The Mistakes of "The wonders ..."

Astronomically-related chat

Moderators: joe, Brian, Guy Fennimore

joe
Site Admin
Posts: 4383
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:24 am
Location: Greenwich, London
Contact:

Post by joe »

So, just to make sure, NASA are themselves incorrect to refer to parabolic arcs in the case of the flights of KC-135?
200mm Newtonian, OMC140, ETX90, 15x70 Binoculars.
Vega
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 1:53 pm
Location: Somerset, UK
Contact:

Post by Vega »

I think like true astronomers some of us are picking this program apart too much. Prof. Cox's demonstrations and analegies were a simple way of explaining things. Are we saying that every language he uses should be scientifically perfect? The show is for the general masses and it works fantastically for that purpose in my opinion.

Yes there are annoying little querks in there that a lot of astronomers might cringe at.. but thats to be expected. The show has sparked alot of debate, a lot of interest and really put cosmology back on to mainstream TV. (Another program popped up on BBC 4 last night called 'everything and nothing') Long may this trend continue Its fab! :D
Evostar Skywatcher 120/1000mm Refractor, Motor Driven EQ3.2 Mount.
Skyliner 250PX, EQ6 GOTO Synscan Mount
10x50 Bressner Bins, Canon EOS1000D, Canon S30
Total Lunar Eclipse 2018 | Comet Watch | My Astro-photography |
kevinh1974uk
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:12 am
Location: Auckley, Doncaster, United Kingdom 53° 49' N 1° 02' W
Contact:

Post by kevinh1974uk »

Couldn't agree with you more Vega! Hopefully there will be even more space related programming next month with 50 years of manned spaceflight.
Skywatcher Explorer 130P SupaTrak Auto scope
Celestron 76 Firstscope
Celestron 10 x 50 binoculars
brian livesey
Posts: 5479
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
Location: Lancashire
Contact:

Post by brian livesey »

I notice, Stella, that you enclose "weightlessness" in quotation marks. Is this because you are saying that it's only apparent weightlessness and not really the real thing?
This was what I meant by the splat factor: inside the Vomit Comet, we are still in gravity's grip; Earth's gravity, that is.
I understand what you are saying, Joe - that gravity and centrifugal force are equivalent.
brian
stella
Posts: 1473
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 2:41 pm
Location: 55° 57'N: 03° 08'W
Contact:

Post by stella »

I put 'weightless' in quotes, because I'm referring to the state that
others regard and describe as being weightless.
As to whether it is 'apparent' or 'the real thing', that depends on your
frame of reference.
If the frame of reference is the aircraft structure then you are
weightless, and you 'float' around within the cabin.
If your frame of reference is the earth, then the gravitation pull
of the earth is still acting and you fall towards the earth, and you
have 'weight'.
Deimos
Posts: 496
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 9:08 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by Deimos »

Why would saying "elliptical" and being correct rather than "parabolic" and being wrong confuse the general public ?

Ian
mike a feist
Posts: 3303
Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 6:11 pm
Location: Portslade, Sussex Lat 50deg 51min Long 0deg 13mins West
Contact:

Post by mike a feist »

Edited out myself.
brian livesey
Posts: 5479
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
Location: Lancashire
Contact:

Post by brian livesey »

Thanks, Stella, your explanation corresponds to what I was thinking: the vomitnauts are only weightless in relation to the aircraft.
It would be the same if a vomitnaut jumped from the plane with a can of beans ( consumed just before the flight :lol: ) both falling at the same rate and weightless in relation to each other.
Last edited by brian livesey on Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
brian
Paul Sutherland
Site Admin
Posts: 917
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 6:06 pm
Location: Walmer, Kent
Contact:

Post by Paul Sutherland »

Deimos wrote:Why would saying "elliptical" and being correct rather than "parabolic" and being wrong confuse the general public ?

Ian
They could be inspired by the series or they could come here and be put off astronomy for life by the tedious pedantry.
Deimos
Posts: 496
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 9:08 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by Deimos »

Paul Sutherland wrote:
Deimos wrote:Why would saying "elliptical" and being correct rather than "parabolic" and being wrong confuse the general public ?

Ian
They could be inspired by the series or they could come here and be put off astronomy for life by the tedious pedantry.
Thanks for explaining the reason why "wrong" is "good" (though I still don't understand why getting is wrong helps inspire people)

Me thinks this site has just got too much - 'cos one has to be so careful what one says.

Ian
Paul Sutherland
Site Admin
Posts: 917
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 6:06 pm
Location: Walmer, Kent
Contact:

Post by Paul Sutherland »

You've said this before, but I've seen no evidence of anyone telling you what you are allowed to think. We have had a discussion, which involves having different views. You posted earlier saying you expected to be banned. I didn't see that happen either. I don't know where you got it from. I don't think I have ever seen a poster banned. Not our style.

Long may our healthy discussions continue.

Paul
nickh
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:13 am
Contact:

Wonders et al

Post by nickh »

I don't know Prof Cox personally, though we have exchanged a few messages on Twitter and the like, and he's always been friendly, cordial and to my mind a thoroughly nice chap. What the series has done, probably for the first time in many years, is get people really passionate about a subject, which, by the very nature of us posting on here, I suspect we're all passionate about as well. The audience figures for a show of that nature, as well as those for the Stargazing Live event, are staggering, given the niche nature of the subject. Amazon planisphere sales aside, what it's done for amateur astronomy in the UK is nothing short of remarkable.

So if people have views on it, of course they are entitled to them, be it the music, his style or minor technical issues, but let's try to celebrate the fact that for once, a hobby which is considered a bit "odd" and "nerdy" is cool, as it means that many kids in particular have good positive role models, and the "nerdy" kids in schools around the country, can for once stand up and feel a bit more cool.
Paul Sutherland
Site Admin
Posts: 917
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 6:06 pm
Location: Walmer, Kent
Contact:

Post by Paul Sutherland »

Well said, Nick. I've heard the same about the boost in interest from the general public. Some societies found big queues for their observing nights and a boost in numbers at regular meetings! Great news if the case.

Paul
Paul Sutherland
Site Admin
Posts: 917
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 6:06 pm
Location: Walmer, Kent
Contact:

Post by Paul Sutherland »

For the record, this was the excerpt I was referring to (in a discussion about the Kindle) where Ian anticipated being banned, just so that no one thinks I made it up.
Deimos wrote:Ian
(still not reprimanded ... "you are banned" letter is probably in the post)
No ban. No surprise!

Paul
kevinh1974uk
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:12 am
Location: Auckley, Doncaster, United Kingdom 53° 49' N 1° 02' W
Contact:

Re: Wonders et al

Post by kevinh1974uk »

nickh wrote:So if people have views on it, of course they are entitled to them, be it the music, his style or minor technical issues, but let's try to celebrate the fact that for once, a hobby which is considered a bit "odd" and "nerdy" is cool, as it means that many kids in particular have good positive role models, and the "nerdy" kids in schools around the country, can for once stand up and feel a bit more cool.
Well said Nick! Proud to be a newly converted geek and nerd!
Skywatcher Explorer 130P SupaTrak Auto scope
Celestron 76 Firstscope
Celestron 10 x 50 binoculars
Post Reply