Space Nuts

Professor Fred Watson and Andrew Dunkley

Join Professor Fred Watson, world-renowned Astronomer at Large, and Sci-Fi Author and Broadcaster Andrew Dunkley, on their captivating podcast, Space Nuts. Dive into the vast universe of space, astronomy and astrophysics as they discuss the latest news, exciting space travel adventures, groundbreaking discoveries, and unravel the enduring mysteries of the cosmos. This engaging series offers a unique blend of expert insights and imaginative storytelling and listener input, making it a must-listen for space enthusiasts and science fiction fans alike.

Two episodes a week with news and explainer focused editions published on Thursday's and our Listener Q&A focused edition on Monday's.

Become a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support. read less

Our Editor's Take

The Space Nuts podcast goes into the depths of space to share news and insight. Professor Fred Watson and Andrew Dunkley call themselves "space nuts." They are both passionate about space and want to share their knowledge with the community.

Podcast cohost Fred is an astronomer. He has worked at the Royal Observatory in the UK and the Australian Astronomical Observatory. Fred has also had an award-winning career in radio and TV. Cohost Andrew has had an extensive journalism career, working for ABC for over 20 years. He has also published several books, including two sci-fi novels.

This podcast shares the latest space news, from significant achievements to fascinating failures. Fred explains that astronomers are often doing something for the first time. Any mistakes can often be even more spectacular. Each episode provides fresh insight, from life's origins to space voyages.

One episode explores the topics of "dark energy" and black holes. It's dedicated to listener questions for the Space Nuts team. One listener asks if light can stand still and whether a black hole can gain mass with light. Fred discusses the theory of refraction and experiments involving photons. He also estimates that a black hole can gain mass, as light equals energy. Other questions include queries on gravity and spacetime.

"The Sahara Mystery" is another fascinating episode in this podcast series. Andrew and Fred discuss the mystery behind a meteorite found in the Sahara desert. Was it created from volcanic eruptions? Or was it thrown from the Earth, only to return thousands of years later? The two hosts discuss the latest science news and debate this intriguing discovery.

Listeners can discover astronomy news and more in the informative Space Nuts podcast. Weekly episodes provide plenty of insight and knowledge for space fans to explore. The hosts discuss intel from the James Webb Space Telescope. Other space news includes updates about Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons. Anyone interested in the universe may find a listen here.

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Episodes

#436: Cosmic Ripples & Matter Creation: Listener Questions Explored
Yesterday
#436: Cosmic Ripples & Matter Creation: Listener Questions Explored
Space Nuts Q&A: Background Modulation, Energy into Matter, and Spacecraft in SpaceJoin Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in this intriguing Q&A episode of Space Nuts, where they delve into listener questions about the mysteries of space and the universe.Episode Highlights:Background Modulation: Craig from Maroombula, NSW, asks about the effects of background gravitational modulation on the cosmic microwave background. Fred explains the relationship between gravitational waves and the cosmic microwave background, and whether these modulations could influence our observations.- Energy into Matter: John inquires about the possibility of turning energy into matter in a lab setting. Fred discusses a groundbreaking experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory that successfully demonstrated this phenomenon.- Spin Rates in Space: John also asks why the Earth spins at a constant speed and whether all celestial bodies spin at constant rates. Fred provides insights into the physics of spin and the factors that influence it.- Spacecraft in Space: Nigel from Brisbane wonders if two spacecraft meeting in interstellar space would stay perfectly still or drift apart. Fred explains the concept of station keeping and the factors that could cause spacecraft to drift.Don't forget to send us your questions via our website... spacenuts.io.Support Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar journey by visiting our website support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe. Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.Visit our websites:www.spacenuts.iowww.bitesz.com
#434: Gravity, Energy, and Hidden Galaxies: Listener Queries Unpacked
Jul 14 2024
#434: Gravity, Energy, and Hidden Galaxies: Listener Queries Unpacked
This episode is brought to you with the support of Incogni...protect your data online. Check out the special Space Nuts listener deal at incogni.com/spacenutsSpace Nuts Q&A: Gravity Without Mass, Energy and Gravity, and Early GalaxiesJoin Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in this engaging Q&A episode of Space Nuts, where they tackle intriguing questions from our listeners about gravity, energy, and the movement of galaxies.Episode Highlights:Gravity Without Mass? Steve from New Zealand asks if gravity can exist without mass. Fred dives into the complexities of this question, exploring the relationship between energy and mass, and whether this could offer an alternative explanation for dark matter.- Energy and Gravity: Gus from Issaquah, Washington, ponders whether energy creates gravity and if a gravitational field itself generates energy and mass. Fred discusses the potential implications and the concept of gravitational energy.- Early Galaxies Moving Towards Us: Nick from Auckland, New Zealand, wonders if early galaxies could be moving towards us, currently out of reach. Fred explains the mechanics of galaxy movements and the Doppler effect, shedding light on whether such galaxies could be hidden from view.Don't forget to send us your questions via our website... [spacenuts.io].Support Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar journey by visiting our website support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe.Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.Check out our sponsor: www.incogni.com/spacenutsBecome a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.
