Aug. 10, 2022

New Record for the Most Distant and Earliest Galaxy Ever Seen

New Record for the Most Distant and Earliest Galaxy Ever Seen

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 25 Episode 88
*New record for the most distant and earliest galaxy ever seen
Astronomers have just set another new record for the most distant and earliest galaxy ever seen...

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 25 Episode 88
*New record for the most distant and earliest galaxy ever seen
Astronomers have just set another new record for the most distant and earliest galaxy ever seen – a stellar city dating back to just 250 million years after the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.
*Earth sets its own new record for the shortest day ever
If the Earth seemed to spin a little faster for you on June 29th – it wasn’t your imagination or your heart fluttering – it really did spin faster – by about 1.59 milliseconds short of a full 24 hours.
*A unique telescope array to study galactic collisions
Macquarie University have unveiled a unique new telescope array designed to search for and study ultra-faint galaxies.
*Explosive Gamma Ray Burst captured for first time in millimetre light
Scientists using ALMA the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimeter Array radio telescope have for the first-time recorded millimetre-wavelength light from a Gamma Ray Burst – the fiery explosion caused by the merger of a neutron star with another star.
*Another joint Australian and American spy satellite launched from New Zealand
Rocket Labs have launched another joint Australian and American spy satellite aboard their Electron Rocket.
*Dragon capsule debris found in Australia
Debris from the tail fin of the trunk section of a Space-X Dragon capsule has been found on a sheep pasture in the Australian Snowy mountains.
*China launches a new solid fuel rocket
China have undertaken the maiden flight of a new small payload rocket.
*The Science Report
Huanan wet markets in Wuhan confirmed as the epicenter for the spread of COVID-19.
Almost half of all Australian’s have now had COVID.
A new strain of Monkey Pox showing new and different symptoms.
Scientists say that the salt in ocean-spray might hinder lightning.
New Study says there was only one T-Rex species.
Alex on Tech upgradeable appliances
Skeptic's guide to scarry Scotland

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The Astronomy, Space, Technology & Science News Podcast.


SpaceTime S25E88 AI Generated Transcript

Stuart: This is Spacetime series 25, episode 88 Coming up on space time another new record for the most distant and earliest galaxy ever seen. Planet Earth sets its own new record for the shortest day ever. And a gamma ray burst captured for the first time in millimeter wavelengths. All that and more, coming up on Space Time.

Speaker B: Welcome to spacetime with Stewart gary.

Stuart: Astronomers have just set a new record for the most distant and hence earliest galaxy ever seen. Dating back to just 250,000,000 years after the Big Bang some 13.8 billion years ago. It's the latest in a series of discoveries by astronomers sifting through the first data from NASA's new James Webb Space Telescope. If confirmed, um, the new galaxy candidate catalog 93 316 sets a new redshift record of z equaling 16.7. Sears stands for cosmic evolution. Early, uh, release science survey. Redshift is the spectroscopic Doppler effect caused by the stretching of light from objects moving away from you due to the physical expansion of the fabric of spacetime. It's the same as the change in pitch you hear when a train passes you to station. The findings, reported in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society pushes back the cosmic dark Ages and the epoch of Reunion by hundreds of millions of years. Just last week, astronomers reported the discovery of glass C 13 a galaxy located some 13 and a half billion light years, uh, away, in the process setting a new record for the furthest, uh, and earliest galaxy ever seen. Now, if confirmed by follow up spectroscopic observations this week's new discovery pushes last week's discovery back by another 50 million years. The findings are showing that a significant population of galaxies existed far earlier than what our best computer simulations have been predicting. And that's raising some really interesting questions about how and when the first stars in the galaxy's formed. The new data being revealed by James Webb is helping to shorten the gap to the cosmic microwave background radiation the faint afterglow emitted some 2700 years after the Big Bang when the first atoms formed allowing photons to fly freely for the first time. This is space time. Still to come, planet Earth sets a new record for the shortest day ever. Uh, and a unique telescope array to static galactic collisions. All that and more still to come on Space time. Well, if the Earth seemed to spin a little faster for you on June 29, it wasn't your imagination nor your heart fluttering. The planet really did spin faster by about 159 milliseconds short of the full 24 hours. In fact, it was the shortest day on planet Earth since scientists first began using atomic clocks in the 1960s to measure the planet's rotation. An average day on Earth lasts 24 hours because the Earth completes a full spin on its axis roughly every 8,640,000 milliseconds although that varies by a few fractions of a millisecond from day to day depending on things such as internal processes within the planet's geology including friction between the planet's solid inner core outer liquid core and mantle wind sitting mountain ranges on the planet's surface and ocean tides. And, of course, the Earth's been also partially controlled by the Moon. And as the Moon moves further away from the Earth at around 3 year the planet's rotation slows down. In fact, some 1.4 billion years ago a day on Earth lasted less than 19 hours. However, over the last few years there have been several occasions when the Earth's spin has been faster than expected possibly due to a phenomenon known as Chandler wobble. First identified by astronomer Seth Carlo Chandler in the 1880s chandler wobble is a polar oscillation over a 14 month period. Chandler wobble normally is an amplitude of around three to 4 meters at the Earth's surface but it disappeared between 2017 and 2020. Natural disasters and weather effects such as El Nino can also influence the Earth's rotation. For example, the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami shortened the length of the day on planet Earth by three microseconds. The planet experienced a record breaking short day on July 1920 when the Earth completed a full rotation 1.47 milliseconds under 24 hours. And that record remained until broken by the minus 159 millisecond day on June 29. And July 19, 2020. Didn't retain the number two spot for long either with July 26, 2022 reaching a time of minus 1.50 milliseconds. So it looks like time really does fly and it's flying a lot faster for the Earth than what it should. This is spacetime. Still to come a unique telescope array of static galactic collisions and one of the most powerful explosions in the universe since the Big Bang a gamma ray burst captured for the first time in millimeter light. All that and more still to come um, on space time. Scientists at Macquarie University have unveiled a unique new telescope array designed to search for and study ultrafine galaxies. Inspired by the innovative Dragonfly Telephoto Array in the United States the new Huntsman Telescope comprises an array of ten Canon EF 400 millimeter commercially available super telephoto lenses the same as those used by professional photographers. The array has been installed in its own dome at the Signing Spring Observatory uh in far western New South Wales. It's designed to undertake deep sky surveys providing astronomers with a unique understanding about galaxy formation and evolution how galaxies form, how they grow how they engage with structures that surround them and what happens when galaxies collide. Principal investigator Dr. Lee Spitler from Macquarie University says the Huntsman Telescope's pioneering the way in which astronomers see the southern skies by capturing images of the faintest galaxy structures that conventional telescopes simply can't. The husband's ability to observe the remnants of galaxies colliding with each other and searching for some of the faintest and smallest galaxies in the universe will help astronomers better understand the potential fate of the Milky Way. In the not too distant future. Spitler says it will be crucial for understanding what might happen with our own galaxy when it collides with neighboring Andromeda M 31, a galaxy even bigger than the Milky Way over the next four and a half billion years.

