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Kevn
2008-Apr-18, 12:46 AM
Big mistake in tonight's episode.

4th Grade Astronomy - in distance, what is the nearest galaxy to our own.

The contestant said 'Andromeda', the kid said 'Andromeda' and they were told they were correct!!!

Aughhhh!

Bearded One
2008-Apr-18, 01:57 AM
I just saw that, I would have got that one wrong for sure.

Gillianren
2008-Apr-18, 05:35 AM
I just saw that, I would have got that one wrong for sure.

Me, too. Until there were two threads wigging out about it, I still thought it was Andromeda myself. I didn't know a) the Magellanic Clouds are closer or b) the Magellanic Clouds are considered a galaxy. Then again, I'm not writing a game show question on the subject.

But knowing that doesn't necessarily make you smarter than a fifth-grader, as I've said before. Just better-educated.

Van Rijn
2008-Apr-18, 06:20 AM
Big mistake in tonight's episode.

4th Grade Astronomy - in distance, what is the nearest galaxy to our own.

The contestant said 'Andromeda', the kid said 'Andromeda' and they were told they were correct!!!

Aughhhh!

They didn't say, "What is the nearest spiral galaxy to our own?"

Drunk Vegan
2008-Apr-18, 06:32 AM
And technically if the question is just, "What is the nearest galaxy to ours?" then isn't the correct answer technically one of the dwarf galaxies? IIRC, there are several that are closer than the LMC and SMC.

ineluki
2008-Apr-18, 01:15 PM
The contestant said 'Andromeda', the kid said 'Andromeda' and they were told they were correct!!!

Which one would you prefer?

NASA itself called Andromeda the nearest galaxy here (2004):
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2004/0915spirit_prt.htm

"Looking farther into space is equivalent to seeing back in time, because the speed of light is finite, and it takes light a significant amount of time to traverse immense cosmic distances. We see the nearest large galaxy (Andromeda) as it appeared about two million years ago, because that's how long it took for its light to reach us..."

Now this one is already ten years old:
http://apod.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap970329.html
Explanation: What's the closest galaxy to our Milky Way? For many years astronomers thought it was the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). But the seemingly insignificant fuzzy patch shown above turned out to be part of a galaxy that is even closer. Deemed the "Sagittarius Dwarf", this small galaxy went unnoticed until its discovery in 1994 by R. Ibata, G. Gilmore and M. Irwin (RGO).

Given that even NASA doesn't keep this consistent, I think Andromeda can be considered a valid answer.

Click Ticker
2008-Apr-18, 01:22 PM
In your post, NASA does say, "...the nearest large galaxy..." They were specific in stating a qualifier. Didn't see the episode, so I can't say if the show specified "large galaxy". What do you do if you're more right than the show? Can you sue for potential winnings?

SeanF
2008-Apr-18, 01:26 PM
But knowing that doesn't necessarily make you smarter than a fifth-grader, as I've said before. Just better-educated.
It doesn't even necessarily make you better educated than a fifth-grader. If that's the only thing you know that the fifth-grader doesn't... :)

mike alexander
2008-Apr-18, 02:40 PM
Haha. When humans talk about galaxies, 'large' becomes a funny qualifier.

"Well, I think 20,000 light years across is pretty darned large!"

Moose
2008-Apr-18, 03:00 PM
And technically if the question is just, "What is the nearest galaxy to ours?" then isn't the correct answer technically one of the dwarf galaxies? IIRC, there are several that are closer than the LMC and SMC.

The question them becomes, if a dwarf galaxy should count as equivalent for that sort of question, then how many planets are there really in our solar system if we have to consider counting dwarfs?

Tog
2008-Apr-18, 03:21 PM
What do you do if you're more right than the show? Can you sue for potential winnings?

You can try (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9800E3D8163BF932A25756C0A9669C8B 63).

From 2000
Robert Gelbman, 34, a contestant on ''Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,'' has sued ABC, saying the question he answered incorrectly on a show taped Aug. 17 was ambiguous. He was eliminated at the $32,000 level by the question, ''Beginning in January, which of the following signs of the Zodiac comes last -- (a) Aquarius, (b) Aries, (c) Leo, (d) Scorpio?''

Moose
2008-Apr-18, 03:47 PM
From 2000

He's right. That was ambiguous. Depending on the exact nuance of "last" there are three answers that could be considered correct. Aries, Aquarius, and Scorpio.

ineluki
2008-Apr-18, 07:59 PM
In your post, NASA does say, "...the nearest large galaxy..." They were specific in stating a qualifier.


Here is one without the qualifier
http://www.msfc.nasa.gov/news/news/releases/2000/00-250.html


The observatory captured an image that revealed gas funneling into a supermassive black hole in the heart of the Andromeda galaxy is much cooler than expected. Andromeda is the Milky Way’s nearest galaxy neighbor at 2 million light years away.

Van Rijn
2008-Apr-18, 08:13 PM
The question them becomes, if a dwarf galaxy should count as equivalent for that sort of question, then how many planets are there really in our solar system if we have to consider counting dwarfs?

Keep in mind that the LMC has many billions of stars, so it's a rather large "dwarf" galaxy. Anyway, they could easily avoid confusion simply by using the word "spiral" as a qualifier.

novaderrik
2008-Apr-19, 07:33 AM
the show in question here is the one hosted by the "you might be a redneck..." guy, correct?

djellison
2008-Apr-21, 07:44 AM
This is the same quiz show that asked which Continent is also the name of an island ( or the other way around ).

At best, ambiguous, given that I was taught that the continent they were thinking of is called Australasia - and not Australia ( which is a country and an Island )

Doug