Steve Jackson

Steve Jackson

Hi, I'm Steve, I have a physiology degree and medical background. I taught science for 30 years in a Kent school and I have a life-long love of science and in particular, astronomy and climate.

Location London/ Kent

Achievements

Activity

  • Ever since I turned 16 I became awkward and didn't do what I was told. So I'm going to comment on things other than what is asked! Sorry.
    Burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases. Fermentation releases CO2 and when the bioethanol is burnt it releases more. It seems just as bad as fossil fuels but it isn't. Bioethanol releases CO2 but this is...

  • Silly me, yes it was a hydrogen explosion!

  • @Jon, I've found the source, it's actually from OU's Futurelearn course: 'The Science of Nuclear Eneregy'. Here's a quote, it's actua;lly a news report on the TV, but as I don't think the OU would have failed to check the detail:
    'NEWS REPORTER: Do we need a new kind of nuclear fuel? Some of the world’s top physicists are gathered in Geneva to discuss the...

  • @JonLovett Thanks! I'll try to find my source, appropriately it was another Futurelearn course.

  • I believe there have been some significant advances in nuclear technology where the procucts couldn't be used for nuclear weapons and the waste products have a shortish half-life.

  • Wetlands/marshlands. They are great for a number of reason, not least the y are a carbon sink and they protect the coastlands from rising sea levels and more extreme storms.
    Also I'm a country bumpkin who is now liuving in Islington and consequently I've been researching London's rivers and the Thames barrier. All the triburaies of the Thames wre buried...

  • Firstly, stop deforestation. Planting trees is great but very very roughly a mature tree has aroung 250,000 leaves whereas a newly planted sapling has around 25. So for every tree cut down you need to plant 10,000 trees to have an immediate evivalent effect. Planting trees is vitally important but we must do more that will have an imediate effect.
    Over to you...

  • All good points! I would just add a rider that it seems that the population may well start reducing.The phenomenom is being called reduceds fertility but his is a misnomer. People around the world are choosing to have smaller families, perhaps because the world is not seen as a suitable place for children to grow up in anymore.

  • I don't know where this is appropriate but it can come here.
    We have a problem with resources; we need rare earth metals and other elements which we need for green electricity generation. Neodymium (Nd) for instance, is. needed for wind power. A single off shore wind turbine needs over a tonne of the stuff. This element is found mainly in China and to a...

  • Thanks Derek,how kind. But just coincidence , however seemingly unlikely.

  • I didn't read your comment about Ella G before I put my comment above.

  • Wow! I've studied the science of climate change using previous Futurelearn courses and previously I have taught this science as a secondary school teacher and lectured about the same at adult educatuon classes, albeit ast a somewhat simple level.
    My main thought about this video is how gifted Dr. Ella Gilbert is. If she was to present a lecture on climate...

  • The stripes show the extent of the problem rather well. However, there are 2 stripes which are confusing.. There is a marked drop in temperature on or around 1920 and again on or around 2010.
    I would have expected a drop when the pandemic hit rather than 2010.

  • Coincidence is common, in fact extreme coincidences happen all the time. Thinking about terrestial coincidences, they are an inevitable result of statistics. There's pretty much an infinate number of things happening every moment in time so there must be coincidences happening every moment. Some will appear remarkable but they are inevitable.
    I have married...

  • I was going to ask that Dave

  • 'Why dark energy’s effect wasn’t felt before Big Bang?'
    Erm.. how on Earth (maybe not on Earth) can we possibly know what happened before the big bang? How can we 'know' this?
    I'm puzzled.

  • We don't know what dark matter is yet, all we know is that it exists and we know little about the stuff. I mentioned before that I wonder if very small black holes could be at least part of it.

  • Astronomers must think all their Christmases have come at once. Gravitational waves must be like a having an extra sense.

  • Looking at the trace on the detector screens it's clear that the trace gets stronger and the waves shorten towards the end . This must be because the black holes are orbitting each other faster and faster as they get closer as well as sending a stronger and stronger signal. I guess the speeding up is rather like ice skaters spinning faster as they move their...

  • Hmmm, complicated. I think the formulae needed explaining. for instance it would be good to know what the components of the formuae represent. I viewed this video on two separate occasions and it became easier to understand the second time. I have A' level physics but that was 50 years ago!
    I can get enough unserstanding of this to satisfy me. I hope the...

  • I think the existence of matter is down to neutrinos. It seems neutrinos can undergo change and in the early stages some changed to matter and some changed to antimatter. Theory says that equal amounts of matter and antimatter must have been created but it seems more neutrinos changed into matter than antimatter. If this hadn't happened there would be no...

