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Unveiling Pluto, with Alan Stern and Neil deGrasse Tyson

2016-07-15 | 🔗
Two prominent voices in the “Planet vs. Dwarf Planet” debate, Alan Stern and Neil Tyson, discuss what New Horizons has uncovered about our favorite Kuiper Belt object. In studio, astrobiologist Dr. David Grinspoon and Chuck Nice join the fun.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Skip the commercials support star talk on patriarch to listen to every episode, Commercial free, welcome to start off your place in the universe where science and pop culture collide knocked off begin right now is start and I'm your host LEO the grass Thyssen, your personal astrophysicist and am also the director of New York Cities, Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural history, my colleague today's Chuck he's a good gutter NASA uniform on at its correct, sir, I am wearing a NASA shirt density shirt, very good trunk in good with me. You don't need to do that. I love you, no matter what I appreciate it, but I really do actually when I cover. While I'm wearing assured overtopped with a short and I have to make sure that the n stays visible It looks like ass flying which first
reason makes sense. When I wear it today, we can talk about PLUTO. Farthest reaches of our solar system stuff out their featuring, I interview with Miss PLUTO himself out, instead He's a friend and colleague is the principal investigator. The p I NASA's New Horizons mission, PLUTO right he's. Also planetary. Scientists South West Research Institute in Boulder Colorado? It's no Hayden, planetarium material out just saying and actually Bobby Colorado. They have the real sky had either they dont know no noise pollution. There are no light like pollution exactly like pollution. Now people know me history with PLUTO and just fairness to that, I'm I'm had to bring on somebody who's, PLUTO, sympathiser, at last. He was also an expert on the solar system and it was growing we're gonna, brain planetary, scientists, David grinned, Spoon David. Where are you? hey dude
They twitter handles doktor, funky spoon which everytime I gotta take beside it you're, a senior scientists at the planetary Science Institute and where's that, while Platter I can do, is in two sound, but I'm actually in Washington DC were sort of distributed. Beast the planetary size Institute. We have members all over the world and I'm here, I'm part of the Washington out, ok cool and you study comparative planet ology, which is cool. This is where see what planet have in common and what differs among them the particular expert. I see moons and Mars and Venus. You wrote a book Venus, I remember caressing, I own that book most Yeah yeah Venus reveal. I got Venus because it so much like the earth and so much unlike the earth is both now, and that is a mystery you should Venus revealed. It might have been a better title. Venus unveiled
did you have a double? Do you get the double do alone, two hundred going on there and as Hell Venus De Milo- and you know I didn't know In addition, I go hurry. I'm there so and also you care about PLUTO Anthea, I'm told you're working on a new book. We Alan Stern with that would call yeah boy about an hour and I are working on a book called chasing new horizon. So ok, ok little word lay their new horizons, the mission and great chasing the one of their comments. It comes out next year. Twenty two thousand, seventeen nice, ok bullet forward. To that end, and by the way you are one of our newly knighted starts, work all stars to grab effect a graduation, but it's a for you to say whether you want to be that are not very much cited. The start off all star. I gotta blasts at our launch party and recording you, I saw them working party doing more. Actually this is not your first time on the air with it's so avenue great. What you tell me,
new horizons. It already passed by Buddha right. When did this happen, yet happened. I've just about a year ago are approaching a year ago, on, on July, Fourteenth two thousand fifteen broker it was a. It was a long time coming and absence of David David I've ever growing up in every planetary encounter was a fly by, and that word was part of our culture then we got a little more expensive with our spacecraft in the carriage extra fuel and they could pull up slow down and enter orbit. So when I use the word fly by it, seems for decades. So why didn't we, pull slow down and put into orbit around polluters. We can hang out there. Why did everything to focus down into just a few seconds of close and then
in over shoots. Marston Carper built, like George Bush, overcoat Trina for lack of a guy ballot. I mean you're right you're right to related to that history, because the reason why our first missions to Venus and Mars the Jupiter were five eyes is because it's easier to do a fly by you don't have to take another big rocket and all that extra few you slow down when you get there are going to orbit and put out was really hard to get too because it so darn far away and You know we were lucky to be able to do a fly by did you know that we had a lunch hour of really US rocket, throw everything we we had a basically just to get a very small spacecraft there I ain't, so we took our even so. It took nine years nine years now, I'd I'd, try to spread this fact, foreign wide that the first of any science experiment that needs to be completed before you die.
