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Centaur
2018-Mar-23, 12:48 AM
BGR - today: http://bgr.com/2018/03/22/mars-discovery-the-astronomers-telegram/ :rofl:

trinitree88
2018-Mar-23, 01:17 AM
Centaur. Ouch is right. Jumped at a few conclusions, too. Reminds me of an article either in Sky & Tel, or Astronomy magazine a long time ago, a prof reported @ a conference a star with high sodium levels in its spectra. While going through his presentation, a listener noted the occurence on successive days with a 5 day intervals of null results.....and commented that on the calendar, the star only showed up with its unusual spectra, on weekends, much to everyone's laughter.
Turned out a newly hired weekend custodian was smoking, and the flash of sodium chlorate in a match, bounced off the observatory dome, down into the spectrograph. As a pro, he retracted the result graciously. Stuff happens. Keep looking up. pete

Swift
2018-Mar-23, 12:41 PM
I saw an even rarer object this morning. It was a big ball of fire in the sky and it must have burned all the protecting clouds away. I have only vague memories of seeing anything similar, but that was a long time ago. :D

George
2018-Mar-23, 02:09 PM
I saw an even rarer object this morning. It was a big ball of fire in the sky and it must have burned all the protecting clouds away. I have only vague memories of seeing anything similar, but that was a long time ago. :D Hmmm... what color was it?

I was curious about the rest of this story and found this (https://www.sciencealert.com/a-cosmology-professor-peter-dunsby-accidentally-announces-the-re-discovery-of-mars-astronomers-telegram):

"He was using an 80mm refracting telescope, when he discovered the transient on March 20, between 1:00am and 3:45am UT. The object was visible throughout the full duration of the observations and not seen when this field was observed previously (08 March 2018)," Dunsby wrote. You can feel the excitement towards the end of the alert, concluding: "The optical transient is the brightest star in the field. Further observations are strongly encouraged to establish the nature of this very bright optical transient. At some point in the following minutes he must have realised that he wasn't the first to spot the super bright object. In fact, it was Mars."

I'm unsure who was first to recognize the error though it seems he did himself after 40 minutes.

The discovery certificate is great stuff! People underestimate the great sense of humor of most astronomers.

23074

BigDon
2018-Mar-23, 04:10 PM
I saw an even rarer object this morning. It was a big ball of fire in the sky and it must have burned all the protecting clouds away. I have only vague memories of seeing anything similar, but that was a long time ago. :D

A neighboring coastal town Daly City had an entire calendar summer without a single clear day. Overcast and fog the entire summer.

We figured that was the year they couldn't find a virgin to throw into the volcano...

StupendousMan
2018-Mar-23, 05:18 PM
Perhaps you are thinking of the "potassium flare stars" reported by astronomers at the Haute-Provence Observatory in the 1960s.
If so, then the solution is described in Wing, Pembert and Spinrad, PASP 79, 351 (1967).

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1967PASP...79..351W

The key section of the paper starts at page 357,

http://adsbit.harvard.edu//full/1967PASP...79..351W/0000357.000.html

and is titled "The Spectra of Matches."

grapes
2018-Mar-24, 08:37 AM
Perhaps you are thinking of the "potassium flare stars" reported by astronomers at the Haute-Provence Observatory in the 1960s.
If so, then the solution is described in Wing, Pembert and Spinrad, PASP 79, 351 (1967).

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1967PASP...79..351W

The key section of the paper starts at page 357,

http://adsbit.harvard.edu//full/1967PASP...79..351W/0000357.000.html

and is titled "The Spectra of Matches."
They don't actually identify a culprit though. Maybe the story has been embroidered.

StupendousMan
2018-Mar-24, 09:30 AM
The story told in post #2 in this thread has almost certainly been embroidered. I was unable to find any articles describing the potassium flare stars in indices for "Sky and Telescope" or "Astronomy" magazine. The published articles include none of the details mentioned in that post. The article in PASP describes experiments at OHP in which light from matches could enter the spectrograph, but only if the match was lit inside the coude room, not in the dome.

Solfe
2018-Mar-25, 12:24 AM
I saw this and didn't want to believe it was true. It seems that it is so true, the guy is actually trolling himself on social media. At least he is a good sport.

schlaugh
2018-Mar-25, 12:29 PM
At least he didnít say it would be as large as the moon.


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BigDon
2018-Mar-26, 04:48 PM
At least he didn’t say it would be as large as the moon.


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Or that at closest approach Mars' chilly temperatures should help offset global warming...

(Gawd, I only wish I was making that up. When I first read that, about 30,000 of my brain cells died of embarrassment for the human race.)