You are listening to the Red Shift - your connection to your piece of the sky. I'm your host, Emma Miller!
Welcome in, welcome in, friends! Hello, Stephanie. Hi, Mimmo. Hi, Janoots. Hello, CHRNV. Hello, hello! Welcome in! Happy to welcome our Shifters back this week! I hope you have all had a wonderful, wonderful week. Great to see you all.
We're gonna hop right in to our announcements for the week, which I'm sure have been pretty exciting for you all. You've probably seen some really fun things announced in the Discord, which is super exciting! So we'll kind of go over those a little bit here in just a second. I'm super excited, I hope you guys are as well! And I have something else very exciting to tell you about. First - hi, Jon-Jon. Hi, Janoots. Hello, hello.
So! This past week there was a very exciting article released detailing some of the very real hazards that our astronauts face on Mars, and how we, as Shifters and stakeholders, will be able to help keep them safe, which is very exciting. It's actually a super good thing that we get our weather reports straight from the Isa because in the future, once they get everything really connected between Mars and Earth, for us, especially, our weather report might actually be able to help us to guess when those hazards might be coming up, which is awesome! Helps us to, you know, prepare for any hazards that could come this way. So, exciting thing to look forward to in the future once everything is, you know, connected and works in the way that we hope it does.
Also, there is a brand new recruitment video that's being released by the ISA soon, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled in this Discord for more information about that. Think of it kind of like a trailer, maybe? I know I am just as excited for you are to see what they have upcoming. Very exciting stuff on the horizon.
Now, speaking of very exciting things on the horizon, we have a very exciting week ahead of us, and the reason for that, and for this show being such an exciting, different thing– If you remember, obviously, last week was very different than our standard setup of our show because the astronauts were dealing with the dust storm that was over top of the Mars base. One of our astronauts actually listened last week and was really excited about how much fun we all got to have, so he really wanted to make sure that we got a chance to do something fun this week too, and something a little bit more interactive.
I'll let him put it into words in terms of why he really wanted to do that. That being said, I'm going to introduce really quickly, the astronaut this week is Alexandr Titov. He has prepared something very, very fun for us to do at the end of– or, after he introduces himself in his note. But I'm super excited to share it with you all! I don't want to bury the lead here, but Alex is super interested in the potential of extraterrestrial life, so that may or may not be the topic of our game.
Also, I don't want to, like, call him out or anything, but it's very possible that Alex is actually listening to the show because he obviously knows that it's happening right now, and, of course, he's kind of the star this week. So if you want to chat with Alex in the chat, you can send a message and he'll probably see it in about five minutes and respond in another five. I'm assuming he's here. He probably is.
So, with that being said, we're going to hop right into the message that Alex wrote for us. “My man Alex,” I really like Alex. Alex is great. I'll get into that a little bit more later, but let's hop right into Alex's message for you all. Basically, just a little bit of background information that he wanted to share with you all.
So, as usual, these are words from Alex that I am going to be reading to you so I hope you enjoy. And with that, we're getting into it!
“I am thinking I can use this message to tell you a little about me. My name has come up the last few weeks. I’d like to know other Shifters and for you to know me.
Hello, I am Alexandr Titov. I come from Russia. I am chemist and geologist.
It has been long few weeks. The dust storm has been a big focus for the Colony. Everyone is working hard, stressing, focused. It is scary, you know, the possibility that something could go wrong? Then, I listen last week to the Red Shift. It was five minute delay each way, so I could not play along. But it was fun and it made me smile. It made me proud. It was a good break.
So I think to myself, “Instead of story, I can make game for you to play? It isn’t a training simulation from the ISA, but it still could be fun, no?
So first, I tell a little bit about me, then we play a game!
When I was young, I was always under the feet of my mother. Always getting in the way, my mother always scolding me, “Shura, stop that!” She say “Mila!” - Mila is my big sister - “Mila, I told you, keep Shura out of the way!”
