Go Back   Team-BHP > Around the Corner > Shifting gears


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 26th January 2014, 02:28   #1
BHPian
 
Fraz33r's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Boston/Mumbai
Posts: 213
Thanked: 245 Times
Default The Astronomy Thread: FAQs, News & Trivia

I recently saw a documentary on How Universe Works on Netflix and I am completely baffled at the amount of interest that it has drawn me to the science of Astrophysics and the the outer world of cosmology.

This all started when I first heard the news of this couple of days back , SuperNova exploded in one of our Nearby Galaxies known as the M82

Even though I knew the terms Supernova, nebulae , galaxy et all. I wasn't sure what the definitions meant in utmost clarity. Neither I was sure what I was supposed to be looking at. The best part of the supernova explosion is, it is defined by Chandrasekhar limit (the maximum mass of a white dwarf star which if exceeded collapses into a black hole) based on the Nobel prize winner Subramanyam Chandrasekhar who is one of the greatest astrophysicist of Indian origin. I don't know why but I suddenly felt very proud of this.


It took me to a flashback of all the things I did, when I was a kid. When we used to go to our native place I always used to sleep on a "cot" that was arranged outside the house directly under the Night sky. Looking up at the sky,grabbing my bed sheet and counting stars while sleeping was the most pleasant experience I ever had and is one of my most treasured memories as a kid.

Unfortunately, all this vanished away as I participated in a Rat- Race of being an engineer "Kuch banke dikaho" otherwise you are doomed kind of lifestyle. However I did have some inclination of Astronomy all the time. Now since the rat race is kinda over, it was time to pursue some education and bring back the memories lived.

So here it starts: I will paint a picture for all of us to visualize ( BTW I am no expert but would love to look in this bullet points as a layman and try to generate interest of some of us and bring those memories back.) I am sure everyone can get the answers on Wikipedia but this is something i would like to share w/o being too over educating.

Earth is a part of Solar system and our Solar system is part of Galaxy called as a the Milky Way. In the universe there are tons of galaxies and they are all linked to each other by filaments. Some of stunning pictures of our Milky Way are on the internet. Here is one of them :

The Astronomy Thread: FAQs, News & Trivia-capture.jpg

The galaxies are mostly spiral in nature because they are acted by a force in the center known as the dark matter. Dark Matter is causing the floating stars to converge and are binded to the center of the galaxy. Our Galaxy is 10,000 light years in diameter. The nearest spiral galaxy to the milky way is Andromeda which is 2.5 million light years away.

Andromeda and the Milky way are currently on a collision course and there are predicted to fuse in one single galaxy in 2.5 billion light years. So Milky way would cease to exist at that point and what happens to Earth is unknown. Just to give an idea dinosaurs used to exist on Earth 231.4 million years ago and here we are talking in terms of light years as well.

The Astronomy Thread: FAQs, News & Trivia-654291main_p1220bk.jpg




In the mean time, our Earth's core is cooling down as well. As a result of this the Earth's magnetic field will cease to protect us from the Sun's solar winds (Which is why we see the beautiful Aurora's ) and cause all the water to dry up eventually killing all the life form on earth. It is assumed that this is what happened to Mars.

Actually, many of the scientists say that we are living is the most golden era ( which lasts for a couple billion years in the life of a galaxy) that so many co-incidences took place to create the most perfect environment for our survival. Truly, the Universe is amazing and after getting all this info I feel puny in terms of broader scheme of things and that trivial things becomes non existent.

Purpose of this thread : To re-kindle the interest of people like to me to start star gazing and put it in layman's term so that everyone understands it and to put up new views and ideas about Astrophysics and theoretical Astrophysics.

There is so much info out there and not enough time..
Fraz33r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2014, 06:18   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
selfdrive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,677
Thanked: 2,065 Times
Default

Totally understand the feelings you put into your post here. While in school a visit to IUCAA Pune brought up this interest in me. In terms of subjects too, I always ended up scoring best in Geography
But I was pushed into taking up a normal career option. Maybe I would not have made it anyway as I was little to no good in Physics either.

