Aug. 24, 2021

Red Dwarfs Less Harmful to Exoplanets than Previously Thought

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 96
*Red Dwarfs less harmful to exoplanets than previously thought
A new study suggests planets orbiting around red dwarf stars may be more habitable than previously...

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 96
*Red Dwarfs less harmful to exoplanets than previously thought
A new study suggests planets orbiting around red dwarf stars may be more habitable than previously thought.
*Space Station mishap worse than thought
Mission managers at NASA have revealed that the Russian module malfunction which sent the International Space Station out of control for 47 minutes, spun the orbiting outpost around on its axis one and a half times affecting communications and power collection.
*Rocket Lab launches US Space Force payload
Rocket lab has successfully launched a new mission for the United States Space Force. The mission was the first since a rocket failure two months ago.
*China’s busy launch schedule continues
China has launched a new military communications satellite – its fourth launch in a week.
*The Science Report
The Gulf stream losing stability.
The human race is now in a better position to eradicate COVID-19 than it was for polio.
Locally extinct western barred bandicoot returned to Sturt National Park.
New species of ancient crocodile uncovered in southern Chile.
Skeptic's guide to fake COVID jab certificates.

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SpaceTime S24E96 AI Transcript

[00:00:00] Stuart: This is space time series 24 episode 96, coming up on space time, could red dwarfs be less harmful to exoplanets than previously thought? It turns out that Russian space station mishap was much worse than previously reported and rocket lab successfully launches a new mission for the United States space force, all that and more coming up in space-time

[00:00:24] VO Guy: welcome to Space Time with Stuart Gary

[00:00:44] Stuart: A new study suggest planets opening around Red Dwarf stars may be more habitable than previously thought. Planets orbiting around red dwarfs should be ideal places to search for life. After all red dwarfs, the most common stars in the universe making up at least [00:01:00] 80% of all stars, and they have extreme longevity living for trillions of years, far longer than the 13.8 billion year age of our universe.

[00:01:10] Stuart: That provides plenty of time for life to develop on any planets opening a red Wolf hose star in its habitable zone. The area around the star where liquid water is essential for life. As we know it could exist on the planet surface and read off stars, low mass and limited brightness means it's also easy to detect planets orbiting the habitable zones around these stars.

[00:01:31] Stuart: Observations using the European Southern observatory is harp spectrograph on the 3.6 meter, less Selah telescope in Chile suggest at least 40% of all red dwarfs have earth or super size Rocky planets orbiting within their habitable zones. But there is a big problem with red dwarfs. Their low Stella flux means any habitable zone would be extremely narrow.

[00:01:53] Stuart: And because the planet would need to be extremely close to its host star. It would likely also be tidally locked, resulting in [00:02:00] extreme temperature differences created by one side permanently facing the star and the other side in perpetual darkness. But the biggest problem by far is that red was frequently generating tense, stellar flares, far more than stars like our sun, still a flares and magnetic explosions on stars that expel intense electromagnetic radiation into space.

[00:02:21] Stuart: That was coming from our son. I called solar flares and they cause space weather, which can damage spacecraft affect radio communications and navigation systems even cause power blackouts on the earth surface. But the sun's flare is a fairly small that is coming from red dwarfs are both far more violent and more numerous.

[00:02:41] Stuart: Large flares are associated with emissions of energetic particles that can slam into exoplanets orbiting, those stars altering, or even eroding away their atmosphere, irradiating their surfaces and evaporating any liquid water on the surface. All this would act to limit any chance of life developing on such a [00:03:00] world.

[00:03:01] Stuart: Now and you study reported in the monthly notices, the Royal astronomical society claims stellar flare activity might pose only a limited danger to planetary systems suggesting the radiation bursts don't explode in the direction of the exoplanets. The findings are based on observations from masses, transiting, exoplanet survey, satellite tests, the authors devolved, the method to locate where in a star surface, the flares are being lost.

[00:03:27] Stuart: And they found that extremely large flares are usually launched from near the poles of red dwarf stars rather than from near their equator as is typically the case for our son. They achieved this by analyzing so-called white light flares on fast rotating red Wolf stars. These types of flares last long enough that they brighten us as observed by tests various as they rotate in and out of view on the stellar surface.

