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Posts by longshadow

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  • Postmodernism At Work

    05/02/2008 5:14:09 PM PDT · 188 of 287
    longshadow to Coyoteman
    I see you've been dancing with the Purveyors of Unknowledge again... So, without further adieu, once again I present my essay:

    

    In the history of the world, only a tiny fraction of all the people who ever lived have had the opportunity to ask highly qualified scientists direct questions, and learn from their wisdom. Happily, because of the internet and places like FR, it was possible for people from all walks of life to converse directly with all sorts of scientific experts; we have had physicists, microbiologists, mathematicians, astronomers, and chemists, to specify but a few, roaming these threads, and eager to explain what they know and how they know it to virtually anyone willing to ask an intelligent question.

    But there is another segment of people on these threads who, instead of asking these learned folks intelligent questions and thus expanding their knowledge and understanding, insist instead upon bludgeoning them with their ignorance, and questioning the patriotism, honesty, and intellect of people who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of scientific knowledge.

    I submit that such people are not here to learn anything, but are in fact interested in quite the opposite. I submit they are here to interfere with the dissemination of scientific knowledge that they find offensive. They don't want other people to ask the experts questions and learn from them; no, they are here to attack the experts and cast doubt upon their wisdom, in the desperate hope that others will turn away and not listen to them.

    IMHO that is why the same people show up over and over again parroting the same refuted diatribes and misinformation, and spewing the same bogus out-of-context quotes designed specifically to disrupt the dissemination of scientific knowledge. That's why the same people show up over and over again misrepresenting what scientific theories and laws are, despite having had it explained to them 1720th time; they are here to instill confusion and spread their ignorance, not to disseminate knowledge.

    The experts [who were once] here on these threads ought to be revered and thanked for sharing with us their insights and explanations of the natural world around us; instead scorn is heaped upon them and their knowledge by the belligerently ignorant. I submit that these purveyors of unknowledge should be treated for the intellectual disruptors that they are. They stare stared the best opportunity any of us will ever have to gain more insight and understanding in the eye, and spit spat in the faces of those who offer and have the knowledge to help make that a reality.

    Behold, I give you the belligerently ignorant, the intellectual Luddites of our time. Know them for the anti-knowledge disruptors they are.

    Sadly, the Purveyors of Unknowledge have been very, very effective and chasing away most of the scientists and pro-science posters we one had on FR, to the point where bedwetting buffoons feel it is safe to insult the few remaining scientists on FR while parading their own ignorance for all to see. The patience that you, and the handful other scientists who are still on FR, manifest in the face of the onslaught of belligerent ignorance is enough to make Job weep.

    "

  • Burden of Proof [Math 55 at Harvard]

    11/27/2007 8:11:13 PM PST · 30 of 84
    longshadow to snarks_when_bored
    My undergraduate Finite-Dimensional Vector Spaces.....

    Halmos?

  • Nova Blatantly Misrepresents Intelligent Design

    11/20/2007 11:23:05 AM PST · 45 of 315
    longshadow to ahayes
    Merry Kitzmas to the "Cdesign proponentstists."
  • DON ADAMS UPDATE: Teamster Beating Victims Appeal Judge's Order To Pay Union $15 Grand

    10/10/2007 8:41:43 PM PDT · 18 of 70
    longshadow to Physicist; Gail Wynand

    bttt

  • Don Adams Update: Teamster Beating Victims Must Pay Teamster Unions $15 Grand

    09/08/2007 9:17:16 PM PDT · 28 of 143
    longshadow to Physicist; Gail Wynand

    Can you post a link to the details of the text of the decision, so we can see the legal reasoning (and I use that term loosely) behind the ruling?

    Thanx.

  • RAF jets scrambled to intercept Russian planes

    07/19/2007 1:15:31 PM PDT · 50 of 61
    longshadow to Steely Tom
    Mmmm. Andrea Dromm. "Al-eeeeeeee-son Palm-air"
  • RAF jets scrambled to intercept Russian planes

    07/19/2007 9:40:36 AM PDT · 25 of 61
    longshadow to F15Eagle
    “Everybody must get from street”

    "E-MARE-JEN-SEEE! E-MARE-JEN-SEEE!"

