Jan. 3, 2022

The Biggest Scientific Discovery of the Past Year

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 25 Episode 1
*The biggest scientific discovery of the past year - first black hole-neutron star mergers
One of the unquestionable highlights of the past year in scientific...

The Astronomy, Technology, and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 25 Episode 1
*The biggest scientific discovery of the past year - first black hole-neutron star mergers
One of the unquestionable highlights of the past year in scientific research was the historic confirmation that one of the densest objects in the universe – a neutron star had been consumed by a black hole – the only thing even denser.
*Discovery of a huge new population of free-floating planets
Astronomers have discovered at least seventy free floating planets – worlds not orbiting host stars – in our part of the galaxy.
*Iran continues its nuclear weapons campaign
Iran has moved a step closer to developing a nuclear weapon and the means to deliver it with the launch of another missile in what military experts are describing as a thinly disguised rocket launch.
*New Dragon docks to the space station
The SpaceX CRS-24 cargo ship has successfully docked with the International Space Station 418 kilometres over the South Pacific Ocean.
*China ends 2021 with more than fifty orbital missions
China has ended the year 2021 with a flurry of rocket launches as it continues what Beijing describes as preparations for war.
*The Science Report
New studies claim Moderna is slightly more effective at preventing COVID-19 infection.
Pollutants in the air linked to changes to the sex ratio of births.
Australia to replace its troubled Taipan helicopters with more Blackhawks.
An ancient synagogue older than Christianity and Islam, discovered in Galilee.
Skeptic's guide to bogus allergy tests

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The Astronomy, Space, Technology & Science News Podcast.


SpaceTime with Stuart Gary S25E01 AI Transcript

[00:00:00] Stuart: This is space time series 25 episode one, four broadcast on the 3rd of January, 2022, coming up on space time, the biggest scientific discovery of the past year, that attention of a huge new population of free floating planets and China ends 2021 with a flurry of rocket launches, all that and more coming up in space-time

[00:00:27] VO Guy: Welcome to SpaceTime with Stuart Gary  

[00:00:47] Stuart: of the unquestionable highlights. The past year in scientific research was the historic confirmation that one of the densest objects in the universe and neutron star has been consumed by a black hole. The only thing in the universe that's even denser that discovery using gravitational wave observatories across the world provided unquestionable proof of a long held hypothesis.

Finding one black hole neutron star merger was spectacular enough, but detecting two such event just 10 days apart in different galaxies was absolutely stunning. The observations reported in the astrophysical journal letters back in June were based on readings gathered some 18 months earlier at the start of 2020.

It took some 900 million years of the gravitational waves from these massive collisions to reach the. The findings will enable researchers to draw their first conclusions about the origins of these rare binary systems and how often they emerge. Gravitational waves have previously allowed scientists to take mergers between pairs of black holes and pairs of neutron stars.

But the long-held hypothesized merger of a black hole with a neutron star has always been an elusive missing piece of the family picture, at least until now. Neutron stars as super dense stellar objects created out of the supernova explosion of some of the universe's biggest stars and still a mess black holes.

It created when even biggest stars go supernova collapsing down into objects. So dense that nothing not even light can escape. Put simply a black hole is an object of infinite density in zero volume. With these three detections astronomers finally have measurement. So the merger rates across all three categories of compact binary's black hole with black hole neutron star with neutron star and black hole with neutrons.

The research was a joint collaboration between the LIGO laser interferometer, gravitational wave observatory, scientific collaboration, the Virgo collaboration, and the new Japanese Cammie Oka gravitational wave detector or Calgary. The physicist observed the two gravitational wave events. Cataloged is GW 2000 or 1 0 5 and 2001 15 on January the fifth, 2020, and January the 15th, 2020 during the second half of the LIGO and Virgo detectors.

Third observational run. Although marble observatories carried out numerous followup observations, none observed light from either. But that's not unexpected. In fact, it's consistent with both the measured masses and the distances, the new discoveries follow earlier tantalizing observations of a black hole merger with a mystery object, which may well have been an extremely massive neutron star, but it could also have been a really lightweight black hole scientists were never.