[00:03:52] Stuart: The team found the rotating flares by pressing the, it was a more than 3000 red dwarf stars gathered by tests among these [00:04:00] stars. They found four with flares, large enough for their new method. They use the precise shape of each Daz, like Irv to infer the latitude of the flaring region and found that all four flares occurred above approximately 55 degrees latitude, which is much closer to the poles and spots and flares on the surface of our sun, which usually occurred below 30 degrees latitude.

[00:04:22] Stuart: The findings have implications for the models of the magnetic fields of stars and for the habitability of exoplanets that orbit. See exoplanets orbiting in the same plane as the equator. Vistar like planets of our own solar system orbiting around the ecliptic of the sun. Would therefore be largely protected from such flares as these would be directed upwards or downwards out of the interplanetary system.

[00:04:45] Stuart: This space time, still the calm. The Russian Majorca space station mishap was much worse than originally reported and rocket lab successfully launches a new mission for the United States space force, all that, and more still to [00:05:00] come on space

[00:05:01] VO Guy: time.

[00:05:17] Stuart: Mission managers that NASA have revealed that the Russian module malfunction would set the international space station out of control for 47 minutes, spam the orbiting outpost around them. It's access one and a half times effecting communications and power collection. It means the original estimates at the space station was Fung 45 degrees out of alignment have now been revised with a final number, being a 540 degrees split.

[00:05:42] Stuart: The Russian federal space. Didn't see it as cosmos as blame soft ratios for the sudden thruster ignition aboard the new Naoko multipurpose Labar tree module, which pushed the space station out of orbital alignment. It seems that software problem caused Naoko to try and Undark and move away from the [00:06:00] space station, a situation in which had it succeeded in, ripping off at stocking clamps would have been disastrous.

[00:06:06] Stuart: The crew aboard the space station only knew what was happening when alarm started sounding and they saw the earth and stars appearing to move away from where they should be. Mission managers in Moscow initially used thrusters on the adjacent Vista service module to try and stabilize the opening out post a veteran.

[00:06:22] Stuart: He led to a tug of war between the two modules, counteracting each other and putting further stress on the docking clan. Eventually the thrust is on the dock progress. Cargo ship Rosser fired up by Moscow to provide the additional thrusts needed to bring the space station back under control until now York is thrust.

[00:06:39] Stuart: His family ran out of propeller. The 20 tons, 30 meter long Nuka at launched the board of Russian proton. Amarok I from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the central Asian or public Stan hay day. So yeah, docking the earth facing part of this visitor service module. Just three hours before the thruster malfunction, it's now [00:07:00] been revealed.

[00:07:00] Stuart: There were problems with Naoko shortly after proton orbit, insertion, just as no AKI began deploying its Saraj raised navigational antennas shortly after state separation. The problems include the inability by mission managers in Moscow to confirm that an antenna and docking target deployed is expected.

[00:07:18] Stuart: And there were also issues with infrared sensors and the modules thrusters, even before it reached the space station, it would appear. Then I took a module was never fit to launch into space in the first place. But after 26 years of construction and countless delays, it seems Russian mission managers we're prepared to take the risk.

[00:07:39] Stuart: Of course they won't have bought the space station. This spacetime still the com rocket lab successfully launches a payload for the U S space force and China's busy launch it, or continues with the deployment of a new military communication, satellite, all that, and more store to come on space.[00:08:00]

[00:08:14] Stuart: Rocket lab has successfully launched a new mission, the board and the electron rocket for the United States space force. The flight was the first, since the rocket failure, two months ago, the mission from the company's launch complex one on new Zealand's may peninsula placed the experimental monolith satellite into a 600 kilometer high, low earth orbit vehicle is on internal power lock slowed, complete system and reset culation and he drives during discipled stage one and stage two

[00:08:40] Tim Mendham: are pressed for flight.