Mila taught me how to do everything. I always was looking up at her. I remember one day when she taught me how to climb the tall tree in our backyard. Up and up we would climb and hide there until it was dark. My mother would hate when we were late to dinner because we were high up in the branches, but we didn’t care. It was fun. It was adventure. It felt like we were so close to the sky we could touch it.
I was always with questions. Why? Why? Why? My mother would plug her ears. Sometimes Mila could tell me, but mostly I would look it up myself.
I studied in– at– Now–” Sorry, I am… I have never been to Russia, so every time I go to say Russian names, I suffer a little bit.
“I studied at Novosibirsk State University for Chemical Engineering. I didn’t like school, but I liked understanding things. It was a necessary evil, I am sure you understand. After school I got a job with a mining company in Siberia, in Yakut. I work for two years there, survey and analysis and like that. It is cold in Siberia, very cold. Quiet, harsh, cold. Like Mars, but all grey. I was very lonely.
The day before she disappeared, my sister gave me a telescope. She made me look up at Luna Base. “Think of that, people up on the moon!”
When I was lonely in Siberia, I would look through it, not on the ground, but up to Luna Base. The thought of people there, high in the sky: it made me feel less alone.
When I was in Siberia, I had an experience that changed me. I got sick and when I was healed, it felt like I was someone new. I realized I had stopped asking questions in those years, and then I had questions again. I wanted more. I didn’t want to go down into a mine. I wanted to go up into the stars.
I became a Cosmonaut, and then finally came to work for the ISA.
My sister’s telescope, I used to call it my Xenoscope. Xeno means, “other or different.” Scope meaning to “look at.” It was a way for me to look out at these others and feel like I was connected to them in some way. The Earth is big place, but life is so much bigger than it. There are always others to look at.
Using my xenoscope to see Luna Base made me feel connected to something bigger than myself, than this planet, than just humanity as it is. I look up and think of the many possibilities for the future. It gives me hope. Now I am here, looking back at you - yes, you, right now! There is a telescope on the base, I can see the city where Emma is speaking.
It makes me happy to think maybe you can use your xenoscope to see me too, up here on Mars. We are connected, yes? Maybe with our xenoscopes, we never have to feel lonely again - what do you think?
Now you know me. Now you know to look for me when you look at Mars, yes? I’ll be up here! But also, I will be listening with you to see how you do on my game. I hope you enjoy. Thank you for letting me share this week.”
Oh, so exciting! I loved getting an opportunity to not only get this letter from Alex this week, but I actually got a chance to talk to him, which pretty much fulfilled a dream of mine that I didn't know that I had, and, I'll be honest, and I'm sure I will regret saying this - I might have a bit of a crush, if I'm being honest.
I will say, though, it was a little bit weird having a conversation back and forth with somebody on a five minute delay. I mean, imagine - you say something, it takes five minutes for what you say to get to them, they say something back, and five minutes back. Imagine waiting ten minutes for a simple, like, ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. It was… kind of wild. But really cool! So I'm personally thrilled that he liked the format from last week, and I'm really thrilled that he wanted to come up with this game for you all this week.
Before we get right into it, though, we do have to get a word from our sponsors and our weather report. So we're going to do both of those things, and then I hope you all are ready for the best game we're going to play all day. Maybe all week. It's gonna be a great time! Let's hop into our other messages. So, first, our message from our sponsor!
On Earth, we are always looking forward to the next advancement in our vehicles and excited to see what features the new models have. Now, Mars doesn’t have to be any different. At the New Vehicle Lab located in Tokyo, Japan, some of the ISA’s most brilliant minds are developing the newest evolution of vehicles to be used by our astronauts up on Mars. Whether it be making them safer, more durable, or more efficient, our scientists are sure to pave the way for the next generation of inter-planetary transit.
The New Vehicle Lab is best known for their groundbreaking design of the Mars Rover which provides unparalleled safety features along with state of the art technology to ensure that our ISA astronauts on Mars are able to do their work with ease - all while looking cool in the most high tech buggie ever to be designed for off-planet use.