Sure. So the search continues. Both the LIGO and Virgo observatories detected GW 2001 15, which resulted from the merger of a six solar mass black hole with a one and a half solar mass neutron star, roughly a billion light years away using data from the observations of these three wildly space detectors, scientists were able to determine the direction of the waves are.

Just 10 days earlier, the Virgo detector, and one of the LIGO detectors observed a strong signal from GW 2000 1 0 5. That signal was caused by a nine solar mass black hole colliding with a 1.9 solar mass compact object, which scientists ultimately concluded was a neutron star. That merger happened at a distance of about 900 million light ears, but the signal was only strong in one of the detectors.

Astronomists couldn't determine its precise. It's still because the two events are the first confident observations of gravitational waves coming from the merging of black holes with neutron stars. Astronomers can now estimate how often such events are likely to happen across the universe suggesting there's possibly one such merger per month within a distance of a billion light.

One of the study's authors, distinguished professor, Susan Scott from the Australian national university says what's unclear how or where these binary systems originate. Astronomy has identified three likely cosmic origins, Stella binary systems, dense stellar environments, including young star clusters and this sentence of galaxies

[00:05:14] Guest: to, to get these two events because they're actually.

Yvonne observations of a binary system of a black hole and a neutron star, and they're spiraling around together and colliding. So we've collected the gravitational waves from this type of event for the first ever time. So it's amazing to finally confirm the existence of these systems and to get a bit of a look at

[00:05:39] Stuart: it.

What do we know about these two systems?

[00:05:41] Guest: Well, the thing about these detections is that we were able to put the secondary. So you have the primary is the bigger one primary one for a fall squarely into the range of black hole masses. So we can definitively attribute it to being a black hole. And for these two events, the loss of one falls well into the range of normal neutron star.

Evidenced by neutron stars in our own galaxy. So there was no kind of ambiguity about the type of objects involved. You may recall that in August, 2019, we, we thought we may have seen such a system, but the lateral object was, uh, The heaviest known neutron star. So it made it very ambiguous. I mean, was it the heaviest of a neutron star or wasn't in fact, the licensee of a black hole.

And to this day, we don't know. Of course the other event we had was earlier that year in April, 2019, we had another signal which we thought could, uh, be such a system, but the, the signal was quite ambiguous in the sense that it was weak and, you know, possibly it could have been

[00:06:47] Stuart: due to detect the noise.

Doubting it, it's definitely a neutron star merger with a black hole. And we haven't just seen one of them. We still to, yeah. We saw two

[00:06:57] Guest: of them, uh, 10 days upon on the fifth and 15th of January last year. So, you know, after waiting more than four years, since our first detection of gravitational waves from two black holes colliding, we've had quite a long wait for the third part of the puzzle.

We were very excited to have it, but we do think that when we thought about. Here at the middle of 2022 with a bit more sensitivity that we could be detecting as many as one of these per month out to about 1 billion

[00:07:26] Stuart: light year,

[00:07:31] Guest: trying to improve aspects of the squeezing, which is something that we introduced before the last observing run. So that that always has room for improvement, but also these instruments are getting quite aged by now. Maintenance and things to do to maintain the purity of the beams as much as possible within the vacuum tubes and things of that nature.

And we're always looking to improve isolation from worldly vibrations. So the very things due to people making noise, driving trucks, airplanes, seismic waves, that sort of thing. So we're always trying to improve that individually as well.

[00:08:06] Stuart: These particular detections, we join a new observatory to the team.


[00:08:12] Guest: Yeah, it's the Japanese sermons and detect the need joined during the third observing runs for LIGO and Virgo. And, uh, they weren't obviously at great sensitivity because when you start off, they're a metric ground-based detective. It takes a long time to crank up the sensitivity. I mean, with LIGO, it took us several years to really keep improving and we're still doing it as you know, but it means that obviously Lego is a bit ahead of Virgo and Virgos are categorized and so on.