[00:08:41] Stuart: High flow engine purchase enabled deluge is activated

[00:08:45] Tim Mendham: ten nine,

[00:08:47] Stuart: eight, seven six five or.[00:09:00]

[00:09:04] Guest: we, uh, off the pad and on our way to space. Once again, with successful liftoff from rocket lab launched conflicts one right now, electronic is traveling at over 500 kilometers an hour. And just passing three kilometers in altitude very soon, electron will approach me execute or maximum dynamic pressure.

[00:09:23] Guest: That moment when forces are at their greatest on the launch vehicle, let's listen in for the call for mission control that electron has passed that phase. The

[00:09:31] Stuart: vehicle is supersonic approaching Mexico clear.

[00:09:37] Guest: There's the call-out electron has successfully passed through max queue. Propulsion is continuing nominally on the first stage as we approach the next event and electric I'll get

[00:09:47] Tim Mendham: you to do 30

[00:09:48] Stuart: kilometers.

[00:09:49] Stuart: Speed is 1.3

[00:09:51] Tim Mendham: kilometers per second.

[00:09:52] Guest: AOS ChathamSTEM first up the nine rather good engines will throttle down before shutting off completely otherwise known as main [00:10:00] engine cutoff or Mico shortly afterward. We'll see separation of the first and second. Followed quickly by ignition of the single Rutherford engine on electron second stage, a successful maker stage separation, and second stage engine.

[00:10:17] Guest: Next we'll be coming up on fairing separation. This is when the two halves of electrons fearing separate and fall away in preparation for payload deployment. And there it is there in her super righted near, and the wife would kind of like deployment coming up in approximately 30 minutes from now.

[00:10:32] Guest: Meanwhile, stage two is continuing well to orbit carrying the kick stage and the monolith. And we are looking at a healthy stage to burn four minutes and five seconds into the mission at an altitude of about 10,000 plus and a velocity of over 165 electron continues nominally we're in the middle of our stage two burn taking us to an elliptical orbit after which the kick stage will separate in preparation for payload deployment, all systems continue to look nominal ahead of [00:11:00] kick stage separation is the battery hot swap on our way to orbit?

[00:11:03] Guest: We are traveling at a speed. 13,000 kilometers with an altitude of over 200. Now for one of the events of the launch of unique to electron the battery. GSSM the fuel pumps and electrons, Rutherford engines are powered by batteries, but once those batteries are depleted, it's just added weight that we don't need to carry all the way to orbit.

[00:11:25] Guest: So we swap out the depleted batteries for a fresh new one to keep electron second stage of going all the way we call this maneuver battery hotspot. It's coming up next and there it goes, pulling away. Meaning that battery hotspot has been.

[00:11:40] VO Guy: Is battery discharged, holding

[00:11:42] Guest: nominal. Electron second stage is now approaching SICO or second engine cut-off much like main engine cutoff.

[00:11:49] Guest: The stage two Rutherford will throttle down before they kick stage separates ahead of payload deployment. We are now eight minutes and 13 seconds into flight and everything is looking [00:12:00] great for payload deployment and approximately 45 minutes. Stay true. Shut down. Stay true separation. And that confirms the electron second-stage engine has shut down and the kick stage and second stage have separated.

[00:12:13] Guest: So the kick stage will now enter what we call a coasting phase while it's in an elliptical orbit before its Curie engine ignites to circularize the orbit payload deployment,

[00:12:23] Stuart: the mission named it's a little chillier. Yeah. It was designed to see how a deployable sensor, which makes up a significant fraction of the spacecraft's total mass would affect the satellites dynamic properties and its ability to maintain spacecraft attitude control.

[00:12:38] Stuart: The experiment could see the future use of smaller satellite buses deploying larger sense of payloads. It was rocket labs, fourth launch this year and the 21st flight of the electron rocket. The mission was originally meant. The fly from rocket labs, new launch complex at NASA is wallop solemn flight facility on the Virginia and mid Atlantic coast.

[00:12:58] Stuart: Construction of the wallop sign [00:13:00] on pad was completed in December, 2019, but software coding issues have delayed Neta certification of the autonomous flight termination system, native for rain safety, forcing the flight to be moved to New Zealand. It was also the first rocket lab mission since may the 15th, when an electron rocket carrying two black sky earth imaging satellites fail to reach orbit that electron and its payloads began tumbling out of control just after the stage two engine ignited investigations by rocket lab overseen by the us federal aviation administration determined that a 40 igniter system on the electron rockets.

