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

#418: From Cosmic Drag to Holographic Hype: Unraveling the Mysteries of Space Travel
2d ago
#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
5d ago
#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.
#416: Cosmic Conundrums & Astral Assemblies: Tackling the Universe's Toughest Questions
13-05-2024
#416: Cosmic Conundrums & Astral Assemblies: Tackling the Universe's Toughest Questions
Prepare for a cosmic deep dive into the enigmatic world of black holes and stellar mysteries on this Q&A episode of Space Nuts. Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson answer burning questions from the Space Nuts community, starting with a head-scratcher about black holes and magnetic fields. Can these gravitational giants possess magnetic fields, and if so, how do they influence the spectacular jets seen emanating from quasars? The duo untangles the complex relationship between rotation, charge, and magnetism.Next, Pete from sunny Sheffield queries the stellar classification mnemonic "Oh, Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me" and its implications. How do the proportions of these star types stack up in the Milky Way, and do these ratios hold true across other galaxies? The conversation illuminates the cosmic census of star types, from the rare, scorching O stars to the ubiquitous, cooler M dwarfs.Listeners also get a personal touch as Michael from Kent inquires about Fred's most standout project over his illustrious career. Fred shares insights into his contributions to groundbreaking surveys and reminisces about the influential projects that have shaped our understanding of the universe.Rounding off the episode, Rusty from Donnybrook seeks to understand why fogbows are white rather than exhibiting the vibrant hues of a typical rainbow. The answer lies in the intricate interplay of light refraction, dispersion, and the often-overlooked diffraction in tiny water droplets.From the nature of magnetic fields in the abyss of black holes to the distribution of stars across the cosmos, this episode of Space Nuts is a treasure trove of astronomical knowledge. Tune in as Andrew and Fred navigate the celestial curiosities that keep us gazing skyward with wonder.00:00:00 Professor Fred Watson answers your questions on this edition of Space Nuts00:02:31 Robert from the Netherlands says black holes do not have a magnetic field00:09:15 Three questions from Pete Ellinger on different types of stars00:15:08 Metallicity, the amount of iron in a star, varies across galaxies00:16:59 If there was a project that you could have worked on past or present, what00:25:21 The hippie telescope was a big leap forward from the existing telescope00:25:47 Final question, Fred, comes from Rusty in Donnybrook about fog bowsSupport Space Nuts and join us on this journey through the stars by visiting https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.Your contributions help us continue our mission to answer the universe's most perplexing questions.Clear skies and boundless curiosity await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.
#415: From Starliner's Slip to Lunar Lights: A Glimpse into Tomorrow's Space Tech
09-05-2024
#415: From Starliner's Slip to Lunar Lights: A Glimpse into Tomorrow's Space Tech
Embark on a lunar adventure with Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in this episode of Space Nuts, as they delve into the challenges and innovations surrounding our celestial neighbor, the Moon. First up, the duo discusses the recent setbacks of Boeing's Starliner, a spacecraft that faced yet another delay just moments before its much-anticipated launch. What went wrong this time, and what does it mean for the future of crewed missions?Next, they illuminate the idea of using mirrors to shine sunlight into the permanently shadowed craters of the Moon's South Pole. With the potential of harvesting water ice for resources, could this reflective solution be the key to sustaining future lunar bases?Then, celebrate a special anniversary with the team as they highlight ten years of HIPPI, the High Precision Polarimetric Instrument, and its incredible contributions to astronomy. From tracking magnetic fields in distant galaxies to the possibility of detecting rainbows on exoplanets, HIPPI's decade of discovery is truly something to cheer about.Finally, the conversation turns to Earth as Andrew and Fred explore how satellites are revolutionizing agriculture by predicting crop yields from space. This technology holds promise for farmers around the globe, especially in the face of changing climate conditions.From the intricacies of space technology to the practical applications of satellite data, this episode of Space Nuts is a cosmic journey that connects the farthest reaches of the universe to the down-to-earth matters of daily life. Tune in and let your curiosity take flight.00:00:00 Andrew Dunkley: Space nuts podcast about astronomy and space science00:01:30 Launch of Boeing Starliner scheduled for Friday has been scrubbed00:04:47 Andrew Webb: There's a lot of interest in the moon right now00:10:41 A valley in Norway has a mirror that doesn't see the sun00:14:56 Andrew Dunkley: Hipie is the high precision polarimetric instrument00:20:45 Polarising sunglasses can detect rainbows with incredibly high precision00:25:40 Fred Geyer explores the use of satellites to predict crop yieldsSupport Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar voyage by visiting https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support. Don't miss out on future episodes as we continue to decode the universe's grandest puzzles. Clear skies and bold questions await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.
