The Matt, Pat, and Paul Travelling Universe Show!

Show notes for Episode 190, March 24th 2014
Hosts: Paul, Pat, Matt (Guest)
Title: The Matt, Pat and Paul Traveling universe show!

Tonight’s show will feature some local devastation (on Jupiter from comet SL9) not to mention a quick summary of the changing appearance of nearly planets (gullies on Mars, volcanoes on Venus).  However, the real excitement is way back in the past with Matt Johnson (YorkU and Perimeter Institute) as we examine in some detail the announcement of the detection of B-mode polarization and its implications for inflation in the early universe and the Big Bang cosmology.

This week in space/astronomy history:
1. Comet Shoemaker Levy 9 March 24 1993 discovery.  It was a “rubble train” at this point, the most unusual comet that either Eugene (or Carolyn) Shoemaker or David Levy had ever seen.  Tidally disrupted by Jupiter in 1992, Comet SL9 (formerly D/1993 F2) would rain rocks into the Jovian atmosphere in a spectacular manner in July 1994.
2. March 24 1975 marked the end of the Mariner 10 mission, first mission to extensively map the planet Mercury.  A lack of onboard fuel to allow teh spacecraft to orient its radio antenna towards Earth finally closed off the scientific flow from Mariner 10.
3. Mercury RD-BD unmanned Mercury flight that COULD have flown Alan Shepard into a sub-orbital flight prior to Yuri Gagarin’s flight of April 12 1961.  However, the mission remained unmanned and flew successfully.
4. Birthday shoutout to Joseph Hooton Taylor, born March 29 1941.  Nobel Prize for work on pulsars, shared with Russell Hulse in 1980.  taylor is synonymous with pulsar research and the uses pulsars (rotating neutron stars) have in testing aspects of teh theory of relativity.
5. Christian Huygens discovered the largest moon of Saturn,  Titan in March 25 1655.

Guest:  Matt Johnson (of York University and the Perimeter Institute) will discuss with the YorkUniverse Team the announcement last Monday March 17 2014 of the B-mode polarization detection and its implications for the Inflation model of the Big Bang cosmology.
Matt intro:

  • Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts (Physics specialization) at Evergreen State College, Olympia Washington USA

  • PhD Physics at UC Santa Cruz

  • Postdoc at CalTech

  • Postdoc at Perimeter Institute

  • Assistant Professor at York University and Associate Faculty Member at Perimeter

Large gravitational wave signal in the CMBR is good news!  Other existing (and planned) instruments can check if it’s real, and if so, study it in detail to gain new information about inflation. Will the B-mode polarization be found at other wavelengths?  If not, does this suggest the interpretation of gravity waves as the cause of the B mode polarization needs to be revisited or indeed discarded?  Pat is suggesting that new observations will cast doubt on the current interpretation of the B mode observations.  A $10 bet is “on” with Matt!  Stay tuned.

News:
1. Active volcanoes on Venus?  New data from ESA’s Venus Express suggests that 3 recent volcanic eruptions may have occurred.  While the notion of Venusian volcanism dates back to the Pioneer Venus days of the late 1970s, no definitive proof has yet been established.  venus is tough to observe even with orbiting spaceprobes.  Smrekar et al from JPL have measured 3 “hot spots” on the Venusian surface that they conclude are very recent.  While the article is soon to be published in Nature, the  data from Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS), is very suggestive of three eruptions last year.  Sulphur dioxide measurements are often cited as evidence of such eruptions but that is not considered definitive.
2. Next crew to launch to the ISS March 25, 5:17 PM EDT.  Expedition 39, despite the ongoing crisis in Ukraine seems to be business as usual with 2 Russian and 1 NASA astronaut.
3. Very few observations of the Regulus Occultation by 163 Erigone from March 19-20.  It would appear that almost the entire observation path was clouded out.  A real disappointment to the IOTA team members not to mention those of us planning to witness this once in a lifetime “disappearance’ of one of the brightest stars in the night sky.

Major Topics Discussed:

1. New gully on Mars (but probably not from water):
http://www.universetoday.com/110483/new-gully-appears-on-mars-but-its-likely-not-due-to-water/#more-110483
Images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show a new channel in the southern hemisphere region of Terra Siernum that appeared between November 2010 and May 2013.
The pair of images that shows material at the base of a gully broke out of an older route and eroded a new channel.
This particular feature is likely not due to water.
“Before-and-after HiRISE pairs of similar activity at other sites demonstrate that this type of activity generally occurs in winter, at temperatures so cold that carbon dioxide, rather than water, is likely to play the key role,” the agency said.
Last week, the agency also announced that MRO recovered from an unplanned computer swap that put the spacecraft into safe mode. Incidents of this nature have happened four times before, the agency noted.

