This Week in Space 92 Transcript

Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.

00:00 - Rod Pyle (Host)
On this episode of this Week in Space, we explore the saga of the Seven Sisters and their companions in the night sky, crawl through the lore of the modern planetarium and have some star story surprises in store. The Stronomber, steve Fentress stay with us. Podcasts you love From people you trust. This is TWIT. This is this Week in Space, episode number 92, recorded on January 5th 2024, the saga of the Seven Sisters.

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02:31 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I'm doing well. It's 2024. We're living in the future, rod, very exciting.

02:35 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, the end of the future is a lot closer for me than it is for you.

02:39 - Tariq Malik (Host)
But just think that if constellation had happened with NASA, we could have been landing on the moon four years ago. But that's about it, I'm not going to win.

02:48 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Thanks for depressing me, but to lighten up the day, we are joined by the itinerant astronomer and recently retired director of the Strasenberg Planetarium in Rochester, new York, my old pal Steve Fentress. Steve, how are you?

03:02 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Hi Rod, hi Tarek, and you realize, 1% of 2024 is already gone.

03:08 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Oh, wow, we're behind schedule already.

03:12 - Rod Pyle (Host)
What happens when we get math people on here. Before we begin, it's worth noting that we got a few lumps of coal before the Christmas holiday and more could be coming If Tarek and I fail to pass the donation plate. Tweet needs your help and we want to keep our show on the air and available to everyone, and you can help if you consider a last minute New Year's Eve resolution and join Club Tweet for just $7 per month. It'll help keep everyone at Tweet happy and healthy and keep us in your ear every week, wherever you belong. All right, so before we begin that business out of the way, we have a show to do.

First two space jokes from that rascal listener Tucker Drake, two First one Are you ready? I'm ready, I'm ready. Okay, astronaut, hey, the planet Titanius has just blown itself up in an atomic war. Nasa oh well. Sphere today, gone tomorrow. Oh, you guys are being too kind. All right, let's try again. Crewman, hey, I'm going to marry a Venusian girl. Captain, really, you're pretty ugly. How could she possibly see anything in you? Crewman? She's got X-ray eyes. Everybody's being kind today? All right, thank you Tucker.

Keep it coming, as always. We invite you to.

04:31 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Someone explained the last one to me. I didn't get it I didn't either.

04:34 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Frankly, I saw all those 50 sci-fi movies. As always, we invite you to join Rodney's Rangers to send us your best to worst space joke. Steve, do you have a planetarium joke? You must, you always have jokes.

04:51 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
I'll come back to you on that. There are so many of them, and there are some from earlier eras that need to stay back where they were.

05:00 - Rod Pyle (Host)
You hear that, steve Cooperman, we're looking at you. All right, yeah, and please don't forget to do us a solid. Make sure to like, subscribe and all that cool podcast stuff. It's free and we love you, so show your love back. All right, let's do some headlines. Yes, vulcan, the Vulcan ULA has a new rocket At last. They beat the Boeing Starliner to the launch pad.

05:30 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Wow, I've never done that, yeah so tell us all about it.

05:34 - Rod Pyle (Host)
What is carrying my brand?

05:36 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yeah, yeah. So we were looking forward to this at the end of the year I think you and I discussed it a little bit then but the United Launch Alliance partnership of Boeing and Lockheed are finally ready to launch the debut mission of their brand new Vulcan rocket. This is the rocket that will be ULA's new workhorse in like this coming rest of the decade and whatnot. The Atlas V is going to be retired, the Delta family with his kind of, already out the door for the most part, and so this will be like their next big thing. It's a pretty awesome vehicle that can go between medium and heavy lift pretty seamlessly, with the addition of extra side rocket. There's six strap on solid rocket boosters. And for this flight, this debut flight, they are launching NASA's first commercial clips mission, commercial lunar something, something, something. Their partnership right To work with private companies to send payloads to the moon, and Astrobotic is going to launch their first peregrine moon lander on this flight, and there's a lot of other payloads as well. And by the way.

06:49 - Rod Pyle (Host)
First private lander because bearish heat crashed. Now, if it's successful, it'll be the first private lander on the moon ever.

06:58 - Tariq Malik (Host)
To land successfully if they make it the first US moon landing, right Since the what? Since the Apollo era, right? I mean I don't think we land on there after that. Yeah, just yeah. So a lot, a lot, a lot riding on this mission and there's some other secondary payloads to launch. Date is Monday at 2 18 Eastern in the morning. So crack it on and if you want to tune in, if you are on the Pacific coast, the webcast starts. That I believe. That's 10 30 pm Pacific time, 1 30 am Eastern time, and I'm hopeful that it'll go like through a spacecraft separation. We'll see how it goes. But finally, you know, the rocket is go for launch after a lot of delays that came up in the pre Christmas kind of timeframe. It was originally slated for Christmas Eve and then they pushed it back to January 8. So so we hope to see how everything's gonna shake out and if they, they make this flight. If they don't, they have to look at the windows to reach the moon, which could dictate the next attempt.

08:02 - Rod Pyle (Host)
So and I just want to say what I don't want to hear during the countdown Is anything about stuck valves.

08:08 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yes, nothing about stuck valves being there also in that and Critical. This is the first flight of the BE4 engine built by Blue Origin right which you lay uses on this Vulcan rocket and and and that's critical, not just for this company and this one by Blue Origin in yeah, but rare form of Co-op addition right. Yeah, for Blue Origin and and for their new Glendorocket, which will use these engines to.

08:33 - Rod Pyle (Host)
So I do want to know that there actually are a bunch of private payloads going up because they hold space on this thing. One of them is from Celestus, which is a company that sends little tiny bits of cremated remains of people that have passed on into space, and what I do actually for Celestus on this flight.

Yeah one of them is Mark Hopkins, the former executive director of the National Space Society, or CEO or something, I forget what his title was. And a number of famous people are going as well. And there's an interesting art project that a friend of mine, chantel Bear, has set up with a company. I don't know how much they're talking about it, but they're setting up. What are they doing? They're setting up a bunch of small sculptures and then, I think, selling Doubles of them back here on earth, or so no, nice, it's a quite involved thing, I'm.

09:19 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I'm interested in that. Let's talk about that offline.

