The Astronomy, Technology and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime Series 24 Episode 59
*A new type of aurora discovered
Scientists looking through old videos have discovered a new type of Aurora called a called a diffuse auroral eraser.
*Mysterious supernova shedding light on the violent death of stars
A curiously yellow pre-supernova star has caused astrophysicists to re-evaluate what’s possible at the deaths of our Universe’s most massive stars.
*Defence formally establishes new Space Division
The Australian Defence Force has formally established its own space division with in the air force.
*The US launches a new early warning missile detection satellite
As tensions continue to grow in the middle east and with China, the United States has launched a new early warning missile detection satellite.
*The Science Report
More cases of people getting infected with COVID-19 despite already being fully vaccinated.
New study looks at the openness of gay generation Z and millennial teens.
Paleontologists describe a new species of mosasaur in Morocco.
Paralyzed man learns to communicate by thinking about writing out the words.
Alex on Tech: Samsung unveils its new tri-fold display smart phone.
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SpaceTime S24E59 AI Transcript
[00:00:00] This is spacetime series 24 episode 59 for broadcast on the 26th of May, 2021. Coming up on space, time discovery of a new type of Aurora. The mysterious is shedding light on the violent death of stars and the Australian defense force establishes its own space division, all that, and more coming up. On space time.
Welcome to space time with steward. Gary
scientists looking through old videos have discovered a new type of Aurora. The findings reported in the journal, geophysical research space, physics claims the newly discovered for anonymous caught a diffuser, rural eraser raises questions about whether these are common [00:01:00] events that have simply been overlooked or whether they're actually very rare occurrences, Aurora occur when charged particles flowing from the sun.
Interact with you as protective magnetic field. Some of these particles, then follow Earth's magnetic field lines towards the poles, releasing energy in generating the colorful lights of the Aurora, as they collide with atoms and molecules in the atmosphere for millennia humans in high latitudes have been in throwed by Aurora that Northern and Southern lights, the Aurora Australis and Aurora Borealis.
Yet even after all this time, it appears these dancing ribbons or more accurately sheets of light above the earth. Still holds some secrets scientists at the university of Iowa first spot of the event or reviewing 20 year old videos. They noticed several instances where a section of the diffuse Aurora that's the faint background globe coming.
The more vivid light commonly associated with the Aurora suddenly goes dark as if [00:02:00] scrubbed out by a giant blotter. And then after a short period of time, the blackout section suddenly reappears, it's all very mysterious. The video was originally shot in a town called Churchill along Hudson bank, Canada, back on March the 15th, 2002 by physicists David Knutsen from the university of Calgary that's in this group, we're using a special camera designed to capture low level light, much like night vision goggles.
They were becoming a bit disheartened because the forecast had code for clear dark skies, normally perfect conditions for viewing Aurora, but there were no dazzling illuminations happening. The scientists mostly only saw darkness as they gazed upwards with their own eyes. The camera was picking up all sorts of auroral activity, including an unusual sequence where areas of that a few sorority disappeared then came back nods and looking at the videos it was being recorded.
Nerded the pulsating, blackout the feast glow, which then fills in over several seconds. He was surprised when a [00:03:00] patch brightened and then turned off the background, a few sororal was raised and then the hole would fill back in after about half a minute or so the observations laid dormant in the video unstudied until Riley Troy was asked to investigate.
Troy then created a software program that could key in, on frames in the video where the faint razors were visible in all. He was able to catalog 22 eraser events in the two hour recording. Trey says the most valuable aspect was the time it takes for the Aurora to go from an eraser event. When the diffuse Aurora is blotted out to be filled or colored.
And again, that's because having a value on that will help with future muddling of magnetic fields. To find out more. And your Dunkley is speaking with astronomer professor, Fred Watson, remarkable that, that we're still learning things about the Aurora. Uh, partly, partly Andrew it's due to the fact that we have the technology.
Now we've got more modern digital cameras that people can set up and do marvelous footage of, of auroral [00:04:00] displays. And we see those. All the time. If you look like looking at that kind of thing, which I do, but also the other thing is that like me, as you know, I've led many tours up to the Northern Arctic that to look at the Aurora.
