« StarTalk Radio

Cosmic Queries – Stargazing

2020-08-31 | 🔗

Has looking up at the stars changed over time? Neil deGrasse Tyson, comic co-host Negin Farsad, and Emily Levesque, PhD, astrophysics professor, and author of The Last Stargazers: The Enduring Story of Astronomy's Vanishing Explorers, answer fan questions about stargazing. 

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: https://www.startalkradio.net/show/cosmic-queries-stargazing/

Thanks to our Patrons Roch Venne, Robert Gilmore, Vlad-Gabriel Mangalagiu, Jordan MacNeill, Sheila Clark, Brandon Ferguson, Peter E Lugo, and Manoel Bueno for supporting us this week.

Image Credit: NASA.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to start off your place in the universe where science and pop culture collide startup begin right now. This is stark talk, cosmic queries, edition and today we're gonna, be talking about the night sky and stargazing and stronger me through the ages and how it is. It's been a lure for us all to look up and wonder and dream. And first let me introduce my co host Magee nagging. Isn't that your third time with us, I, like guys, foresaw I'm getting comfortable in the dim all companies when everything in our producers love you, I love you so always great to. Have you been
you're so kind you don't you love your pocket test, you can t get through the title of it and also through the nation, fake. The nation and ok coarser, take off and face the nation, but the budget year. Your book titles, just how to make white people live, So so I just put you out there. You try to use the social justice who keep going That's for that's all! That's what I do and turns out making white people laugh is like a critical part of of social justice. Slow you good their export. Today is actually a fellow astrophysicist. Emily I back Emily welcome to start talk. How did we here? that you remember? We have met many moons ago when I was visiting the campus of Universal Washington, and so
delighted to see you again and you you nervous system, professor and in astronomy, at university, Washington, so and for you, I love you, research study, massive stars and because really cool stuff happen. Massive stars. We aren't, they well. I think I love that and a galaxy formation, but we ve got drunk as we want. We want to do a deep dive into your recent book. Last star, gazers the enjoy, during story of astronomy is vanishing. Explorers just came out this year. Who's. The publisher that give them a shout up: sources, source books, ok, excellent, that so Emily Wit, Did you grow up in a place where stargazing was a thing? little bit. I grew up on far enough out and sort of the suburbs in a city that we can wander into our backyard and get a good look at the night sky. I throughout never meeting scientists
last Friday, I didn't know who anyone who was a scientist or an astronomer. But family with a lot of scientific curiosity, so we were able to go out into our backyard and decent stargazing from when I was really little there. City, were you in the suburbs of where you could see the night sky cause. Any cities where that is, Massachusetts settle down Taunton, Massachusetts about an hour South Boston, I'm not gonna say it was the best stargazing ever, but I'm always side when people are like how I live in a city stargazing lilies in for me, because even if you can, see a couple things. Even you can check out the moon or the very greatest stars NGO little tasted, the night sky. So it was done in a bid to see some stuff making, which would I grew up in palm springs. California. And I have to be honest. We had some great star gazing out there, because They also have a lot of light pollution laws, and it's a day
There are lots of senior citizens citizens, so everyone goes to sleep by much purpose. I you know you have. Not only do you not have light polluted, you also don't have people pollution. For eight p m, so you're, just looking at a really good loud drunken parties are drafting happening. Emily an under celebrated fact about it's: a secret of stock start its stargazing, the backyard of old age homes, on the other, so are you one of these that new they you wanted, study the universe from kid I am obviously too, when I think I got sucked into astronomy to tell me how I can state it remember when you were too, I am told what happens I was to the last time he was Tom. It made a closed pass by earth regularly
yeah yeah and my big brother Ben had to study it for a school projects or a whole family went out into the back yard. So I followed him out there and I was little and toddler age and fussy until apparently people blinded me up and then I was justly amazed at what I was saying, and from then on people. Ask what I wanted to do when I grew up- and I was like. Oh, I want to be about ballerina or an astronomer right. One of you, fire fighter or astronomer or marine biologist or an astronomer, an astronomer just stuck as the common denominator right there and made the right choice actually invite. If I say so myself, the privilege of watching I was alive, but I caught it fun on Youtube. You you, if you are, you have a TED talk celebrating the night sky, so I was delighted to get some of that insights that you that you had so just talk. Tell us all. What do you mean the lass stargazing I mean Arthur. Still I mean I still look up. I don't think I'm the last one. So what do you mean by that yeah?