09:22 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Okay, my question for you is we've for years, heard about all these various plans some wacky, some not about making the Vulcan partially reusable. They were gonna drop the engines out of the back and grab them with a helicopter before they hit the ocean, and all that. Where does that stand?

09:38 - Tariq Malik (Host)
well, I had the opportunity to talk to ULA and Tutori Bruno back during the Space Imposium in April and I did ask that question.

That's not in the cards from the get-go for the beginning of these flights because, like they, the current plan would be that the the engine compartment separates and then kind of paraglides back and they catch it before it reaches the ground. That's gonna be like a future iteration, the next version of the rocket is what they had said at that point in time. I think there's a lot of kind of questions up in the air right now, specifically because there is some Scuttlebutt, some Discussion of ULA possibly being up for sale. I've seen some reports that Blue Origin is interested in that, which would make sense as well, as they've bought a lot of flights on Vulcan to launch their stuff to, or Amazon, pardon me, has, and, and so I think we're gonna need to get the rocket off the ground first. You know SpaceX did not go directly into Reusability. Took them several years I think about five or so To nail that, that first landing, and so it wouldn't surprise me that this, this, has a few more years of of shakedown For that as well.

10:45 - Rod Pyle (Host)
All right. So, speaking of private moon landers, that's right. Some human remains on this mission, I believe there are.

10:52 - Tariq Malik (Host)
There is there's you mentioned. You mentioned some of the cremains through celestis. Another company, elysium space, also has a Pallet of human cremains as well, as you know. It's interesting because there's two different missions. There's celestis's enterprise mission, which is this payload on the centaur upper stage that will eventually, after stage separation, go into a Sun secretus orbit around the Sun in deep space and that is carrying cremains and DNA of Gene Gene Roddenberry, major Major Barrett, many Star Trek alum, and, and and other folks that want to go on this, this Voyager class Mission, and so that that's kind of the the the deepest space of flight, for this flight a little more controversial in recent weeks in the recent weeks is On the peregrine moon lander itself, that astrobotic build. You know this is a commercial mission. Nasa is a customer that has some payloads on it, and and Astrobotic sold space to other folks like DHL, and and a Carnegie Mellon has a Small, a small nano rover on there and there's a Mexican payload too, but they they have a payload from celestis, called a tranquility flight that has human cremains on it and DNA, and Elysium space has cremains as well in these capsules that are that are sealed and the Navajo nation has filed like a protest.

They, they're really upset that this has happened because the moon is a sacred object for them and in the 90s, when NASA sent some human Arrange the space with the common hunter, shoemaker, right, they, they had registered a protest then and NASA said that they would always, you know, consult with them before it happened again. And here we are, days away from launch and they're saying, hey, no one consulted with us. So what's the deal? So they are asking for the delay of the launch. We're still waiting to find out if there is going to be a decision.

Celestis has has responded to say that they don't find the claims and the concerns Valid.

They also take issue with it being called desecration, you know, putting these, these remains on the moon surface, because they feel they've been very reverent and and taking great care to make sure that everything is sealed properly and and respectfully. So I think we're gonna see how this plays out, not just in the days leading up to the launch itself, but also, you know, if launch is successful, as spacecraft is successful on its departure stage, it's something that's gonna go through all the way through the landing itself too, to see how it goes. And it'll be easy it goes and it'll be interesting to see how this goes going forward, because this is the first vanguard of Commercial missions to the moon surface itself and, if successful, it sets the stage and opens the gates for all of the other commercial missions at NASA and other countries and other companies All want to do well and not to be glib, but if, if somebody in a position of authority asked me about this and thankfully they won't I would point out that we got six Lunar module landing stages on the moon.

13:48 - Rod Pyle (Host)
We got a bunch of surveyors, we got a couple of Russian landers, we got a Chinese lander or two and, probably more to the point, at those Apollo stages we have all the stuff those guys threw up before they took off to say wait, including, as I recall, waste containers, of human waste. So that's a kind of Containment systems and we kind of been through that. But anyway, I don't want to burn up too much time because we got Steve waiting here. So we we did a flyby of Juno yeah, excuse me, a flyby of I owe with Juno, and I just want to point out that back in the 70s and early in the 80s, when the voyagers are doing this, the press more than once got I owe wrong as calling it moon 10. I and the oh, and they went, oh, it's, we flew by moon 10. So anyway, tell us all about it.

14:41 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yeah, this happened just just before the the turn of the new year on, on December 30th, the Juno spacecraft made its closest ever a flyby of I owe. What this was, though, it approached within about 930 miles, that's 1500 kilometers, of course, I owe is the most volcanic object in our solar system the pizza moon, if you will and, and this was the closest we've gotten to it since you know I basically the last 20, 20 years. Only the Galileo probe got closer back in 2001, when it was just 112 miles over the surface of I owe South Pole, and and so it's just a really, a really amazing close look. You know, I'm not sure we're gonna get any better looks with this new, this new spacecraft in the near future, and you can bet that Scientists are pouring over the images from the rendezvous. They released the first five images almost overnight, and it's just absolutely spectacular.

What to see the strange Differences in in light and shadow from these volcanic peaks that are all over the moon itself. I was hoping that we'd be able to see lava pools from orbit, but From, from, from space. But I guess we'll have to get the zoom ins to look for that stuff over time. But just a nice little thing that you know this is. This is going on and hopefully there's much more to come, for I owe in the future.

16:00 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Looks like my face and junior high. All right, hey, listen, twit fans, we got something coming up for you. The 2024 twit survey is open at twittv slash survey 24. This annual survey helps to twit to get a better idea of who the audience is. It helps them make better programming decisions and Get better at picking advertisers that you'd be interested in, and some of the questions may seem personal.

Don't panic. We want to assure you that we don't identify you in any way and only use the information as an aggregate from the tens of thousands of responses. For example, quote more than 60% of our audience are in management level or higher unquote, which I guess would include both Tark and myself. So we'll have to take it. Many of you take privacy very seriously and we certainly respect that. You don't need to submit any personally Identifiable info, like email addresses, in order to take the survey, but please take it before it closes in February and we thank you in advance for helping make twit and our show ever better. All right, we will be back after this short break. Don't go anywhere. Okay, let's talk to Steve Fentress about the night sky. So before we get there, you recommend to, are you? Let's look at your career a little bit. I met you at Griffith Observatory back in the good Lord in the 70s I think. I started there in 75. What did you start?