Is it fair enough? David is referring to the first rule. I think it's a good rule would be it's going to be challenging, for you know some of the things we would like to do in the future like anybody to the planets. Unless we are greatly spend our time extend our life expectancy, but yeah tend to favour projects that I might have some chance of seeing the completion of three put some awesome rockets on what is otherwise a relatively light space probe and it gets out there very fancy, a high acceleration gray, and then we also have to do a Jupiter flyby to further accelerate. Amazingly new horizons took one year to get to duper. How do you think The fact that it is now our Galileo's voyagers later years and years Neuro. It's got to Jupiter and basically one year and then don't even more speed with the Jupiter, rather than just to be clear. You stole sum of jupiters, orbital, energy and new horizons just days after that,
It offered a little bit of momentum for the interpreters and care really helped us out. So I will get back to that in a minute, but to some facts about PLUTO name the God of the underworld right and yet and all this time I thought it was the dog. I am. I believe that a little bit more about any other was a bit about a controversy because there was one idea that all of the features on the euro should be named after things only deal with death and the underworld like every feature on PLUTO should have something to do with death and other people said well. That would be really pretty morbid. Why don't we name features After you know, spacecraft, scientists, gods and young people that had something to do with what I vote for death
much cool earns way. Cooler and entire planet burst loaded to death, a lesson it worked for Darth Vader, where we're just just about where he slipped in the fact that you called it. An entire planet you're, just gonna reminds you who you who jack I remind you by the way. Just what is the mass of PLUTO relative to Earth Moon? is really really tiny for our planet and it or for April object that some people might call planet, and it is in fact only about a sixth the mass of earth. Moon Sancho, it's really You know just just press that what you say, a man, listen even a micro penises opinion that time too. We declare our still came to town and I sat down with him catch up on new horizons, flyby of PLUTO with checking
what a year it was for new horizons. Oh my gosh, just congratulations MIKE thanks a lot. You know. New horizons is a huge team of people. That's over twenty five hundred people worked to build it. I got somewhat centre what institutions were it's a joint project funded by NASA, but a joint project on the surface. Research institute and Johns Hopkins applied Physics lab lots of big partners in it, and also small and large corporations, everybody from Lock Edam Boeing, someone's gotta, build the spacecraft and all the instruments in the grand system mission control all of it, and so I would ask My cliche questions like what most surprise you arriving at polluter, two things: one was just how stunningly complex The political system is compared to our expectations and, secondly, the viral public response they just loving the exploration, just people, a billion web here, Ten times anything NASA had ever seen. Four hundred and fifty newspaper covers up
the full on a single day every continent on earth, even an article, so the inadequate daily news to cats? Actually I got a copy of it is not called yes me from the one, and only I says that every continent, but an Arctic on a radio show, but in the end our people got all upset when covered it. So to agree, not that I had any professional expert patients for cassettes, study planets professionally, but to see the images and the new ones in the detail. I was fully expecting it to be some pockmarked. Whatever hits it and then it just that, but it happened tyres surfers personality that could not explained by just things hitting it ends I was delighted you know. Was he canyons? We see Glaciers. We see evidence of patents,
the former liquids it ran on the surface. We see really varied terrain. It's like out of a sigh, fine, novel thousand foot high methane crystals that run for hundreds of kilometres, so does to tell you that PLUTO was G. Poodle logically active, like as a reward for your deeds. Geology apply very clear, but it seems so little when we think of tiny objects as having active job. That's right! those alibis. It's a biased, the letter, my planetary sides, as we get Surprisal, we got a new places. This is the first we ve been through a dwarf planet and guess what we discovered. It's a lot more complex. Can anybody expected there's a place? We call Sputnik, among PLUTO, it's a big ice, feel it's a thousand kilometres long, it's a million square kilometers. We can't find one crater on it and with age, it from that in a key so, in other words born yesterday. In other words, you age date, because you have some expectation of what rate creators the cumulative. I mean how hard it's raining, and you can say with this piece of paper, has that
that's. How long has it been out there good versus some other trees paper with more or less dots, and so that people paper we have another longer Ryan, and we. What on the is the scale of the state of texas- and it was created yesterday geologically, oh whoa. Doesn't anyone any somehow active after four billion years? Any understanding of it look? Ok, so What people don't understand is scientists, love being stumped? We love them. We don't mind being wrong like we thought little would be simpler. We were wrong, did wonder David, so your planetary comparative plan, I had right and so Would you compare poodles features to other stuff? No one on the solar system. I didn't see, and I I did notice anything like it out there but you got better metal amatory its mark.
I mean you know I'll admit to having some anxiety that, in addition to just wanting the darn thing to work after all those years, I had some anxiety that maybe its little would be boring after all, its euro, its small, maybe I'll, just be full of greater than that. That interesting, but in fact, is anything but and there are features that are reminiscent of many other places, and yet there are aspects that are just all you know: cure plutonium, nothing like it, Maybe the most similar place is Neptune's Try to him, which is around the same size and also a frozen in solar system, object that largely composed of nitrogen, I they look, they look alike. Are they actually out? So you got chemistry, analysis. What's going on on the surface son similar features, but it's not like you would mistake one for the other I can't I said frozen nitrogen. I guess what else would also. Yet you have an ice. You got traces of methane methane ice. Yes
and am also you have some teachers on trade, and there are probably there are surely water ice, see, sort of bad rock. The strong stuff on PLUTO and also on trading is what ice can. Playing the all that the bedrock that rock place to be to nitrogen ice. We know nitrogen. We breathe that in our atmosphere. S methane is the the gas that most people in urban centres would use and a gas stove right there. You cooking began doesn't work ass right. It's also the gas that we make ourselves. Oh yeah, we are, you are you, but you are a cause of cows Cows comes out their danger there, digestive, not ours, so but methane. We were familiar with it as a gas and you're saying it's methane,
which means is not only cold enough to liquefied the gashes. Methane is cold enough to solidify liquid methane and what temperatures that is GOSH minus two, I dont remember the exact, so they called really retiring call. You couldn't you said: Durham Cold AIR would work perfectly France so you're also up beyond what the chemistry is their surface, here's that are intriguing, one of which people illustrated. With a Valentine shaped part and what is accounting for these brightened. Our key areas and these these different coloration yeah loaded. Stop seems to be relatively fresh eyes. Meaning in the case of this heart, maybe as young as a million years old, which in terms of our planet technologies, is like born yesterday. It there's no craters on that thing, as always
the the darker stuff is probably ice. There has been irradiated and me, stand with organic stuff. That you're not a methane, of course, because its being irradiated by all from the sun makes organic stuff like we're made us it, which is why the cool things about these they all have some organic so source of energy for methane too. Explore other chemical reactions? Absolutely yeah an end, the methane is it out, it is an ice, but it's also a gas at those. Temperatures is probably both on thorough, and so you have. This weird kind of meteor ology were stuff is hidden that really, depending on the season and the latitude, they start moving around on the surface to this process of of evaporating condensing, that's it. Can you put in place you guys. Audacious, I think in asserting
PLUTO has an atmosphere when, by my notes, if says the atmospheric pressure on PLUTO is one one hundred thousand the sure that we have here on earth? I call it the word atmosphere, so let's go there and breathe it. This is the people's first thought and then you come reed, is one one hundred thousand, so you definition is clearly different from the profound streets definition I mean it depends on what you wanna call it out. Spear your maybe one clodagh dwarf atmosphere. I don't care what it is gas, that's gravitational be bound to a planet and interacting with that planet surface and there's more of it there than there is out in the back room of space So if you are on PLUTO and you sneezed, you would actually get rid of the entire planet atmosphere.