Guest: So Huntsman is a new telescope built by McCoy University that is unique in that it's built from ten Canon telephoto lenses. It's designed to actually study very distant galaxies and better understand how our Milky Way is growing.

Stuart: I use those sorts of lenses to photograph trains. They are also used by other people to photograph wildlife, using them to image things in space.

Stuart: That's a little bit different.

Guest: It is, yeah. So usually astronomers, what we like to do is use very large mirrors to collect light from distant astronomical sources. And that's just because you can make a really big mirror and collect a lot of light. The problem with mirrors, though, is that they're not perfectly polished and usually they have some sort of support structure. That means that as the light is passing through the telescope, it's altered. It's not actually preserving the ultrafaint information about the astronomical sources. The cool thing about the Canon lenses is that they allow the light to pass straight through and while also preserving the information contained in that light. So you get a really pristine image and that allows you to see things you can't see with much larger telescopes that are built with mirrors.

Stuart: Is this almost like having a refractor instead of reflecting telescope?

Guest: Yes, exactly. So that's the big difference. So astronomers love to use reflectors big mirrors these days, but we're using a refractive telescope which just uses lenses and so the light is able to focus straight onto the image and actually preserve the faint information that we're after.

Stuart: And what exactly you're going to be using this new array for?

Guest: There's a few different projects, but the main one that we're really excited about is to try to understand how galaxies go through collision head on collisions with other galaxies. The reason why we're interested in this is because our own Milky Way galaxy is predicted to collide with the nearby Andromeda galaxy in about 4.5 billion years. This collision, we expect it to happen. We have some idea of what will happen to our Milky Way galaxy. But to get a better idea, what we're using Huntsman for is to actually study other galaxies that are going through this process and see how they're being changed, see what's happening in those, uh, galaxies to better understand what's going to happen to our Milky Way galaxy someday.

Stuart: There's the Cannis major dwarf galaxy and the SAGITTARIUS dwarf.

Stuart: They're colliding with the Milky Way right now.

Guest: Yeah, that's right. So we do see that galaxies tend to grow by consuming or merging with other galaxies. It tends to be smaller ones, like the two galaxies you mentioned in which you could see in the southern sky. If you know where to look for them. But occasionally, and maybe once in entire lifetime of the universe galaxy will go through a big merger. So with another galaxy of comparable size or even much larger and that will completely change the structure of the Milky Way galaxy and vanderomba that's going to collide with. So while they tend to grow a lot more frequently from tiny little galaxies falling in, the big event that's going to happen in four, 5 billion years will forever change the fate of our Milky Way galaxy.

Stuart: Uh, there've been some amazing simulations showing what's going to happen when the two do merge. A huge elliptical galaxy will be the result, some say. What's your prediction?

Guest: Yes, probably something, uh, that's more elliptical in shape. So currently, the Milky Way is spiral galaxy, big disk, lots of stars and dust that produce new stars. Same thing with Andromeda is about the same kind of galaxy, just a little bit bigger. So I think when the two kind of come together the rotation in the discs, the two galaxies will all be kind of randomized and the orbits of the stars that will be left over in the galaxy will be on more chaotic or random orbits which will make it more look more puffed up like a football or something. Elongated football.

Stuart: I, uh, guess when we talk about galactic collisions people think of smash ups, but they're not really smash up because there is a lot of space between the stars, isn't it?

Guest: That's right. Yeah. It's going to be kind of not a, uh, dramatic event. So, in fact, it'll take a long time. The merging and the collision, I guess, will kind of be drawn out over probably 5 billion years where the two galaxies will just slowly, uh, kind of mingle together. And you're exactly right, because they're mostly empty. The distance between our star and the next one is huge. There's a bunch of empty, uh, space. So you can kind of maybe imagine, like it says, if two clouds are merging, like there's little water vapor particles in the two clouds in the atmosphere and some of them will collide but the two clouds would just kind of be clouds afterwards, they just look kind of the same. The bigger clouds may be different shapes and the direction will be a bit different. But aside from that, they'll just be a cloud or our case, just another galaxy that looks a bit different is.

Stuart: One of the big fears about this collision.

Stuart: Not so much the stars bumping into each other but all the gas that will be collapsing as a result of that. And consequently, lots of new starburst. Consequently, lots of new ultraviolet radiation.