title is meant to be a little bit of a challenge and a little bit of kind of examining how we, he stargazing, how we do astronomy today because technology is really changing, what serving means and what using a telescope means, and it's kind of shifting the rule that astronomers play in observations. We used a very literally goaded the telescope. Sometimes almost a tattoo herself to the telescope in you are research and now we can operate telescopes remotely, sometimes telescopes are even robotic and we still permitted debating astronomy by our places kind of shifting, so the book is low. At how astronomy is change and kind of the human stories astronomy and looking at what it might mean if we are the last stargazing if we are changing our role to the extent, that the way we do science, Canada ok, so you're thank the star gazers. You refer to the ones that took the pilgrimage to the telescope on them and Us ended the mountain, where
you observe from the comfort of your office you're in a generation and we got a name is generating a game. You need a name for this generation of astronomers that know nothing of mountain tops. Didn't know nothing of of the pilgrim is that they require. Cubicles target is so just to be clear. Even from the comfort of your own office, with a cup of coffee and a snack, you are still stargazing. It's just absence the romance of the journey to the mountain top it is in this really varies from China, mountains, mountain arm. I've actually done a lot of mountaintop stargazing and I absolutely love it understands that's where we really do still have to go and sit with trained telescope operators and actually knights worth of dedicated observations on a mountain top
Now, like I have a telescope in New Mexico that the universe you Washington, as a partner in that I can run with like software on my laptop, so I can literally do whose son observing from my couch way are you are you watching them like during the ninety five hours like or you re, watching a pre recorded situation, you, don't I mean, are you doing the work at night? It's a crew. Questions of the work is done, night began astronomers work at night when we're gonna question that intelligent question from you, please do you, work didn't see like otter, laptop, like she's, good record that night and then why did during the day the next morning the horse there's nothing the lives show we I know that this
the question that actually prompted me to write the last organisers. Those people would find out late and be sitting next to us on a plane and tell them I was and stronger and they were like hurry away. Great now, shouldn't you just be permanently nocturnal telescope every night and we are actively observing and were observing counterweight that we see, with our eyes, were absent. At night but I remember using this telescope in New Mexico from an office in Switzerland, ones and night time in New Mexico was like normal business hours in Switzerland. Sue by it. I like woke up, had breakfast sat down on my computer, opened up my laptop and answer. Operating a telescope, wait a minute women Emily. That's that worked because risks round is aware time for me to tell you guys: I'm flattered they're, all yo YO to optimum time say therefore different programmes
so Emily list. Let's go to our fan base. I'm seeing these questions of we ve shown them to you either, but a deafening their geena, seen them and she's like to them, and we solicited questions about stargazing in LA gardening. Have some really great questions and out the first one comes from Patria from Eli who asks how to satellites affect stargazing too. And are you concerned about how side satellites might affect stargazing in the future? Great cost, hundreds of satellites up there and will you do back that hundreds of them it seemed to be hundreds of thousands. Essentially this. This gets into a really interesting topic. We ve, obviously inside lights up for decades and while there in the hundreds and other sounds bigwood spaces, big, so generally, it costs too much of a problem. We're starting to run into some challenges with things like STAR link, probably the one most people have heard as its Spacex projects, where
there are launching a sort of mega constellation of thousands of satellites with the idea that this can offer. Or something lake global five year mobile internet support and the problem with. Is that they launch them in huge batches there very bright letters, router keeping wasted evangelist sixty two, the time my highly happy, and once they want them, they will travel through You probably seen videos on line of just the sort of little trail of bright thing. Either It is like streaks the bill leave as they without rose the last round of beautiful photos. There were submitted to us So these do start to cause a problem, because something were super interested in astronomy. Right now is how the nights I changes with time and were used to thinking of the sky is being pretty static. He seated in constellations. Every night may change with the seasons, but there's time
steps that are designed to photograph the sky over and over, and look for anything that moves or anything that gets brighter or dimmer system like satellites just strings through the frame of a photo. It just leaves these bright mark but you can't remove telling me that you telling me that the next generation of telescopes would be ideal fighting sound work will be perfect controls to the edge of the universe and they look at the edge of our atmosphere. We found where the internet, via like either rogue star gazers, who really don't look at stars at all, and only look at satellites. So I know that there is like, apps and websites where you can look for something like the international space station? because you can cast out right now. Just looks like this very little dot travelling there was corpse, the heavens above attracts, especially and others- had a notable satellites here. Yeah,
but unfortunately astronomers really rather get these out of our way and look at these stars and galaxies behind them. So huge fleets of lights can really start to cause a problem and I think that's breathed a lot of astronomers outer space access just tunnel launching these like the FCC, can prove a lunch and then suddenly were hurling thousands and how, satellites into orbit, and there rights. They emit radio waves. There are so many of them the door quickly going to start becoming a problem so talking to space like and kind of sorting out aid to regulate this, because if you can just like any company can chuck tons of satellites, you orbit, it's gonna mess of the night sky pretty drastically and pretty soon and we can solve this. That would be great if it's a game and Emily's basement is, is a laser. We'll. Take our satellite species knock. I tell you about that.
