NASA's Universe of Learning Science Briefing: Live From AAS 2018: The Latest News From NASA Astrophysics

Moderator: Jeff Nee

January 11, 2018, 2:30 pm CT

Jeff Nee: And for anybody who is just calling in, welcome. This is Jeff Nee with the Museum Alliance. We're going to get started momentarily, as soon as the operator is ready to start the recording.

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Jeff Nee: All right. Hello everyone. Happy New Year. This is Jeff Nee with the National Museum Alliance and I'd like to welcome you all to this Universe of Learning telecon today. Thank you to all of you for joining us and to anyone listening to the recording in the future. Today we are live from AAS in Washington, DC. The slides for today's presentation and yes, there are slides; Brandon was able to get them in time; they can be found on the Museum Alliance and NASA nationwide sites. As always, if you have any issues or questions now or in the future, you can email Jeff Nee of the Museum Alliance at

As a final, final reminder, please do not put us on hold even if you have to step away, because some phones play holding-music which can disrupt the talk. Just be sure your phone is on mute so that no noises from your end interrupt the speakers. And if you'd like to do one final check before you get into things, all you'd have to do is say your name into the phone and we'll tell you if we hear you.

Jeff Nee: All right. Brandon, did you want to hold questions until everyone is gone first?

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Yes. So, we will hold questions until after our three speakers have gone.

Jeff Nee: Great. Then let me quickly introduce Dr. Brandon Lawton from the Space Telescope Science Institute. Brandon, take it away.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: All right. Thank you so much Jeff. Thank you all for joining us today. This is a very special Universe of Learning science briefing, again hosted by the Museum Alliance. So, as Jeff said, I'm Dr. Brandon Lawton from the Space Telescope Science Institute. I also have with me my cohost for today, from the Universal Learning Team, along with me, is Jim Manning. Jim is a science education consultant with long experience as a planetarium director including in a museum setting. Jim, did you want to say hi to the…

Jim Manning: Hello everyone. Good to hear you.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: All right, so, before I introduce our first speaker, I'm just going to go over the first two slides, so, you should see on slide one of course is our intro slide. It has all of our speakers. It lets you know who we are. Just to let you know, we like acronyms in NASA, So, the AAS — or in government period. So, the AAS stands for the American Astronomical Society. It has two meetings — the big one of which is every winter and we are at the big one this winter and there are a lot of news that come out of these AAS meetings and you'll hear some of that today.

So, if you go to Slide 2, I just want to put this out here. We have, as we always do, created a NASA Wavelength list, where you can find additional resources. These — all of these resources this month, are resources that have been released during this AAS. These are all new resources for you. And we'll go over some of them at the end of this science briefing, but you can find them all at that URL at the top. Okay, so, if we go to Slide 3, I am going to go ahead and introduce our first presenter. So, let's see, I also should say that you can read the full bios of our speakers on the Web sites, but as a brief introduction, our first speaker is Dr. Enrique Lopez Rodriguez from the SOFIA Science Center. And Enrique, go ahead and take it away.

Dr. Enrique Lopez Rodriguez: Okay. Thank you so much. First of all, so, thank you so much for the opportunity to show the first (attitude)s with the whole (unintelligible). And also I would like to point out that the three speakers today — so, we are American astronomers, but born in Europe, Belgium and also Mexican, I mean Spain, to show that astronomy in all America, is also a big international field right now and show here.

So, I would like to show the first far-infrared polarimetry observations of external galaxies using the new instrument called HAWC+ in SOFIA.

SOFIA is the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. So, if we go to the next slide, Slide 4, so, we understand galaxies, so, we know that galaxies are formed by — with dust and gas and stars and also dark matter. And we know that stars are formed by a collapse of matter by gravitational force. But we also know that gravitational force, not only is — can not only explain the formation of the stars by itself, but also we need the role of magnetic fields in order to confine the matter and then gravitational pressures — a gravitational force, so, they make the next significant play in order to form a star.

So, this is a very small scale. We also know that dust and gas in the galaxy, all the movement of this matter into the galaxy, follow the gravitational force and pulls and maybe also perhaps too magnetic fields, play some kind of like a role in the dynamical evolution of this matter between the stars that we call interstellar medium. However, this is within the galaxy. We know the magnetic fields is there within the galaxy, but we don't know — we know little about magnetic fields, and galactic scales.

So, how — so, what is the geometry of these fields if they exist on the galactic scale, and why is the dominant physical mechanism of these larger scale magnetic fields. We know the automatic fields are notoriously difficult to observe. And what we do is to see the effect of the magnetic field in the matter in the galaxy, and then from there we can estimate the magnetic field. I will go in a little bit more in detail later on. So, as we go to the next slide, Slide 5, here I show HAWC+, so, in the left picture.

So, this is inside of SOFIA in the cabin, so, you see the HAWC+ instrument, which provides now a new tool to start a magnetic field. So, specifically HAWC+ work in the infrared from 50 to 250 macrons. And you can see on the right plot here, I show all of these boxes and lines represent the different instruments that SOFIA offered right now. This is arrow with the James Webb Space Telescope, it shows the wavelength range of the James Webb and you see that the HAWC+ is not covered by the James Webb at least not covered neither by any current space telescope and it's not going to be covering in the next 15 or 20 years from now.

So, we are actually exploring one specific wavelength range that has not been observed ever before, and also we are using a new serving mode that we call Polarimetry to observe the infrared emission which sample — the HAWC+ sample that (unintelligible) of the dust between 10 Kelvin to 100 Kelvin. Also, we have a Hubble sized telescope in the back of a Boeing 747, which is a 2.5 meter telescope, which allows us to have the best resolution in this wavelength range. And the sensitivity HAWC+ in SOFIA, allows us to study the standard galaxies.