If you have ever wanted to become a part of the team that is helping to design some of the most futuristic transports that will carry or support the astronauts at the Mars base, or if you simply have a passion for helping to shape the future of vehicles, the New Vehicle Lab is the place for you!
And now the weather! So, the dust storm over the Mars base is essentially over, with some lingering effects. Winds are gusting from 170 degrees E of N with higher variability than usual, currently with speeds from 5 m/s to 20 m/s, which is about 15 to 70 km/h. Pressure is around yearly average at 625 pascal. Atmospheric opacity remains somewhat variable, it’s improving but still high, from about 0.7 to about 1.0, averaging 0.90. Temperatures will be on the cool side for this time of year, expecting lows of -105 C to a balmy high of -10 C but expect significant warming to follow.
Brr indeed, Ais! I can't even imagine, it's so cold. Also, I agree, Joon-Jon, the sponsorship messages are fantastic! Doesn't it make you want to just, I don't know, do all of it? I just want to be a part of every one of these labs and go through all of their training processes, it's so exciting.
So, with that being said, the questions that we're gonna go through. So the way that this game is going to work, just to give you, I guess, a little bit of background. When Alex and I were talking this past week, he essentially was trying to think of something that he wanted to make into a game, so he and I talked a lot about his love for the ways that the people on Earth tried to make contact with extraterrestrial life. So he basically pulled this information from, you know, random bits of trivia he picked up and also things that he learned, like, cool things that he learned in school, which is pretty awesome, and then I spruced it up a bit because that's my job! So we worked together to make this a super fun game for all of you.
The way that it will work is, for each of the five questions, I will give you a little bit of background information, a little bit of just fun knowledge for you to have, and then we will get into an ABC, or multiple choice, question. Our lovely Stephanie will be posting a post in the ISA-comms channel with an A, B, and C emote that you can click on so that you can vote on which ones you think is the correct answer and after an allotted period of time, once I think all the votes are in, I will give you the answer.
Now, at the end of all of this… Very exciting! Anyone who participates, of course, gets the Shifter role in Discord, which is very exciting, I know. I'm super excited for all of you. And, additionally… Hi, Martian, how's it going? I was wondering if I would see you here. Hello. And everyone also gets 500 XP for being involved.
And look, there's a message from Alex! I told you he'd be listening! Alright. Are you all ready? Are you excited? You think you guys can best me in trivia? We'll see… I'm really excited. So, let's hop in to question number one:
The son of a philosopher and grandson to a grammarian, Charles Cros, born in 1842, grew up to be a well known French Poet and inventor. He had a brilliant mind and humorous wit which made him well liked and well-regarded in the society at the time. When he wasn’t working on his poetry, he put his mind to his inventions and is credited with almost inventing both color photography and the phonograph. Cros’s proposal for the phonograph was sent to… Oh, did I say “phptograph”? I definitely meant “phonograph”. Well, and the phonograph. Cros’s proposal for the phonograph was sent in 1877 to the Academy of Sciences in Paris and presented publicly in December of that year - but before Cros had a chance to make good on his proposal, Thomas Edison introduced his phonograph in January of 1878 - supposedly completely free of any influence from Cros’ work.
Cros, like many others, was convinced that there was likely life outside of Earth and believed that life could be found on planets like Mars and Venus, so he wanted to find a way to communicate with these planets and he made a proposition to the French government. What was his proposition?
Was is A - to send sound waves through giant phonographs in the direction of the planets?
Was it B - to utilize a huge mirror on earth to etch giant lines into other planets as a way to communicate?
Or was it C- to carve perfect geometric shapes into the Sahara desert, fill them with oil, light on fire so they could be seen from Mars?
What are we thinking? Giant phonographs, a huge mirror on Earth to etch lines in the planets, or to carve perfect geometric shapes in the Sahara Desert? Alright, now is your chance to vote so make sure that you click on a, B, or C in the ISA-comms channel under Stephanie's Post.