Guest: Yeah. So when you have two gas clouds colliding, I guess, um, like the cloud analogy. While the stars will kind of pass around each other the gas and dust in the Milky Way and andromeda won't kind of miss each other it will actually collide and it won't be too dramatic. But what it will do is cause the dust to be a little bit denser. And that little bit of density might actually trigger a bit of new star formation, which will indeed lead to some very bright ultraviolet bright stars to be formed. And if you're nearby one of those, you're in big trouble because the amount of UV light they put off is significant and it would definitely impact any sort of form of life that was nearby. So you're right. We probably need to maybe worry more about that. Another consequence, though, might be that you kind of consume the last bit of gas and dust in the Milky Way. So there might be a big event where a lot of stars are formed, but maybe that consumes the most of the gas that's left over. And so another potential outcome is that you have some star formation, but then that kind of is it. You stop forming, uh, a lot of stars in the future in the Milky.

Stuart: Way, dead and red.

Guest: Exactly. Yeah. So that might be a problem if you want to continue living many billions of years in the future and you need new stars to go and have it. Assuming we're kind of zipping around the Milky Way at that time.

Stuart: Yes.

Stuart: Uh, assuming that the gravitational perturbations haven't flung us off into deep space.

Guest: True. Yeah. I, um, guess the Sunday life around the time we're colliding. But if we're still around maybe like another star, then indeed we might get unlucky and get slingshotted out of, uh, the final galaxy. And you have a really long, drawn out view of it just disappearing and going away, and eventually the night sky would be pretty dark.

Stuart: Look at the bright side.

Stuart: Maybe the Earth's orbit around the sun will be expanded further out so that we'll get a, uh, nice toasty feeling instead of a sizzled up feeling as the sun expands into a red giant.

Guest: That could be another outcome. Yes.

Stuart: You look at other galactic collisions, I take it you must look at them with fascination.

Guest: That's right. Yeah. It doesn't happen too often. And I guess the hard part is that you only capture single instant in time. And so we really do look for the galaxies and kind of use one galaxy that's going through this event as kind of a snapshot and kind of produce, like, a timeline of what happens during the process of emerging. We can kind of take one galaxy and say, this kind of looks like it's just about to happen, and then another galaxy that says this is probably, like, half a billion years into the collision, and then another one that may be, like, four or 5 billion years after the collision began. And so by doing that, you can kind of piece together maybe a timeline of what might actually happen. But it's hard. So we really try to do find these colliding galaxies. And what the Huntsman telescope will do is kind of allow us to see the very end stages of that, so we won't get information about the really obvious ones. We'll look for more subtle signatures of that merging process. And that's what Huntsman, um, is really good at, looking at the diffused light that's coming off the galaxies of stars being thrown off that galaxy and look for that kind of signature. So I think that's kind of where Huntsman is selling a niche, looking at the final stages of the collision to see how the stars eventually settle down, see if they're thrown out, that kind of thing. So definitely keen to find galaxies that are going through that process.

Stuart: Now, so far, you've avoided the D word. I've got to ask you, when galaxies collide, there's got to be stuff happening with the dark matter in those galaxies. Will Huntsman do anything in that regard? Will it show us areas of density that are likely to be hosting morgue stars?

Guest: Yeah. I think we can't directly see what's happening with the dark matter. But I guess one way that we are kind of looking for things that are dark is working with radio astronomers in Australia who are looking at dark neutral gas. Hydrogen gas. And they're really good at finding this and looking for really saint structures that might be popping out or about to be involved in a collision. So what we'll do is partner with them to look for any stars that are at those locations. And if we find them with the Huntsman, then that's kind of a small mini galaxy. But if, uh, we don't find anything with Huntsman, it's actually quite kind of an interesting thing to find because in the beginning of the universe, there's a bunch of gas around and probably dark matter. And so you expect that maybe there's some failed galaxies, ones that just didn't have enough density and maybe enough dark matter to actually form new stars. And so maybe we'll get lucky and find these dark galaxies when we came up with the radio astronomers in Australia. So I think that's the main way that Huntsman can help out with that effort. Looking for galaxies are proving a galaxy is truly dark. It doesn't have any stars in it.

Stuart: An area of debate whether or not globular clusters these are collections of, uh, thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of stars all tightly packed gravitationally together. Whether these things are molecular gas, uh, and dust clouds that have all become stars at once and they're just hung around together, or whether they're the cause of galaxies that have already merged.

Stuart: What's your evidence telling you?

Guest: Yeah, I guess I would say that there's probably a mixture of both. So we do know from observing other galaxies that globular clusters are really abundant in very massive galaxies. We know that massive galaxies formed really quickly in the early universe. They were in a very dense region in the universe. There are lots of dark matter, lots of dust, gas, everything you need to produce stars. And they probably collapse very quickly under the gravitational influence. With so much dark matter and in such chaotic conditions, such dramatic bursts of star formation, you're never really going to get big clouds that collapse into a single population of stars that will be really dense. And that's exactly what probably produced globular star clusters. So probably the most of the global star clusters and big galaxies like that are from that kind of formation. Uh, but we also see smaller dwarf galaxies that have these nuclei right in the core of the galaxy. There's a really compact star cluster that we call a nuclear star cluster. But when you kind of look at that nuclear star cluster and a global cluster just floating around the Milky Way, you do see some similarities. So it does suggest that there are probably some globular clusters in our Milky Way and other galaxies as well that were once at the core of a smaller dwarf galaxy. And as the galaxy was consumed and fell into the Milky Way, it stripped off all the stars around the galaxy, except that core was still preserved because it's so dense, it can actually survive, um, something like that. And so that's probably what produced maybe the more massive globular star clusters in the Milky Way and other galaxies, a really compact, uh, bit of star formation at the center, uh, of a different galaxy, uh, that's now deposited itself, and it's now opening the Milky Way. So I think there's kind of two paths, and I think we've seen evidence of both of them probably being true. But maybe for the, uh, more massive ones, more likely that you maybe came from another dwarf galaxy that had a really compact but massive core.

Stuart: The fact that we only see them in the galactic halo, does that tend to favor one model over another?