We go to the next slide, Slide 6. I will show you very briefly what I'm talking about for polarization and how can we estimate a magnetic field. So, here in this figure I show the shadow area so, a regular shape, so, let's say that this is a typical molecular cloud. Inside of these clouds we have grains, which is this small regular shapes there. We know that these grains are elongated. And if there is some dominant magnetic field in the cloud, these dust grains align along the magnetic field.

So, if we have some aligned dust grains we can estimate the vibration or the radiation of these dust grains. So, if we go to the far-infrared, what we are seeing is the thermal emission of the dust grains. And if they are aligned, so, then what we can do is estimate the magnetic field morphology, which I show there with the black lines, with a capital B. So, this is what I'm trying to estimate here. So, if we see some specific homogeneous resolution of aligned dust grains in the galaxy, so then, I can see the morphology, where is the detection magnetic field. And then from there infer some evolution of the galaxy and dust grains in the galaxy.

So, if we go to the next slide (Slide 7). Here is show the first results of a HAWC+ in the Seyfert galaxy, M82. So, the color scale that you show there is a thermal emission of dust in the galaxy. So, I show — so, you see some color scale with angular (unintelligible) of 45-50 degrees. This is the piece of the galaxy. So, we are seeing the galaxy as Hα. This M82 is known to have a very strong star formation directly in the center of the galaxy.

And also, we know there exist some outflows that the star formation are pushing away matter from the disc of the galaxy through the intergalactic medium. But we know that by using x-rays and optical images, we know that gas and dust are pushing away from the center. Here what I show, these lines on top of the color scale, is the magnetic field lines. You see it's a polar magnetic field, so, you see some lines in the vertical direction to the disc of the galaxy. And not only are vertical in the disc of the galaxy, but also above and below the disc of the galaxy.

Actually, we are seeing here is that the magnetic field is vertical in the dust and, somehow, the star formation is pushing away the magnetic field from the disc of the galaxy, to intergalactic medium. So, this — that is being pushed away and being confined in an magnetic field and reaching the intergalactic medium..

So, if we go to the next slide, Slide 8, so, we have another kind of galaxy. So, this is an NGC 1068. Inside of the — so, in the center and the core of the galaxy, so, we have Active Galactic Nuclei. So, what we know is supermassive black hole and an accretion disk in the center is creating matter. And this Active Galactic Nuclei is inside of a massive spiral galaxy that we know that has these spiral arms.

So, we hear again, the same as M82 so, we have the color scale is that emission and the lines represent the magnetic fields. So here, what we see in comparison with M82 is a spiral magnetic field along — following the spiral arms of the galaxy. So, what we have here is a flow of dust and gas along the visual of the galaxy, confined in the visual of the galaxy, but in M82 we have it not only the disc, but also in the intergalactic medium.

If we go to the next slide, which is the last one, Slide 9. So, what we did was the first far-infrared polarimetric observations of the external galaxies with the newest instrument in SOFIA. So, we found in both cases, larger scale magnetic fields from two different galaxies. One is dominated by star formation and the other one is dominated by magnetic field conferment in the disc of the galaxy.

So, what we have learned is that in M82 is that the starburst is sufficiently high to pull out matter from the (unintelligible) of the galaxy to the intergalactic medium. And in 1068 we have that the B-field is strong enough to dominate in the disc of the galaxy. From this one — so, I finished with this and I gave — okay, thank you.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Thank you very much. All right. So again, we will take questions after all three speakers. So, let's go ahead and move onto Slide 10. Jim, would you like to introduce our next speaker?

Jim Manning: Yes. Our next speaker is Dr. Francisco Muller-Sanchez, who is currently a research associate at the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy at the University of Colorado Boulder. And you can read more about him at the site that Brandon mentioned. And he's going to talk about another of the presentations that was made at this meeting. Francisco?

Dr. Francisco Muller-Sanchez: Yes. Good afternoon everyone and thank you for the invitation to talk about ourselves in this session. So, I will talk about an interesting discovery that we made using space telescopes from NASA and ground based telescopes, particularly the Keck Observatory, the Keck telescopes in Hawaii. So, we use HST, Chandra, Keck, and Apache Point Observatory, to understand what is going on in this galaxy that I'm going to talk about in the next few minutes.

So, we go to the next slide, Slide 11. I will look — give a brief introduction. So, a little bit of background of our study and why — what motivates our study and why it is important. So, in our current understanding of galaxy evolution, all massive galaxies contain a supermassive black hole at the center, so, these are black holes of masses larger than 106 solar masses..

As probably you already know, a black hole is a region in space in which the gravitational forces are so strong that not even light can escape from it. So, in astronomy, especially in observational astronomy, we understand the process of material that is falling into the black hole and it cannot escape as feeding the black hole.

So, that's why we commonly use the term feeding of the black hole and this is just material that falls into the black hole and then it cannot escape. But in some cases this material accumulates around the supermassive black hole and then it produces, due to the dynamic forces and the very fast rotation around the supermassive black hole. It produces a very powerful and dramatic gravitation that pushes the material that is in the surrounding supermassive black hole. So, this is the material that is being expelled by the supermassive black hole and that's what we called the "burp" in this case, or as we commonly use the term, "outflows."

So, when a supermassive black hole feeds it also expels energy in the form a burp and this is a linear correlation. So, the more material feeds the black hole then the black hole grows and is more powerful and then expels more energy and more winds. So, we go to the next slide (Slide 12). Yes. So, this is the burp I was talking about. So, we can go to Slide 13. So, this is our discovery. It's a double burp from a galaxy hosting a supermassive black hole. It is important to point out that by polar outflows are commonly observed in galaxies. So, these are two symmetric cones of emission or conical geometries. But so, the surprising thing in this galaxy is that we only observe one cone that is indicated in the figure of the old burp.

And we didn't see the counterpart of this bipolar outflow. Instead we take a new structure with some spherical morphology that in this figure it's the case of the new burp. So, this provided the first evidence for episodic nature of the supermassive black hole that I will talk about in the next slide. So, this image shows, as I already said, data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Basically the symmetric cone you can see in the South, the old burp, is HST and in the center we see a strong emission from X-ray which is atomized gas.

