Welcome to episode 82 of the 26th series of SpaceTime with Stuart Gary. In this episode, we delve into the surprising discoveries, alarming incidents, and intriguing developments in the world of astronomy and space science. Here's a sneak peek: ### 1. Discovery of the Impossible Planet In an unbelievable discovery, astronomers have unearthed the existence of a planet that, against all odds, is alive and kicking. Located at a distance of 520 light-years from us, this celestial object, 8 Ursae Minoris b, is in orbit around a red giant star - a star that should have devoured it long ago. ### 2. Sun's Powerful Solar Flare Our very own star, the Sun, has just discharged a potent X 1 class solar flare. The X-class flares are renowned for being the most ferocious and potent type of solar flares that can be observed. ### 3. Cancellation of Australia's Satellite Program In a shocking turn of events, the Albanese government in Australia has decided to terminate a multi-billion-dollar satellite Earth resources program, following the scrapping of millions of dollars in funding for rocket launch facilities in the country last month. ### 4. Launch of a Covert Spy Satellite Adding to the air of mystery, the massive United Launch Alliance Delta IV heavy, has undertaken its second-last flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Its payload? A highly classified spy satellite. ### 5. The Science Report Round-up - The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has officially announced that we are now in the midst of an El Niño event. - A new record has been set for Planet Earth’s average temperature - an alarming 17.18 degrees Celsius. - A widely used artificial sweetener is now on the brink of being labeled as a potential carcinogen. - Lastly, we bring a skeptic's guide on how scientific progress is gradually putting an end to UFOlogy. Stay tuned for an engaging and enlightening episode on the latest in the cosmos. Dive deep into the mysteries of the universe with Stuart Gary on SpaceTime!
This week’s guests includes: Dr Ben Montet from the University of New South Wales Andreas Rudolph ESA’s flight operations director for Euclid Satoshi Miyazaki the director of Japan’s Superu telescope Parker Solar Probe lead Engineer Betsy Congdon…. And our regular guests: Tim Mendham from Australian Skeptics Alex Zaharov-Reutt from www.techadvice.life Listen to SpaceTime on your favorite podcast app with our universal listen link: https://spacetimewithstuartgary.com/listen and access show links via https://linktr.ee/biteszHQ Additionally, listeners can support the podcast and gain access to bonus content by becoming a SpaceTime crew member through www.bitesz.supercast.com or through premium versions on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Details on our website at https://spacetimewithstuartgary.com For more SpaceTime and show links: https://linktr.ee/biteszHQ For more podcasts visit our HQ at https://bitesz.com
STUART GARY: This is Space Time series 26 episode 82 for broadcast on the 10th of July 2023. Coming up on Space Time, the planet that shouldn't exist, the Sun blasts out another strong X class solar flare and the Australian government scraps a billion dollar satellite program. All that and more coming up on Space Time.
Welcome to Space Time with Stuart Garry.
STUART GARY: Astronomers have discovered a planet that by all accounts shouldn't exist located some 520 light years away. The planet eight Ursa Manaus B is orbiting a red giant in the constellation Ursa minor, the little bear.
STUART GARY: But the thing is this planet should have been destroyed when it was engulfed during the star's expansion phase into a red giant part of an evolution that will ultimately see this star become a white dwarf. White dwarves are stars like our Sun that have used up all their core hydrogen fuel, fusing it into helium.
STUART GARY: This causes the stellar core to cool and contract and this contraction increases pressure and temperature in the core eventually getting high enough to fuse the core helium into carbon and oxygen. At the same time, all this extra heat is causing the star's arctic gaseous envelope to expand. And now being further away from the stellar core, the surface of the stellar envelope cools down, turning the star into a red giant.
STUART GARY: This process happens over and over again in a series of pulses and during these pulses, the outer envelope engulfs and destroys any nearby planets.
STUART GARY: In fact, this is the very fact, our own dying Sun will inflict on the inner planets of our solar system in between five and 7 billion years from now, our Sun too will expand into a red giant engulfing and destroying the planet's mercury Venus and most likely also the Earth eventually be it eight Ursa minor or our Sun.
STUART GARY: The star's outer envelope will simply pass off floating away as a planetary nebula, leaving behind the star's exposed white hot stellar core. A white dwarf which will then be left to slowly cool over the eons until now, scientists have thought that no nearby planet can survive this process.