And I think that's become much more of a commonplace thing. So a lot more people are going up to see the Aurora Borealis in the north. A lot more people go down to Tasmania to see the Aurora Australia in the south. And so more people are watching these phenomena. Yes. So I'll tell you something Fred, one of my golf partners, uh, Darren, who, um, I play with every Saturday, uh, took, uh, one of those Quantis flights to nowhere recently.
Yes. Yep. And it took them down to Antarctica and they got to see the Aurora. Australia's very good flying down there. Um, and this has been a consequence COVID-19 because the airlines have been hit so hard due to travel bands. They've had to diversify. And so airlines in Australia have been doing these flights to nowhere.
So they were in the air for something like 10 [00:05:00] hours. To fly down there and have a look around and then fly back, which is rather extraordinary. But yeah, that's a side note, but, uh, they go to the Aurora Australia, but it reflects the popularity of, uh, hunting, which, um, you know, used to be something that you only read about in books.
And you and I have talked about some of the new phenomenon. That have been introduced. Um, there was one not long ago, which were kind of Ripley or Rory, and then there were the Steves as well. I don't know whether you remember the space, which are now recognized as being a phenomenon related to Rory, but not actually the same thing.
So we've now got a new something quite new, which comes from this old footage, as you've said, uh, this work, this research has come from scientists at the university of Calgary, university of Iowa and NASA to the phenomenon. Is that unlike many Aurore which formed curtains and th that's exactly what they look like in the sky or stream as across the sky, or sometimes the best ones are what they call the Corona, where the thing explodes above your head.
Is it an extraordinary experience standing underneath something doing [00:06:00] that, but there is another well, it's a well-known auroral phenomenon and that is what's called the diffuse auroral glow. And it's basically an Aurora is green. But it's spread fairly evenly across the sky. It's not, uh, in these streamers and things.
A new phenomenon is that this footage revealed that within the diffuse glow. So if you imagine this green glow over a large area of the sky and suddenly a small chunk of it brightens up and stays bright for a few minutes and then it disappears, but where it was leaves a hole in the. Diffuser rural glow.
It's just black underneath. It's almost as though it's rubbed it out. And that's why they're being called diffuse. Auroral erasers, because it's just like using an eraser to rub out the background Aurora, and basically it's a mystery. These scientists who are well versed in the field of auroral studies have no idea what's causing them.
But one of the astronomers at the university of Iowa says it raises the question, are [00:07:00] these are common phenomenon that has been overlooked or are they rare knowing they exist? Means there is a process that is creating them and it may be a process we haven't started to look at yet because we never knew they were happening until now.
So, yeah, it's great stuff and learning something else about our own planet. In fact, let alone, the rest of the universe is finding out what's going on up here. So I'm sorry. We know what causes a Raul, right? But obviously there are varying types and sometimes we don't understand why certain things are happening to them.
Yeah, exactly. The mechanisms of the Aurora, even just the straightforward Aurora that we understand is fairly complex and it goes back. Our understanding of it goes back to the turn of the. 20th century when, um, Christiaan vehicle owned a well-known Norwegian scientist, who was a big hero of mine. He spent the whole winter on top of a mountain, which I've been very close to, uh, near Ulta in Northern Norway.
This mountains called holiday. He rented out over there with a couple of colleagues, one of whom didn't survive because the winters are pretty serious up there, but he [00:08:00] was the first to sort of really show that the Aurora don't doesn't touch the ground because before that. People didn't know whether these dancing lights actually start at the ground level.
And he also worked out that it was electrons from the sun that actually did the trick, but it was 50 years before anybody believed him or 50 years after he's dead. Yeah. So, yeah, we're still learning. And, uh, I think, uh, this is one to watch Fred Watson and astronomer with a Palm of science speaking with Andrew directly on our sister program space nuts.
And this is space time. Still the gum, a mysterious supernova shedding light on the violent death of stars and the Australian defense force formally establishes its own space, division, all that, and much more still to come on. Space time.
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You'll find the URL details in the show notes and on our website, just visit the support page. That space-time with Stewart gallery.com forward slash Namecheap. And now it's back to our show. You're listening to Springs time with Stuart Gary, a curiously yellow pre supernova star has caused astrophysicist to reevaluate what's possible in the deaths of our universe's most massive stars.
