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Thread: Bad CNN (again. . .).

  1. #1
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    Check out the article concerning our likelihood of getting hit by an asteroid:

    http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/space/1...eut/index.html

    In the following excerpt, it talks about the scope that was used to gather this latest data:

    "Several teams of astronomers are taking part in the Sloan survey, which is mapping one-quarter of the sky using the telescope at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico.

    Its main purpose is to look at objects outside Earth's galaxy, but it is also cataloging smaller and closer objects such as asteroids."

    "Earth's galaxy"??? Didn't know we had exclusive ownership of the Milky Way! Also, what a range this scope must have to view not only objects outside our galaxy, but those within our solar system as well!

  2. #2
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    Well. . . I guess range really isn't an issue here, as all scopes can view both within our solar system and outside our galaxy. BUT. . . I still doubt they meant to say "galaxy" in the article!

  3. #3
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    There is really nothing technically wrong with that statement. The Sloan survey will be looking at extragalactic sources, so the statement is correct. It's like saying the phrase "our Galaxy", like "Andromeda is outside our Galaxy". Nothing wrong with that.

    It's possible that they were confusing "gaalxy" with "solar system"; they've done that before. But in this case I think they got it right.

  4. #4
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    Of course, in a geocentric universe "Earth's galaxy" would be the prefered term. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    I'll shut up now.

  5. #5
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    Technically correct, perhaps, but it just doesn't roll off the tonque right. . . I wouldn't say "Wally's world" when discussing Earth with someone (with all due respect to the movie "Vacation"). However, saying "our world" works just fine.

    Ok. Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but hey, it's slow around here today. . . Plus, as you mention, CNN does have a history of getting their terminology screwed up. 5 bucks says they did so here.

  6. #6
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    On 2001-11-08 12:37, Wally wrote:
    Technically correct, perhaps, but it just doesn't roll off the tonque right. . . I wouldn't say "Wally's world" when discussing Earth with someone (with all due respect to the movie "Vacation"). However, saying "our world" works just fine.

    Ok. Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but hey, it's slow around here today. . . Plus, as you mention, CNN does have a history of getting their terminology screwed up. 5 bucks says they did so here.
    You're on. Seriously, I didn't notice anything strange when I first read the article. I can see how "our galaxy" would be the more PC term, because it could include any extra-terrestrial civilations that may exist inside the Milky Way. But since we have yet to find any said extra-terrestrials, Earth's galaxy works just fine, even if that's not how the Milky Way is usually described.

    I wouldn't go any further than that, though. Calling it America's galaxy, for instance, would likely start World War III. Calling it my galaxy would likely get me locked in a loony bin. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

  7. #7
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    But the same article also mentioned the estimated number of large asteroids in our solar system. Someone there knows the difference.
    A question: how far outside our solar system should we be looking for asteroids? (Let's leave the "rogue comet" issue alone for a while)
    Lisa

  8. #8
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    Semantics:

    A body orbiting the Sun is part of the solar system. Therefore, de facto, there's no point in looking for asteroids "outside the solar system" -- they're all part of the solar system. Unless you're talking about asteroids orbiting other stars.

    Now, there's no reason there might not be a rare chuck of rock out there between the stars, but looking for those wouldn't be likely to result in many academic publications... [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    Perhaps you're asking, how far from the sun are we likely to find rocky objects? I think the answer is that most of those are in the main asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The stuff that's farther out, like Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud objects, are icy rather than stony -- comet-ish rather than asteroid-ish.

    Or am I still misunderstanding your question? [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif[/img]

  9. #9
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    Ok ok ok. . . y'all are being too kind to CNN on that last article, Methinks. So, how 'bout this one???

    http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/space/1...ion/index.html

    I question the following excerpt:

    "The probe was originally slated to lift off in 2004. The revised timetable would likely push back the departure to 2006, the last launch opportunity in more than a decade that would allow a spacecraft to use the gravity of Jupiter to boost itself to Pluto, according to planetary scientists."

    I would argue that the spacecraft does NOT use the "gravity of Jupiter" to boost itself, but rather it's orbital speed around the Sun. OK, ok. . . So the gravity does provide the necessary "conduit" with which the orbital energy gets transferred to the craft, but still I think this paragraph is at the least misleading. . . (what can I say, it's still slow around here!!!).

  10. #10
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    Hey, who're you callin' slow?

    [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    This one doesn't bother me very much, to be honest. It may not be precise, "gravity boost" or "slingshot" are the common shorthand terms used to describe the effect. And I don't think there are any big rubber bands involved...

  11. #11
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    On 2001-11-09 12:20, Wally wrote:
    Ok ok ok. . . y'all are being too kind to CNN on that last article, Methinks. So, how 'bout this one???

    http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/space/1...ion/index.html

    I question the following excerpt:

    "The probe was originally slated to lift off in 2004. The revised timetable would likely push back the departure to 2006, the last launch opportunity in more than a decade that would allow a spacecraft to use the gravity of Jupiter to boost itself to Pluto, according to planetary scientists."

    I would argue that the spacecraft does NOT use the "gravity of Jupiter" to boost itself, but rather it's orbital speed around the Sun. OK, ok. . . So the gravity does provide the necessary "conduit" with which the orbital energy gets transferred to the craft, but still I think this paragraph is at the least misleading. . . (what can I say, it's still slow around here!!!).
    No, that's splitting hairs. The statement is correct, because it is using Jupiter's gravity for a boost. It just happens that it's Jupiter's orbit around the sun that allows the exiting velocity to be greater than the entering velocity, relative to the Sun.

    It would be BA if they said something that was factually inaccurate, which in this case, they haven't.

  12. #12
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    On 2001-11-08 11:06, Wally wrote:
    data:

    "Earth's galaxy"??? Didn't know we had exclusive ownership of the Milky Way!
    Yeah, didn't you know? It's owned by Disney/Time-Warner/AOL/Lucasfilm SuperMega-Movie Amalgamated International. It was in all the papers. Awhile ago. Really. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

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