STUART GARY: However, a new study reported in the journal nature has confirmed the existence of the planet eight Cimino B, which seems to have survived the deadly expansion against all odds. The planet which is also known as Hala is orbiting close to the dying red giant star and well within the zone that would have been wiped clean during the star's expansion phase.
STUART GARY: Halla is a hot jupiter like gas giant. The planet is composed of swirling gas with a surface temperature of around 1000 Kelvin at 730 degrees Celsius making it hotter than any planet in our solar system. One of the reasons behind this heat is the planet's closeness to its host star, which at 75 million kilometers is about half the distance between the Earth and the Sun.
STUART GARY: And as for the star itself, well, it's expanded out to around 20 times the diameter of our Sun. One of the study's authors, Dr Ben Mona from the University Of New South Wales says this is a planet that simply shouldn't exist.
STUART GARY: It should have been ingested by the star. Astronomers have known about how since 2015, when a study using the radial velocity method, a technique which analyzes the slight gravitational tug an orbiting planet can have on its host star suggested that a planet must be orbiting the star ate Ursa and Noris, which is also known as Bae.
STUART GARY: Do. The new observations confirm this discovery showing that Halo's nearly circular 93 Earth day orbit around the star has remained stable for well over a decade. The findings are based on observations from the Canada France, Hawaii observatory and the twin Keck telescopes upon monarchy in Hawaii.
STUART GARY: The authors also use NASA's test transiting exoplanets survey satellite in order to undertake astro seismology observations of the star studying its oscillations to help uncover its internal properties.
STUART GARY: Astro seismology measures pressure waves or star quakes inside the star in the same way that geoscientists learn about the Earth's interior by studying earthquakes through seismology. This confirmed that bag do was in fact burning helium at its core. A face that red giants only reach after they've already swirled up and consume nearby planets.
STUART GARY: And this makes Hula the only planet we know closely orbiting a star in this late stage of life. The discovery raises some interesting questions is the planet breaking everything science knows about stellar planetary evolution or could there be another equally bizarre reason behind its survival?
STUART GARY: Monte and colleagues didn't take long to spot something strange. They detected a lot of lithium in the star's atmosphere. And this is unusual because most stars don't have lithium, it burns too easily in stellar atmospheres. While lithium is often seen in young stars, only about 1% of older red giants possess it.
STUART GARY: One of the leading theories to explain why some older stars are mysteriously lithium rich is that they've gained their lithium later in life most likely by way of interaction with another star. Now, if that's the case, our authors have come up with three possible scenarios.
STUART GARY: One involves Bae do itself being the result of a merger of two stars in a binary system millions of years ago. And this merger could have restricted one of the stars in the binary system from expanding wide enough to engulf Hala thereby allowing the planet to escape.
STUART GARY: Or it's possible that Hula itself wasn't in danger in the first place simply because it didn't exist before the star's expansion phase. Instead, it might very well be a second generation planet born from the ingredient rich gas cloud created from the merger of the two stars.
STUART GARY: A third option involves a long term trend in the star's radial velocity signal, suggesting there's something else there, another nearby object and that's having a slight gravitational pull on Baek do. But whether it's a star or a planet or whether it's even played a role in somehow influencing Hula's current orbit is still a mystery.
STUART GARY: This discovery is important because it shows that not all close in planets are doomed at the hands of their host stars when the star begins to grow old and become bloated. Monte says there are about 1000 other lithium rich giant stars out there that we already know of.
STUART GARY: And this could be an exciting opportunity to search them out in hope of finding more nearby planets. He points out that there aren't many of these stars that have been studied in detail simply because they shouldn't have planets around them. But we've been surprised once now and we'll probably be surprised to gain.
DR BEN MONTET : Yeah, this is a planet that's in a really surprising place. We know when a star is at the end of its life, it will expand, become a red giant, but that's a fairly short lived phase. It becomes a red giant very briefly and then it tracks back down and goes through a long, you know, hundreds of millions of years phase called the red clump where much like our Sun, it will be burning things in its core.
DR BEN MONTET : But unlike our Sun, which is turning hydrogen into helium, the star has used up all its hydrogen, it's converting helium into carbon, but it's already been through this expansion and contraction phase. And so, in this case, we see a planet that is in a fairly close orbit to a star. That's weird.
DR BEN MONTET : We know when the Sun goes through the phase, we expect it to swallow up mercury and Venus and possibly even Earth, it's going to grow at large about what we call one A U decided that the Sun, this star went through that phase too. So we would expect it to swallow up anything in the short period. But this planet seems to have avoided that fate.
