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(National Geographic)   The North Star is 30 percent closer to Earth than we thought it was in the 1990s, which either means our observations are getting more precise, or in about 45 years we're in big trouble   (news.nationalgeographic.com) divider line 69
    More: Interesting, North Star, Earth, Polaris, long exposures, northeastern India, visible spectra, percent closer  
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7566 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Dec 2012 at 10:27 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-08 08:14:41 AM
This is sort of surprising. I thought we had a pretty good grasp on things like that many decades ago.
 
2012-12-08 08:27:17 AM
I'm not saying it was aliens....
 
2012-12-08 09:52:13 AM
EVERYONE PANIC!
 
2012-12-08 09:53:04 AM
Or, thanks Obama! You and your socialist policies have doomed us all!
 
2012-12-08 09:55:33 AM
It's headed right for us!
 
2012-12-08 10:38:40 AM
We're already dead!

4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-12-08 10:40:51 AM
Cool.

I just thought something this relatively close, 300 ly, could be resolved just through simple means like parallax though.
 
2012-12-08 10:41:37 AM
i1171.photobucket.com
 
2012-12-08 10:42:00 AM

Dead for Tax Reasons: It's headed right for us!


i'm fairly sure that it's actually red shifted
 
2012-12-08 10:44:19 AM
It is hard to measure something coming towards us faster than the speed of light.
 
2012-12-08 10:45:14 AM
"..an astronomer at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia."

I wouldn't put too much faith in this guys.

/Robie Street High
 
2012-12-08 10:46:30 AM
Klytus, I'm bored ...
 
2012-12-08 10:48:38 AM
In unrelated news, the Rolling Stones re-release 1400 Light Years From Home
 
2012-12-08 10:49:52 AM

Dead for Tax Reasons: It's headed right for us!


Quick, get in the car.
 
2012-12-08 10:50:05 AM
WTF, I thought we had a consensus.

/makes you wonder about any "scientific" concensus, eh?
//especially those declared by lay fools
 
2012-12-08 10:50:08 AM

TheGreatGazoo: It is hard to measure something coming towards us faster than the speed of light.


ITS COMIN RIGHT FOR US!!
 
2012-12-08 10:51:41 AM
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.
 
2012-12-08 10:53:58 AM
img87.imageshack.us
 
2012-12-08 10:54:03 AM
meganandtimmy.com
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-12-08 10:56:10 AM
I just thought something this relatively close, 300 ly, could be resolved just through simple means like parallax though.

The Hipparcos satellite did that. The new result contradicts older parallax measurements.
 
2012-12-08 10:58:04 AM

nekom: This is sort of surprising. I thought we had a pretty good grasp on things like that many decades ago.


As an astronomer, I can say that the distance measurements from the Hipparchos satellite were significantly different from many thousands of others calculated by other, pretty solid, methods. My guess is that there was something fundamentally flawed with Hipparchos, exactly what, I have no idea, but it could be alot of things.

It wouldn't be the first time the European Space Agency put a piece of crap into orbit (the ISO observatory satellite was a good example of a billion dollar satellite that was a complete piece of junk. I wasted months trying to make even a tiny bit of sense from the data. It should have produced 30,000 publications, it produced less than a tenth of that).

I think all this article is saying is that the Hipparchos measurements of distances to stars are garbage.
 
2012-12-08 11:00:36 AM

enemy of the state: nekom: This is sort of surprising. I thought we had a pretty good grasp on things like that many decades ago.

As an astronomer, I can say that the distance measurements from the Hipparchos satellite were significantly different from many thousands of others calculated by other, pretty solid, methods. My guess is that there was something fundamentally flawed with Hipparchos, exactly what, I have no idea, but it could be alot of things.

It wouldn't be the first time the European Space Agency put a piece of crap into orbit (the ISO observatory satellite was a good example of a billion dollar satellite that was a complete piece of junk. I wasted months trying to make even a tiny bit of sense from the data. It should have produced 30,000 publications, it produced less than a tenth of that).

I think all this article is saying is that the Hipparchos measurements of distances to stars are garbage.


I should add that to say the measurements of Hipparchos being "generally accepted" is bullshiat.
 
2012-12-08 11:01:25 AM
 
2012-12-08 11:03:57 AM
The easy way to measure the distance to somewhat nearby stars is with parallax - how the apparent position of a star in the sky changes at different positions in the Earth's orbit. This type of measurement gives the distance unit parsec (sometimes said to stand for "parallel arc second") ≈ 3.26 light years. Modern telescopes can measure the distance to some objects up to 1000 parsecs (3260 light years) away.

The problem with Polaris is that it is near directly above the plane of the Earth's orbit which means it's apparent position changes very little.
 
2012-12-08 11:04:35 AM
Does this mean God is getting closer to us?
 
2012-12-08 11:05:13 AM

ZAZ: I just thought something this relatively close, 300 ly, could be resolved just through simple means like parallax though.

The Hipparcos satellite did that. The new result contradicts older parallax measurements.


upload.wikimedia.org 


it's a parallax you dig?
 
2012-12-08 11:06:18 AM
api.ning.com
 
2012-12-08 11:08:25 AM
This is polarizing.
 
2012-12-08 11:08:29 AM

abhorrent1: [api.ning.com image 483x555]


God = Newton's second law?
how gay

so god is your word for everything that's always there
so you'll always be right with the lawd

gayeth be teh lord
 
2012-12-08 11:11:54 AM
111 light years in about 20 years. That's movin'.
 