[00:13:36] Stuart: Second stage Rutherford engine was the cause of the failure. The issue triggered a corruption of signals within the engine's computer, causing the rockets, thrust the vector control to deviate outside normal parameters shutting down the engine rocket lab says new redundancies have now been included through a vet, a similar igniter problem occurring in the future.

[00:13:56] Stuart: This is space time still. The cam China's busy [00:14:00] launch schedule continues with four rocket launches in a week. And later in the science report concerning evidence that the Gulf stream is losing its stability or that a mall store to come on space time.

[00:14:28] Stuart: China has launched a new military communications satellite it's fourth origin a week. A mission about a long March three bay rocket deliver the yard Ching or China set to a spacecraft into geostationary orbit. The flight was launched from the GI Chang satellite launch center in Southwestern China. It marked the 28th over the launch this year and the ninth since July the first.

[00:14:51] Stuart: Earlier in the week along March six, rocket was launched from the Tahoe and satellite low and century Northern China's young Z province, carrying the kale beet or a and B [00:15:00] technology demonstration satellites. They were placed into a 900 kilometer high orbit to test laser communications and electric thruster technologies.

[00:15:09] Stuart: Meanwhile, the ice space hyperbola one rocket failed during its test flight from the Jiuquan satellite low Insentra Northwestern. China's Kanji province. The 24 meter tall solid fueled rocket was attempting to carry a classified 300 kilogram payload into a 500 kilometer high orbit. It was ice spaces.

[00:15:28] Stuart: Second launch failure at a three Oberlo attempts. The busy week started with the launch of a long March 2d rocket. Also from Shaquan. It was carrying a new earth observation, spy satellite for the Chinese military. The launch of the TN who 1 0 4 had been delayed since July the 15th. She had a technical issue.

[00:15:47] Stuart: Beijing claims the spacecraft will conduct land and resource surveys, update global mapping and undertake scientific research. In reality, it's a stereotype of graphic three-dimensional mapping satellite [00:16:00] operated by the people's liberation army and equipped with both a survey camera and a CCD camera with a ground resolution of five meters.

[00:16:08] Stuart: The spacecraft was successfully placed the door 504 kilometer high sun synchronous. Since 2016, Beijing's launched some 84 yanks by satellites and more than 136 earth observation satellites designed to provide near continuous high resolution monitoring of areas of interest to China. This space-time,

[00:16:38] Stuart: our Meditech. Another brief look at some of the other stories making use in science. With a science report and you study warns that one of the planet's key circulation systems overturning circulation system, which includes the Gulf stream has now been losing stability for around a century. The findings reported in the journal nature, climate [00:17:00] change, warn that a potential collapse of the circulation, which influences weather systems worldwide could have severe consequences.

[00:17:07] Stuart: Previous studies have already shared that the system is currently at its weakest in more than a thousand years. The new findings support the assessment that this decline is not just the fluctuation in linear response to increasing temperatures, but likely means the approaching of a critical threshold beyond which the circulation system could collapse.

[00:17:27] Stuart: The factors contributing to this decline include fresh water inflow from the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, melting sea ice, increasing precipitation and river run. See, the problem is fresh. Water is lighter than salt water and reduces the tendency for water to sink from the surface to greater depth, which is one of the main drivers of the circulation system.

[00:17:50] Stuart: And you study claims the human race is now in a better position to eradicate COVID-19 than what it was to eradicate polio, but still considerably less than [00:18:00] for eliminating smallpox. The findings reported in the British medical journal, uh, based on a three point scoring system for 17 variables seen during both the eradication of polio and smallpox.

[00:18:12] Stuart: These include things like the availability of a safe and effective vaccine, lifelong immunity, impact of public health measures, effective government management of infection control messaging that equal and public concern about the economic and social impacts of the infection and public acceptance of infection control measures.