And therefore we come into each observing, run with different sensitivities and still have some impact on what we do. Strongest signal in the two LIGO instrument and a week or one in Gogo. It's still very important because we can get directionality, get a smaller chunk of the sky to give, to astronomers, to follow up and things like that, but also can contribute to ethics of the signal analysis

[00:09:06] Stuart: as well.

[00:09:09] Guest: That's right. On the Kenyatta mountain. So it's under a thousand meters of granite. And I think the thinking there with the Japanese design team was that it would help to damp seismic activity because as you know, Japan is very seismically active. And so to have it under a thousand meters, it was granite definitely helped in that regard.

But the other thing they're doing, which has not been done yet on the other detectives is it's cryogenic. So, um, they're introducing. Significant cooling to the instruments to help eventually improve

[00:09:43] Stuart: sensitivity more than 50 detections. That's pretty cool. It's pretty

[00:09:47] Guest: cool. And you know, the remarkable thing about all this is they're not just detections.

Every time we get one of these sort of detections. Throughout information about, for example, the rate at which these types of systems emerging in the universe. So the rate of two black holes merging, or two neutron stars, or one of each, and that in turn gives us information about the occurrence of such systems and indeed such objects throughout the universe, but also by studying parenthesis of the collision, looking at the masses and spins of the objects involved, we can refine our theories about how the systems get together in the first.

For example, the current ones, a neutron star and black hole could be system, possibly a formed in a very dense center of the galaxy. And the two objects are kind of thrust together at some point, forming a binary or indeed at the center of a globular Costa, or did that. Really in relative isolation and formed as two giant stars.

And then eventually went through their life cycles, alternately going supernova, and then collapsing one to form a black hole and one to form a neutron stars. We do look at the information we get from these systems to formulate theories about the, the main ways the systems are being formed throughout the

[00:11:05] Stuart: universe.

[00:11:09] Guest: It was interesting. The second one, the primary object, the bigger one, the black hole seemed to have it spin in the opposite direction to the angular momentum of the bond resistance. And that can suggest that this was a product of being kind of crossed together in a very dense environment. Whereas with the two objects with their spin, much more closely aligned that might well suggest developing in a more isolated environment,

[00:11:37] Stuart: for example, the one to any electromagnetic readings with no, and there's

[00:11:42] Guest: a couple of reasons for that is the first collision LIGO Hanford was down, meaning it didn't collect data.

So we had to instrument. Always did the bigger region of sky to give to the astronomer. The other thing is that we think these two particular collisions that the smaller object, the neutron star was probably more or less followed hole by the black hole as it go up to the event horizon. And when that happens, of course, it doesn't give off much of a electromagnetic signal.

Whereas we can imagine other situations depending on the relative. Uh, much closer together, depending on the spin orientations as they get together. And then the most of these, and also the environments where they're formed, it's maybe possible in certain circumstances like that, to get a signature flash shredding of the neutron star through title deformation so that the black hole kind of pulls the neutron star slowly and surely.

And credit is very hot. Uh, DeBry close to the black hole, which could give a signal for powerful telescopes. If the event is

[00:12:47] Stuart: reasonably close and that's what, it's one of the fees involving, like how's that they're acting too quickly to leave any remnant crumbs, lying around to be seen in electromagnetic detectors.

[00:13:00] Guest: Together, of course we don't expect anything, but we do know through the two neutron star collision we had in 2017, that that was readily observable actually, you know, with my radio. Yeah. The very first one, we actually got a really good look at it and that's how we got so much information out of it, you know, like the synthesis of heavy elements and so on and the gamma Ray burst associated with it.

And yeah, I mean, we got a lot out of that, so we know we can. A lot of information, particularly from binary neutron star system, but we also believe there's potential for black hole neutron star mergers, if they're close enough. And if the parameters of the system are in the right kind of regime to make a shredding

[00:13:44] Stuart: of happened, it's professor Susan Scott from the Australian national university and this space time still the calm discovery of a huge new population of free floating place.

And Iran continues its nuclear weapons campaign with another rocket launch, all that and more store to come on. Space time.