Tell any tell anybody. There was more the off the books equipment purchases, but its work as yours. You background look so normal exactly these like world? Bending capability sees you gotta wear binds all got its own them at the devil. Nemesis machines it or basement so Emmy. Let me get geeky on your four on you for a bit satellites, when you see them in the night sky, its cause they're still in some way, while you're in darkness, and you see them cross, but if wait late enough, then the whole sky I, above you is in earth shadow, so satellites could be moving through it, but you're not going to see light from them. Of course, maybe radio waves you would how much a visit of how much of a problem is it if they're moving there, but you can't see them if we see them, helps
You can imagine suddenly theoretical scenario where a satellite is perfectly in front of something that you want to see but they're much less of a problem when they're not reflecting sunlight. So this is one of the conversations we ve been, having wit space access other private companies, is exactly how higher these satellites. How long they going be in the sunlight. Wallets nighttime for us is usually a big, the biggest problem a couple hours after sunset or a couple hours before sunrise, but where they are and how high they are, makes a big difference when he said that the radio and mission can be its whole own problems when reflecting the sunlight isn't as much of a problem in the middle of a document Because we're satellites, equal bad, that's damage Does he answered civilized question? you I was at the layman. Hurry lie. That's right! You imagine telling like Isaac, Newton or whatever alike.
And a couple of years we're gonna have to stuff that air and it ought to stay there. This space towards anyone really more. Seventy years ago, after that, the stuff we have in space, get in your way. Each Rafik reassures US dollar area breed debris Adam and leave us three like a snail grass. So weird, ok, what we have Other questions you will you average of one more this segment, because we spend a lot of time getting to know Emily, but we have two more segments of the sea. We have one more question: okay, the we had another question from Veal letter from Patriot, whose twelve years old from Birmingham Alabama and asked what is the craziest adventure you ve been,
or location you ve ever been to in order to get the clearest view of the night Sky Violeta. This is an awesome question. The coolest place I've ever been four astronomy is the Antarctic Stratosphere, which it's pretty wild? I don't think I would have guessed as a little kid that that's where I would be going for astronomy, but I actually did some observations on something called an airborne observatory which is a telephone, an operator out the open back door of especially modified airplane. It flies up above most of the water vapor in our atmosphere. So we can study late that you couldn't get out from the ground. I gotta do some forty seven yeah you're young, and I got to do this last summer, flying out of Christchurch New Zealand. We flew down almost over an Arctic. It was the list observing like adventure. I've ever had my life. I write all about it in the last hour gazers, it was just such a blast in Further Nicky
It is out there. I just googled at the Antarctic as the one on the bottoms progressed, a lot of our electorate. So go back to the one with the penguins which, with the penguins all free penguins loose after the equator, gave, keep it simple that you just added a layer of complexity that I don't know that I am prepared for six or Emily. Is that kind of observing doable from an office we'll talk? Now I mean. Is it was that so long ago that that's change to that was? summer over then absurd restoring, there's a whole fleet of experts who fly on the plane and to help keep the plains exactly keep the telescope operating safely. Do the observations. I was lucky enough to go along as an astronomer, but right now to do that? You still gonna need people they much physically.
Present to make sure the observations are going well yeah. But if you open up the side of the plane and stick the telescope to whose at the tools. Are you in some kind of space suit causes damage air up there in the stratosphere? Okay. So this is how I first pictured airborne astronomy, because I learned about in college- and I barely ever been on a plane. At that point, poisoners picturing, like the scene from air force. One with like you, know the door. Abandoned would come into the way you're very tight, actually in a whole, separate little like sealed off chamber and the Taliban, the telescope, and plain or so well, designed that they can open that back door and never even feel it. I was sitting in the car with the pilots when they open the door and they really get super smooth, don't even notice that progress. To be because you can't take jubilee photos but the telescope, writers and work The telescopes actually mounted on an enormous ball, bearing so that it stays perfectly steady, drove a little like bones of turbulence that we all felt on commercial flights is wearing
like a little down coat to keep warm. We go trigger break em when we come back more of the romance of stargazing with Emily LAB return, we're back startle cosmic, where the romance of starting and had no game for side my co host. They can do you like me to coast. Do you tweet right? What's your twitter Odin, again farsighted, name that both are everyone can both spell and pronounce for every good many g I'd have they are as they do. Other twitters were very good.
