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peter2002
Oct 2, 2002, 11:32 AM
New telescope as big as Earth itself (http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/space/10/02/radio.telescope/index.html)

I love Astronomy as a hobby. This is really cool. Using multiple radio telescopes and a super computer, the system will have the power of a radio telescope with the diamater of the Earth, which is about 7,500 miles. They call it the High Frequency VLBI Array and it is 3,000 time more powerful than the Hubble telescope in orbit. On the downside, it is a radio telescope, not optical so it won't be able to "see" images in visible light that humans see. But, that is ok because most of the Universe can't be seen through optical techniques because of dust clouds and such.

It would be cool if SETI used this new telescope to find aliens.

http://i.cnn.net/cnn/2002/TECH/space/10/02/radio.telescope/story.telescope.network.jpg The international project uses radio dishes in Arizona, Spain, Finland and Chile. Signals from each are time-stamped with atomic clocks and pieced together with a supercomputer. The result is an instrument with an unprecedented ability to distinguish between two closely situated objects far away in the sky.

blackpeter
Oct 2, 2002, 12:02 PM
Thanks Jody Foster. Now maybe you can go visit your dad in some other place and time. :rolleyes:

...just joshing you* Looks pretty cool actually!

jefhatfield
Oct 2, 2002, 12:02 PM
great article

maybe we can gather info that will help us in some way now that the telescopes can detect things 3,000 times better than hubble

Over Achiever
Oct 2, 2002, 02:27 PM
Wow, thats a really cool project. I'm just waiting for the CELT (california extremely large telescope) and the LBT (large binocular telescope) to get completed for the optical astronomers. Me into infrared :)

funkywhat2
Oct 3, 2002, 09:32 PM
Originally posted by peter2002


...Using multiple radio telescopes and a super computer, the system will have the power of a radio telescope with the diamater of the Earth, which is about 7,500 miles. ...

i'm confused. my earth science teacher tought us 26,000 miles, but he wan't very trustworthy. can someone please clarify? thanks:)

kungfu
Oct 3, 2002, 10:10 PM
Originally posted by crazy_will


i'm confused. my earth science teacher tought us 26,000 miles, but he wan't very trustworthy. can someone please clarify? thanks:)

diameter, not circumference.... :)

kungfu

scem0
Oct 3, 2002, 10:51 PM
I wonder what would happen if they announced they had seen an alien civilization. That would be crazy....

funkywhat2
Oct 4, 2002, 06:28 AM
Originally posted by kungfu


diameter, not circumference.... :)

kungfu

thanks for the clarification!

Mr. Anderson
Oct 4, 2002, 11:21 AM
One problem is that the earth is a sphere, so the line of site to objects is somewhat narrow. The next generation Space Telescope looks like it might go to one of the Lagrange spots and we could put a few more out in space in adjacent locations and get a telescope that covered Millions of miles - which would be fantastic.

D

jefhatfield
Oct 4, 2002, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by scem0
I wonder what would happen if they announced they had seen an alien civilization. That would be crazy....

i think that would show that there is a god or at least a higher power in the universe since it would prove that we are not some lone mistake

when one really thinks of it, isn't it incredibly egotistical to think that we are the only life among billions of stars?

all that mass out there in the universe is not all ours:p

Mr. Anderson
Oct 4, 2002, 12:15 PM
Even just looking as close as our own galaxy - forget intergalactic, we can't even do interstellar yet. I hope I'm still around when we get images from another planet not in our solar system, whether its from a probe, but more likely a really powerful telescope, interferrometic maybe that's space based, could view planets in a neighboring star system.

beatle888
Oct 4, 2002, 12:47 PM
i think space may be an illusion. it has to be.
i cant imagine it just going on and on and on.
but then even if it isn't infinit and it does come
to an end there would still have to be something
behind that threshold. god what a mind fnck
life is :p

elfin buddy
Oct 4, 2002, 01:40 PM
jefhatfield:

I always thought the discovery of life on another planet or in another solar system would have a more opposite effect. About 95% of the theists I know tend to think that we are alone in the universe because we are supposedly the only life that God created (which seems very egotistical to me). I mean, the Bible doesn't mention anything about alien civilizations, does it?

I think life is far more common in the universe than we think it is. We haven't explored many planets, and haven't even set foot on any besides Earth.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves here. I think we should focus on developing our own solar system before running around looking for more to claim.


Brendan Wood

iwantanewmac
Oct 4, 2002, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by elfin buddy
jefhatfield:


I think life is far more common in the universe than we think it is. We haven't explored many planets, and haven't even set foot on any besides Earth.
Brendan Wood

Err what about the moon?