Probably some of that stop right. There had arrived at the astronauts should always you know, bring some any estimated when they go to bed. So efforts any kind of life. Anybody can imagine, presumably not because we know about life as we don't know it that could be system. Non pluto anywhere on it or within it Absolutely I think the yes promised say what would say yesterday yeah of because thing is you: the Euro were finding with a lot of these icy bodies out there, there's much more activity than we thought there would be, which means there's some kind of energy source, its internal hopefully on blue at its radioactive decay. That's that moving around forty once router. Then, if you got sources a walk on a body that largely eyes, then you figure some depth within there's, probably liquid water, so we think
Rather we has an ocean of liquid water at some death beneath the eyes and there at least some. Resource, and we see organic stuff on the surface is probably have been some mixing, so I think you'll be region Fort there. I think, but you'd want to grant you. In five billion years. Five bill and years. The sun goes red giant. Engulfs the orbit of mercury, Venus and possibly earth, and that makes it much warmer in the outer solar system so well that help out your life. Cause, I'm PLUTO. Definitely definitely I mean as you say, I'm sort of region for it for trying to fine conditions that might support life today and that's why I'm thinking about the interior by tat at some point in the future, when the sun continue the heat up as it is doing now and goes you know into its late stages and the earth.
The solar system, what we consider the habitable zone now get uncomfortably warm air, maybe briefly at least a habitable zone in the outer solar system and yeah Udo may actually experience a time. You can even have liquid water ocean on the surface last, it's the it's like planetary, real estate, first rule by on the french and wait I would also what you would do. The realisation of the future The outer solar system did, he would David said he said MIKE uncomfortably warm here on earth gas. We would vaporize. I think that's what you're saying here so PLUTO might be the next frontier move to when we can no longer live on earth by or which is gonna, the solar system, there's this year, are moving in the right direction. If we got outta so so any new things were discovered about PLUTO, and I ask our if it's any there. Changed anything how we view PLUTO, how people should view PLUTO, based on new information from knew her,
so, let's check out my interview other than PLUTO surface as an object, has it changed anybody's notions of things dynamically? It's a thing, orbiting the sun. Well, with the exception and Neil Thyssen's, most people probably your argument. Monotony limited we'll find out that if you drove around the circumference of PLUTO it's as far as from Manhattan to Moscow, this. I didn't know that big I would say whether not anymore so and planet. The vote, in this word in Karl again in the universe where we get to call it. A world in the world has a certain intimacy to a conversely intimacy because it too Do you there's a place? Maybe visited one day. It's interesting to think about. To explore, and maybe that's what matters here they're worth the means of Jupiter worlds. There planets yeah!
planet on the brain yeah. Well, you know it's important, my feel is called planetary science. So I think it is important that we as practitioners, Stan what the central objects in our field and what we're PLUTO falls into that is secondary to just having a basic logical, consistent understanding of water plants and its two ways to go out. You can go out scientifically and scientifically the gyp physical. Definition says it went. Objects are big enough to be round the oft gravity army shapes it and they are not so big that their central temperature causes them to ignite infusion anything in between which has come about PLUTO size up to about ten times Ozma S will be called. The plan is very simple or you can use the STAR trek test. You know when the viewfinder comes on the public knows in about a half a second, what their orbiting incident ship, it's asteroids, a Commodore planet PLUTO passes by either test but it's really about we.