And our special yesterday Emily led back a colleague of mine from the University of Washington. You does, I think, because you guys is it the Huskies right. Yet the argued, the? U Dub, huskies just wrote a book called the last Thar gazers, and so I was just curious. What What do you think stargazing will look like in ten years? Will? No one ever even noted inside of a dome, looks like it in our field, I think that will still have some people travelling to these were not mountain tops and going to telescopes, because we really do a lot of different types of observing in astronomy. Some of that can almost be done by a robot. Some of that. You really want to be there and have like the curious human question is being posed in Canada, creativity of being the telescope. So I like to think we'll still be going to telescopes in some form even decades from now it would be interesting. The geometric robots have a robot astronomer they can tap into with a. I think
tap into the internet and be the robotic operator as well where's, the robotic astronomer, and then they can ask the deep questions that we're trying to ask. And then answer them, and then you and I just become completely useless I still need comedians, I think, may be the last thing robots will take over because that yeah, you guys are put to me together to make your job work. I think about so come very late in the game waving. Can I make the case for the fact that isn't it just call to go to one of those domes and just hang out and STAR gaze like just the cool factor on its own? It super cool. It's I'm talk to more than a hundred astronomers while researching the last hour gazers and so many people their favorite story of observing. Being out of one of these domes and middle of the night and how beautiful it was. But my favorite story, I was at a dome and invited a very close colleague who is a pure theorist who had never been
into a telescope dome. Before and two days to the observing one. There was an earthquake. Oh that's! What we think the observing gods didn't want. The theorist on the mechanism is the only way we re MAC. Where were you at Saratoga that'll so definitely Andy's mounds, which has in the ring of fire so very That is why their mountain ranges there to begin with right, geologically active that made the mountains in the first place. I am sure you do. You got more questions, but we still want to his patron list or will we were gonna, move into Instagram and maybe go back into patriotic, but s fish, one hundred from Instagram asks we'll constellations ever change shape, if so, how far into the future. With that begin to have then re question, even if a secret from astrologers. He also said something about like they ve constellations change in the seasons which I
also did in understand for the record, Emily set the record straight, so we can see Different constellations, the night sky, depending on the time of year, just because, as we move around the sun, the sun is basically in the way of a different kind. Relations are right now, there's beautiful constellations above us didn't cannot see because the sun is overwhelming, but measures regarding made endured in daylight. Yet you decide, the sun is basically cock block. In certain aspects that the technical side turn right now. There's we see something like the constellations sickness at night and if we waited six months and we're looking up at the sky in the winter we see the constitutional Ryan, so there's This nice cycle constellations that we go through over the course of the year, Patterns of the constellations look really familiar to folks. If their used to going out and kind of doing this The dots game that we do to design constellations so they will change eventually theirs
the two things that can change the shape of constellations and wanted this. The positions of all these stars relative to us If we waited a super one time, like hundreds of thousands of years, weeds SL shifts in the shape of the constellations, because some of the stars and then a movie closer further away or scooting around the sky, and you see your Ryan started to get a little family shaped or the big differ, look a little bit different, but that takes really long time. Another thing we can change the way that some of the really lame constellations could maybe turn it. But better shape. Then they car we represent something better than wealth for stars in a Box of Dolphin Jerry exerted business and creative calculate agreements and do some really lame of the eighty eight consultations. I would say sixty of them are completely lame fresh constellations out of this idea. How much I did not realise how much savings