AthensBoy
Oct 4, 2002, 03:30 PM
The moon isn't a planet.

Gelfin
Oct 4, 2002, 04:12 PM
Originally posted by AthensBoy
The moon isn't a planet.

Actually, some astronomers might take issue with this statement. Earth's moon is unusually large as a percentage of the mass of its primary. It is substantially larger (3476km diameter) than Pluto (2274km). It is the fifth largest satellite in the Solar System, behind Ganymede, Titan, Callisto and Io, which orbit planets at least two orders of magnitude more massive than the Earth. Also, because of its large relative mass, the moon exerts a very high gravitational influence on the Earth, whereas Jupiter probably wouldn't miss a couple of its moons at all. Because of this, many astronomers think of the Earth-Moon system as a binary planet system instead of a planet with a satellite.

Inhale420
Oct 5, 2002, 01:08 AM
lol, who wants to bet if that telescope is running on a mac vs a pc.

King Cobra
Oct 5, 2002, 07:20 AM
>many astronomers think of the Earth-Moon system as a binary planet system instead of a planet with a satellite.

Many astronomer feel the same way about Pluto/Charon. Yet Pluto is about 8 times more massive than Charon. Our Earth is about 80 times more massive than our Moon.

I think it would be more reasonable to consider Pluto/Charon a double planet, because Pluto is 10 times as much affected by a neighboring satellite than Earth is to our moon, and also because the size difference of Pluto/Charon isn't much, compared to Earth/Moon.

Over Achiever
Oct 5, 2002, 11:16 AM
Of course there are others that don't think Pluto is a planet at all (its size, orbit, composition, etc), simply a Kuiper object. Then it'd be a double Kuiper object...ah the controversy...:D

Gelfin
Oct 5, 2002, 12:10 PM
Oh, I don't take issue with the point that Pluto/Charon would be more likely to be considered a binary planet system (Kuiper-object concerns aside). I'm just saying that Earth+Luna is also included in that category by some astronomers.

davidc2182
Oct 5, 2002, 12:50 PM
i know we are are all homo sapien sapien, I.E. Human, but if there were a race from mars they would have a species name, a cultural name and then they would be called Martians, so my question is, would people from here be called earthlings or terrans? and i thought the definition of a planet entailed an atmosphere? and besides luna is definitely a sattelite, because eventually it will stop spinning about and just revolve around the earth, it may at one point have been a part of the earth but it doesnt have an atmosphere its a sattelite.

Over Achiever
Oct 5, 2002, 07:09 PM
err...if a planet is defined by having an atmosphere, then moons like Titan and Trition (and others) which have atmospheres are also planets? And mercury and mars which have weak atmospheres aren't planets? I guess the word planet is relative I guess. Sorta like the definition or extrasolar planets...a bunch have been found, but are they really planets? They could be brown dwarfs...

I guess its a hot topic of debate.

elfin buddy
Oct 5, 2002, 07:33 PM
Wow! I didn't really mean to spark this much discussion about the moon :cool:

I think the most understandable definition of a planet is anything which directly orbits the sun (orbiting something that is orbiting the sun doesn't count, i.e. moons) and has significant mass.


elfin buddy

resm
Oct 5, 2002, 10:56 PM
Originally posted by jefhatfield


i think that would show that there is a god or at least a higher power in the universe since it would prove that we are not some lone mistake

when one really thinks of it, isn't it incredibly egotistical to think that we are the only life among billions of stars?

all that mass out there in the universe is not all ours:p

I agree....

I do not belong to any religious denomination but I have been doing spiritual practice for the last 17 yrs and I have meet many people since then who have done research on many levels, be it on the physical, mental or spiritual level.

We humans are relatively "young" in the process of evolution.
We may have developed physicaly and mentaly to a certain degree but especialy in the mental and spiritual level we are still very "under developed".

To believe that WE are the choosen once and the highest developed beeings in this universe is therefore kind of silly.

The saying goes: "diversity is the law of nature and equality will never be".

That makes it save to assume that if there is "Intelligent" life out there they may look physicaly different do to different atmospheric condition on different planets but mentaly and spiritualy they most probably are like we are or, as I would think, much more developed.

If I remember right, according to one "wise" man there are 52 planets with intelligent life out there.
I can't remember if this was to be meant within our solar system or as a total.