#414: Stellar Collisions & Invisible Invitations: Unveiling the Universe's Secrets
06-05-2024
#414: Stellar Collisions & Invisible Invitations: Unveiling the Universe's Secrets
Prepare for an interstellar Q&A session with Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson on this episode of Space Nuts. We're answering cosmic queries from the Space Nuts audience, starting with James's fascination with the elusive Planet Nine. Could this potential new member of our solar system already have a name waiting in the wings, or will its discoverer have the honor of christening it?Next, Lloyd from Cairns wonders about celestial smash-ups, but not the kind involving black holes or neutron stars. What happens when ordinary stars collide? Do they dance a destructive tango, or can they merge into something grander? The duo delves into the fiery fates of these stellar encounters.Rennie probes the electromagnetic forces at play in the universe, from the behavior of light to the magnetic fields of galaxies. What role does electromagnetism play on other planets, and what happens to worlds lacking this fundamental force? Fred illuminates the subject with his astrophysical expertise.Finally, Ron poses a thought-provoking question: If alien scientists were observing Earth, could they detect signs of life from afar? And conversely, could we spot the telltale signs of extraterrestrial existence on a distant exoplanet? The answers might just redefine our search for cosmic companions.From naming planets to star collisions, electromagnetic enigmas, and the search for life beyond Earth, this episode of Space Nuts is an exploration of the curiosities that light up our universe. Tune in for these mind-expanding discussions and remember to send in your astronomical questions for a chance to be featured on the show.Support our cosmic journey by visiting https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support. Your contributions help us continue our mission to unravel the mysteries of the stars. Until next time, keep your eyes on the skies and your curiosity boundless.00:00:00 Questions from James, Lloyd and Ron on this episode of Space Nuts00:01:13 Andrew and Fred met Kate and Jeremy on the Canadian train for the eclipse00:03:04 Andrew: Get your iPad to read the book rather than struggling through it00:05:38 Planet nine, should such a thing be discovered? Or would the individual decide00:12:48 Do normal everyday stars like our sun ever collide and what do they create00:16:54 Do galaxies as a whole have electromagnetism00:23:14 If scientists in distant solar system were searching for exoplanets using modern technology00:30:08 Send us your questions via our website, spacenutspodcast. comSpace Nuts – your ticket to the universe. Join us each week as we make the cosmos your backyard
#413: Hubble's Hiccups & The Swiftest Space Spinner: Unraveling Cosmic Conundrums
02-05-2024
#413: Hubble's Hiccups & The Swiftest Space Spinner: Unraveling Cosmic Conundrums
This episode of Space Nuts is brought to you with the help of NordVPN...online security with a 30 day money-back guarantee. To check out our special deal for you, visit www.nordvpn.com/spacenutsDive into the cosmic unknown with Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson on this episode of Space Nuts, as they explore the latest hiccups of the venerable Hubble Space Telescope. Despite its unparalleled success over the past 34 years, Hubble is once more grappling with gyroscopic glitches that threaten to reduce its celestial observations' efficiency. Can NASA engineers coax Hubble back to its full cosmic potential?Next, join the duo as they delve into the mystery of the fastest spinning asteroid ever discovered, 2024 BX1. Detected a mere three hours before it streaked through Earth's atmosphere, this diminutive space rock has set a new record for rapid rotation, completing a turn every 2.6 seconds. Learn how meteorite hunters in Poland managed to snag fragments of this celestial speedster, offering us a rare close-up of an asteroidal visitor.Finally, Andrew and Fred illuminate the perplexing world of gamma-ray bursts, those enigmatic flashes of light that outshine entire galaxies in mere seconds. With a new breakthrough in understanding their light curves, scientists are unraveling the symmetrical patterns of these bursts, revealing insights into the relativistic jets that propel them across the universe. Could this be the key to decoding one of the cosmos' most powerful phenomena?From the trials of Hubble to the swift twirl of an asteroid and the cryptic luminance of gamma-ray bursts, this episode of Space Nuts is a journey through the marvels and mysteries of our vast universe. Tune in and let your imagination soar to the farthest reaches of space and time.00:00:00 This is Space nuts. Coming up on this episode, Hubble having trouble again00:02:31 Gyros at the Hubble space telescope have failed again but it's not fatal00:07:38 An asteroid was detected 3 hours before it hit the earth's atmosphere00:13:58 Professor Fred Watson says meteorite fragments were found before it hit earth00:15:49 Gamma ray bursts were discovered accidentally in 1967 but scientists have been studying them since00:20:20 Gamma ray bursts also have light curves which are completely symmetrical00:26:46 Fred Dunkley: FRBs release huge amounts of energy in a short timeSupport Space Nuts and join us on this interstellar voyage by visiting https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support. Don't miss out on future episodes as we continue to decode the universe's grandest puzzles. Clear skies and bold questions await on Space Nuts, where we make the cosmos your backyard.
