Jan. 27, 2023

S26E12: JWST Sees Clouds on Titan // The Red Planet’s Curiously Sized Sand Dunes // Spectacular Falcon Heavy Launch

S26E12: JWST Sees Clouds on Titan // The Red Planet’s Curiously Sized Sand Dunes // Spectacular Falcon Heavy Launch

SpaceTime Series 26 Episode 12 *James Webb sees clouds on Titan NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has turned focus onto the giant Saturnian moon Titan finding fluffy clouds in its atmosphere. *The red planet’s curiously sized sand dunes A new study...


SpaceTime Series 26 Episode 12 *James Webb sees clouds on Titan NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has turned focus onto the giant Saturnian moon Titan finding fluffy clouds in its atmosphere. *The red planet’s curiously sized sand dunes A new study has confirmed that the red sand dunes which dominate so much of the Martian landscape form the way they do because of the red planet’s thin and turbulent atmosphere. *A spectacular Falcon Heavy launch SpaceX has successfully launched its fifth Falcon Heavy in a spectacular sunset flight from Cape Canaveral in Florida. *The Science Report Scientists warning that a new coronavirus subvariant called XBB.1.5 is on the rise globally. Ecosystems in western Victoria and the west coast of Tasmania most at risk from climate change. Ancient stele makes specific references to the biblical Jewish King David. Skeptics guide to Albert the alien Listen to SpaceTime on your favorite podcast app with our universal listen link: https://spacetimewithstuartgary.com/listen For more SpaceTime and show links: https://linktr.ee/biteszHQ If you love this podcast, please get someone else to listen to. Thank you… To become a SpaceTime supporter and unlock commercial free editions of the show, gain early access and bonus content, please visit https://bitesz.supercast.com/ . Premium version now available via Spotify and Apple Podcasts. For more podcasts visit our HQ at https://bitesz.com Your support is needed... SpaceTime is an independently produced podcast (we are not funded by any government grants, big organisations or companies), and we’re working towards becoming a completely listener supported show...meaning we can do away with the commercials and sponsors. We figure the time can be much better spent on researching and producing stories for you, rather than having to chase sponsors to help us pay the bills. That's where you come in....help us reach our first 1,000 subscribers...at that level the show becomes financially viable and bills can be paid without us breaking into a sweat every month. Every little bit helps...even if you could contribute just $1 per month. It all adds up. By signing up and becoming a supporter at the $5 or more level, you get immediate access to over 280 commercial-free, double, and triple episode editions of SpaceTime plus extended interview bonus content. You also receive all new episodes on a Monday rather than having to wait the week out. Subscribe via Supercast (you get a month’s free trial to see if it’s really for you or not) ... and share in the rewards. Details at Supercast - https://bitesznetwork.supercast.tech/ Details at https://spacetimewithstuartgary.com or www.bitesz.com
#mars #phobos #falconheavy #spacetime #nasa #spacex

The Astronomy, Space, Technology & Science News Podcast.

