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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old December 31 2007, 12:46 AM   #1
atozz
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How much do we know about real space?

Hello everyone,

This is my first post here and I thought it should be something meaningful. We all like to analyze Star Trek universe. Therefore, I was wondering how much do we know about the universe of Carl Sagan and Steven Hawking :-)

So here is a little game. Below there are 6 simple questions. It is not necessary to give the answers. Just think if you know the answers without looking into Wikipedia or any books and write which of those points are true in your case. Enjoy:

1. I know the approximate distance from the Earth to the Moon (in miles or kilometers).
2. I could give names of all planets in the Solar System in the right order.
3. I know what causes solar and lunar eclipses.
4. I can recognize constellations in the sky.
5. I know the names of the nearest stars and galaxies.
6. I have looked through a telescope at least once.
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Old December 31 2007, 12:58 AM   #2
Dayton3
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Re: How much do we know about real space?

I can answer all of these in the affirmative quite easily.

Of course I'm a history teacher.

I teach alot of this stuff.
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Old December 31 2007, 01:38 AM   #3
iguana_tonante
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Re: How much do we know about real space?

Dayton3 said:
Of course I'm a history teacher.

I teach alot of this stuff.
You teach astronomy in an history class?
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Old December 31 2007, 03:39 AM   #4
Dayton3
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Re: How much do we know about real space?

iguana_tonante said:
Dayton3 said:
Of course I'm a history teacher.

I teach alot of this stuff.
You teach astronomy in an history class?
I teach a semester of World Geography as well.

Since the world is part of the solar system I manage to get it in.

And I manage to get the history of the space program into U.S. & World History by piggybacking it on the Cold War.
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Old December 31 2007, 04:20 AM   #5
Christopher
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Re: How much do we know about real space?

The only one of those I fall short on is recognizing constellations. I can recognize the easy ones -- the Ursa/Dippers, Cassiopeia, Orion, Taurus -- but I never really got into stargazing as much as you'd think a space geek and SF writer should. I guess it's because I think about the stars more as locations to be travelled to than as lights in the sky.
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Old December 31 2007, 11:08 AM   #6
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Re: How much do we know about real space?

I am guilty of not being able to recognize constellations very well in the night sky, even though I included a scrolling 3-D star map in my LCARS system. My excuse is that clear skies are rare here in the Tokyo metropolitan area. But I can spot Venus, Mars, and Jupiter when they're in position. Venus is very bright and unobstructed in front of my house these days at about 5:30 A.M., hard to miss, even through some cloud cover.
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Old December 31 2007, 05:23 PM   #7
Iasius
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Re: How much do we know about real space?

atozz said:
1. I know the approximate distance from the Earth to the Moon (in miles or kilometers).
I do known that, though if it had to be miles I'd have to calculate it first.

2. I could give names of all planets in the Solar System in the right order.
Definitely. But I don't consider Pluto a planet anymore, might upset some reactionaries.

3. I know what causes solar and lunar eclipses.

Yep.

4. I can recognize constellations in the sky.

Only some of them. Never had much interest in them as I always thought they were quite arbitrary.

5. I know the names of the nearest stars and galaxies.

Some of them.
6. I have looked through a telescope at least once.
Not yet unfortunately, but I should get an opportunity next month as part of my studies. Though I won't be looking at any planets or stars, but THE star, our sun. I'll be observing it through a 4m Zeiss telescope (with an H-alpha filter of course):

The Newton Refractor is currently not working.
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Old December 31 2007, 06:45 PM   #8
Trekker4747
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Re: How much do we know about real space?

The only thing I've trouble with is constelations. Having always lived in a fairly urban area it's hard to even see the stars, let alone aribtrary figures they make in the sky, and I just never got the sense and idea of playing "connect the dots" in a field of a few thousand points of light.
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Old January 1 2008, 09:40 PM   #9
Lookingglassman
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Re: How much do we know about real space?

1. Over 100,000 miles
2. Venus, Mercury, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune Uranus, Pluto, Xena
3. The moon goes in front of the sun. Lunae eclipse the earth goes in front of the sun.
4. I can just find the big dipper and orion, the rest of the constellations escape me.
5. All I know is Alpha Centauri and the Andromeda Galaxy
6. I looked at Mars and it still looked just like a tiny red dot. I looked at the moon also and saw the actual "bumpyness" of it.
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Old January 1 2008, 10:30 PM   #10
Christopher
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Re: How much do we know about real space?