#412: Cosmic Queries: A Voyage to Voyager & Defending Astronauts Beyond Earth
28-04-2024
#412: Cosmic Queries: A Voyage to Voyager & Defending Astronauts Beyond Earth
Prepare to illuminate the mysteries of cosmic luminescence with Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in this enlightening Q&A episode of Space Nuts. Our stellar duo navigates the void to answer Lee from New York's luminary question: How much light is there in space? Could we see Voyager 1 in its distant travels, or would it merely be a shadow against the cosmic tapestry? Fred sheds light on the subject, revealing the surprising capabilities of the human eye in the darkest reaches.Next, Fenton from Minnesota proposes an ingenious method for shielding astronauts from the relentless radiation beyond the Van Allen Belts. Could a miniaturized version of these protective fields be the key to safe space exploration? Fred unpacks the complexities of cosmic radiation and the futuristic technologies that might one day safeguard our interstellar voyagers.Robert from Vienna ponders a parallel universe where our moon is not the cratered time capsule we know, but an icy or hazy sphere like Europa or Titan. Would our understanding of the solar system's history be drastically different? And would astronauts have dared to tread on such enigmatic surfaces? The answers might just surprise you.Finally, Duncan from Weymouth queries the nomenclature of the outer planets, challenging the distinction between 'ice giants' and 'rock giants.' Fred clarifies the frosty moniker, explaining why Uranus and Neptune's chilly atmospheres earn them this cool classification.From the potency of starlight to the protective puzzles of space travel, this episode of Space Nuts is a cosmic cornucopia of knowledge. Remember to share your own astronomical inquiries via the Space Nuts website, and join us as we continue to unravel the universe's most perplexing enigmas. Until we next embark on our celestial sojourn, keep pondering the heavens and stay tuned for more galactic revelations.Support our journey through the cosmos by visiting https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support. Your support helps us keep the starlight shining on these interstellar discussions. Until the next transmission, keep your telescopes trained and your curiosity alight.This episode is brought to you with the support of NordPass...the password manager you need to make life less stressful...and by using our special deal...for not very much money. Plus you'll be helping support our show. For details visit www.bitesz.com/nordpass
#411: Aussie Astronaut Adventures & Jovian Journeys: Unveiling Space's Latest Marvels
25-04-2024
#411: Aussie Astronaut Adventures & Jovian Journeys: Unveiling Space's Latest Marvels
Embark on an astronomical adventure with Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson in the latest episode of Space Nuts, where they celebrate a historic moment for Australia with the announcement of the nation's first female astronaut, Catherine Bennell Pegg. Discover her remarkable journey to the stars and the aspirations she harbors for future Australian spacefarers.Then, take a volcanic voyage to Jupiter's moon Io with Juno's latest flybys, revealing a lava lake in Loki Patera so vast and smooth it mirrors the gas giant itself. Marvel at the newly dubbed Steeple Mountain, a geological spire that evokes Earth's own gothic cathedrals, and ponder the mysterious forces sculpting Io's tumultuous terrain.The episode continues to probe the secrets of the Solar System as Juno also sheds light on Jupiter's elusive water content, challenging previous theories about the giant planet's formation. And finally, the duo turns their gaze to Mars, where a new theory suggests that humans may inadvertently be unearthing the Red Planet's methane mysteries with the tread of rovers.From celebrating trailblazing astronauts to unraveling the enigmas of alien worlds, this episode of Space Nuts is a cosmic journey not to be missed. Tune in for these interstellar stories, and remember to bring your curiosity as we explore the wonders of our universe.Support the podcast and unlock a universe of knowledge by visiting https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support. Don't forget to subscribe for more deep space discoveries and celestial insights with Space Nuts, where the cosmos is just a play button away. Until our next cosmic rendezvous, keep your eyes to the skies and your questions at the ready.And for your daily space news fix, check out the team at our sister podcast 'Astronomy Daily the Podcast. Available wherever you get podcasts or stream from the website at www.astronomydaily.io
#410: Stellar Puzzles & Galactic Gold: Space Nuts Unpacks the Universe's Riddles
21-04-2024
#410: Stellar Puzzles & Galactic Gold: Space Nuts Unpacks the Universe's Riddles
Journey through the cosmic conundrums and celestial curiosities in this riveting Q&A edition of Space Nuts. Join host Andrew Dunkley and the ever-enlightening Professor Fred Watson as they tackle a smorgasbord of listener questions that will leave you contemplating the vastness of the universe.First on the docket, Jose from California stirs the space-time pot with a heady question about the nature of black holes and their role in birthing universes. Could the Big Bang have been a supernova from another realm? Is our universe expanding within the event horizon of a colossal black hole? Fred weighs in on these tantalizing theories, sharing insights that may just expand your mind faster than the universe itself.Next, Alan probes the cosmic forge, wondering how the chaos of supernovae could lead to the concentrated caches of gold and other heavy metals we find on Earth. Fred demystifies the process, explaining how gravity and planet formation turn stellar detritus into the precious lodes we treasure.Then, Justin from Brisbane ponders the uniqueness of Earth amidst the ever-growing