  • RAF jets scrambled to intercept Russian planes

    07/19/2007 9:17:05 AM PDT · 10 of 61
    longshadow
  • Science Becoming a Religion

    06/15/2007 3:06:40 PM PDT · 231 of 286
    longshadow to doc30
    There is no content on creationwiki that’s worth the effort to read. No one there knows what they are talking about. It’s a prime example of the Purveyors of Unknowledge. Obviously you’ve never actually done such an experiment, not do you understand the first thing about radiometric dating. You should stop peddling ignorance.

    Did someone say "Purveyors of Unknowledge?:

    

    In the history of the world, only a tiny fraction of all the people who ever lived have had the opportunity to ask highly qualified scientists direct questions, and learn from their wisdom. Happily, because of the internet and places like FR, it was possible for people from all walks of life to converse directly with all sorts of scientific experts; we have had physicists, microbiologists, mathematicians, astronomers, and chemists, to specify but a few, roaming these threads, and eager to explain what they know and how they know it to virtually anyone willing to ask an intelligent question.

    But there is another segment of people on these threads who, instead of asking these learned folks intelligent questions and thus expanding their knowledge and understanding, insist instead upon bludgeoning them with their ignorance, and questioning the patriotism, honesty, and intellect of people who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of scientific knowledge.

    I submit that such people are not here to learn anything, but are in fact interested in quite the opposite. I submit they are here to interfere with the dissemination of scientific knowledge that they find offensive. They don't want other people to ask the experts questions and learn from them; no, they are here to attack the experts and cast doubt upon their wisdom, in the desperate hope that others will turn away and not listen to them.

    IMHO that is why the same people show up over and over again parroting the same refuted diatribes and misinformation, and spewing the same bogus out-of-context quotes designed specifically to disrupt the dissemination of scientific knowledge. That's why the same people show up over and over again misrepresenting what scientific theories and laws are, despite having had it explained to them 1720th time; they are here to instill confusion and spread their ignorance, not to disseminate knowledge.

    The experts [who were once] here on these threads ought to be revered and thanked for sharing with us their insights and explanations of the natural world around us; instead scorn is heaped upon them and their knowledge by the belligerently ignorant. I submit that these purveyors of unknowledge should be treated for the intellectual disruptors that they are. They stare stared the best opportunity any of us will ever have to gain more insight and understanding in the eye, and spit spat in the faces of those who offer and have the knowledge to help make that a reality.

    Behold, I give you the belligerently ignorant, the intellectual Luddites of our time. Know them for the anti-knowledge disruptors they are.

    Sadly, the Purveyors of Unknowledge have been very, very effective and chasing away most of the scientists and pro-science posters we one had on FR, to the point where bedwetting buffoons feel it is safe to insult the few remaining scientists on FR while parading their own ignorance for all to see.

    That, in a word, is "pathetic."

  • Gazing up at the Man in the Star?

    06/02/2007 9:15:43 PM PDT · 41 of 66
    longshadow to Coyoteman
    Where do they find people like that? Yikes!

    Hard to argue with someone who doesn't know the difference between emission and absorption spectra. If fusion isn't taking place, then what causes the observed neutrino flux (with improved detectors which have detected the flux predicted by stellar fusion models)?

    Gravitational contraction cannot power the observed energy output on time-scales consistent with other observational data. So I ask, what, other than fusion processes, could be the source of the solar energy? Invisible Unicorns running around in giant hamster wheels inside the sun, farting neutrinos in just the right amounts to fool us?

    Yup, another Purveyor of Unknowledge has spoken....

  • Hillary, Eavesdropper?

    06/01/2007 10:35:16 AM PDT · 26 of 41
    longshadow to Para-Ord.45; Gail Wynand
    Cell phone interception falls under the auspices of the Electronic Communication Privacy Act of 1986.

    AFAIK, interception of cell comms are a violation. Taping them might run afoul of other statues.

    FWIW, the ECPA is a law of dubious merit. The previous law governing radio interception simply said you were free to listen to whatever non-encrypted radio signals you wanted to, as long as you didn't divulge the content to others or use it for your own financial gain or illegal purpose (?) (except for commercial broadcast content, such as AM/FM radio and TV).

    But be that as it may; the ECPA was the prevailing law, and if in 1992 somebody taped private cell-phone conversations and gave them to Hillary to listen to, she, as a former partner in the infamous Rose law firm, should have known the tapes were the product of a violation of federal law.