[00:11:00] At the end of their lives. Cool. Yellow stars are typically shrouded in hydrogen, which conceals the stars, hot blue interior, but one yellow star located 35 million light years away in the Virgo galaxy cluster was mysteriously lacking this crucial hydrogen layer at the time of its explosion. The study's lead author, Charles called Patrick from Northwestern university says astronomers.
Haven't seen this type of scenario before. He says, if a star explodes without hydrogen, it should be extremely blue, really, really hot. And it's almost impossible for a star to be this school without having hydrogen in its outer layer to try and work out what's going on. Kilpatrick and colleagues looked at pretty well.
Every stellar scenario they could think of to try and explain the observations, but every single model still required the star to have hydrogen. The problem is the supernova produced by this star when it died, simply didn't show that. Cool. Patrick's a member of the young supernova experiment. It uses the pants status [00:12:00] telescope in Hawaii to cat super know they in the earliest moments following their initial explosions, it detected the supernova Adelade there's 2019 YVR in the spiral galaxy NGC 46 66.
You then use deep space images captured by the Hubble space telescope two and a half years earlier to determine that the progenitor was a massive star. Cool. Patrick says what massive stars do right before they explode, remains a big unsolved mystery. He says, it's rare to see this kind of star right before it explodes into a supernova several months after the explosion or Patrick and colleagues discovered that the material being ejected by the stars final explosion seemed to collide with a large mass of hydrogen, which was already there.
A report in the monthly notices of the Royal astronomical society claims this led the authors to hypothesize that the progenitor star might've expelled that hydrogen within a few years before its death. And it all makes sense because astronomers have already long [00:13:00] suspected that stars undergo valid eruptions of death rows.
In the years before a final supernova event takes place. The discovery of the star and the sequence leading up to its death provides the most direct evidence of a found that stars really do experience catastrophic eruptions, which caused them to lose mass before they go supernova. If a star having these eruptions, then it's likely that it exposed its hydrogen several decades before it finally exploded.
Of course, there are other possibilities such as the progenitor of being in a binary system with a less massive companion star, which may simply have stripped away the hydrogen from the progenitor. The problem with that idea, however, is that astronomers won't be able to search for the companion star until the Supernova's Bryant is fade somewhat.
And that could take up to a decade. So it looks like it's going to be a waiting game for now. This space-time still to come. The Australian defense force formally establishes its own space division and [00:14:00] the United States launches a new early warning, missile detection, satellite, all that, and more still to come.
Um, space time.
the Australian defense force has formally established its own space division within the air force. Then your body will be responsible for the ADF space, domain awareness, sovereign controlled satellite communication systems, as well as space-based observation and navigation systems. It'll draw on expertise from all parts of the ADF and operate under a joint command.
The move follows the establishment of the United States space force by the U S government as a new branch of the American military Russia and China have already had their own military space forces in operation for many years. This is space-time [00:15:00] still the calm. The United States launches a new generation, early warning, missile detection, satellite, and later in the science report, more cases of people getting reinfected with COVID-19 despite already being fully vaccinated, all that, and more still to come.
On space time
as tensions continue in the middle east and build up with China. The United States has launched the new generation early warning, missile detection, satellite. The space-based infrared sensor or service geo five spacecraft was launched the border and Atlas five center rocket into nearly clear blue skies from space launch complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral space for space Florida.
This is the 87th. That was five launch and ULA is 144th. Mission built in Decatur, [00:16:00] Alabama and Harlingen, Texas Atlas five is comprised of a common core booster powered by an NPO and Durga mash already went to the engine. Equipped with two Aerojet Rocketdyne solid rocket boosters and a center. Our second stage powered by an air jet rocket Dyne RL 10 C one, one engine and equipped with a four meter diameter payload fairing.
Yeah, it was five. Rocket stands, 194 feet. Or about 59 meters tall and weighs just under a million pounds or nearly 431,000 kilograms status check, go, Atlas, go Sentara, go. Sippers T-minus ten nine eight seven six five four. Three Atlas admission to one and liftoff liftoff. I launch lions Atlas five rocket with a fifth space-based infrared system.