catalog of exoplanets. As we discover more worlds, each more bizarre than the last, could it be that our pale blue dot is truly one of a kind? The discussion delves into the Fermi Paradox and the rarity of life's complex leap from single cells to sentient beings.Lastly, James presents a duo of hypotheticals that challenge the limits of science fiction and science fact. Can we reverse gravity by reversing time? And could we engineer a magnetosphere on an asteroid like Psyche? Fred's responses to these queries are sure to electrify your imagination.From the theoretical to the astronomical, this episode of Space Nuts is a cosmic buffet of brain food. Remember to send your own stargazing stumpers and interstellar inquiries via the Space Nuts website, and keep your ears tuned for more galactic greatness. Until next time, let the universe inspire wonder, and keep looking up!Become a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.This episode is brought to you with the support of NordPass...the password manger that will uncomplicate part of your life. Check out our special deal at www.bitesz.com/nordpass
#409: Eclipse Escapades & Stellar Shadows: Fred's Cosmic Journey & The Heaviest Black Hole Discovery
18-04-2024
#409: Eclipse Escapades & Stellar Shadows: Fred's Cosmic Journey & The Heaviest Black Hole Discovery
This episode is brought to you with the support of NordVPN. To get our very special deal simply visit https://www.nordvpn.com/spacenuts - you'll be glad you did.Prepare for liftoff with Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson on this thrilling installment of Space Nuts, as they recount Fred's astronomical escapades across the US, complete with eclipses, rocket launches, and the unexpected excitement of space junk crashing through a Floridian roof. Fred's journey is a celestial enthusiast's dream, featuring a spectacular total solar eclipse in Texas, a snowy adventure in Canada, and a close encounter with the northern lights.But the cosmic wonders don't stop there. The duo dives into the discovery of the most massive stellar black hole yet found in our galaxy, a behemoth 33 times the mass of our sun, a mere 2,000 light-years away. This revelation challenges our understanding of stellar evolution and the formation of black holes, leaving astronomers pondering the mysteries of our cosmic backyard.From the awe-inspiring vastness of black holes to the personal tales of stargazing and aurora hunting, this episode offers a universe of discovery. Don't miss out on the latest astronomical insights and Fred's interstellar journey that's sure to leave you starstruck.Remember to subscribe and follow Space Nuts for more deep space tales and intergalactic insights. Until next time, keep your eyes on the cosmos and your mind open to the endless possibilities of the universe.Become a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support. or Patreon, Supercast or Apple Podcasts. Details on our website - Supporters Page. Episode Chapters(00:00) Professor Fred Watson returns from trip to North America fully jet lagged(02:40) Fred Watson uses his iPhone to take photographs of aurora in Canada(06:32) Fred Watson went to Houston for the total solar eclipse in 1970(11:27) Andrew Gannadar watched SpaceX Falcon nine rocket launch from Orlando hotel(15:34) A gentleman in Florida had something come through his roof(17:51) Talking about the ISS brings back memories of our 1960s trip to Kennedy(18:33) Life size replica of Hubble space telescope at Kennedy Space Centre(22:52) Most massive stellar black hole yet found in our galaxy(24:27) Scientists detect massive black hole in sky using Gaia mission(30:29) Andrew Dunkley welcomes Fred Watson back to the Space Nuts podcast
#408: Supernovae Secrets & 3D-Printed Telescopes
14-04-2024
#408: Supernovae Secrets & 3D-Printed Telescopes
In this episode of Space Nuts Q&A, Andrew and Fred answer questions about supernovae, 3D printed telescopes, the Voyager space probe missions, and the possibility of using particle collision in space. They discuss how supernovae explosions do not blow away the gravitational field and how neutron stars develop as a result. They also provide insights into 3D printed telescopes and suggest that beginners may find it easier to start with an off-the-shelf telescope. They talk about the trajectory and potential fate of the Voyager spacecraft and discuss the challenges of building particle colliders in space. Overall, they provide informative and engaging answers to the audience's questions. Takeaways   Supernovae explosions do not blow away the gravitational field because gravity is associated with mass. The explosion only affects the outer envelope of the star, while the core collapses to become a neutron star. 3D printed telescopes can be a good option for beginners, but it may be easier to start with an off-the-shelf telescope. 3D printed telescopes require more components and may involve more fiddling around. The Voyager spacecraft will continue on their current trajectories and are not expected to pass near any star systems within human lifetimes. However, if they were near enough to Earth, they could be detectable by extraterrestrial intelligence. Building particle colliders in space is challenging due to the need for precise guidance and the high velocities of the particles. It may be more cost-effective and realistic to continue building particle colliders on Earth. The fate of the Voyager spacecraft is uncertain, but they could potentially be captured into orbit around another star or collide with other objects. They will likely outlast our species and continue on their trajectories away from the solar system. Chapters   00:00 Volcanic Features and Pyroclastic Deposits 00:28 Q&A: Supernovas and Neutron Stars 07:03 Q&A: 3D Printable Telescopes 11:07 Q&A: Voyager Space Probe Missions 15:12 Q&A: Particle Collisions and Voyager's FateBecome a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.