Scientists being or to border things into boxes so that we can categorize It was our protein logical way, who's, not polluters, promise our problem put us an animal, ok, but of course ever is your concern about the legitimacy if the vote, our community voted in two thousand and six for classification, I dont, believe, usually nets at four percent of the union. Flash de la Montaigne. Was there four percent voted. It was almost fifty fifty and so two percent voted each way and it went the other way on a vote it up of non exports, called astronomers, not planetary scientists. I'd like to redo that the location of the really get the experts but find. What I'm saying is I dont think anything. I did have anything to do with that vote so and thats the vote. It sets the language six or seven years ahead of that running. A very prominent exhibit
at the American Museum in natural history. You wanted to take no and the small planets like it off the list. The planet's, then you do that. No, not really We never had a list of planets. That's the thing we never the polluter wasn't apply. We just grouped it with the cap about nobody I made today. I won't find any numbers like eight. Never there was never the number two. I was misunderstood. As far as the present misunderstood me and might then my team, who, who did this surplus, so, what we did institution, did not commit to a non ass, a I think and it was planet, is not a plan. That was the part that seems like sort of an add on like doing those user rights to coming next more about those largest moon Sharon and New horizons continue
and it's not a planet anymore, and I agree and that's where I can meet you somewhere. So I am I like that it door. Planet is a category, plan. We didn't know you were stars: the sun is adore starving anybody Belides STAR dwarfs Moschatel noted were started its work, it s, pretty good news we're shaking hands new to say it were pointed to play. We can ever better that out that way. We will I told you to ETA, then why is it still? Am I gonna? Let me just say that is a deeply wounded. Man you're talking there I mean he is he just went Taylor Swift doing. We are never getting back to gather me I'll. Never let it damn it up so David. What you're taken on all this Well, you know you heard me earlier in this conversation used the word planet and that's almost and like. I wasn't trying to
provocative were made the point then. Honestly how I think of it in the right, understand? How people our concern with thinking about orbits and classification of gravitational influence. You know my book dwarf planets, in sort of their own category. As a planetary scientist, you I gotta meetings where we talk about planetary, geology and processes, planetary atmospheres and when we're doing that and we're doing comparative planet algae do use of our planet. Often when we talk about good we're, saying well that euro this planet has a hazard you're population, that jobs in this area as young people and stand up and go way beyond a correct, and I know you mean work plan ass because they ve all been brainwashed. Let's not make, and can I just put it this way. It would this be fair to say to look at we're planets and bodies such as PLUTO. The way the statement would be. All human beings are apes, not all apes are human beings.
So it could be something along those lines when it comes to our planet. Well, yeah. I actually like I thought the conversation play Niall Allen that I just listen to it was pretty interesting because to me I don't have a problem have a problem with a reclassification. I think we ve learned enough about these other objects. Even about the extra funds was they didn't even really get into two to re, examine the planet, but I was it was a little funny to say and it was and it is not a plan that was the part that seems sort of an add on doing so. There was a user rights out. So when I did because my episode dealing with the Publican PLUTO, that's the museum I published a book called the files, the rise and fall of America's favour planet and in their it's it's a fact basin. At the end, I save one little section, wherever to page expression of my appeal: and I say there and David you're, sensible guy. I don't see why you would object to this, but I want this on camera to verify
What did I tell you that what we really need and if this echoes a little bit of what our sank, the workplace, it is not a useful work any more when I say planet, as I just ask, the planet around another star. Always at Rocky, is a gas. Is a deer, isn't inhabitants or might have life? Does it have an atmosphere? You have to ask me twenty questions. After I hand you are suffocation. That's that tells you the word needs improvement, so the classification is far too large. Far too large lotto. We should have twenty different concepts. Twenty different thing. Pray should be like rocky objects and gashes object, object with rings objects and then have find some words for that that one of them and then you're right there. Absolutely I mean we ve. All we ve always had gas giants and and terrestrial or rocky earth like planets. It's already ready to have it ready to happen.
There were more kinds of planets and were discovering so much in our own solar system and wonderfully around other stars. The army we Duffy ART following the way we think of planets and I think they should have waited. We should wait until we get a nice well defined camp our direct so planets guys so that when we finally lay down a new set of definitions, it includes not we, the solar system, but all others yet to be found, I saw only the other day. The definition is going to be reworked and we worked again because we're at our infancy, learning by acts of violence- and you know the idea you and they made this international astronomical union when it makes its votes, good. I when I agree I mean I think most people agreed at that, but wasn't the last word in that it wasn't that well done. A lot of people are even sort of agree with the decision, that was sort of russian everything, but will also- and another thing is that they didn't really get with the actual glance at all. They were just like all the way on that, and so now you have the of absurd situation, where almost all the planets, in the universe,
Basically, all the balance in the universe are not excluded any, I, U definition of a planet in the official definition south, I think gonna be another stand maybe I'll, take another look at this question of whether dwarf planets needed defined was not planets or simply as another time planet in a certain sense are really care. You know it's it's. A bit of distracting me was really cool. Is the fact that we ve learned about all these new findings? I refer to his plans. I can't help it, but as long as we're talking about, People are interested in them. Then the nomenclature is the most important thing. What comes next more about PLUTO largest Moon Sharon David, my friend right sharon- yes That's like you and new horizons. Continuing journey into the table. Wines are taught her to have them secret for you.