through a consolation absurdity, I feel sorry for them. I don't know for sure you Would you go interim Emily, so another weird thing that could change as of one of the stars and one of them died so favorite example of this, is they don't use and the constellation Ryan fatal juices of red Super giant, it's a lot more massive than our son is the kind of startled eyes a supernova Wendy. So if that happens. You're gonna get this really bright. Flare from supernova. Fades away over months and sold Ryan's missing a shoulder. So some like. That, would really change the way the constellations look, but we can't predict right now when a star is gonna die as a supernova, so We can't have to wait and see what happens. My favorite thing, what this is about. What made me on twitter witches? The dinosaurs sixty five million years ago would have seemed really different. Looking constellations starting moved a bit, and some of them wouldn't even have been born. What about when
Constellations get gentrified? What are they? What are they look like, then? So, be it she's media? How should I have learned a lesson and unfair, maybe cause that's that's the first line, but given that the conflict sharply that when yoga studio, you know you ve lost a constellation. Does the neighbourhood? Thank you so again. My way way way way, there's backup so Emily If stars are moving the night sky, then the fabled and important all important Northstar, is not going to stay north. So navigators. Let's say a hundred thousand years from now. What are they gonna do ten years ago than what they use more familiar, either ago or from now on will,
different North star, but it's not necessarily because the North star is moving on its own there's a lot of stuff that actually messes with where the stars are in the night sky. From our perspective, and one of these is the earth had a rocking on its axis as it spins, so the earth's axis doesn't point straight up and down a kind of wobbles a bit and because of that wobble right now, the north. Forests play respite in tat and the thousands of years. The north star is probably going to be Vega, if I remember correctly, which is a much later star that you read over. The Serbs entered waiting there so much for educational purposes, because it yourself with wrestling with them with the current Northstar gas at the beginning, if I asked you or any most people, what's the brightest star in the night sky. What would you say? I would say Vega limited value, but most people say the Northstar northward does not even in the tough forty
Well, it's her, which contributes to back its embarrassed. An embarrassment Vista. I feel like everything you guys are saying the sequel to mean girls, but, like I procrastination, go username and all those errors. Another one. May, let's go to decent three twenty two Instagram who asks okay. This is a bit of a controversial question. What if we just never looked up what of humanity. Just had no interest in what happened up above how'd you, what our lives be today, if astronomy just never existed alternate reality, quite ass, a dream staying, so my immediate forest. There will be no satellites which sounds like it solving a problem, but if we never looked up, but the curiosity drove us to launch stuff into space, wouldn't have been there, so we wouldn't,
of what internet all sorts of communications we wouldn't have sulphur. With working GPS on it. It's not all that much restricts. If you can imagine, I suppose, civilization arose on Venus with a completely thick cloud cover. You have no idea. They were stars, and all I mean let there be an example is not even our fall for not looking up. Even if you did look out, you wouldn't be able to see them. Yet you and be able to see wonderful puzzled by it makes you wonder about a lot of the acknowledging that we manage to because we ve been able to go to lower earth orbit or because we ve just gotten curious the sky and ask questions about physics. It would you wouldn't really change what life is like? I think- and I mean cell phones I know we wouldn't have solved what would you say to a kind of answer that bow messed up without led to major, though you might have? You might have cell phone to just window gps on travel
We like a like the old days, I'm older than both your the old days. A phone was just a phone, you can you just. Picture that holds it was make calls affordable, but it just move on. I don't care, wrap your head around weren't form this boy were I'm undisclosed, just like deleting the fallen ass from my own s essentially made for you This thing anyone you speak to me. I can give you some more Bobby's, whereas on Facebook asks given the history of Pacific Anderson Polynesian using the stars to guide themselves throughout the ages, to not only find you islands, but to return home? How do you view the turmoil over the thirty metres telescope on the island of Hawaii on Man Ok yeah! Does the science respect the past enough to encourage the future of not only science but also the heritage of those sites?