Okay! So, if we go to the next slide please (Slide 14). The new — this indicates, as I already said, different stages in the evolution of the supermassive black hole. So, the new burp in the North is moving like a shockwave similar to a sonic boom. And the burp that we see in the South, or the outflow in the South, occurred approximately 100,000 years before the one that is currently occurring in the North part of the galaxy.

So, this indicates that the black hole first was inactive and then, through the inflow of gas, this gas was feeding the black hole, and then it burped, and then eaten up again, and then feasted to consumer more material, and then burp again and produce one the burp in the North.

So, we go to the next slide (Slide 15). Why is this important? Well, there are many reason why this is important. But basically, in our current standard of galaxy evolution, theory predicts that black holes flicker on and off when they eat separate meals. So, there are periods where we we say they are active, or inactive.

So, this galaxy provides the strongest evidence that black holes do flicker on time scales that are more shorter than the age of the universe. In fact there is a discussion about theoretical models and theoretical worlds that they discuss the flickering of a supermassive black hole or, as we call it, an active galactic nucleus. And some theorists say that it is around one mega-year and others estimate like 100 mega-years, so, it actually indicates that this flicker in time is very short, around 105 — between 105 to one mega-year.

So, the next slide please (Slide 16). This is consistent with simulations and this was a very striking result for us — the similarity between the world from these authors, Gabor and Bournaud in 2013-2014, where they show how outflows are produced by a supermassive black hole and they are asymmetric depending on the time scale of the outflow when — as I already mentioned, when it's eating, when it's being fed, and then when it's not being fed. So, the outflow in the South, that is corresponding to the old burp in our observations, we can interpret as a relic. It's a wind that the supermassive black hole produced and now is just fading away and is moving very slow.

But the one in the North is moving very fast so, it's just being created by a supermassive black hole, and it's bright in X-rays. So, it's striking in similarity between our results and the simulations from these authors.

And we move to the next slide please (Slide 17). Why are there two burps here? And this is another topic related to galaxy evolution and our interpretation is that this galaxy, if we go to the next slide please (Slide 18), is actually in a merger. So, this is an interaction between two galaxies.

So, the black hole in the — so, you can see the two galaxies here in this HST image, and the one we're showing you is the one in the South. So, the black hole had two separate feasts. So, as I already mentioned, 100,000 years ago the galaxy in the North was moving or, was interacting with the galaxy in the South, and there was gas feeding the supermassive black hole and that produced the outflow that we see in the South. And then right now, at the current configuration there is still gas that is coming from the North galaxy to the Southern galaxy and feeding a supermassive black hole. And this is producing the new burp.

So, the material was hitting us two separate snacks — [chuckle] if you want to say it that way — leading to two different burps in time.

And next slide please (Slide 19). So, why do we find the double burp? Well as many discoveries in science and astronomy, we were lucky. [chuckle] But, it's not only that. So, we were looking for specific properties of some type of galaxies that exceed the velocity of gas that is not consistent with the systemic velocity of the galaxy, that is, the expansion velocity of the galaxy. And in this case this galaxy exceeded 100,000, actually, 100,000 mile per hour difference between the velocity of the galaxy and the emission lines.

So, we were looking for that signature to discover the presence of a pair of supermassive black holes. But in the end, we discovered this double burp, which is a completely different physical phenomenon, but it is also very interesting. So, this gas was coming from the shockwave from the new burp and we were lucky to still see the old burp before it fades away.

And finally, we go to the next slide (Slide 20). This is another example that occurred actually in our Milky Way. So, in the Milky Way the supermassive black hole had a single burp millions of years ago. And as you probably already know, the supermassive black hole in the Milky Way right now is inactive, so, it means it's not eating — it's not being fed, but the presence of highly ionized gas and gamma ray emission at distances of several kiloparsecs in a direction that is perpendicular to the disc of the galaxy, indicate that in the past, maybe one million years ago, there was strong activity in the center of the galaxy and produced these two burps that are represented in this image. Okay. Thank you for your attention.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Thank you very much. Alright! And we will go to Slide 21 and our last speaker today is Dr. Geert Barentsen from NASA-AMES and a member of the Kepler K2 Mission. So Geert, go ahead and take it away.

Dr. Geert Barentsen: Thank you Brandon.


Dr. Geert Barentsen: (unintelligible).

Man: Brandon, we're having trouble hearing.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Oh, is that — okay. Geert, do you want to come to this mic over here? I'm sorry. It might just be that mic that's not working. We have many mics in this room, so, [chuckle] …

Dr. Geert Barentsen: Let's try this again. Hello everybody. Can you hear me?

Man: Yes. Sounds great. Okay, thanks.

Dr. Geert Barentsen: Okay. Hi. My name is Geert and I work for the Kepler Mission over at NASA-AMES in California. I'm here to talk to you today briefly about a new exoplanet system. And exoplanet systems these days get discovered almost every day. But what's special about this one is that it's the first multi planet solar system to have been discovered by members of the public.

If I advance to Slide 22 I will explain to you that the Kepler spacecraft, which has been launched in 2009, is still operating and is collecting large amounts of data looking for planets around other stars. The Kepler spacecraft is currently executing a mission called K2, which is the extended Kepler mission, in which it is pointing at a different field in the sky, every three months, collecting very accurate measurements of the intensity of the light of those stars in the field over a three month duration. We're doing this to find new planet systems.


However, it takes a lot of effort to carefully go through all the light curves obtained from stars. And it takes a lot of effort to confirm any telltale signature dip signs in the intensity of the light to actually on firm new planet systems. And so, astronomers are really swamped to get all of these planets out. So, if I advance to Slide 23

So, we made a new project called, which uses a platform called Zooniverse,, which is designed to let scientists make citizen science projects. And we used this platform to upload tens of thousands of possible candidate planets which an algorithm identified in the data, including very sort of obscure signals which it isn't very clear whether it's a planet or not because the algorithm looks in a certain way at the data. But human eyes are very good at separating signals from noise. And so, decision scientists are asked to help us identify which of the signals the algorithm found, are likely to be real planets.