Satellite, the United States space for. Now 15 seconds in the flight P has got a close loop control and your operating parameters continue to with good. You were hearing the voice that Patrick Moore providing launch vehicle asset data. It's not completing the pitch over programmed body rates. Look good.
[00:17:00] Seen good chamber pressure on both SRBs. And are you anyone any now beginning the throttle bucket engine response looks good and now passing through mock one. Alice five is now super Sonic and max queue. Maximum dynamic pressure body rates continue to look good through the boost phase equals now throttling back up slightly engine response continues to look good.
Chamber pressure on both. SRVS continue to look. Good. Atlas is now 10 miles an altitude 4.5 miles downrange distance traveling at 2000 miles per hour. One minute, 20 seconds into flight standing by for SRV burnout. Shortly body rates continue to look good. Chamber pressure on the SRV is now tailing off and we have burnout on both SRVS Alice we'll.
Hold on to the SRV for an additional 39 seconds before jettison anyone eighties throttled back up to full thrust engine response looks good now passing one minute 50 seconds into flight body rates. Continue to look good throughout the boost phase. And the Atlas five wit now weighs one half of its lift off weight and standing by for SRV jettison shortly.
And we have good indication of separation of both SRVS vehicles gone to closed loop steering, seeing a slight correction in the body rates. Now damping out [00:18:00] nicely, buddy, 180 engine operating parameters. Continue to look good. Are they 180 throttling down slightly now as expected. Atlas is now 39 miles in altitude, 68 miles down range, distance traveling at 5,400 miles per hour.
And the central reaction control system is now pressurizing. The flight levels system response looks good already. 180 pump speeds and injector pressures. Continue to look good. Three minutes, 30 seconds into flight. Atlas is now 56 miles an altitude 160 miles downrange distance traveling at 9,000 miles per hour and already 180 is now throttling to maintain a constant 5g acceleration limits already.
180 responses with good and centers begun the boost phase chill down sequence, or the 180. Now go into 4.6 G throttle limiting, standing back for Pico. And we have beco booster engine cutoff standing by for stage set. And we have been indication at stage separation. We had pre-start on the RL 10 standing back for ignition recognition and full thrust on the RL.
10 chamber pressure looks good. Body rates look good. And we have good indication of payload, fairing, jettison. This first burn of today's mission will last, approximately 10 minutes, 30 seconds. All 10 engine [00:19:00] operating parameters look good by the rates of Dan dot nicely from the startup transients and the RCS system has begun the initial thrust or firings for system thermal conditioning.
Just over five minutes now into flight light was deployed above the Indian nation into a geostationary transfer orbit. The 4,500 kilogram Lockheed Martin dot spacecraft uses a new combat platform with improved anti jamming capabilities and more power. It's primary senses provided hands shortwave and expanded mid wave infrared accuracy, continuously scanning the planet as part of a round, the clock global strategic and tactical missile, launched detection, flight path monitoring, and target prediction capability.
The spacecraft's also equipped with a step stair, a sensor, which is a new, highly accurate pointing and control system designed to scan specific intelligence areas of interest. Cyprus geo five is part of a program to replace the previous defense support program. Early warning system for detecting Intercontinental ballistic missile launches.
[00:20:00] It was this system which was used in January, 2020 to confirm that it was Iran, which undertook a missile attack on the outside air base in Iraq, where us troops had been stationed the sixth and final Subarus satellite for the new constellation will be launched next year. As well as its primary payload, the mission also carried the TD three and TD for demonstration satellites for the U S military is department of aeronautics and the us air force academy.
and Tom Meditech. Another brief look at some of the other stories making using sides this week with the science report. Scientist have reported two more cases of people becoming infected with variants of the COVID 19 Corona virus, despite already being fully vaccinated. The findings reported in the new England journal of medicine highlight the potential risk of mutating variants of the deadly [00:21:00] disease.
The study looked at a group of more than 400 people who were already fully vaccinated with either the Pfizer BioEnTech or Medina versions of the a vaccine. And they found that two women still went on to develop COVID-19 genetic sequencing of the virus. And the two cases revealed variants of clinical importance, including the four 84 K mutation originally identified in South Africa in one woman and three mutations in both cataloged as T nine 51, Dell one 42, one four, four, and D six 14 G.
