Space and Astronomy Megathread (MERGED) - Part 1

Discussion in 'SHH Community Forum' started by Thread Manager, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Dr. Unknown Toronto member

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    So… If you’re a teacher, camp counselor, etc. and looking for an educational outdoor activity, you might try this:

    How to build the Solar System

    This version is sometimes called the Thousand Yard (or “peppercorn”) Solar system. It utilizes familiar “household” objects - which makes the thing both easier to build and more memorable. Most importantly (and impressively) this model is to scale in both size and distance.

    Relative sizes

    Your “Sun” needs to be about 8” (20cm) in diameter. A volleyball (or an appropriately sized cantaloupe) would do the trick. The “planets” are next.

    Mercury = the head of a pin
    Venus = a peppercorn
    Earth = a peppercorn
    Mars = the head of a pin
    Jupiter = a walnut
    Saturn = an acorn
    Uranus = a coffee bean
    Neptune = a coffee bean
    Pluto (optional, former planet) = a grain of salt

    Since these items are quite small, it’s probably best to tape/impale them to index cards. The cards, in turn, can be stapled to sticks to look like flags.

    Relative distances

    These numbers are based on yards. So you’d need to do some minor conversions for meters. But as a practical matter, you can get away with just pacing out (/w long steps) the distances.

    First, find a field. (Turns out, you need a lot of “space” to make a star system :cwink:). Next, place the “Sun” at one end. Finally, you set up the “planets.”

    Mercury = from the Sun, walk 10 paces and plant your Mercury flag.
    Venus = from there, walk 9 more paces (19 total)
    Earth = 7 more paces (26 total)
    Mars = 13 more paces (39 total)
    Jupiter = 95 more paces (134 total)
    Saturn = 113 more paces (247 total)
    Uranus = 249 more paces (497 total)
    Neptune = 281 more paces (777 total)
    Pluto = 237 more paces (1014 total)

    Your Solar system is now complete! Very big as models go - but, obviously, only a tiny fraction of the real thing. (The scale is about 1:6,000,000,000.) Also keep in mind that these approximate orbital distances only define the radius of the Solar system; the diameter would be twice as big. Finally, you could explore interstellar distances based on this scale by setting up a model of the Alpha Centauri system - the closest star system to the Sun. But you’d need place this model some 4000 miles away. :wow:
     
  2. Dr. Unknown Toronto member

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    So… If you’re a teacher, camp counselor, etc. and looking for an educational outdoor activity, you might try this:

    How to build the Solar System

    This version is sometimes called the Thousand Yard (or “peppercorn”) Solar system. It utilizes familiar “household” objects - which makes the thing both easier to build and more memorable. Most importantly (and impressively) this model is to scale in both size and distance.

    Relative sizes

    Your “Sun” needs to be about 8” (20cm) in diameter. A volleyball (or an appropriately sized cantaloupe) would do the trick. The “planets” are next.

    Mercury = the head of a pin
    Venus = a peppercorn
    Earth = a peppercorn
    Mars = the head of a pin
    Jupiter = a walnut
    Saturn = an acorn
    Uranus = a coffee bean
    Neptune = a coffee bean
    Pluto (optional, former planet) = a grain of salt

    Since these items are quite small, it’s probably best to tape/impale them to index cards. The cards, in turn, can be stapled to sticks to look like flags.

    Relative distances

    These numbers are based on yards. So you’d need to do some minor conversions for meters. But as a practical matter, you can get away with just pacing out (/w long steps) the distances.

    First, find a field. (Turns out, you need a lot of “space” to make a star system :cwink:). Next, place the “Sun” at one end. Finally, you set up the “planets.”

    Mercury = from the Sun, walk 10 paces and plant your Mercury flag.
    Venus = from there, walk 9 more paces (19 total)
    Earth = 7 more paces (26 total)
    Mars = 13 more paces (39 total)
    Jupiter = 95 more paces (134 total)
    Saturn = 113 more paces (247 total)
    Uranus = 249 more paces (497 total)
    Neptune = 281 more paces (777 total)
    Pluto = 237 more paces (1014 total)

    Your Solar system is now complete! Very big as models go - but, obviously, only a tiny fraction of the real thing. (The scale is about 1:6,000,000,000.) Also keep in mind that these approximate orbital distances only define the radius of the Solar system; the diameter would be twice as big. Finally, you could explore interstellar distances based on this scale by setting up a model of the Alpha Centauri system - the closest star system to the Sun. But you’d need place this model some 4000 miles away. :wow:
     
  3. :eek: Registered

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  4. Teelie Jokerface

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    Small end of a dwarf planet though so even tinier than Pluto. So if they reclassify Pluto they might as well make this a planet too. Then they can search for Planet Why. :o
     
  5. Dr. Evil Registered

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    Planet Why is a better name that what they are given to planets these days. We need to still find a Planet Who and a Planet What
     
  6. Marvolo Registered

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    Why is it that scientists haven't seen this supposed Planet x that is supposedly 10 times as massive as earth.