STUART GARY: You can see the planet directly. I take it or how do you know it's there? Yeah, that's exactly right.
DR BEN MONTET : So we don't see the planet specifically. We see its effects on its host star. So in this case, we see it through a method called spectroscopy, we measure the velocity of the star looking at how quickly it's moving towards or away from us. And we see that change it. And that's because it is being orbited by this planet.
DR BEN MONTET : And so really these two objects are both gravitationally tugging on each other. The planet goes around the star, the star goes around the planet a little bit as well. And so we see that reflex motion through the wobble method exactly in the same way that we see or we hear police siren or a train or a race car change pitch as it moves, we see the same thing in light from stars.
DR BEN MONTET : The star becomes slightly bluer or redder over time. And we use that to infer the presence of the planet, we can work out the period and how big the planet is based off of how long the signal takes and how big it is.
STUART GARY: And you also used Astros seismology in this study as well.
DR BEN MONTET : Absolutely. Yes. So astro seismology is a study of pals in a star, stars are big balls of gas, they behave like fluids. And so in the same way as you skip a rock on a pond, and you see the ripple stars have side of our interior as well. And the speed that these ripples go through the star, the where they go through tells us what the interior of the star looks like. How dense is it? What is it about magnetic field?
DR BEN MONTET : We can really learn a lot about stars through these ripples. And so in this case, that's what enabled us to understand that the star is this evolve through the red giant phase for the first time. So the star will go through several phases of expansion. And contraction. It loses a little bit of mass each time. But the main loss of the outer layers, the main planetary nebula contraction is in the future.
DR BEN MONTET : So it's been through this first step. This red giant branch will become, you know, something like 100 times the radius of the Sun. It's contracted back down to about 10 times the radius of the Sun. But it will, as it runs out of helium in its core, it will go through this process again and it will go through a couple of times on its way to eventually becoming a white core for the planetary nebula around it.
STUART GARY: What makes this special? Just just the fact that the planet survive. I'm assuming that's what we're talking about here.
DR BEN MONTET : Yes, it's special in that we don't really understand why this planet is there. That the theory would predict the planet doesn't exist. It should have been swallowed up.
DR BEN MONTET : And so either it survived or it wasn't there in the first place that perhaps there was interaction with another star that puts the material in orbit in a disk later on in the star's life that the planet was able to coalesce from, we call these second generation planets. So a planet that arrived later on in the life of the star. And it's possible that that happened. We don't really have the data today.
STUART GARY: Three theories associated with this aren't there that could explain what we're seeing. Yes, absolutely.
DR BEN MONTET : So one of the things that's weird about this star beyond that, it has a planet is that it has a lot of lithium in its atmosphere. Now, lithium is an element that doesn't stick around long inside a star. It's very easy to burn to separate out two other elements. Even brown brown works have them. Yes and very young stars have them.
DR BEN MONTET : And so we use it to measure the ages of stars of young stars based on how much lithium is left characteristic. We call it depletion timescale, the how your lithium. And so this star's timescale should have been 10, 20 million years, you know, it wouldn't have had lithium for very long and yet it's billions of years old and there's a lot of lithium in there.
DR BEN MONTET : We see this about 1% of the time in these red giants. We've seen them for about 50 years. A long standing mystery why these stars have lithium. But one of the main theories is that it's the result of a merger that this star had a second star in orbit in a binary system.
DR BEN MONTET : And perhaps that star got swallowed up along the way or in some way, was able to perhaps get injected it from the system, but it somehow shielded the planet from being swelled up, affected the evolution of the star that it didn't quite go through this red giant phase in the way that stars normally do.
STUART GARY: Now, this particular system was found using tests. The, well, I was going to say planet hunting, but it's really more planet confirming spacecraft of NASA test.
DR BEN MONTET : Is a little bit of everything. One of the things that's really exciting about tests is that it's really useful as a probe as well. And so test was really useful for the system. There was another team years ago that, that identified a can this planet as a candidate using ground based data, but they didn't understand the star very well.
DR BEN MONTET : And so, Tess was critical for understanding this is a star on the red clump. It through the red giant branch through the technology that would not have been possible without tests. So that played a key role.
DR BEN MONTET : And the other telescope that was really important was the Keck telescope in Monia, Hawaii has a spectrograph called high res on it, which is really one of the world's best telescopes for doing these Doppler shift measurements, looking for the wobbles of star because the planet that enabled us to really precisely characterize the mass of the planet, the size of the planet, verify that it was there and also identify that there's some long term extra acceleration from the velocity of the star.