Transcript
1 00:00:00,650 --> 00:00:07,760 This is Spacetime Series 26, episode twelve, for broadcast on the 27 January 2023. 2 00:00:08,130 --> 00:00:14,090 Coming up on space time, the James Webb Space Telescope sees clouds on Titan. 3 00:00:14,250 --> 00:00:23,050 The Red Planet, Mars, has curiously shaped sand dunes and a spectacular late afternoon launch by the Falcon Heavy. 4 00:00:23,210 --> 00:00:26,710 All that and more, coming up on Spacetime. 5 00:00:27,850 --> 00:00:31,350 Welcome to Spacetime with Stuart Gary. 6 00:00:47,370 --> 00:00:55,802 This is james Webb Space Telescope has turned its focus on the giant saternian moon Titan, finding fluffy clouds in its atmosphere. 7 00:00:55,946 --> 00:01:02,058 The discovery of Earthlike clouds adds to a growing list of similarities between the two worlds. 8 00:01:02,234 --> 00:01:05,486 Both Titan and Earth have a thick atmosphere. 9 00:01:05,678 --> 00:01:12,606 In fact, Titan is thought to have a primordial atmosphere very similar to the very early ancient Earth's atmosphere. 10 00:01:12,798 --> 00:01:21,110 And like Earth, Titan has rain, which wets the ground, forms streams and rivers, which then flow into lakes and seas. 11 00:01:21,450 --> 00:01:27,470 But unlike Earth's liquid water oceans, on Titan the liquids are methane and ethane. 12 00:01:27,650 --> 00:01:33,302 You see, Titan is so cold, water is frozen solid there, forming bedrock. 13 00:01:33,446 --> 00:01:48,206 The new James Webb Space Telescope observations were combined with Earthbound telescopes to help astronomers understand the weather patterns on Titan in advance of a NASA mission to the Moon called Dragonfly, which is slated to launch in 2027. 14 00:01:48,388 --> 00:02:03,540 Dragonfly will be a large, multi rotor autonomous lander designed to assess the habitability of Titan's unique environment, investigate the Moon's unusual chemical stew, and search for signatures of water based or hydrocarbon based life. 15 00:02:03,910 --> 00:02:10,402 Astronomers have been observing Titan for decades, ever since before the Voyager encounter back in 1980. 16 00:02:10,546 --> 00:02:16,086 But over the past roughly 25 years, they've been focusing powerful ground based and more. 17 00:02:16,108 --> 00:02:36,350 Lately, orbital based telescopes on the Moon complementing the observations of NASA's Cassini spacecraft mission to Saturn, which studied Titan between 2004 and 2017 and deployed the hoygens landed down of a surface, which upon touchdown, described what it felt as cold, wet sand. 18 00:02:37,170 --> 00:02:46,058 When the James Webb Space Telescope team took their observations of Titan, they observed what appeared to be two large clouds in the Moon's atmosphere. 19 00:02:46,234 --> 00:02:57,350 Follow up observations using the high resolution adaptive optics of the twin ten metre Keck telescopes in Hawaii confirmed the clouds and help track their movement across tightened skies. 20 00:02:57,770 --> 00:03:09,270 A series of Keck images taken about 30 and 54 hours later showed similar clouds, likely the same ones, but slightly displaced because of the moon's rotation relative to the Earth. 21 00:03:09,430 --> 00:03:19,530 Although the quality of the web infrared and Keck optical images may look about the same, web is instruments that can measure aspects of Titan's atmosphere that Keck cannot. 22 00:03:19,870 --> 00:03:28,666 In particular, Web's infrared spectroscopic capabilities allow it to pinpoint the altitudes of clouds and hazes with much greater accuracy. 23 00:03:28,858 --> 00:03:43,806 By using spectrometers on web together with the optical image quality on Kech, astronomers are getting a complete picture of Titan's atmosphere, including the altitude of the clouds, the atmosphere's optical thickness and the elevation of haze in the atmosphere. 24 00:03:43,998 --> 00:03:47,378 In particular, at wavelengths where Earth's atmosphere is opaque. 25 00:03:47,474 --> 00:03:51,298 That is, where Titan cannot be seen from any Earth based telescope. 26 00:03:51,394 --> 00:03:56,550 Webb can still observe and provide information on the lower atmosphere and surface. 27 00:03:56,890 --> 00:04:08,858 NASA's Dragonfly principal investigator, Zeb Turtle from Johns Hopkins University, says the observations was some of the most exciting data seen of Titan since the end of the Cassini Hoygens mission in 2017. 