On the right you see a figure which shows the intensity of the light on the Y axis of a star and on the X axis it is time. And when a planet passes in front of the star there will be a small dip in the light. And an example of a good candidate planet which you see is shown on the right and that's a real planet which we are discussing today.

On Slide 24 I will explain that we were incredibly fortunate when we launched this project, to try to get the public to help us find more planets. We had the opportunity to feature this project as part of a live primetime television show, which was broadcast in Australia, on the Australia National Public Broadcast, called ABC. And so, we were able to use this TV show to ask members of the public hey, go to this website and help us identify which are the real planets and which is just noise from the telescope.

On planet — on Slide 25, I will explain that this was an incredible success. In 48 hours we had 10,000 volunteers join us on the website and make 2 million classifications. So, 2 million times somebody went to this website and clicked yes, this is a real planet or no, this is probably a bit of noise.

And then you have to do this, because we sent them to a very short tutorial to explain to them what the signal of a planet looks like and what the typical noise signatures might be. So, we found about 180 candidates, planet candidates, which looked like real signals.

So, if you go to Slide 26, a little animation explains that we believe it would have cost us about three years to go through this data set, had we just done it using our small team of scientists. So, the public, in 48 years, did two years of science effort.

On Slide 27, I will explain the discovery which is being announced at the AAS meeting here in Washington, DC today, which is one of the most notable candidate planet systems that was found and has now been confirmed and published in the literature, is called K2-138. K2-138 is a very interesting system. It has five planets which are larger than Earth, but smaller than Neptune, ranging between 1.5 and 2.5 times the size of the Earth.

And what's special on, Slide 28, about this system, is that it's incredibly compact. The innermost planet revolves around a star every 2-1/2 days. And the outermost planets, the fifth planet, rotates around the star every 12.5 days. There are five planets and within 12 days all those five planets have a year, experience a year of revolving around their star. The star is very similar to our sun. It's 10% smaller and 10% less massive, but it's pretty much a sun like star. So, the consequence of these very compact orbits is that these planets are indeed very toasty. Their temperatures are between 800 and 1800 Fahrenheit. So, it's not — we don't think it's a good place to live. That's a special system.

On Slide 28 I will finish by explaining why this is such a special system. On this graphic I show you the orbital configuration of the five planets in this new system. I have the planets B, C, D, E and F, which are the letters we gave to them, are shown on this slide, with the relative size of the planets are accurate, but relative to the size of the star and the size of the orbits, we have actually scaled up the size of these planets by a factor of 50, just to enable the visualization to be more clear.

What's special about this system is that each of the orbits has a certain ratio with respect to the next orbit. So, Planet B — whenever Planet B goes around the sun, Planet C goes around the sun a little bit slower in a ratio that is exactly three to two. So, Planet C goes around its star 50% slower than Planet B. Now, the same is true for all the subsequent planets. So, Planet D goes around its star 50% slower than Planet C; Planet E goes around 50% slower than Planet D; and Planet F goes around 50% slower. We call this a resonance.

And if I proceed to Slide 30, 31, all the way through Slide 34, I'm showing you the exact ratio. And this is interesting. This is the longest chain of planets which we currently know to have such a beautiful, smooth configuration with this perfect clockwork system of orbital periods. And this actually gives us a clue to the formation and the evolution of planets, because we believe that this is not how planets form. We believe these planets must have formed further out in the disc from which to star fomed. And we believe they must have very slowly migrated inwards, to achieve a beautiful regular configuration. And this is now informing planet formation and planet evolution models which I will not go into detail right now, but you can look at the papers to find out more.

I will end on Slide 35 and Slide 36, by just a fun little fact which is that this ratio of three to two is actually important in Western music. It's called the perfect fifth. The perfect fifth in Western music is the frequency ratio between five consecutive notes in a typical diatonic scale.

For example, the notes of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star — [ [singing] Twinkle Twinkle ], is an exact three to two frequency ratio. And so, we have this sort of very musical system, except when you look carefully at musical instruments they are never exactly tuned in this three to two ratio because then the frequencies would beat against each other. And in fact, most instruments in music are often tuned just outside of the perfect fifth. And a lot of people have thought about this, have thought about what is the perfect ratio; how do you best tune your musical instrument to get a nice, friendly sound?

And in fact one of the people who thought a lot about this was Kepler. If I go to Slide 37. Johannes Kepler, who is the famous scientist, famous German scientist, who has done a lot of work in his life, he actually investigated and studied this and he came up with a tuning ratio for musical instruments equal to 1.5 and 1/8 as being a greater imperfect fifth as he called it. And this happens to be exactly the ratio we see in these planets, because all of these planets are not perfectly fifth. They are all sort of an imperfect fifth.

And so, we are seeing this beautiful system which, for some reason, is identical in its orbital spacing as the way in which we tune musical instruments in Western music.

But, all of this aside, I will continue to the summary slide on Slide 38 where I just am happy to share with you that we use the power of crowdsourcing and citizen scientists to discover this beautiful system. It's five Sub-Neptune sized planets called K2-138 which this beautiful, smooth, clockwork-system of planets with a pristine chain of residences.

And this is still — so, the Kepler data is going to continue to yield discoveries and we, in fact, are uploading new data to this project today, too. And we're asking the public to continue to help us comb through the data and find these beautiful systems.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Thank you very much Geert. So, now it is all your turn to ask questions of our three presenters today. You heard very different AstroDiscoveries used, different results, different areas of the electromagnetic spectrum covered. So, there's a lot of good material here. So, please if you want to ask your question go ahead and unmute your phone and speak up.