Astronomers have discovered at least 70 free floating planets. That is world's not orbiting stars in our part of the galaxy. The findings are reported in the journal nature, astronomy almost doubles the number of free floating or rogue planets known to exist. The first free floating planets were discovered back in the 1990s.

These new discoveries were identified in a nearby region of the Milky way. Known as the upper is OB stellar association located some 420 light years away. Relatively close in astronomical terms. The region contains a number of famous nebulae, including the row for Yuchi cloud, the pipe Nebula, Barnard 68 and the coast.

At least 70 and possibly as many as 170 of these Jupiter sized planets have been found in the data, which is based on more than 20 years of observations, the range and number of free floating planets occurs because of the mass of the objects is not being measured directly in this study. See objects larger than 13 Jupiter masses, and not likely to be planets, but brown dwarf.

And an upper limit on the mess of these objects was inferred by the objects brightness, and that's dependent on their age now since special type O and B stars in order to have very short, main sequence lifespans, easily lasting just a few million years. The exact numbers of planets is uncertain until now free floating planets have mostly been discovered through microlensing surveys.

These involve astronomers seeing a brief chance alignment between an exoplanet and a background star. However microlensing events only happen once. That means follow-up observations simply aren't possible. These new planets were discovered using a different method. The planet lurking far away from any star illuminating them would normally be impossible.

The image, however, astronomers took advantage of the fact that these planets are still very young, just a few million years old at most. And so they're still hot enough to glow making them directly detectable using sensitive cameras on large telescope. So the pundits were found using moddable large observatories, including the European Southern observatory, the Canada, France, Hawaii telescope, the Subaru telescope, the kit peak national observatory in Arizona, the Sarah to, into our American observatory in Chile and the dark energy camera.

This amount of does some 80,000 widefield images over 20 years of observations and archival data in both optical and near infrared. The discovery also sheds a light on the possible origin of free flirting planets. Some scientists believe that these planets can form from the collapse of a gas cloud.

It's simply too small to lead to the formation of a star. Others believe that they've simply been flying out from their parents' star system by gravitational perturbation. Our own solar system is thought of had an additional planet, which forms somewhere between Uranus and Neptune, but was flying out by gravitational perturbations as the guests, giants, Jupiter and satin migrated into wards, the sun, and then back out again, and the ejection model, he just, that could be even greater numbers of free floating planets at a smaller Morath sized free-floating Jupiter, mass planets are the most difficult to adjust.

Meaning there might be a lot more super earth or even earth sized worlds wandering out there in the galaxy alone, the dark, this space-time still the com Iran launches another rocket as it continues its nuclear weapons campaign and a dragon cargo ship docks with international space station carrying three tons of free supplies, all that and more stores.

Um, space-time

Iran has moved a step closer to developing a nuclear weapon and the means to deliver it with a launch of another missile and what military experts are describing as definitely discussed rocket loans. The launch took place summit ongoing talks in Vienna about the Islamic Republic's repeated breaches of its 2015 nuclear non-proliferation agreement.

You are rating and demands in the nuclear talks of exasperated, Western nations and heightened regional tensions. Iran has abandoned all limitations under the agreement, both increasing its uranium, stockpile and dramatically ramping up uranium enrichment. This latest launch took place from the eman Khamenei spaceport, some 240 kilometers Southeast of Tehran.

The Uranian defense ministry says the CMO rocket carried three devices to an altitude of 470 kilometers and a velocity of 7.35 kilometers per second. Now that's far too slow to achieve orbit and that's raised concerns about whether this was a unsuccessful orbit launch attempt or a successful suborbital test for.

Tehran officials have remained silent on the status of the mission at suggest the rocket fell to place its payload and a Warbird and follow-up observations have also failed to fight any trace of these three payloads being in orbit. The us state department says it remains concerned by transactions, which poses a significant proliferation concern in regards to TRS ballistic missile program.

Meanwhile, Germany says the launches violated UN security council resolution. The SIM or Phoenix is a three-stage missile based on the north Korean own harm. Miss out, which itself was developed out of a Russian Scud missile. Its first stage uses a cluster of four, had three missile engines that should have threes based on the North Korea.