#407: Unraveling the Universe's Expansion Enigma & Mars' Hidden Volcano
11-04-2024
#407: Unraveling the Universe's Expansion Enigma & Mars' Hidden Volcano
Embark on a cosmic odyssey with Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson as they unravel the mysteries of the universe's expansion and unearth a colossal Martian secret in this episode of Space Nuts. Dive into the perplexing debate over the universe's expansion rate, as new findings from the James Webb Space Telescope reignite the Hubble tension. With precision cosmology at our fingertips, discover why the universe's growth spurs more questions than answers, leaving us to ponder the potential for undiscovered physics that could reshape our cosmic understanding.Then, join the expedition to Mars where a hidden giant lay dormant until now. The discovery of a monstrous volcano, nestled in the labyrinthine Noctis Labyrinthus, has scientists buzzing with excitement. Towering over 9,000 meters with a footprint spanning 450 kilometers, this Martian marvel could hold vital clues to the planet's fiery past and icy secrets beneath its surface. As explorers eye this volcanic behemoth as a future landing site, the prospects of unlocking Mars' ancient mysteries have never been more alluring.From the enigmatic expansion of the cosmos to the volcanic vistas of Mars, this episode is a treasure trove for space enthusiasts and cosmic detectives. Tune in and let your imagination soar to new interstellar heights with Space Nuts. Remember to subscribe and follow us for more celestial tales and astronomical adventures. Until our next galactic gathering, keep your eyes to the skies and your heart in the stars.πŸš€ Episode Chapters(00:00) Andrew Dunkley introduces the cosmic conundrums(05:12) The Hubble tension and the universe's expansion speed(11:34) Professor Fred Watson discusses the James Webb Space Telescope's findings(18:20) Unveiling the newly discovered Martian volcano(24:45) The potential of Mars' glacial ice and future explorations(28:57) Wrapping up with a look ahead to Space Nuts Q&AThis episode is brought to you by NordPass - the best way to manage all your passwords and lose that angst for not very much money. Like... seriously cheap... check out the special discount deal at www.bitesz.com/nordpassBecome a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.
#406: Celestial Choreography & Speedy Snapshots: Deciphering Distant Star Systems & The Challenge of Cosmic Photography
07-04-2024
#406: Celestial Choreography & Speedy Snapshots: Deciphering Distant Star Systems & The Challenge of Cosmic Photography
The eposode of Space Nuts is brought to you by NordPass....the password manager that will make your life so much eaier for not very much money. Check out our special offer at www.bitesz.com/nordpass - you'll be glad you did.Strap in for an astronomical journey as Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson return to answer your burning cosmic questions in this enlightening episode of Space Nuts. Beam up to the cosmos as we tackle the challenges of snapping photos at supersonic speeds with the Breakthrough Starshot project. Viano from Florence brings into focus the hurdles of capturing clear images of distant planets when traveling at a third the speed of light. Could the blur of speed and the distortion of space-time leave us with just a glimpse of Proxima Centauri's secrets?Next, we delve into the cosmic dance of celestial bodies. Brady from Florida, with a front-row seat to rocket launches, ponders the possibility of a moon having its own moon. Could a satellite's satellite exist, or are the gravitational tugs within our solar system too much for such a delicate balance? Professor Watson explains the intricate gravitational ballet that determines these cosmic relationships.Then, Scott from Oregon opens a window into the fascinating world of triple star systems with a question about HD 110067. How can stars so far apart still be considered gravitationally bound? Discover the cosmic ties that bind these stellar companions across vast distances.And for a bonus, we tackle an impromptu query from Dean about the Hubble Space Telescope's remarkable ability to maintain steady images while orbiting Earth. The secret lies in the dance of gyroscopes, but how long can this celestial photography session last?From interstellar photography to the gravitational waltz of moons and stars, this episode is packed with insights into the mechanics of our universe. Remember to send us your space-related questions, and join us on this voyage of cosmic discovery. Subscribe to Space Nuts on your favorite podcast platform, and until our next stellar encounter, keep gazing at the stars and wondering about the wonders above. πŸ“‹ Episode Chapters(00:00) Andrew Dunkley welcomes your questions for Space Nuts Q and A(01:52) Riano from Florence in Italy has two questions for us(04:13) Andrew: Breakthrough project aims to send micro spacecraft to Alpha Centauri(10:06) I talked about pluto about 100 times, I think(10:21) Viana raises doubts about whether taking pictures from space is feasible(12:40) Vienna's question was about the orbits of planets(14:06) Andrew Dunkley with professor Fred Watson on space nuts podcast(18:05) Andrew Dunkley: Scott from Oregon questions distance of triple star system(23:57) Fred Watson says Hubble's lifetime will eventually be limited because gyroscopes failedBecome a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.
#405: Martian Mysteries & Moon-Sized Marvels: Unveiling Mars' Ancient Atmosphere & The Tiniest Exoplanet
04-04-2024
#405: Martian Mysteries & Moon-Sized Marvels: Unveiling Mars' Ancient Atmosphere & The Tiniest Exoplanet
This episode pf Space Nuts is brought to you with the support of NordVPN...so much more than a VPN service. And we havea  special deal for you with a risk free 30 day money back guarantee. Check it all out at www.nordvpn.com/spacenutsPrepare to traverse the Martian landscapes and cosmic frontiers in this intriguing episode of Space Nuts, where Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson uncover the secrets of the Red Planet and the tiniest worlds beyond our solar system. In this episode, we're dusting off the Martian surface to reveal new evidence that hints at the planet's potential past life. A recent study from Japan brings to light ancient atmospheric conditions that could have fostered the formation of life-essential molecules. Dive into the science of how formaldehyde, a chemical you wouldn't typically associate with life, may have been a critical ingredient in Mars' primordial soup.Then, we shrink our focus to the smallest exoplanet ever discovered, Kepler 37b. Is it a planet, an asteroid, or something in between? This celestial object, roughly the size of our Moon, challenges our definitions and understanding of planetary bodies. The team discusses the criteria that separate planets from dwarf planets and the exciting prospect of future discoveries with the upcoming Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope.From Martian mysteries to minuscule exoplanets, this episode is a cosmic cocktail of astrophysical wonder and discovery. So, fasten your seatbelts, and let's embark on another Space Nuts adventure. Don't forget to hit the subscribe button on YouTube, and join us as we continue to explore the vast expanse of our universe. For more Space Nuts content, visit our website or tune in for the next episode. Until then, keep your eyes on the skies and your mind open to the endless possibilities of space.πŸ“‹ Episode Chapters(00:00) This episode of Space nuts features Professor Fred Watson, astronomer at large(01:33) Fred Koteman has just returned from a trip to Egypt(06:58) There were issues with language and translation on our Egypt trip(08:43) New research suggests ancient Mars could have harboured life(15:56) Professor Fred Watson says Kepler 37 b is the smallest exoplanet ever found(26:57) Fred Watson: Kepler 37 b is the smallest exoplanet thus foundBecome a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.