28 00:04:08,864 --> 00:04:19,934 And some of the best observations we'll get before Dragonfly arrives there in 2032, which, when you think about it, is now just nine years away. 29 00:04:20,132 --> 00:04:21,790 This is spacetime. 30 00:04:22,450 --> 00:04:31,194 Still to come, a study of the Red Planet's curiously sized sand dunes and a spectacular late afternoon launch for the Falcon Heavy. 31 00:04:31,322 --> 00:04:34,880 All that and more still to come on space time. 32 00:04:50,670 --> 00:05:02,666 A new study has confirmed that the Red Planet's sand dunes, which dominate so much of the Martian landscape, form the way they do because of the Red Planet's thin, turbulent atmosphere. 33 00:05:02,858 --> 00:05:15,010 Among the mountainous dunes and small, undulating ripples of Mars's desert like surface are sandy, dune like structures, intermediate in size, which aren't quite like anything seen on Earth. 34 00:05:15,430 --> 00:05:25,250 Now scientists have used artificial intelligence models to analyze a million Martian sand dunes and finally uncover how the sandy waves are formed. 35 00:05:25,590 --> 00:05:36,258 They've found a precise and consistent mathematical relationship between atmospheric density and the size of wind blowing ripples and dunes on all but the smaller scales. 36 00:05:36,434 --> 00:05:48,198 The findings, reported in the journal Nature Communications, suggest that scientists could use fossilized versions of these same structures to reconstruct the early atmospheric history of Mars. 37 00:05:48,374 --> 00:06:01,280 One of the study's authors, assistant Professor Matao Le portery from Stanford University, says the discovery is especially important because it's thought Mars once had a thicker, warmer atmosphere, similar to what's on Earth today. 38 00:06:01,650 --> 00:06:08,238 However, he says Mars somehow lost most of that atmosphere, turning the Red Planet into a freezedried desert. 39 00:06:08,334 --> 00:06:12,900 And scientists still don't know when, how fast, or why it happened. 40 00:06:13,270 --> 00:06:26,134 On Earth and Mars alike, wind blown sand grains pile up in mounds of different shapes and sizes, ranging from dunes that can extend for kilometres down to tiny ridges barely a centimeter high. 41 00:06:26,332 --> 00:06:31,446 On Earth, the crests of these smaller ripples are typically spread a few centimeters apart. 42 00:06:31,638 --> 00:06:38,470 They're common in deserts and on beaches, and they're seen preserved like fingerprints of ancient winds in sandstone. 43 00:06:38,630 --> 00:06:40,710 Scientists call them impact ripples. 44 00:06:40,790 --> 00:06:46,730 That's because they result from wind blown grains splashing into sand mounds like tiny torpedoes. 45 00:06:46,890 --> 00:06:54,110 In 2015, NASA's Mars Curiosity rover returned images of similar patterns on the surface of Mars. 46 00:06:54,270 --> 00:07:00,078 In addition to giant dunes, the images also showed smaller waves at two distinct scales. 47 00:07:00,174 --> 00:07:08,658 Some were similar in size to Earth's impact ripples, but others were about ten times bigger, yet still smaller than Earth's sand dunes. 48 00:07:08,834 --> 00:07:12,930 And these look like they were shaped more by airflow than sand impacts. 49 00:07:13,090 --> 00:07:20,954 Exactly how these two distinct ripples scales came to coexist and coevolve on Mars has been puzzling scientists ever since. 50 00:07:21,152 --> 00:07:29,750 One idea involved the middle size structures physically growing from the smaller impact ripples enabled by the very low Martian air pressure. 51 00:07:29,910 --> 00:07:40,190 However, instead of there being a continuous, gradual increase in size, there's an unexplainable absence of ripples with crests between roughly 20 and 80 CM apart. 52 00:07:40,530 --> 00:07:53,198 Laporteur and colleagues think these shapes could be caused by hydrodynamic instability that's already known to produce wind blown dunes in deserts and similar undulating mounds in sandy river beds on Earth. 53 00:07:53,374 --> 00:08:05,320 Researchers have also speculated that the size of larger Martian ripples and dunes, as well as ripples which form underwater on Earth, could all be controlled by the same anomaly in the flow of air or water. 54 00:08:05,690 --> 00:08:20,402 These anomalies arise only after mounds grow beyond a certain size, and they would result from an interplay among different global atmospheric properties, like the density of the air and local factors like topography and wind shear velocity. 