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Mar 25, 2016

how do you say this?? no idea but this star has all sorts of crazy poo poo in its atmosphere that some people think means there's really heavy elements decaying

this star has exploded 6 times since 1954- why? is it a portal to another universe?

what are your favorite things in space that make scientists look dumb?


Do Not Fear Jazz
Feb 1, 2005


the star explodes when a good poster is born

please post more interesting space based wikipedias

The Scientist
Nov 6, 2009

Ramrod XTreme posted:

Tabby's Star (also known as Boyajian's Star and WTF Star, and designated KIC 8462852 in the Kepler Input Catalog) is an F-type main-sequence star in the constellation Cygnus approximately 1,470 light-years (450 pc) from Earth. Unusual light fluctuations of the star, including up to a 22% dimming in brightness, were discovered by citizen scientists as part of the Planet Hunters project. In September 2015, astronomers and citizen scientists associated with the project posted a preprint of an article describing the data and possible interpretations. The discovery was made from data collected by the Kepler space telescope, which observed changes in the brightness of distant stars to detect exoplanets.

Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the star's large irregular changes in brightness as measured by its light curve, but none to date fully explain all aspects of the curve. One explanation is that an "uneven ring of dust" orbits Tabby's Star.[6][7][8][9][10][11] In another explanation, the star's luminosity is modulated by changes in the efficiency of heat transport to its photosphere, so no external obscuration is required.[12] A third hypothesis, based on a lack of observed infrared light, posits a swarm of cold, dusty comet fragments in a highly eccentric orbit,[13][14][15] however, the notion that disturbed comets from such a cloud could exist in high enough numbers to obscure 22% of the star's observed luminosity has been doubted.[16] Another hypothesis is that a large number of small masses in "tight formation" are orbiting the star.[17] Furthermore, spectroscopic study of the system has found no evidence for coalescing material or hot close-in dust or circumstellar matter from an evaporating or exploding planet within a few astronomical units of the mature central star.[13][18] It has also been hypothesized that the changes in brightness could be signs of activity associated with intelligent extraterrestrial life constructing a Dyson swarm

The Scientist
Nov 6, 2009

Ramrod XTreme!_signal!_signal posted:

The Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal received on August 15, 1977, by Ohio State University's Big Ear radio telescope in the United States, then used to support the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The signal appeared to come from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius and bore the expected hallmarks of extraterrestrial origin.

[ ... ]

A number of hypotheses have been advanced as to the source and nature of the Wow! signal. None of them have achieved widespread acceptance. Interstellar scintillation of a weaker continuous signal—similar in effect to atmospheric twinkling—could be an explanation, but that would not exclude the possibility of the signal being artificial in origin. The significantly more sensitive Very Large Array did not detect the signal, and the probability that a signal below the detection threshold of the Very Large Array could be detected by the Big Ear due to interstellar scintillation is low.[15] Other hypotheses include a rotating lighthouse-like source, a signal sweeping in frequency, or a one-time burst posted:

The Vela incident, also known as the South Atlantic Flash, was an unidentified double flash of light detected by an American Vela Hotel satellite on 22 September 1979 near the Prince Edward Islands in the Indian Ocean.

The cause of the flash remains officially unknown, and some information about the event remains classified by the U.S. government.[1] While it has been suggested that the signal could have been caused by a meteoroid hitting the satellite, the previous 41 double flashes detected by the Vela satellites were caused by nuclear weapons tests.[2][3][4] Today, most independent researchers believe that the 1979 flash was caused by a nuclear explosion[1][5][6][7] — perhaps an undeclared nuclear test carried out by South Africa and Israel.[8]

Mar 13, 2009

System Access Node Not Found

Spider Robinson/Jake Stonebender, Callahan's Secret, 1986 posted:

Let's say that somewhere up in orbit, there's a perfectly spherical object whose inner surface is mirrored: a spherical mirror, all right? Naturally, it's dark in there. Floating with his eyes at dead center is an astronaut - never mind how he got there. Maybe the mirror was blown around him; anyway, he's there. He's scared of the dark, so he takes a flashlight out of his pocket and turns it on.

What does he see?

Does it make any difference, which way he points the flashlight? How would what he see change if he pointed the thing at himself? Or if he put it in his mouth and made Monster-Cheeks?
This is one of my all-time favorite quandaries that relates to space.
The book, and in fact everything written by Spider Robinson, is full of puns, so readers beware. Unless you're a paronomasiac like me.

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