#404: Terraforming Trials & Titan's Tantalizing Truths: Venusian Visions and Microbial Mysteries
02-04-2024
#404: Terraforming Trials & Titan's Tantalizing Truths: Venusian Visions and Microbial Mysteries
Your questions....our answers!Buckle up, space cadets! Join Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson as they navigate through a new constellation of cosmic queries in this episode of Space Nuts. In this interstellar Q&A session, we're launching straight into the terraforming terrain, pondering massive megastructures, and the cooling conundrum of Venus. Dan from California, or "Caladan," sparks a stellar discussion on whether a colossal solar panel at Venus's L1 point could reverse its runaway greenhouse effect.Next, we're rocketing over to Dan in Brisbane, who's curious about the protostar L1527 and its captivating James Webb Space Telescope image. Our hosts explore the fate of material ejected during the formation of our solar system and the forces exerted by our sun's solar wind and photonic pressure. Could the remnants of our solar system's early cloud still linger in the cosmic winds?Then, we're warping into the realms of science fiction with Star's question: Does scientific accuracy enhance the enjoyment of sci-fi, or is imagination the final frontier? Andrew shares his favorites, from the plausible "The Martian" to the fantastical "Dune," while Fred reflects on the genre's influence on his scientific path.Lastly, young Ted from the UK, with some help from his father Joe, wonders why the moon is sometimes visible during the day and what that means for the other side of the Earth. Prepare for a lunar lesson that spans the globe!So, ignite your curiosity engines and prepare for a journey through the mysteries of space and science fiction. Remember to send us your astronomical questions for a chance to be featured in our cosmic conversations. Subscribe to Space Nuts on your preferred podcast platform and join us as we continue our voyage through the vastness of the universe. Until next time, keep your telescopes trained and your dreams space-bound!(00:00) Andrew dunkley: We've got a few questions about terraforming(01:29) Recent data suggests Titan probably not as life worthy as we once thought(04:00) How long would it take Venus to cool down and would that eventually lead to(08:45) Fred: Dan from Brisbane wants to know about protostar formation(15:23) We've got a question from star. Um, so we're talking about a proto star now(15:51) When it comes to Sci-Fi does your enjoyment depend on how accurate it is(21:59) Why can I sometimes see the moon during the day in the UK(24:18) Andrew Dunkley: Thank you for joining us on Space NutsThisd episode is brought to you by NordPass - the best way to manage all your passwords and lose that angst for not very much money. Like....seriously cheap....check out the special discount deal at www.bitesz.com/nordpassBecome a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.
#403: Stellar Synthesis & Quasar Quests: Crafting Cosmic Particles & Unveiling the Universe's Brightest Beacon
28-03-2024
#403: Stellar Synthesis & Quasar Quests: Crafting Cosmic Particles & Unveiling the Universe's Brightest Beacon
Prepare for a stellar foray into the frontiers of astrophysics with your seasoned spacefarers, Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson, in this riveting episode of Space Nuts. Today, we're delving into the realm of nuclear alchemy, where scientists have replicated the cosmic crucible of colliding neutron stars right here on Earth. Andrew and Fred unpack the groundbreaking synthesis of new isotopes, previously the exclusive handiwork of the universe's most cataclysmic events. Discover how a platinum beam and a carbon target in the lab have opened a new window into the cosmic generation of elements like gold and silver, and what this means for our understanding of matter's deepest secrets.Then, brace for a journey to the edges of space-time, as we shed light on the discovery of the fastest-growing and brightest quasar ever observed. This celestial behemoth, with a black hole 17 billion times the mass of our Sun, is not only a record-breaker but a window into the universe's youthful past, some 12 billion years ago. With a luminosity of 500 trillion suns and an event horizon stretching seven light years, this quasar is a true cosmic titan. Fred and Andrew explore the implications of such discoveries and ponder the evolution of these quasars, which now lie dormant in the current epoch of the universe.And lest we forget, the episode is graced with a surprise guestβ€”a goanna in Fred's backyard, reminding us of the enduring connection between Earth's ancient inhabitants and the stars that light our skies.So, join us on this intergalactic voyage of discovery, where the wonders never cease, and the universe's secrets are yours to uncover. For the full Space Nuts experience and to keep your cosmic curiosity fueled, subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. And remember, your questions and fascination are the stars that guide our Space Nuts odyssey!πŸ“‹ Episode Chapters(00:00) Andrew dunkley: Coming up on this episode of Space nuts is some science(01:08) Professor Fred Watson says goannas can do a lot of damage(02:32) Scientists have synthesised isotopes created by colliding neutron stars(12:20) Professor Andrew Dunkley says neutron star collisions may have created some rare isotopes(16:25) Fred says Australian astronomers have found the brightest quasar and possibly a black hole(23:16) Quasars are extinct at this point in the age of the universe(28:25) Andrew Dunkley: Thanks to Huw not in studio today when AWOLBecome a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.