2012-12-08 11:14:10 AM
oryx: 111 light years in about 20 years. That's movin'.

Somebody just found the 'Zoom' button on their camera.
 
2012-12-08 11:15:27 AM

Jon iz teh kewl: abhorrent1: [api.ning.com image 483x555]

God = Newton's second law?
how gay

so god is your word for everything that's always there
so you'll always be right with the lawd

gayeth be teh lord


I don't know. I just think it's funny.

/i guess
//whatever
 
2012-12-08 11:16:30 AM

oryx: 111 light years in about 20 years. That's movin'.


Since time and space are relative. Like humidity.
 
2012-12-08 11:20:29 AM
img.phombo.com
 
2012-12-08 11:22:10 AM

abhorrent1: Jon iz teh kewl: abhorrent1: [api.ning.com image 483x555]

God = Newton's second law?
how gay

so god is your word for everything that's always there
so you'll always be right with the lawd

gayeth be teh lord

I don't know. I just think it's funny.

/i guess
//whatever


praise Jebus he know what he coin

www.vizzed.com
 
2012-12-08 11:27:40 AM
media.tumblr.com
Peter North, Star.
 
2012-12-08 11:30:27 AM
And here I was thinking that "pole star" meant something else entirely. My bad.
 
2012-12-08 11:30:41 AM

abhorrent1: [api.ning.com image 483x555]


beautiful, just beautiful Brought a tear to my eye.
 
2012-12-08 11:38:43 AM

sgnilward: Cool.

I just thought something this relatively close, 300 ly, could be resolved just through simple means like parallax though.


I'm no astronomer or mathematician, but considering the North Star is pretty fixed in the sky, parallax would be difficult to do. I could be dead wrong on this, but that is my dime store logic on it.
 
2012-12-08 11:48:04 AM

Mixolydian Master: I'm no astronomer or mathematician, but considering the North Star is pretty fixed in the sky, parallax would be difficult to do. I could be dead wrong on this, but that is my dime store logic on it.


This is incorrect. It would still undergo parallax, and I do not see how you figure it wouldn't. You're looking at a close object against very distant objects, it really doesn't matter which direction from Earth you're looking. I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what parallax is.
 
2012-12-08 12:03:00 PM
I read in the article that the North Star is celestial bacon.
 
2012-12-08 12:05:45 PM
cdn.static.ovimg.com

On the case
 
2012-12-08 12:09:56 PM

enemy of the state: nekom: This is sort of surprising. I thought we had a pretty good grasp on things like that many decades ago.

As an astronomer, I can say that the distance measurements from the Hipparchos satellite were significantly different from many thousands of others calculated by other, pretty solid, methods. My guess is that there was something fundamentally flawed with Hipparchos, exactly what, I have no idea, but it could be alot of things.

It wouldn't be the first time the European Space Agency put a piece of crap into orbit (the ISO observatory satellite was a good example of a billion dollar satellite that was a complete piece of junk. I wasted months trying to make even a tiny bit of sense from the data. It should have produced 30,000 publications, it produced less than a tenth of that).

I think all this article is saying is that the Hipparchos measurements of distances to stars are garbage.


My sentiments exactly. When I discussed the Hipparchos measurements in my astronomy courses, I warned the students to be very suspicious of them.
 
2012-12-08 12:16:29 PM
imgs.xkcd.com
 
2012-12-08 12:19:36 PM

Mixolydian Master: I'm no astronomer or mathematician, but considering the North Star is pretty fixed in the sky, parallax would be difficult to do. I could be dead wrong on this, but that is my dime store logic on it.


The Earth still moves side to side in its orbit. The movement being used are wiggles of 98 million miles times two, not the 12-hour half-rotation of the Earth around its axis. Actually, the distances are more complex due to the Solar System's overall movement, but if Polaris has a similar movement then that is not as important.
 
2012-12-08 12:42:08 PM

jack21221: Mixolydian Master: I'm no astronomer or mathematician, but considering the North Star is pretty fixed in the sky, parallax would be difficult to do. I could be dead wrong on this, but that is my dime store logic on it.

This is incorrect. It would still undergo parallax, and I do not see how you figure it wouldn't. You're looking at a close object against very distant objects, it really doesn't matter which direction from Earth you're looking. I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what parallax is.


He did say he was neither astronomer nor mathematician. Judging by his handle, I'd say it was music that's his...

[puts on sunglasses]... Forte
 
2012-12-08 12:52:32 PM

Mixolydian Master: considering the North Star is pretty fixed in the sky, parallax would be difficult to do. I could be dead wrong on this


The North Star is only "fixed" for naked-eye rough navigation purposes. It actually moves quite a bit in the sky, only less than other visible stars. Like all stars, it has further-away background stars and galaxies behind it that are therefore more "fixed", and that show up in telescope photographs, so a parallax measurement can be made.
 
2012-12-08 01:09:33 PM
moarpowah.com

Hello.

/link hotter than a suit exploding in issue 12.
 
2012-12-08 02:15:54 PM
I think the first video ad is the real story. Someone slipped one past an editor. "Nut busting Monkeys". Yeah, monkeys busting a nut...
 
2012-12-08 02:17:44 PM

nekom: This is sort of surprising. I thought we had a pretty good grasp on things like that many decades ago.


Yes- and it ought to provide a cautionary tale for many of those who tout current scientific theory as some sort of Scripture.
 
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