Then the question comes: why have we never for sure had any contact with them or why did they never approach us.
Technicaly, they may be able to do so but what on this earth should make it ineresting for them ?
All they would find is a planet that by our own idiotic behaviour is getting more and more messed up so better...stay away ! (for the time beeing)

Our mental behaviour is "controled" or affected by the electro magnetic field that sourrounds our planet.
Due to several shifting of the poles in the history of this planet, this has changed many times.
To a certain degree this can have a positive or a negative influence on our way of thinking.

In 1981 I was reading an article mentioning that this process (pole shift) has started again (in 1981).
If we look at the erratic behaviour of our weather condition in recent years, that becomes very credible.
There is actualy some scientific research done that supports this theory.

Since this will lead to change of the magnetic field, affecting our mental behaviour, we can only hope that this will have a positive effect on society (and I was told it will) and this planet will become again more "liveable" for us and therefore more attractive to be visited by other "Intelligent" beeings :D

And now...take out the Napal and other flame trowing weapons.....

jefhatfield
Oct 6, 2002, 09:35 AM
Originally posted by elfin buddy


the Bible doesn't mention anything about alien civilizations, does it?



no, it addresses our own problems which are enough for us to look at

the bible does not say we are alone in the whole universe, either

any theist who thinks that an alien would discount even one word of what jesus christ or any religious figure of great importance said or taught is a theist without faith

beatle888
Oct 6, 2002, 10:38 AM
between this thread and the einstein thread
im beginning to understand that there are
a lot of smart people here. and since i dont
have a clue as to what you guys are talking
about....well....:confused:

elfin buddy
Oct 6, 2002, 01:12 PM
jefhatfield:

I think you missed the point of my first post. I was wondering why you think that the discovery of an alien civilization would "show that there is a god or at least a higher power in the universe". I'll try to make myself more clear next time :)

Just because an alien civilization exists, it doesn't mean that they were put there by a god or a higher power. Perhaps they evolved, in that same way that many people believe life on Earth evolved.

Gelfin
Oct 6, 2002, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by davidc2182
would people from here be called earthlings or terrans?

That's just a matter of convention really. Both mostly originate in science fiction. "Earthlings" was generally used in older SF, usually by highly advanced aliens as a condescending identifier for humans. "Terrans" is a little more dignified, but it remains to be seen what people would actually use.

and i thought the definition of a planet entailed an atmosphere?

The definition of "planet" is necessarily ambiguous. Planetary science is in its infancy, but I don't think atmosphere is part of the qualification. Such a restriction might disqualify Pluto, which only has a faint atmosphere near perihelion. For much of its orbit, Pluto's atmosphere condenses and freezes on the surface. And what we call an "atmosphere" on Mercury is composed mostly of atoms blasted from the surface by solar radiation, which are fairly quickly swept into space. The best current definition of "planet" I could find was "an object orbiting a star which is not itself a star but is bigger than an asteroid." This definition doesn't settle the matter if you want to bring the notion of binary planet systems into it.

and besides luna is definitely a sattelite, because eventually it will stop spinning about and just revolve around the earth

This actually just isn't true. The Earth and the Moon are "tidally locked," which is an interesting phenomenon caused by the gravitational attraction the two bodies have for each other. Their size and proximity means that the gravitational forces on the "near" sides of the bodies are much stronger than the forces on the "far" sides. This has the effect of slightly "stretching" both bodies along their common axis and making the near sides heavier relative to each other. To oversimplify, think of a dart. You can spin it end over end in the air, but it's going to land point-down. In the planetary case, the same forces that cause that alignment are also causing the "heavy end." It takes time for gravity to overcome angular momentum, but in the case of the Moon, that has already happened.

But that isn't to say that the Earth/Moon system has reached equilibrium. The same forces are also acting upon the Earth. You can observe oceanic tides easily, but tides also occur in the solid parts of the Earth's crust and interior. The gravitational effect of the moon is gradually slowing the rotation of the Earth. It just takes longer because the Earth is more massive. Eventually this effect will cause the Earth's rotational period to match the Moon's period of revolution, and the Earth will always present the same face to the Moon, just as the Moon always presents the same face to the Earth. After that point you'd have to add energy to the system to force a further slowdown in the rotation of either body.

Coitus
Oct 6, 2002, 03:21 PM
"This actually just isn't true. The Earth and the Moon are "tidally locked," which is an interesting phenomenon caused by the gravitational attraction the two bodies have for each other. Their size and proximity means that the gravitational forces on the "near" sides of the bodies are much stronger than the forces on the "far" sides. This has the effect of slightly "stretching" both bodies along their common axis and making the near sides heavier relative to each other. To oversimplify, think of a dart. You can spin it end over end in the air, but it's going to land point-down. In the planetary case, the same forces that cause that alignment are also causing the "heavy end." It takes time for gravity to overcome angular momentum, but in the case of the Moon, that has already happened.