#433: Marsquakes Surge & Parker Probe's Record Speed
Jul 11 2024
#433: Marsquakes Surge & Parker Probe's Record Speed
Marsquakes, Parker Solar Probe, and Ancient SupernovaJoin Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in this captivating episode of Space Nuts, where they explore the latest cosmic discoveries and delve into the history of the universe.Episode Highlights:Marsquakes Unveiled: Discover the unexpected frequency of Marsquakes, thanks to data from the now-retired InSight mission. Fred explains how these findings are reshaping our understanding of Martian geology and the impact rates on the Red Planet.- Parker Solar Probe's Record-Breaking Speed: The Parker Solar Probe has set a new speed record as it skims the sun at an astonishing pace. Learn about the spacecraft's incredible journey and its upcoming close passes.- Ancient Supernova of 1181: Uncover the mysteries of a supernova first observed in 1181. Fred discusses recent discoveries and what they reveal about this rare cosmic event, including the collision of two white dwarf stars.Don't forget to send us your questions via our website... spacenuts.io.Support Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar journey by visiting our website support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe.Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.For an extra special deal from our sponsor, Malwarebytes - cyber security for everyone, visit www.bitesz.com/malwarebytes ....but be quick. For a  very limited time you get 50% off. You really don't want to miss this. It's one we use to protect all our devices and swear by. It just works!
#432: Virtual Particles & Black Hole Mysteries: Listener Questions Explored
Jul 7 2024
#432: Virtual Particles & Black Hole Mysteries: Listener Questions Explored
Space Nuts Q&A: Virtual Particles, Black Hole Spin, and Black Hole CollisionsJoin Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in this intriguing Q&A edition of Space Nuts, where they delve into the mysteries of black holes and virtual particles.Episode Highlights:- **Virtual Particles Explained**: Listener Martin from the Wirral near Liverpool asks about the nature of virtual particles and their role in Hawking radiation. Fred provides clarity on this complex topic and the ongoing debate about their existence.- **What Spins in a Black Hole?**: Michael from Evanston, Illinois, is curious about what exactly spins in a black hole. Fred explains the concept of angular momentum and how it applies to these enigmatic cosmic objects.- **Black Hole Collisions**: Josh from Pennsylvania wonders if two supermassive black holes colliding could result in a piece breaking off. Fred discusses the nature of black hole mergers and why bits of black holes don't break off.Don't forget to send us your questions via our website... [spacenuts.io]Support Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar journey by visiting our website support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe.Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.Visit our websites:[www.spacenuts.io]www.bitesz.comCheck out our sponsors (NordVPN) very special deal (new) at https://www.bitesz.com/nordvpnBecome a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.