17:23 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Same, roughly at the same time. Wow, I remember it would. We'll been summer of 75.

17:30 - Rod Pyle (Host)
So I don't want to bear issue, but you were widely considered to be our best lecture of the time for a couple of reasons. You gave the best presentations, you had the best jokes, you, you had a natural ease about you and doing them. But I think the part that impressed me the most was we used to have a tradition, as I'm sure you painfully remember, where we would try to deliberately trip up planetarium lectures in the last show of a series or on their birthday or whatever, and Some of the things were pretty outrageous. The one of the favorites I remember is we had one of the museum guides I think was in the middle of one of your shows Slam the main doors open and lead a tour group through the planetarium theater in the middle of your lecture, and you never everybody else got tripped up and a little incensed. You never lost it and I thought that was remarkable.

18:22 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
I think whoever it is that says you know you need 10,000 hours to be good at something, I had them by that point. So there was it was you do enough planetarium shows. After a while you've seen everything and you become harder and harder to shock, and I must have reached that that point by then. But the best of those is if the With the ones where the audience was in on it, the audience could tell what was going on, and so that one worked pretty well. There was another one where a friend of ours was hidden in the cabinet under the star projector with a circular saw, supposedly doing repair work down there. Yeah, and this is Ken, and his timing was exquisite.

He knew just when to turn this thing on and then we found Ken Kramer, yes, and, and then wait until everybody figured it was all over and do it again, and so timing, timing was everything but Boy. Those were the days I to go back to that. I watch Adam 12 reruns and look at that.

19:30 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, I also remember they used to we should say used to swap out slides in your slide projectors, which was, of course, the backbone of a good planetarium presentation. Then the 32 or whatever it was line projectors running, and I believe one of them was David Seidel's dog that popped up and you made some crack about serious the dog star and just Rumbled right on through it and I just well, well, it was a bit shakeable the way I say it now, after 40 years in the planetarium biz and 28 as the director.

20:00 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
The Strasenberg planetarium is we're the planetarium. Normal is what we say it is, and, and and. One of my questions for my planetarium colleagues was is there anything that's ever happened in the planetarium show that was so bizarre? The audience actually perceived that it was out of place and and Really no, I mean I. I remember doing a show at Strasenberg back when we were using slides, and, and it was all about a servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope and and the narration said a veteran crew of astronauts will be going up to do this work and a slide of the Beatles from the Beatles One of those slides where they're all jumping up in the air Flashes onto the screen. It was just a, you know, a technical error, but nobody laughed. It was Normal is what we say it is.

I thought, why I didn't do the.

20:48 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Beatles with the space.

20:49 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Yeah, yeah. So so the big big lesson after 40 years in this business is the audience really trusts us, and so that's a great honor and responsibility, but we can also have fun with it Occasionally.

So you wanted a planetarium, you wanted a planetarium joke. So I can tell you the kind of the kind of jokes I can think of are now Mostly situational. So one of the things you can do in a planetarium, for from the very beginning of planetarium, is show the sky Going through time rapidly to a different date. So we do that all the time. Let's look forward in time and see where these planets are gonna be. Where you see the moon, it's gonna be next to Jupiter a week from today, and so on.

And then I will turn it back to the current date and always say now, we always like to put the sky back to the current date, so when you go to the parking lot your car will be there. Thank you, and it often works. The other one is, if you're ever, when you're greeting an audience out in the lobby and you know like it's a tour bus and you want to know, can you bring them in and start the show? You ask is everybody here? Please raise your hand if you're not here? That always gets a laugh and yeah, they're just glad it's not.

22:07 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Not the straight and narrow is so many science museums had to do. So I was remiss in not continuing on to say after Griffith, where you were for, I think, at least decade right.

22:20 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
I was part time, so from about 75 to about 83, yeah okay, so you like, arrived and left at the same time.

22:26 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Then you went on to, among other things, strasenberg planetarium, where you were the director the big right. For how long? 1995 to 2023, so 28 years yeah unbelievable seems like yesterday, your first month of freedom. Huh.

22:42 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Right, but but it was. It was really a great privilege because the the Strasenberg planetarium we're in Rochester, new York. So this is Western New York, nowhere near New York City, about halfway between Syracuse and Buffalo, and and this planetarium was built with an Extravagant gift from mr Mrs Strasenberg back in 1968. The building is an experimental design, which means it's awesome and sometimes vexing to. You know, deal with the logistics and repairs and things like that 50th anniversary. Recently, thanks to one major donor and several other donors, we were able to do a big renovation. So the star theater now is just beautifully equipped great lighting, new digistar digital system, fabulous sound system, moveable and removable chairs. We can do all kinds of events in there and and we still kept the 1968 Zeiss model 6 star projector with people love. So it's it.

Our goal in the renovation was make this a place that anybody in Rochester could be proud to bring their out-of-town visitors to. And you know the box office is doing very well and and they're doing all kinds of events. They've got concerts coming up in January. They're sold out. Valentine's Day dinner that will sell out in you know hours. So, and it's a big planetarium for a city the size of Rochester, but there's a sort of a lesson about being extravagant. The design and the building and the cost were way over the 1968 budget. But here it is, 55 years later and people still talking about it. It has never Closed due to lack of interest. And that's pretty good for 55 years for a planetarium. So now I'm out. New director Jim Bader came. He's moving his family all the way from Texas just to run this planetarium. He's very well qualified. It's gonna be great. I am staying out of his way, so the future looks bright there.

24:45 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, and planetariums are kind of like classical sympathy orcas these days. I mean, they're struggling, some of them, to stay afloat. So it's a testament to you and your patrons and everybody else your audience that this is doing so well. I do want to tell people who may not know, if you ever get a close look at a Zeiss or other older star projector, these things are Master words of clockwork technology. I mean everything Back when we were at Griffith and they had the old Zeiss I think it was a mark for there. It's an incredible. Machine needs constant upkeep as they got older, but when you look at the gear trains and the levers and the Cogs and everything that's in there, it makes steampunk pale in comparison. I mean, they're just unbelievably complicated machines and now of course, that's all gone to digital. But I'm really glad that you you kept your old one. That's a testament to you guys.

