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Thread: Astronomy

  1. Default Astronomy

    This might sound nerdish and weird of me (since I don't think I have seen a subject like this posted and hope it's in the right place), but one of the subjects that I've always found interesting is astronomy. From all of the theories, mysteries, discoveries, events, and whatnot that comes out of it, I just find it fun to learn and chat about it. I'll be honest, one of my favorite past times is to stargaze and look at planets with a telescope. There are a lot of resources, videos, and whatnot out there about it... Of course, I haven't seen or read about all of them, but feel free to share. Sorry if you seen this stuff already, but I'll just post a few things to get this started for those interested.

    Voyager 1 is the farthest man-made object from Earth and is still traveling out there since its launch in 1977. It is expected to stop in 2025, but until then it is collecting and transmitting data back to Earth. As of today, it has left the solar system almost 2 years ago; the distance of it is about 127.14 AU (1.90210^10 km), and takes over 17 hours for the data to reach Earth. Besides various instruments used to collect and transmit data, it also has a gold plated record on board. From wikipedia:
    I guess they were a bit optimistic in thinking it would be found by aliens, or if future earthlings find it first? There are probably sources where you can find all of the exact contents being stored on the record.

    This is a screenshot off of a video I found and cropped. It is said that the Andromeda Galaxy is headed our way and is going to collide with the Milky Way Galaxy in a few billion years. This is a simulation or a prediction in what it would look like at that time when viewing it from Earth. It looks cool, but a bit scary even though we won't be alive long enough to see this happen.

    A few random videos,

  2. Default Re: Astronomy

    I used to love reading stuff about space when I was 8, had loads of big books that I'd just browse all day, and even wrote reports on the different planets of the solar system.

    Should probably get back into the habit of it but yea it is really interesting just how much stuff is out there, one of my greatest wishes would to be able to visit all those weird planets (andnotdiehorriblyfromtheatmosphericconditions) but I know i wont be able to because technology probably wont get as far in my lifetime.

  3. Default Re: Astronomy

    And these are several of the reasons I am studying physics and plan to go into astronomy/astrophysics in graduate school.
    We've most likely already had contact by an alien species (water/liquid-based breathing instead of air) in my opinion.

  4. Spirit of the Arrow Bi Female
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    Default Re: Astronomy

    My lady is a HUGE RAGING NERD with astronomy. We've gone stargazing several times and I've seen some pretty cool things through her telescope (like Jupiter's tiny moons!). The Moon up close through a telescope is probably the coolest thing I've ever seen.

    She even named her telescope Sally, after Sally Ride.

    Needless to say, my interest in astronomy has peaked quite a bit in the last few months.

    Saturn also happens to be my favorite planet for several reasons.

  5. Default Re: Astronomy

    Astronomy is very interesting, I wish I could go stargazing myself or even see stars with the naked eye.
    Unfortunately, there are too many city lights around which make it hard to see those stars or (possibly) planets.

  6. Default Re: Astronomy

    Human perception is silly like that ^^. What looks small, far away, slow moving, and dim in the outer sky is pretty much the opposite when it comes much closer. Nothing else really changes. It is said that the human naked eye can see up to about 2.5 million light-years away, but you can't really make out what you're seeing without a good telescope and being able to distinguish between stars, galaxies, planets, or other things.

    I do find it sort of funny that in the first video that he stated that during a black out in Los Angeles, a number of residents called the police reporting glowing mysterious clouds hovering above the city... And people are just commenting that they want a black out to stargaze.

    The author of those videos make a lot of them about science in general; chemistry, astronomy, physics, etc, which I find it all interesting. Not sure what it is, even though I'd think it would sound like a normal school lecture. It's funny how much I can learn from watching a few videos about it compared to what was taught in schools for about 9 months. I'll just post a few videos in a post a few videos, but I don't want to bog a single post with them.