Alright, it looks like we have all of our guesses, so it looks like the most guessed answer is A - giant phonographs… But the correct answer is B! Cros’s proposal to the French government, which he spent years petitioning for approval on, was to and build massive mirrors that could burn symbols into large expanses of Mars and Venus as a way to communicate with the natives on the planet, which is really not very good neighborly behavior - to just burn lines into, you know nearby planets, but it's fine.
He was convinced that small pinpoints of light that they had observed on both planets actually signal the presence of cities on those celestial bodies, kind of like the way that light pollution can be seen from space now on Earth. Honestly, though, they were most likely just clouds in the atmosphere illuminated by the Sun.
I do want to point out, though, this is a fun fact, the answer C that sounds so insane, that “carving or perfect geometric shapes in the Sahara Desert, filling them with oil, lighting them on fire,”well, that's a real thing that actually happened. Joseph Johann Littrow, who was the director of the Vienna Observatory, proposed doing exactly that - using the Sahara Desert as a canvas for transcribing perfect circles, right triangles and other geometric forms large enough to be visible from space. His plan is to dig out those giant trenches in the shapes of the figures, fill them with water and oil, and then light them on fire so that any extraterrestrials looking down at the planet would see the shapes, which is… I don't know, I think that's a pretty, uh, wild, wild idea, right?
Well, congratulations to whoever it was who had guessed B. I know that it wasn't ten people who had guessed B initially, but great guesses. Great guess, everyone.
Alright, we're getting on to question number two, I hope you are all excited.
Carl Freidrich Gauss was a well known and well respected 19th century mathematician and physicist.
Gauss is known for inventing a heliotrope in 1818, which is a device that reflected sunlight across far distances. It was typically used to mark participants in a land survey and was a huge benefit for many. So, essentially, they would stand in one spot and they would use the heliotrope to reflect light, it would kind of reflect at somebody else, and they would see where they were standing. So that was a huge benefit for the heliotrope.
One of his other most notable contributions to the field of astronomy came in the form of the first asteroid, which is now considered a Dwarf Planet, not to confuse anybody, called Ceres. The asteroid had previously been discovered by an Italian astronomer named Giuseppe Piazza, but Piazza was unable to track the planet for a long enough span of time to actually understand what he was seeing. Gauss tackled this problem and was able to create a new method to track the movement of the asteroid.
In his later years, he was also interested in the idea of contacting life off of planet Earth, if it existed. To do so did he suggest:
A - carving a giant drawing of a right triangle and three squares on the surface of Earth to show aliens we understand geometry and mathematics?
Was it B - suggested shining light through a heliotrope to signal inhabitants of the Moon?
Or was it C - both of the above?
Now is your chance! Let's see your answers… Ooh, this one's very split, like, almost perfectly down the middle. I'm impressed.
I like the thinking emote. I feel it. Alright, it looks... Oh, we're still getting some answers…
You're all doing a great job! Alright, I think you're going to call it there. So if you guessed C, you were correct. It was both of the above. Gauss made two suggestions into how humans could signal to any extraterrestrials that would look down at our planet. The first was to draw a huge right triangle comprised of three squares that would represent the Pythagorean theorem, which is (a^2+b^2=c^2), into the ground.
The proposal was to make this a full 10 miles wide. The plan was to actually carve out this triangle out of forests, for instance, and make the squares with wheat fields. This idea was essentially that, you know, aliens would look down and see that we were intelligent and want to… come… hang out. Ten whole miles! I know, Stephanie. A crazy, crazy large number.
The second suggestion, which was to shine light through a heliotrope, was also one that he suggested. Effectively, they were going to utilize the heliotrope to simply signal inhabitants of other planets, or celestial bodies, like the Moon, that there were people on Earth. So instead of using the heliotrope to point at one another in a land survey, it would be to point upwards at a planet. However, neither proposal ever actually came to fruition.
Well done, well done, proud of you all! Who got C? Great guesses, great guesses. Let's move on to question number three…
Astronomer and physicist Edward Charles Pickering, not to be confused with his brother, astronomer William Henry Pickering - the Pickerings really liked large names, eidently - was most well known for his discovery of spectroscopic binary stars, which is different than visual binary stars, and I'm just going to say to all of you, because I'm not going to get into it, if any of you can describe to me the difference between a spectroscopic binary star and a visual binary star in the chat, I will make sure you get extra XP because it's a little over my head.