55 00:08:20,566 --> 00:08:28,170 But until now, scientists had only ever hypothesized the existence of these anomalies from tightly controlled experiments. 56 00:08:28,330 --> 00:08:33,550 It had simply not been observed in the complex environment of natural dunes. 57 00:08:33,970 --> 00:08:40,910 So the team decided to test out their idea by connecting ripple size to atmospheric density through statistical analysis. 58 00:08:40,990 --> 00:08:43,422 Using real data from the red planet. 59 00:08:43,566 --> 00:08:56,418 The authors used more than 130,000 high resolution images of Mars captured by spacecraft and an AIbased computer model first developed to pick out different types of objects from a background by their shapes. 60 00:08:56,594 --> 00:09:09,030 They manually labeled the dunes in a small subset of images and then used those examples to train the AI model to detect dune contours and estimate dune sizes across most of the Martian surface. 61 00:09:09,190 --> 00:09:16,746 The authors then set about analyzing this vast new data set along with calculations of atmospheric density across Mars. 62 00:09:16,938 --> 00:09:22,254 What they found was that the middle sized dune waves were not impact ripples at all. 63 00:09:22,452 --> 00:09:36,306 Instead, the distinct structures on Mars are much more like miniature sand dunes that simply stop growing at a certain size because of anomalies in the airflow and the thin, turbulent Martian atmosphere close to the Red Planet's surface. 64 00:09:36,498 --> 00:09:42,310 However, the smaller dunes, just like the ripples, should decrease where the air is thicker. 65 00:09:43,450 --> 00:09:56,486 Meanwhile, the six wheel car size Mars Curiosity rover is continuing its journey of exploration through the 154 kilometer wide Gale Crater and up the side of its central peak, mount Sharp. 66 00:09:56,598 --> 00:10:02,830 The five and a half kilometer high mountain is like a geological layer cake of the local mineral composition. 67 00:10:03,250 --> 00:10:08,570 Each region represents a different period in the history of Mount Sharp and Curiosity. 68 00:10:08,650 --> 00:10:17,038 Scientists want to visit all of these places to learn more about the history of water on the mountain, which slowly dried up as the climate changed. 69 00:10:17,214 --> 00:10:28,440 Understanding how these changes occurred on Mount Sharp may provide new insights into why water, one of the most critical resources for life as we know it, disappeared from Mars billions of years ago. 70 00:10:28,970 --> 00:10:31,590 This report from NASA TV. 71 00:10:32,410 --> 00:10:35,442 NASA's curiosity rover has been exploring Mars. 72 00:10:35,506 --> 00:10:40,060 The rover is climbing a mountain, Mount Sharp, that is dry and sandy today. 73 00:10:40,750 --> 00:10:42,746 But three and a half billion years ago. 74 00:10:42,848 --> 00:10:46,060 Rivers, lakes and groundwater could be found here. 75 00:10:46,430 --> 00:10:51,430 Curiosity recently entered a valley between a ridge and cliffs higher up the mountain. 76 00:10:51,590 --> 00:10:57,710 We've been calling this area the clay unit because Mars orbiters have seen a strong clay signal here. 77 00:10:57,860 --> 00:11:01,726 That's exciting because clay minerals often form when water is around. 78 00:11:01,908 --> 00:11:02,810 From the ground. 79 00:11:02,890 --> 00:11:09,982 We can look for clues of ancient water in these cliffs above the clay unit, the same orbiters see sulfate minerals. 80 00:11:10,126 --> 00:11:20,840 That could mean that water was drying up or becoming more acidic comparing the clay and sulfate layers could give us a better idea of how the Martian climate changed over time. 81 00:11:21,610 --> 00:11:27,110 Cutting through the sulfate layer is evidence of an ancient gushing river Gettis Valas channel. 82 00:11:27,260 --> 00:11:32,730 In orbiter images, we've seen boulders and other debris that were probably washed out by the river. 83 00:11:34,110 --> 00:11:37,030 This channel formed after the clay and sulfate layers. 84 00:11:37,110 --> 00:11:41,078 It's a whole other chapter in the story of water on Mount Sharp. 85 00:11:41,254 --> 00:11:44,430 These features could teach us about more than just the mountain. 