#402: Pergola Projections & Proxima Possibilities: Solar Shields and Exoplanetary Expeditions
24-03-2024
#402: Pergola Projections & Proxima Possibilities: Solar Shields and Exoplanetary Expeditions
Embark on another cosmic journey with your favorite celestial explorers, Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson, in this insightful Q&A episode of Space Nuts. This time, the mysteries of the outer solar system take center stage as we delve into the elusive Planet Nine. Duncan from Weymouth, Dorset, ponders whether a rogue planet might have once danced through our neighborhood, stirring the orbits of distant objects before continuing on its cosmic path. Could this explain the peculiar movements without the need for a ninth planet?Next, Rusty revisits his solar pergola concept, but with a twist. Imagine a constellation of satellites, each casting a penumbral shadow upon Earth, designed to reduce solar exposure by a subtle 2%. With advances in technology, could this be the geoengineering marvel we deploy within a decade to temper our planet's fever?David from Seguin, Texas, presents us with a tantalizing "what if": If you could step foot on any exoplanet, which would it be? Andrew and Fred share their interstellar real estate preferences, revealing the allure of Earth-like worlds and the practical considerations of cosmic travel.Lastly, we're tackling some homework from our inquisitive listeners. Wayne's curiosity about supernovas and gravitational waves leads to a discussion on cosmic symmetry, while Lee's question about InSight's ability to triangulate Marsquake epicenters unveils the intricate modeling of the Red Planet's inner structure.So, fasten your seatbelts for a voyage through the wonders of space science, where questions spark discovery and the universe's secrets are just waiting to be unlocked. Don't forget, your questions might just be the next puzzle piece in our grand cosmic understanding, so keep them coming!For more interstellar intrigue and to continue feeding your space curiosity, subscribe to Space Nuts on your preferred podcast platform. Until our next celestial navigation, remember to look up and let your imagination soar through the infinite expanse!For more Space Nuts visit www.spacenuts.io  or our HQ at www.bitesz.com.(00:00) Andrew Dunkley: This is the separated second half of Space Nuts q&a(02:23) Our first question comes from a regular Duncan. Just wondering about planet nine episode(03:47) Andrew says rogue planet could be caused by passing star or other interference(08:10) The solar system is very difficult to understand without planet nine, says Mike Brown(10:26) Rusty suggests solar pergola could help solve climate crisis(17:03) Plus it increases our classification as a. Civilization in doing so(17:29) What if y'all could step foot on any planet outside our solar system(21:34) Whether or not a supernova can cause a gravitational wave was asked recently(26:36) Professor Fred Watson and Huw in the studio for Space Nuts podcastBecome a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.
#401: Titan's Troubles & UN's Satellite Summits: Life on Ice Moons and Space Traffic Control
21-03-2024
#401: Titan's Troubles & UN's Satellite Summits: Life on Ice Moons and Space Traffic Control
This episode of Space Nuts is brought to you with the support of NordVPN. For our special discount deal and 30 day money back guarantee, visit nordvpn.com/spacenuts ...You'll be glad you did!Embark on a cosmic exploration with your favorite interstellar enthusiasts, Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson, in this latest episode of Space Nuts. Today's celestial journey takes us to Saturn's moon, Titan, where new research casts a shadow on the prospects of finding life in its sub-ice oceans. Despite the rich hydrocarbons on Titan's surface, the study by astrobiologist Catherine Neish suggests that the transfer of essential organic materials to the ocean below is far too slow to foster life as we know it. The implications of this finding could extend to other icy moons, potentially dampening hopes for habitability across our solar system.Then, we pivot to Earthly matters as we join the United Nations' cosmic conversation. The UN has finally agreed to tackle the burgeoning issue of satellite constellations cluttering our orbit. With over 8,000 satellites circling our planet and plans for many more, astronomers are increasingly concerned about light pollution and radio interference. But can the UN's agenda lead to effective regulation, or will it be a case of too little, too late in the fast-paced space industry?From the icy depths of Titan to the crowded skies of Earth, this episode of Space Nuts is a testament to the ever-evolving quest for knowledge and the challenges of preserving our cosmic frontiers. So, sit back, tune in, and let your imagination take flight as we unravel these astronomical enigmas.For the full spectrum of space-time adventures and to keep your astronomical curiosity quenched, subscribe to Space Nuts on your preferred podcast platform. And don't forget to tune in to our Space Nuts Q&A episodes every Monday for more cosmic queries and celestial insights. Until next time, keep your eyes to the stars and your passion for discovery burning bright!πŸ“‹ Episode Chapters(00:00) Professor Fred Watson joins us on this episode of Space Nuts(02:02) New study suggests Titan's subsurface ocean could be right for potential life(10:35) There have been speculations that Titan could have a different basis of life(13:47) Andrew Dunkley says there will be methane and ethane rainbows on Titan(15:32) United nations to meet later this year to discuss concentrations of satellites(25:38) Space company SpaceX to deorbit 100 older starlink satellites to reduce satellite interferenceBecome a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.