#431: Ancient Universe Revealed by Webb & Space Junk Hits Home
Jul 4 2024
#431: Ancient Universe Revealed by Webb & Space Junk Hits Home
Space Nuts Episode 431: James Webb Discoveries, Space Junk, and Ocean WorldsJoin Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in this exciting episode of Space Nuts, where they explore the latest in space science and astronomy.Episode Highlights:- James Webb Space Telescope Discovery: The James Webb Space Telescope has captured images from a time when the universe was only 3% of its current age. Fred and Andrew discuss the significance of this discovery and the stunning images of star clusters in the cosmic gems arc.- Space Junk Hits Home: Space junk re-entered Earth's atmosphere and struck a house in Florida. Discover the details of this near-disaster and the legal implications for NASA.- Life in Ocean Worlds: Could life exist in the hydrothermal vents of ocean worlds like Europa and Enceladus? A new study suggests it's possible. Fred dives into the research and what it means for the search for extraterrestrial life.Don't forget to send us your questions via our website... spacenuts.io.Support Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar journey by visiting our website support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe.Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.Check out our sponsor: www.bitesz.com/nordvpnBecome a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/supportVisit our websites: www.spacenuts.iowww.bitesz.com
#430: Dark Energy Theories & Voyager's Cosmic Rays: Your Queries Answered
Jun 30 2024
#430: Dark Energy Theories & Voyager's Cosmic Rays: Your Queries Answered
Space Nuts Q&A: Black Holes, Voyager 1, and Atmospheric TubesJoin Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in this lively Q&A edition of Space Nuts, where they tackle intriguing questions from listeners Geoff, Paddy, and Oliver. From the mysteries of black holes to the adventures of Voyager 1, this episode is packed with cosmic insights.Episode Highlights:- **Black Holes and Radiation**: Young listener Oliver from Queensland poses a fascinating question about why radiation from black holes doesn't get sucked back in and whether black holes could be creating dark energy. Fred explains the concept of Hawking radiation and delves into the theories connecting black holes to dark energy.- **Voyager 1's Journey**: Paddy from Northern Ireland asks about cosmic rays, the recent drama with Voyager 1, and how NASA manages to communicate with such a distant spacecraft. Fred discusses the nature of cosmic rays, the shielding effect of Earth's atmosphere, and the impressive technology of the Deep Space Network.- **Atmospheric Tubes**: Geoff from the Isle of Wight presents a "what if" scenario involving a magic pipe extending into space. Fred explores the physics behind atmospheric pressure and gravitational pull, explaining why such a pipe wouldn't suck out Earth's atmosphereDon't forget to send us your questions via our website... [spacenuts.io](https://www.spacenuts.io).**Support Space Nuts** and join us on this interstellar journey by visiting our website support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe.Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.Become a **supporter** of this podcast: [https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support](https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support)Visit our **websites**: [www.spacenuts.io](https://www.spacenuts.io)  [www.bitesz.com](https://www.bitesz.com)
#429: Boeing Starliner Woes & Titan's Liquid Coastlines: Cosmic Insights
Jun 28 2024
#429: Boeing Starliner Woes & Titan's Liquid Coastlines: Cosmic Insights
Space Nuts Episode: Boeing Starliner, Titan's Coastal Erosion, and Dark Matter InfluenceSpace Nuts Episode: Boeing Starliner, Titan's Coastal Erosion, and Dark Matter Influence. Join Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in this riveting episode of Space Nuts, where they delve into the latest space science and astronomy news.Episode Highlights:- Boeing Starliner Update: The Boeing Starliner faces new challenges, this time with its return to Earth. Fred and Andrew discuss the issues with the thrusters and the cautious approach by NASA and Boeing to ensure the astronauts' safe return.- Titan's Coastal Erosion: Discover the latest findings on Titan, the only other body in our solar system with a liquid surface. The duo explores how coastal erosion on Titan might be driven by waves, similar to Earth, and what this means for our understanding of this intriguing moon.- Moon Formation: Fred explains the latest research on where moons are most likely to form, with a focus on rocky planets. Learn about the theories behind moon formation and why our own moon might be a rarity.- Dark Matter Influence: Dark matter is back in the news with new research questioning our understanding of its influence on galaxies. Fred discusses the latest findings and what they mean for the future of dark matter research.Don't forget to send us your questions via our website for our Q&A episodes....available Mondays... spacenuts.io.Support Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar journey by visiting our website support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe.Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.Check out our sponsor: www.nordvpn.com/spacenutsBecome a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/supportVisit our websites: www.spacenuts.iowww.bitesz.com
#428: Dark Matter Mysteries & Sci-Fi Innovations: Listener Queries Answered
Jun 24 2024
#428: Dark Matter Mysteries & Sci-Fi Innovations: Listener Queries Answered
Space Nuts Q&A: Dark Matter, Big Bang, and Sci-Fi TechJoin Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in this engaging Q&A edition of Space Nuts, where they address intriguing questions from listeners Michael, Rennie, Joseph, and Ralph. From the mysterious nature of dark matter to the energetic comparison between the Big Bang and supernovas, this episode is packed with cosmic insights.Episode Highlights:- Dark Matter: Michael from Illinois asks if dark matter could be the fabric of space-time. Fred explains why dark matter warps space rather than being the fabric itself and delves into the ongoing search for its true nature.- Sci-Fi Tech: Michael also inquires about technological advances from science fiction that could become reality. Fred and Andrew discuss space elevators, warp speed travel, and the manipulation of gravity.- Big Bang vs. Supernovas: Rennie Traub wants to know how the energy of the Big Bang compares to the most powerful supernovas or gamma-ray bursts. Fred highlights the vast difference in energy levels, with the Big Bang being incomparably more powerful.- Primordial Black Holes: Joseph from Melbourne asks if primordial black holes could explain recent James Webb images of enormous distant black holes and if they could account for dark matter. Fred explores the possibilities and recent research on this topic.- The Three-Body Problem: Ralph seeks advice on navigating the complex book series "The Three-Body Problem" and shares updates on its adaptation into a TV series.Don't forget to send us your questions via our website...spacenuts.io.Support Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar journey by visiting our website support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe. Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.Visit our websites: www.spacenuts.iowww.bitesz.comBecome a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.
