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tusenfem
2008-Sep-02, 06:49 PM
All people here, wondering if we are the only ones getting bothered by Planet X, Nibiru, 2012 "crazies", I would advise to take a look at the Skeptical Inquirer #5 (September/October 2008). There is an article by David Morrison of "Ask an Astrobiologist" about "The Myth of Nibiru and the End of the World in 2012." He gets exactly the same questions and angry replies to his answers as appear here on the board.

Nowhere Man
2008-Sep-02, 08:23 PM
And why these people are asking an astrobiologist questions like that is beyond me.

Well, maybe not. Maybe, some kind of limited mentality sees the prefix astro- and thinks, "Hey, this guy knows all about space 'n' stuff! I'll ask him!" (but with poorer spelling).

Fred

Van Rijn
2008-Sep-02, 08:36 PM
A while back, we had a fellow who asked typical 2012 questions, and he had come here after asking some questions at the "Ask an Astrobiologist" page. He hadn't been too happy with the attitude there. Here's the current list of topics there on Nibiru:

http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/ask-an-astrobiologist/?q=nibiru&l=Ask

Back then, when I read through the list, I found two things: The fellow's questions had already been answered at that site and David Morrison was showing obvious frustration at the constant repetition of the questions. There are only so many ways to say "there's no evidence for it, it's a myth, it isn't real, there isn't a Mayan connection."

Van Rijn
2008-Sep-02, 08:37 PM
And why these people are asking an astrobiologist questions like that is beyond me.


I think it's just that it's easy (just click a button) and at a NASA site.

Celestial Mechanic
2008-Sep-02, 08:43 PM
Since we have as yet to actually find a for real, living, metabolizing organism from another planet/meteoroid/comet to study, dissect or probe (turnabout is fair play!), just what do astrobiologists do? :D ;)

korjik
2008-Sep-02, 09:10 PM
ooooh, now we are going to have to have someone start a thread to discuss wether this thread should be on 01101001's list of 2012 topics!

:D

KaiYeves
2008-Sep-02, 10:30 PM
Since we have as yet to actually find a for real, living, metabolizing organism from another planet/meteoroid/comet to study, dissect or probe (turnabout is fair play!), just what do astrobiologists do?
Oooh! I just read a book on this! They study extremophiles on Earth and look for organic chemicals in samples from other planets.

Van Rijn
2008-Sep-02, 10:35 PM
Since we have as yet to actually find a for real, living, metabolizing organism from another planet/meteoroid/comet to study, dissect or probe (turnabout is fair play!), just what do astrobiologists do? :D ;)

They answer Planet X questions on a NASA website. :lol:

Nowhere Man
2008-Sep-02, 10:40 PM
I think it's just that it's easy (just click a button) and at a NASA site.
The stupid! It burrrnnnsss! :wall:

Fred

tusenfem
2008-Sep-03, 09:02 AM
Back then, when I read through the list, I found two things: The fellow's questions had already been answered at that site and David Morrison was showing obvious frustration at the constant repetition of the questions. There are only so many ways to say "there's no evidence for it, it's a myth, it isn't real, there isn't a Mayan connection."

Yeah, that also comes through in the article in Skeptical Enquirer, telling people there is nothing there, make them want you to prove it to them that there is nothing there, instead that they ask the mythmakers to show them that there really is something there. Sometimes it's an upsidedown world.

Jim
2008-Sep-03, 03:40 PM
... David Morrison was showing obvious frustration at the constant repetition of the questions. There are only so many ways to say "there's no evidence for it, it's a myth, it isn't real, there isn't a Mayan connection."

Good lord! An astrobiologist and he never learned about cut-and-paste? What are they teaching in astrobiology school these days?

"there's no evidence for it, it's a myth, it isn't real, there isn't a Mayan connection."

"there's no evidence for it, it's a myth, it isn't real, there isn't a Mayan connection."

"there's no evidence for it, it's a myth, it isn't real, there isn't a Mayan connection."

etc, etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseum...

Parrothead
2008-Sep-03, 04:17 PM
There's no such thing as Planet X. It was blown up by Marvin The Martian and Duck Dodgers. :p

Van Rijn
2008-Sep-03, 08:15 PM
Good lord! An astrobiologist and he never learned about cut-and-paste? What are they teaching in astrobiology school these days?


Heh. Of course, there are a variety of questions there that follow closely the sorts of questions we get, so the answers vary a bit. They can be funny or sad, depending on your mood. Paraphrasing some of the questions and comments:

"I saw a picture of Nibiru on a NASA website." (There are a number of questions confusing Eris and Nibiru.)

"If Nibiru doesn't exist, why are there IRAS images?" (Which, of course, assumes there are IRAS images of it).