25:37 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Yeah, we were talking for a while about how the next step in renovating Strasenberg is to retire the Zeiss 6 and replace it with one of the new, smaller, modern machines. And people said don't you touch that thing, because it is. There's nothing like a planetarium projector. And you're right about the. The gears inside, if you go read about, the basic idea of the mechanism for reproducing planet motions is unbelievably brilliant mechanical genius. The particular idea of the, the rod that represents the sight line from the earth to the planet you can't describe it on the radio, but it's extremely clever and and massively overbuilt in 1968, absolutely unique object, extremely complicated, still works pretty well and it's an. It's an amazing instrument. So, and then there was this ice. Before that I worked with at Griffith. Before that, I estimate I did something like 1600 shows on that machine. It's now a display in the museum there. So it it was really wonderful to have spent so many hours with these amazing machines.

26:47 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Well, I just think they're. They were very inspiring. Inspired, and, pardon me, because my first planetarium Steve was, was the, the Delta Community College planetarium in Stockton, and I always felt that they, that these these projectors, look like the IG 88, like assassin droids from Star Wars, and our, our director would call it the robot, watch it come out and do all the things, and it would be very Exciting just to watch the thing turn on, let alone the show that you're gonna get for the night sky. So I totally, I can totally understand, you know right.

27:18 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Yeah, I was just gonna say this is so a community college planetary. You know, most planetariums are small ones in community colleges and high schools and Some of the best people in the planetarium business are in some of the smallest planetariums. There are some really smart, creative people. Sometimes they have money for new equipment, sometimes they make the best of the old equipment, but it's just such a unique thing. There is nothing like a planetarium. There's nothing like a planetarium star projector. People are realizing that.

27:52 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Just one more piece of trivia and then I'll get off this because I'm fascinated by these things. I remember I think I asked you, or maybe it was John Loft on one of the shop guys at Griffith. I said what is that thing? So the balls on the two ends of the projector are covered with these little lens clusters and there's a little weight and I guess it's an iris around it. So as the thing turns it shuts. Iris is down that star group so that it will set on the horizon Right.

28:21 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
So I like the mechanism of a doll's eye, where there's a little weight, so that when you tip the doll, the baby doll, backward, the eye seems to close. Same idea you have a swiveling. It's like a hemispherical cup that's on gimbals with a weight at the bottom. So no matter what orientation the projector is in, this cup will sit horizontally and cut off the stars at the horizon. So the lamp is on all the time, but the stars that are below the horizon are blocked by this little cup that's under the lens. And with our machine at Strasenberg, when it's very quiet and moving very slowly, you can sometimes hear those things swinging into place. It's a little, it's part of the mystery. You can't hear the motors, but sometimes you hear those little eyelids moving.

29:10 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, let's get into the night sky a little bit, and before we do, I think maybe you can sort of set the stage with your personal approach to how people can appreciate the night sky, because you wrote a book about how we can appreciate and learn more about the night sky.

29:25 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Well, thanks for the plug. Yes, yes. So this was actually a warmup for the 2017 Eclipse and it's still out there here. I'll hold it up. There you go Sky to space, astronomy beyond the basics, with comparisons, ratios and proportions, and it's the book I wanted when I was 13 and 140 hand drawn pages, and the idea is how much can you figure out about the night sky just with like fourth grade arithmetic?

It turns out a lot, especially if you want to get into visualizing eclipses. So if you know a few basic facts like the moon is about 30 Earth diameters away. The sun is about 400 times farther away than the moon. The moon moves by its own diameter through space in about an hour. It's just a few facts like that. There's an amazing amount of stuff you can figure out about what you're seeing, and so if you or somebody you know is kind of a space cadet and wants to do a little more than just reading amazing facts, but do a little figuring about what's behind it with, as I say, fourth grade arithmetic, consider this it's on Amazon, you can get it anytime.

30:35 - Rod Pyle (Host)
And I've got a copy and it's very approachable even for guys like me who struggle with our fourth grade arithmetic. Tariq, how about you?

30:43 - Tariq Malik (Host)
No, well, I was just thinking that you mentioned that you had that come out ahead of the 2017 eclipse and, of course, this year we've got the 2024 April 8th eclipse, so it's very handy to get your basics down before that one so that you can understand what's going on Right, right.

30:59 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
So I'll give you an example, the kind of thing the book is about. So a question that could come up is we know that in a solar eclipse the shadow of the moon sweeps over the earth. Could an airplane fly along with the shadow and keep up with it? How fast would the airplane have to go? Well, you can figure that out almost in your head If you know well.

Let's see, the moon moves by its own diameter in about an hour and the diameter of the moon it takes almost four moons to cover the diameter of the earth. So it takes the shadow of the moon almost four hours to go straight across the disk of the earth. And the diameter of the earth is 8,000 miles. So that's about 2,000 miles an hour in the middle. But the earth is actually rotating in the same direction that the shadow is moving, so that takes some of the speed away. So let's say, ballpark, back of the cocktail napkin, 1,500 miles an hour, the speed of the shadow. And you can look it up on a sophisticated website and find that's about the speed of the shadow in the middle of the eclipse and a very fast airplane could keep up with it. But that's the kind of figuring we do in this book. That's supposed to be fun, but you get an amazingly powerful result with amazingly little material.

32:10 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Nice, nice. Well, look out for that, dear listeners. Look out for that at your local bookstore.

32:15 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
It's on Amazon. It's not on you. I don't think it's at your local bookstore, but it is on Amazon.

32:19 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Amazon. There you go. That's my local bookstore sometimes, okay, well, you know, of course solar eclipse has happened during the day, but this is our Seven Sisters edition of this Week in Space, stephen. You know the Seven Sisters Dipliades star cluster, one of the more famous targets in the night sky, as are the constellations themselves that are different star patterns that we've had since antiquity. And what we had hoped to ask you is kind of where the cultural importance and recognition of the night sky from that standpoint, those landmarks that we look to and maybe even take for granted in the night sky, you know, come from. And I think that's a good place to start, unless, rod, do you think we need a break right now before we get into that? I guess we do.

33:14 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Okay, well, since I've been queued up properly, thank you for that. Stand by drumroll. We'll be back in just a moment. Stand by, all right, take it away, charlie.

33:30 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Okay, yeah, so we're back now. And so, steve, that was, like, I guess, a great place to start about the night sky. How long, like you know, where, do names and recognitions of objects like the Seven Sisters Dipliades in the night sky, like the constellations? When did we even start? I guess, as a sentient creature, that humanity is laying those patterns down to explain what we were seeing and why. It's a big, easy question, I'm sure.