86 00:11:44,850 --> 00:11:54,320 They may help explain what changes were happening across Mars at the same time and how that affected its ability to support life if it ever existed here. 87 00:11:55,890 --> 00:11:57,440 This is space time. 88 00:11:57,750 --> 00:12:01,902 Still to come, a spectacular afternoon launch for the Falcon Heavy. 89 00:12:01,966 --> 00:12:10,594 And later in the science report, an ancient Moab Steele makes specific references to the biblical Jewish king David. 90 00:12:10,722 --> 00:12:14,040 All that and more still to come on Space Time. 91 00:12:30,130 --> 00:12:38,394 SpaceX has successfully launched its fifth Falcon Heavy rocket in a spectacular sunset launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida. 92 00:12:38,522 --> 00:12:50,510 The massive Falcon Heavy made up of three Falcon Nine boosters mounted side by side lifted off from pad 39 A at the Kennedy Space Center carrying the US space force 67 mission. 93 00:12:50,670 --> 00:12:53,998 Producing a massive £5.1 million of thrust. 94 00:12:54,094 --> 00:13:01,970 The Falcon Heavy is second only to NASA's SLS Space Launch System in terms of the most powerful rocket currently flying. 95 00:13:02,130 --> 00:13:07,698 In fact, it can carry up to nearly 30 tons to geostationary orbit, which was the target of this mission. 96 00:13:07,794 --> 00:13:16,502 Next up will be Falcon Heavy in startup and that will be at the T -1 minute mark that's where the internal flight computers take over the launch. 97 00:13:16,566 --> 00:13:17,206 Countdown. 98 00:13:17,318 --> 00:13:18,614 Falcon Heavy is in startup. 99 00:13:18,662 --> 00:13:21,450 We're now just waiting for the final call from the launch director. 100 00:13:21,530 --> 00:13:22,682 This is the mission director. 101 00:13:22,746 --> 00:13:23,530 Go for launch. 102 00:13:23,610 --> 00:13:25,118 And excellent news. 103 00:13:25,204 --> 00:13:30,766 All systems are go for launch of Falcon Heavy with USSF 67. 104 00:13:30,868 --> 00:13:47,578 T minus ten 987-65-4321 engine, full power and lift off of US SM 67, go to Falcon Heavy. 105 00:13:47,694 --> 00:13:48,118 Go. 106 00:13:48,204 --> 00:13:51,122 Space Force booster chamber pressures are nominal. 107 00:13:51,186 --> 00:13:56,690 T plus 40 seconds into flight under the power of £5 million of thrust. 108 00:13:56,770 --> 00:13:57,982 Power and telemetry nominal. 109 00:13:58,066 --> 00:14:01,306 Falcon Heavy is headed to space now. 110 00:14:01,328 --> 00:14:13,246 We did throttle down the engines around the T plus 42nd mark supersonic in preparation for Max Q and great call out there that we have passed through Max Q. 111 00:14:13,428 --> 00:14:29,214 That's the largest mechanical stress on the vehicle on ascent falcon Heavy in flight now next events coming up will be booster engine cut off or beco, followed by separation of the side boosters and followed by their side booster boost back burns. 112 00:14:29,342 --> 00:14:34,682 And then will be center core main engine cut off, or what we call Nico. 113 00:14:34,846 --> 00:14:47,190 And those events coming up here just under a minute away, that will be beco that's where the booster, the side boosters engines will shut down. 114 00:14:47,340 --> 00:14:51,690 The center core will push those side boosters away from the vehicle. 115 00:14:52,030 --> 00:14:57,290 Then those two side boosters can begin to make their way back down to Earth with their boost back burns. 116 00:14:58,030 --> 00:14:59,530 Side booster separation. 117 00:15:01,790 --> 00:15:03,594 Side core booster start up. 118 00:15:03,712 --> 00:15:10,094 We just had beaco and separation of the side boosters, and the side boosters have lit back up. 119 00:15:10,132 --> 00:15:14,698 They are now in their boost back burn, making their way back down to Earth. 120 00:15:14,794 --> 00:15:18,906 Those side boosters are returning to Florida under the power of three engines. 121 00:15:18,938 --> 00:15:21,182 That's three of the nine M 1D engines. 122 00:15:21,326 --> 00:15:34,358 Next up will be the inclusion of those side booster boost back burns, followed by Miko on the center core, as well as state separation of the center core and the second stage, and then ses one or second stage engine start one. 123 00:15:34,444 --> 00:15:41,162 Now, as I mentioned previously, per the request of our customer, we won't be showing second stage views after ses one. 124 00:15:41,296 --> 00:15:48,250 Additionally, our center core or stage one is expendable today, so we will not be attempting to recover that vehicle. 