The Astronomy, Technology and Space Science News Podcast.
SpaceTime with Stuart Gary Series 24 Episode 45
*X-ray blasts discovered being emitted by the crab pulsar
Astronomers studying the pulsar at the heart of the famous crab nebula have discovered blasts of X-ray are being emitted when the pulsar experiences a sudden glitch called a giant radio pulses.
*How much extraterrestrial dust falls on Earth each year
A new study has calculated that some 5200 tonnes of space dust falls on to the Earth every year.
*China’s latest top secret rocket launch
China has launched another classified spy satellite into orbit.
*The Science Report
A third of kids hospitalized with COIVID-19 develop a severe form of the disease.
Australia’s black summer bushfires caused stratosphere temperatures to increase.
Scientists claim no single factor behind Australia’s megafauna extinction.
How many T-Rex’s were there?
Skeptic's guide to spotting someone trying to mislead you about science.
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SpaceTime 20210423 Series 24 Episode 45 AI Transcript
[00:00:00] This is space-time series 24 episode 45 for broadcast on the 23rd of April, 2021. Coming up on space time. X-ray blasts discovered being emitted by the crab passer. A new study suggests more than 5,000 tons of space dust, the falling on earth each year, and China launches yet another classified spy, satellite, all that, and more coming up.
Um, space time. Welcome to space time with Stuart, Gary
Astronomy is studying the Pulser at the heart of the famous crab Nebula have discovered blasts of x-rays are being emitted. When the passer experiences a sudden glitch known as a giant radio pulse, the [00:01:00] findings reported in the journal science being that these giant radio pulses are releasing far more energy than previously thought known as M one.
The crab Nebula is a spectacular supernova remnant located some six and a half thousand light years away in the Perseus arm of the Milky way. In the constellation of tourists, the ball, the Nebula is the colorful debris cloud created by the explosive death of a star between 20 and 30 times. The mass of the sun whose light was first detected by ancient Chinese astronomers as a new star back in July 10 54.
At the height of the crab Nebula is a, Pulser a rapidly spinning neutron star. The super dense collapsed still at Corpus of a star that went supernova at the end of its life. Wholesales worldly, magnetic fields, power beams of electromagnetic energy in radio waves, visible light x-rays and gamma rays, which sweep across the sky.
Like a lighthouse beacon, a young neutron star can spend [00:02:00] dozens to hundreds of times a second. And if these beams sweep past the earth, astronomers observed clock light pulses of emissions and classify the object as a Pulser the crab neutron star spend some 30 times every second and an x-ray and radio wavelengths.
It's among the brightest pulsars in the sky, out of the more than 2,800 pounds South catalog. So far the crab balls. There is one of only a few that emit giant radio pulses. These events occur sporadically and can be hundreds to thousands of times brighter than the regular pulses. Now, after decades of observations, astronomy is a bit out of measure details of its giant radio pulses, including emissions from other parts of the spectrum.
The analysis showed the largest amount of simultaneous x-ray and radio data ever collected from a Pulser thousands of times, greater than expected. Astronomy has used NASA neutron, star, interior composition Explorer, telescope mounted on the international space station to study the Paul [00:03:00] Sara. And x-rays all ground-based telescopes observed that in radio frequencies, the combined datasets captured activity across some 3.7 million Pulser rotations and netted some 26,000 giant radio pulses turns out these giant pulses are up really quickly spiking in a millionth of a second and occur unpredictably.
However, when they do occur, they coincide with the regular clockwork pulsations. The data revealed an x-ray boost of about 4% occurring in sync with each giant radio pulse. And that's remarkably similar to the 3% rise, invisible light also associated with a phenomenon. This report from NASA TV. NASA is nicer.
X-ray telescope on the international space station has just shown that random outbursts from pulsars pack. More of a punch than previously thought. Pulsars are rapidly spinning neutron stars. The crushed cores of exploded stars. One of the best known [00:04:00] pulsars lies at the heart of the famous crab Nebula located about 6,500 light years away.
Light from the supernova that formed it. Reached earth less than a thousand years ago in the year, 10 54, the crab pulse, our spins 30 times a second, and steadily blinks in radio, visible light x-rays and gamma rays. But it also emits random jumbo bursts called giant radio pulses. They can be more than 10 times stronger than its regular signals.
Now, thanks to nicer sensitivity, astronomers have shown that each giant pulse comes with an increase in x-ray brightness as well. Observing the crabs simultaneously with nicer and radio telescopes in Japan, astronomy captured data over some 3.7 million rotations. They show a nearly 4% increase in x-ray emission with each giant pulse.
This means the phenomena responsible for giant radio pulses produced 10 or more times. [00:05:00] The energy previously estimated from radio and visible data alone. Astronomers think all these signals eight from particle interactions in the pulsars rapidly spinning magnetic field, but the details remain poorly.
No. Better understanding giant pulses may help scientists figure out how pulsars like the crab do what they do. It may also provide us with insight into a much more powerful phenomenon called fast radio bursts, which are linked to spinning neutron stars in our galaxy and others much farther away.