    And even absent the ECPA of '86, it is still a violation to tape a private radio transmitted phone conversation and play it to anyone else (violates the "divulging content to others" restriction of the Communications Act of 1934, AFAIK).

    While the act of listening to the tape per se may not violate the various Communications Acts, there is still the question of whether in so doing, Hillary becomes an accomplice after the fact, and to the extent she knew about the interceptions and taping before hand, may even be guilty of conspiracy to violate the various communications acts.

    In short, this is a very interesting revelation, and may be a serious source of problems for Her Royal Highness's campaign to become Emperess of America.

  • Free Republic Purge: Conservative Web Site Bans Giuliani Supporters

    05/30/2007 1:25:37 PM PDT · 1,143 of 1,422
    longshadow to Diplomat
    ... Because one poster is ignorant of the history and contribution of RA (or just plain a dumb-arse), I fail to see why the rest of us should be lumped-in and labeled as the “Purveyors of Unknowledge.” ...

    What I actually wrote was this:

    "But there is another segment of people on these threads who, instead of asking these learned folks intelligent questions and thus expanding their knowledge and understanding, insist instead upon bludgeoning them with their ignorance, and questioning the patriotism, honesty, and intellect of people who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of scientific knowledge."

    IOW, I never said that ALL who doubt science in general and Evolutionary Theory in particular were "Purveyors of Unknowledge" -- just the ones who behaved in the manner I described in the essay. If you didn't behave that way, good for you; you're off the hook.

    I hope that clarified my point.

  • Free Republic Purge: Conservative Web Site Bans Giuliani Supporters

    05/30/2007 1:10:40 PM PDT · 1,139 of 1,422
    longshadow to Graybeard58
    I am not joining the debate as to whether or not R.A. should have been banned but this is hardly a “Private FReepmail”

    [snip]

    The complaint by the individual attacking RA specifically referred to the private Freepmail, not the posts you cited.

    None the less, if someone wishes to complain about RA's posted comments using that sort of language, then consistency demands they also get upset at the 600+ instances of the same word being used in other posts on FR that are still up for all to see.

    The occasional use of profanity by a long-time poster on FR has never been grounds for banning.

  • Free Republic Purge: Conservative Web Site Bans Giuliani Supporters

    05/30/2007 9:19:06 AM PDT · 1,102 of 1,422
    longshadow to b_sharp
    Too many big words, too much work to understand.

    That's the operative policy of the "be simple; be happy" people -- who's motto is: "High skool diplomas are over-rated. If WalMart don't sell it, you don't need it."

    They are a close relatives of the Purveyors of Unknowledge:

    

    In the history of the world, only a tiny fraction of all the people who ever lived have had the opportunity to ask highly qualified scientists direct questions, and learn from their wisdom. Happily, because of the internet and places like FR, it was possible for people from all walks of life to converse directly with all sorts of scientific experts; we have had physicists, microbiologists, mathematicians, astronomers, and chemists, to specify but a few, roaming these threads, and eager to explain what they know and how they know it to virtually anyone willing to ask an intelligent question.

    But there is another segment of people on these threads who, instead of asking these learned folks intelligent questions and thus expanding their knowledge and understanding, insist instead upon bludgeoning them with their ignorance, and questioning the patriotism, honesty, and intellect of people who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of scientific knowledge.

    I submit that such people are not here to learn anything, but are in fact interested in quite the opposite. I submit they are here to interfere with the dissemination of scientific knowledge that they find offensive. They don't want other people to ask the experts questions and learn from them; no, they are here to attack the experts and cast doubt upon their wisdom, in the desperate hope that others will turn away and not listen to them.

    IMHO that is why the same people show up over and over again parroting the same refuted diatribes and misinformation, and spewing the same bogus out-of-context quotes designed specifically to disrupt the dissemination of scientific knowledge. That's why the same people show up over and over again misrepresenting what scientific theories and laws are, despite having had it explained to them 1720th time; they are here to instill confusion and spread their ignorance, not to disseminate knowledge.

    The experts [who were once] here on these threads ought to be revered and thanked for sharing with us their insights and explanations of the natural world around us; instead scorn is heaped upon them and their knowledge by the belligerently ignorant. I submit that these purveyors of unknowledge should be treated for the intellectual disruptors that they are. They stare stared the best opportunity any of us will ever have to gain more insight and understanding in the eye, and spit spat in the faces of those who offer and have the knowledge to help make that a reality.