No dong. The similar second stage uses a low thrust steering engine. That's a veneer engine used by the now obsolete Soviet R 27 sudden Marine launch ballistic missiles. There've been at least four previous similar launches. All of them failures. The first was in July, 2017. That was followed by one in January 20, 19, another in February, 2020.

And finally one in January last year. This space-time. It's still to come and you dragon docs with the international space station and China ends 2021 with a flurry of orbital missions, all that, and more still to come art space time.

Space X's Sierra's 24 dragon cargo ship has successfully docked with international space station 418 kilometers over the south Pacific ocean. The dragon carrying almost three tons of supplies, scientific equipment and experiments docked automatically with a space facing port on the orbiting arepas harmony module.

As the two spacecraft with traveling over 28,000 kilometers per hour. The dragon had launched the previous day from space launch complex 39, a at the Kennedy space center in Florida,

[00:21:35] Narrator: too long, too long to load the vehicles. good. Nines and startup

[00:21:42] Stuart: dragon is in countdown also tonight. Good for

[00:21:46] VO Guy: lunch.

[00:21:46] Stuart: Ten nine eight seven

[00:21:50] Guest: six five four

[00:21:53] Stuart: three two.

[00:21:56] Guest: Yeah,

[00:22:01] Stuart: Pargo dragons soldiers with

[00:22:02] Narrator: the final supply run in 2021 to the astronauts aboard the international

[00:22:08] Stuart: stage one

[00:22:08] Narrator: chamber pressures, nominal Falcon nine and drag. You can ask them through the cloud layers right now. Next up and in just a few seconds. Here is max queue. This is where the vehicle experienced the highest amount of aerodynamic pressures.

Through that period of high pressure on the vehicle, the engines on the first stage of now throttling back up as we continue to make our journey to orbit coming up in about a minute, our three events in rapid succession, uh, first up is main engine cutoff also known as . Stage separation. And then second engine start also known as S E S one main engine cutoff is where all nine engines on the first stage will shut off in preparation for the second defense stage separation, uh, during stage separation, the first and second stages will separate from one another.

The first stage makes its way back to the drone ship for a landing attempt. And the second stage will ignite its Merlin vacuum engine and to continue to boost dragon to low earth orbit. I did

[00:23:17] Stuart: separation confirmed in recognition.

[00:23:20] Narrator: You heard the call outs successful manage and cutoff followed by successful stage separation and then ignition, um, our Merlin vacuum engine in the first stage.

Again, it's making its way back to earth. The 24th commercial resupply mission to the internet. Station for NASA. This is space. X is 31st mission for 2021 and the fifth dragon flight to the international space station. This year, our hypersonic grid fins. They're positioned at the top of the first stage booster.

There are four of them actually, and those will start to, um, uh, swivel and move around to make sure that they are guiding the first stage. Uh, to its targeted landing zone for T for today's mission, it's going to be the drone ship. Just read the instruction, which is parked in the Atlantic ocean. Next event for our mission today is going to be the first stage entry burn.

It's going to be the first of two burns in order to make. Back to our drone ship. The first stage has to execute these two burns. The first again is the entry burn where three of our Merlin engines will reignite. This helps to slow the stage down as the reenters, the upper parts of the Earth's atmosphere.

The second burn is the landing burn. This happens about a minute later, and this is. A single engine burn that will bring the vehicle speed down rapidly in order to land on the drone ship. And as we wait for that event, you might be interested to know that in order to get into space, the rocket actually has to do more than go up.

It actually has to go sideways really, really. Uh, at liftoff, gravity is pulling straight down on the rocket. And as we ascend, we tilt the engines, a term called gambling, and that turns the rocket horizontally. So we're still going up, but we're also heading horizontally away from the launch pad in what we call a gravity term age one, FTS is safe.

Things continue to go smoothly for both the first and second stages, age, one entrepreneurs and startup. And there it is three. Uh, Merlin engines have reignited their, uh, engines and are now currently slowing down. The first stage. This burn is expected to last about 30 seconds. The velocity is starting to decrease significantly.

