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Thread: A Revolution in Astronomy

  1. #31
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    Some YECs advocate a universe 6000 light-years in size.

    Moon & Spencer suggested one c15 light-years in diameter
    http://ncse.com/cej/2/2/moon-spencer-small-universe

    The more extreme geocentrists claim only 120 light-days!

  2. #32
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    Schadewald's and Freske's articles are very illuminating as to the deliciously nutty flavours the so-called creation science tends to come in.
    The dog, the dog, he's at it again!

  3. #33
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    Katirai's thinking appears to be akin with the infamous Neville Jones http://www.geocentricperspective.com...0distances.pdf

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solon View Post
    At the distance of Pluto, smallest resolvable feature is 862 miles Dia. (to give more than a single pixel display).
    Given the image of Pluto on its Wikipedia page, I suspect it might be less.

    At 4LY (nearest star) it would be 19,695 miles.
    Are you sure? According to my calculations Pluto is roughly 6 light hours away - a quarter of a day. The nearest star is 4 light years away. That makes the nearest star 5844 times further away than Pluto. I suspect the resolution of Hubble at the distance of Proxima Centauri might be considerably worse per pixel than ~20,000 miles.

  5. #35
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    Given 0.043 arcsecond angular resolution, I get 1100 km/680 mi at Pluto, 8.3 million km or 5.1 million miles at Proxima Centauri. Other techniques have allowed direct measurements of star size and imaging of nearby giant stars, though.

    http://www.mrao.cam.ac.uk/telescopes...astronomy.html

  6. #36
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    Unfortunately the author of "Revolution in Astronomy", Bahram Katirai, a Canadian Bahai from Iran, passed away last year, so we won't be able to ask him any questions
    http://rskanefuneralhome.frontrunner...&ItemId=489717

  7. #37
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    Thanks for the interesting links, and Hubble resolution figures.
    I'll spend more time looking into them before I comment further, but just
    wanted to mention this one now.

    @Peter B
    Given the image of Pluto on its Wikipedia page, I suspect it might be less.
    * NASA elaborates:
    "The Hubble images are a few pixels wide. But through a technique called dithering, multiple, slightly offset pictures can be combined through computer-image processing to synthesize a higher-resolution view than could be seen in a single exposure."
    Investigator Marc Buie of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, said:"This has taken four years and 20 computers operating continuously and simultaneously to accomplish."
    Hubble doesn't see that far before it is 'flying on instruments'. The thing is a tricked-out photomultiplier, along with lots of other very advanced instrumentation, which supply some data to computers programmed by humans. I have to be leery of placing too much faith in the results, though I do believe they are actually doing a good job with the available data as far as the shape of remote objects goes, but am not convinced of the calculated distances, as yet.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solon View Post
    Thanks for the interesting links, and Hubble resolution figures.
    I'll spend more time looking into them before I comment further, but just
    wanted to mention this one now.

    @Peter B


    * NASA elaborates:


    Hubble doesn't see that far before it is 'flying on instruments'. The thing is a tricked-out photomultiplier, along with lots of other very advanced instrumentation, which supply some data to computers programmed by humans. I have to be leery of placing too much faith in the results, though I do believe they are actually doing a good job with the available data as far as the shape of remote objects goes, but am not convinced of the calculated distances, as yet.
    My bold. Can you tell us, in appropriate mathematical detail, why you are not convinced?

  9. #39
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    @ Salon... I want to help you understand what we do understand, and that you seem to have doubts about.
    'We' by the use of networks of radio telescopes I shall call a global array. That the cosmic microwave background has been mapped.
    That is seems to be nearly 14 billion light years away in any direction we look. That the space between it and us is not empty...
    We have detected a very large number of Galaxies, Clusters of galaxies, Groups of galaxies and that there are more galaxies detected than grains of sand on planet Earth...
    That almost all of those Galaxies are thought to have more than 300,000,000 Stars.
    That professional and private astronomers agree with ... Do you think this is wrong ?
    I need to ask. From where do you think that any of that is wrong ?
    I will also remind you that the 'Hubble Telescope' is only a 2.4 metre reflector.
    On the hill tops of Hawaii and Chile and South Africa... are found clusters of giant telescopes (10.4 metres )
    What do you think they and the professional employees working there do ?

