The 9pm Giant Goatse in the Sky with Rami Mandow

Rami Mandow and two telescopes, one an optical scope and one part of a home-made radio telescope. (Photo: Supplied; Post-processing: Stilgherrian)

The autumn series of The 9pm Edict continues with a look at some recent space news with astrophysicist Rami Mandow, founder of

We talk about black holes and pulsars, darkness and space chemistry, Dyson spheres, tequila, how to get started with astronomy, extraterrestrial life, whether faster-than-light travel will ever be possible, and even that Elon Musk chap and the commercialisation of space.

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Episode Links

  • Researching Pulsars & Gravitational Waves with The Dish at @MQPhysAstro • Founder @SpaceAusDotCom #SpaceAustralia • Doggo #BalmainMax • He/Him • Views My Own
  • We spent two years researching what the Australian space community wants as a platform – which has allowed us to build a user-centric website and given us a great long term strategy on rolling out new products for all our regional space needs! We want to be your one-stop-shop to find out all you need about our local space community and plan to share the stories and voices as that we, as a region, start to grow.
  • [13 May 2022] Lia Medeiros, co-lead of the EHT Gravitational Physics Working Group, talks to CNN about capturing the first image of the massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. #CNN #News
  • [12 May 2022] Humanity’s first image of the central supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way Galaxy has been revealed by the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration. We chat with University of Melbourne PhD student Aman Chokshi who works with the EHT in Antarctica about this historic event.
  • A black hole is a region of spacetime where gravity is so strong that nothing – no particles or even electromagnetic radiation such as light – can escape from it. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform spacetime to form a black hole. The boundary of no escape is called the event horizon. Although it has an enormous effect on the fate and circumstances of an object crossing it, it has no locally detectable features according to general relativity.
  • A Dyson sphere is a hypothetical megastructure that completely encompasses a star and captures a large percentage of its solar power output. The concept is a thought experiment that attempts to explain how a spacefaring civilization would meet its energy requirements once those requirements exceed what can be generated from the home planet's resources alone.
  • Sagittarius A* (/?e? st??r/ AY star), abbreviated Sgr A* (/?sæd? ?e? st??r/ SAJ AY star) is the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Center of the Milky Way. It is located near the border of the constellations Sagittarius and Scorpius, about 5.6° south of the ecliptic, visually close to the Butterfly Cluster (M6) and Lambda Scorpii.
  • DUBAI, March 11 (Reuters) - Crypto firms in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are being deluged with requests to liquidate billions of dollars of virtual currency as Russians seek a safe haven for their fortunes, company executives and financial sources said. Some clients are using cryptocurrency to invest in real estate in the UAE, while others want to use firms there to turn their virtual money into hard currency and stash it elsewhere, the sources said
  • The Event Horizon Telescope is an international collaboration capturing images of black holes using a virtual Earth-sized telescope.
  • The Crab Nebula (catalogue designations M1, NGC 1952, Taurus A) is a supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula in the constellation of Taurus. The common name comes from William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse, who observed the object in 1842 using a 36-inch (91 cm) telescope and produced a drawing that looked somewhat like a crab.
  • Messier 87 (also known as Virgo A or NGC 4486, generally abbreviated to M87) is a supergiant elliptical galaxy with several trillion stars in the constellation Virgo. One of the most massive galaxies in the local universe, it has a large population of globular clusters — about 15,000 compared with the 150–200 orbiting the Milky Way — and a jet of energetic plasma that originates at the core and extends at least 1,500 parsecs (4,900 light-years), traveling at a relativistic speed. It is one of the brightest radio sources in the sky and a popular target for both amateur and professional astronomers.
  • "Time Trumpet" is a six episode satirical television comedy series which aired on BBC Two in August 2006. The series was written by Armando Iannucci, Roger Drew and Will Smith in a similar manner to Iannucci's earlier one-off programmes, "2004: The Stupid Version" and "Clinton: His Struggle with Dirt". One sketch was later spun off by network in Ireland, RTÉ, into the cult television series "Soupy Norman", in May 2007. "Time Trumpet" is set in the year 2031, and is a retrospective documentary on the first thirty years of the twenty-first century. Actors and actresses played the parts of 'today's stars' thirty years on, who were interviewed as part of the show.
  • [3 May 2022] Using a new technique Australian astronomers have led an international team in discovering one of the most luminous pulsars known to date, located in our neighbouring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. Until now, the bright object has somehow avoided all detection.
  • A pulsar (from pulsating radio source) is a highly magnetized rotating neutron star that emits beams of electromagnetic radiation out of its magnetic poles. This radiation can be observed only when a beam of emission is pointing toward Earth (similar to the way a lighthouse can be seen only when the light is pointed in the direction of an observer), and is responsible for the pulsed appearance of emission.
  • A neutron star is the collapsed core of a massive supergiant star, which had a total mass of between 10 and 25 solar masses, possibly more if the star was especially metal-rich. Except for black holes and some hypothetical objects (e.g. white holes, quark stars, and strange stars), neutron stars are the smallest and densest currently known class of stellar objects.
  • The Parkes Observatory (also known as "The Dish") is a radio telescope observatory, located 20 kilometres (12 mi) north of the town of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia. It was one of several radio antennae used to receive live television images of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. Its scientific contributions over the decades led the ABC to describe it as "the most successful scientific instrument ever built in Australia" after 50 years of operation.