Over three and a half million people have now been killed by the COVID-19 virus with another 166 million infected since the deadly disease first emerged from war and China and was spread around the world. A new study claims that unlike past generations, the majority of gay and bisexual generation Z teenage boys have come out to their parents.
However, stigma or religious [00:22:00] beliefs still prevented some young people from disclosing their true sexual identity. A study by the American psychological association provides a glimpse into coming out practices for generation Z, as well as millennial kids. Those born between 1998 and 2010, the findings reported in the journal of the psychology of sexual orientation and gender diversity examined survey data from 1,194, 13 to 18 year old boys.
All of whom identified as LGBT plus, although as there were boys, I guess we can leave out the L. Research has found that 66% of those surveyed had come out to their mothers or other female parental figures while 49% had come out to their fathers or other male parental figures. Now they can pass the similar surveys back in the 1990s, which shows that just 40% of adolescent boys had come out to their mothers and less than 30% to their dads.
The study also found that white teens were more likely than black participants to have come out to a parental figure. As identifying as [00:23:00] gay were also more likely to come out to a parent and those identifying as bisexual, although still unsure their sexuality participants, who said they weren't religious were also more likely to say, they're come out to a parent than teens who identify themselves as being religious and teens who are not fully accepting of their sexual identity are also less likely to come out than those who are embraced it.
Paleontologists have described a new species of Mercer soar based on two complete skulls and Joe fan and Morocco mergers, oars Marine lizards that live during the age of the dinosaurs during the late Cretaceous, a report in the journal Cretaceous research claims the new species named was about eight meters long with long slender jaws and numerous small hook like snake snake-like teeth designed to grab small prey like fishing squared.
A man who's paralyzed from the neck down has been able to communicate by thought simply by thinking about writing out words, [00:24:00] thanks to a transplant in his brain, a report in the journal nature claims researchers used artificial intelligence software combined with the brain implants to decode the man's thoughts about handwriting into text on a computer screen.
The man was able to communicate at speeds of around 18 words per minute. That's not far from the 23 words per minute. Someone of the same age would be expected to achieve texting on a smartphone. The man had two implants on the left side of his brain, which picked up signals from neurons, firing the power of the brain that governs hand movement.
Those brain signals were then sent through the wise to a computer where artificial intelligence algorithms, the code of the signals to work out his intended head in finger motions, and then repeat those on it. Computer screen, Samsung, and those as new tri-fold smartphone display, apple launches, lossless audio features for Microsoft teams and Twitter long regarded as the toilet door or the internet have come up with a new way to get money out of you.
It's if you're silly enough to fall for it. [00:25:00] With the details on these stories and more we're joined by technology editor, Alex Herrera, Roy from ity.com. Yeah. Well, there's lots of rumors out there. It's about to launch a service called Twitter blues, and it will be on a sliding scale of pricing each month.
And we're talking about a us citizen has 99 a month of fate, and this will give you an ad prey. For the experience, you'll be able to undo tweaks. So what that means is that instead of deleting the tweets, you can just edit something and not have to delete it completely. There's also talk about being able to organize tweets into folders and bookmarks, but some people want to be able to keep copies of that and just a way of Twitter to be able to try and further monetize.
User base monthly, and that doesn't stop these companies to kind of figure out more ways of extracting money from it. If that are bad, the first, um, apple launching new lossless audio options. Yeah. Well, a number of different services that they offer higher definition [00:26:00] 40th. So that's audio with any of the compressions that you get with the MP3s that we've known.
So well. MP3s came out in an era when we didn't have broadband, as we have now, we had dial up connections. You could, you could rip a CD in a thing called a wave format, but that was huge. It was hundreds of megabytes would take hours to send over a fine line. So MP3 was developed to remove a lot of the frequencies that supposedly the human ear can't hear.
But of course that led to many people. Yeah. Thousands of songs onto an iPod, for example, other MP3 players. Now, today we have full J 5g five connections. We don't need to have these compression anymore, and there's already been a lot of work in having lots of audio codecs, but normally when you are paying for Q bars or Deezer or titles, And you want the hive definition music you're paying double the amount.