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solon View Post
    I have to be leery of placing too much faith in the results, though I do believe they are actually doing a good job with the available data as far as the shape of remote objects goes, but am not convinced of the calculated distances, as yet.
    Not convinced for what purpose? If you want to know the distance to, say, Alpha Centauri A to the nearest centimeter, you're out of luck, but the claim made in the OP paper that the distances are radically different from what has been measured by multiple methods is simply ridiculous.

    This isn't about belief or faith, but what has been determined using a huge body of evidence supported science.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

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  11. #41
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    "The author suspects that the distances of some of the
    globular clusters could be even closer to us than that of Pluto, but
    because they are very faint and move very slowly (as they are
    located away from the plane of the Milky Way), their distances are
    presumed to be tens of thousands of light years away. If a
    spacecraft were to be sent towards one of the so-called star clusters
    and were to observe how the apparent size of the objects in the
    cluster increases as the distance to them decreases, it would be
    easy to tell how close they are to Earth.
    " (page 40)

    Sounds like something out of "The Truman Show"!

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    My bold. Can you tell us, in appropriate mathematical detail, why you are not convinced?
    I second that. I have a friend that constantly complains about the main stream models without understanding them. Before you can call a model faulty you best be intricately familiar with said model. "Gut" feels for laypersons are not a good bet. I'll often take a "Gut" feel from an expert because there is a lot of experience in that experts head and the brain can use that information to assess a situation without an effort or even conscious knowledge that they think about the issue. Being formally in the military this I can tell you this is one reason you get so much training. So certain situations become second nature but again a layperson will often have totally the wrong reaction to a situation because they don't have the appropriate knowledge.

    An example is the following.
    My Squad is doing a urban search for an enemy. While opening a door the point man is injured from an explosion. What is the best course of action?
    Laypersons reaction, often supported by tv and movies, would be to maybe grab the point man and fall back.
    Training tells me to grab the point man and go forward.
    Logic behind this is that the explosion is often designed to do a few things
    1) Injure/kill who ever it can
    2) force the enemy (us) back
    3) often into some other ambush site where it is easier to neutralise the rest of the group.
    The facts of this situation is often this tho
    1) you are on the right track by going in that direction
    2) the explosion would most likely neutralise any other similar traps in the area making that area the "safer" alternative
    3) the enemy is often going to expect you to fall back

  13. #43
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    "The author has patented an invention, called Wide angle and 3D television
    that could be used to provide a three dimensional view of stars. See Canadian
    patent; 2,136,889."
    (p33)

    This would be an interesting device, if it works!

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    "The author has patented an invention, called Wide angle and 3D television
    that could be used to provide a three dimensional view of stars. See Canadian
    patent; 2,136,889."
    (p33)

    This would be an interesting device, if it works!
    I have to wonder what the author was thinking of, since he seemed to think stars are planets orbiting the sun, but 3D star views are nothing new. There are limits of course. Here's one page:

    http://www.projectrho.com/smap05c.html

    All it takes is real measurement and a bit of work.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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  15. #45
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    Closer than Pluto? From Earth, an object 30 AU from the sun would appear to grow and shrink by about 7% of its largest apparent size over the course of a year due to Earth's orbit around the sun. That would be...rather noticeable.

    edit: That's for objects near the plane of the solar system, of course. The plane of the Milky Way is at a large angle to it...and the bit about speed of motion of objects away from the plane of whatever doesn't make any sense.

  16. #46
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    An excellent bit of evidence that the objects observed are clearly stars, rather than planets can also come from their spectrum. In a brief skimming of the first part of that document, the author mentions that color cannot be a good indicator of temperature because uranus and neptune are blue, but they are not >6000K the way that blue stars are. He completely ignores the overall spectrum however - a planet with reflected light of a certain color is very, very easy to distinguish from blackbody emission. Here's an example - this is the spectrum of Jupiter:

    http://lasp.colorado.edu/~bagenal/10...iter_spect.gif

    (You can ignore the part of the plot labeled "incident" - that's the spectrum of the light hitting Jupiter, not the light coming from Jupiter).