Guest: Yes. The things in the halo of the Milky Way tend to be on orbit. The stars and the global requests that are born were kind of randomized, more circular. And bigger things that are in the disk are things that probably formed in that disc. There are rotating around the Milky Way. And so things that are in the halo, they probably the leading theory is that most of those stars actually, again, fell into the Milky Way from smaller galaxies that it consumed. And so those would have been fallen in kind of random trajectory into the Milky Way. And therefore, the stars that have stripped off that galaxy would have been thrown around and, uh, ran of orbits. And so they then kind of settle in a more randomized, kind of long, round, elliptical orbit through the Milky Way that doesn't really map onto the disk of the Milky Way because they came in on a random trajectory that had nothing to do with the disc in the first place. So, yeah, that's probably correct.

Stuart: Uh, that's Dr. Lee Spitler from Aquari University. Uh, and this is space time. Still to come, a gamma ray burst one of the biggest explosions since the Big Bang captured for the first time in millimeter wavelengths and another joint Australian and American spy satellite launched from New Zealand. All that and more still to come on Space time. Scientists using Alma the Atacama Large Millimeter Submillimeter Array radio telescope have for the first time recorded millimeter wavelength light coming from a GammaRay burst a fiery explosion caused by the merger of a neutron star with another star. The findings, uh, reported in the Astrophysical Journal also confirmed this flash of light to be one of the most energetic short duration gamma ray bursts ever recorded leaving behind one of the most luminous afterglows on record. GammaRay bursts are the brightest, most energetic explosions in the universe since the Big Bang. They're capable of emitting more energy in a matter of seconds than our sun will emit during its entire lifetime. This GammaRay burst was cataloged as Gr B 2001 Six A and classified as a short duration gamma ray burst. These explosions, which scientists believe are responsible for the creation of the heaviest elements in the universe things such as gold, platinum and uranium result from the catastrophic merger of binary star systems in Tanian neutron star. The studies, uh, lead author Tamil Elaska from the University of Utah says these mergers occur, uh, because of gravitational wave radiation removing energy from the orbit of the binary stars causing them to spiral in towards each other. The resulting explosion is accompanied by jets moving at close to the speed of light. And when these jets are pointed towards the Earth astronomers see a short pulse of gamma ray radiation what's referred to as the short duration GammaRay burst. These usually only last a few tenths of a second. Citizens then look for an afterglow and emission of light caused by the interaction of the jets with surrounding gas. Only half a dozen or so short duration GammaRay bursts have ever been detected at radio wavelengths and until now, none were, uh, detected in millimeter wavelengths. Laska says the difficulty is the immense distance to the gamma ray burst and the technological capabilities of telescopes. Short duration GammaRay burst afterglows are very luminous and energetic. But these explosions take place in distant galaxies which means the light from them can be quite faint. In fact, the light from this short duration gamma ray burst was so faint that while the early Xray observations by NASA Swift Space Telescope saw the explosion the host galaxy itself was still undetectable at that wavelength and scientists weren't able to determine exactly where the explosion was coming from. The afterglow is essential for figuring out which galaxy a burst is coming from and for learning more about the burst itself. Initially, when only the Xray counterpart had been discovered astronomers thought the burst might have been coming from a nearby galaxy. And a significant amount of dust in the area also obscured the object from detection in optical wavelength using the Hubble Space Telescope. So we have a bright burst in gamma rays, a fleeting encounter in xrays nothing invisible light. In fact, Hubble's observations revealed an unchanging sort of galaxies. But then Alma's unparalleled sensitivity and radio wavelengths, especially in the millimeter area, finally allowed the authors to pinpoint the location of the gamma ray burst with precision. This is Spacetime. Still to come, another joint um, Australian and American spy satellite launched from New Zealand, and bits of a SpaceX dragon capsule dropping from the skies. All that and more still to come on Space time. This is Spacetime briefly, in other news, Rocket labs have launched another joint Australian and American spy satellite into orbit aboard their electron launch vehicle. The NROL. 199 mission flew from launch complex one b at Rocket Lab's Mahaya Peninsula launch facility on New Zealand's North Island east coast. The mission for the United States National Reconnaissance Office in Australia's Department of Defense is the second spy satellite for the two nations to be launched in three weeks, and comes amid rising tensions in the South China Sea, where Beijing has launched what it's calling war games off the coast of Taiwan. The mission, named Antipathy and Adventure, has been delayed by several days because of high winds in the launch area. It follows the launch of the Neroo 162 mission for Washington and Canberra back on July 13. Details of both missions have been kept highly classified.

Commentator: It's early evening on August 4 here in New Zealand at Rocket Lab's Mission Control Center as we count down to the 05:00 PM. Local time launch of this national security mission for the National Reconnaissance Office. Well. Electron rocket vertical and ready on the pad at rocket Lab launch Complex one in Mahia on the east coast. My name is Mariel Baker. Thank you for joining us for our 29th electron launch to deploy the NROL 199 payload to orbit. Our first attempt at launching this antipodean adventure for the NRO was stood down earlier this week due to strong winds. But with much more settled weather today through the launch countdown. So far, we are on track for launch right at the top of the launch window, opening at 05:00 P.m. Local time. That's 05:00 Am UTC and 01:00 Am Eastern Daylight Time or 10:00 PM Pacific. If you are joining us from that time zone. Today's NROL 199 mission is the NRO's fourth launch of the year and the second on Electron from Launch Complex One. It's one of more than a half dozen launches planned by the NRA in 2022 to help provide 5000 plus government users with intelligence information that enables them to protect the United States interests and support worldwide humanitarian efforts. Shortly, we'll be rolling into the final Go no go poll for launch. Each flight controller will be asked about their launch readiness by the launch director before we proceed to liftoff. Our launch director has about a dozen Go No Go reports in the poll. And at the end of the poll, the launch director will confirm whether or not we are go for liftoff. So let's bring up the mission control nets now to listen in, this is.

Speaker F: The ldon mission proceeding with the Go No Go sequence.

Speaker UNK: Stage.

Speaker F: Go Avionics.

Speaker UNK: Go. LD.