So great news that is burned. One of two complete, uh, the Falcon nine first stage is also equipped with four landing legs made of state-of-the-art carbon fiber with aluminum honeycomb. Uh, they're placed around the base of the rocket and deploy just prior to. So we are about 60 seconds away from landing the vehicle.

We're traveling a significant velocity right now, and this really puts into perspective. The deceleration that the first stage we experience in less than the span of a minute will reduce from twice the speed of a jet all the way down to zero as the rocket lands. The first stage landed burn is expected to start here in about 20 seconds and lasts for about 25 seconds.

So during the duration of that burn, we are going to be listening for the call-out for SICO, which stands for second engine cutoff, uh, the Merlin vacuum engine. We're going to be shutting off that engine and then listening for another call-out, um, for a confirmation of good orbit where the setting stage we'll coast for a few minutes before separating dragon page two FTS and the landing burn, uh, Evict shut them.

VH1 lending is confirmed. Ah, there it is. So this is the first landing for this particular booster, but the 100th successful landing for an orbital class rocket, what a way to end off the year. Uh, we also heard that the, uh, second engine, uh, sorry, the second stage engine that Merlin vacuum engine successfully shut off its engine.

And, uh, we're going to pause here to see if we can confirm a good orbit of the second stage.

[00:26:49] Guest: Acquisition

[00:26:49] Narrator: signal, new command. And I am getting confirmation that we do indeed have a good orbit. So the second stage is going to be coasting for a few minutes here. It's the second stage right now is making some small adjustments during the coast phase.

Prior to separation of dragon is going to be joining the crew three vehicle endurance that is currently attached to the international space station and on orbit. And as always, it's always exciting to see two dragons stocked at the space station at the same time. Speaking of cargo, uh, today we'll be delivering, uh, as part of today's mission.

We'll be delivering more than 6,500 pounds of science research, cruise supplies, and vehicle hardware to the Oregon lab and its crew. Again, this is a cargo mission. So there are no, there is no crew aboard the dragon as part of today's mission. In fact, we will modify the vehicles. Slightly for these types of missions.

So there are no seats. There are no life support systems. This saves a weight. It also frees up some space for more cargo. And it also allows us to refurbish the dragon a little bit quicker once it splashes back down to earth. Expected

[00:27:55] Stuart: loss of signal

[00:27:56] Narrator: Bermuda, any sector. And there it goes. The dragon has about a day before it makes its way and, uh, to the international space station and docks the

[00:28:08] Stuart: mission buried 386 kilograms of cruise supplies, including Christmas gifts, 182 kilograms of space walking.

328 kilograms of space station hardware, 33 kilograms of computer equipment and 1,119 kilograms of scientific equipment and experiments. These included a new German handheld bio-printer, which uses viable cells and biological molecules to print tissue structures in order to create a tissue forming patch to cover a wound and accelerate the healing process.

Also a board was a space protein, crystal growth expense. It's designed to improve drug delivery of monoclonal antibodies used to treat cancers and a wide range of other human diseases. There was a study to assess the virulence of potentially harmful microbes in space that comes after scientists noticed a reduction in astronaut immune function in micro gravity.

There was a so-called roots shoots and leaves experiment, which looked at the development of plants in microgravity. Other experiments we'll look at manufacturing, alloy turbine blades in space. That comes following the discovery that aloe is seem to blend better in micro gravity, there was an antibiotic resistance in micro gravity experiment.

It looks at how micro gravity affects bacteria resistant polymers, but one of the most talked about experiments involves doing the laundry sea crew on the space station. Currently wear clothes several times, then replace them with new clothes, which delivered on resupply missions. That's all very expensive.

So scientists have developed the study to see how a fully degradable detergent specifically designed for use in space works. It could lead to astronauts during their own travel wash, a sort of lunar laundromat. If you will, the dragon will spend a month dock to the space station before returning to earth with hardware and completed experiments.