    Note the distinctive shape. It has two definite peaks - one from the planet's own thermal emission (which peaks in the IR, unless the planet is extremely hot or cold), and one from the reflected light.

    A star, by comparison, has only one distinctive peak to its spectrum. Here's the spectrum of the sun for example:
    http://www.atmos.caf.dlr.de/projects..._6/fig_6_3.jpg

    When we look at the spectrum of stars in the sky, we can clearly see that they are indeed blue, or white, or red because of their own thermal emission, and not because of reflected light.

  17. #47
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    Maybe parallax methods are not as important now, but I'm not going
    above the first rung of that Cosmic ladder until I am sure it is on
    solid ground!
    I think this is a good starting point for me, and it is Fig.25 where
    I have a problem accepting an accuracy that would not have considerable
    effect on the overall calculations. Too many uncertainties, for one he does
    not mention humidity. Dispersion, and the mentioned correction
    methods also seem open to questions of accuracy. I'll just have to trust that
    the mathematicians have all their ducks in a row though, I got a headache just
    looking at some of it for a few minutes! I might have to bring in a pinch hitter
    when the serious math arises.
    Positional Astronomy-David Kilkenny
    http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source...vbo27kLFHrQTMg
    Thanks for your patience with the Newbie.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solon View Post
    Maybe parallax methods are not as important now, but I'm not going
    above the first rung of that Cosmic ladder until I am sure it is on
    solid ground!

    Thanks for your patience with the Newbie.
    In post #3 you said:
    No, I am not advocating it [Mr. Katirai's book]. I am not an astronomer, or a mathematician, so I am looking for the opinion of those who are qualified.
    After 46 replies you seem unconvinced by the opinions of those who are qualified.

    At the very least you seem to have accepted some of Mr. Katirai's claims. I don't think I'm overstating the consensus in this forum that we feel Mr. Katirai's book is rubbish from beginning to end.

    Chris

  19. #49
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    Do you view Katirai's "heretical" non-standard cosmology as being in the same category as Arp's?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halton_Arp

    Quote Originally Posted by csmyth3025 View Post

    I don't think I'm overstating the consensus in this forum that we feel Mr. Katirai's book is rubbish from beginning to end.

    Chris

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solon View Post
    Maybe parallax methods are not as important now, but I'm not going
    above the first rung of that Cosmic ladder until I am sure it is on
    solid ground!
    I think this is a good starting point for me, and it is Fig.25 where
    I have a problem accepting an accuracy that would not have considerable
    effect on the overall calculations. Too many uncertainties, for one he does
    not mention humidity. Dispersion, and the mentioned correction
    methods also seem open to questions of accuracy. I'll just have to trust that
    the mathematicians have all their ducks in a row though, I got a headache just
    looking at some of it for a few minutes! I might have to bring in a pinch hitter
    when the serious math arises.
    Positional Astronomy-David Kilkenny
    http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source...vbo27kLFHrQTMg
    Thanks for your patience with the Newbie.
    You may have a headache because of an information overload. The positional astronomy paper covers so much material that a novice may initially have trouble seeing what can be safely ignored when measuring the parallax shift of a nearby star relative to the numerous more distant background stars.

    You referred to fig. 25 and mentioned the lack of attention to humidity. Like all of the other geometric effects besides the parallax, the overall atmospheric refraction is self-cancelling over the extent of the small field of view in which parallax measurements are performed. The blurring caused by atmospheric turbulence does degrade the measurements, but only by a fraction of an arcsecond. Even the roughest work shows conclusively that Proxima Centauri is a star some 4 lightyears away, with an uncertainty of a fraction of a lightyear either way. In no way can it be mistaken for a planet-sized body illuminated by the Sun.

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    ... The blurring caused by atmospheric turbulence does degrade the measurements, but only by a fraction of an arcsecond....
    except that the Hipparcos data was taken from outside the atmosphere.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  22. #52
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    "The fact that a very large percentage
    (over 25%) of all the parallaxes that astronomers measure happen to
    be negative indicates that all those allegedly „background‟ stars are
    actually closer to us than the stars of interest. It shows that there is a
    fundamental problem with the assumption about the background
    objects. Unfortunately, any measurements that happen to be negative
    or greater than an arc-second are discarded or ignored as systematic
    and random error.
    " (Katirai p14).