34:03 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
People trying to find that out and it's kind of fascinating, especially if you've traced backward from the star chart that is generally accepted by amateur and professional astronomers around the world today. But there are other ways of approaching it. I mean, we've all seen star charts with, you know, sticks connecting stars to make the Big Dipper or Orion or things like that, constellations that are familiar in this generally recognized international star chart today. But there are other ways of approaching the sky that we should include. For example, the ancient Chinese tradition doesn't have a bunch of bright, recognizable constellations but many, many, many little tiny ones that represent offices in the government, and the closer they are to the North Pole or the pole of the sky, the closer they are to the emperor, and in the ancient Chinese philosophy the emperor gets his power to impose order on earth from the order in the sky. So the stars are not the Chinese astro-astroisms, are not to help you find things, but they represent offices in the Chinese social structure, farther from the North Pole, lower in rank, and then you get to say, say, totally different approach in Australia, aboriginal Australian tradition, the important thing there is not to name stars but to give names to dark patches in the Milky Way, and Rod, you know, sent some great information to me and he may have some comments on this on Pacific Islanders and their use of stars for navigation. It's not so much constellations, it's individual stars and how to find them and to know exactly where they're going to rise. So those are some of the many approaches around the world.

But to answer your question, when we look at a star map today, that is the kind that professional astronomers and amateur astronomers around the world use as a common language. We're looking at 88 constellations that were approved in 1930 by the International Astronomical Union and they can be traced back through several periods. You can go back to 48 constellations that came from the ancient Greeks. The ancient Greeks got most of those from ancient Mesopotamian traditions, and so the story of I mean, we can go into that a little bit of how that's transmitted from the ancient Near East to Greek tradition to modern star maps, is kind of interesting. And then there's a modern phase in the age of exploration, starting the 16th century, when Europeans first saw the southern sky bunch of stars down there they had never seen before. So new constellations were created and then entrepreneurial map makers invented constellations to fill in the gaps and that got us up to the 88 that we have today.

It's a really fascinating, I think, and complicated story. I like to say the sky on the map, on the IAU map, is a polypsist, which is a manuscript that's been erased and written over many times. Or or think of one of those bulletin boards on a college campus where everybody who has something to post posts it on top of the previous stuff. Some things are left exposed, but some things are covered up and by the end of the semester you have this multi layered collage of different bulletins and events, and the star map that we use today is kind of like that. There are so many different sources.

37:36 - Tariq Malik (Host)
You used a word to describe constellations and star patterns that I'm not sure many of our listeners might recognize astroisms themselves and I'm just wondering if you could explain. What does that mean when you apply it to the night sky and the patterns that we're looking at there?

37:53 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Yeah, asterism is a bit of lingo, so it would refer to a star group that is not a constellation but is easily recognizable by eye. So, according to, if you were to ask today what is officially a constellation, it would be an area of the sky designated by the International Astronomical Union in 1930, with distinct boundaries that you can look up, that contains the stars of some ancient traditional group. So a constellation is something that would be recognized by the IAU and asterism is something that's useful to know, but not a constellation. So the big dippers and asterism or some major is a constellation, for example. So it's like a semantic lingo, insider type terminology that you shouldn't get too worried about.

38:48 - Rod Pyle (Host)
So it's so that planetary directors can have their own secret codes. So we got 88 constellations. I remember looking for cancer once and finding the area of the sky it was supposed to be and thinking that was truly the most boring constellation I had ever seen. Did not resemble a crab. So the number one that's not boring that we'd like you to talk about is the Pleiades. And even if you don't know anything beyond the moon and Orion in the night sky, when you see the Pleiades is kind of arresting and I assume that's why it became so such a profound thing in Star-Lawr.

39:24 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Yes, it's one of the earliest things described in the sky. I'm looking at my notes here. Summer and Hesiod, thousands of years ago, mentioned only a few objects in the sky, but they included the Pleiades. So and this is a good time to be talking about the Pleiades it's a little star cluster. It's visible from every inhabited part of the world, except Antarctica, if you want to call Antarctica inhabited. It's a little cluster of stars and at this time of year it is climbing into the eastern sky during the prime time evening hours. It looks like a little silvery smudge, like the size of your thumb held at arm's length, and none of the stars are bright, but there's a cluster. Most people see about six in there, but there are many, many more that are just on the boundary of being visible. So it has this sparkling, shimmering quality and once you've seen it, you can't unsee it, and it's going to be, as I say, it's pretty high in the eastern sky in the early evening at this time of year, january, and it's going to be visible all the way until it's washed out in the sunset glow in May. So this is a great time to start looking for it. It's one of the best things, maybe the best thing in the sky to look at with binoculars. Take the time to rest your elbows on something solid so the binoculars are not shaking around. Take time to focus the binoculars so that the stars look like little points and the Pleiades is just dazzling. They're blue, bright, bluish stars and there are so many of them. So it's an amazing, beautiful little thing.

In my many years in planetariums it's one of the things that people asked about consistently when they finally notice it. I saw this little thing. What was that? Or they'll notice it in the planetarium sky. Some people say the shape of the brightest stars is a little bit like a measuring cup that you would use in your kitchen. So people ask occasionally is that the little dipper? And our reply is that would be a logical name for it, but it's taken by another star group. But that's kind of what it looks like a little tiny dipper with a kind of a filmy glow around it. Then you can look at photographs of it taken with telescopes and you see that these are stars that are actually passing through a cloud of dust, a nebulous cloud, sort of like what you have behind you there, rod, and so that adds to the shimmering quality. And when you pick up some of that with binoculars, you can see this faint blue glow around some of the stars so great star group to be talking about at this time of year.

42:07 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I think Subaru even uses a version of the Pleiades as its logo, with all the different little stars arranged.

42:14 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Yes, that's right, and there's a whole story. So this star group, since it's so prominent, every culture has some name for it, and the Japanese name is Subaru goes way back, and so the story is that the company that makes Subaru cars was formed from the merger of six smaller companies, and they decided to adopt that name. So there's a little stylized Pleiades on the little medallion on the hood of every Subaru car.

