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    Griffon

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    Default Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    I read the new piece about the second interstellar interloper, and I came away wanting more, more flash, more bang, more.

    There was a lot of detail we weren't told:

    Where is it?

    How can we be sure that it's not something from the Oort which was disturbed inward by a larger mass. Stuff in the Oort has an energetic orbit, if it pulled a 90 degree turn about a planetoid, it might pick up a lot of speed, what's the most that it could theoretically pick up? Obviously it's now going out, but how certain is it that it origanally came in?

    How fast is it currently going?

    What is it emitting (I'm probably not that interested in the implications of that, but the actual output would be nice)?

    When and where is its perihelion?

    A diagram of its predicted future course would be nice (say until it's as far out as Jupiter, or until it's expected to hit something, if it is).
    Last edited by halfeye; 2019-10-01 at 11:44 AM.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    The official press release has some of what you asked for:

    https://www.iau.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iau1910/

    They link to the reflectance spectrum measured by Gran Telescopio Canarias:

    https://www.iac.es/en/outreach/news/...rstellar-comet

    They are a bit vague about its position, though.

    Thankfully, Business Insider has an orbit rendering as their top image in this article:

    https://www.businessinsider.com/inte...-system-2019-9

    They also list a speed of "93,000 miles per hour."

    I'm not sure why Business Insider posted more info than the IAU in some respects, but /shrug.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harnel View Post
    where is the atropal? and does it have a listed LA?

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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    If you want authoritative orbital elements, you go to the JPL Small-Body Database page.

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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    While I am grateful for the information on other sources, I do think that Bad Astronomy is in a bit of a slump.

    I know that there's a need to cut down the bullshine hysteria over Mayan calenders and other conspiracy theories, but when you make black holes sound boring, you are doing something wrong, IMO.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    While I am grateful for the information on other sources, I do think that Bad Astronomy is in a bit of a slump.

    I know that there's a need to cut down the bullshine hysteria over Mayan calenders and other conspiracy theories, but when you make black holes sound boring, you are doing something wrong, IMO.
    Is this the "Bad Astronomy" you're talking about?

    https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/wait-a...e-solar-system

    https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/update...omet-2iborisov

    Because the first article gives the speed and distance from the sun, and the second shows the reflectance spectrum.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harnel View Post
    where is the atropal? and does it have a listed LA?

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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    Quote Originally Posted by gomipile View Post
    Is this the "Bad Astronomy" you're talking about?

    https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/wait-a...e-solar-system

    https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/update...omet-2iborisov

    Because the first article gives the speed and distance from the sun, and the second shows the reflectance spectrum.
    Yeah, it was the second article I was talking about, I didn't remember the first at all until I looked at it again.

    I can't read that spectrum and get elements. It just looks like a spiky curve to me. I think the first article is a bit better, but the second should have reprised it a bit (not everything).

    There is huge value in debunking sillyness, but not everything that is spectacular is silly, and if you go for ditching all the spectacles, what's left will be totally uninteresting and nobody is going to read the debunks.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    Yeah, it was the second article I was talking about, I didn't remember the first at all until I looked at it again.

    I can't read that spectrum and get elements. It just looks like a spiky curve to me. I think the first article is a bit better, but the second should have reprised it a bit (not everything).

    There is huge value in debunking sillyness, but not everything that is spectacular is silly, and if you go for ditching all the spectacles, what's left will be totally uninteresting and nobody is going to read the debunks.
    You asked what it is emitting. I assumed you meant what light it is reflecting.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harnel View Post
    where is the atropal? and does it have a listed LA?

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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    Quote Originally Posted by gomipile View Post
    You asked what it is emitting. I assumed you meant what light it is reflecting.
    I understand emitting to apply to anything coming from an object. Reflections are not emissions as I understand the word, because they do not originate in the object from which they are reflected.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    I understand emitting to apply to anything coming from an object. Reflections are not emissions as I understand the word, because they do not originate in the object from which they are reflected.
    Right, I just thought you had to mean what we can observe from it, which is just light. Of which, we can effectively only see reflected light. I suppose there must be some small percentage of radioactive isotopes, but I doubt we'd be able to measure any radiation from those at this distance.

