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  • Writer's pictureMatt Russell

#154 - David Baker and Nobel Prize

This week Jamie and Matt meet up at a Hotel lobby to quickly chat about the Nobel Prize and Matt has a chat with Space Journalist David Baker.

This space we declare to be infinite... In it is an infinity of worlds of the same kind as our own.

Giordano Bruno (1584) an early supporter of the Copernican theory that Earth and other planets orbit the Sun (heliocentrism), put forward the view that the fixed stars are similar to the Sun and are likewise accompanied by planets.

Happy Birthday Brian Blessed - 9th October - Listen to Podcast 55 and 56

Great Day

11th October

35 years ago in 1984 – Kathryn D. Sullivan becomes the first American woman to perform a spacewalk from the Space Shuttle Challenger

Merieme Chadid, Moroccan astronomer and explorer

50th BirthdayMerieme Chadid, Moroccan astronomer and explorer

  • Got her love of space early from astronomy books by Kepler!

  • Got her degree in Morocco, then got 2 masters degrees, then 2 PhDs (habilitation) in France, and a bunch of other academic stuff in Harvard too.

  • Her son's middle name is Tycho!!!

  • Young Global Leader 2008 in the World Economic Forum

  • Woman of the Year 2015 in Science

  • Officer of Order of Ouissam Alaouite handed over by His Majesty The King of Morocco in 2013

  • Woman of the Antarctic Wikibomb by Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research SCAR in 2016

  • Young Leader of the France-China Foundation in 2014

  • listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the thirty most interesting and fascinating workers in the world

  • joined the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and

  • then the European Southern Observatory soon after earning her PhD.

  • She worked on the installation of The Very Large Telescope,

  • steering committee member of the International Astronomical Union.

  • First Moroccan as well as the first female French astronomer to reach the heart of Antarctica

  • first to plant an Arab flag (the Moroccan flag) in Antarctica

  • Well known for Hhr work in the Antartic setting up the observatory that is blessed with low humidity, low turbulence, and 24/7 darkness.

50th anniversary of Soyuz 6, we spoke about this mission podcast 92 when Georgy Stepanovich Shonin was astronaut of the week, one of the original cosmonauts and the mission involved space welding. The crew of Georgi Shonin and Valeri Kubasov were meant to take high-quality movie photography of the Soyuz 7 and Soyuz 8 docking, but the rendezvous systems on all three spacecraft failed. This must have been a stressful mission failing so soon after America's triumph at the moon.

Valeri Kubasov and Georgi Shonin

Nobel Prize for the first Exoplanet and big bang theory…..sort of

This artist’s view shows the hot Jupiter exoplanet 51 Pegasi b, sometimes referred to as Bellerophon, which orbits a star about 50 light-years from Earth in the northern constellation of Pegasus (The Winged Horse). This was the first exoplanet around a normal star to be found in 1995. Twenty years later this object was also the first exoplanet to be be directly detected spectroscopically in visible light.: ESO/M. Kornmesser/Nick Risinger

Three scientists have been awarded the 2019 Nobel prize in physics for groundbreaking discoveries about the evolution of the universe and the exoplanets.

Jim Peebles : Princeton

Phillip James Edwin Peebles OM FRS (born April 25, 1935) is a Canadian-American astrophysicist, astronomer, and theoretical cosmologist who is currently the Albert Einstein Professor Emeritus of Science at Princeton University He is widely regarded as one of the world's leading theoretical cosmologists in the period since 1970, with major theoretical contributions to primordial nucleosynthesis, dark matter, the cosmic microwave background, and structure formation.

However Swiss astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz share the other half of the prize for their discovery of the first planet beyond our solar system, 51 Pegasi B, a gas giant about 150 times more massive than Earth with balmy surface temperature of about 1,000C. only thing is it isn’t the first exoplanet.

What about the astronomers who discovered the actual first exoplanet, Dale Frail and Aleksander Wolszczan, years earlier, in 1992. It was a system around a pulsar with three planets, discovered in radio, and is believed the planets were formed after the star after it died. Obviously an unusual system, but the one that got the Nobel Prize is not the first known exoplanet!

Before we go on here, of course Mayor and Queloz deserve the prize, there work sparked the exoplanet gold rush, with 4000 exoplanets discovered since.

Isaac Newton in Principia. "And if the fixed stars are the centres of similar systems, they will all be constructed according to a similar design and subject to the dominion of One”

In 1952, more than 40 years before the first hot Jupiter was discovered, Otto Struve (podcast 132) wrote that there is no compelling reason why planets could not be much closer to their parent star than is the case in the Solar System and proposed that Doppler spectroscopy and the transit method could detect super-Jupiters in short orbits

1917 - The first possible evidence of an exoplanet was noted in 1917, but was not recognized as such. A polluted White Dwarf, that was reanalysed years later to reveal an exoplanet in the data.van Maanen's Star, which is about 14 light-years away, is the closest white dwarf to Earth that is not part of a binary system

1988 by the Canadian astronomers Bruce Campbell, G. A. H. Walker, and Stephenson Yang of the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia. Cautious but their radial-velocity observations suggested that a planet orbits the star Gamma Cephei. astronomers remained skeptical for several years about this and other similar observations. subsequent work in 1992 again raised serious doubts. But finally, in 2003, improved techniques allowed the planet's existence to be confirmed

On 9 January 1992, radio astronomers Aleksander Wolszczan and Dale Frail announced the discovery of two planets orbiting the pulsar PSR 1257+12. This discovery was confirmed, and is generally considered to be the first definitive detection of exoplanets. Follow-up observations solidified these results, and confirmation of a third planet in 1994 revived the topic in the popular press. These pulsar planets are thought to have formed from the unusual remnants of the supernova that produced the pulsar, in a second round of planet formation, or else to be the remaining rocky cores of gas giants that somehow survived the supernova and then decayed into their current orbits.

On 6 October 1995, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz of the University of Geneva announced the first definitive detection of an exoplanet orbiting a main-sequence star, namely the nearby G-type star 51 Pegasi This discovery, made at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence, ushered in the modern era of exoplanetary discovery.


The furthest Exoplanet?

Xinyu Dai and Eduardo Guerras used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to probe for planets in a galaxy a little closer to us — roughly 3.8 billion light-years away — using microlensing from the quasar

An analysis of the lightcurve of the microlensing event PA-99-N2 suggests the presence of a planet orbiting a star in the Andromeda Galaxy (2.54 ± 0.11 Mly)

AS reported on podcast 67 Xinyu Dai and Eduardo Guerras used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to probe for planets in a galaxy a little closer to us — roughly 3.8 billion light-years away — using microlensing from the quasar. The result was astounding. The quasar's light revealed 2,000 unbound planets moving between the galaxy's stars.

These planets range in size from Earth's moon to the planet Jupiter.

Artist's impression of the exoplanet Proxima Centauri b shown as of a arid (but not completely water-free) rocky Super-Earth. This appearance is one of several possible outcomes of current theories regarding the development of this exoplanet, while the actual look and structure of the planet is known in no ways at this time. Proxima Centauri b is the closest exoplanet to the Sun and also the closest potentially habitable exoplanet as well. It orbits Proxima Centauri, a red dwarf with a surface temperature of 3040 K (thus hotter than light bulbs and therefore whiter, as depicted here). The Alpha Centauri binary system is shown in the background.: ESO

Least distant: Proxima Centauri b 4.22 light years Also the closest rocky exoplanet, and closest potentially habitable exoplanet known. As Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the Sun (and will stay so for the next 25,000 years) so this is an absolute record.

Coronagraph of star Fomalhaut showing disk ring and location of extrasolar planet b. creditNASA, ESA, P. Kalas, J. Graham, E. Chiang, E. Kite (University of California, Berkeley), M. Clampin (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), M. Fitzgerald (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), and K. Stapelfeldt and J. Krist (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory) -

Least distant directly visible; Fomalhaut b - 25 light-years Also first directly imaged planet at optical wavelength.

Most massive: CD-33 2722b - 31 Jupiter masses, It may actually be too massive to be a planet, and may be a brown dwarf instead.

CD-35 2722 bPlanet StatusConfirmedDiscovered in2011Mass31.0 ( -8.0 +8.0 ) MJ

This artist's depiction shows a white dwarf star; the dead remnants of sun-like stars; vaporizing a minor planet as it orbits around it, causing rocky materials to show up in the spectrum of the star. CfA/Mark A. Garlick -

Least massive: WD 1145+017 b is 0.00067 mass of Earth - like the picture above.

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