In terms of a start, fit basic astronomy one does not need too much investment. It is amazing how much we can see if we only know where to look. I take it the other way and try to find out more about objects which I can see in the sky with a pair of binoculars (9x63 to begin with)

We have a lot of places at a short drive from our cities that have very less ambient/ dispersed city light. But the rat race does keep us from doing a lot of things!

As for the golden age we live in, I think we won't last till the waters dry up due to solar winds. As a race, we will either end up blowing ourselves up due to war or just end up draining all our water into the huge oil wells that we drill.

Nevertheless, as you said there is a lot of info out there. We could use this thread to discuss more about the night sky, it's maps, possible locations for a lookout, equipment that we use, where to buy, how to maintain it, etc.
And who knows, maybe a few bhpian meets where the focus would be upward to the sky!

My dream is to camp out in places like Ladakh or Norway or the Arizona desert to see in person what the magnificent skies have to offer. For now, I have changed my IT majdoori timings to ensure I see the sun rising and setting everyday. Sounds inconsequential but every little helps

Thanks for this thread!
selfdrive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2014, 07:19   #3
BHPian
 
Macfreak7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Bombay
Posts: 55
Thanked: 30 Times
Default

Hi,
You should totally check out Wonders if the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe by Prof. Brian Cox. it's a documentary created by BBC and it's absolutely fantastic. Extremely informative, thought provoking and inspiring.

Also invest in a telescope. Observing the night skies can be lots of fun. I have a simple budget telescope and I've been able to observe the moons of Jupiter on a clear night. (of course they only look like tiny dots, but it's fun regardless, :-) ). You could also use the scope to observe our moons surface during it's phases. That too can sometimes be a surreal experience.
Cheers!
Macfreak7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th January 2014, 09:02   #4
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Delhi
Posts: 225
Thanked: 102 Times
Default

A great thread Fraz33r. There is indeed so much to learn in so little a time. My interest in astronomy confirmed my atheism! Imagine if everyone really took interest in it there won't be any wars because they would stop fighting and killing over superiority of imaginary Gods. Please pardon the galactic tangent here!

One of my favourite websites is APOD (Astronomy Picture Of the Day). The pictures are almost all stunning. It is a bit disconcerting to note that the beauty of Supernovae and the Nebulae are themselves a result of extreme violence that awaits us in the future (though a very very very distant future).

May I suggest a small correction in the following?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraz33r View Post
...Our Galaxy is 10,000 light years in diameter. The nearest spiral galaxy to the milky way is Andromeda which is 2.5 million light years away.

Andromeda and the Milky way are currently on a collision course and there are predicted to fuse in one single galaxy in 2.5 billion light years. So Milky way would cease to exist at that point and what happens to Earth is unknown. Just to give an idea dinosaurs used to exist on Earth 231.4 million years ago and here we are talking in terms of light years as well...
Light Year is a measure of distance (as a correct unit for the diameter of the Milkyway). You probably meant that the two galaxies will collide in 2.5 Billion years. Therefore the last line of the para is a bit off the mark too.

Last edited by LithiumSunset : 26th January 2014 at 09:10.
LithiumSunset is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2014, 08:56   #5
BHPian
 
Fraz33r's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Boston/Mumbai
Posts: 213
Thanked: 245 Times
Default re: The Astronomy Thread: FAQs, News & Trivia

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
Nevertheless, as you said there is a lot of info out there. We could use this thread to discuss more about the night sky, it's maps, possible locations for a lookout, equipment that we use, where to buy, how to maintain it, etc.
And who knows, maybe a few bhpian meets where the focus would be upward to the sky!
My dream is to camp out in places like Ladakh or Norway or the Arizona desert......
Absolutely, Sometimes I tried to go up on dedicated forums about the sky and was completely lost in the whole discussion since they always use to speak in terms of constellations, codenames et.. I felt lost and never did catch on. The purpose of this thread would be to answer some common questions we have and any anticipated events in our sky to be discussed.

BTW, one of the locations is Atacama Desert in Chile which falls in Southern Hemisphere and is the most amazing place (clean and darkest skies) to stare at the night sky. See this amazing time lapse video of our galaxy.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Macfreak7 View Post
Wonders if the Solar System and Wonders of the Universe by Prof. Brian Cox. it's a documentary created by BBC and it's absolutely fantastic.
Thanks. Will definitely check it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LithiumSunset View Post
Imagine if everyone really took interest in it there won't be any wars because....