Ah, this is a good question of that difficult course I like what he France it at the end of. Does the science respect the culture and history in the past enough to keep science going and also respect the site? So four listeners that are necessarily familiar with this Monica is the tallest mountain in Hawaii is also one of the best spot on the planet for astronomy. And had tells those operating there. Since then, seventies so in two thousand and nine. It was chosen as this for these thirty meter, telescopes as a cyber astronomers are terrible and naming things any thirty meter telescope sounds quite boring. But if the how incredible this observer he's going to be, but it describes huge mirror that the telescope will use to collect laid. It can be thirty metres across there's been lot of controversy about it being built there because violated previous agreements, about how many telescopes were permitted He built on the mountain on there
a lot of questions about how Monica was treated as a cultural importance. I, as a scientific research site and alive, the argument about whether this new telescopes should be built. Is it fair to say that the summit Amerika is sacred to native Hawaiians, this summit, Monica does hold a very important place in native wine, religion and The true summit of the mountain has always been left untouched. There's telescopes built around the mountain, but the summit itself has been left out. The actual some sort we didn't move down. The top of the mountain and put telescopes on the summit are definitely regrets it down a ways from it s, okay, but it's become debate that can be alone misunderstood Salam. There is opposition to the telescope and it comes from not always understanding how telescopes work or how their built on their ideas, the telescope might drill
even to the mountain and poison the mountains water table, or that the telescope would be nuclear powered or tear up really important cultural, an ancestral sites and in reality a lot of effort has been put in to not also have never been nuclear power, and a lot of efforts been put in to try and build it in a way that respects out of sight and then on. The flip side. P well, sometimes dismiss the arguments. The telescope with all its religion versus science and the truth so much more complex. The objections are coming from I say its attitude on the approach. Custom, never decrying astronomy or scientists, the idea of telescopes, it's just the symbol of the can t on the third meter. Telescope this mountain and what does not means to hawaiian history, its become a focal point. For the hawaiian sovereignty, movements of the debate really isn't about that what scope it about the landed on its become deeply,
controversial, I interviewed people about this for the last star gazers and is one of the topics the people were really nervous to talk about, because there's so much complexity to the issue, but who had been meeting and talking for years to try and discuss a way forward? the observatory's agreed to remove five at the telescopes currently on the mountains. So a new telescope won't violate that look how many are allowed up there. There are trying to do zero waste management, worked really minimize its impact and they're talking the community there about how to combine building really exciting telescope it'll, be so great for science, but doing it in a way that respects the people who live on This island, whose heritage and history and religion are all tied to the hawaiian islands into this mountain, and I am hopeful that as the asker mentioned. We can find a way forward that respects the culture and respects the science, for we would like
This challenge, particularly fascinating, is that the very first Celestial navigators were polynesian who within settle in Hawaii, so that this very deep, astronomical I legacy to the culture as there is deep religious legacy to the to the sacred site, so it's a sort of a contest of what what people will ultimately value most in in what comes out of that a wise than a leader in astronomy for decades? That actually, where I got my phd, was at the University of Hawaii and it's such a beautiful aid for astronomy under such a great history of astronomy there, but I think doing it, respect, going forward. These are converse. These are hard conversations that their conversations that I am glad the community's hadn t telescope people out there if you're looking for another location, I have a small.
Balcony in my men had an apartment and am happy to be a reserve in order me just hurry up the roof of the roof. I may rightly better than your baby reinvent, like three or four chairs at play enough today, three years ago we have another question from Patriot. I've actually wonder this myself to say right. I've noticed stars in the night sky appear somewhat sparkly in the planet's look like solid dots kid you ex. Please explain why
and Emily will explain that after the break see what I did there, we're gonna take a quick break and when we come back, we will find out why stores Twinkle implanted, don't start we'd like to give a patriarch shot out to the following patriotic patrons Roseman AY and Robert Gilmore Stellar. Thank you too you guys, because without you, we couldn't do this shell and for those of you listening who would like your very own, patriarch shot out. Please go to Patria documents. Last startup radio and support us we're back stargazing again, Michael Those goals could happen again, any ill, my jurisdiction,
Emily led back now? You did you also tweet? What's your twitter handle, I'm M ass Q. You eat so the start, my first name and the end of my last name and where scorned Let me also allowed his own face too. Oh, we last left off negate. If you read the question again, Youse are the question: is what is it? The stars in the night sky appear somewhat sparkly and the planet's look like Solid Dodds. Could you could please explain why and by the way I have a baby, and I sing the two. Uncle Twinkle Little star. So there's a lotta. I have the same question yeah, so stars look leg, just Lou pin of light in the night sky, because they're so incredibly far away, even if we point our best biggest telescopes at them. They just look like little single points, So when Starlight is all coming from that one little point its path