    We can see galaxies millions of light years away but we can't see a planet that's only 600 AU away? Can one of our super powerful telescopes not be used to take pictures and monitor the far reaches of our solar system and get pictures of those far off planets? If lack of light is the problem, why is that a problem? Is it absolutely pitch black out there to the point that our most powerful telescopes would just see amorphous blackness?
     
  7. :eek: Registered

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    Out there, space gets dark alarmingly fast. Planets twice as far away look 16 times dimmer — the intensity of the sunlight weakens by a factor of four going out, and then four times again coming back. At an orbital distance of 600 astronomical units (1 AU is the distance between Earth and the sun), Planet Nine would be 160,000 times dimmer than Neptune is at 30 AU. At 1,000 AU, it would appear more than 1 million times weaker. “There’s really a brick wall, basically, at 1,000 AU,” said Kevin Luhman, an astronomer at Pennsylvania State University.

    Why Can’t We Find Planet Nine? | Quanta Magazine
     
    Flash525 likes this.
  8. Flash525 The Scarlet Messenger

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    Probably because it doesn't exist; at least the one proposed by conspiracy theorists. :yuk:
     
  9. Micromind New World New Rules

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    Events that happened..





     
  10. Micromind New World New Rules

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    How close we were to getting hit by a Comet ? (1 AU = Distance between Earth and Sun.)
    0.163 AU = 15 151 796 miles (approximately)
    Oumuamua Trajectory

    [​IMG]
     
    3rdstone, Iceman and KRYPTON INC. like this.
  11. Iceman Daffy Duck Vs The Joker

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    Uh...glad we missed it. That would have sucked.
     
  12. flickchick85 Mod of Might

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  13. wiegeabo Omniposcient

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    Ironically, because people think of Venus as a boiling, crushing world (which it is), it's cloud tops are probably the easiest thing to colonize in the long term.

    You could walk outside your cloud city with just a breathing apparatus. No need for a suit (other than to protect from corrosive elements). Breathable air is your floating air. So no need for something exotic like helium, or dangerous like hydrogen. Near earth normal gravity, so no need to worry about the long-term effects of low/micro gravity on people. And protection from radiation from the atmosphere that other worlds can't provide. And the thick atmosphere makes deceleration from orbit a breeze.

    Plus, if we can figure out how to do it, we could end up cloud farming the lower atmosphere for carbon, sulfur, and other elements.
     
    Venom'sDad and Elektra1 like this.
  14. Venom'sDad Enter The Sym

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    i never thought about those things. Great post, very informative.
     
  15. Teelie Jokerface

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    And the city shall be named Bespin.
     
  16. Teelie Jokerface

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    That will go over well. As if we don't have enough light pollution in the world, China wants to go the extra mile (or dozen) and set up lunar lights.
     
  17. Iceman Daffy Duck Vs The Joker

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    That sounds a bit ambitious.
     
  18. Dr. Unknown Toronto member

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    RIP. NASA ends Kepler mission.

    NASA's Kepler mission has come to an end - CNN

    During its lifetime, the Kepler space observatory discovered over 2600 confirmed exoplanets. And there’s another ~2900 candidates in the database - awaiting analysis.
     
  19. terry78 You can do the Pac-Man

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  20. Micromind New World New Rules

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    This is the same "Strange asteroid" that I posted about a few days ago. Pretty strange.

     
  21. Venom'sDad Enter The Sym

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  22. wiegeabo Omniposcient

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  23. Dr. Unknown Toronto member

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    A curious thing about ‘Oumuamua (among several) is that it’s accelerating faster than would be expected from a gravitational slingshot around the Sun. So the Harvard scientists speculated about if/how “solar radiation pressure” could be giving the asteroid an extra boost. Apparently, most of the paper concerns natural ways that ‘Oumuamua could be exploiting this phenomenon. But at the very end, they indulge in the “alien hypothesis.” Why? Well, yeah - it probably is for the publicity. :oldrazz:

     

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