May I suggest a small correction in the following?
Haha.True on that one. You instantly realize while watching/understanding the documentary that you are just a millionth part of a tiny speck in the Universe. . And every other thing becomes so trivial.

And thanks for the correction that has to be years and not light years.
Fraz33r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2014, 14:55   #6
BHPian
 
dgupta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Coventry, UK
Posts: 69
Thanked: 65 Times
Default Re: The Astronomy Thread: FAQs, News & Trivia

Great thread Fraz33r!!

Astronomy is sure one of those mystic sciences that can always mesmerise you. Almost always, my desktop background is either a photo of the milky way, the blue marble or the supermoon. Find more info about the blue marble photo here.

There is a famous paragraph from the book, The Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan info here. I am taking the liberty to post the paragraph here. Read what the pale blue dot is about, you will feel humbled like you have never felt before.

“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.”


Source: here

That's it from me for now, there's a lot that astounds me about Astronomy, we will leave it for the next time!

P.S: A very recent event that fascinated me was the passage of Voyager 1 into interstellar space!
dgupta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2014, 15:06   #7
Distinguished - BHPian
 
saket77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ranchi
Posts: 3,177
Thanked: 4,131 Times
Default Re: The Astronomy Thread: FAQs, News & Trivia

Great thread which was missing for long!

Though nothing like a pro, I have a Celestron telescope (Celestron 114 EQ) which I use to get 'closer' to the mystics. I hope that the picture I am attaching of the moon through my lens would add a little 'masala' to this thread!

Taken at 45X; Gear: Canon EOS 400D and of course, Celestron 114 EQ Reflector Telescope

Hope you guys like it:
Attached Thumbnails
The Astronomy Thread: FAQs, News & Trivia-sakets.jpg  


Last edited by saket77 : 27th January 2014 at 15:10.
saket77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2014, 15:19   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Chennai
Posts: 1,006
Thanked: 651 Times
Default Re: The Astronomy Thread: FAQs, News & Trivia

Astronomy is also a hobby of mine (apart from cars, photography and music). People normally make fun of me when I tell them astronomy is my hobby! Some even confuse it with astrology!

Glad to know there are bhp-ians who share the same hobby. I made my self a small telescope during my school days (with spectacle lenses). I used it to observe the moon. I still have a small telescope, though not much powerful, can still take you through different wonders of the universe.

I try my best never to miss "through the universe with morgan freeman", among others. Obviously, "Star Trek" has been my all time favorite.

I also like to read on Aliens/extraterrestrials; any bhp-ians with this hobby?
nitinbose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2014, 15:30   #9
Team-BHP Support
 
tsk1979's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 22,952
Thanked: 15,633 Times
Default Re: The Astronomy Thread: FAQs, News & Trivia

Great thread
I was able to get a nice pic of Andromeda, without any tracking mount.
Plan to get a EQ mount soon, and that should give better results.

This is 50mm 1.8 on Nikon D7000. 10s exposure at ISO 6400 at Hanle
The Astronomy Thread: FAQs, News & Trivia-dsc_dsc_6678_lrxl.jpg
tsk1979 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th January 2014, 16:05   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Pune
Posts: 726
Thanked: 9 Times
Default Re: The Astronomy Thread: FAQs, News & Trivia

Astronomy and Astrophysics (to an extent) has been one of the major interest topics of my whole life..unfortunately like most people here I could not do a career in this field but still keep up reading and devouring any info I can find on this. Good thread. Perhaps we can do a meet-up if enough people are close-by, sort of like a stargazing or star party.

I have been planning on buying a telescope for ever but just never get around to it.

tip: you might know this, but for a great tool check out Stellarium (sky charts)

edit: that is a pretty good pic as is the Moon shot earlier.

Also in the first post, you say something about Dark Matter and how it influences galaxy formation? Well not sure what the source is, but dark matter is basically matter which hasn't yet been detected and has been theorized to exist..Also "floating stars" do not come together and form a galaxy, rather stars actually form when the dust/gas clouds inside a galaxy are compressed enough by gravity to star the nuclear fusion process.
The rotating mass of the original pre-galaxy matter flattens out as the galaxy is formed and as it spins around an axis, the shape of a spiral is most often seen.