[00:18:31] Stuart: The study found the current pandemic to score higher than polio. The authors say the main challenges are getting the majority of people to take the vaccine and how quickly authorities can respond to the emergence of new variants. The world health organization says more than 8 million people have now been killed by the COVID-19 coronavirus with over 4.4 million confirmed fatalities and more than 205 million people infected since the deadly disease was first spread from war and China.[00:19:00]

[00:19:01] Stuart: The locally extinct Western barred Bandicoot has been returned to the Sturt national park after an absence of more than a hundred years, the threatened species once ranged right across inland Australia, including the area now included in the Sturt national park, but it became extinct for most areas for European settlement.

[00:19:20] Stuart: Now a founding population has been reinstated thanks to a collaboration led by the university of new south Wales. Their range reduction is seen as another major master and in the wild visits conservation project, which last year. So the re-introduction of bilbies Amal Garrison to the park after the eradication of rabbits and introduced predators from the area by creating one of the largest feral animal free zones in Australia, paleontologist have identified a new species of ancient crocodile from fossils uncovered in the pedagogian mountains of Southern cello.

[00:19:54] Stuart: The newly discovered species named Burke sutures, mallow grand ANSYS rammed earth during the late [00:20:00] Jurassic park, some 148 million years ago. The discovery published in the journal of scientific reports, includes parts of a skull, a vertebral column, and some lower extremities. Although only 70 centimeters long, the reptile was already showing the body plan, which should be adopted by modern day crocodiles, alligators in Cayman.

[00:20:21] Stuart: Around the world. A growing number of governments and organizations are requiring people to show COVID vaccination certificates before entering venues or traveling in Russia, criminals have taken advantage of this developing a scheme where for 15,000 rubles, you can get a fake certificate saying you've received both doses of the countries.

[00:20:41] Stuart: Home grown Sputnik, five vaccine. To amend them from Australian skeptic says it appears anti-vaxxers other prime customers. There's

[00:20:49] Tim Mendham: enough people who are anti-vaxxers who will do anything to sort of avoid the vaccine, but then also try and sort of fake their way through to suggest they've had it, which is a double thing.

[00:20:58] Tim Mendham: That's really, if you're [00:21:00] bold enough to say you're an anti-vax, but you're too scared to actually say it out loud. Let's try and think this is Russia, but it's not any Russia. It's a whole range of different places because a lot of countries are instituting the. Passport

[00:21:10] Stuart: thing. Yeah. Yeah. To show that you've had the inevitable.

[00:21:15] Tim Mendham: Yeah. And especially as countries try and open up and they want to make sure that people there have been vaccinated, sorry. These are people selling fake certificates, besides that they had both Debs and people will do anything for money and time. People will do anything to avoid quite frankly, their social responsibilities.

[00:21:29] Tim Mendham: So the only thing this is happening in several countries. So I'm looking at a website right now, which offers badges to say, I can't wear a mask, medically exempt. Fair enough. Some people are exempt and they can't wear a mask for whatever reason. And some people saying, thank you very much. This will help me sort of explain to people in the shopping center, why I'm not wearing a mask, but the fact that you can buy 10,000 of these in one go implies to me or the Europe social services center, which is handing out these to all people who need a mask or you're distributing to anti-vax as an anti COVID [00:22:00] people.

[00:22:01] Tim Mendham: And it's, it's very sad actually. And he's a professionally produced badges on a massive scale. It's a worry that these things around there, there will always be people who try and get the wine around, but they required to do and just pretend and fake and lie to sort of Cate themselves. If I'm hassled,

[00:22:19] Stuart: that's Tim Mendham from Australian skeptics.

[00:22:37] Stuart: And that's the show for now. The space-time is available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through apple podcasts, iTunes, Stitcher, Google podcast. PocketCasts Spotify outcast, Amazon music SoundCloud, YouTube, your favorite podcasts download provider and from space-time with Stewart, space times also [00:23:00] broadcast through the national science foundation on science own radio and on both iHeart, radio and tune in radio.

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VO Guy: You've been listening to Space-Time with Stuart Gary. This has been another quality podcast production from

Tim Mendham


Editor with Australian Skeptics