Oct 3, 2019
On This Week’s Show
- Giant Planets
- Bad news for the vapers
- Planet Nine from Outer Space
- Some really old bugs
Science News with Nevena Hristozova, and Chris
Giant planet around tiny star ‘should not
- Scientists from the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain
have discovered a planet almost half the size of Jupiter orbiting a
star much smaller than our Sun.
- They used the so called radial velocity method – if a star is
orbited by an object like a planet, due to the gravity of that
object it will also wobble in space as the two bodies – the planet
and the star will have their gravity forces working in opposite
directions of each other.
- However, the ratio of the planet to star size was so big, that
they originally thought that it’s a system of two stars orbiting
each other that they are detecting.
- Usually planets form gradually when a mass of material due to
its gravity collects more and more materials, dust and debris from
interstellar collisions and by doing so forms its own core.
- This one, however, is so big that it’s impossible for it to
have formed in this way, according to the principal investigators
of the project, Juan Carlos Morales.
- The alternative hypothesis is that a disk of gas spontaneously
collapses to form the core of a planet all at once.
- Apparently this is the first time astronomers are able to
observe a planet which must have followed that pattern of
and Environment, New
Vaping-Related Illnesses Hit Nearly Every US
- In August of 2017 the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) announced that it was investigating 94 possible
cases of “severe lung illness associated with vaping” in teens and
- The CDC have now announced 805 confirmed or probable cases
across 46 U.S. states. This includes 12 fatalities.
- Whilst patients report symptoms such as shortness of breath,
coughs, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, fever and weight loss. The
cause of the illness remains a complete mystery. There are some
possible links to certain chemicals but that’s about the best that
- There appears to be a high correlation with patients vaping
cannabis products and there are concerns that black market vaping
products can also contain cannabis oils.
- The CDC recommend that people consider not using e-cigarettes
while the investigation is ongoing. They also say that e-cigarettes
should not be used by youths, young adults, pregnant women or
adults who don't already use tobacco products. And, do not buy
e-cigarette products off the street or modify the products or add
substances that aren't intended for vaping by the
‘Planet Nine’ may actually be a black
- Scientists are exploring a new hypothesis that Planet Nine may
not exist, that it is not a planet at all.
- Since it is so far from the Sun a planet is very hard to detect
and it will receive very little light from the sun, and reflect
very little light to be detected. A black hole won’t be easier to
- However, the scientists who propose this alternative hypothesis
will sieve through the data from the Earth-orbiting Fermi Gamma-ray
Space Telescope to try and test for it.
Fossilised microbes from 3.5 billion years ago are
oldest yet found
- Raphael Baumgartner at the University of New South Wales in
Australia and his colleagues now have oldest credible fossil claim
of around 3.48 billion years old.
- Their rocks came from Western Australia from a site known as
the Dresser formation. It contains layered structures called
stromatolites which are known to form when microbes grow into thin
- So how do you get credibility for such a precious artifact? You
drill a hole into it. Inside, they discovered “exceptionally
preserved organic matter” according to Baumgartner. There are even
structures consistent with those seen in biofilms.
- Further validation came in the form of various chemical
analyses which suggest that there was organic matter that had
originated from living organisms.
Fact Checking Greta
That concludes this episode of the Blue Streak Science
If you have any suggestions or comments email us
You can subscribe to our show on Apple
Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify,
Overcast or any other podcast player of your
If you have an iOS device like an iPhone or an iPad you can get
the Blue Streak Science app from the App Store.
This show is produced by the Blue Streak Science team.
Our hosts today were Nevena Hristozova, and Chris
I’m JD Goodwin.
Thank you for joining us.
And remember…follow the science!