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Thread: The end of ground based astronomy

  1. #1 The end of ground based astronomy 
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    To any scope fans out there, myself included. Bad news.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4755996.stm


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  3. #2  
    Forum Junior Cuete's Avatar
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    Damn! I hope he's wrong.

    I'll be probably dead by then anyway.


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  4. #3  
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    I think it's cobblers. The whole cheap flights and massive increase in demand thing is a bubble heading for a burst. And all of a sudden we're hearing loads about air travel heavily polluting the atmosphere - even on the most pessimistic, the quantity of aeroplane exhaust compared to the total quantity of atmosphere is surely tiny, and factories and cars must do far far more damage.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    I think it's cobblers. The whole cheap flights and massive increase in demand thing is a bubble heading for a burst. And all of a sudden we're hearing loads about air travel heavily polluting the atmosphere - even on the most pessimistic, the quantity of aeroplane exhaust compared to the total quantity of atmosphere is surely tiny, and factories and cars must do far far more damage.
    It's not just the exhaust (did you read the article?), it's the con trails. Sometimes where I live here in Phoenix the entire sky gets blanketed in con trails. They start out small and then a few hours later you can't see the sky anymore.
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  6. #5  
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    If you're talking line-of-sight nighttime astronomy for amateurs, first of all, I'm sure that the whole sky is not going to be blanked out with contrails. If we're talking about professional ground-based astronomy, I'm not certain that the most important sights are that badly affected, eg Arecibo, Mauna Kea, etc.

    If we are actually heading for a Matrix-like sky, then sure, but ground-based astronomy isn't the top of my priority list when that happens!
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  7. #6  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    If you're talking line-of-sight nighttime astronomy for amateurs, first of all, I'm sure that the whole sky is not going to be blanked out with contrails.
    Actually that's Exactly what happens many times here in Phoenix. The entire sky on an otherwise clear night is 100% blanketed. It's not because of normal clouds but caused by jets. You can watch them start and just widen until their is no holes left in the sky. Granted this only happens when their is humidity in the air.
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  8. #7  
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    Well! What the hell happened to Arizona's classic "little fluffy clouds" (The Orb)?

    I'm afraid I simply find your description very hard to believe, (In)Sanity, particularly in the part of the world with the largest area of visible sky there is. Is there anything at all you can link to that would demonstrate this effect? Like I said, if what you say is really happening out there, ground based astronomy is pretty much the least of your worries!!
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  9. #8  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    Well! What the hell happened to Arizona's classic "little fluffy clouds" (The Orb)?

    I'm afraid I simply find your description very hard to believe, (In)Sanity, particularly in the part of the world with the largest area of visible sky there is. Is there anything at all you can link to that would demonstrate this effect? Like I said, if what you say is really happening out there, ground based astronomy is pretty much the least of your worries!!
    Believe it or not it happens, does it happen every night...No. Overall AZ is awesome for astronomy. I try to make a desert run a couple times a month. The light pollution is better then most states. Even in Phoenix I can see stars that many other cities have no clue even exist.

    None the less what I described with the con trails happens more then I like.
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  10. #9 Ground based astronomy 
    Forum Freshman Grey_matter5's Avatar
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    Greetings everyone,

    I would like to address the nature of this post regarding an end to ground based astronomy. That it is neglectful to ground based astronomy on the whole in the detachment and centering upon visual wavelengths--radio astronomy is a part of astronomy after all.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Isotope Zelos's Avatar
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    he is a grackpot. It will allways be possible
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

    The king of posting
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  12. #11  
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    The sad thing (in my opinion) is that if this is true and it gets worse, in a couple of generations time the kids won't see the stars.....

    They'll have to look in books, where they will also be able to see pictures of extinct flora and fauna species, traditional dress and culture etc.

    Moral of the story: As long a we have books we can preserve the planet....
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  13. #12 Discourse 
    Forum Freshman Grey_matter5's Avatar
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    he is a grackpot. It will allways be possible
    ? If this regards me, piss off--I just noticed the presentation of the thread and am considering the audience of the thread who may also be unaware of the spectrum of science in what we can "see" in astronomy, in other words, I wish to prevent misconceptions (maybe the provincialization of science also? ).

    Billco: I remember something my prof mused upon on the human interaction with the universe in viewing the night sky (very similar to this topic statement) also and the whole significance of it all; besides once our lives depended along with learning about the sky a kind of symbiosis sprung.
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  14. #13  
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    Grey_matter5, it is not you im talking about. i'm talking about the one who wrote that article
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

    The king of posting
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  15. #14 Re: Discourse 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_matter5
    Billco: I remember something my prof mused upon on the human interaction with the universe in viewing the night sky (very similar to this topic statement) also and the whole significance of it all; besides once our lives depended along with learning about the sky a kind of symbiosis sprung.
    Sorry, I could not make any sense of that - could you please re-state in a language suitable for a septegenarian [well next week anyway]
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  16. #15 whoops! 
    Forum Freshman Grey_matter5's Avatar
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    Bilco: I'll see about the sky and future human relationship when I meet the Professor again, however, his dad (former Astronomer of Lowell observatory) is the original author as well on other various things and has been reluctant to publish the writings.