#427: Martian Mysteries & Space Health: Unveiling Cosmic Secrets
Jun 20 2024
#427: Martian Mysteries & Space Health: Unveiling Cosmic Secrets
This episode is brought to you thanks to NordVPN. To get the special Space Nuts and 30 day money back guarantee deals visit www.nordvpn.com/spacenutsWeird Mars Rock, Anti-Ageing in Space, and Asteroid CollisionsJoin Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in this fascinating episode of Space Nuts, where they delve into the latest discoveries and phenomena in space science and astronomy.Episode Highlights:- Weird Mars Rock: The Perseverance rover has discovered a peculiar rock on Mars that stands out like a sore thumb. Identified as an anorthosite, this unusual rock could offer insights into Mars' crust and its geological history.- Anti-Ageing Effects of Space Travel: A civilian space mission has revealed surprising health benefits of space travel, including the lengthening of telomeres, which are associated with anti-ageing. Fred and Andrew discuss the implications and potential future studies.- James Webb Space Telescope: The James Webb Space Telescope has observed an asteroid collision in the Beta Pictoris system. This discovery provides a glimpse into the chaotic early stages of solar system formation.Don't forget to send us your questions via our website...spacenuts.io.Support Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar journey by visiting our website support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe.Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.Check out our sponsor: www.nordvpn.com/spacenutsBecome a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/supportVisit our websites: www.spacenuts.iowww.bitesz.com
#426: Radio Interference & Tiny Universes: Listener Questions Explored
Jun 16 2024
#426: Radio Interference & Tiny Universes: Listener Questions Explored
Space Nuts Episode: Radio Interference, Multiverse Viability, and Martian Water BehaviourJoin Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in this intriguing Q&A edition of Space Nuts, where they tackle a variety of thought-provoking questions from listeners. From the challenges of radio astronomy in urban areas to the fascinating possibilities of multiverse sizes, this episode is packed with cosmic insights.Episode Highlights:Radio Interference and Urban Astronomy: Tobias from Marsfield, Sydney, asks about the viability of radio astronomy near urban areas, specifically at the CSIRO astrophysics lab. Fred discusses the impact of terrestrial radio interference and the transition to LED street lights on astronomical observations.- Multiverse Viability: Jeffrey inquires about the smallest possible size for a viable universe in a multiverse scenario. Fred explores the complexities of universe formation and the intriguing theories proposed by Roger Penrose.- Dark Matter and Angular Momentum: Rosie's husband raises questions about the correlation between gravitational lensing and dark matter mass measurements. Fred explains how gravitational lensing helps map dark matter in galaxies and clusters.- Water Behaviour on Mars: Cam from the Blue Mountains imagines aquatic leisure activities on ancient Mars. Fred delves into how water would behave in Mars' lower gravity, including swimming, splashing, and the potential for belly flops from great heights.Don't forget to send us your questions via our website...spacenuts.ioSupport Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar journey by visiting our website support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe.Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.Check out our sponsor: www.nordvpn.com/spacenuts Become a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.