We'll let you know how the laundry experiment works out. This is space time, still. The. China ends 2021 with a flurry of orbital missions. And later in the science report, an ancient synagogue older than Christianity or Islam discovered in Galilee, all that and more still to come on space time.

China has ended 2021 with a flurry of rocket launches as it continues. What Beijing euphemistically describes as preparations for war the final weeks of the year, seeing the launch of a long match for sea rocket from the Thai U and satellite launch century, Northern China Shanxi province, carrying the Z Y 1 0 2, a Phoenix I earth observation.

Settled. The 2000 kilograms spacecraft is equipped with high resolution panchromatic and Marti spectral images, including a nine band visible and near infrared camera and 166 bad hyperspectral camera. The satellite is designed for continuous imaging, high data storage and transmission capabilities providing 900 megabits per second of data transmission using Juul spot beam, antennas, and high data storage capacity.

It's been placed into a 778 kilometer high sun synchronous orbit joining its sister satellite, the Z Y 1 0 2 D, which was launched in September, 2019 few days earlier. Saw the launch of a 61, made a toll long seven, a rocket from the wing Chang satellite, low and center in Henan province. Pairing the Xi yang 1201 and 1202 satellites into geosynchronous transfer.

Beijing claims the twin 3000 kilograms spacecraft, uh, being used for space environment studies in related technical tests, but their exact purpose and payload specifications that's remain classified. So what are they really well? Intelligence sources suggests they're designed for electronic surveillance and reconnaissance monitoring the communications and signals intelligence of other countries.

Since 2016, Beijing has launched more than 153 earth observation satellites designed to provide near continuous high resolution imaging and electronic monitoring of areas of interest China. Beijing's also launched a long March, three bay, rocket carrying a new telecommunications relay satellite into orbit that was launched from the G Zhang satellite launch center in Southwestern China.

The teANN Leanne 1102 is part of China's. Second generation of space communications, relay satellites, designed to improve communications between Beijing and its growing constellation of more than 446 spacecraft, which have included more than 50 launches over the past year. This space-time

And timeout of take a brief look at some of the other stories making use in science this week with a science report and you study claims that modern is vaccine appears to be slightly more effective at preventing COVID-19 infection and hospitalization. The findings reported in the new England journal of medicine looked at some 220,000 us veterans who received Pfizer with the same amount who received Medina and compared the outcomes over six months.

The researchers say while the incidence of COVID-19 infection in both cohorts was very low. Pfizer recipients had a 27% higher risk of infection and a 70% higher risk of hospitalization compared to Moderna recipients, almost five and a half million people have now been killed by the COVID-19 Corona virus.

Since it first spread out a warhead. However the world health organization says the true death toll is likely to be double that amount with almost 300 million confirmed cases. Data suggested the presence of pollutants in the air or water, including lead mercury and arsenic may be linked to a changing percentage of baby boys being born.

Pet a baby girl. The study reported in the journal. Plus computational biology analyzed more than 6 million birth records in the United States and Sweden and looked for factors that appeared to be linked, to changes in the ratios of boys versus girls. The authors found that seasons temperatures, violent crime rates, unemployment rates, or commute times all had no link with the sex ratio.

But some pollutants did along with extreme droughts, traffic, fatality rates, industrial permits, and vacant apartments in the area. However, the study couldn't determine whether or not the plutons actually caused the changes in the sex ratio between boys and girls and the authors say more work. Isn't it.

It's been confirmed that the ADF will ditch it's troubled European MRH 90 Taipan helicopters and replaced them with additional EWH 60 M Blackhawk and MH 60 Romeo Seahawk helicopters. Instead, the move follows Canberra's recent decision to replace the Army's current European tiger attack helicopters with American 8 64, a Apache Longbow.

And in the classic, I told you, so moment out, long time star stuff in space-time listeners might recall that we urge the defense department to purchase the Apache longbows rather than the tigers. Some 20 years ago, pity. They didn't listen. Oh, well it's any pays money. Isn't it. An ancient synagogue dating back some, 2000 years to the time of the second temple in Jerusalem as been discovered by archeologists in Northern Israel.