I'm gonna consider singing all of the ads on this shell there's just one. And where to get out of hearing there go to patriarch arms last star, talk and support. Where does at the five dollar level or higher to listen, the star talk ad free, You can download all current episodes into your favorite podcast player and never we're here another commercial on star talk ever again. You will definitely not have to hear me sing if you support us at Patria, dark coms. Last our talk, radio, I mean I'm just thinking I mean just saying: and I guess, via Skype, planetary scientific data. Grinned spoon therefore that's because that is handled at is Twitter, handle funky spoon David. Why you
Well, you know, some of us are just born at night, now, happily basic to efficiency and ceased I will give it to you than it is now, but for now you keep your borrowing it we need more evidence will feature. My interview with Alan Stern led investigator the New Horizons mission to PLUTO Nasa's mission to PLUTO Atlas, forgotten, moons, right for the wonders. Why wouldn't even know PLUTO had a moon, but you know what here's that then well before you get to that casino You tell that talking about sharing. I need to talk about the fact that I just wonder how you feel about getting hate mail from children for killing, PLUTO, o o look. I know you got blow and you know what's funny. I hate to say this, but Alan most blames you in an earlier when we heard met clip you know you your team, the all right it was
almost accusatory. The way he stopped short of he stopped The vile cabinet drawer of hate me, his staff, angry third grey, the hell. You classes the teacher organised denies rebuttals. Yes, I happen to have one right here. You got one as I do. Dear Doktor Thyssen, you are a bid, pooping Remember that PLUTO my favorite planet. Ok, I was a puppy head right moment so and so I was like the leading edge of this David Out do Some sympathy asylum from you for that well, yeah. Of course, working in at the Denver Museum when all this came down in other kids
a freak out and wondering what happened. The polluter. I mean it's very people get very emotional. Why is that? Why is it Emmy seriously? If you said to me like Venus, our solar systems or nobody get mad. We like a well, I think it's. What is, I think, the America? That's. Why subtitle my book? The rise? of America's favorite planet is an American discovered it. Discovered the same year that Walt Disney first sketched the dog that would get the name PLUTO so and when, when you're a little kid, when you first learn about the solar system and like thirty fourth grade when you first doing cartoons and time around the same time, so that tell you learn about the planet. I you're learning about the dog or your admiring exactly. I think, Americans Halloo extra attachment compared to the rest, why? I have people in Europe in France. I said you care that do put off to quote demoted
did you get a polluter is a peasant plan. I gotta tell you what does upset me about when you talk about the innocent that were the case. Of course it would have been about it being small and private law in about maybe a little bit of an underdog garden people people were sent a better with poorer states. Actually very interesting phenomenon will plus. We would learn that who had had a moon in eighteen, seventy eight, a moon, a polluter was covered name sharing our share and which was the name correct me if I'm wrong David, the name of the ferryboat driver there, carry your on four and its across the river into Haiti's. Is that correct,
It was also that date, the wifi about Jim Pasty, discovered discovered Sharon was, was named. Share nice, okay with time to further. Ok, everybody happy about there's some that some people pronouncing cat Karen backed by I share in the works for me, and also the it's not only Sharon, but it's got for other moon, so PLUTO has at least five moves. The correct yeah, and actually it has only five moons I mean is far too little. One of the things no resistance was look really carefully to try to do our other moons and they actually were very careful because There was this worry that they might hit something so is there was this whole hazard avoidance sense if we really want to make sure that any other small objects, that would be embarrassing. You know something something really tiny would do misplaced back. There but all they found work as one giant moon sharing, which we already knew about, and then these for smaller moons
Nix, Hydra, curb and sticks, you're right everything does have to do with death around please and by the way is that it's not a coincidence is not simply a coincidence that that's around the time where people are wondering whether PLUTO just belongs in the carpet about, as as as a species of object, Why not just as homage to the greek and roman history of all of this, so during the by the new HORIZON mission, also got a good look at Sharon, and so I asked Alan Stern about that. Check it out. One thousand two hundred kilometers seven hundred fifty miles across the orbits, pretty close to PLUTO, so You were standing on plea that we would be much bigger in the sky and seeing the full moon and also its about his bride is a fully That's icy, very reflective over the moon itself is not very reflective,
the item is caught up just dirt. Getting hasn't, realises darted, Dirk area but Sharon's Icy Anne, and we discovered that it had a really interesting geological pass. It as the largest killing, but just to be clear as bright as a full moon looks to anybody at night. It would be, much much brighter if it were made of devices or something more reflective at its core substance only arm in arm in previous years. Wanted me right, clear cause people tundra, how bright the moon is. Read by Moonlight or God by Moonlight, but will be way brighter if it weren't so dark, rack. Ok, yet, as fact. So we ve learned that Sharon has come no other place in the solar system, as it is a dark pole like an anti polar cap. It has no atmosphere, but it apparently used to in the past, because there's some telltale evidence of that this Evelyn, You have an ocean on the inside like Europa woke as Europe has a subsurface Oceania. We found there. The inside has the ice in it, and we see that in the end