42:42 - Rod Pyle (Host)
I remember when we were growing up in LA Steve, that I don't know if you're sorry, this is a bit of an aside, but Channel 13 KCOP used to have a contest. They'd give away a Subaru star every Sunday and it was this little hideous two-stroke car that looked like a squashed egg that I think had maybe 28 horsepower or something. They're absolutely miserable. Okay, so we know in modern lore that the Seven Sisters represents a car that Yuppies liked to not call a station wagon because it's embarrassing. But in the past can I assume, like the planets, that the Pleiades had different meanings for different cultures?

43:24 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Yes, so you can look up. There are various places you can look it up. I like there's a free online or downloaded to your computer planetarium program called Stellarium Stellariumorg really very nice and you can turn on different layers of cultural interpretations in Stellarium and see different names for the Pleiades from different cultures around the world and some of them are very beautiful. You know they're princesses or bees, swarm of bees, and in others it's much more. Some of the other names are much more earthy, like a flock of chickens and that kind of thing. So there are many names for it from cultures around the world, because you're seeing a bunch of little faint stars close together and there are a bunch more that are just barely on the edge of visibility. So naming it after hare, after a bunch of children, after a bunch of birds, after a bunch of insects many names from around the world.

44:27 - Tariq Malik (Host)
But the Seven Sisters kind of stuck for the Pleiades and is there like an actual group of Seven Sisters, or was it just? The stars themselves are so beautiful they get grouped like that.

44:38 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
There are many stories about sisters from around the world. The Pleiades in mythology, in classical mythology, are daughters of Pleoene and Atlas. So I just happen to have them right here asteropoeia, maya, tagata, seleno, electra, alcyony, merope. But those names may have been added later because the original name Pleiades may have come from an ancient Greek word that meant to sail, referring to the fact that when the Pleiades first appear before sunrise, that signifies the time of year that sailing can begin. This is late spring. So Seven Sisters that's kind of generic.

I will tell you from my planetarium experience talking to children about this and pointing it out hundreds, if not thousands of times Once you've told children the name, the Seven Sisters, you will never get them to say Pleiades again. Somehow that name sticks and it worked again here today. So it's a great name and I'm totally happy with it. But it also refers to this mystery that if you look at the real cluster in the sky, how many stars you see may depend on your eyesight and on the weather. Most people, most of the time, might see six, and there are various stories that there's a seventh one that sometimes you can see and sometimes you can't. So there are stories about what happened to the seventh sister or the seventh little boy or the seventh whatever, and I can get into some of those if we have time. But anything you can think of, there's a story about it from somewhere in the world.

46:25 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, what the Seven Sisters means to me is I wish we could sell seven ad breaks on the show, but we won't do that to you. But we do have one coming up right now. Stay tuned, We'll be right back, Steve. One thing Tark and I were talking about during the week was you know, every now and then they seem to update constellations. Do you see in the future a constellation Elon or anything like that coming along?

46:51 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Boy, I don't know. It is kind of weird because when the IAU adopted their 88 constellations back in 1930, there were included in there some like Camelopartilus and Monoceros that were created specifically to fill otherwise blank, boring parts of the sky. But on star charts, like what you might have on your tablet or your phone, they get equal billing. It's like the US Senate Everybody gets equal billing. And so I can remember Rod listening to the captain of your ship, leo Laporte, and he was looking at an astronomy app on a phone or something like that, and the first constellation he hit was Camelopartilus and it said it's a giraffe. And he said how do you make a giraffe out of this? Good question. Nobody ever really did.

So, could some of those obscure parts of the sky get other names? I don't know, we'll see. Having seen a couple of Starlink constellations though I think Elon is doing okay on creating his own constellations those things are pretty striking when they are first coming across the sky, when they haven't spread out much yet. That's fairly. You watch it with binoculars and it looks like something marching up to your territory to do something. Anyway, yeah, I don't know about future constellations, future star names.

Now that's a whole other thing, and I actually wrote Tarik a piece for spacecom we still be up there some years ago about star names in the future and that the International Astronomical Union has a working group on star names and they have a procedure. Their thinking is that in the future there are some stars that are too faint to be seen with the naked eye, but they're going to be interesting to people because they have interesting exoplanets, and so they need a procedure for naming those. So Eric Mamageck, an astronomer who was at the University of Rochester before he moved to JPL, was one of the founders of this working group to develop a procedure to select names for stars that are going to become interesting as we learn more about their planets. So that's where it's really happening, not so much in constellations, but in individual star names.

49:18 - Tariq Malik (Host)
You mentioned earlier about how just the Pleiades themselves could look different depending on your weather or whatnot. And when I moved out to the suburbs from Jersey City, I got very excited because at last I was going to be away from the city lights, and how great that was going to be. And then it turns out there's a streetlight right in front of my house, which was unfortunate, and I'm wondering how that relation to the night sky then is different depending on just the light that you can see from these stars in the sky, because I would assume that constellations might look different, like the Pleiades themselves, if you can't see all of the stars that are in them themselves.

50:01 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Yeah, certainly the lights are, and all the distractions we have indoors, we're becoming electrified indoor people and so it's becoming rarer and rarer to go out and contemplate the sky, which is what you really have to do to find constellations, and I'm thinking you know there's really no substitute for having somebody next to you, shoulder to shoulder, to show you where these constellations are. If you're trying to teach yourself from a map, it's really hard. What you can see with the bright city lights are bright individual stars, and in my years in planetariums I very rarely had anybody ask me about a constellation. But frequently people will ask about a bright individual star that they see either when they're driving on a remote highway late at night or looking out a particular window of the house when the lights are off, and they just never looked that direction before. So people are still seeing individual stars.

Constellations are harder, and I do, you know. Another thing we've done in the planetarium is is a strong introductory astronomy courses for homeschool, like junior, high school aged kids and also for retired people, and my experience from those is that people consider it. If you're if I say, your homework this week is to find something that we talked about in the real sky. Constellations are connected, interested people, but it's an achievement to find and identify one star or one planet, let alone a whole constellation. So constellations are. We love star maps. We love star maps and there's a sort of, I guess, mystification about them. But matching those up with real stars in the sky is not easy, and so if it's not working out for you, it's not your problem.

51:55 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yeah, the first night that I found Pegasus without having to look it up. But like I recognized it in the night sky, I was so excited.