    Just try to form an analogue with art, some people obtain value from its various forms.
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  17. #16  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelos
    he is a grackpot. It will allways be possible
    ....
    i'm talking about the one who wrote that article
    Point 1: grackpot. I thought you were going to work on your typing.

    Point 2:The one who wrote the article is Paul Rincon, a BBC science reporter. He does not express any view as to the truth or otherwise of the claims laid out in the article. He merely reports on them. (The clue is in his job title, if you look closely.) Why is he a crackpot to report on such an issue?

    Point 3:You may view Point 2 as pedantic nit-picking. It is. All good science is based on pedantic nit-picking. Precision in observation and reportage is essential.

    Point 4:Professor Gilmore, of Cambridge University, is a crackpot? I think if I have to choose my source of information between Zelos and Professor Gilmore, I shall lean towards the Professor -
    Professor of Experimental Philosophy with the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge. His research is largely related to stellar populations, what matter really is, and where it is. Gerry Gilmore is active on numerous astronomy related projects. Gaia is an ambitious plan to chart a three dimensional map of the Milky Way. It is hoped that this project will provide insight into the composition, formation and evolution of our Galaxy. He is also Chair of Opticon which helps organize and administrate astronomical projects with member EU countries.
    Source: http://www.rsnz.org/events/emc2/einstein/gilmore.php

    Point 5: I shall have only restricted internet access over the next week, Zelos. I didn't want you to experience withdrawal symptoms from the absence of my criticism. I thought this post might see you through till my return.
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  18. #17 Re: whoops! 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_matter5

    Just try to form an analogue with art, some people obtain value from its various forms.

    Could you explain that one as well? I am a seventy year old retired engineer I have an imense practical understanding of the universe, my greatest claim to fame is the design of a small part of the space shuttle system (not an orbital part I add) - I am highly sceptical of marrying art with science, in my experience it is usually either sought by 'poets' who think they understand science or engineer/scientists who have lost their grip on reality.
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  19. #18  
    Forum Isotope Zelos's Avatar
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    Point 1: grackpot. I thought you were going to work on your typing.
    yes i have, but once in a while someone will come.

    I shall have only restricted internet access over the next week, Zelos. I didn't want you to experience withdrawal symptoms from the absence of my criticism. I thought this post might see you through till my return
    i have no idea what you mean with this

    point 2-4

    no comments except that groundbased astronomy will continue. if you erupt vulcanos or make a asteriod hit earth we talk reality
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

    The king of posting
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  20. #19  
    Forum Senior silkworm's Avatar
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    Oh man, I was hoping it was due to good news.
    "I would as soon vomit over him as buy him a hamburger."-Ophiolite about Richard Dawkins

    Read my blog about my experiences defending science here!http://silkworm.wordpress.com/

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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelos
    I shall have only restricted internet access over the next week, Zelos. I didn't want you to experience withdrawal symptoms from the absence of my criticism. I thought this post might see you through till my return
    i have no idea what you mean with this
    I have been critical of you in a number of threads.
    I am being critical of your expressed opinions in the quoted post.
    I do not wish you to think that I am picking on you, for I am not.
    Therefore, I have used a little ironic humour to attempt to take the sting out of my comments.
    Clearly I need to get a new scriptwriter.
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  22. #21  
    Cooking Something Good MacGyver1968's Avatar
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    After the events of 9/11 the skies were clear of planes for 3 days, some scientists used this rare opportunity to study the affects of contrails.

    http://archives.cnn.com/2002/TECH/sc...ate/index.html

    Although this article deals with temperature change, it shows they do affect the atmosphere. Although I don't think they would affect the main "professional" telescopes since most of them are in remote regions, sitting atop high mountains, I not sure if it would affect Joe Sixpack with his $50 Walmart telescope. I guess you also have to consider most flight are during daylight hours. Can someone explain to me why airplanes make contrails in the first place?
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  23. #22 Clear skies 
    Forum Freshman Grey_matter5's Avatar
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    Yes! I remember when the skies were clear--extremely interesting patterns were apparant.

    Regarding contrails, the exhaust matter act as nucleations sites, however, military aircraft avoid this--so someone else with sufficient knowledge should elaborate further.
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  24. #23  
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    This isnt really a big deal, in my opinion, do you give up air travel or give up ground based astronomy or neither. hhhmmmm, Ill pick neither. All we have to do is reverse global warming and invent a jet engine that produces faster dissipating contrails. Or my personal idea, send all astronomers to a moon colony.
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  25. #24  
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    We humans can do what ever we want. what ever we do we effect nature if it will cost the ground base astronomy so be it. We have the moon, the space the entire solersystem to play with.
    Resistence is futile
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

    The king of posting
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