the blankets of craters, where we can tell the composition of what came out of the centre, so there's a term for the end of a new term. So in an asteroid or some impact or strikes, and it makes a whole deep that whatever is below the crater rate splashes up it, excavate accelerates material and got this enormous canyon system, the dwarfs the Grand Canyon, it's just Another cool place. I think me to rename our grand can hidden, because now that we gotta does the Mars, you know everybody got everybody's got a cannon bigger than earth. What do you think we gotta we gotta rename need included so there we got a name for our Grand Canyon, the not so Grand Canyon, the baby, Grand Cary Grant the Baby Grant baby Steinway Baby Grand Kanda Abbot sponsored somewhat impressive, so data What else can we had about sharing? Whilst there is another delight it I'll, even even on its own, who is, it was almost worth the price of admission of getting ass. It's got some stray
speeches for one thing: it has this northern cat, that's significantly darker than the rest. The US nothing is analysed, sounds kind of an anti ice cap. Right is exactly in there's some suspicion that might have Ado with exchanging gas between good out and Sharon, if not at present, maybe in the past- and I know that size them- that system is tipped That orbital system is chipped relative to polluters, plain of orbit around. The sun is correct, yeah exam and our bodies of courses tightly locked now. So I just you are on sharing their be once one place on sharing were poorer, would always be overhead and knew we were just stay there and am and go around and watch was good over by Sharon. Does not rotate relative to PLUTO yeah yeah that always put shows the same face yet loud
pretty cool recourse. Double titles, Appleton yeah, I tell you in high school. No, I didn't know you until you ok in high school, I wrestled in high school got out. I was undefeated Captain get out kickin. Some serious asked and I want to invent a new wrestling move called the double title lock. Doesn't sound like a move that may re. Ok, but I never perfected, but I'll shoot you later. We gotta get no So me so David. About moons, our moon people talk, we ve been talking for a long time about means being important to develop life on a planetary, surface, water I've never really agreed with that kind of Maybe I am. I agree with that either ass quickly, but the logic is there on earth moon and by the way, earth and Udo haven't common, that they had a to g moons and resources and the the
the size of the moon, and the planet. Earth is rather extreme, but, as is even more extreme as being a fraction of sizeable fraction of that fact, for PLUTO and sharing the middle point of their gravity is outside of the physical body. Appear that's a dongle, basically W. What do you want me to say plant? I was just about to say you just set plan is diabolical plant growth. Is the moon stabilizes earth's climate? I acting almost like the outrigger on a canoe by preventing the access of earth from wobbling more, and it certainly has play that role now, whether you could say without the moon earth would be lifeless bar. We just have life that had adapted to us but more wobbly climate, I'm not sure, but then that is the idea, and I did not That's the moon, our moon, access, a kill,
kind of way. Yeah. That's amazing, Brett, that's exactly right and so occasional gravitational keel. I would say: look at the temperature range over which we survive or even thrive anyway, right on earth. We have humans living at the Equator trail Vasco Mosely Arctic Artic. So so I dont think that would we would fear as you can agree with you. I media imagined somebody looking at our planet from some other kind of man and got a legally seasons they have winter and summer. Nobody could possibly live there. Just be that kind of cool New horizons went by PLUTO and kept going. Flyby looking for other stuff out there in the Kuiper about to ask our stern what's next for new ground, check it out. So back in November October November, we fired the engines a series of times to targeted for its next Falada. It's about a billion miles past PLUTO, it's a building. For these small planets, like PLUTO and Eris in the others. It's about the size of Chesapeake Bay.
It's a four billion years old. It's always been in the deep freeze, so it scientifically a great sample of that early era. It doesnt really good name yet has a license. Plate is detectable number for new horizons. It's called twenty fourteen, which is the year, was found. New, sixty nine, which is a job rigour and cursing, will do better we're gonna, remaining contest NASA and pick something good, so You're gonna, be another flyby data be applied. I write, and we know in this very ease data. Remember January, first new year's day twenty nineteen, twenty nineteen o can put them on the counter and again your flying by Gfuel fuel free at a destination probably not, but we have point fuel to run the spacecraft on avoid you're, like mission way out to sea alone that uses less energy? Of course, yeah, yeah, yeah and court you got this is the fastest spacecraft ever wants from earth. And you will leave the sources and the wave wagered exactly. Ok, we ever overtake waiter not to bear,
Then you a lobby to wonder why if it was the fastest launch, I was Voyager ahead. In good for you cheated us an extra boost from the Jupiter. I beg for boosts, formerly each Jaya plan on items or yet, and we only got Jupiter, so they there a little faster than us, but that's fine, ok, Stealing some of the orbital energy of of a giant planet and you get a boost out of that. That's why I'm out of the planet's mind? I think they notice that if an object is so David, tell me some about the copper about. Is it it's real enough? and ass standing there. It's Kuiper belt is. Is this vast outer realm of our solar system that we really didn't even start to learn about until the nineteen eighty and ninety nine. He said by the way is that it's not a coincidence, it's not so we're coincidence that that's around the time where people are wondering whether
just belongs in the carpet about as it as a species of object right Not that was the discovery that led to this whole question of reclassification. Was the fact that there are lots of objects out there, not just PLUTO, and that led some people say all remedies. Large companies lot cash, It's on my way when you Frankie, you can't use the word gosh. Those two funky. Damn dardania Golly Jolly G? Do until you only barn that funky moniker, you gotta, keep her in a There are millions of objects in the paper about you know it's a! U, because you get to smaller and smaller objects in there. You know just little chips, events to because it spent collision. So at its best and then you call them object, but what we can call on comets there there I see right. Yeah warming exam.