125 00:15:48,750 --> 00:15:50,358 Boost back shut down. 126 00:15:50,464 --> 00:15:52,990 Miko stage separation confirmed. 127 00:15:56,770 --> 00:16:01,850 And we had these ships on FTS to say has saved. 128 00:16:01,930 --> 00:16:11,934 We did have the shutdown of the boost back burn, we did have the shutdown of the boost back burns on the side boosters, as well as Miko on that center core and stage separation. 129 00:16:12,062 --> 00:16:15,906 We are waiting for confirmation of a call out of the faring separation. 130 00:16:16,018 --> 00:16:18,050 All vehicles are following nominal trajectories. 131 00:16:18,130 --> 00:16:28,870 So currently stage two is still making its way to its targeted drop off orbit, while the side boosters are making their way back down to land. 132 00:16:29,020 --> 00:16:32,330 And these side boosters have another burn coming up. 133 00:16:32,400 --> 00:16:34,022 That will be the entry burn. 134 00:16:34,086 --> 00:16:37,798 That will be three of nine MWD engines reigniting. 135 00:16:37,894 --> 00:16:51,626 That helps to slow the boosters down in preparation or as they reenter the Earth's atmosphere at the time of separation, the side boosters, we're traveling slow enough to turn around and make their way back to land to our side by side landing pads. 136 00:16:51,658 --> 00:16:58,974 If we have successful landings today, we'll mark the 163rd and 164th landing of an orbital class rocket. 137 00:16:59,022 --> 00:17:03,698 As I mentioned earlier, the center core will be expendable and we are not attempting to recover it today. 138 00:17:03,784 --> 00:17:07,970 Side Core entry Burns Startup the entry burns for these side boosters have begun. 139 00:17:08,050 --> 00:17:10,520 They're just about 12 seconds long. 140 00:17:12,330 --> 00:17:14,370 And Nyfts has saved. 141 00:17:14,450 --> 00:17:18,130 And the entry burns for both side boosters have now concluded. 142 00:17:18,210 --> 00:17:21,922 Now next up will be the final burn for each of these side boosters. 143 00:17:21,986 --> 00:17:23,414 That is the landing burn. 144 00:17:23,462 --> 00:17:26,266 It is just a single engine burn, the center E Nine engine. 145 00:17:26,368 --> 00:17:31,046 Each one of these M 1D engines have about £190,000 of thrust. 146 00:17:31,158 --> 00:17:35,062 That is enough to slow the vehicle down just in time for landing. 147 00:17:35,126 --> 00:17:36,546 But boosters are transcenic. 148 00:17:36,598 --> 00:17:40,270 Now that landing burn coming up here in just about 20 seconds or so. 149 00:17:40,340 --> 00:17:43,198 Landing burn will last about 20 seconds long. 150 00:17:43,284 --> 00:17:52,980 Again, we are scheduled to land on landing zone one and landing zone and there are those landing burns have begun on the side boosters as they touch down. 151 00:17:53,350 --> 00:17:55,170 Stage two is the term guidance. 152 00:17:55,510 --> 00:17:57,010 Stage two FTS is safe. 153 00:17:57,090 --> 00:17:58,790 Booster landing like deployed. 154 00:18:05,610 --> 00:18:12,838 What an incredible sight to see as we watch side boosters touchdown for landing. 155 00:18:13,014 --> 00:18:19,562 That confirms successful landing of both Falcon Heavy side boosters on landing zone one and landing zone two. 156 00:18:19,616 --> 00:18:27,466 Now with these two side boosters, this marks the 163rd and 164th overall successful landing of an orbital class rocket. 157 00:18:27,498 --> 00:18:32,490 It's also the 25th landing on landing zone one and the 6th landing on landing zone two. 158 00:18:32,580 --> 00:18:38,574 And with successful confirmation of our side boosters landing that will bring today's webcast to orbit. 159 00:18:38,702 --> 00:18:51,000 The payload included Space Force's second continuous Broadcasting Augmentation Sactom communications satellite, the first of which was launched back in 2018 on a United Launch Alliance Atlas Five. 160 00:18:51,450 --> 00:19:03,914 Also aboard was the longduration Propulsive Espa Three, a ride share spacecraft, a sort of space tug that can carry up to six spacecraft in what Space Force officials like to describe as a freight trained space. 161 00:19:04,112 --> 00:19:23,070 The payload included five satellites space Systems Command Catcher and Wasset spacecraft, and three payloads for the Space Rapid Capabilities Office, including two operational prototypes for enhanced situational awareness and a crypto interface encryption payload for secure space to ground communications. 