Starblazers said:
1. Over 100,000 miles
Well, technically, yes, but it's considerably more than that.

2. Venus, Mercury, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune Uranus, Pluto, Xena
That's not the right order. And the dwarf planet nicknamed "Xena" has been officially named Eris.

5. All I know is Alpha Centauri and the Andromeda Galaxy
Andromeda is just the closest spiral galaxy. There are over 20 elliptical or irregular dwarf galaxies that are closer.
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Old January 2 2008, 12:05 AM   #11
hofner
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Location: Charlotte, NC
Re: How much do we know about real space?

Like others in this thread I can answer all but fall short on recognizing constellations because my eyes are pretty bad. I can only see the very brightest objects now. When my eyes used to be better I did have a telescope for a while, a 4 or 5 inch reflecting one.

I used to look at some stars but mostly the planets. I've seen the phases of Venus and could make out Saturn's rings. When I looked at Jupiter it was a thrill when I could make out the cloud bands. Then I noticed a couple of tiny stars and for an instant I thought they were background stars. Then I suddenly realized they were two of Jupiter's moons. So THAT was what Galileo saw when he first looked at Jupiter with a telescope. Later I managed to see three at one time but never quite caught all four.

Some years later when my eyes got worse I gave the telescope to a friend, I'd gotten my thrill out of it anyway; I was strictly an amateur.

Robert
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Old January 7 2008, 05:58 AM   #12
Novitas
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Location: Houston, Texas USA
Re: How much do we know about real space?

atozz said:
Hello everyone,

This is my first post here and I thought it should be something meaningful. We all like to analyze Star Trek universe. Therefore, I was wondering how much do we know about the universe of Carl Sagan and Steven Hawking :-)

So here is a little game. Below there are 6 simple questions. It is not necessary to give the answers. Just think if you know the answers without looking into Wikipedia or any books and write which of those points are true in your case. Enjoy:
Okay, from the top of my head, no peeking, honest...

1. I know the approximate distance from the Earth to the Moon (in miles or kilometers).
Anyone who grew up during the race to the moon (I was born in 1957 just as Sputnik was being launched) knows that the moon is approximately a quarter of a million miles from Earth.

2. I could give names of all planets in the Solar System in the right order.
Mercury
Venus
Earth
Mars
Jupiter
Saturn
Uranus
Neptune
(now defrocked) Pluto
Note, the now defrocked Pluto was until a few years ago inside the orbit of Neptune.

3. I know what causes solar and lunar eclipses.
Both types of eclipses are caused by shadows cast by one body upon another of light from the Sun. Solar eclipses occur when the Moon casts a shadow on some part of the Earth. Lunar eclipses are caused when the Earth casts a shadow on all or part of the Moon.

4. I can recognize constellations in the sky.
I can pick out the Big and little Dippers. When I was younger I could pick out more. I am better at locating certain Stars though. (Don't know if this counts in your question)

5. I know the names of the nearest stars and galaxies.
For stars, the Alpha Centuri system is closest to us, with Proxmi Centauri being the closest. The great Galaxy of Andromeda is the closest spiral galaxy to us though I think there are lesser galatic bodies that depending on your definition are separate or part of our extended galactic system.

6. I have looked through a telescope at least once.
Oh yea, lots and lots of times at the moon, planets, their moons, the stars, and a certain neighbor's bedroom window but we don't really need to get into all of that.

Did I pass, Did I? Did I?
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Old October 21 2013, 05:03 PM   #13
mothx
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Location: Germany
Re: How much do we know about real space?

I can answer all of the above in the absolute affirmatory but I am curious how much other Trek fans know about space. And besides, there are actual objects, especially stars, that get mentioned in the franchise.
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Old October 21 2013, 05:44 PM   #14
sojourner
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Re: How much do we know about real space?

mmmmm, brainnnnzzzzzzz.
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Old October 21 2013, 06:48 PM   #15
Robert Maxwell
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Re: How much do we know about real space?

Necromancy is not real science. Closing for heresy.
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