So apple is announcing the 75 million tracks in his collection are going to be available in this higher audio quality format as of June, [00:27:00] 2021. But interestingly, you can't listen to these high quality audio over your AirPods. Even the AirPods max. It's too much data to send down Bluetooth, but if you have normal headphones and get plugged in or speakers, especially if you buy some of these high-end headphones that cost a couple of thousand dollars and you choose this lossless audio.
You'll definitely hear. The difference. There'll be a much richer, warmer sound with nothing. Okay. We have Skype, we have zoom. We have Microsoft teams, all are offering new features all the time. What's Microsoft teams doing, but what they're doing is they're increasing the amount of usage you can have without charging any fee with zoom.
It's 40 minutes before you get disconnected, unless you're paying them. I ran about $20 Australian a month for a basic subscription. And if you want to have even larger amounts of people online at the same time, You know, depending on how many of these they'll charge you more Microsoft teams has installed with every copy of office 365, and Microsoft has sort of installed that by default.
So still didn't like when they tried to get [00:28:00] internet Explorer to overtake Netscape, they just use their market power to adapt it. But this is Microsoft teams for Jaime users. And what they're offering is that one-to-one users. So you and me talking on a video conference, we can now talk for 24 hours. Was it as a maximum and then you'll be disconnected and you can wake up next again for another 24 hours.
But, um, previously where they had a hundred patients, I can imagine other people really looking forward to that. Well, it's just that you can have a conference for three or four hours where you can go for a long time and not be worried that everyone has to disconnect and reconnect, but normally teams will allow you to have a hundred people to be connected, a video conference for 24 hours.
Well then now, because of COVID, which is still ongoing. Yeah, increasing that to 300 people for a maximum of 24 hours. So we'll eventually limit that down and wants you to pay extra fees and all the rest, but for the time being, they're trying to zoom and they're trying to make teams the via conferencing, chatting, and planning app of choice that you can use a real, your friends and family.
What tech expert, which one do you [00:29:00] prefer to use? Given a choice? Well, I use both zoom and teams. It really depends on the people I'm thinking with. I mean, they're both as good as each other. The best of product quality, the bison, you know, high definition, they both let you have virtual backgrounds. It's a little bit like saying, you know, do you prefer Microsoft edge or Google prime or Firefox or safari?
That'll pretty much be the same thing. They'll have extensions. It's a bit like driving a Toyota or Ford or a Homeland or. I mean, ultimately it does the same job. If Jeremy Clarkson was dead, he'd be rolling in his grave. Hearing you say that the big news from Samsung they've unveiled a tri-fold display
tablet, that was in three parts. If you think of a letter that you fold into three to put into an envelope, it's sort of like that. So you can imagine you actually see a picture. If you look online for the Samsung asphalt display, it's happening at display week 2021, which is happening in may as we're recording this.
And they, uh, this will be the [00:30:00] phones of the future that are coming probably later this year. And certainly let these tech heads we'll see many more of these types of folding displays. Also have a display that you can slide out, but probable using. That of technology that has no creases or falls at all. I also have a 17 inch monitor that you can fold in half like a book that makes them more portable and they also have an.
A camera that's underneath the display of a laptop. So that's the bezels on the top of much smaller than they currently are on most laptops. But I don't know how you're going to be able to stick abandoned over that directly under the display, which could be a problem for some people who want to look after their privacy and turn that off.
But the problem with having cameras under the displays that it's got to somehow. Now goes through the LCD pixels that are showing you an image. So I'm not quite sure how that figured that out, but you certainly, if I can put a camera right in the middle of the display and when you're looking at somebody else, that's another video.
It doesn't it. Yeah. You gotta get the camera hidden behind the pixels, but in the display itself, say you're [00:31:00] looking straight at it. This is what you naturally want to do. And it's always like you're looking at someone's nose other. Yeah. Well, when I video interview people, I tell them, look, Please look directly at the camera.
I know it's a natural, I know you have to use your peripheral vision to see what I look like. But even though you and I, as in the people I'm talking to are having the conversation, really the people that you're speaking to, uh, those who are watching this video and it looks better if you are looking at them or if peers you're looking at them, rather than looking down to look at me on the screen, it just doesn't look natural editor, Alex.
from it. Wyatt doc. Calm.
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Your window on the universe. You've been listening to space-time with Stewart, Gary. This has been another quality podcast production from bitesz.com.