162 00:19:23,650 --> 00:19:28,722 The flight was the second national security space launch for the Falcon Heavy, which set up the US. 163 00:19:28,776 --> 00:19:31,330 Space Force 44 mission in November. 164 00:19:31,670 --> 00:19:41,974 SpaceX has four more Falcon Heavy missions on the books for 2023, including another Space Force mission, Dub 52, which is expected to fly in the next few months. 165 00:19:59,670 --> 00:20:05,800 and time out of another brief look at some of the other stories making use in science this week with the Science Report. 166 00:20:06,490 --> 00:20:14,950 Scientists are warning that a new coronavirus subvariant called XBB Zero 1.5 is now on the rise globally. 167 00:20:15,110 --> 00:20:26,906 A report in the journal Nature says it's now responsible for 70% of South Kovi, two cases across the northeastern United States, and it will almost certainly soon dominate globally. 168 00:20:27,098 --> 00:20:44,770 The variant might not cause big waves of illness thanks to preexisting immunity vaccination and boosters, but researchers are still tracking the lineage closely, as it has a really seen mutation that makes it more infectious, which therefore creates an opportunity for more evolutionary gains. 169 00:20:45,110 --> 00:20:56,710 Over six 8 million people have now been killed by the COVID-19 coronavirus since it was first detected near China's Wuhan Institute of Virology around September 2019. 170 00:20:57,050 --> 00:21:07,610 But the World Health Organization warns that the true death toll is more likely to be around 16 million with at least 672,000,000 confirmed cases globally. 171 00:21:08,830 --> 00:21:18,986 A new study warns that ecosystems in western Victoria and the west coast of Tasmania may be the most at risk from climate change in coming decades. 172 00:21:19,178 --> 00:21:37,186 The findings, reported in the journal Nature, Ecology and Evolution compared the traits of plants currently growing in southeastern Australia to species that have existed in the region over the past 12,000 years many of these ecosystems are already facing habitat loss and species extinction. 173 00:21:37,378 --> 00:21:54,166 The authors found that up until around 6000 years ago plants in southeastern Australia were more functionally diverse with more productive growth strategies but drier unstable conditions over the past 4000 years have triggered a marked change in plant function in some of these areas. 174 00:21:54,198 --> 00:21:58,886 Ecosystems, including in western Tasmania's, ward heritage rainforest. 175 00:21:59,078 --> 00:22:14,770 The plants in these areas tended towards less productive growth strategies or mechanisms to reproduce and survive in a harsh landscape and the researchers warned that this trend is likely to continue under the more frequent droughts expected over the coming decades. 176 00:22:16,150 --> 00:22:26,098 Archaeologists have successfully translated the Misha Steele, finding that the inscription contains specific references to the biblical Jewish king David. 177 00:22:26,274 --> 00:22:33,986 Originally discovered in fragments in 1868, the famous Steele is now on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris. 178 00:22:34,178 --> 00:22:41,590 It's a large slab of basaltic rock etched with a lengthy account of King Misha Moab going to war with Israel. 179 00:22:41,750 --> 00:22:55,722 The events described correspond to a similar account of the Old Testaments to kings chapter Three the text which is written in Moabite refers to the Israelite scarred as well as the House of David and the Altar of David. 180 00:22:55,866 --> 00:23:02,394 Until now, scholars weren't sure if the references to the biblical King David were being correctly deciphered. 181 00:23:02,522 --> 00:23:22,082 But now, scientists at the University of Southern California have used what's called reflectance transformation imaging to take multiple digital images of the artifact as well as images of an original impression of it from different angles, all of which were then combined to create a very precise three dimensional digital rendering of the slab. 182 00:23:22,226 --> 00:23:45,310 This allowed the archaeologists to control the lighting of the inscribed artifact so that hidden, faint or worn incisions would become visible and when these new highresolution images were projected under the original 150 year old impression of the Steele, scientists were able to glean a much clearer picture of the ancient inscription confirming the Moabite phrase house of David. 