I mean if you took them in today in our solar system a lot more time in the complex they start to develop. Townsend evaporate material like you do you're going, large, the larger ones, are, as we ve been discussing, wharf planets the larger ones around because of self gravity, edens, others all spectrum of objects. You know it's it's a vast, romance in a lot of ways. It's the largest part, the me part of our solar system in terms of the number of projects and in terms of the volume of space it takes up, and it is about away. It's not a sphere of planets, like we have farther out in the solar system. It's it's concentrated along that plane. The planet's. Also, you have the order cloud which has an see body of comets zone economy which is vertical, so we call it a cloud, and this is about like the story belt, which kind of slightly flattened the a plane, so this is the window, the minutes. It's a second about. You know the objects are fond of not off
ITALY in that playing their all little bit cell to absorb. It is a fact that, but it's not the other, not ice of traffic. That is there not equally in all directions. They are concentrated in the plague that the planets orbiting, so this will go on for another homage power. Does the thing I have to keep on it to you now in terms of its it's gotta plutonium power, source and quaint, there are not enough plutonium Tonia House we set foot on him fast, food, not uranium, thereby Uranos is bearing fruit. Gonna, slowly those power, but it's gonna to last for decades, probably at least until the 2040s. Be able to stay in contact with just as we ve been able to stay in contact with the voyagers for decades after they completed their primary mission. I just about
regretfully you could you teeth on Voyager, didn't you back in the seventies and eighties yeah? I was a student, an undergraduate in turn at the boy Jupiter Encounter and go anti. Seventy nine. It was a really life, changing in mind, blowing experience that we have so much in common. I watched every episode of STAR Trek, Voyager very, very similar had with that might have been your first encounters with Carl Sagan at the time back to the Georgia Stadium with a mentor of mine, then and then, and I just getting to getting to see him work and interact with the rest of the team and of course, they were filming cosmos because all this and UNESCO there were like so Bruce in their while they were looking at the first pictures and Jupiter, and you know as well as a wide eyed undergraduate kid. You know that was pretty mind long experience will, when we come back, talk about planet nine. What is that
These hypothetical planet could be hiding in the farthest reaches of the solar system. When start talk, continue. We're back start with my jack knife and our guest, then via video call David Greenspan, planetary scientists, David Good, to have you as always always we're feature in my interview with Alan Stern who's, the pie, further New Horizons mission, NASA mission to PLUTO and beyond. Yes It now earlier this year since day, we got online and you're out of our solar system guy earlier this year to Caltech astronomers
Certainly the existence of a planet. Nine deep in our solar system mass, maybe about ten Times that of earth. So none of this little p pipsqueak stuff. I won't have to worry about whether or not this is a plan exactly exactly size does matter, and I think that they put out we're like twenty times farther from the sun. Bridge, then Neptune and it might take ten. Twenty thousand years for two complete one orbit around the sun, so I had to ask our cause he's too long day. Man, that's a long year after year sign out not yet Phil. Revolution would never turn one, never turn why your human so no certain about this planet. Nine. Let's find, tell me about planet, nine, a blue sky.
Given that all knowing him again, my record dry was widely quote you. No. Actually, I think it was not a great big did the article that asked me about that designation. You know which I really think so, between you and me, and my brother, I think my ground named planet? I think that was disrespect of Clyde Tom about his living relatives and the legacy of what he did. So I was the quota saying apparently Caltech professors can't count them became hashtag. Caltech kick out on this. This isn't a twitter wars, a couple weeks, youse toward a work, but we had a good time. But you know if you actually count all the objects that are small planets in the solar system. It's actually up around twenty three new idea and the apple, and so probably should have their many more creative things. He could have called it as a place overnight. He could have easily just call the planet acts and that would have been perfectly line. It would be even cool
Syria with the expires yet here now, and so, can you comment on how planet nine was discovered? Should we have as much confidence as my grounded in the method of PLUTO? In turn, our planet lax we're not gonna get not today, not gonna, call it now or get. I call it planet the object. My brown coal planet, nine, which I am happy to call planet ex ante. Could you on that, the method of how this is. It hasn't been discovered, not directly and the many claims in my career of we think we can predict the planet bottom fall apart. In fact, even the claim it led to the discovery PLUTO was they did the math wrong Peter was fell only through Clyde Tom S, hard work so David. I looked at the research paper that made this announcement. It seem pretty legitimate using so degree
irritation or co calculated Where is that's what I'm here for so you you do the inverse calculation for further gravity equations. Normally here is the mass. What does the forces every at some point right, but instead what you say is there thing behaving in a way that is really the result of some sort of gravity. We don't know anything about. Let's look at her you're behaving M, infer the existence of a source of gravity elsewhere in space. That is basically what they did. Because I think it is a good piece of work and its definitely widgets whether or not their specific protection will pan out who now I mean it out and said in your discussion with him there three of this kind of protection being off. It's a hard thing to do, but certainly they saw a pattern in the orbit of other objects, that Sea
I've been on random and seems to imply the existence of some other mass and youngest about scientists, they made a prediction: will work either It will be. There are widely and science will move, but I think it also the other bound to be a lot of object out there, which we are going to find other planet? in our sources rear. Did they come from well the origin of the solar system was messing there there, the shuffling around the giant planets and a lot of pretty sizeable objects got faster than we have a calling for about, for instance, Zeus's tossing out of a planet, animals up a little planet and saw that so little one's got shuffle around as well, which is quickly so you tell me the creeper about was not left over for, origin of the solar system. You're saying it may be the cast a debris,