DR BEN MONTET : So something else is pulling on the star, perhaps it's a binary component in a wider orbit or another planet that we don't quite have the data to characterize. Yet. There's exciting times ahead.
STUART GARY: That's Dr Ben Monte, an astronomer with the University Of New South Wales and this is Space Time still to come. The Sun releases a strong X class solar flare and the Australian government scraps a billion dollar satellite program all that and more still to come on Space Time.
STUART GARY: The Sun has emitted a strong X class solar flare. X class flare is the most violent and intense type of solar flare. The event was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft which constantly monitors the Sun's activity. Solar flares are powerful bursts of energy exploding out from the Sun's surface due to Sun spot action.
STUART GARY: If pointed at the Earth flares and coronal mass ejections, powerful explosions sending the Sun's matter into space can impact radio communications, satellite navigation systems, electric power grids, damaged spacecraft and be a threat to astronauts by increasing radiation levels.
STUART GARY: This latest blast came as the sunspot count for the average number of sunspots in June hit a 21 year high. It means that solar cycle 25 has shot past its predecessor solar cycle 24 and may now be on track to rival some of the strongest solar cycles of the 20th century.
STUART GARY: This is Space Time still to come. Australia scraps a billion dollar satellite program and the United States launches a new top secret spy satellite on what will be the second last ever launch of a delta four heavy. All that are more still to come on Space Time after scrapping millions in funding for rocket launch facilities in Australia.
STUART GARY: Last month, the Albanese government has now axed a $1.2 billion satellite Earth Resources program. The National Space Mission For Earth Observation Project was designed to develop a series of satellites that were key to developing Australia's space industry, providing Australia with the capabilities to design, build and launch its own spacecraft.
STUART GARY: The global space market has grown to a record $469 billion in annual global spending in 2021 and up from 280 billion in 2010 and it is expected to pass a trillion dollars by 2030.
STUART GARY: The former coalition government wanted Australia to have a significant slice of that market. The Australian project was to build and operate an initial four satellites which would be launched between 2028 and 2033 in order to garner Earth observation data to help with weather forecasting farming, environmental management, forestry control, national disaster assistance and defense security measures.
STUART GARY: The Space Industry Association Of Australia says the decision to cancel the satellite program was short sighted and will undermine the Albanese government's agenda on climate defense stem advanced manufacturing and building tech jobs.
STUART GARY: Last week, Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers boasted about the labor government achieving a budget surplus for the 12 months to May of $19 billion. Well above the $4.2 billion flagged in the 2022 2023 financial year in the last federal budget this Space Time.
STUART GARY: Still to come. The penultimate delta four heavy rocket blast off from Cape Canaveral carrying a top secret spy satellite. And later in the science report, the World Meteorological Organization formally declares that an El Niño event is now underway all that and more still to come on Space Time.
STUART GARY: The penultimate flight of the massive United Launch Alliance delta four heavy has taken off from Cape Canaveral in Florida carrying a top secret spy satellite into orbit.
STUART GARY: The NRL 68 mission from space launch complex 37 B had been delayed by a day following an issue with the ground system, pneumatic valve, 72 m tall delta four heavy made up of three delta four core stages mounted side by side forming one of the most powerful rockets in the world. One capable of lifting more than 14 tons into geostationary orbit as well as the three common core boosters.
STUART GARY: The launch vehicle configuration also used the cryogenic center upper stage and a 5 m diameter payload fairing to protect the classified National Reconnaissance office. A spy satellite NRL 68 marked the 15th launch of the delta four heavy first flew in 2004 and it was the 11th delta four heavy mission for the National Reconnaissance office.
STUART GARY: The final delta four heavy is slated to launch next year. There are now only three missions still planned using either delta or Atlas rockets, both of which will be replaced by the United Launch Alliance's new Vulcan scent or rocket sometime in the next year or so.
STUART GARY: We'll keep you informed this Space Time and time now to take a brief look at some of the other stories making news in science. This week. With the science report, the World Meteorological Organization has formally declared that an El Niño event is now underway. Scientists say warm eastern tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures have now confirmed the presence of El Niño with a 90 per cent chance of it.
STUART GARY: Continuing into late 2023. The World Meteorological Organization has combined forecasts and expert opinions from around the world to declare the onset of the El Niño which is set to increase the likelihood of record high temperatures in many parts of the world.