  • Jodrell Bank Observatory (/?d??dr?l/) in Cheshire, England, hosts a number of radio telescopes as part of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester. The observatory was established in 1945 by Bernard Lovell, a radio astronomer at the university, to investigate cosmic rays after his work on radar in the Second World War. It has since played an important role in the research of meteoroids, quasars, pulsars, masers and gravitational lenses, and was heavily involved with the tracking of space probes at the start of the Space Age.
  • War of the Worlds is a television series produced by Fox Networks Group and StudioCanal-backed Urban Myth Films. The series is created and written by Howard Overman, and directed by Gilles Coulier and Richard Clark. The series is a loose adaptation of The War of the Worlds, an 1898 novel by H. G. Wells about Earth coming to terms in the wake of a sudden Martian invasion.
  • The rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus) is a species of parrot found in Australia. It is common along the eastern seaboard, from northern Queensland to South Australia. Its habitat is rainforest, coastal bush and woodland areas.
  • [29 September 2016] The lights went out in Reykjavik on Wednesday night to give people a chance to enjoy one of the night sky's most impressive spectacles - the Aurora Borealis.
  • The Miller–Urey experiment (or Miller experiment) was a chemical experiment that simulated the conditions thought at the time (1952) to be present on the early Earth and tested the chemical origin of life under those conditions. The experiment at the time supported Alexander Oparin's and J. B. S. Haldane's hypothesis that putative conditions on the primitive Earth favored chemical reactions that synthesized more complex organic compounds from simpler inorganic precursors. Considered to be the classic experiment investigating abiogenesis, it was performed in 1952 by Stanley Miller, supervised by Harold Urey at the University of Chicago, and published the following year.
  • The Drake equation is a probabilistic argument used to estimate the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • [21 April 2008] In 1951, when CBS first broadcast the I Love Lucy show, Ricky, Lucy, Fred and Ethel became electromagnetic signals traveling at nearly the speed of light to receivers all over America, where they got bounced on to our living rooms and into our lives. But not all those signals stayed on Earth.
  • [24 April 2021] How do these theoretical warp drives really work? And will humans be making the jump to warp speed anytime soon?
  • [13 July 2021] Researchers are taking a closer look at this science-fiction staple—and bringing the idea a little closer to reality.
  • [14 August 2018] The first boss of Australia's new national space agency is Dr Megan Clark, and she has the job of deciding which state will host the local equivalent of NASA.
  • The Australian Space Agency is an agency under the Australian Government responsible for the development of Australia's commercial space industry, coordinating domestic activities, identifying opportunities and facilitating international space engagement that include Australian stakeholders. Its headquarters are located in Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia.
  • Space technology and services benefit all Australians. Space-based technology underpins a lot of the daily conveniences Australians have come to expect.
  • [20 May 2022] The Australian Satellite Manufacturing Hub in the South Jerrabomberra Regional Jobs Precinct in NSW has received funding from both the federal and NSW state governments. It will become the first Satellite Manufacturing Hub for larger Earth observation satellites in Australia. 
  • [17 May 2022] Hypersonix Launch Systems have been awarded $8 Million to manufacture and launch the 3D printed Multi-mission hypersonic drone - Dart AE.
  • A CubeSat (U-class spacecraft) is a type of miniaturized satellite for space research that is made up of multiple cubic modules of 10 cm × 10 cm × 10 cm size.
  • Electron is a two-stage, partially recoverable orbital launch vehicle developed by Rocket Lab, an American aerospace company with a wholly owned New Zealand subsidiary] Electron was developed to service the commercial small satellite launch market. Its Rutherford engines are the first electric-pump-fed engine to power an orbital-class rocket.
  • Nulka is an Australian-designed and -developed active missile decoy built by an American/Australian collaboration. Used aboard warships of the United States Navy (USN), Royal Australian Navy (RAN), United States Coast Guard (USCG), and Royal Canadian Navy, Nulka is a rocket-propelled, disposable, offboard, active decoy designed to lure anti-ship missiles away from their targets. It has a unique design in that it hovers in mid-air while drawing the incoming anti-ship missile.
  • This publication covers the timeline chart for the Nulka Program from the beginning to completion of the Full Scale Engineering Development phase from the early 1970s through to its production and introduction into service in 2001. "Nulka: A compelling story" was written jointly by Dr David Gambling, former Chief of DSTO’s Electronic Warfare Division, Don Northam of the US Naval Research Laboratory, and Mal Crozier from BAE Systems Australia.
  • [27 May 2022] FOX Business’ Lydia Hu reports on Elon Musk getting sued by Twitter investors for delayed disclosure of stake..
  • [26 May 2022] Johnny Depp railed against Amber Heard and Elon Musk in texts the actor himself admitted in court today were “horrific” to read.
  • [25 April 2022] On Monday, users rushed to post a 2014 photo of Musk and Maxwell, who was convicted on charges tied to Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking ring last year, poking fun at Musk and suggesting that Twitter's new owner would soon ban the image from the platform.
  • [20 May 2022] The attendant worked as a member of the cabin crew on a contract basis for SpaceX's corporate jet fleet. She accused Musk of exposing his erect penis to her, rubbing her leg without consent, and offering to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage, according to interviews and documents obtained by Insider.
  • Gwynne Shotwell (née Rowley; born November 23, 1963) is an American businesswoman and engineer. She is the president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, an American space transportation company, where she is responsible for day-to-day operations and company growth. As of 2021, Shotwell is listed as the 38th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. In 2020, she was included on Time's list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

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Series Credits