Jeff Nee: And Brandon this is Jeff. I just want to make sure that you know that we can't tell the difference between interruptions on your end and noise on the line. So, if you notice anything that is …

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Oh.

Jeff Nee: … not in your room, just let us know that somebody needs to check their mute function. That's all.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Okay, will do.

Jeff Nee: Yes. And people know that they can interrupt me at any time. But I have my list of questions as always. And people should just jump in if they — like I never mind being interrupted. I guess I should go in order all the way back to the — to Dr. Rodriguez.

I guess my simple question is, where is the — what is the source of all the magnetic fields on a galactic scale? Because we think about the galactic field, the magnetic field of the Earth as being from the core, same thing with the sun. But where is all that magnetic field coming from on a galactic scale?

Dr. Enrique Lopez Rodriguez: So, that is an excellent question to ask. So, the galactic scales and we know that a — in the small scales within the galaxy so, we know that the magnetic field is because of the torques and the dust is (polarimetric), has some (magnetized). So, after that, can produce a magnetic influence. But on the galactic scale this is still an open question. So, we have some people that think that magnetic fields are created from the beginning of the universe so, there's some kind of like (seed) magnetic field from the Big Bang. And they say is regular. But then because we have a dynamical influence of matter visible in the galaxies, so, then these galaxies are able to influence these global (sub) magnetic fields that exists in the universe and make it to follow some specific dynamic. This is one case.

And the other case is just like the galaxies are able to create the (arrow) magnetic fields based on the matter that they have inside. But it's still an open question that we don't know. But this — the (soods) give us the first step in order to say okay we fuel the first (adexium) of galactic scale in the case of (NGC) 1058 which are confined in the disc of the galaxy but also we have the other case of M82 that only confined with disc in the galaxy but also in the galactic median.

So, this is the first step to say okay we detect it. We see them. So, we know the morphology. We know how — what intensity of the magnetic field. And now so, this will give us the first step to say, "okay, this is a common thing." So, we need to go to different galaxies and see. And different galaxies have different distances from Earth, different age. So, they say that we can go to list of distant galaxies. So then, in that case, the galaxy will be younger than these two galaxies that they show here. And if the younger galaxy show — that they say, for example, show a no-organized magnetic field, that it will give us some kind of idea that actually the galaxies are able to order — so, homogenize somehow, the magnetic field on the galactic scale.

But as I say before it's still an open question that we need to answer. But at least we have the first steps in order to answer other question.

Jeff Nee: Okay, thank you.

(Ideal): Hi. I have a question. My name is (Ideal). I'm from California, for Dr. Rodriguez. When you were talking about the engulfment of energy, how predictable is it? Is it definitely every 100,000 years or are those are the only two data sets that you have that show this feeding process?

Dr. Brandon Lawton: I think that might be for…

Jeff Nee: For — yes.

Dr. Enrique Lopez Rodriguez: Yes. I think that's for you sir.

Dr. Francisco Muller-Sanchez: Yes. So, we can estimate that to — I answer. We can estimate a dynamical time scale of the outflow. Like time at which we see the outflow reaching some distance from the galaxy disc. So, that's how we estimated dynamical time two outflows and this number, 100,000 years comes from.

(Larry Urino): Dr. Rodriguez. Hello. This is (Larry Urino) from Kansas City, Missouri.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Go ahead.

(Larry Urino): I have a question for I think it's Dr. Sanchez who talked about the Burp.

Dr. Francisco Muller-Sanchez: Yes.

(Larry Urino): How much matter is falling in? Are you talking about like one solar mass falling in producing a Burp? How much does it take to produce a Burp? And approximately over how much time do you think feeding goes on?

Dr. Francisco Muller-Sanchez: Yes, that is a very good question. And the answer is that we don't know. So, we just know that the more material that fills up a massive black hole creates more energy. But then the processing which this material is converted to electromagnetic radiation in some cases it's very inefficient, in some cases it's efficient.

So, but we don't know why this occurs that way. In other words, we don't know what is the main origin of the outflows. That is something that we would like to investigate in the future with future telescopes. So, you know that the outhellip; I mean these supermassive black holes, and the structures of massive black holes they are contained in, in very small region in space, and current instruments cannot spatially resolve that region. So, we hope that in the future we're able to resolve that region that surrounds the massive black hole and understand better the origin of the outflows.

But I can tell you some resource that are not from this galaxy because we couldn't estimate an inflow rate for this galaxy. But I have a resource from other brief studies where an inflow rate of approximately 1 solar mass per year, from .1 to 1 solar mass per year that represents an outflow of approximately 10 solar mass per year.

So, in — it's interesting that always outflow rates are larger than the inflow rate. And that just demonstrates that the gas that is — that the outflows are actually produced by gas that is surrounding supermassive black hole and it's just kept expanding in the disc of the galaxy. So, that's why there are always apparently a factor of 10 larger than the inflow rates.

(Larry Urino): All right thank you.

Nicholas Guydosh: Dr. Sanchez can I ask a question?

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Yes, go ahead.

Nicholas Guydosh: This is Nicholas Guydosh from Kopernik Observatory. Is the source of the Burps that you call them, from the accretion disk, or the nebular around the black hole outside of the event horizon, or is it coming from the black hole?

Dr. Francisco Muller-Sanchez: Yes. So, this AGN driven outflow. So, we know that there is a active supermassive black hole. That means that it's a well (unintelligible) supermassive black hole. And that is producing very energetic electromagnetic relations. So, basically we know that from the X-rays that you can see — actually in this slide in the new Burp — the pink colors represent the kind the X-rays and that's very powerful electromagnetic relation.

So, we know that the origin is a supermassive black hole. And the — and yes, of course, it's not the supermassive black hole itself because that's a real (mystery). We're not even like going to escape from it. So, it's the accretion disk surrounding the supermassive black hole and the material that falls and rotates very quick in the accretion disk. And due to friction, and other rotational forces, coalitions produce this kind of X-rays that we observe.