Speaker F: Sub LD subdued. That concludes the go nogo sequence. We are go for terminal count from this time. The three word hold procedure is in effect.

Commentator: So as you heard at the conclusion of the Go No Go poll, we are moving forward with the launch of, um, the NRL 199 mission. Today's mission is our second of two back to back launches for the NRA from Launch Complex One. Around three weeks ago, on July 13, we launched the NROL 162 mission from Pad A, achieving a flawless launch and payload deployment to deliver the satellite to orbit. Now, NROL 162 and 199 are the third and fourth missions awarded to us by the NRO under their rapid acquisition of a small rocket contract known as Razor. This approach allows the NRO to pursue the use of both large and small satellites to create a space architecture to provide global coverage to help answer a wide range of intelligence questions. The first two NRO missions to fly underrazer also launched on Electron in 2020 in a showcase of the inner's capability to deploy missions from spaceports outside of the United States. It's great to be supporting the NRO once again with launches on Electron, this time from two separate pads at Launch Complex One. NOL. 199 will be our third launch from Pad B at LC One in just over five months from when it was officially opened in late February. In fact, in just over the past five weeks, we have launched three missions from LC One. The first was the Capstone mission to the Moon from tonight's launchpad, Pad B, followed only 15 days later by NROL 162 from Pad A and now NROL 199 from Pad B for tonight's launch. Having two launch pads, range assets and mission integration facilities for our own exclusive use within the same space port makes backtoback missions like L two NRO Razor launches uh, possible to start with, we can run concurrent campaigns at LC One thanks to numerous clean rooms and plenty of room in the integration hang up for multiple rockets. Two launch pads equal double the opportunity when we don't have to wait for a single pad to be refurbished between launches. And if customers missions need extra time and attention, we can keep the rest of Electrons manifest on schedule by proceeding with the next launch. So even with just one pad at Launch Complex One, electron became the second most frequently flown US. Rocket annually. And with two pads at LC One and our third in Virginia, expected to. Come online by the end of the year. We are excited to see what Electron can do with three pads across two continents for faster and reliable access to space. Today's launch will be our 29th electron launch. But in the not too distant future, we will be taking two disguise with eight different rockets. One that's more than twice as tall as Electron more than three times its diameter and capable of lifting more than 40 times the payload mass that Electron can lift. That's right. We are deep into the development of our large, uh, neutron rocket. Designed for larger payloads, constellation deployment and even human spaceflight. Neutron is a new breed of launch vehicle with reliability reusability and cost reduction hard baked into the design from day one like carbon composite structures and designs of the future like our hungry hippo faring design. Recently, we broke ground in Virginia on the production complex for Neutron and work continues there at pace. The 250,000 square foot production complex is being built on a 28 acre site nearly NASA Wallets Flight Facility and Mid Atlantic Regional Space Port on Virginia's eastern shore. Neutron's first pad will also be located there close to the launch complex. Two pad for Electron. Every launch, before we roll out to the pad and get ready for the mission of Electron each Rutherford engine goes through a rigorous test campaign. Each of these engines, and in fact, each of their components go through extensive quality assurance tests at our propulsion test facilities. Each pump and motor controller goes through a flight like acceptance test on our test rigs before they are assembled to a Rutherford. And then each engine must first pass a bench test before moving through two hot fire tests at one of our engine test south. Finally, once the engines are assembled into the nine engine configuration we call the power pack the entire first stage and its engines are tested. We call this a stack test. And this process is, in fact, repeated for stage one, stage two and the Kerry engine module on our kickstage. Running our engines at least three times before launch is one of the many ways we drive mission assurance with Electrons. Let's hand it over to our launch director to take us through the final reports from mission control operators and lead us into the ten second countdown to.

Speaker F: Lift off like computer. As goes are green.

Guest: Confirm as goes are green.

Speaker F: Econ, lock auto sequence and confirm.

Guest: Confirmed. Locked.

Speaker F: All operators, this is the LD. On mission. We are go for auto sequence start. LDS.

Guest: Go for launches green. And angel tailors is activated.

Speaker F: 987-654-3210.

Speaker UNK: Uh.

Guest: One.

Commentator: Proportional is nominal.

Guest: Discharge looks nominal.

Stuart: Detect mode.

Commentator: Here we go. T plus 50 seconds into the NROL 199 mission on its antipodeon adventure electrons engines will soon power down slightly to prepare the rocket to pass through max Q or the point of maximum aerodynamic pressure against electron during launch.

Guest: Clear. Max Q.

Commentator: And Electron has passed through Max Q, the rocket's first major test after leaving the pad at Launch Complex One on the coast. Electrons nine Rutherford engines are firing hot as they burn through the first stages. Tanks of liquid oxygen and RP One propellants T plus 1 minute and 42 seconds in. Electrons trajectory is also looking good. The rocket is at now over 30 km above Earth and moving quickly at nearly 4000 km an hour.

Speaker F: The second is the Miko Miko conference.

Commentator: There, you heard it. All three events happening back to back through Miko stage separation and Second Stage engine starts. Electron second stage continuing nominally for the NROL 199 mission. Soon it will share its payload protective fairing to lose the unnecessary weight now that the vehicle is in space. In fact, there it goes. So the payload fairing has split in half and fallen away. The NROL 199 payload is now exposed to space in preparation for payload deployment. And Electron second stage is continuing to orbit, carrying the kick stage in the payload, everything continues to look nominal, with the Rutherford engine glowing bright as it powers the mission on. The burn of this engine lasts for about seven minutes to help bring the payload closer to its final orbit before we have a second stage separation that enables our third stage, known as the Kickstage, to carry on with the rest of the mission. Our Kickstage is critical in delivering the inner road the exact orbital insertion they need for this national security payload. With its own reliable Curie engine, our Kickstage can be maneuvered precisely to achieve pinpoint Orbital drop off of the NRO's payload. That payload deployment is expected to take place around an hour from now. Stage Two propulsion Steel nominal coming up to T plus five minutes and 9 seconds. And Electron Stage Two engine continues to fire nominally along our expected trajectory, ready to deliver the uh NRO payload to space. We are about 1 minute away now from our next mission milestone the swap of our rockets batteries providing electric power to the Stage two Rutherford engine. So the Rutherford's electric fuel pumps use electricity rather than a preburner to operate. But once the batteries are drained, we don't need them anymore. They become unnecessary weight on the second stage, so they're discarded when we swap to a fresh new one that keeps the engine running. This is our battery hot swap event.