The fine, which is older than Christianity and Islam was discovered at the dig side of Magdala an ancient fishing town on the Western shore of the sea of Galilee, the city, which was also known as MIG dowel in Hebrew is said to be the hometown of Mary Magdalen, that discovery sheds light on the social and religious life of Jews in the Galilee region during this period.

And it's the second synagogue to have been uncovered in the village. The first was discovered in 2009. The new discovery includes a lot stone portraying the second temple of Jerusalem and a carved seven branch candelabra, nearness, and menorah. There are growing concerns regarding the dangers of alternative allergy tests.

Adverse reactions to food are common and estimated to affect around 20% of the population are walled, potentially dangerous. They're increasingly being diagnosed using unorthodox and scientifically unsound methods. Tim minim from Australian skeptic says it's not just a case of pseudo-scientific rip off severe allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis affecting breathing in the heart can be life threatening.

People suffer from,

[00:36:52] Tim Mendham: um, food reactions. The same about 20% of people have some sort of food allergies about 1%. Kind of adding all sorts of quite scary sort of conditions. Food intolerance is likely you just don't work well. Like, you know, people don't like milk or something or whatever. So, and that's a lot more people suffer from food intolerance.

But the thing is that, because this is a common on because some of the symptoms are so scary, including potential death. In some cases naturally enough, the alternative sane has come up with a lot of treatments for this and preventions and all sorts of things. And most of them police, a lot of them that have come up with totally bogus entirely.

Yeah. So based on technology, some are based on analysis or something. Some are based on totally silly, supposedly scientific practices or even physical practices. One of them is it's called voice bio, which is

[00:37:40] Guest: basically analyzing your voice. Not quite sure exactly

[00:37:43] Tim Mendham: how you analyze your voice, what for, but joining conclusions based on the sound wave frequencies, you can show what organ dysfunction.

But in the presence of allergies and intolerances clearly from your voice. So if you've got a croaky voice or something that might show where you're alerted to peanuts, it

[00:37:57] Stuart: just doesn't work. It works in relieving you of your money.

[00:37:59] Tim Mendham: It's very effective at doing that. Actually it's highly effective. In fact, probably most of these are highly effective, but the wallet reduction syndrome, um, but, uh, I just made it up.

Yeah, I think I will like see benign as good as any alternative. That's not going to make it very scientific. Kinesiology was the one where you sort of tells you about your muscle strength. It's often the case with I do it with someone cut their arms, stretched out either side of themselves. And you know, you can push them over at some stages where you can't push them over.

And the whole thing is it's just totally bogus. It depends on the person's preparedness. Being pushed over or not being pushed over. It depends on where the person is pushing you over, pulling down your hand, et cetera, how that works. Nothing in kinesiology, certainly in applied kinesiology as a code, but that's supposed to, um, find out about, uh, your susceptibility to allergens, et cetera.

Blood samples of course has hair analysis or other ones here and is, is very. There was sort of presenters still our labs. You could send your hair off to for analysis and they would come back to you with what sort of medical conditions you have. I don't know why allergens and things pops up, but medical conditions and people have done tests by sending two lots of hair analysis down the same hair.

In fact, need to take them to the same place, et cetera, sent them under different names and you get different analyses. So pulse testing is sort of measuring your pulse rate, et cetera. Give you a diagnosis of if you're Palestinian crisis after certain sort of foods, et cetera, you're obviously allergic to it and it goes on and on.

And the trouble is that what these things do is of course they are, apart from the fact they're unreliable, they can be expensive, they're unregulated. And they might mislead patients into thinking they have an allergy, or they don't have an allergy and they make them do things which is not necessary.

And of course it also takes people away from doing profit place. Yes. I think one of these alternative tests can give them the results despite how bogus. That's where they dangerous. They stop being just fun and silly and they becomes

[00:39:52] Stuart: that's to Mendham from Australian skeptics.

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Tim MendhamProfile Photo

Tim Mendham


Editor with Australian Skeptics