What was going on from within this with the inner solar system. Yeah, meanwhile, is its lead to over, in the sense that it's a remnant of that process, but that process was one of shuffling around and passing things out of the inner solar system and ending up elsewhere. There was a lie: the Arctic is our inner solar systems, junk yard. Basically, that's what your set are innocent system, junkyard showed, might have thought so there's some casts some, What you're saying is there much larger castaways out there? If this prediction is correct, it might be the only one, because this we only Ben to infer its presence, because it has a visible effect on other comparable objects, but they could be many large planets out there's what you're suggesting yeah. I think they're there There should be based on what seemed to be the best theories we have of our solar system formation and it may be that the other specific protection, even if it's wrong, will lead us to other things, which I think we will more planets? Is this gonna give you it's gonna, give us another source of predicting mass extinctions on earth that this thing
Only comes around every ten or twenty thousand years dental disrupt carpet. Comments and send them raining down on earth. I mean you're. Referring to you know there was this idea of nemesis. Yes, was the back yard basically a companion to the sun, which everyone's allowed stir, the outer god of comets and send object The problem with that is that I think the evidence that there's a periodic signal that this Extinctions common, regular intervals, isn't really very and so it may be explaining something that doesnt really need an explanation on I'm kind of sceptical about just because I don't see that the signal me in the data of earth so returned out in addition to planet Mars, our eastern Tommy Planet. Nine could just be she's. My planet exe virus. That's right could just be the tip an iceberg of many many larger planets in the outer solar system would check it out. Modern planetary science,
pretty sure that, as we can look further with better and better technology. We will find more planets further out and lots of them and even big ones. And I think ones like Neptune's eyes were certainly resize models suggested ersite planets in the cloud and a good bet, so you should watch that space yeah. We absolutely should not be exciting b I but we're gonna have to get used to the number. There are just large numbers of plants, It's like there are large numbers of stars and who knew in the twentieth century that the sole, system, was so good at making so many plants and are some these planets tat we think escape from the Tor system, and I just wanna wandering out there were a lot of the ones that are in the orca came from middle solar system. The region of the giant planets win, the giant planets got big. Their gravity was enough to clear out all kinds of stuff: littler stuff it through the amidst the or clouded through lotta chrome, it's out of the solar system altogether it through the planet s animals which are too
thousand times bigger than comments, it flung small planets around and even big planets. His Jupiter can haul in earth. The way to New York Cloud. I did know Rosebud monarch trimmings timber, there's a priority that this sum dynamic work on? That indicates that even a two new Uranus may have been rejected. There may have been a fifth giant planet, our solar system, and so some of those things got thrown completely out into interstellar space and some got stuck on the. The edge of the solar system. The lip of the potential well call your cloud. And it's kind of a solar systems. So once again thrown up there and we're gonna go find it with one of the more we learn of the more nuanced and the more complex it is, and that's a good thing I think so day gimme some final reflections on all this while Ours is a magnificent structure. Think of the stars is so far away. In the end, our solar system is isolated, but if you include the workload around our star in those probably around others, then there almost-
I mean the world cargoes. Maybe Third, the way to the nearest star at it. You know something like a light year in and just to clarify we're. Not speaking of a gashes cloud here were speaking of volumes far populated by a swarm? I love that word a swarm of icy bodies where I get a distance it like a like when you say a cloud of bees right same kind of thing. There s an icy tropic steer, meaning that it's not flat like it, the solar system? It's completely rounders many comments in any direction. You can point from the sun, and it's the sort of reservoir advice to stop that one while something gets disturbed by passing star or one of these access or whatever and transfer I endorse the Simon. That's when we see it develop a big task, which I think when, if a comic comes in from above the solar system, we know it's gonna, be an workload common cause. That's the only thing that actually has commerce. They can come from a direction, that's right right, so check
What are you? How would you would you make all this? You know. I think that is very clear that people are passionate about planets, which I think is a good thing, and I just love that there are scientists having twitter wars like Donald Trump, that is possible twitter wars over things. Other than Donald Trump Hair, exactly attic- that's great. What I like about it is that the India, which has an emergent discovery, David correct that many things that we identified as planned, in stable, orbits around hosted stars could have been filled. From those hosts stars, could just be wandering interstellar space went out when I mention this Neptune getting thrown out of our solar system. I couldn't help it thinking. What does that mean that one of these days
since gonna. Come flying into our sovereign yeah you'll be a fly by you know. It's like what you do to my neighbours. I thought I told you never really. What's a nectar, that's fine, but what would be cool is if some of those and it still had a residual heat source such as earth still does and that's the case. You could have life possibly evolving on. It's what I totally world plan on a totally rogue planet and they will know nothing of a host star as they want belongs in Mostar, we don't need. No state only knows thinking stars David Funky, David grinned spoon. Thanks for being on star and again welcome to the community of start, all stars look or to see new in many ways and times Libya and Jack as we do to have you may I was gonna be here. This has been our show. Thanks for tuning in to start talk featuring my interview with Alan Stern and as
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Transcript generated on 2020-01-25.