Nicholas Guydosh: Thank you very much. I just had another question for you Dr. Sanchez.

Woman: Yes, this…

Nicholas Guydosh: Whenever — well you said that this black hole began the second Burp because it was — it had the mass from another galaxy that merged in.

Whenever that happens is that a force feeding? Is it just matter around it that activates it into another feeding or how does that work?

Dr. Francisco Muller-Sanchez: Yes. So, this is — so, we can go to Slide I think it's 16.

Nicholas Guydosh: Yes.

Dr. Francisco Muller-Sanchez: No (unintelligible) or pillar, yes, this one. Yes, so, this is our observations. This is a major (unintelligible) image of the system.

So we were interested in the galaxy in the South which actually has like (unintelligible) mythology. And then we found that there is a (rigorous bilateral) in the (unintelligible).

So, we actually didn't know that before obtaining our (HSD) data. So, this is (mega treated) inflow of gas. So, that's how we call it.

So basically these two galaxies are interacting and 100,000 years ago we estimate that the galaxy that is currently in the North traveled past — closer to the galaxy coming from the South and that created the first Burp. So, the flows of gas from the galaxy in the North feeds this massive black hole in the South.

Nicholas Guydosh: I understand.

Dr. Francisco Muller-Sanchez: Yes.

Jeff Nee: Okay. I believe there was somebody else that was trying to get a question in.

(Lisa Pelletier-Harm): Oh no. This is (Lisa Pelletier-Harm), a new Solar System Ambassador from the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

And I have a comment instead of a question. I would just like to thank everyone with this tremendous information, have been sharing with us. We know everyone's probably incredibly busy right now and this is just amazing and thank you.

Jeff Nee: Thank you for that comment and very much appreciated. Just some clarity on…

Woman: Hi. This is…

Jeff Nee: …Slide 18. I just wanted to clarify that. So, you didn't know that the North galaxy was there when you saw the South galaxy. Is that right? I…

Dr. Francisco Muller-Sanchez: Yes. So, we didn't know exactly what it was. I mean this is some work in progress. We need to do deeper analysis in relations to simulate the current configuration of the merger.

And that's something we are working right now with our colleagues that do numerical simulations. So, right now we don't know the exact position and configuration of the system 100,000 years ago.

But that's the number we estimate based on key metrics and extent of the outflows.

Jeff Nee: Thanks.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Okay, I believe there was another question.

Woman: Hi. This is (unintelligible) Center, Solar System…

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Go ahead.

Woman: …Ambassador. And I had a question for Dr. Barentsen. I was wondering about the spacing. The lettering started with B. So, I wondered if there was a Planet A out there as well or if there was a reason to start with B.

And then also on the resonance is the 3-to-2 whether it has been seen in other similar situations or has there been other ratios?

Thank you.

Dr. Geert Barentsen: Those are some excellent questions. First of all the — it is a convention in exoplanet science to start giving the first. So, the first planet always gets the letter B. This comes from a history in astronomy where the binary companion to the star is always named B so, if your star is named Centauri then (unintelligible) B seems to be the second star for planets. We adopted this also. We always start with B and then C and D so, there's no A planet.

Woman: Okay.

Dr. Geert Barentsen: Having said that when we will continue to look at this data and get more data for the star we may end up finding a sixth or seventh planet. And in that case it would be called Planet G, Planet H, Planet I and so on.

Then your second question is, are other resonances like this seen in other systems? And the answer is yes. So, both the 3-to-2 resonance but also different types of resonances with different in feature ratios are very often seen in exoplanets.

And so, we think this really tells us something fundamental about the time scale of planet migration. We think planets form in the outskirts of solar systems. And then often migrate inwards until they reach table configuration and some resonance which can be accretive to but also can be different resonance.

And we need to collect more of these big multi-planet systems to study this more.

Woman: Great, thank you. And what was the piece of music that you used on your slides?

Dr. Geert Barentsen: I think it's — is it Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Firstly, I can't read sheet music.

Woman: Oh okay. Yes. I was trying to figure out.

Dr. Geert Barentsen: I think it's just internal.

Woman: But okay, thank you.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Okay thank you. That was a great question. Just to respect time, I want us to go ahead and move along. I may actually ask just one, if you can all three of you briefly answer this question for me. I know this may be hard but to just briefly.

But if you all could each just say what future missions we'll do in your area of science, what excites about future missions or even if the mission that you use, if there's any upgrades or anything like that happening that will allow you to do more in this area. Maybe we'll start with Geert and work our way down here.

Dr. Geert Barentsen: This is Geert from NASA Kepler. Actually just in March, just in two months from now we are — NASA is launching a new mission called TESS which stands for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. And it is sort of a successor to Kepler.

And what TESS is going to do, it's got a much smaller camera. But the camera is a much wider field of view. And it is going to study all the bright stars in the sky to look for planets on all the nearby bright stars down to magnitudes 12, 13 and so, it's going to be an incredible discovery machine.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Francisco.

Dr. Francisco Muller-Sanchez: Yes. This is Francisco — Francisco from (unintelligible). So, in my field, for my research the most important upcoming telescope is a James Webb Space Telescope that would be revolutionary for the field of — at developing nuclei and revolution of galaxies. Basically we will be able to see a mission live that we cannot detect from the ground right now and also we can go. I'm not sure, but it's like 1000th or 3 to 4 orders of magnitude deeper than with current space telescope. Yes, ground-based telescope because James Webb is going to work in the near infrared.

So, right now although it's our most powerful space telescope that works in the optical regime. So, James Webb will show very new and interesting resource.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Okay thank you. Okay Enrique.

Dr. Enrique Lopez Rodriguez: This is Enrique from the SOFIA Science Center. Okay, I got to choose one specifically because I think that as astronomy we need to think on the multi-wavelength image. So, we need to think as a spectra in order to see different parts of the (ADN).