  • This is more complex than it sounds. Many people would just accept the fact but you question it. That's what you should do. Sorry, I seem patronising, I was a science teacher for 30 years and too few kids questioned things. Forgive me.

  • John unless I'm mistaken, and I'm good at being mistaken....it doesn't say they're all the same intensity but that we know how bright each one ought to be.

  • I think it's something to do with the wierdness of neutrinos. I think without neutrinos there would be no matter. which does matter! No matter, no universe, no us.

  • I don't think there violation of the energy conservation law because the longer red waves are just what we see. In a way it's an illusion.
    If I can reference the post below, the fire engine tone seems to change but of course it does not, it's just what we hear.

  • The doppler effect of light waves also works with sound waves. Despite light and sound waves being entirely different they both get stretched. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imoxDcn2Sgo

  • @Robert, the graph shows velocity v distance. As the distance increases the velocity increases... it speeds up. It is accelerating. If a graph of distance v time was a straight line it would show constant velocity.

  • Yes Brian, this also confused me but the missing link with me was the fact that they know how bright a supernova is. I didn't know that before.

  • You're welcome.

  • I think light can be slowed but gravitational waves are not.

  • I'm a physiologist myself. Yes the numbers can confuse and I fear they may have stopped some people following this course. Quite an apparent jump. I taught science at school andI was a mentor for the wonderful Moons course under Prof. Rothery and that has improved my unsderstanding of this stuff. my advice is not to worry about the equations and get what you...

  • Neutrinos are fascination scamps. Thye seem to be very big players indeed. I can't wait learn all about them. I have read quite a bit about them but they are so complicated and seemingly important..

  • The MeerKAT. Trust me, I'll get there in the end.
    When I was a young lad my friend and I belonged the 'Hull and East Riding Astronomical Socierty' and we attened lectures in Hull.
    On one occasion they had a special guest speaker who broke the news of an amazing discovery; a young lady worrking with the Cambridge one mile telescope had observed a Pulsar...

  • I don't understand Brian. The only significant point source of light in our solar sysyem is the sun.

  • They use transit spectroscopy to look for oxygen in the atmospheres odf exoplanets, a fairly high percentage can only really be down to life.

  • Steve Jackson
    Steve Jackson
    12 AUG
    Light intensity is inversely proportionalto the square of the distance. Stars are phenominally far away and galaxies. are unimaginally distant. An example closer to home. Saturn is aprox. 10 times further away from the sun as Earth, so the light intensity reaching Saturn is 10 squared = 100 times dimmer than on Earth.

  • Light intensity is inversely proportionalto the square of the distance. Stars are phenominally far away and galaxies. are unimaginally distant. An example closer to home. Saturn is aprox. 10 times further away from the sun as Earth, so the light intensity reaching Saturn is 10 squared = 100 times dimmer than on Earth.

  • I like it. Also the distant light will be red-shifted, perhaps becoming infra-red?

  • A really good concise account!

  • I assumed that bas we move to the right things are bigger. No logical reason but they usually do with this kind of thing. Interesting zoom

  • Before the big bang there was no such thing as time. From this point onwards the universe grew and still grows.
    We are at the precise centre of the bang with all the rest of the universe spreading out from little old us!
    Mind you, everywhere must also be at the very centre of the universe! This is inevitable as all the universe spread from a singularity.
    I...

  • The term, observable universe. If the universe is expanding and the rate of expansion is increasing then there comes a time when it will be expanding at a speed greater than that of light. Rather we perhaps should think in terms of space expanding. Anyhow surely that meand that the size of our observable universe is shrinking! It's still there but we can...

  • I've studied other astronomy related topics on FL and found them fascinating. I loved 'Moons' so much I became a mentor for the course. This course seems perect for me.

  • I've studied other astronomy related topics on FL and found them fascinating. I loved 'Moons' so much I became a mentor for the course. This course seems perect for me.

  • very interesting content which confirmed pretty much what I expected

  • @MichaelReynolds My answer is yes, sort of; tidal heating can be the source of heat which will support life. The much talked about goldilocks zone is, in my opinion over egged, Mars is well inside the zone but cannot support life (now) as it lost most of it's atmosphere and it's a cold dead planet. Some moons of gas giants where the temperatures are extremely...

  • The news on a pending vaccine against malaria is amazing, wonderful! Malaria is capable of killing half a million people a year.

  • Possibly because the disease is caused by a plasmodium parasite rather than a bacteria or virus? They are animal-like.

  • Wonderful to view this again. Listen all, if you haven't seen the stunning 'Goodbye Cassini' that was aired on 'Horizon' I think, then Google it on YouTube. If that doesn't delight you I don't know what will. Also note the contribution of the great Michelle Dougherty from Imperial College London. I took my wife to her presentation for the Schrödinger...