But that isn't to say that the Earth/Moon system has reached equilibrium. The same forces are also acting upon the Earth. You can observe oceanic tides easily, but tides also occur in the solid parts of the Earth's crust and interior. The gravitational effect of the moon is gradually slowing the rotation of the Earth. It just takes longer because the Earth is more massive. Eventually this effect will cause the Earth's rotational period to match the Moon's period of revolution, and the Earth will always present the same face to the Moon, just as the Moon always presents the same face to the Earth. After that point you'd have to add energy to the system to force a further slowdown in the rotation of either body."

A couple of questions about your comments.

1: I was under the impression that the moon had stopped rotating (on it's own axis) because of the earth's gravitational force. Therefore it always presents the same face to the earth. Are you saying that eventually the earths rotation arounds it's axis will slow to match the pace at which the moon orbits the earth and the two will spin (or seemingly tumble) as if joined by a straight line between them, around the sun?

2: If this is the case then would we not be able to test this theory as the earth would be experiencing measurably longer days (and nights) as it's rotation slowed? At what point will we have to adjust our calendars to account for this lunar induced slowdown of the earth, or what effect does this have on our current (Gregorian) calendars? If any? Is our recorded history long enough to have even seen the effects of this, however slight?

Coitus

PCUser
Oct 6, 2002, 03:53 PM
Coitus:

To an outside observer, the moon rotates once per orbit around the earth. For a better explaination, go here: http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/moon_spin.html

We already have to adjust our calenders. The deceleration is approximately 0.7 seconds per year. Source: http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/tides.html

groovebuster
Oct 7, 2002, 01:22 AM
Originally posted by davidc2182
i know we are are all homo sapien sapien, I.E. Human, but if there were a race from mars they would have a species name, a cultural name and then they would be called Martians, so my question is, would people from here be called earthlings or terrans?

Who says that there is always only one "intelligent" race on a planet? Human thinking is so self-centered and narrow-minded, that most people expect another planet with intelligent life being exactly the same way the earth is "organized": One stupid race that is controlling (at least they think that) everything. Besides co-existing "intelligent" races (nothing else was going on in Europe with the Neanderthaler and the early home sapiens) there could be other forms of civilization, like a symbiotic constellation between different intelligent life-forms, benefitting from each other without dominating.

I guess it is very human to think that there is just "one to rule them all"! It's the same reason why we always think that Aliens would look somehow human (or why do all the species from SF-shows look human in 98% of the cases?). We can't imagine things that we didn't experience or saw somehow before. Evolution is a process with infinite variables so that the outcome of the "equation" is somehow unpredictable. Considering that the environmental factors on another planet would be definately different compared to the earth (gravity, pressure, elements, temperature, pressure, etc...) it is almost impossible that life from another planet would look similar to ours in any way.

And at least it is somehow arrogant to think that potential Aliens would be only interested in the "intelligent" race on a planet and the rest doesn't count. I am pretty sure the wouldn't call us anything that disrespects the other species on earth. So if they would talk about "terrans", they probably would mean all the species from our planet.

So more likely would be a name that includes the term how the call the planet and a term that describes our species in their own language. They couldn't care less how we call ourselves. But since their way to think, their language (including grammar) and their values are probably so different to ours that we are not even able to understand the basics, we won't get at least an idea of how they would call us before we meet one... But even then, who says that we can actually hear them (again we take the human abilities to detect sound and light as a reference) or are able to communicate with them at all without technical aid like translation computers?

And maybe we don't even want to know how they call us! ;)

groovebuster

davidc2182
Oct 7, 2002, 01:58 AM
where in my post did i say that humans were the only intelligent race on the planet? I never did, all i asked is what we would be called in respect to a race from mars being called martian by us, what would they call us earthling or terran. however i do agree with you that there very well may be other intelligent life on earth, as a matter of fact i believe that dolphins and whales are as intelligent as us if not more so, just because we cannot decipher their language or know whats going on in their heads does not mean they are not intelligent. I would rather be called a terran, earthling does seem dismissive in a way, "you puny earthlings" blah anyway i don't believe that all humans are intelligent to begin with, we are still a very primitve race, definitely not ready to join the interstellar community, if one exists. there are a ton of things that need to be overcome b4 we can call ourselves enlightened. also i just made a startling comparison, steve from those stupid dell commercials, could that be mike dell's way of making fun of our beloved steve jobs?