"If Nibiru doesn't exist, why is there global warming, tsunamis, Earthquakes?"

"If it's a hoax, then why does (insert random website here) have video of Nibiru?"

"If Nibiru didn't exist, how did the Sumarians discover Nibiru/Planet X/Eris 5000 years ago?"

:doh:

toothdust
2008-Sep-04, 03:45 AM
While I have no reason to believe either way on this, what is the percentage of the sky that is tracked for NEO's? Not just NEO's, but what percentage of the sky is tracked for larger objects like Sedna? I think I read somewhere that around 3% of the sky is tracked for new objects. Doesn't seem like enough to make me feel safe, if that is in fact the correct number...

Paul Leeks
2008-Sep-04, 03:52 AM
I don't underestimate the the Mayan Calendar thing, I have a book called The Cataclysm of 2012,the author noted 11.5 yr sunspot cycles B4 NASA did!Everyone laughed and he was right..it's meant to peak in 2012!

PL

Jens
2008-Sep-04, 03:58 AM
I don't underestimate the the Mayan Calendar thing, I have a book called The Cataclysm of 2012,the author noted 11.5 yr sunspot cycles B4 NASA did!Everyone laughed and he was right..it's meant to peak in 2012!


Either you are completely ignorant about this or I'm seriously misunderstanding what you're trying to say. The sunspot cycle was discovered in the 1850s. NASA did not exist at that time.

Celestial Mechanic
2008-Sep-04, 04:40 AM
Since we have as yet to actually find a for real, living, metabolizing organism from another planet/meteoroid/comet to study, dissect or probe (turnabout is fair play!), just what do astrobiologists do?Oooh! I just read a book on this! They study extremophiles on Earth and look for organic chemicals in samples from other planets.
Yours is a good answer and I thank you for it. But I am a little skeptical; those extremophiles are on Earth after all, not Mars or Europa. Nevertheless their study does give us clues as to what other forms of life we might find one day.

I am also a bit skeptical of the "organic chemicals in samples from other planets" because of the possibility of contamination whether from sitting in Antarctic ice for several millennia or during transportation to and handling on Earth.

The problem with astrobiology is that it still does not have any real subjects to observe.

Of course this answer, the funny answer, was pretty good too.

They answer Planet X questions on a NASA website.

Kaptain K
2008-Sep-04, 04:41 AM
The sunspot cycle was discovered in the 1850s.
While the cycle may have been "discovered" in the 1850s, sunspots were recorded at least 200 years before that and by going back and reconstructing the records, the Maunder Minimum was also discovered.

Jens
2008-Sep-04, 05:18 AM
While the cycle may have been "discovered" in the 1850s, sunspots were recorded at least 200 years before that and by going back and reconstructing the records, the Maunder Minimum was also discovered.

In any case, Paul still has some explaining to do, because he stated that the author of some book "noted 11.5 yr sunspot cycles B4 NASA did." I have reason to suspect that NASA was also non-existent in the 1600s...

Jeff Root
2008-Sep-04, 06:09 AM
My friend got a degree in astrobiology, before I met her, I think, some
25 years ago or more. She has two teenage kids. You think they are
not alien life forms?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

NEOWatcher
2008-Sep-04, 11:52 AM
...I think I read somewhere that around 3% of the sky is tracked for new objects. Doesn't seem like enough to make me feel safe, if that is in fact the correct number...
I don't know what the number is, but that is a number that definitely needs to be put in some context. Tracking the sky tells me that that number may be based on regular surveys, but there may be other observations on the rest of the sky.
My question would be how long for an entire scan of the ecliptic, and how long for the rest of the survey.

Celestial Mechanic
2008-Sep-04, 12:40 PM
In any case, Paul still has some explaining to do, because he stated that the author of some book "noted 11.5 yr sunspot cycles B4 NASA did." I have reason to suspect that NASA was also non-existent in the 1600s...
As was Paul ... :)

HenrikOlsen
2008-Sep-04, 01:18 PM
My friend got a degree in astrobiology, before I met her, I think, some
25 years ago or more. She has two teenage kids. You think they are
not alien life forms?
Seeing how they started out as parasitic growths in her abdomen, then got out by inducing her to force them through a passage clearly not large enough for that purpose, I'd say yes.

tusenfem
2008-Sep-05, 12:00 PM
While the cycle may have been "discovered" in the 1850s, sunspots were recorded at least 200 years before that and by going back and reconstructing the records, the Maunder Minimum was also discovered.

Indeed, Galileo already made drawings of sunspots (see here for an example (http://www.orbit.zkm.de/?q=node/194)), must not have been long then before some "loony" decided "whoa, I-ma goin' to make notes on them spots!"