This is space time still the come and you study calculates how much cosmic dust falls on the earth each year. And China launches yet another classified spy satellite into orbit. Oh, that is more store to come. Um, space time.
[00:06:00] A new study has calculated that some 5,200 Toms of space dust is falling on the earth every year. The earth is constantly encountering dust particles from comets and asteroids. Then there's the zodiacal lights, which we now know is a dust TRO lift by the planet. Mars, all these interplanetary grains of dust usually burn up as they enter the atmosphere, but some are large enough to reach the earth surface in the form of micrometeorites and they've become an important way for astronomers to study the space environment through which the earth is orbiting scientists often collect micrometeorites samples from places as common as roofs and gutters.
But those are usually contaminated with pollution and terrestrial dust. The new findings are reported in the journal earth and planetary science letters are based on 20 years of pristine micrometeorite particles [00:07:00] collected at the Franco Italian Concordia station. Located on an ACTIC is dome. See these particles are just a few tens to hundreds of a millimeter across, but getting to them is a mammoth task.
To collect and analyze all the micrometeorites. They can, six expeditions were undertaken to the Concordia station located 1,100 kilometers inland from the Antarctica coast. Derm sea is an ideal collection spot due to the low accumulation rate of snow. And then the absence of terrestrial dust. The expedition collected enough extraterrestrial dust particles ranging from 30 to 200 micro meters in size to measure their annual flux, which corresponds to the mass of created on earth per square meter.
Every year. The authors say that if the results are applied to the whole planet, the turtle annual flux of micrometeorites represents some 5,200 tons per year. In other words, every year, the Earth's getting 5,200 times [00:08:00] heavier just from dust particles. And that makes these the major source of extra terrestrial matter landing on the earth far ahead of larger objects like meteorites or which the flux is less than 10 tons per year.
A detailed analysis of these micrometeorites shows that the vast majority, some 80% come from comets with a restroom asteroids by studying these interplanetary dust particles, the authors are getting a better picture of how water and carbonaceous molecules arrived on the early earth, billions of years ago.
This is space time still the com China launches another classified spy, satellite into orbit. And later in the science report and you study has found that Australia's black summer bushfires was so intense. They actually caused the stratospheres temperature to increase all that and more store to come.
[00:09:00] China has launched another classified spy satellite into orbit. The top secret spacecraft was launched the border long March four. Be rocket equipped with fullest strap-on boosters. The mission was flown from the Tonya and satellite launch center in Northern Cheyenne there's Shanxi province and was placed into a 1,450 kilometer high sun synchronous orbit, Beijing claims.
It's an experimental satellite designed to carry out space, environment surveys and experiments, unrelated technologies. The 2,800 kilograms space craft is the third and the Shan six series. The other two in this series were launched on smaller, long match. Two day rockets into lower Roberts. The clandestine spacecraft uses a new nano composite black coating designed to prevent stray light from disrupting optical cameras.
And that allows the spacecraft's cameras to capture better images of [00:10:00] fate objects such as other spacecraft. It means that when Beijing says the satellites designed to carry out space environment surveys, what they're really saying is that it's a space situational awareness satellite designed to track and monitor.
And in some instances, capture satellites, belonging to other nations, the ultra black material that's coded in should absorb some 99.6% of ultraviolet visible and near infrared light. The mission Mark, the 365th launch of a long match series. Rocket. This is space time.
And Tom had to take another break. Look at some of the other stories making using science this week with the science report. And you study shows that nearly a third of kids hospitalized with COVID-19 go on to develop a severe form of the disease. The findings reported in the journal of the American medical [00:11:00] association, uh, based on an analysis of hospital data for some 20,714 S children with COVID-19 side to say, boys were more likely than girls to develop a severe form of the disease and children with pre-existing illnesses were also at a far higher risk.
Researchers also found that younger kids, those aged between two and 11 years are more likely than all the ones to develop a severe form of COVID-19. More than 3 million people have now died from the COVID-19 virus. And another 140 million are infected with a deadly disease since it first emerged in China and then spread around around the world and you study his family, that Australia is devastating.
2019, 20, 20 black summer bushfires are used so much smoke that it increased the temperature of the stratosphere for some six months. The findings reported in the journal. Geophysical research letters suggest that black particulate matter from the smoke absorbed heat, leading to an [00:12:00] increase in temperature between one and two degrees Celsius.
Australia's 2019 2020 black summer bushfires burnt out an estimated 186,000 square kilometers. Killing more than 3 billion terrestrial, vertebrate animals, including many highly endangered species. Some of whom were driven to extinction. The massive wildfires also destroyed some 5,900 buildings, including 2,779 homes killing at least 34 people smoke from the fires across the South Pacific ocean affecting not just New Zealand, but also Chile and Argentina.
By the height of the fires in January, 2020 NASA estimated that some 337 million tons of carbon dioxide had been emitted into the atmosphere, but fading the stratosphere and completely circling the planet. The rabbit extinction, giant animals, including wombat like creatures as big as cars, birds, more than two meters tall and lizards [00:13:00] over seven meters long, which once roamed Australia has long puzzled scientists.