So but I can think of a few things so, one was the (unintelligible) excavation (unintelligible) telescopes. That would allow us to really research the center of the optical (unintelligible) light. We research the matter surrounding the supermassive black hole in the galaxies.

Then also we think about a new X-ray's missions to reducing these (barometric) techniques. And also in the SOFIA. So, we are thinking on — well it's a new instrument that's being built right now that is going to work in the same wavelength as Hubble but is going to do spectra so, that will allow us to study not only the continuum but also the composition of the dust in the galaxies (unintelligible) or other thing.

So I will say that not only one but in the next 15 or 20 years it's going to be like a huge amount of (unintelligible) that we can use and study different specific (ratio) of the spectra. So we have 13 meter telescope, then SOFIA, James Webb and X-ray too for example.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Great. Thank you. I really want to thank all of our speakers today. So Enrique, Francisco, Geert, thank you so much for stopping by. I want to be respectful of your time so you're welcome to stay with us if you like. We have a few more minutes. And Jim Manning and I are going to just go over a few more slides. But it's up to you if you want to stay. So, let's go ahead and go to Slide 39.

(Larry Urino): Can I make one quick comment? This is (Larry Urino) from Kansas City.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Go ahead.

(Larry Urino): Previous caller asked about orbital resonances. And you might also, just to point out in our own solar system Pluto and Neptune are in the 3-to-2 resonance.

Dr. Francisco Muller-Sanchez: Yes.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Thank you for that comment.

Woman: Thank you.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Yes. So we also wanted to share a few new resources that are out that release this week at AAS. There's some exciting resources for you. This is in addition of course to the Citizens Science Project that Geert talked about so you're very welcome to go to Universe and look at that as well.

So first of all you — most of you or at least many of you may be aware of ViewSpace. This is a video product. It is in around 200 informal learning centers around the country. We are always doing new videos on this product. And you can sign up and use this in your informal learning environment if you like.

I wanted to point out that there are new interactive features in ViewSpace that we'll release this week. There's on the left on that picture you see basically this is a multi-wavelength interactive feature so you can pick the category from Earth to galaxies to interacting galaxies and so on. An example is on the right, M16 or otherwise dubbed by the Hubble images. I suppose the creation in the center is M16 there.

You can see a near infrared and you can see a visible image that is the default view. And then you can use slider bars there to turn on the near infrared view of that area, the X-ray view of that area and so on.

So there's many objects in the universe and on the ground that you can explore. And we're going to be adding to that as well.

So by all means please check that out. There has also been a new visualization released. You can find that on the Hubble site video URL there. This is a fly through of the Orion Nebula with both visible light and infrared light so, the data, this is based off of data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope.

And this visualization gives you a nice fly through of the Orion Nebula. And it's beautiful. So, we recommend that you check that out as well.

So that was Slide 40. If you go to Slide 41 we have the Universe of Learning Program has a new series of videos called Universe Unplug and these are celebrity videos. They are done by our colleagues out at IPAC/Caltech. Their location in Hollywood allows them to get celebrities to do some (across) various (unintelligible) events to get wonderful videos on various aspects of astronomy and STEM and science.

There's one here, the electromagnetic spectrum musical that you can watch there. I would also urge you to pay attention to that site over the course of this week. You may find additional material there.

And Slide 42, I know I'm going through this fast but I want to make sure we get to everything.

So on Slide 42 I wanted to point a new simulation that's been released by our Universe of Learning called the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Chandra X-ray Center. This is Cassiopeia A Supernova Remnant.

And if you go to this URL here you can have an interactive and fly around this remnant and turn on the various slider bars there that you see that give you different inputs on high energy and lower energy and so on. There's also a 360 video I believe that's associated with this that you can use.

And, let' see, finally on Slide 43, there's a YouTube link here. This is actually a special (release) this week that we didn't have join us. But there is a new visualization and immersive tour of the galactic center.

And so, you're placed around the supermassive black hole. This is based off of Chandra data. And you can — it's also a 360 video. And you can play, hit Play and watch nearby stars and clouds of gas and dust. Sort of zoom and fly around you as you inhabit the nice little peaceful place of the black hole there.

All right, and with that I want to move to Slide 44 and I'm going to let Jim Manning tell us about some other things that he heard at AAS this week.

Jim Manning: Yes, in interest of time I won't go into great detail but on Slide 44 and 45, we've compiled on the fly so, please forgive the several typos in. We've

compiled a few little other tantalizing tidbits that came out of the whole universe of interesting press conference presentations.

And if you go to the URL given at the top of these two pages it will take you to the meeting press kit where you'll find a full schedule of the press conferences and the presentations. And the press officer for AAS said that in a day or two they will be including the links for each of those presentations so that you can link directly to the press release that resulted or the results from these presentations.

So you could just see by reading that there are all sorts of interesting things going on. In the meantime if you go to sites like the SOFIA New Site or the Hubble New Site you will find press releases for those findings related to those missions already posted.

And you probably have enough information there to Google your way to other press releases. But they should all be listed on the press kit site in a day or two.

So if we go to 44 and 45, similar here, okay, 46. I wanted to call this one out in particular. There was one press conference which was all about Fast Radio Burst 121102 which is the only Fast Radio Burst so far known to repeat. They're figuring out what it is. But the best bet right now is that it's probably a neutron star in some very extreme circumstances.

But what was really interesting is if you're able to read that little square pattern there, you can get instructions to 3D print your own signature, your signal — the signal profile of this Fast Radio Burst. So, the thing you see there pictured is the signal profile for the Fast Radio Burst. You can print it out 3D if you can read that little bit.

Okay, then the next slide, this was not a press conference presentation but one of the plenaries was at the conference was given by (Neville Lord) Adam Riess where he recounted how he and his team refined the distance ladder measurements they were using to calculate the local Hubble constant. And in doing so, they were able to reduce the error bars around their derived number to just to 2.4%.