#400: Big Bang Echoes & Eternal Suns: Probing Gravitational Waves and Immortal Earth
17-03-2024
#400: Big Bang Echoes & Eternal Suns: Probing Gravitational Waves and Immortal Earth
Prepare to have your curiosity catapulted to cosmic proportions in this enthralling Q&A edition of Space Nuts, where our intrepid hosts Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson delve into the gravitational enigmas and hypotheticals of the universe.Firstly, Bo from Melbourne brings us a mind-bending question about the Big Bang and gravitational waves. Could the universe's colossal birth have sent ripples through the fabric of spacetime? Fred unpacks the complexities of detecting such ancient cosmic echoes and explores the tantalizing links to the cosmic microwave background radiation.Next, Rennie from sunny West Hills, California, presents a tantalizing 'what if' scenario: What if the Sun never died? Would Earth eventually succumb to its own demise? Our dynamic duo contemplates the slow dance of celestial mechanics, the potential for human adaptability, and the intriguing future of a planet with a 42-day-long day.Lastly, Daniel from Adelaide ponders a cosmic conundrum where time and dark energy might intertwine. As he questions the nature of the universe's accelerated expansion and the role of dark energy, Fred provides a nuanced response that sifts through the layers of cosmological understanding.With each query, Andrew and Fred traverse the vastness of space, time, and possibility, offering insights that will leave you pondering long after the episode ends. So join us on this intergalactic expedition, and don't forget to submit your own questions to Space Nuts for a chance to be featured in future Q&A escapades!For more space-time adventures and to satisfy your astronomical curiosity, subscribe to Space Nuts on your preferred podcast platform. Until we chart our next course through the cosmos, keep your eyes to the skies and your wonder boundless!Episode Chapters:(00:00) Welcome to Space Nuts Q&A with Andrew Dunkley and Professor Fred Watson((01:08) Did the big Bang produce gravitational waves or echoes(08:47) Would the earth eventually erode, decay and die on its own(13:27) What if time and dark energy were actually the same thing(14:35) Daniel Winfred: Is time and dark energy the same thing(18:07) How to submit your questions and wrap-upBecome a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.
#399: Celestial Collisions & the Art of Extinguishing Stars: Probing Planetary Impacts and Fire Safety in Orbit
14-03-2024
#399: Celestial Collisions & the Art of Extinguishing Stars: Probing Planetary Impacts and Fire Safety in Orbit
Strap in for a fiery cosmic conundrum and a celestial mystery spanning centuries in this latest episode of Space Nuts! Host Andrew Dunkley and the ever-knowledgeable Professor Fred Watson ignite a discussion on the dangers of fire in space. With a look back at some of history's most harrowing space blazes, they delve into NASA's sapphire experiments, which test the flammability of spacecraft materials to enhance future mission safety. From the tragic Apollo 1 disaster to a perilous inferno aboard the Mir space station, learn how these pivotal events are shaping the protocols that keep astronauts safe among the stars.Then, shift your gaze to a distant starlight drama as our Space Nuts duo investigates a puzzling stellar eclipse lasting 500 days. Could the dimming of a young, sun-like star be the aftermath of a colossal planetary collision? With the help of archival data from NASA's WISE mission, scientists have pieced together a story of cosmic destruction and creation. Discover how two exoplanets, each several times the mass of Earth, may have smashed together, leaving behind a glowing cloud of debris and the potential birth of new moons or even more planets.This episode is a testament to the relentless pursuit of knowledge and the ingenious methods astronomers use to unravel the secrets of the universe, even from 1850 light-years away. So, prepare for a journey that explores both the immediate concerns within our spacecraft and the cataclysmic events of distant solar systems.For a deeper dive into the universe's most burning questions and enigmatic events, subscribe to Space Nuts on your favorite podcast platform. And remember, the Q&A session now gets its spotlight in a dedicated episode every Monday, ensuring you get your full dose of cosmic curiosity. Until next time, keep your eyes to the cosmos and your mind open to the wonders it holds!Episode Chapters(00:00) Welcome to Space Nuts: Astronomy and Space Science(02:22) Fires in space - A look at NASA's sapphire experiments(12:45) The 500-day stellar eclipse and planetary collision aftermath(24:10) The future of space safety and celestial observations(29:55) Closing thoughts and the new Space Nuts Q&A episodesBecome a supporter of this podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/podcast/space-nuts--2631155/support.For more Space Nuts visit www.spacenuts.io or our HQ at www.bitesz.com