Ancient clues about the shape of fossils and archeological evidence of varying quality scattered around Australia have formed the basis of several hypotheses about the fed of the Aussie megafauna, which vanished around 42,000 years ago from the ancient continent, comprising mainland Australia, Tasmania, new Guinea and neighboring islands.
Now a study by a scientist of Flinders university has concluded that it was in fact multiple factors, including the impact of the first human arrivals, as well as things like changes in climate access to fresh water sources, which all combined to see what the fed at the megafauna researchers use sophisticated mathematical modeling to assess how susceptible different species were to extinction finding it.
Wasn't just the megafauna that was dying out. They found the extinction cascade was likely the result of complex localized scenarios, including the impact of regional climate variations and [00:14:00] different pressures from the first Australians as they moved across the region. And you study is looked at it.
The question of just how many Tyrannosaurus Rex is used to exist, and it's come to the staggering conclusion that more than two and a half billion Tyrannosaurus Rex is once Rome, North America, during the Cretaceous period. The findings reported in the journal of science suggested that around 20,000 adult T-Rex has probably lived at any one time, 30 meter, long, 15 Tom theropod, carnivores reindeers King of the dinosaurs for around two and a half million years ending 66 million years ago with the impact of the KT boundary of an asteroid in the Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.
So where do they get their two and a half billion figure from. As part of their calculations, paleontologist used Monte color, computer simulations, and chose to treat T Rex as a predator with energy requirements, roughly halfway between those of a modern day lion and Komodo dragon today, fewer than a [00:15:00] hundred T-Rex individuals have been found.
And many of those are represented by just a single fossil life, I suppose. How do you too, when someone's trying to make you believe something that isn't true or tried to get you to doubt something that is true. Tim amend them from Australian skeptic says there are actually a variety of strategies that can manipulate you very effectively, but there are also telltale signs to look out for a whole range of things.
I mean, outside of this little house, and then they call up the cases, et cetera, to talk about it. There's a few red flags. That can pop up. And this was some research done by people that literally have uni or five things to look out for. And these are sort of characteristics of the way their arguments are being put forward.
One is the outcome versus them capital play on them. If you like sort of their have to get us big government, big pharma, big science, big, whatever, anyone who makes up this sort of paranoid sort of review it's often you say, hang on, right? It, maybe not that that's that preferred flag that pops up. And another one is someone who says I'm not a scientist, but, and basically when someone says, I'm not a scientist, you should leave it at there.
[00:16:00] Especially when they say, I know what science is all about. That's the flag as well. And then you started to realize that qualifications might not be strong people who then say that the science is not settled. That scientists haven't come to a hundred percent conclusions scientists never do. That's not the way science works.
Science works by constantly. We finding of April. They're always looking for improvements, but they're really kind of say it's a hundred percent off. Another alternative practitioners do psych where a hundred percent certain. So as soon as they say that, as opposed to saying the science is not settled in either that's another red flag you should be watching out for obviously the simple explanations.
And I welcome the sprays and say, the simple explanation is the best, but in some cases, the simple explanation is the most simplistic and can't be conspiracy theories. Dan, for particular, Q is. They point out that in this article, that science is often messy and it's complicated and it's full of nuances and insights suggesting there's a simple explanation for some of these things in science is straight up wait.
And especially when they book it, that quantum mechanics and that sort of stuff. So they would say they would catch onto something like quantum mechanics and say back the answer. [00:17:00] Well, no, it doesn't work that way. And most of the examples I use are really sort of either simplified. And then of course the classic, which is cherry picking evidence.
And you can also tell you credits, you pull out a bit of a quiet, you pull out a few stats and you use them out of context and you can make lies, damn licensed statistics. You can use them to say anything you want, actually, even it's obviously these reputable and a dishonest to use things out of context, but it happens a lot anyway.
So take a few words here. And instead of Capri BK, swim, The opposite is often true. You'll find this with people putting forward references to articles and things. It looks impressive. But when you actually, if you take the time to actually look at some of these references, she will often say the opposite of what this person is saying.
So they've either just cherry picked information or just thrown in some random references to make themselves look good. Some of them are just silly ish. I'm not a scientist, but. Classic one for you to say that these are the ones that perhaps some of them a bit more subtle cherry picking is hard to pick in a strike conversation because you have to know what the cultural context is by the time you've done your research, they probably moved on.
So you have to be [00:18:00] careful with that one, but if you can work on that one, you know, they're cherry picking, then you've got a good indicator that they're not the full, the full. Um, you can tell that they're not the full. Yeah. If you see people using these sort of arguments over our first as the M over simplistic, I'm not a scientist, but science is not settled.
Things that are unknown to science, but nine to me, apparently I asked him please, to get donations, cherry picking, when you can pick it out, are all good indicators that the person you're talking to with the shoe, their scientists and their stuff, they're saying it's junk science to amend them from Australian skeptics.
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