STUART GARY: The El Niño and La Nina southern oscillation weather patterns known as Enzo Act as the primary meteorological driver influencing Australia's weather and climate on a year to year basis. It's a naturally occurring shift in tropical ocean temperatures and weather patterns along the equatorial Pacific causing a change in atmospheric circulation.
STUART GARY: These cycles loosely operate over timescales ranging from 1 to 8 years, El Niño, meaning little Boy or Christ chart in Spanish causes extended periods of warming sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific with high surface pressures in the tropical Western Pacific.
STUART GARY: And that includes Australia. The name comes from Peruvian fishers who noticed reduced catches of anchovies at Christmas time during periods of unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean. Back in the 16 hundreds, El Ninos tend to cause periods of warmer temperatures, reduced rainfall, increased drought and high fire danger across Australia.
STUART GARY: While the Americans tend to experience increased rainfall, flooding and storm activity with the Pacific jet stream moving south causing drier and warmer conditions in the northern US and Canada. While the US Gulf Coast and south east become wetter than usual with increased risk of flooding.
STUART GARY: Now, typically the equatorial trade winds blow from east to west across the Pacific Ocean during El Ninos, El Niño's counterpart La Nina or little girl. We've just experienced three of them in a row.
STUART GARY: By the way, is associated with lower sea surface pressure and ended periods of cooling equatorial sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific. It also generates persistent south easterly to north westerly winds. Strengthening in tropical latitudes with clouds shifting west across the Pacific closer to Australia.
STUART GARY: La Nina results in increased rainfall and flooding across eastern and central Australia with more storm and tropical cyclone activity likely and a weakening or even reversal of the prevailing trade winds. Pushing more warm water towards Australia. La Nina can also lead to more severe American hurricane seasons.
STUART GARY: Meanwhile the cooler eastern Pacific waters pushed the jet stream northwards bringing more drought conditions to the southern US and heavy rains and flooding to the Pacific north western Canada during a La Nina period. Us winter temperatures are warmer than normal in the south and cooler than normal in the north.
STUART GARY: Planet Earth's average temperature has set a new record reaching 17.18 degrees Celsius for several days. And that was after setting the previous record of 17.01 degrees Celsius the previous day.
STUART GARY: The latest records based on data from the US National Centers For Environmental prediction beat the old record of 16.92 degrees Celsius which was set back in August 2016. The new high was also the warmest since satellite monitoring first began in 1979.
STUART GARY: Scientists say the new record is due to a combination of the latest El Niño weather event and ongoing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses.
STUART GARY: The record comes as the southern US, China and North Africa all suffer record heat waves and they warn there'll be more records in coming months as El Niño strengthens the average temperature across the planet is now 1.46 degrees Celsius above the average during the period 18 50 to 1900.
STUART GARY: Meteorologists warned that the new El Niño phase means we can expect a lot more daily monthly and annual record breaking events over the next 18 months.
STUART GARY: The Reuters news agency is reporting that one of the world's most common artificial sweeteners is set to be declared a possible carcinogen next month by the World Health Organization. Dr Ian Musgrave from the University Of Adelaide says the sweetener.
STUART GARY: Asper team will be listed as a class two B carcinogen, meaning it's possibly carcinogenic to humans. This means there's some evidence for carcinogenicity, but Musgrave says to put it all in perspective, hot beverages are listed as a class two, a probable carcinogen.
STUART GARY: So there's less evidence for Asper being a carcinogen than there is for drinking hot beverages. He says the most recent systematic review of non sugar sweeteners found no consistent evidence for carcinogenesis from epidemiological studies and no evidence relevant to humans of carcinogenic in trials.
STUART GARY: Musgrave says in short, the evidence of any human risk is very weak and if you're not going to worry about your risk from a hot copper, then the Asper you put in, it will be even less of a worry what UFOLOGISTS want more than anything else in the world beside actual proof of extraterrestrials is for some serious people to pay serious attention to them.
STUART GARY: The problem of course is that once you get really serious investigations by real scientists, you tend to get real results. And as Tim Mendham from Australian Skeptics puts it, that's never good news for UFOLOGISTS.
TIM MENDHAM: The great thing about most UFO proponents great several things probably is that most of them are genuine. There are hoaxes out there obviously, but most of them are genuine. They really and they really want evidence and proof of their beliefs and that's great.