Guest: Swap, swap.

Commentator: Right on time. We have had battery hot swap on the second stage. We have had a clean run through mission milestone so far. It was only seven or so minutes ago that Electron cleared the pad at LC One, having since completed successful passes through Max Q main engine cut off and Stage separation to reach this point now in the mission. Next up will be the second stage engine shutdown uh and the final stage separation that will follow the same process as the earlier MECO and separation of the first and second stages. So right now, though, with stage two's engine still firing, the mission remains on its trajectory to orbit as expected. And all is going well for NROL 199. We are well past the Common Line now, traveling to this mission's destination in low Earth orbit. When we reach the end of this second stage burn and separate the kick stage, we'll drift along in an elliptical path around Earth before the Kickstages engine lights up and propels the mission into a circular orbit. That happens just moments before payload deployment. And the end of the mission for Rocket lab from the ground to space and on orbit operations within only an hour is pretty cool. Okay, so in the next minute or so, we should reach the final acts of the second stage for this mission, the shutdown of its Rutherford engine, called Seco before the Kickstage separates and carries on with the payload. And from there, we'll be ending the broadcast as the mission continues to its classified orbit. Second confirmation from Mission Control that the second stage engine has shut down and the Kickstage with the NRO payload has separated. There are still a couple of events to go on the third stage before payload deployment for the NRO. Our third stage will first complete that initial pass of Earth before it ignites to circularize its orbit and bring the payload to its dropoff point in space.

Stuart: Debris from the tail fin of the trunk section of a SpaceX Dragon capsule has been found on the sheep pasture in the Australian Snowy Mountains. The crash site near the new South Wales rural town of Dalgeti matches the orbital flight path of an unpressurized trunk section which should have burnt up during atmospheric reentry. Chunks of the charred debris, including a three meter fin section, were found days after locals heard a loud bang rumbling across the countryside. The trunk section is jettisoned in low orbit before the capsule begins its reentry phase into the planet's atmosphere. And this particular trunk section would have been jettisoned back in May 2021. It belonged to the Dragon Crew capsule carrying the Crew One astronauts who had been on station since November 2020. The truck would have just continued orbiting around the Earth in an ever more slowly degrading orbit, uh, bouncing off the thicker laser of the atmosphere before eventually, finally plunging down into it, which is what happened in July. The sheep farmers then discovered the debris when they were doing the local rounds of their properties. After finding the debris, they called the Civil Aviation Authority. That's the Australian counterpart to America's FAA, and they told them to call NASA. However, luckily, a scientist who had been monitoring the situation, astronomer Brad Tucker from the Australian National University, called the Australian Space Agency instead. And they were able to confirm that the remains were indeed part of a Dragon spacecraft trunk section. And the pieces weren't alone. As well as the two chunks found near Dalgeti a third piece was found further west, near the snowfields resort town of Jinderbine, china is undertaking the maiden flight of a new small payload rocket. The 30 meters tall ZK One A was launched from the Zhu Kuan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China. The new booster replaces the long March 11 as Beijing's largest and most powerful solid fueled rocket. It's designed to carry up to one and a half tons into a 500 kilometer high sun synchronous orbit and two tons into low Earth orbit. For its maiden um flight, uh, the new launcher carried what Beijing claimed with six experimental microsatellites. Meanwhile, Beijing has launched another three Yogang 35 spy satellites from a Ji Chang satellite launch center in southwestern China aboard a long March 2 D rocket. The trio enjoyed six Yogang 25 satellites launched in November last year and June this year. The spacecraft had been placed into a 500 kilometer high orbit. Beijing claimed the new satellites will be used for scientific experiments, monitoring land usage and natural resources. However, what they'll really be doing is providing surveillance, uh, and reconnaissance operations for the People's Liberation Army, providing near continuous high resolution and electronic monitoring of areas of interest to Beijing as part of the Communist government's preparations for war. China now has an estimated 521 satellites orbiting the Earth. And since 2016, Beijing has launched more than 202 Earth observations, surveillance and reconnaissance satellites, including at least 41 Go Feng and 95 Yogangs by satellites. This is spacetime and time now to take a brief look at some of the other stories making news in Science this week with a science report, a new study is confirmed that the infamous Hunan seafood wholesale markets in Wuhan was the epicenter for the spread of China's Covert 19 coronavirus in December 2019. The findings, reported in two studies in the journal Science, used official data supplied by the Chinese government to provide the most accurate, detailed maps so far showing how two separate SARS uh CoV two A and B variants of the virus spread within the markets and then beyond into the wider community. The study also confirms that live animals could have been an important likely vector for the spread. However, the studies authors point out that these weren't the first cases of Covert 19 in Wuhan, nor the only ones. The Chinese government say the earliest confirmed case of Covert 19 was on November 17, 2019, when a 55 year old man from Hub Province, who had no connection with the wet markets was officially reported as having been infected with the disease. That's a month before the wet markets became the epicenter for the outbreak. Following the November 17 case, confirmation between one and five new infections were reported every day, and by the end of December, there were 266 confirmed cases, with that number jumping to 381 the following day. The new study also confirms earlier studies in both the journal Science and the Lancet Medical Journal that the researchers could find no connection between the earliest covert cases and the wet markets. But it appears that once the disease reached the wet markets, it began spreading like wildfire a report by America's Director of National Intelligence is the Saskovy two virus most likely originated in gain of function experiments at China's Wuhan Institute of Rolology sometime before September 2019 so far, more than 6.4 million people have been killed by the covert 19 coronavirus. However. The World Health Organization says the true death toll is likely to be over 15 million. With almost 600 million confirmed cases globally meanwhile. New research shows almost half some 46.2% of adults in Australia are now estimated to have had pervert 19 by June 2022 the serious survey study by the University of New South Wales and the University of Melbourne suggests that more than a quarter of the population had been infected during the previous three month period. A 46.2% prevalence is almost triple what had been reported in the previous survey, which had estimated around 17% of the Australian population were infected by late February. The highest Saskovie to antibody positivity was in the 1829 year old age group at 61 7% the authors found the antibody prevalence was similar across all states and territories, including Western Australia. We saw an increase from half a percent to 37, uh, .5% over the three month period since the previous survey. Sera surveys provide a more complete picture of how much pervert, uh, 19 is out in the community because they measure antibodies to the virus created when the body's immune system responds to infection and that will remain present for several months. A new study warns that some people infected with monkeypox in the UK are showing different symptoms compared to previous outbreaks the findings reported in the British Medical Journal are based on a study of 200 infected people almost all the patients were men who had sex with other men and almost all had lesions on their skin, most commonly around their genitals. The authors say the most common other symptoms were fevers, swollen lymph nodes and muscle aches and pains. And some symptoms they recorded, including anal pain and swelling of the penis, had not previously been considered common symptoms in earlier outbreaks. The World Health Organization has declared monkeypox a public health emergency, as has the United States uh, government and Australia's chief medical officer has declared it a communicable disease incident of national significance. The Australian government has now begun offering free monkey pox vaccinations to all gay men scientists say that salt in ocean spray might hinder lightning during marine thunderstorms in the tropics the findings reported in the journal Nature Communications could explain why big lightning strikes seem to get worse after a storm reaches land. Scientists say that while fine aerosols were usually likely to help clouds get electrified as seen on land when over the ocean, the coarse salt particles, um, reduced the lightning by weakening the transfer of heat through the air uh a new study refutes a provocative claim made earlier this year that fossils classified as the dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex actually represented three separate species. The rebuttal, reported in the journal Evolutionary Biology and led by paleontologist at the American Museum for Natural History, finds that the earlier proposal lacks sufficient evidence to split up the iconic species. The original report, in the same journal back in March, claimed that trex should be reclassified as three separate species the standard Tyrannosaurus rex, a more bulky Tyrannosaurus Emperor Tour, and a slimmer Tyrannosaurus regina. Based on an analysis of the leg burns and teeth of 38 Tyrannosaurus specimens, the authors of the new study revisited the data presented in the earlier paper and also added data points from 112 species of living dinosaurs, other words birds, as well as four nonavian theropod dinosaurs. They concluded that the multiple species argument was based on a limited comparative sample, non comparable measurements, and improper statistical techniques. And while it's true that the fossils were somewhat variable in size and shape, a new study shows that this variation is minor and cannot be used to neatly separate the fossils into easily defined clusters. LG have launched a new product line designed to allow you to load new software into your home appliances, allowing them to be upgraded with new features to meet your changing needs. The company says the idea is to eliminate planned obsolescence currently found in many household items. With the details, we're joined by technology editor Alexhara Royce from