    Behold, I give you the belligerently ignorant, the intellectual Luddites of our time. Know them for the anti-knowledge disruptors they are.

    Sadly, the Purveyors of Unknowledge have been very, very effective and chasing away most of the scientists and pro-science posters we one had on FR, to the point where some bedwetting buffoon feels it is safe to denigrate the intellectual contributions to FR of a former scientist, who can no longer post here to defend himself, with scurrillous and gratuitous insults such as: "He contributed nothing of any real worth."

    That, in a word, is "pathetic."

  • Free Republic Purge: Conservative Web Site Bans Giuliani Supporters

    05/30/2007 8:37:54 AM PDT · 1,093 of 1,422
    longshadow to don-o
    and the point is???

    Massive and overwhelming rebuttal to THIS comment in reply #1002 of this thread:

    "Radio is gone, and I'm glad. He contributed nothing of any real worth."
  • Free Republic Purge: Conservative Web Site Bans Giuliani Supporters

    05/30/2007 7:21:15 AM PDT · 1,087 of 1,422
    longshadow to trussell; js1138
    For the benefit of the individual with the Involuntary Micuration Problem on this thread, and for the lurkers, I hereby offer a sample of the late great FReeper RadioAstronomer's contribution to the intellectual excellence of FreeRepublic:

    Posted by RadioAstronomer 02/04/2006 1:22:42 PM EST · 50 of 313

    The Interstellar Medium

    Between the stars and galaxies is mostly empty space. However, this space is not entirely empty. It is filled with a diffuse medium of gas and dust called the Interstellar Medium (ISM). The ISM primarily consists of neutral hydrogen gas (HI), molecular gas (mostly H2, ionized gas (HII), and dust grains. Even though this considered a very good vacuum, the ISM in our galaxy comprises about five percent of the mass of the visible part (stars etc) of our galaxy.

    Neutral Hydrogen Gas:

    Our own galaxy is filled with a diffuse distribution of neutral hydrogen gas. This gas has a density of approximately one atom per centimeter cubed. One of the features of the neutral hydrogen is the radio wave production at 21 centimeters due to the spin properties of the atom. This neutral hydrogen is distributed in a clumpy fashion with cooler denser regions called ¡°clouds¡±.

    Molecular Clouds:

    Denser than the surrounding regions, clouds of molecular hydrogen and dust are the birthplace of stars. We are unable to detect molecular hydrogen directly, however we can infer its characteristics from other molecules present (usually CO). There have been over 50 different molecules detected in these clouds including NH3, CH, OH, CS, etc. Some molecular clouds can be as large as 150 light years in diameter. There are thousands of these clouds in our galaxy, usually situated in the spiral arms and concentrated towards the center of the galaxy.

    Ionized Hydrogen Regions:

    The ionized hydrogen (HII) is the remnants left from the formation of the younger hotter stars. These produce the more visible nebula such as the Orion Nebula. O and B class stars recently formed in molecular clouds ionize the gas left over from their formation. This results in the gas being heated to a temperature of about 10,000K causing it to fluoresce producing emission line spectrums. Hydrogen atoms absorb photons and are ionized from the ¡°extra¡± energy. This and other features such as collisions produce the emission features of both the hydrogen and helium in the visible nebula.

    Interstellar Dust:

    Around one percent of the ISM is in the form of tiny grains of dust. These grains are approximately the size of a particle of cigarette smoke. This dust blocks the plane of our Milky Way galaxy form our view. We can determine the composition of these dust clouds by the way if affects different frequencies of photons. One of the affects of these dust clouds is that they dim the light from distant objects. This dimming is called interstellar extinction. It also reddens the color (interstellar reddening) due to the fact that red light is not scattered as efficiently as blue light is. The characteristics for the dust particles vary throughout the galaxy. However, a typical grain of dust is composed of carbon mixed with silicates. Almost all of the elements such as carbon and silicon found in the ISM are found in the dust particles.