With that being said, Pickering was the head of the Harvard Observatory in the 1900s. During that time, he pitched an idea for signaling extraterrestrials that would cost approximately $30 million, or, sorry, $300 million today. The idea was to create a giant mirror powered by his own power plant - or, its own power plant - to reflect signals back at Mars in order to intercept any communication from the planet. While this proposal was not accepted, it was during this time that Pickering made one of the most influential decisions of his career. What was that choice?
Was it A - making Harvard University invest in radio?
Was it B - giving a young Nikola Tesla his very first job in America?
Or was it C - hiring a team of exclusively women to process the astronomical data in the Observatory?
Let's see those guesses!
Janoots, I really like that gif. It made me stumble over my words. [Emma laughs] I like it a lot.
Alright, so, again - is it investing in radio? Is it giving a young Nikola Tesla his first job in America? Or is it C - hiring a team of only women to process the astronomical data in the Observatory?
“Spectroscopic stars are observed through changes in velocity/movement, the velocity redshifts/blueshifts the spectral lines of the star… not sure if that makes any more sense to people though”... “A binary star is a system of two stars that are gravitationally bound to and in orbit around each other. Binary stars in the night sky are seen as a single object in the naked eye and are often resolved using a telescope”... Okay, wait, we'll come back to this in just a second. Thunder, I appreciate you both looking into it. I'll take a look in just a second. First, let's find out the answer to our question number three! I appreciate the enthusiasm though.
Alright, it looks like we have a pretty even split again, so… The correct answer is… C! Pickering hired a team of exclusively women who came to be known as the Harvard Computers. Though they were severely underpaid by comparison to their male counterparts, the Harvard Computers made huge strides in processing the data and increasing the capacity of the Observatory, while also paving the way for more women in science. So despite the being severely underpaid, they did do a phenomenal job at improving the Observatory's capacity, which is pretty exciting. And that came from, initially, his whole desire to contact extraterrestrials, which is pretty fun.
Well, congratulations if you guys got numbers– Or, not “number C,” if you guessed letter C. Very proud of you. Let's move on to question number four, and I promise we will circle back to understanding binary stars in just a second.
Alright, question four. Back in 1909, modern technology was just starting to be developed. With a newly developed wireless communication technology called ‘radio’ growing across the United States, there were many theories about what could be done with this new advancement. The Modern Electrics Journal had one such idea - to use wireless communication technology to contact any extraterrestrial neighbors that we may have on Mars.
They predicted that it would become possible for every wireless station across the continent of North America to be connected to one central location located in Lincoln, Nebraska. By connecting all of these stations, they believed that they would be able to amplify the signal sent out by this one central location and send it out into space to make contact with aliens. What was the astonishing amount of radio power that they believed this would gather that would allow them to achieve such a feat?
Was it 1.2 kW? Was it… That was A. A - 1.2 kW.
Was it B - 150,000 kW?
Rr was it C - 70,000 kW?
I like that gif. From a great movie! A very, very old movie, but a very good movie. Gosh, I think that was even before my mom's time... No, it must not have been before my mom's time. I think she was quite young when that movie came out.
Alright, let's see - 1.2 kW. 150,000 kW or 70,000 kW?
Alright, it looks like we have a pretty clear front runner here… Alright, I think we're going to call it. No more changing your answers! So the answer is… C, 70,000 kW. This was a tremendous and hugely ambitious amount of power for the time.
To give you a little bit of context, the most powerful radio stations today are about 2000 kW. And today, in 2037, the total transmission of all cell towers, all of them, is 70 000 000 kW. So it was a huge amount of power for the time.
Also, just to tell you, 1.2 kW is what you need to run a toaster, I just thought that was funny. Also, I had a feeling that we would get to use that lovely gif, so… Happy we could do that. Great gifs.