    Edit: I suppose there is thermal re-emission of energy from absorbed light. That would already be shown in the spectrum I linked, though.
    Last edited by gomipile; 2019-10-01 at 07:37 PM.

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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    Quote Originally Posted by gomipile View Post
    Right, I just thought you had to mean what we can observe from it, which is just light. Of which, we can effectively only see reflected light. I suppose there must be some small percentage of radioactive isotopes, but I doubt we'd be able to measure any radiation from those at this distance.

    Edit: I suppose there is thermal re-emission of energy from absorbed light. That would already be shown in the spectrum I linked, though.
    The way I understand it, flatulence is an emission. All the gases coming off a comet would certainly be emissions.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    The way I understand it, flatulence is an emission. All the gases coming off a comet would certainly be emissions.
    In the context if extraterrestrial objects, 'emissions' refer to electromagnetic radiation, because in almost all cases those are the only ones we can measure.

    IR spectra can then be used to determine what the object consists of and what gasses might surround it. The article even mentions those.
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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    Quote Originally Posted by DeTess View Post
    In the context if extraterrestrial objects, 'emissions' refer to electromagnetic radiation, because in almost all cases those are the only ones we can measure.

    IR spectra can then be used to determine what the object consists of and what gasses might surround it. The article even mentions those.
    Taking normal words as jargon doesn't make the original word go away.

    A steam train emits steam, sound, and a very little bit of EMR from the furnace, the lights emit light, but for trains that old, the lights were usually removeable, so you wouldn't typically say the train emitted the light that came from them. We can clearly measure the gases and dust coming from a comet, so I would suggest in that case those should be counted amongst the emissions, because they are. Extra-solar-system directly detected emissions pretty much have to be EMR because nothing else is getting here in time (neutrinos?), but inside the solar system I would suggest outgassing counts.

    So far as I understood the Bad Astronomy piece (the second one) it mentioned one gas, I don't remember which except that it sounded poisonous (something cyonide?).
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    Extra-solar-system directly detected emissions pretty much have to be EMR because nothing else is getting here in time (neutrinos?), but inside the solar system I would suggest outgassing counts.
    Only, it doesn't. There are quite a few objects in the solar system that emit gas in some way, yet none of that gas will ever reach the earth in a recognizable fashion. The only way to detect those gasses, apart from spending about a billion dollar on a custom-built space mission, is to notice that something is partly blocking the light.
    Last edited by DeTess; 2019-10-02 at 01:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    The Ars Technica article on the extra-Solar object (I had to click on the picture for the GIF to animate) has a really good animatic of the object's course through the solar system, which depicts really well why it is most likely originated from outside of our system. Basically, it's coming through almost perpendicular to the orbital plane, and should pass between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, with the Sun's gravity deflecting its course a bit.

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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    Quote Originally Posted by DeTess View Post
    Only, it doesn't.
    It doesn't? I think things detected after emission due to reflection of EMR should count, there are plenty of cases where we would see e.g. condensation of water vapour near the surface of the Earth without it being something we inhale.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    It doesn't? I think things detected after emission due to reflection of EMR should count, there are plenty of cases where we would see e.g. condensation of water vapour near the surface of the Earth without it being something we inhale.
    Isn't that exactly what I said? I started this whole discussion because you where complaining about an article only talking about light, not gasses, even though the article did mention gasses in passing. The only way we can detect gasses is through looking at the light, so complaining about something only talking about light when that's literally the only thing we can detect, and generally the only thing we need to detect a lot of other stuff seems silly to me, which is what I was calling out.
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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    Quote Originally Posted by DeTess View Post
    Isn't that exactly what I said?
    Frankly, no.

    QUOTE] I started this whole discussion because you where complaining about an article only talking about light, not gasses, even though the article did mention gasses in passing.[/QUOTE]

    You didn't start this discussion.