#425: Instagram Innovations & Orphan Stars: NASA's Latest Reveals
Jun 13 2024
#425: Instagram Innovations & Orphan Stars: NASA's Latest Reveals
Space Nuts Episode: NASA's New AR Toy, Star Trek Illusion, and Euclid's Orphan StarsJoin Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in this captivating episode of Space Nuts as they explore the latest in space science and astronomy. From NASA's innovative social media tools to the intriguing discoveries by the Euclid space telescope, there's something for every space enthusiast.Episode Highlights:- NASA's Augmented Reality for Instagram: Learn about NASA's new AR tool for Instagram users, designed to bring the wonders of the universe to your screen in a whole new dimension. Fred and Andrew discuss the impact and potential of this exciting technology.- Star Trek Illusion: Discover the disappointing truth behind the star that was supposed to host the planet Vulcan from Star Trek. Fred explains the recent findings that debunk the existence of this fictional planet.- Euclid Space Telescope's Orphan Stars: The first images from the Euclid space telescope have revealed a surprising number of orphan stars. Fred delves into the significance of this discovery and what it means for our understanding of the universe.- Rogue Planets in the Milky Way: Euclid's mission also uncovers rogue planets within the Orion Nebula. Andrew and Fred discuss the implications of these free-floating planets and the ongoing search for Planet Nine.Support Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar journey by visiting our website support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe. Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.Become a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/supportVisit our website: www.spacenuts.ioCheck out our sponsor deal: www.nordvpn.com/spacenuts
#424: Gravity Waves & Space Junk: Cosmic Queries Unpacked
Jun 9 2024
#424: Gravity Waves & Space Junk: Cosmic Queries Unpacked
This episode is brought to you with the support of NordVPN. To check out our exclusive offer, visit www.nordvpn.com/spacenuts - you can thank us later...Space Nuts Episode: Space Junk, Gravity Waves, and Solar EclipsesJoin Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in this engaging Q&A edition of Space Nuts, where they tackle a variety of intriguing questions from listeners around the globe.Episode Highlights:- **Space Junk**: Pete from Mamong Point raises concerns about the long-term effects of burning up space debris in Earth's atmosphere. Fred discusses the implications and complexities of space junk management, including the concept of "graveyard orbits" and the infamous Point Nemo.- **Gravity Waves**: Philip from Australia, originally from Glasgow, delves into the nature of gravity waves and their composition. Fred explains the concept of spacetime distortion and how gravitational waves propagate through the fabric of the universe.- **Matter and Energy**: Giego from Slovakia questions whether vacuum energy could be converted into matter, creating new matter that wasn't present since the Big Bang. Fred provides a detailed explanation on the conversion of energy to matter and the role of dark energy.- **Solar Eclipses**: Beverly from Texas shares her excitement about witnessing her first total solar eclipse and asks Fred and Andrew about their experiences. Fred recounts his memorable eclipse viewings and the emotional impact of this celestial phenomenon.00:00:00 This is a Q and a edition of Space Nuts00:01:09 Fred and Andrew ask two questions about gravity on today's show00:08:12 In recent weeks, there's been multiple mentions of space debris burning up00:14:27 NordVPN details: Virtual private network helps protect online activities from hackers and scammers00:18:05 Could vacuum energy be converted into matter with expanding universe00:21:27 Beverly from Texas hopes to see a total solar eclipse soon00:22:16 Fred, how many total eclipses have you seen in person00:29:54 Episode wrapSupport Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar journey by visiting our website support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe. Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.Become a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/supportVisit our website: www.spacenuts.ioCheck out our sponsor: www.nordvpn.com/spacenuts
#423: Earth-Like Exoplanets & Dyson Spheres: Unveiling New Cosmic Discoveries
Jun 6 2024
#423: Earth-Like Exoplanets & Dyson Spheres: Unveiling New Cosmic Discoveries
This episode is brought to you with the support of NordVPN. To check out our exclusive offer, visit www.nordvpn.com/spacenuts - you can thank us later...Space Nuts Episode: Earth-Like Exoplanets, Alien Megastructures, and Space NoiseJoin Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in this thrilling episode of Space Nuts as they delve into the latest discoveries and challenges in space science. From the discovery of an Earth-like exoplanet to the search for alien megastructures, this episode promises to be a cosmic journey you won't want to miss.Episode Highlights:- Earth-Like Exoplanet Discovery: An Australian-Scottish collaboration has discovered an exoplanet that closely resembles Earth in size and is located in the habitable zone of its star. Learn about its potential for hosting liquid water and the exciting future possibilities for imaging this distant world.- Space Noise Threat to SKA: The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope faces challenges from satellite noise. Fred discusses the efforts to mitigate these issues and the ongoing collaboration between astronomers and the satellite industry to protect this significant investment in radio astronomy.- Search for Alien Megastructures: Could Dyson spheres exist? Fred and Andrew explore the latest research and debate the feasibility of such megastructures, considering the immense material and energy requirements involved.Support Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar journey by visiting our website support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe. Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.Become a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/supportVisit our website: www.spacenuts.ioCheck out our sponsor: www.nordvpn.com/spacenuts