    It's interesting when you think about it, there's a lot more beyond our solar system so there are a lot of undiscovered possibilities. There are hundreds to thousands of planets being discovered by satellites and whatnot. Some of them are classified as Earth-like planets. One in particular people might know already is called Kepler-22b. They dub this planet to be in the middle of a 'habitable zone', in addition to having temperatures and orbiting a sun-like star very similar to our own. The orbit around the star is 290 days, which is pretty close. The only thing is they don't know what the planet's composition. Apparently, there are many other small and big planets discovered that fit into the habitable zone category. This image was taken from NASA's site:
    Last edited by Kubi; 2014-03-04 at 06:17 PM.

  7. Default Re: Astronomy

    I got an in depth look at Spectroscopy in my astronomy class. Being able to tell the exact elements in an object based on the light absorbed is pretty amazing. Id have to say my favorite planet would have to be Jupiter because its technically just a cooled off scoop of the Sun with a death wall aka its magnetic field lmfao. Also the concept of time dilation brings the grand scope of the Universe to an even grander scale, to be limited by the speed of electromagnetic waves, do you guys think we will be able to surpass C, or bend space?

  8. Default Re: Astronomy

    A macroscopic object moving faster than 3e8 m/s is physically impossible. Even moving at a speed comparable to the speed of light has pretty rough ramifications.
    That being said, however, a dream for me as a Physicist would involve some method to travel vast distances in short periods of time. I do not think technology will get that advanced in my lifetime, so I plan to focus on space/space travel in general. I think, eventually, harnessing a rosen-einstein bridge will be within our capabilities.

    I want it to turn out stargate-esque

    Also, high chance I'll be interning with NASA at CalTech's JPL this summer

  9. Default Re: Astronomy

    Astronomy is awesome.
    Last edited by Moonlapse; 2014-03-04 at 10:33 PM.

  10. Default Re: Astronomy

    Astronomy is my biggest interest when it comes to physics, and what really has the roots of my desire to be a physics major. However, because of the dismal outlook that astrophysics/astronomy has in the job market I have my gears set on particle physics. However, if I could one day be doing major research on solar physics and solar chemistry I would be so stoked.

    There's so much out there that we don't know and don't understand that astounds me.

  11. Nuclear testing facility Straight Male
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    Default Re: Astronomy

    I almost did an internship with JPL after highs school but didn't quite make it

    If we are able to create artificial wormholes we run into an even bigger problem. Do we call it a star gate or a bifrost?

    I was of course very inspired by space exploration as a child and remain a huge fan of the sci-fi genre. I continue to believe that humanity's contact with (intelligent) alien life will be our defining moment as a species. It will tell us more about who were are than we could ever learn alone on this rock. I keep meaning to by a nice space poster for my room but every time I go to buy one I can't decide which I like best.

    NASA's current state is cause for great concern about whether the USA actually has any real interest in continuing space exploration.

  12. Default Re: Astronomy

    It's extremely infuriating/disappointing how little funding the US government gives NASA. I don't know very much about the current economic standing or budget cuts or whatever, but I still know a ridiculously larger amount of money is spent on military yet people think NASA gets too much
    We've had so many technological advancements from studying things in space ON TOP of sending a human being off our planet to another body which is just self-explanatory in how f'ucking awesome that is.
    We can't stay on this rock forever if we want to continue as a species. The only way I'd see the government funding space travel is to harvest resources from comets or whatever. (I'm not 100% familiar with terminology since everything I know about this field is essentially self-taught so my apologies if I'm using words wrong). From what I understand, we are actually really close to planning missions to do this

    ^bunch of thoughts I tried to organize from my phone.

    Also, SpaceX and other private space companies will be the way to go for astrophysicists IMO :)
    My current plan is to work for NASA or do some sort of physics for the government out of head school as my first real job, maybe be a professor for a bit (can literally research anything lol), and end up at a private space company.

    I'll see where life takes me, though. I hope it ends up being to the far reaches of space, though :p physically and metaphorically.