2. 360-degree Milky Way panorama from Spitzer:
http://www.universetoday.com/110525/360-degrees-of-milky-way-at-your-fingertips/#more-110525
More than 2 million infrared photos taken by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope were jigsawed into a 20-gigapixel click-and-zoom mosaic.
Named GLIMPSE360 (Galactic Legacy Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire project), the deep infrared survey captures only about 3% of the sky, but because it focuses on the plane of the Milky Way, where stars are most highly concentrated, it shows more than half of all the galaxy’s 300 billion suns.
In this mosaic you can see jets from young stars, bubbles blown around massive stars, and emission nebulae lit up by the light from stars.
Unlike visual light, infrared light is not stopped by dust, and thus is used by astronomers to view structures in the plane of our galaxy that are obscured in the optical.
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/glimpse360/

 

Thanks for listening!
-YorkUniverse Team
_________
YorkUniverse is a co-production of Astronomy.FM and the York University Astronomical Observatory. For more information on us, check out the following links:
webpage: www.yorkuniverse.com
twitter: @YorkUniverse
AFM page: astronomy.fm/yorkuniverse
Observatory webpage: www.yorkobservatory.com
Observatory twitter: @YorkObservatory

The Randii Wessen Show: January 13th, 2014

Show Notes for Episode 181, January 13th, 2014
Hosts: Paul, Hugh, Ryan, Jen
Title: The Randii Wessen Show

The York Universe crew was delighted to invite Randii Wessen, the Deputy Manager of Project Formulation at JPL, to the show. An unbelievably interesting conversation ensued! Show notes and podcast below.

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York Universe Ice Storms the Airwaves: December 23, 2013

Show notes for Episode 179, December 23, 2013
Hosts: Rob B., Harrison, Jesse, Lianne
Title: York Universe ice storms the airwaves

Broadcasting from beneath a 200km layer of solid ice, the York Universe crew proves that life can exist on Europa, since it still exists in similar conditions here in Toronto. They recap the most interesting and exciting stories of 2013, with too many to list here.

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Chris Hadfield Inspires the World (and beyond): December 16, 2013

Episode 178 Show notes for December 16, 2013
Hosts: Hugh, Lianne, Paul
Title: Chris Hadfield Inspires the World (and beyond)

This week in space/astronomy history:
1.  December 17 1903: First sustained powered airplane flight, by Orville Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
2. December 14th 1972 — Humankind leaves the moon for the last(?) time.
3. Sir Joseph John “J. J.” Thomson, OM, FRS[1] (18 December 1856 – 30 August 1940)  Born in Manchester England.  Credited with the detection of the electron (1897)

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Shine on Chang’e Moon: December 9, 2013

Episode 177, December 9, 2013
Hosts: Jesse, Harrison, Rob B., Rob C.
Title: Shine on Chang’e Moon

The first show in a while where we didn’t mention Australia once! (Paul wasn’t on). The Robs, Harrison, and Jesse tackled, what must be, the most wide range of topics the show has seen to date. Ranging from moons of Jupiter, the Star of Bethlehem, all the Milky Way’s super massive black hole and recently discovered jet. It’s been 37 years since a soft landing on the Moon and 41 years since Gene Cernan’s last steps. China’s Change’e lander is currently orbiting the Moon and will go for soft landing December 14th. Stay tuned for that! Thanks for listening all, show notes and podcast below.

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Dinosaurs: The Original Citizen Scientists! November 25, 2013

Show notes for episode 176
Hosts: Paul, Rob B., Ryan, Pat
Title: Dinosaurs: The Original Citizen Scientists!

The anniversary of the first Australian satellite is approaching, which makes our resident Australian smile. Comet ISON is continuing to stay in the headlines (first it outbursts, now it might be fragmenting). Ryan and Rob were at the Science Teachers Association of Ontario (STAO) conference; they fill us in on everything from critical thinking to Steve Spangler. Asteroids, comets, and dinosaurs (the original citizen scientists)…we could talk about this stuff for hours (but don’t worry…we don’t). Thanks for tuning in, podcast and show notes below.

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Burping Betelgeuse and Cosmic Ray: May 7, 2013

Show Notes: May 7th, 2013 UTC

Hosts:  Ryan, Paul, Jesse
Title: Burping Betelgeuse and Cosmic Ray

Podcast to Come! Show notes are below.

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