52:06 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
And what I tell people is there are 80 constellations. You don't have to learn them all. Learn to find two or three favorites and then find everything else from those. And I would say, if I had to nominate favorites, I would say Orion, because Orion's belt you can't miss, and the Big Dipper because it's pretty distinctive and there's so much you can learn from the Big Dipper and so much you can find from the Big Dipper. Just get those and you got a great start.

52:30 - Tariq Malik (Host)
That's a good list, do you?

52:31 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
have more.

52:37 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Is there a kind of background constellation that you think is not? It doesn't get the recognition that it deserves, that it's one of your favorites at all, oh jeez.

52:47 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Constellation that doesn't get the recognition Cancer, cancer. Yeah Well, coma Baranisis is. That's on the other side of Leo. That's a beautiful little splash of stars. It's sort of the same effect as the Pleiades, where you look a little away from it and then you really see it. The stars are so faint. I used to say my favorite star and I got this from a high school group. Once they're 17-year-old boys and they want to be cool, one of them says slouches back in his chair and says, hey, what's your favorite star? And my answer was a star called Mu Cefi Herschel's Garnet Star. It's the reddest star visible to the unaided eye. It's in Cefius. There's a trick to finding it, but when you look at it through binoculars it's spectacular. It looks like a charcoal briquette. It's like the reddest thing you've seen in the sky Mu Cefi Herschel's Garnet Star. So if I had to nominate a star that deserves more attention, that would be it.

53:48 - Tariq Malik (Host)
I like Beetlejuice because if you say it three times, he actually comes to visit you, right? No?

53:52 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Yeah, and we tell kids on the planetarium. If you want to say it three times, that's your business and they all do. It's great.

53:59 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yeah, you mentioned that the Big Dipper is a really great one. Actually, John mentioned it in our slag chat here. I think that that popular you take the arc to, or the arc to our churras and then straight on to Spica. I think that's one of those early lessons that I learned at the planetarium that I still see and think about and say to myself today by following the handle of the Big Dipper out to see some other stars.

54:27 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Yeah, and the cornier the slogan, the more memorable it is. So yeah, that's a great one. And it also it points you to the North Star. You take the last two stars in the cup and let them point and they point to the North Star and then you can watch how the orientation of the Dipper changes with the time of night and the season of the year and it gets you thinking about the earth rotating and revolving and then you can use that as your home base to find other constellations like the Little Dipper another planetarium lesson. If you have a bunch of children in the audience and you mentioned the Big Dipper, you better tell them about the Little Dipper or you won't get out of there alive. So it's a very handy. One of my colleagues at the planetarium calls it the Swiss Swiss Army knife of constellations, because there are so many things you can do with the Big Dipper.

55:16 - Rod Pyle (Host)
So when you and I were young, oh so long ago, when you wanted to learn the night sky, you either went to Griffith or Edmund scientific supply and got a little cardboard rotating sleeved thing called an astro-rama, which gave you an artificial horizon line, and then you'd you'd move this disc of paper inside it around so you could see what constellations were up that time of night. Or you got a book of constellations, which was an okay way to learn it, although you needed the flashlight to use it, which was kind of self-defeating. Now I can take my, my smartphone and load a program and hold it up that part of the sky and, because it's got the tracking ability, it'll show me the stars and the names and put the lines on it, and all that I mean is that that seems like that would be, at this point, probably the best way to learn these things, and you don't even need a dark sky to do it, which is harder to find, not the same as going to a planetarium Rod, sorry, sorry.

No, but I mean once. Once you've enjoyed Steve's show, then you can go outside and hold your phone up in the bright, smuggy orange skies of Los Angeles or Rochester or wherever you are, and see the constellations where they should be.

56:26 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
I can remember when those when smartphones first came out, when those apps first came out at the planetarium, person after person would come up to me and say look at this thing on my phone. Have you seen this? And and um, you know the, the, the the best of those programs are getting really good. I think some of the traditional magazines need to be worrying because, um, uh, there's great information. They're handy to use, um, I'm I'm waiting to see how good they are at learning to find a constellation. Um, but um, I've definitely recommended to people because most people, at least people who are going to ask that kind of question, have a phone that can run one of those apps. So let's see how that goes, because the apps are just getting better and better. Um, and you know I, you can store your observing records, you can get additional facts, um, so I I think it's great. I love those planet spheres, the ones where you rotate the disc.

57:24 - Tariq Malik (Host)
That's great too.

57:25 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Uh, my experience you've got to have somebody sit next to you and show you how it works or it'll be very hard to get it. It's like learning constellations in person. That's one of those things that I think has to be passed on person to person. But the phone apps it's early in history. Let's see how those go. They're the good ones, are really good.

57:42 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, you're retired, maybe you can hire out as a star advisor for people, uh sure. Or or maybe, you know, for five bucks a minute you can get on the phone with them while they have their app up and walk them through it and they can ask you questions.

57:54 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
I'm just showing them good ideas.

57:56 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Yeah, yeah, I'll take that. I think I bought my daughter curious Georgia's guide to the constellations. That was one of our early introductions to it all. And then she built oh, go ahead, go ahead. No, no, no, she built something. Yep, yeah, she built a home planetarium from one of those crates that you get for the kids too. Yeah, that she could pick which one she wanted to project on the night sky and then see what they looked like.

58:19 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
So Beautiful Fantastic Love stuff like that. Yeah, and that book, the HA Ray constellations. He's got a distinctive way of connecting the stars with dots that other people didn't do but some people really love it. And it's a very clear presentation where he compares a sky without lines and names on it to a sky with names and lines on it, to really he walks you through the idea of what a constellation is supposed to be and how you're supposed to find it. It's really good.

58:49 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, listen before we go. This isn't quite the same as what we've been talking about, but I wonder if you could kind of walk us through the world of meteor showers, because it's an amazing reason to get out of the city, get to dark skies, if you can find them, and do some constellation spotting and, while you're at it, enjoy some meteors coming in, and there's a couple of good ones every year that I'm sure you know all about.

59:13 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Right, right. Well, we just had one of the better ones, the Quadranted Meteor Shower, named after an obsolete constellation, quadrant's muralus, which was dropped by the IAU. But the best meteor shower of the year, the most popular one, happens every year around August 12th, the Perseid Meteor Shower. And that meteor showers happen when the Earth, going around the sun at 67,000 miles an hour, goes through a swarm of little particles left behind by some comet, and there are a lot of these streams of comet debris in the Earth's path, but one of the heaviest ones we go through every year in August. So, the morning of the 12th, the morning of the 13th, morning of the 14th of August every year, especially if the moon is out of the way, great time to set up a lawn chair, dress warmer than you think necessary, because there's not much physical activity involved in meteor watching.

