This episode contains a collection of odd astronomical subject matter,
as several of the regular contributors to the series all try to think
of the strangest phenomena and weirdest concepts they've encountered.
Although the chapter list advertises exoplanets, this episode only
discusses the 3 planets discovered around a pulsar 900 light years away
in the Virgo constellation, and goes on and on about how their existence
seems to be inexplicable. Fascinating stuff, but conspicuous by its absence
once more is any explanation how our science detected planets so far away
before we had learned to discover hot jupiters and other exoplanets
through star-wobble or transit techniques.
Though some segments repeat topics that are covered more extensively in
other episodes of this series, pretty much every segment is fascinating
and most bring out new aspects of the phenomena discussed.
Segments on Miranda, Toutatis, and the direction of Nikola Tesla's research
were particular highlights for me.
The segments on neutrinos and dark matter / dark energy were my least favourites.
I'm still too sceptical of our assumption of the uniformity of type 1A supernovas
throughout the universe and their subsequent use as "standard candles" for estimating
distances. If disproved, this could bring down with it theories such as "the big rip",
the ever-expanding universe, and dark matter / dark energy theories as well.
Topics discussed include:
- beer nebulas & alcohol clouds
- life in the upper atmosphere of Venus?
- Planet X and the Kuiper Belt drop-off (Kuiper Cliff)
- The 3 pulsar planets 900 LY away in Virgo
- The pulsar and magnetar types of neutron stars
- Tesla coils
- The Earth-crossing asteroid Toutatis from the
- Miranda, moon of Uranus.
- ULIRGS: Ultra-Luminous Infra-Red Galaxies
- theoretical microscopic black holes
- the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland
- dark matter & dark energy
The exoplanet count was up to nearly 300 at the time of this episode.
from the disc sleeve:
Scientists expose the most bizarre, mysterious, and exotic things in our universe,
casting their votes for the weirdest planets, stars, galaxies, moons, clouds, subatomic particles,
black holes, and invisible phenomenon.
- Molecular Clouds
- Exoplanets (actually just 3 Virgo pulsar planets)
- Dark Matter