    Another one who makes much about negative parallaxes is Jones http://www.geocentricperspective.com...20parallax.htm


    Has the phenomenon of negative parallax been satisfactorily explained to current mainstream satisfaction?

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    Do you view Katirai's "heretical" non-standard cosmology as being in the same category as Arp's?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halton_Arp
    Given the fact that the Wikipedia article you cite does a pretty good job of discrediting Mr. Arp's conjectures, I would have to say "yes".

    Chris

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by wd40 View Post
    "The fact that a very large percentage
    (over 25%) of all the parallaxes that astronomers measure happen to
    be negative ...
    " (Katirai p14).
    ...
    How old is the quote? I notice that it doesn't include a distance cut-off condition either. I haven't studied the Hipparcos data that closely, but I would be surprised if any of the measurements of stars less than 100 light years from here had negative parallaxes from this data-set.

    Also, there are some radio studies of masers in other nearby galaxies that give direct trigonometric parallax distances accurate to a few percent.

    The phenomenon of negative parallax is most likely that parallaxes were measured for stars to and beyond the limit of the ability to get meaningful parallax numbers, and the negative ones are roughly half of the ones measured beyond the distance of meaningful measurement. When doing physics or astronomy work, you usually take things to the limit of measurement and a little beyond.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  25. #55
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    Yes indeed, Hipparcos has revolutionized astrometric work. By eliminating atmospheric interference it provided much cleaner raw data, and advanced mathematical reduction techniques with supercomputers provided enormously increased range and accuracy for determining the distances to relatively nearby stars, and strengthened the basis for the indirect ranging methods for more distant objects.

    I should have made it clear that the rough measurements that place the stars at least a few lightyears away include the work of Bessel and others nearly two centuries ago, using visual techniques with telescopes that were very small by today's standards. I was proceeding in baby steps for the benefit of the OP, who acknowledges knowing very little about astronomy and the related applied mathematics. Trying to cover everything all at once is too much for most novices to handle.

    Even the most primitive astrometry shows that Katirai's ideas are without scientific merit.

  26. #56
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    Thank you all for your responses, but I'm afraid I don't have the spare
    lifetime that it seems would be necessary to go into this issue to the
    depth required. The more I look into the distance determination methods
    and their admitted margins of error, and in particular the uncertainties
    as to the nature of deep space, the less I am willing to accept the
    findings. I realise my math skills would need to be very much improved
    on in order to attempt a serious questioning of the many highly qualified
    scientists who believe their calculations are truly representative.
    The older direct parallax method I see as having too many variables that
    are not, IMO, easily corrected for. Our atmoshere is highly variable
    in so many respects that I can only have any faith in the method up
    to the very nearest objects.
    Hipparcos, I would have though, would be much more reliable, but by its
    own admissions has unexplained errors, the negative parallax measurements,
    and the differences between it and the Hubble distance measurements.
    From the Hipparcos FAQ:
    Q. How about the existence of comparable quality astrometric data in conflict with the Hipparcos results?