#422: Dim Lights & Dark Matter: Cosmic Questions Answered
Jun 2 2024
#422: Dim Lights & Dark Matter: Cosmic Questions Answered
Join Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson for another enlightening episode of Space Nuts Q&A. This week, we tackle a variety of listener questions that delve into the fascinating intricacies of space science and astronomy.First, we revisit a question from Alan about the detectability of light at one candle power of an LED in space. Fred breaks down the calculations and assumptions, providing insights into how far such a light source would be visible, even with the Hubble Telescope.Next, Nate from Queensland asks about bolometric luminosity and its implications for predicting changes in stars, such as supernovae. Fred explains the concept of bolometric measurements, the use of bolometers, and whether there's a standard way to predict changes in a star's luminosity.David from Melbourne brings up Hawking radiation and its potential connection to dark matter and dark energy. Fred clarifies the nature of Hawking radiation and discusses recent research linking black holes to dark energy, albeit without involving Hawking radiation.Martin from Maryland poses a question about the hazards of near-light-speed travel for spacecraft and their biospheres. Fred explores the potential dangers, including nuclear interactions and radiation, that could arise from such high-speed travel.Finally, Ryan from Delaware inquires about the feasibility of refuelling or repairing the James Webb Space Telescope. Fred explains the challenges due to its location at the L2 point and the economic considerations that make such missions unlikely.Tune in to this episode of Space Nuts for these intriguing discussions and more. Your questions drive the conversation, so keep them coming!00:00:00 Professor Fred Watson answers questions on this episode of Space Nuts00:01:54 How far away could you see one candle power led with the Hubble telescope00:06:00 Nate from Queensland asks some questions about volumetric luminosity00:07:20 Bolometric brightness is the brightness of something measured over its whole spectrum00:13:50 Is hawking radiation anything to do with dark matter or dark energy00:15:54 What are the major hazards to spacecraft as they approach relativistic speeds00:21:10 Ryan from Delaware has a question about the James Webb space telescope00:27:58 Andrew: Thanks to everybody who contributed this week to Space Nuts q and a00:29:15 This podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify and iHeartRadioSupport Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar journey by visiting our website support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe. Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.Become a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.Visit our website: www.spacenuts.ioCheck out our sponsor: [Nordpass](https://www.bitesz.com/nordpass)
#421: Zebrafish & Cosmic Cold Spots: Swimming Through Space Mysteries
May 30 2024
#421: Zebrafish & Cosmic Cold Spots: Swimming Through Space Mysteries
Join Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in this captivating episode of Space Nuts as they explore some of the most intriguing phenomena in space science.First up, zebrafish are making waves in orbit! These tiny aquanauts are part of a Chinese space mission on the Tiangong space station. Discover why zebrafish are ideal candidates for space research and what their genetic similarities to humans could reveal about the effects of zero gravity on biological organisms.Next, delve into the mystery of the cold spot in space, a peculiar anomaly within the cosmic microwave background radiation. Fred explains the significance of this cold spot, its potential causes, and why it challenges our understanding of the universe's isotropy. Could a giant cosmic void be the culprit, or is there another explanation lurking in the cosmos?Additionally, the duo discusses the exciting progress of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, featuring the world's largest digital camera, which promises to revolutionise our view of the night sky. Learn about its remarkable capabilities and the potential discoveries it could unveil, including the elusive Planet Nine.00:00:00 This is space nuts, where we talk astronomy and space science00:01:54 The camera for the Vera C. Rubin telescope telescope has been delivered00:07:19 Zebrafish on Chinese space station for research into effects of space on fish00:12:46 Andrew Dunkley: Scientists trying to make aquariums in space self-sustainable00:15:22 Fred says there's a cold spot in space caused by cosmic microwave background radiation00:24:00 Cold spots in the cosmic microwave background radiation are not unusual00:29:27 There's so much going on in the world of spaceSupport Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar journey by visiting our website support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe. Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.Become a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.Visit our website: www.spacenuts.ioCheck out our sponsor: www.bitesz.com/nordpass