  • The bomber, did Elvis pilot it there or was that a hoax?

  • Oh it's not so much a theory, but fact. Try looking up Io, the innermost moon. The tidal forces here are just the same as the forces that control our ocean's tides, only much much stronger.

  • Heating on Euopa and other moons comes about from tidal forces which will be explained later in the course

  • Yes Lake Vostock is exciting Mark. Another thing you'd find interesting is what happened after the Chicxulub asteroid hit 65 million years ago, which basically wiped out the dinosaurs and most of the life on earth. The temperature of the collision site was enough to vaporise rock and this is the important bit, the first life to flourish afterward were...

  • The heat comes from tidal forces, Phyllis. Tidal forces are explained later in the course.

  • Thanks Joe

  • @JanCantle Don't be afraid to ask questions and don't be put off if you see discussions by people who are well read on these things and have a scientific background.

  • Steve Jackson made a comment

    I'm back again, I've enjoyed this gem of a course on more than one occasion and I've been a mentor for it too. I'm back to see updated information and generally support the moons course, the best course.

  • I have Charcott-Marie Tooth, a progressive disease which brings about demyelination of neurones leading to muscular atrophy. I am now quite severely disabled. The condition is carried by a dominant allele so it's 50:50 if a child inherits it. Two of my sons have the condition. My middle son is planning to start a family soon and we all would love to eradicate...

  • Cyn, if you get the chance, if the course runs again, I advise you to take the 'Moons' course. It's the first one I ever did and eventually became a mentor for this course. It's amazing.

  • Anne that's so like many answers I had to mark in many of my classes..I didn't teach you did I?

  • Perhaps the main reason Cassini was incinerated was to avoid it crashing into the likes of Enceladus which just could harbour primitive life. If Cassini had crashed into Enceladus, and a future mission to this moon to try to find primitive life (such as bacteria) had shown that life was there we could't be sure that it wasn't the result of contamination from...

  • The fact that the Earth's atmosphere will absorb much of the light is a problem but I foresee a bigger problem. The planet will be situated next to it's star. The star will emit vastly more light than any planet orbiting it so is bound to mask the tiny amount of light reflected from the planet. Moreover early planets detected this way will be big, like gas...

  • In urge all of you to look at 'the Horizon program: 'Goodbye Cassini' on YouTube. It's mind-blowing, important a beautiful. Michelle Dougherty's discovery of the plumes from the tiny moon Enceladus just may lead to the discovery of independent extra-terrestrial life in our own solar system

  • The presence of oxygen in significant amounts in a planet's atmosphere is generally accepted as strong evidence of life. It's the only way known that high atmospheric oxygen levels can be explained.

  • @Mark, the core of Jupiter is hotter than the surface of the sun (due to nuclear reactions) I expect that may be the source of heat energy, not that the high pressures are insignificant

  • Enceladus has no effective atmosphere. It's too small, but the moon doesn't need an atmosphere for life to develop under the ice. The geothermal energy is sufficient to bring about and sustain primitive life. The simply wonderful Michelle Dougherty was responsible for discovering the water plumes bursting from the cracks in the ice. All the things required...

  • How tedious of me I've a lot to say on this stuff. Firstly the requirements of water for life. Although some might argue that other solvents could do instead I do think water us essential; it's not only a brilliant solvent but it has so many vital and at least one unique quality that other solvents lack.
    On the subject of habitable zones, it's complicated....

  • Such an amazing topic. What to say... Firstly I think the issue of 'what is life' is in need consideration. Traditionally kids are taught that for a thing to be living it must do or have all of these things: Movement, respiration (being the release of energy from food), senses, growth, reproduce, excrete, and need nutrition. Many people think viruses are...

  • I believe that finding extra-terrestrial life which began entirely independently from that on Earth will be the greatest and most profound scientific discovery so far. Such life could very well be found in our own solar system on some moons of the gas giants: Jupiter and Saturn. Buried oceans of liquid salty water containing organic molecules are present on...

  • Lovely presentation

  • Steve Jackson made a comment

    I look forward to the stuff on moons' atmospheres

  • By measuring bubbles of air trapped in ice cores before the industrial revolution, it was found that the amount of CO2 in the air was approximately 280 parts per million (ppm). In June 2013, the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory in Hawaii announced that, for the first time in thousands of years, the amount of CO2 in the air had gone up to 400ppm. CO2 has...

  • By measuring bubbles of air trapped in ice cores before the industrial revolution, it was found that the amount of CO2 in the air was approximately 280 parts per million (ppm). In June 2013, the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory in Hawaii announced that, for the first time in thousands of years, the amount of CO2 in the air had gone up to 400ppm. CO2 has...

  • A very useful summary. Thanks