    The article as I recall mentioned one gas in passing.

    I was saying a table like:

    Funk 30%

    Jazz 20%

    Rock 15%

    Classical 10%

    etc.

    Would have been interesting, then gomipile seemed to quite politely misunderstand what I meant by the word "emission".

    The only way we can detect gasses is through looking at the light, so complaining about something only talking about light when that's literally the only thing we can detect, and generally the only thing we need to detect a lot of other stuff seems silly to me, which is what I was calling out.
    Exactly, you were calling out. The article actually doesn't say much about the light either. There's a big picture of a spectrum but it's jagged because there's so little data.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    Well, something like that probably hasn't been made yet, as long range spectroscopy like that is pretty tricky under the best of circumstances. That having been said, here's a very recent article on the topic: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1909.12144.pdf
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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    I'm not saying it's always dull, but some are. I'm not impressed with optical illusions taking over from science, it's something, but if I wanted that there are surely websites that specialise. There was a view of a Volcano erupting from the ISS, all you could see was smoke, spectacular smoke, but still smoke. Apart from the ISS that page was geology.

    Recently there was a page headlined by the Milky Way exploding, it wasn't true, there was an energetic event but the Milky Way didn't expand outward and lose its cohesion.

    Does anybody here responding in the website's defence regularly read it?
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    I'm not saying it's always dull, but some are. I'm not impressed with optical illusions taking over from science, it's something, but if I wanted that there are surely websites that specialise. There was a view of a Volcano erupting from the ISS, all you could see was smoke, spectacular smoke, but still smoke. Apart from the ISS that page was geology.

    Recently there was a page headlined by the Milky Way exploding, it wasn't true, there was an energetic event but the Milky Way didn't expand outward and lose its cohesion.

    Does anybody here responding in the website's defence regularly read it?
    Daily. Well, weekday-daily, anyway. And yes, I still enjoy it. I don't always learn something new, but I frequently do. And he usually avoids the click-baity titles others do (I'm looking at you, Elizabeth Rayne!). True, it's not all about astronomy. But it's almost always interesting (I mean, everyone has an off day, now and then), and I really enjoyed his Crash Course: Astronomy videos.

    If you want all astronomy all the time, you'll probably be disappointed (and it sounds like you are). Maybe check out Emily Lakdawala and her Twitter Feed.
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    Default Re: Is "Bad Astronomy" getting boring?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    Daily. Well, weekday-daily, anyway. And yes, I still enjoy it. I don't always learn something new, but I frequently do. And he usually avoids the click-baity titles others do (I'm looking at you, Elizabeth Rayne!). True, it's not all about astronomy. But it's almost always interesting (I mean, everyone has an off day, now and then), and I really enjoyed his Crash Course: Astronomy videos.

    If you want all astronomy all the time, you'll probably be disappointed (and it sounds like you are). Maybe check out Emily Lakdawala and her Twitter Feed.
    I used to read Emily on the planetary societies pages, then something happened (maybe I lost my bookmarks? changed computers?). I generally approve of what the planetary society does, the light sail is particularly good, but their focus is on the solar system, and there are more interesting things in further spaces sometimes (besides which once we get off, going back down (even somewhere else) where we couldn't relatively easily get off again, would be a mistake).

    Sure everyone has off days, but he seems to me to be having an off year, a year with more off days in it that not. I'm not saying he should make stuff up, that would be terrible. There are dozens of interesting bits that he hasn't covered. In this forum we've had discussions of why gravity lensing theory is a bit wrong (it actually produces bright images when in theory the lens is a concave saddle sort of a shape and ought to produce dim ones), we've discussed what happens when something with a strong gravitational field approches a large black hole, I don't think we reached concensus, but we certainly had a go.

    That Milky Way exploded thing was a terrible headline, for a piece that turned out pretty underwhelming, mainly because the headline promised something the article was never going to be able to deliver:

    https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/the-da...alaxy-exploded
    Last edited by halfeye; 2019-10-18 at 02:58 PM.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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