our atmosphere gets really easily disturbed by the atmosphere. Anybody who scene ripples coming off a hot pavement in the summer time has seen a like that The air was sort of wiggling ripple and distort the late that coming through it, so the little pinprick of law from a star twin goals, because its passing through all of this sort of turbulence and wiggling atmosphere, citizens, planet, way closer you can't tell with the naked eye, but they look like little discs rather than little pinpoints. If you point binoculars or a telescope at Saturn or Jupiter, you can see the actual circle, the plan, so those. Are bigger than the little wiggling your pockets. The distort light so they're not nearly as affected by our atmosphere and the late that we see from them appears relatively pretty state. I saw on any given night if something's twinkling, it's probably a star and was not twinkling- is probably a planet, probably yeah And so so. You should never wish twinkling stars upon an astronomer
No, we determine his enemies out of them. We purpose we put our telescopes in places where the atmosphere is a steady and stable as possible, because the twinkling turns into a blurry picture for us here, You know what I've been vaseline on the lens here, but I do wish twinkling stars on all babies. Tat, look for certain again. Your trod will never be an astronomer. This letter to see has literally seen as having been born in Manhattan. Says not alcohol grades told us. You know she's nineteen months multimodal occurs. There is still time what's this about saying about beautiful, twinkling stars when should become self aware There should be a large to be something like the twin called Twinkle Little star. Get me off this telescope,
I prefer to wait a little space. I start has take me to a place that is very far such a place where there no twinkle batter with what will write to you only do that. If someone Emily's angle, It was more so also from Patriot Paul asks. Is there any evidence in history that indicates what early humans thought the stars and other heavenly bodies were great question, this just wonderfully until the early history astronomy. So one when we say early humans were covering a huge swathes of cultures and had a really wide variety of differently reasons. To study the sky in ways that they observed the skies I've heard people described the stars is distant camp fires or is the souls of ancestors as other worlds. So this I think some of the early stories that people would tell using star
and then there would be like some startling or unusual event in the sky like a caught. It or a solar eclipse, the cash people off guard, but for my way yeah, something ginger, something very startling Her sudden would happen, but these earth the astronomers restarting also noticed patterns. They would notice the same star patterns were up in the sky every year, DOM accord. The seasons or they would notice cycles associated with the moon and would slowly start asking questions with what what? What exactly is that? What are we seeing? How can we explain the weird I think that just flew by the fact that the sun temporarily disappeared in the middle of the day and the stories we told about the star started drifting more toward the science of them, so really interesting evolution of sort of how astronomy got started. Its draperies sense of when the first person, who was the first person to suggest that the sun is just
all the other stars in the night sky, just much much much closer, but when When did that idea come out? I know I know that I've always wondered how people started. Thinking about the sun and the moon is leases or things you can go to, as opposed to just like a thing in the sky, but It's actually, you can visit the sun, but you have to go to and then I think that the early picture of describing the sun ass being like all the other stars, was really slow burn. No pun intended has all guide Yahoo illegally, but said nothing holidays in the names of those are effective error because we had to move away from the earth being the center of the entire universe and then the sun being the center of the entire universe, and then the idea that the sun was just like all the other stars. Really I mean this was still being kind of poked and prodded out in the nineteen twenty Windsor
this was starting to measure what the stars were literally Nita. Events like what the chemistry was so Putting the sun in the context of all the other stars, has been of newly long journey astronomy? and then I wonder if and when the dismantles are you go along the way? Definitely the earth, especially the sun, with special ages, one of hundreds of billions yeah. You know here right now, so men deeper. Now, I'm sorry, Mandy burn all on Facebook asks. What do you think is the most beautiful thing or splay in the known universe, and since you guys already- a bunker Norstar apparently that's the most embarrassing star produce only those disappointing reactor, I'm I now I don't know like what is the best most beautiful thing in display. Oh, I think
thirty thousand seven. My answer has to be solar. Eclipse is so I thought my first total solar eclipse and twenty? seventeen, which was amazing- and I tell the whole story of it in the law. Star gazers by It's really kind of incredible when you think about it here on earth that we have this love we match between the size of our sun and the size of our. Moon, the moon is so perfectly round. Mars's Mars are not Mars's means, I think, are little captured, captured rocky bodies that just look like they're lame as New Jerry Landfill and a martian solar eclipse, would be deeply disappointing on. I think one of the rovers captured it and it's just like blip flash of one of them, briefly blocking the sun and our earth solar eclipse, his arm dazzling, back at the moon. Will perfectly block out the sign. You see this big white blaze of the way coming off the other layers of the sun, it just
Absolutely wife pauses for a minute when a solar eclipse passes over and we really unusual. I think that if we ever connected to like a big, interplanetary or intergalactic network of aliens that we would be a tourist spot for arson, we're eclipses in the way that the Grand Canyon is it this thought now, because that is really a wonderful cosmic coincidence. I just to be clear just to put some numbers behaviour. So the sun is four hundred times wider, The moon is forty two times farther away. So those facts exactly cancel each other so that on the sky they show up is the same size and when one crosses in front of the others, a perfect match, yeah so that the numbers work out. Yes, it is a fun coincidence, but can you can you name a thing that you could like look at it in your telescope tonight we're getting her telescope to night.
