thin coating of gray matter on the underside of the skull on the inside of the skull and virtually the rest was empty, just fluid.

[00:28:32] Stuart: He was fine. Yeah. He wasn't, he wasn't Einstein, but he lived a normal life. Still is there was this guy who, um, very seriously, there was this guy who, when they did an x-ray on him, he did have a lower IQ, but nothing that would hint at what was actually going on inside. And he had just a few millimeters of gray matter coating the inside of the skull or whatever the tissue is that, that sits on the inside of the skull that protects [00:29:00] the brain.

[00:29:00] Stuart: Just had a little bit. And the rest was all spine fluid. You would never have known. There was nothing there. He was operational. He actually,

[00:29:09] Tim Mendham: you get the variation depending on how much your brain have to get the idea that you want to use templates any different. I mean, you don't need all the brain to actually be functional.

[00:29:18] Tim Mendham: You might not be as functional in every area as you would like to be. That has nothing to do with phonology because you will see them. The people who have been familiar.

[00:29:28] Tim Mendham: But, I mean, th this is it's actually, it's an article that's suggesting that it moves from phonology to brain size and how much Brian. And they're suggesting that you could take some human brain and put it in monkey, Brian, and mix it up together with ready, mix it up together. But anyway, and that would increase the intelligence of monkeys and apes.

[00:29:45] Tim Mendham: And therefore you end up with planet ice take over and leave. The rest of us behind is a long bow to draw or whatever the expression is in some of this stuff, which you sort of say, yeah, well sort of. To go from chronology to indicate how [00:30:00] much brain power you have to, how, um, how your brain can be used.

[00:30:03] Tim Mendham: It's an interesting journey to, for some people to take thought experiment, but the link between skull shape and brain activity.

[00:30:12] Stuart: That's Tim Mendham from Austria in skeptics.

[00:30:30] Stuart: And that's the show for now. Space-time is available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through apple podcasts, iTunes, Stitcher, Google podcasts. Okay. Casts, Spotify, a cast, Amazon music bites.com. SoundCloud, YouTube. Your favorite podcast, download provider and from space-time with Stuart, gary.com space times also broadcast through the national science foundation on science own radio and on both iHeart, radio and tune in.[00:31:00]

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[00:32:02] Stuart: Your window on the universe.

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Tim Mendham

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