  13. Default Re: Astronomy

    Kind of hard to see the stars in the Seattle area, pretty amazing when there are no clouds, and if there's no street/house lights in my eyes. Weirdly enough, it's harder to see stars north towards Everett than it is south towards Seattle. I can only see the butt of Draco when I'm awake.

    I'd have to say my favorite star to look at, is Sirius. All those colors that it "flashes".

    It's weird noticing the Pleiades with plain eyesight.

  14. Default Re: Astronomy

    Here's a few more videos by the same guy. Of course, some if not most of this stuff is all theory, but it's still interesting. Here's one about a black hole and wormhole (as well as a sonic/dumbhole) if you haven't seen it already.

  15. Nuclear testing facility Straight Male
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    Default Re: Astronomy

    This is why scientists never become politicians. We have crazy ideas that space travel and education should get funding
    We are indeed very close to economically mining comets/asteroids. My favorite new horizon for space technology is energy production. We are getting VERY close to the point where creating solar satellite farms and beaming the energy to substation via microwave will be economical. It should be an incredibly productive and affordable way to produce renewable energy. Hopefully this is the type of thing private space corps will get interested in. I'm not overly interested in astrophysics because it's a fairly academic and largely theoretical. But if it meant I could create solar farms in space I'd be first in line to sign up!

  16. Spirit of the Arrow Bi Female
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    Default Re: Astronomy

  17. Default Re: Astronomy

    That's pretty neat. Here's another thing to add to it:
    4 billion pixels panorama of Mars

    Space exploration is really interesting. Though, when I think about the history and process of what we've been doing, I find it a little funny. I don't think it's wrong that we should test it out before sending humans into the unknown. We've just been launching satellites, probes, and spacecrafts into space to observe and collect data, and even crashing a few of them into planets and moons. There's just one concern that we don't accidentally contaminate an alien biosphere with on-board bacteria. There are a lot of spacecrafts out there already, and more being built as well as planned exploration launches.

    There was a probe that crashed into Venus and took a few images on the surface before it melted. The moon and Mars have a few things like land rovers and path finders roaming about. There was the Galileo that was intentionally crashed into Jupiter. There are also things that actually landed on a few asteroids (most of them being in the Asteroid Belt which I find pretty amazing). One in particular called 433 Eros. It apparently has $492,187,500,000,000,000 worth of Platinum for the post above for asteroid/comet mining. There's also a funny/silly lawsuit that ended nowhere attached to it if it's not known already. Apparently, we'll be doing more of that.

    Life on other planets has always been one of the great curiosities of mine. Venus and Mars are Earth-like and could be dubbed the two opposite fates of Earth; Venus is extremely hot, geologically active with volcanoes, and with a thick atmosphere while Mars is the opposite, being extremely cold and dry with a very thin atmosphere, while Earth is just right in the middle of them. Mars is still being explored, but would it surprise you if there were life of any sorts living on it (intelligent or not) and be a pretty big thing if it were discovered? It's apparent that there's nothing living on the surface, but there's a possibility of it underneath the surface where it's warmer. As stated above, NASA intentionally crashed a spacecraft (called Lunar Prospector) into the moon and discovered liquid water underneath its surface. It's not an ocean of water, but it's still interesting. Anyway, as of January 2014, NASA stated they currently looking for evidence of ancient life on Mars with their rovers (named Spirit and Opportunity). Mars is still full of mysteries, but it'd be pretty believable if it did have life on it at one point. Mars looks like it has empty and dry ocean riverbeds. It has polar caps like Earth which could also have liquid water underneath. It also has the largest shield volcano discovered in the solar system, which could probably mean it was a very geologically active planet at one point. The red sand that you see on Mars is actually rust, being a mixture metal/iron and water. These things might be known already, but oh well xD.
    Last edited by Kubi; 2014-03-07 at 04:50 AM.



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