Speaker B: We're talking about appliances and the want to release, um, 20 of them this year that can be upgraded over time to meet new usage patterns and trends and also the needs of their customers. So, for example, an air purifying unit would be upgraded with a filter that can deal with pet hair and dander, and that would be something you purchased separately to add on to the existing unit, rather than needing to buy an entirely new unit. They're also talking about how you can have dryers that can be enhanced later on to handle different climates or fabrics, either with new accessories or with software updates that you get from the Upgrade Center on LG's Pink app, which is their app for home automation, their ecosystem of which many different devices from LG and other people already work. And they're trying to give people the feeling of having a new device throughout the lifecycle of that device. It's not the first time that it's been done. Samsung did launch a premium TV, probably nearly ten years ago, that you were supposed to be able to upgrade the chip off for a certain amount so that you'd get next year smart TV smarts and your TV purchase this year. This was meant to be a high end, top of the line unit, but they failed in sort of keeping that going because I guess the rest of the technology advanced too quickly and so that quickly disappeared. But the idea of having technology that is designed to be upgraded if you want the extra features over a number of years before they launch new models, or they might launch new models that have those features. But the upgrade part is compatible. It's something that is new.

Guest: It's different.

Speaker B: Normally, we talk about the throwaway society these days when something breaks and it's too expensive to fix, it compared with how things used to be in our parents or grandparents home when they buy a washing machine that would last a decade.

Stuart: Yeah, that's what our parents and grandparents used to look for in the cars and the home appliances they bought. These were things that they would have bought them in the 50s. They were still going strong in the yeah.

Speaker B: And potentially longer. Whereas over the past couple of decades, you would buy something that was cheap. Things were being pushed down in price, corners were being cut in factories, usually removed to China or to somewhere that wasn't being made in Germany or in America anymore. And obviously, LG would be making a lot of things in China or, uh, Korea or other places that they have manufacturing facilities. But there comes a time when you want a higher quality. And presumably, these devices won't start off at the lowest end of the rung in terms of pricing. They'll probably be more expensive. I mean, there's always a reason to spend five or ten or $15,000 on a TV if you want one, compared to the giant screens you can get for around about $1,000, depending on where you go and which model and brand you buy. But this idea of the upgradable technology is something we haven't really seen before with most home appliances. I mean, you just plug it in and use it until it need to be replaced or upgraded to see how many, uh, other companies copy this and.

Guest: How successful, uh, it is.

Speaker B: But LG talks about wanting to have 20 launches this year and launching the starting off with the washer and dryer.

Guest: So we'll see how it goes.