I threw a telescope. I always looking at the planet's because they're just so satisfying, even with binoculars or little backyard telescope. You can get a good look If you wait until the winter time and look at the constellation ryan- and you look, Just below Ryan's bell. You can see the Rhine Nebula, which is this view before little as ball. Nebula, where new stars were being born and use It is gorgeous. Voters who had Hubble people are always disappointed that something doesn't look like that when you look at it with the backyard telescope and even seeing this like little white whiskers, nebula to me is just so cool. Is your books where new stars are being born and you're, seeing it incredibly far away. So I just I love catching anything, my backyard horoscope, it's like the matter. Did ward of hundreds of everyone loves babies that has been done we got time for a couple. More ok, we're
Dan Roland Delhi, from patriarch asks if you could have dinner with one star, gazers lash astronomer from the past, who would it be? Ah, I think, especially since we were just talking about the sign, I would choose the Celia Pain So she was an astronomer in nineteen twenties. She was actually the first person, not the first woman, the first person to get a phd industry. Many from Harvard and she's the purse. You figured out what our son is made up and what stars are made of. Discovery was almost controversial at first people really wanted the earthen assigned to be made out of the same stuff. But she was one of the people who uncovered the stars are made almost entirely out of hydrogen. Just a little bit out of helium injustice, teensy bit everything else, and it really up ended so much
What people thought they knew about, how stars worked and how the universe worked. She really road, just like one of the most groundbreaking papers on here stars actually work. I would love to just sit with her and find out. You know what was it I have to get such a surprising result. What was it like to study that published I and to be one of these really groundbreaking people in the field. So this is a family and Emily S we stand correct. I think this is right in her phd ceases, which were so in the face of prevailing. Wisdom preventing wisdom held by men? Yes, and here she is putting it in their face- that she was forced to write a semi disclaimer at the beginning of her thesis. That said this is you know this is probably not right, but it's worth exploring just to protect. Her just as she's, not so happy.
In the landscape that she didn't create YAP. She had the sentence. You put em was the hydrogen the fact that the sun was asked entirely. Hydrogen was quote almost certainly not real and pushed to include that, and he knew TAT she was right and that we have to tackle early proven right. So I want to end with one single I'd have lunch with, even though the question was in granted to me believe things actually angry back to Emma to Emily. I think I'd have lunch with very Reuben who the late very Reuben we ve lost, or just a couple years ago and she discovered dark matter in galaxies so that we took a whole other step in and our theoretical ignorance about the structure of the universe by the herd discover free of movement of stock, as from a source of gravity the no? has any idea what that is, Emily one of our greatest telescopes
soon to come online. Is named in her honor. Could you just take us out telling us about this very Reuben telescope Yes, so the Reuben Observatory is currently under construction in Chile and it's going to take pictures of a huge swathes of the southern sky every your days for ten years, so it actually gonna wind of giving us like a movie of the night sky and it's going to be incredible at finding anything. The changes in the sky any little asteroid like scooting across the sky. It will be able spot it. It'll get all the Spacex trouble. How do I get? The Reuben observatory have been involved with trying to work with space acts figure out how to minimize the fact that it totally not just finding satellite but it'll find explore. Shooting stars little spot supernova any started against brighter dimmer, including like near earth asteroids. So it's going to be this absolutely Danny Ainge, just mine,
wages are happening there again when Emily says near earth asteroids she means asteroids that could hit earth. Quick likely she took up the guy- came near us. They could get us That is why, on ass to the earth, is not nearly violent enough attack before work and good meal goods, but equally alarming asteroids by the servant, or it will be able to discover all of these once it's finished and turned on, and I love that it's been named after your Reuben when she basically gave rise to a whole new sub field in astronomy and where I love most about ridden observatories. What are we going to find that we don't even expect we don't even know about subtle, open up all evening mysteries when we start observing with it any time you have a new window to the universe. The stuff you didn't that no one ordered so guys. We gotta call acquits there, but again thanks again for being MIKE,
the host. Thank you so much you. Let yourself fascinating. As always and I am Emily the vet Has the good luck to your book. Sometimes you need to block out there in the publishing universe. The last start gazers the enduring story of astronomy vanishing explorers. Thank you. I guys excellent good to have you. I'm Neil duress tasting your personal physicist as all his bidding
Transcript generated on 2020-09-09.