The Perseid Meteors are best after midnight, so what I like to do is go out at like 2.30 in the morning and see if I can make it to dawn, plus, while the Perseid Meteor Shower is going on, the Pleiades are rising in the east, followed by the brilliant stars of Orion, so you have a spectacular sky as a backdrop, plus, in 2024, the moon will be setting about midnight, so it'll be out of the way. But we're also going to have a close conjunction of the planets Mars and Jupiter in that Orion region, adding still more interest to the sky. So I like to say the 2024 Perseid Meteor Shower is the second most impressive sky event we can look forward to in 2024, after the eclipse.

01:00:51 - Rod Pyle (Host)
So I mentioned this on the show before, but I was fortunate enough, completely by accident, to see the Leonids in 1966 when we had that big meteor storm at that point. When is that likely or possible to come back again? I've lost track of the loops.

01:01:09 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
That's a 33-year cycle, I believe. So it was heavy in the late 90s and then we got to wait and see what happens in the 2030s. It's pretty weak right now. So I like to say the three strongest meteor showers are the Perseids in August, and then you have the Geminids in December, the Quadrantids in January. For most people, december and January are not attractive times to go outside and kind of play. Maybe in Southern California, but in a lot of our northeastern type places you wouldn't think of going outside for fun in the middle of the night in December and January. So it tends to boil down to the Perseids. But there are many other meteor showers. I mean technically, for a hardcore meteor expert, a meteor shower is any time when we are seeing multiple meteors from the same parent object in the sky at the same time, so it could be only a few all night, but they are related objects, so that's significant.

01:02:05 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, before we roll this up, tell us about your new podcast, because we're all about podcasts here.

01:02:10 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Yeah, totally different, non-astronomical thing. This is something I've always wanted to do and now I have time to do it. The podcast is called the Forgotten Bookshelf and you can get it on Amazon and Spotify and Apple, and it is readings so interesting, they put you to sleep. Set your sleep timer for 30 minutes. So I, inspired by the great audiobooks, I read for you chapters that are fascinating but completely irrelevant, like a 1943 book on how to load cargo on a ship, or a 1910 book on how to select colors to paint the walls of your house, or there's one I'm just finishing up on Japanning and enameling how to make furniture finishes at home. This is from the early 1900s.

So there are a lot of podcasts out there that offer readings to put you to sleep, but they all say they're boring. My approach is they're so interesting. It's like going off the main road and following this little road that leads you farther and farther and farther away from the main road and you can't stop following it until you're in oblivion. So the Forgotten Bookshelf set your sleep timer for 30 minutes. It's out there.

01:03:23 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Well, and what I like about it is it's not contrived. So I will often listen to podcasts as I'm falling asleep because it keeps my brain busy. But the ones I can't stand are like what's the name of that one company? A calm? They get Matthew McConaughey on there. He's dealing the kind of thing he does and he's talking about. You're walking down a path through the forest, there's a little clearing ahead and it gets gentler and gentler and it just makes you want to reach through it and strangle the guy. So I like your idea. I think it's very clever.

01:03:58 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Well, thanks, yeah, so give it a try. The Forgotten Bookshelf.

01:04:03 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Okay, and while you're at the Forgotten Bookshelf, don't forget to take a look at Steve's book. All right, well, thank you very much for joining us for this exploration of the night sky. It was a lot of fun. So we know that we can find your book on Amazon and your podcast on the usual suspects. Do you have any place else you're living on the interwebs that we should be checking out?

01:04:22 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
You know it's Triton Clichet, but I'm on Facebook.

01:04:28 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Not Triton Clichet, it's just for old people.

01:04:30 - Steve Fentress (Guest)
Yeah, yeah, like us. Yeah, that's kind of my demographic. No, no, but that's the best place to look for me right now.

01:04:38 - Rod Pyle (Host)
Okay, Well, I'll poach you there. Tarek, of course we know that we can find you at spacecom, but you also have a side gig being a video game fanatic.

01:04:49 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Well, that's right, that's right. So you can find me at spacecom and on the Twitter at Tarek J Malik, and occasionally on YouTube at SpaceDrawnPlays. It's all one word. And it's New Year, which means new space games, new sci-fi games. Looking forward to it. Maybe I'll finally start playing that Starfield game that I've been ranting about for raving about for the last six months, built a whole computer to play it and now I can finally, you know, actually do it. So we'll see what happens in 2024.

01:05:18 - Rod Pyle (Host)
The buy guy builds a whole new computer for his game but still has a broken chair that he falls out of regularly. All right, and you can of course find me at pilebookscom, which I'm currently updating, and at astromagazinecom. Please don't forget to drop us a line. At twist at twittv, that's T-W-I-S. At twittv, we always welcome your comments, suggestions, ideas, and at least I answer all of them. I can't say that for my partner, but I'm after him.

01:05:45 - Tariq Malik (Host)
Oh, boom, boom A resolution. I resolve my New Year's resolution. Yeah, who's waiting? Answer email, how about that?

01:05:52 - Rod Pyle (Host)
It's fan mail. When's the last time you got? Well, you probably get fan mail at spacecom. I don't get much.

01:05:58 - Tariq Malik (Host)
It's nice From my mother when she reads my stuff.

01:06:02 - Rod Pyle (Host)
And don't forget to check out spacecom the websites in the name and the National Space Society at nssorg, for our brand new, just launched, needed revision very badly website. Both are good places to satisfy your spaceflight cravings. New episodes of this podcast podcast publish every Friday on your favorite pod catcher, so be sure to subscribe. Tell your friends like us, give us reviews, give us hugs, kisses. Whatever you got, we'll take them all and you can head to our website at twittv. And once again, don't forget, you can get all the great programming on the twit network ad free on club twit, as well as some extras that are only available there for just $7 per month or less if you're just going for a single show. You've heard Leo talk about the tough time facing podcasters. It's true, we're all suffering from it, so this is a chance to step up and be counted. We'd appreciate it a lot. You can also follow the twit tech podcast network at twit on Twitter and on Facebook, and twittv on Instagram. Thank you, everybody, and we'll see you next week.


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