TIM MENDHAM: There's a lot of areas especially in medicine where people run away from any evidence. But the eos same as the crypto zoologists, the people looking for unknown animals always want evidence.
TIM MENDHAM: Now, suddenly when you get a high profile examples like the Pentagon UFO films that were recently released, even though they'd been known about for about 10 years or something, and that caused a big fuss and everyone got interested and therefore suddenly people started paying more attention to you foes or UAP as they're called these days, unidentified aerial phenomena.
TIM MENDHAM: Although someone calls it unidentified anomalous phenomena, which is a bit annoying because it makes it seem anomalous. But UAP or UFOs or flying sources creates a lot of interest. These Pentagon things created a lot of interest despite the fact that the Pentagon result was that we don't know what they are.
STUART GARY: Others were artifacts in the camera equipment, the lenses and others were simply unexplained glitches.
TIM MENDHAM: As the researcher, Mick West point about that, it's amazing how poor the Pentagon investigation was when they came down and said, we don't know what these are and he looked at them did a few experiments and pointed out within hours what they were.
TIM MENDHAM: And the thing is you do not go to UIST by and large O and say, is this a UFO? Because they say yes. Although I've discussed things with a number of UFO proponents, including the world's most prestigious collector of UFO photography Fellow in Spain. Oh yes.
STUART GARY: He's written books denouncing it too. But hasn't he?
TIM MENDHAM: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. He's a serious, he's a believer or wants to be a believer, but he wants to believe in scientific evidence.
TIM MENDHAM: And the problem is that as soon as you get this excitement going on, you get real people who with a slightly more independent point of view investigating and the trouble is then you expose your science to more scientific rigor and what's happening with the scientific rigor is that they're finding nothing there as happens with Nick West. When he investigates these things, you do not ask people running the UO society.
STUART GARY: Most scientists, I know most astronomers and physicists I know will tell you, they believe there is probably life beyond Earth life on other worlds. But those worlds are a long way away, far too far for those people to have traveled here. That's the problem.
TIM MENDHAM: That's the problem. Maybe life out there. Heaven knows there might even be intelligent life out there. That yes, but I mean, they're probably not here and that's the trouble and the trouble with uso evidence is that it's a lot of bad evidence. There's a lot of evidence but it's bad if you market that a 10, you probably get a lot of twos and a lot of twos don't make a 10, right?
TIM MENDHAM: They don't add up. It just means there's a lot of bad evidence. And the trouble is when you get a lot of bad evidence, the implication is maybe the whole thing is bad. It's a shonk science. If you keep doing experimental results and they turning out you're probably going to say, well, probably not worth pursuing.
TIM MENDHAM: That's the trouble the UFO proponents and the youths and the want scientific proof, want scientific investigation. But when they get it, they don't necessarily like the outcome because it is saying almost without failure that there is nothing there worthwhile looking at it was stuck together Well, and literally so in some cases, I mean, I've had people give me evidence for UFOs and things which is patently pathetic.
TIM MENDHAM: And these days, of course, with everyone having smartphones and smart phones with, with the technology that stops the jiggling, stop the picture shaking, they can counter for that if the UFOs are out there and so common there could be gazillions of bits of evidence which is decent quality sharp enough, same with big, big, but all you get is photos from a shaky camera and one person came to me and said, he said he kept filming UFOs from his balcony.
TIM MENDHAM: And I said, well, what a shame you don't lean against the balcony wall because then your camera wouldn't shake that much.
STUART GARY: And you wonder why is your camera shaking north facing probably seeing aircraft coming in to land on 16, right at Sydney airport.
TIM MENDHAM: He was fairly near an aircraft thing, but I actually sent his videos over to Mick West and this fellow in Spain who were the experts on it and they both came back saying balloons and saying balloons meant the person who gave me the videos was rather upset.
TIM MENDHAM: And the skeptics would say they're balloons because they can win against the servant believers. But I mean, you have to look at the evidence and you keep saying a lot of bad evidence amalgamated into good evidence. It just means the evidence is getting worse and worse and worse.
TIM MENDHAM: The trouble is that when you're looking for results and you ask the serious independent people to look into it, you're going to get not necessarily the result you want, but that's the trouble because most of you follow most serious ones I know are genuine people doing what they regard as genuine research and they are on the believing side of skeptical that they are still sort of trying to find the evidence, which is definitive and there is no.
STUART GARY: Evidence that's Tim Mendham from Australian Skeptics.
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