#420: Moon Water & Nemesis: Unveiling Lunar Mysteries and Stellar Theories
May 26 2024
#420: Moon Water & Nemesis: Unveiling Lunar Mysteries and Stellar Theories
Join Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson for another riveting Q&A edition of Space Nuts. This episode dives into some fascinating listener questions that challenge our understanding of space and science.First up, Mikey from Illinois poses a thought-provoking question: Can we drink water from the moon or Mars? Andrew and Fred explore the potential risks and benefits of consuming extraterrestrial water, including the presence of unknown substances and the impact of heavy water isotopes.Next, Sean from Nottingham inquires about the Nemesis theory, asking whether there could be a small sun or neutron star in our solar system, possibly linked to the elusive Planet Nine. Fred delves into the history and current standing of this hypothesis, examining its implications for mass extinctions and the structure of our solar system.Finally, Rusty from Donnybrook raises a question about the Hubble constant and whether the interstellar medium might be affecting the measurements of standard candles, leading to discrepancies in the universe's expansion rate. Fred explains the intricacies of this cosmic conundrum and why astronomers have considered and largely ruled out this possibility.From the safety of lunar water to the mysteries of distant stars and the expanding universe, this episode of Space Nuts promises to ignite your curiosity and expand your cosmic knowledge. Tune in and join the conversation!00:00:00 Andrew Dunkley answers audience questions on Space Nuts Q and a edition00:01:29 When we get to moon and Mars, should we drink contaminated water00:09:32 Fred asks whether small sun in solar system could be planet nine00:16:32 Recent scientific analysis no longer supports the nemesis hypothesis, NASA says00:19:13 Is it possible that the interstellar medium is causing standard candles to lose intensity00:26:51 Fred Watson: Andrew, thanks for hosting the Space Nuts podcastSupport Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar voyage by visiting our support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe. Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.Become a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.www.spacenuts.io  www.bitesz.com  Sponsor:  www.bitesz.com/nordpass
#419: Blue Horizons & Fairy Floss Planets: Unveiling the Universe's Softest Secrets
May 23 2024
#419: Blue Horizons & Fairy Floss Planets: Unveiling the Universe's Softest Secrets
Embark on a celestial journey with Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in this episode of Space Nuts, where they explore a variety of space phenomena that are as intriguing as they are mysterious. Firstly, they discuss Blue Origin's return to the stars with NS-25, a mission that marked a triumphant comeback after technical setbacks. The flight not only signifies Blue Origin's resilience but also the inspirational story of Ed Dwight, the first African-American astronaut candidate, who at 90 years old, set a record as the oldest person to reach space.Next, the conversation lightens with the discovery of a planet with the consistency of fairy floss, also known as cotton candy or candy floss. WASP-193b, a gas giant that defies the norms of density and composition, leaves astronomers scratching their heads. How does a planet become so 'fluffy'? What could it possibly be made of? These are the questions that Andrew and Fred ponder as they delve into the mysteries of planet formation.Lastly, the duo discusses the gravitational wave background in the universe, likening it to the cosmic microwave background radiation. They explore how pulsar timing arrays are providing new insights into the 'hiss' of gravitational waves created by countless cosmic events, offering a deeper understanding of the universe's dynamic fabric.From record-breaking astronauts to cotton candy planets and the cosmic symphony of gravitational waves, this episode of Space Nuts is packed with astronomical wonders that will leave you in awe. Tune in and let your curiosity soar to the farthest reaches of space.00:00:00 This is Space Nuts, where we talk astronomy and space science00:01:12 Professor Fred Watson discusses eating fairy floss with a moustache00:02:10 Bright flash in the sky over Europe turned out to be comet00:05:55 Ed Dwight was the first astronaut of colour to be selected by NASA00:10:10 This is a newly discovered planet, or newly identified planet00:17:14 Planet in orbit around red dwarf star 1200 light years away00:21:06 Fred: Some work is being done on background gravitational waves00:28:17 Fred Watson: People are fascinated by gravitational waves because of mystery Support Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar voyage by visiting our support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe. Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.Become a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.www.spacenuts.iowww.bitesz.comhttps://www.bitesz.com/show/space-nuts/support/Sponsor:www.bitesz.com/nordpass
#418: From Cosmic Drag to Holographic Hype: Unraveling the Mysteries of Space Travel
May 19 2024
#418: From Cosmic Drag to Holographic Hype: Unraveling the Mysteries of Space Travel
