Episode 157 - Special Cross-Over Episode with The Reality Check, Astronomy Edition
Recap: In a special cross-over episode, the cast of The Reality Check (Cheque?) podcast come over and we all did short-ish segments on astronomy-related topics: Do we live in a black hole, the Drake equation, are aliens likely to be hostile, did Earth's magnetic field recently collapse, and lunacy. I also did a quiz and learned how difficult it is to make quiz questions that work over a podcast.
- Wikipedia: Black Hole || Water Hole (radio) || March 1989 Geomagnetic Storm || Lunar Effect
- National Geographic: Are We Living in a Black Hole?
- One Universe at a Time: Are We Living in a Black Hole?
- RT: Solar flare radiation burst 'cracked' Earth's magnetic field, caused radio blackouts
- LiveScience: It's Just a Phase: The Supermoon Won't Drive You Mad || Strange Things Do Happen at Full Moon
- Scientific American: Lunacy and the Full Moon
- Neurologic: The Lunar Effect and Confirmation Bias
- Margot, J.L. (2015) "No evidence of purported lunar effect on hospital admission rates or birth rates." doi: 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000086.
- But Is It Science?: The Lunar Effect
- About: Education: How Much of Your Body Is Water?
- Previous, Relevant Episodes of The Reality Check: #88 (Stephen Hawking vs Aliens) || #404 (Lunar Effect)
- Relevant Posts on my "Exposing PseudoAstronomy" Blog
As this was a live recording with guests, there is no specific transcript. Topics discussed include:
- Are we living in a black hole? (request by Chris from over the pond)
- The Drake Equation (request by James K.)
- Are aliens likely to be hostile towards us?
- Did Earth's magnetic shield recently collapse? (request by Adam J. D.)
- Lunacy! (request by Dori J.)
- A horribly structured quiz on powers-of-10 in space.
Cosmic Water Hole (21cm radio signal): I got this slightly wrong about 14 minutes into the show where Pat was discussing why SETI would look at 21cm radio light for intelligent signals. What's going on is that hydroxyl (OH - an oxygen and hydrogen atom) emits light at 18cm, and hydrogen can emit at 21 cm. Combined, these form water. Combined, they also radiate energy at both 18 and 21 cm, while the spectrum between the two is relatively "quiet" in terms of background noise. Hence, this is a good range to look at for intelligent life (the thinking goes) because there is not much natural stuff that emits light between the two, and because we think water is important for life, an intelligent civilization might also think to transmit there as though saying, "Yeah, we know this is important for life, too."
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