Q&A: Measuring a Black Hole’s Spin and more. Featuring Andy Weir Author of the Martian

In this week’s question show, Fraser explains how astronomers measure the spin rate of black holes, other uses of gravitational slingshots, and why everyone is talking about Patreon.

Links I mentioned:
Astronomy Cast – http://www.astronomycast.com
Andy Weir – http://andyweirauthor.com/
Weekly Space Hangout – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMPZpa08LoY

What Fraser’s Watching Playlist:

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Team: Fraser Cain – @fcain / frasercain@gmail.com
Karla Thompson – @karlaii / https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEItkORQYd4Wf0TpgYI_1fw
Chad Weber – weber.chad@gmail.com
Chloe Cain – Instagram: @chloegwen2001

1:11 Mysterious Nepal: u idiot make this video as exactly the article I have read ?!

3:10 Mycll d.D: Whjat does it mean for a black hole to spin? How can it have a speed when the singularity has zero radius? All of its mass is concentrated into zero volume, right?

4:57 RockawayCCW: Just curious, what’s the maximum speed that a spacecraft could achieve by slingshotting around the planets in our Solar System?

6:39 M M: Great video Fraser. Is robbing orbital speed from a planet always done with the spacecraft coming from behind it? Could we slow down if we can from the front?

8:09 Chad Baptiste: Oh man! I just thought of a dope question! Hopefully it makes it into your next QA. What resolution of detail would the Hubble Telescope be able to pick up were it pointed to Earth? Is it like Google Maps detail, or CSI’s “zoom and enhance!” detail?

9:40 jonfarray: Hi Fraser, I’m awesome inspired by your QAs. I have a Q that I would love you and your communities thoughts on. As the only known observers, what are we? Are we bags of meat? Bags of star dust? A body with a brain? A brain with a body? A spirit in a vessel? A single organism or a sentient community of organisms? I’m trying to keep my question short, but I guess I’m asking, what are we and what is the meaning of life please? Could it be to the observer? Thanks!

12:01 Grimbot2: If the Moon could be safely placed on Earth’s surface, what would happen? Would it roll across the surface as the Earth rotates or would it sink through Earth’s crust?

13:14 Paul Clifford: “head over to Patreon” is mandatory in every YouTube video now huh?

15:31 Ivaca Pavic: Why do you always say “in pretty much” every black hole? Does that mean there are galaxies detected without supermassive black holes in the center? What holds those galaxies together then?

16:28 khh1960: When using the transit method to detect exoplanets, how do they determine the size and orbital distance of the planets just by the amount of lost luminosity?

17:58 M.Otto: Wouldn’t a water shield a few meters thick be cheaper

19:36 joethepro36: Glad to hear it, without moon landings, Mars is a pipedream. The only question I have is if the Moon is suitable as a staging base? What do you think Fraser?



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