Prepare to have your mind stretched to the cosmic limits in this Q&A episode of Space Nuts. Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson answer a selection of thought-provoking questions sent in by our curious listeners, tackling the mysteries of light, the concept of a holographic universe, and the challenges of interstellar travel.First up, Alan from Medicine Hat, Canada, wonders how far light from an LED with one candle power can travel before it becomes undetectable by space telescopes. The duo discusses the persistence of light and the factors that influence our ability to observe its journey through the cosmos.Next, Charles probes the perplexing theory of a holographic universe, questioning whether our three-dimensional experience is merely a projection from a two-dimensional boundary. Andrew and Fred unravel the theoretical underpinnings of this mind-bending concept and its implications for our understanding of reality.The conversation then accelerates to relativistic speeds with Craig from sunny Merimbula, NSW, asking how fast a spacecraft must travel before encountering drag in the sparse medium of space. They also consider the potential hazards of high-speed collisions with cosmic dust and gas, pondering the aerodynamic and navigational challenges that would arise.From the eternal voyage of light to the enigmatic nature of our universe and the theoretical speed limits of space travel, this episode of Space Nuts is a cosmic conundrum of astronomical proportions. Tune in as Andrew and Fred navigate through the universe's most intriguing puzzles.00:00:00 Andrew Dunkley answers questions about light on this edition of Space Nuts00:01:38 First question comes from Alan from Medicine Hat, Canada00:03:44 There is no known limit to how far light can travel00:06:03 Charles: What do you think of the theory that we live in a holographic universe00:13:46 If all universes are expanding, would they eventually overlap00:17:41 Craig Miller calls from sunny Merimbula in New South Wales00:19:03 How much speed would drag depend on the concentration of particles in spaceSupport Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar quest by visiting our support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the enigmas of the universe.Clear skies and cosmic queries await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.This episode is brought to you the support of NordPass....the password manager you need in your life to save time and reduce angst. Check out out special deal on pricing (hint....it's really cheap at the moment).... www.bitesz.com/nordpass
#417: Solar Flares & Speedy Spacecraft: Revolutionizing Our Cosmic Commute
May 16 2024
#417: Solar Flares & Speedy Spacecraft: Revolutionizing Our Cosmic Commute
This episode is brought to you with the support of NordVPN. Every Internet connected device deserves to have NordVPN for it's online safety. To check out the special Space  Nuts deal for you as a listener, visit www.nordvpn.com/spacenutsJoin Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson as they embark on another fascinating journey through the cosmos in the latest episode of Space Nuts. In this installment, the duo delves into a myriad of space phenomena, starting with the most significant solar flare in nearly a decade. They discuss the stunning auroral displays that resulted from this solar outburst and the potential impacts such events can have on our technology.Next, they celebrate a milestone for the Mars rover Perseverance, which has spent over 1000 days (or sols) on the Red Planet. The conversation explores the significance of the samples collected by Perseverance, including those that may contain ancient signs of life, and the future plans for their retrieval.The episode then propels into the future of space travel with NASA's innovative plasma rocket concept, which promises to cut travel time to Mars significantly. Andrew and Fred unpack the potential of this high-efficiency propulsion system and what it could mean for human exploration of the Red Planet.Finally, the pair examines a colossal protoplanetary disc discovery, the largest ever observed, which could herald the formation of some of the most massive planets we've ever seen. They ponder the possibilities of planet formation, the emergence of life, and the long-term evolution of these cosmic systems.From solar spectacles and Martian milestones to revolutionary rockets and planetary potential, this episode of Space Nuts is a cosmic cornucopia of astronomical insights. Tune in and let your imagination soar as we continue to uncover the secrets of the universe.00:00:00 Andrew Dunkley talks about budgets and dog issues on this week's Space Nuts00:02:31 The biggest solar flare in nearly a decade has just passed over the earth00:06:58 Perseverance mission to look for signs of past life on Mars00:14:22 Andrew Freedman says he could rerelease World War One audio under Australian copyright00:16:49 A proposed plasma rocket would cut the travel time to Mars to two months00:24:09 Fred: Have you seen a house before they build it00:25:47 New infrared observations show giant edge on protoplanetary disc00:32:10 Space Nuts podcast available at Apple Podcasts, Spotify and iHeartRadioSupport Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar voyage by visiting our support page. Your contributions help us continue our mission to explore the wonders of the universe. Clear skies and boundless exploration await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.Become a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.