Also to add to your expand theme, our galaxy is part of a local group of galaxies, called , well the Local Group :-)
More such groups together form a cluster, in our case it is the Virgo SuperCluster.

Last edited by Abhay : 27th January 2014 at 16:15.
Abhay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2014, 04:14   #11
BHPian
 
Fraz33r's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Boston/Mumbai
Posts: 213
Thanked: 245 Times
Default Re: The Astronomy Thread: FAQs, News & Trivia

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgupta View Post
There is a famous paragraph from the book, The Pale Blue Dot
....
That was just amazing. I felt the same, but he put it in better verbiage than I did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I was able to get a nice pic of Andromeda, ......
..... at Hanle
That is a nice attempt. Did you visit the observatory there? I heard it is remotely operated from Bangalore. When I was wandering around in the night in extreme cold, looking for the supernova in the sky, I think I saw Andromeda, But cannot confirm unless I have the night Sky chart to validate it.

Someday I wish that i will take some cool pictures of the night sky. Currently it is limited to the Moon.
Fraz33r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2014, 10:59   #12
Team-BHP Support
 
tsk1979's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 22,952
Thanked: 15,633 Times
Default Re: The Astronomy Thread: FAQs, News & Trivia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraz33r View Post
That was just amazing. I felt the same, but he put it in better verbiage than I did.



That is a nice attempt. Did you visit the observatory there? I heard it is remotely operated from Bangalore. When I was wandering around in the night in extreme cold, looking for the supernova in the sky, I think I saw Andromeda, But cannot confirm unless I have the night Sky chart to validate it.

Someday I wish that i will take some cool pictures of the night sky. Currently it is limited to the Moon.
Yes, I visited the observatory. Even saw their nitrogen cooling where they pour liquid nitrogen over the CCD.
I was quite an experience.
BTW, I have visited the observatory 3 times now !
tsk1979 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2014, 11:37   #13
BHPian
 
im_srini's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Portland
Posts: 956
Thanked: 367 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Smile Re: The Astronomy Thread: FAQs, News & Trivia

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgupta View Post
There is a famous paragraph from the book, The Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan. I am taking the liberty to post the paragraph here. Read what the pale blue dot is about, you will feel humbled like you have never felt before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraz33r View Post
That was just amazing. I felt the same, but he put it in better verbiage than I did.
"The Pale Blue Dot", by Carl Sagan himself...



"... a mote of dust, suspended in a sun-beam ..." - classic stuff.
im_srini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2014, 12:05   #14
Distinguished - BHPian
 
saket77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ranchi
Posts: 3,177
Thanked: 4,131 Times
Default Re: The Astronomy Thread: FAQs, News & Trivia

There was a series called 'Cosmos: A Personal Voyage' by Karl Sagan and a few other people (don't remember their names). Good presentation with interesting insights. It is probably available on youtube too.
saket77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th January 2014, 15:13   #15
BHPian
 
ak916's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bangalore/Hyderabad
Posts: 282
Thanked: 145 Times
Default Re: The Astronomy Thread: FAQs, News & Trivia

Nice to see this thread. I have a telescope and conduct outreach programs in my community in Bangalore. We also travel out of town to do some viewing.

Once you understand the scale of the universe, you start feeling just a little, teeny weeny bit insignificant, in the scheme of things. And that is a good thing since, at times, few of us feel the universe is centered around us :-)

Here is a video of the moon from my scope. I have one of Saturn too. I will put that up when I find it.

ak916 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Thread To Clear Up All Your Warranty FAQs Akshay1234 The Indian Car Scene 19 13th October 2017 16:20
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) On Insurance Ombudsman And Its Working: rjvora_2000 Indian Car Loans & Insurance 20 15th September 2017 10:34
The World War II: Movies, Books & Trivia faustus77 Shifting gears 107 13th August 2016 13:15
The Trivia Thread normally_crazy Shifting gears 3 13th March 2005 17:34


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 05:31.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks