Walkabout the Galaxy
black holes; pulsars; gravitation waves; Mars quakes; battering of the moon
Astrophysics and Astronomy | Physics
When regular run-of-the-mill black holes spiral into a deathly embrace, a gravitational chirp spreads across the universe, but when the behemoths in galactic centers merge, they cause a low rumble in space-time. Scientists are using nature's free ultra-precise astronomical clocks - pulsars - to hunt for this rumble. Closer to home the Earth has a new very-very-mini-moon, and the astroquarks face multiple energy-related trivia questions.
Ever feel like you're just going round and round in circles and not getting anywhere? Try precession, to add an extra dimension to the boring repetition of rotational and orbital time scales. Who wants to always be spinning the same way? Get that Polaris out of the way and bring your pole down to Vega. Shining brighter, Vega will help you find your way in your increasingly light-polluted skies, assuming your civilization is still around 13,000 years from now. Precession is happy to bring you funky Leap Year adjustments, and changing the view of the sky for all inhabitants of Earth every 26,000 years. Precession, it's what's for dinner. (Beef)
© Joshua Colwell, All Rights Reserved
Length of Episode
Colwell, Joshua; Dove, Adrienne; and Cooney, James, "Gravitational Waves Rumbling Through the Universe" (2020). Walkabout the Galaxy Podcast. 111.