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View Full Version : Whatever became of the coming and going star?

laporteind
2003-Apr-08, 06:42 AM
Hello. I was told about this website after posting a question on a Yahoogroup on astronomy. Here is my original post to that group:

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I just want to add that I am not implying that the star exhibited simultaneous red shift and blue shift. And my reason for including the Saturday Night Live skit reference is because that is what has made this a 'nagging question' of mine and that it was in the media enough to make SNL include it in their show.

kilopi
2003-Apr-08, 09:19 AM
I too get most of my understanding of the world from Father Sarducci, but I have to wonder about this case. If it was twenty years ago, and the star was showing red shift for 50 and blue shift for 50, wouldn't that mean there would be such observations from before maybe 1920? If not 1880?

Argos
2003-Apr-08, 02:33 PM
I mean how can a star be coming towards the earth and going away from it?

It happens all the time. Consider a binary system (a star orbiting another). As you see it edge-on, one of the stars - orbiting on an ellipse - will be coming towards Earth, displaying a blue shift, while its companion will be getting farther, leaving a red shift. After some time the system averts.

As to people getting younger or older, it looks like a wonderous story, detached from the physical reality.

{edited to fix spelling}

kilopi
2003-Apr-08, 02:39 PM
It happens all the time. Consider a binary system
I suppose so--just calculate the orbit, and the rest is automatic. No need to even measure the shift itself.

laporteind
2003-Apr-08, 10:13 PM
Well, I posted here in the hopes that someone would remember the story better than I remember it and tell me the name of the star or a website that has a writeup on it. Even knowing the month and year it happened would help because then I could try looking up the archives of astronomy magazines which surely must have devoted some space to the story. It was the late 70's. Astronomers knew about red shift, blue shift and binary stars pretty well back then, no? There had to have been something very different about this star. Something that had never been seen before. Maybe it's not bad astronomy at all.
Can anyone suggest a different group I could post this to?

Crimson
2003-Apr-10, 12:30 AM
The star's name is SS 433. A search on Google will tell you more.

kilopi
2003-Apr-10, 03:58 AM
Most of the links I found at google were broken. This one: SS 433 (http://www.dstrange.freeserve.co.uk/ss433.htm) seems pretty informative. The good father must have been making up the fifty year thing.

Kaptain K
2003-Apr-10, 10:41 AM
...since participants were linked with an e-mail exploder.

Latest feature from Microsft? :roll: :-?