    There are clearly major differences, evident at the level of several times the combined standard errors. Either there is something wrong with the Hipparcos values, or with the Hubble Space Telescope values (or both). Both have been subjected to significant calibration effort, and both claim comparable accuracies with the FGS values being typically more precise (formal standard error) than the Hipparcos ones. Such results do indicate the huge challenge of performing astrometry at the mas level. A detailed evaluation of these specific conflicting results would certainly be valuable.
    Redshift is really a most contentious issue, the 'Net is brimming with arguments
    as to its validity, let alone its accuracy, in distance measurement. And any math
    involved is certainly well beyond me. I'm not an Arp devotee, but he and others
    throw up some questions that I don't feel have been answered with any level of
    surety.
    That leaves spectral methods. In this, I can offer another explanation for all the
    observed data, one which is based on NASA experiments, but which I would put in the
    ATM section, as I don't think NASA intended the data to be used in the way I do.
    My proposal does allow a distant planet to be seen and posses star-like spectral
    qualities, as most of the light is not from reflection. I know, this guy is Nuts,
    you are all thinking, and maybe rightly so, but I'm willing to go down fighting!
    When I came to BAUT, I was looking for a simple and decisive disproof of his
    theories, not to try and prove him correct. I really am surprised that we can not,
    to my satisfaction anyway, say with absolute certainty that our nearest star is
    indeed a star. I think that should be the very most important thing to throw the
    weight of the scientific establishment at, as all following assumptions are based
    on stars being stars. I can not prove Katirai is correct, and in fact I believe
    his explanation, if it has any merit, to be incomplete, and requires the acceptance
    of principles and mechanisms that even he might have found preposterous!
    I'll perhaps provide some entertainment at least with my spectral explanation,
    you guys deserve some fun now and again!
    And one last question if I may. I am wondering if anyone is familiar with the
    Apollo 16 FUVC camera, and if so, what was inside it, and what the reason was
    for performing the only Lunar surface astronomy in just the far UV?
    http://www3.telus.net/summa/faruv/index.htm
    Many thanks.

  27. #57
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    There have been lots of simple disproofs. You just refuse to accept them. So it is hard to make these measurements. We know that. Doesn't mean that everything falls apart. The models we have for the universe and the things in it work pretty well - they are not perfect but they work well.

    Sorry but it really sounds like you are refusing utterly to accept the evidence. I am not sure what evidence you would be willing to accept. We can give you parallax, spectral measurements, size luminosity relationships, the H-R diagram, Cephids, supernovae, galaxies, flare observations, black holes, protoplanetary disks, planetary nebula, accretion disks, Big Bang nucleosynthesis predictions and so on. All of this fits well into the current model. It is not the case that a few measurement errors invalidates the fact that we have a series of interlinked models that explain our observations well. You will have to come up with a LOT more than just an explanation for spectral features.

    Redshift contentious? Not hugely. Of course there are lots of arguments on the web about it - that is what the web is for these days. There are also lots of arguments about whether the Earth is flat, whether aliens are secretly controlling us and many more things. The fact of the matter remains - the best fits to current observations are those given by mainstream models. If something better comes along then it will become mainstream. Finding a few tatty edges to a theory doesn't alter this.

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solon View Post
    And one last question if I may. I am wondering if anyone is familiar with the
    Apollo 16 FUVC camera, and if so, what was inside it, and what the reason was
    for performing the only Lunar surface astronomy in just the far UV?
    http://www3.telus.net/summa/faruv/index.htm
    Many thanks.
    Of course you may, but you'd best start a new thread for that, IMHO.
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  29. #59
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    Salon... You really must do some research if you are genuinely interested in pushing back the ignorance.
    You have been guided by some good advice here. As Shaula and others have tried to be honest with you.
    You can not challenge the mainstream excepted view with a sweeping point of view that is not backed by good science.
    I like many other astronomers have made direct observation of deep sky objects.
    Of remnant nova objects, of galactic clusters and groups. Of things at distances hard to imagine...
    Thousands of Thousands of L/Y's away.
    It would seem that by following the doubtful writings of some obscure and now dead writer. You have grasped onto a intelligencer design proprioception dribble and are finding it difficult to put aside... Please try harder. The rest of humanity has excepted science and its methods. You could find that answer is the more expectable road to travel...
    If (as it seems you are thinking) that we are wrong about red shift and distance calculations... NO. that is a error of yours that you can fix and should. Good science is good science and can and will be tested... can you do and say that of your view ?

  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solon View Post
    Thank you all for your responses, but I'm afraid I don't have the spare
    lifetime that it seems would be necessary to go into this issue to the
    depth required. The more I look into the distance determination methods
    and their admitted margins of error, and in particular the uncertainties
    as to the nature of deep space, the less I am willing to accept the
    findings.
    I ask again, for what purpose are you not willing to accept the findings? If you're arguing for the claims in the paper you linked to, it would be like someone claiming that, measuring from New York City, Australia is a small lot in New Jersey, and arguing that this is possible because of the limitations in measurement of Australia's size and distance. You really shouldn't need to understand the details of the most accurate methods of measurement to realize it doesn't make any sense!

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