MacBandit
Oct 7, 2002, 02:38 AM
Originally posted by Coitus

A couple of questions about your comments.

1: I was under the impression that the moon had stopped rotating (on it's own axis) because of the earth's gravitational force. Therefore it always presents the same face to the earth. Are you saying that eventually the earths rotation arounds it's axis will slow to match the pace at which the moon orbits the earth and the two will spin (or seemingly tumble) as if joined by a straight line between them, around the sun?

2: If this is the case then would we not be able to test this theory as the earth would be experiencing measurably longer days (and nights) as it's rotation slowed? At what point will we have to adjust our calendars to account for this lunar induced slowdown of the earth, or what effect does this have on our current (Gregorian) calendars? If any? Is our recorded history long enough to have even seen the effects of this, however slight?

Coitus

Part of this question was answered by "PCUser". If you now understand that the moon rotates once approximitely every 2 weeks the cycle of the moon then you can also understand what will eventually happen to the earth. Eventually it will become tidally locked with the Sun so that only one face faces the sun. But before that happens something big will probably hit us screwing up the orbit and spin and everything.

groovebuster
Oct 7, 2002, 03:51 AM
Originally posted by davidc2182
also i just made a startling comparison, steve from those stupid dell commercials, could that be mike dell's way of making fun of our beloved steve jobs?

Since I am located in Germany I never saw the Dell commercials... what are they about?

groovebuster

Mr. Anderson
Oct 7, 2002, 09:37 AM
Forget about alien races from other planets and what they'd be called. If the human race colonizes other planets (Mars, the Moon, Moons of Jupiter, etc.) the people who get born and raised there will be called Martians, Moonlings or what ever is decided by the people at the time. As for people on earth, well, we'll have to wait until a distinction is necessary. Until then, we're all humans, as far as I see it.

D

MacBandit
Oct 7, 2002, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by dukestreet
Forget about alien races from other planets and what they'd be called. If the human race colonizes other planets (Mars, the Moon, Moons of Jupiter, etc.) the people who get born and raised there will be called Martians, Moonlings or what ever is decided by the people at the time. As for people on earth, well, we'll have to wait until a distinction is necessary. Until then, we're all humans, as far as I see it.

D


We will always all be called humans unless we choose to genetically alter ourselves to better suit our environment on another planet. If we are simply just living on another planet someone who is born there will still be human because that is there species but there race will be based on where they are from. I.E. Asians are from Asia but are still humans.

Mr. Anderson
Oct 7, 2002, 02:33 PM
I agree, but my point was that there really isn't any need right now to make the distinction, so the names shouldn't really be an issue. Science Fiction and popular culture have pretty much made us Earthlings and in a few cases Terrans (calling the Earth - Terra). But no one uses Terra when refering to the planet - well, probably very few. And that's the english name - what about all the other languages and their names for the Planet?

Another reason to worry about it when we get there.

D

MacBandit
Oct 7, 2002, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by dukestreet
I agree, but my point was that there really isn't any need right now to make the distinction, so the names shouldn't really be an issue. Science Fiction and popular culture have pretty much made us Earthlings and in a few cases Terrans (calling the Earth - Terra). But no one uses Terra when refering to the planet - well, probably very few. And that's the english name - what about all the other languages and their names for the Planet?

Another reason to worry about it when we get there.

D

Agreed. This is a useless train of thought that's on the verge of derailing after hitting a car at a crossing. :)

Mr. Anderson
Oct 7, 2002, 02:51 PM
But back to topic, StarryNightPro (and all the other Starry Night Astronomy Software) is coming out with an OSX upgrade - 4.X - I've been waiting for this, pretty much the only other app that I need in OSX to never have to use OS9 again.

MacBandit
Oct 7, 2002, 02:54 PM
Originally posted by dukestreet
But back to topic, StarryNightPro (and all the other Starry Night Astronomy Software) is coming out with an OSX upgrade - 4.X - I've been waiting for this, pretty much the only other app that I need in OSX to never have to use OS9 again.

I use MicroProjects Equinox. It seems really good and even has a feature for night use that turns the screen red if you're out in the field with your laptop. On the other hand I think StarryNight is pretty good I'm just too cheap to pay for it so I use Equinox.

Mr. Anderson
Oct 7, 2002, 02:57 PM
StarryNight has the red screen feature as well. Its great, I've used it maybe 4-5 times when I'm looking for something especially difficult. Its been great. The new version should also have some nice enhancements. :D