In case you’ve missed it, Australia’s new Bachelor, Matt Agnew, is an astrophysicist and is incredibly *checks notes* smart. Hell, he’s only one gamma radiation accident away from turning into a super good-looking version of the Incredible Hulk.
So it should be no surprise to anyone that when he isn’t charming everyone in Australia or handing out roses to the women on The Bachelor, he’s, uh, helping to discover alien worlds.
Professor Jonti Horner, who was the external supervisor for Matt’s PhD work prior to his ascendancy as the latest Bachelor heartthrob, revealed on The Conversation that Matt’s PhD work is “amazing” and it will prove to be important in the search for new alien worlds.
Now I’m no science or astro whiz so I’m going to do my best to understand what’s going on here and why Matt’s work is so crucial.
The problem for astronomers in this field of alien world prospecting is that they’re discovering new stars, planets and systems way too fast for the amount of available resources they have to properly keep up and analyse.
Since astronomers are forced to work more efficiently, it makes more sense to go looking for new worlds in areas where we know there are planets exist rather than painstakingly scanning every inch of a host star looking for a new planet and hoping they strike gold.
This is where Matt’s work comes in.
His PhD revolves around using computers to simulate planets and systems, thereby narrowing down undiscovered areas of space to places where planets are almost certain to exist. These computer simulations can cover “millions of virtual years” in “a few hours, or a few days at most”, which is a massive resource saver.
So in short, rather than have astronomers looking at space through telescopes and spending inordinate amounts of time and resources hoping to find an alien world, Matt’s work will help narrow down the spots where astronomers should look for new planets and get everyone will be able to get home from work in time to watch The Bachelor.
It seems like Matt Agnew, astrophysicist and Bachelor, is here to charm, give out roses and prospect for new alien worlds. And he’s already done the first two.