And it was fascinating how they did that. The URL there will take you to the abstract and the paper if you would like to explore that further.

One of the really striking things though is that he mentioned that the Planck derived number for the Hubble constant and of course Planck based their number on the study of the cosmic microwave radiation background. Their number for Hubble constant is different. It's 9% smaller.

And he mentioned that there have been follow-up studies for both of these methods of calculation which have corroborated these two different numbers.

So the question is why is Planck's derived number different from the number that they derived?

And the question that Adam posed was that could this be evidence for some difference in the physics of the early universe compared to the later universe which leads to this disparity in the calculated numbers for the Hubble constant.

So I think this was — it was a wonderful example of the process of science and how you learn things and I think it also brought home the point that we don't know everything yet. There's still a lot of things about the universe to puzzle out.

One of the things he also mentioned was that they're looking at even more refined techniques for their calculation which may lead in the future to just a 1% error bar for their number which may further constrain the cosmological model.

But I thought it was a — a result was actually announced last year. But it was a really interesting plenary I think demonstrating the process of science and how there are still things to figure out in this great big wonderful universe in which we all live.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Thank you Jim. And the one thing that I will mention as well that I just found really a nice touching tribute was within the last few year — last year, this last year I believe Neil Gehrels who is a wonderful astronomer has passed away. And NASA has decided to rename a mission that launched intended for the Swift Mission to rename it the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory.

And so, with that I believe we've come to our last slide which is Slide 48. This is where I just thank you all for attending and remind you that we — to ensure that we meet the needs of you, the education community, the informal learning community, NASA Universe of Learning is committed to performing regular evaluations to determine the effectiveness of professional learning opportunities like the Universe of Learning Science Briefings.

If you prefer not to participate in the evaluation process you can opt out by contacting Kay Ferrari. Her email is there on Slide 48.

And with that I also — before I turn it over to Jeff just want to thank you again. And if there are any additional questions that you did not get answered please send those to Jeff Nee and he can work with us and we can work with our presenters to get any additional questions answered.

I thank you all.

Woman: Thank you.

Woman: Thank you so much.

Group: Thank you.

Man: I thank you so much for everything.

Jeff Nee: And of course thank you to all of our speakers and of course for the whole Universe of Learning Team. I know the coordinating of this was a huge effort on top of what you're all already doing at the conference. So, I just want you to know that we Alliance members and Ambassadors, we all appreciate it very much.

And please for all of our listeners remember that all of our talks are recorded and posted on the member web sites. And you are encouraged to share this presentation as a professional development with your colleagues including your education staff and your museum docents.

If you have further questions about this topic either now or in the future like Brandon said, always feel free to email me. And I've heard this multiple times. You know as a science educator it is my job and my passion to make sure people understand this stuff.

So don't feel like there are any stupid questions, right. I've heard that a couple times and I'm happy to answer any question that you want even if you weren't wanting to, you know, ask these people who are on the frontiers of science your question.

But I'm more than happy to help you with anything I can. Again this is Jeff Nee from the Museum Alliance. And my email is J-N-E-E

The next Museum Alliance telecon will probably be February 1st from the Universe of Learning. And we know that Ambassadors are doing a bunch of extra training telecons this month so, we'd like to keep January pretty light. As always the most up-to-date information will always be on our web sites

Have a wonderful weekend, month, year, happy New Year for us and we hope to hear from you soon.

Woman: Thank you.

Jeff Nee: Thanks again to Brandon and everybody.

Woman: Thank you. Take care.

Woman: Happy New Year everyone. Bye.

Man: Thank you.

Woman: Thanks everybody.

Man: Thank you.

Man: Happy New Year.

Woman: Bye.

Man: Bye-bye.

Man: Thank you.

Man: For everything (unintelligible).

Man: Oh and actually let me know (unintelligible).

Man: Mine is great.

Man: Watch up (unintelligible).

Man: Yes.

Man: (Unintelligible).

Woman: And thank you very much.

Man: Yes. It was great, was great.

Man: Yes (unintelligible).

Dr. Geert Barentsen: I like the ones that (Julie) said that, oh no it's (Lucy). Like to talk with those (unintelligible) because she also did the Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star but I thought she would want music. And it just plays out beautifully.

Actually most of us are not well versed. I can't read music well enough to.

Man: Yes.

Dr. Geert Barentsen: Oh that's, you know, I just thought…

Man: You know my slide.

Group: Yes.

Dr. Geert Barentsen: Yes, you know, I'm not stupid. I may didn't think right. But I thought she (unintelligible) talked about. Again let me just double check with her.

Group: (Unintelligible).

Dr. Geert Barentsen: It would make sense Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Man: But it's not because there's somebody else on that.

Dr. Geert Barentsen: Yes, yes (unintelligible).

Group: (Unintelligible).

Woman: Hey Brandon.

Group: (Unintelligible).

Woman: Brandon you can hang up now.

Group: (Unintelligible).

Man: Thanks Brandon.

Dr. Brandon Lawton: Yes (unintelligible).

Group: (Unintelligible).

Woman: (Unintelligible) it's streamed online.

Group: (Unintelligible).

Jeff Nee: If you're ever interested in working with Universe of Learning again either another Science Briefing or all — some of those resources I showed. We use scientific Caltech content accuracy to help brainstorm ideas.

Man: Sure.

Jeff Nee: And that's at our booth, at one of our booths (unintelligible). Okay, that'd be great.

Man: I love what you guys are doing for the science part (unintelligible).

Man: Right. We love this Universe of Learning (unintelligible).

Jeff Nee: Make a movie though.

Man: Yes.

Man: That is so cool.

Jeff Nee: So, yes. So anyways, you're going to be done and you can call us (unintelligible).


Man: Oh yes.

Man: Yes, okay.

Jeff Nee: Thank you again.

Woman: All chatting about (unintelligible).

Man: Sure.

Man: Oh.