Stuart: That's Alex Hawa royce from itycom. Okay, it's time for our Silliest story of the week. And when it comes to scary places, you can forget Dracula's, Transylvania, or Hansel and Gretel's black forest and its cannibal witches. A selfproclaimed expert in the supernatural says Scotland is the world's most haunted place. This paranormal purveyor says Scotland's born witnessed hundreds of years of genocide, oppression, horror, magical beasties, and strange law leaving the land with unspeakable trauma. Tim Mendel from strange skeptics says those behind these letters claims are putting it all down to quantum theory. And if that doesn't set your skeptical alarm bells ringing, nothing will.

Speaker G: This is a claim, a statement put forward by people who are making a TV show about Scotland being a haunted country. So you can almost say yes. Well, they would say that, wouldn't they? For the most haunted country in the world, and you sort of wonder about this, especially this one particular expert parapsychologist that's always described as an expert. I haven't met any paranormal parapsychology researcher who is not an expert. Apparently, we're saying that almost every house in Scotland is haunted.

Guest: There's spirits, et cetera.

Speaker G: This particular person is very strange.

Stuart: They'd be scotch whisky spirits.

Speaker G: There would yeah.

Stuart: I'm sorry, carry on.

Speaker G: Okay. This particular paranormal, uh, expert, whose name is Evelyn Hollow, she says that Scotland leads the pack when it comes to gory hauntings. And she says she got into becoming a parapsychologist, which I don't think is quite the same as a paranormal investigator, by seeking to apply scientific principles to anomalous phenomena. The further into quantum theory of our work, the more things like ghost started to make sense. Now, as soon as you get a psychic or paranormal expert saying quantum, if the flag goes up, yeah.

Stuart: Quantum has nothing to do with spooks.

Stuart: Or ghosts or vans.

Speaker G: Uh, no, but it is strange. Quantum theory is a standard catchphrase. It's thrown in all the time. And we've actually wrote an article in our most recent issue in the magazine called Quantum Quackery, which is about how often it does happen. It's been happening for ages, ever since quantum theory has been put forward. And people started seeing strange things in quantum theory because quantum theory applies to subatomic level activity, but there are things that are happening which are counterintuitive. So therefore counterintuitive ghosts or psychic powers that make a huge jump and it's basically just thrown in. I dare say, if you put them to the test, most of these experts wouldn't understand what quantum theory is. I find it very counterintuitive and that sort of stuff. But the psychics and things thanks anyway. This particular paranormal expert in this TV series called Spook Scotland makes all sorts of claims. Apparently the southern part of Scotland, which is the Lowland, has a lot of ghosts, whereas the northern part of Scotland has a lot of magical beasts. She's obviously thinking, lock this monster, and that sort of stuff. So that's a pretty easy distinction to make. Why that would be the case, I've got no idea. And I don't think anyone sort of.

Stuart: Northern Scottish feel to it. Doesn't it?

Speaker G: Is it in northern Scotland? Is it anywhere?

Stuart: It's all very good and fine to criticize, um, Scotland's spooky history, but I'm talking to a person who has visited Loch Ness, looking for the Loch Ness monster three times.

Speaker G: Three times, that's right. And I visited over a long period of time, I think over about 20 years or something, basically. So I'm trying to sort of find out what was going on. And the interesting thing, and there's a lot less monster museum on the shores near a place that I have an appalling Scottish pronunciation, darling of the rocket.

Guest: Or something like that.

Speaker G: And the museum has changed over the years from initially being sort of all GungHo lock response to exist, it's real, etcetera. In a small shed, basically to a more glamorous building saying yes, there is interesting discussion about our messy and more recently it was still 20 years ago. It has super duper building, awful little light and sound displays and diarrhea and that sort of stuff, which is now more doubting. It's disappointing, actually. I'd rather go back to the first one. The only sign of the monster I saw was a roadside hamburger caravan selling monster burgers and I thought, oh my God, they caught it and cut it up. There always been pretty miserable weather when I've been up there, but it's a great place. And I recommend people drive along the south side of the lock, which is less traveled on the opposite side to where the Lock Death most museum is, because it's just beautiful.

Stuart: Seemingly hollows, is a really spooky sounding it sounds like a spooky place to, uh, visit, doesn't it?

Speaker G: That's a person. Yeah, I tell you, there's a place in Suffolk called Mendel in the Swamp.

Stuart: It's your family home.

Speaker G: I walked into the pub, the one and only pub, and said, okay, any free drinks for someone named Mendel? They said no.

Stuart: That's Tim mendel from Australian Skeptics. And that's the show for now. Spacetime is available every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through Apple Podcast, itunes, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Spotify, Acast, Amazon Music, Bytescom, SoundCloud, YouTube, your favorite podcast download provider and From Spacetime with Stewartgarycom. Spacetime is also broadcast through the National Science Foundation on science owned radio, and on both iHeartRadio and Tune In radio. And you can help to support our show by visiting the Spacetime Store for a range of promotional merchandising goodies. Or by becoming a Spacetime patron which gives you access to triple episode commercial free versions of the show, as well as lots of bonus audio content which doesn't go to air, access to our exclusive Facebook group and other rewards. Just go to Spacetime with for full details. And if you want more space time, please check out our blog where you'll find all the stuff we couldn't fit in the show, as well as heaps of images, news stories, loads of videos and things on the web I find interesting or amusing. Just go to spacetime with Stuartgarry Tumblrcom. That's all one word and that's Tumblr without the e. You can also follow us through at stuartgarry, on Twitter, at Spacetime with Stuart Gary on Instagram, through our Spacetime YouTube channel and on Facebook. Just go to spacetime with Stuart Gary and Space Time is brought to you in collaboration with Australian Sky and Telescope magazine. You're window on the universe. You've been listening to Space time with Stuart Gary. This has been another quality podcast production from

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Technology Editor

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.

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Tim Mendham


Editor with Australian Skeptics