Very Close and Very Far. In the show this time, we talk to Dr. Steven Longmore tells us about star formation in the galactic centre, Dr. Rachael Ainsworth tells us about advocating for open science and addressing gender inequality in this month's JodBite, and your astronomy questions are answered by Dr. Iain McDonald in Ask an Astronomer.
JodBite with Dr. Rachael Ainsworth
Dr. Rachael Ainsworth talks about how she is advocating for open science in astronomy through the Mozilla Global Sprint 2018 and her project entitled Resources for Open Science in Astronomy. She also discusses and combatting gender imbalance in STEM through the women in data meetup group Her+Data MCR (also on Twitter at @herplusdata).
Interview with Dr. Steven Longmore
Dr. Steven Longmore discusses his work on star formation, particularly his work studying star formation in the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy and how the environment is very different from the region near the Sun. He also discusses the general research activities of the Astrophysics Research Institute at Liverpool John Moores University, the robotic Liverpool Telescope, whch is operated by the research group, and the application of astronomy to conservation efforts.
Ask an Astronomer
Dr. Iain McDonald answers your astronomical questions:
- Francis Day asks: "I saw this on FB and remembered the Ask an Astronomer section in May's Extra edition, where it was said that black holes could not account for dark matter. Also I gather that medium sized black holes were thought not to exist. Now here is NASA saying the opposite. It would be great if the Jodcast could tell us more about this extraordinary finding from NASA. I find it hard to understand how the simulation puts galaxies inside these holes."
- Stanley Fertig asks: "It is estimated based on MAVEN data that Mars lost at least 0.5 bar of its original CO2-rich atmosphere due to "sputtering" caused by the solar wind, against which Mars's lack of a magnetic field provided little or no protection. Venus also lacks a strong magnetic field, yet it has kept its atmosphere. Why Mars and not Venus? Is this simply the result of the latter's greater gravity?"
- Ann Stone asks: "The Universe has been in existence for billions of years. In that time, stars have converted huge amounts of matter to energy which travels at the speed of light away from galaxies, but the amounts of energy in transit would always be greater closer to stars/galaxies. Photons exert pressure and theoretically have energy equivalent to mass. Couldn't this account for the missing mass accounted for by the theoretical dark matter and the same photon pressure drive universal expansion (i.e. dark energy)?"
Odds and Ends
The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted the most distant individual star ever seen. The star, nicknamed Icarus but officially designated MACS J1149+2223 Lensed Star 1, is located in a spiral galaxy 9 billion light years away. This means that Icarus appears as it was when the Universe was only about a third its current age. Analysis of the colours of the new point of light showed to be a blue supergiant star. However, despite how intrinsically bright Icarus is, it would still be much too faint to be seen by Hubble at a distance of 9 billion light years. Luckily, the light from Icarus underwent two instances of gravitational lensing in which the gravitational forces from two objects between the star and Earth have bent and magnified the light from the star.
The IAU has officially approved the names for the first set of surface features on Charon, Pluto's largest Moon. After the first ever observations of these features by the New Horizon probe which visited the Pluto system in 2015 the New Horizon's team, following suggestions by the public submitted using the OurPluto.org website, created a list of names which have now been officially approved by the IAU. The features have all been named after real or fictitious explorers and visionaries. Among the most notable names are Argo Chasma (named for the ship sailed by Jason and the Argonauts), Clarke Montes (named after science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke), Dorothy Crater (named for Dorothy Gale in L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz), and Kubrick Mons (named for film director Stanley Kubrick).
NASA make their case to the United States Congress for funding for future missions to the Moon. There are many exciting scientific prospects that the moon provides ranging from studying its composition to placing telescopes on it and utilising its sparse atmosphere to make improved observations than on Earth. See this news article from SpaceNews for more information.
|JodBite:||Dr. Rachael Ainsworth and Alex Clarke|
|Interview:||Dr. Steven Longmore and Tom Scragg|
|Ask An Astronomer:||Dr. Iain McDonald and Eunseoung Lee|
|Presenters:||Adam Avison, Tana Joseph and Nialh McCallum|
|Editors:||George Bendo, Naomi Asambre Frimpong, Alex Clarke, and Jinjin Xie|
|Segment Voice:||Tess Jaffe|
|Website:||George Bendo and Stuart Lowe|
|Cover art:||A Hubble Space Telescope of the cluster of galaxies MACS J1149+2223, which contains the most distant star ever seen. CREDIT: NASA, ESA, S. Rodney and the FrontierSN team; T. Treu, P. Kelly and the GLASS team; J. Lotz and the Frontier Fields team; M. Postman and the CLASH team; and Z. Levay (STScI)|