Alright, this is our final question. Are you excited? Are you ready? You got this? “I'm toasted,” I like that. Alright, our final question.
Famed Serbian-American inventor and engineer, Nikola Tesla, was well known for his advancements in the scientific field. Some of his most notable contributions were the discovery of the rotating magnetic field…. The rotating magnetic field, which became the building block onto which most alternating current machinery was made. To put it simply, an alternating current machine is a machine that utilizes a shifting magnetic field to create electrical energy for the machine to work. This huge breakthrough helped to shape the energy industry forever.
Additionally, Nikola Tesla was known for creating the Tesla coil. The Tesla coil is an induction coil that consists of a cylindrical sphere, or cylindrical cone core… cylindrical core of iron around which insulated coils are wrapped. This device helps to produce an intermittent source of high voltage electricity which subsequently was used in the production of radios and televisions.
Beyond his incredible genius when it came to inventing, Tesla was a bit of an eccentric of his time and believed that he had been contacted by extraterrestrials, going so far as to detail his specific close encounter with papers of the time.
So, what was the experience that Nikola Tesla believed to be a communication from extraterrestrials?
Was it A - three taps at a fixed interval on a radio?
Was it B - a strange shift in the magnetic field he was watching?
Or was it C - the sight of an unidentified flying object, or a UFO?
I think this honestly is one of my favorite stories. I had no idea about this until Alex mentioned it this past week, and it made me laugh a lot.
There are so many gifs for every possible option, it's fantastic. I like that, MaDAleN.
Alright, so was it A - three taps at a fixed interval on the radio? Was it B - a strange shift in a magnetic field he was watching or C - a UFO?
We are pretty tied between A and B… Alright, get your final answers in! Alright, the correct answer is.... A - three taps at a fixed interval on the radio.
Tesla believed that the extraterrestrials contacted him through three mysterious ‘fairy taps’ as a fixed interval on the radio receiver that he was sitting beside. At one point later in his life, the Red Cross interviewed him and asked him what mankind's greatest achievement could be in the next century and his response was that he felt that he may have already achieved it by receiving this message from another world. So those three perfectly timed taps were all he needed to feel that this was the most important achievement of mankind in the next century. That… That gif is very funny, Chris, I like that a lot. That's fantastic. Very fitting. I can only imagine that that's exactly what was tapping on the other side.
And with that, that concludes our quiz. You all did so phenomenally well! That was incredibly impressive, I am so proud of you all. Great job! That was great! Of course, Shiny, of course! Thank you all for participating and playing with it!
We do have a couple of minutes if you guys have any, like, extra questions or any thoughts. I also am just generally curious. What do you think? Do you guys think that there is intelligent life out there, outside of Earth? I know for me, I am firmly of the belief that somewhere out there, somewhere out in the universe is… there has to be right? There has to be somewhere out there. “Intelligent life on Earth, are you sure?” Stephanie… That’s fair. Did I say intelligent life on Earth? I mean off Earth, or outside of Earth. “Probably, maybe in the past or in the future,” that's… Oooh, that’s interesting. I think that there's, just, personally, I think there's no way that in an ever-expanding universe and in a... It just doesn't seem possible that this could only happen once, you know? But that could just be me. That kind of seems like we are all maybe in agreement, or a lot of us are in agreement.
It's okay, by the way, if you only got one question right. For playing the game you're still going to get XP and you're still of course going to get the Shifter role if you didn't already have it. Very exciting times!
And! And, for our two who gave me a good answer about those binary star systems, the difference between spectroscopic stars - or, spectroscopic binaries - and visual binaries, so Thunder and CHRNV, I'll make sure that you guys get some extra XP for having put in some effort there. Fantastic!
Well, with that being said, I think we're probably going to wrap it up here. Thank you all so much for hanging out this week. I hope you enjoy all the wonderful announcements from the ISA, I can't wait to watch that new video with all of you! Thank you all for hanging out. Thank you, thank you, my friends, and I will see you all next week!
Thanks for hanging out! Bye!