183 00:23:46,450 --> 00:23:49,390 Okay, time now for the silliest story of the week. 184 00:23:49,540 --> 00:24:05,310 What do Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Leonardo DA vinci, plato and Socrates all have in common? Well, they're all extraterrestrials from another planet, of course or at least that's the conclusion of paranormal expert the Reverend Lionel Fanthorpe. 185 00:24:05,470 --> 00:24:11,462 For most of his adult life, the reverend phantorpe has been delving into the great mysteries of the world. 186 00:24:11,596 --> 00:24:23,398 Along with his wife of 62 years, Patricia, the duo have written hundreds of books and investigated countless seemingly unexplainable cases of strange phenona and the paranormal. 187 00:24:23,574 --> 00:24:32,010 Timendum from Australian skeptics says exorcisms, time travel and ghostly goings on are all in a day's work for the good reverend. 188 00:24:32,090 --> 00:24:49,202 This is a story of paranormal expert aren't they all? The Reverend Lionel Fan Thorpe who's convinced that there is a multiverse and that basically the human race has been created, or some members of it have been created by aliens, and that include Einstein and DA Vinci and other people. 189 00:24:49,256 --> 00:24:52,670 Any glasses as geniuses, whatever is Plato or Socrates. 190 00:24:52,750 --> 00:24:59,186 What it's saying is that smart people can only come from elsewhere and that we can only produce non smart people here on Earth. 191 00:24:59,218 --> 00:25:01,942 So we're pretty pathetic and we need the outside people. 192 00:25:02,076 --> 00:25:05,878 And of course, the thing about the Reverend Fan Thorpe is that he's been around. 193 00:25:05,964 --> 00:25:09,606 He has been a reverend for two different churches, including the Universal Life Church. 194 00:25:09,638 --> 00:25:18,086 He's an entertainer, a dental technician, a journalist, teacher, TV presenter, author, lecturer, industrial trainer, warehousman, and a van driver. 195 00:25:18,198 --> 00:25:19,622 But he knows his credentials. 196 00:25:19,686 --> 00:25:22,986 He has a lot of credentials to recognize an alien genius when he meets one. 197 00:25:23,008 --> 00:25:26,618 It's a silly story and it's wonderful for that reason. 198 00:25:26,704 --> 00:25:27,802 Always like a silly story. 199 00:25:27,856 --> 00:25:29,770 But there's no reason to believe him at all. 200 00:25:29,840 --> 00:25:31,330 That's Timidom from us. 201 00:25:31,360 --> 00:25:32,770 Australian skeptics. 202 00:25:48,230 --> 00:25:50,226 And that's the show for now. 203 00:25:50,408 --> 00:26:09,674 Space time is available every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through Apple Podcasts, itunes, Stitcher, Google Podcast, PocketCasts, Spotify, Acast, Amazon Music Bites.com, SoundCloud, YouTube, your favorite podcast download provider and From Spacetime with Stuartgarry.com. 204 00:26:09,872 --> 00:26:17,882 Spacetime is also broadcast through the National Science Foundation on Science Zone Radio and on both iHeartRadio and tune in radio. 205 00:26:18,026 --> 00:26:24,314 And you can help to support our show by visiting the Spacetime Store for a range of promotional merchandising goodies. 206 00:26:24,442 --> 00:26:37,490 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 where, access to our exclusive Facebook group and other rewards. 207 00:26:37,830 --> 00:26:41,794 Just go to Spacetime with Stuartgarry.com for full details. 208 00:26:41,922 --> 00:26:53,766 And if you want more spacetime, 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. 209 00:26:53,878 --> 00:26:56,086 Just go to spacetimewithstewartgary. 210 00:26:56,198 --> 00:26:57,626 Tumblr.com. 211 00:26:57,808 --> 00:27:01,322 That's all one word and that's Tumblr without the e. 212 00:27:01,456 --> 00:27:10,678 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. 213 00:27:10,774 --> 00:27:19,966 Just go to Facebook.com spacetime with Stuartgarry and Spacetime is brought to you in collaboration with Australian Sky Telescope magazine. 214 00:27:20,078 --> 00:27:21,998 Your window on the Universe. 215 00:27:22,174 --> 00:27:25,118 You've been listening to Spacetime with Stuart Gary. 216 00:27:25,294 --> 00:27:29,040 This has been another quality podcast production from Bites.com.