    The Celestial sphere

    When we look up at the stars in the night sky they appear to be stationary relative to each other. As the Earth moves from one side of the Sun to the other, the displacement of those stars due to parallax is less than one second of arc even for the nearest star (Proxima Centauri). One way of looking at this is a fixed sphere of stars surrounding the Earth/Sun system. This is often referred to as the Celestial Sphere. This is why some of the ancient civilizations considered the stars to be holes in a tapestry.

    Since we are talking distances and parallax, let's briefly take a moment and describe such. The more familiar term for the layman when referring to stellar distances is called a light year. This is the distance light will travel in one calendar year. For example the closest star to our Sun, Proxima Centauri, is approximately 4.22 light years from our solar system. The light we see from there today was actually generated by that sun 4.22 years ago. Astronomers use another term for stellar distance that may be not so familiar: the Parsec. A Parsec (parallax-arcsecond) is the distance needed for one astronomical unit (AU) to subtend one second of arc. An AU is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun or approximately 93 million miles, and an arcsecond is 1/60 of an arcminute, which is 1/60 of a degree. It turns out a Parsec is about 3.26 light years. Thus for an observer sitting 3.26 light years from the sun, the distance from the sun to Earth's orbit subtends one arcsecond.

    Conversely, an observer on the Earth will see an object positioned one Parsec away appear to shift by up to two arcseconds over the course of a year. If one sighting is made when the line from the Sun to the Earth is 90 degrees from the line of observation, 6 months later the Earth will be on the opposite side of it's orbit. Since the radius of the Earth's orbit is one AU, the diameter is 2 AUs. This change in apparent position from different viewing locations is called parallax.

    Proxima Centauri (at 4.22 Light Years or roughly 1.3 Parsecs), shows parallax of about one-and-a-half seconds of arc over the course of a year - too small to be discerned without special high-precision equipment. Most stars are much further away than Proxima Centauri, so for most practical purposes the stars are fixed - at least for periods less than a decade.

    Even though it appears the stars remain in "fixed" locations in the night sky, over a period of decades and centuries the stars do move relative to each other and relative to the Earth. The star catalogue based on the epoch B1950 and the one based on the epoch J2000 would reveal minor differences due to these motions.

    Another interesting item of note is that the constellations we see are made up of the brightest stars. Even in the same constellation these stars are at vastly different distances from the Earth. Some may be very bright stars that are very distant, and these may appear dimmer than closer stars that are not actually generating nearly as much light. The brightness of a star is called its magnitude. There are two ways astronomers measure magnitude: Apparent Magnitude and Absolute Magnitude.

    The Apparent Magnitude is how bright a star appears to us here on the Earth. The Absolute Magnitude is how bright a star would appear if it were exactly ten parsecs away from the Earth. (Close to 33 light years).

    Two notes:

    1) Apparent magnitude is usually denoted with a small "m" and absolute magnitude uses a capital "M".

    2) The magnitude scale is backwards of what you might think: the larger the number the fainter the object. The brightest star is Sirius with magnitude of -1.5m, while somewhat dimmer Vega is defined as 0m, and planet Venus may become as bright as -4.4m. A typical human eye can just barely see a star with a magnitude of +6m, but Earth-based telescopes may see stars as dim as +18m, and the Hubble can see stars as feint as +30m.

    The Ecliptic Plane

    Since the Earth is tilted (23.5 degrees) in reference to the path it sweeps out in its orbit about the Sun, this path projected onto the celestial sphere does not fall on the celestial equator. This imaginary plane is called the ecliptic. Note: This angle between the ecliptic and the equatorial plane is called The Obliquity of The Ecliptic.

    This imaginary plane crosses the celestial equator in two places (called the equinoxes). The Vernal Equinox falls in the spring as the Sun appears to cross the ecliptic going north and the Autumnal Equinox falls in autumn when the Sun again crosses the ecliptic, this time going south. Note: Vernal comes from the Latin vernalis, meaning spring. Also the term equinox relates to the word equal since both day and night are close to the same, 12 hours during the equinox.

    The points where this plane is the farthest above (north) and below (south) the celestial equator is called the solstices. In the northern hemisphere of the earth, the most northern point of the ecliptic is called the Summer Solstice and the southern most is called the Winter Solstice. In the Southern hemisphere of the Earth the reverse is true.

    The zodiac lies along the plane of the ecliptic. Since the Earth is orbiting the Sun, the Sun appears to follow the plane of the ecliptic, making one complete circle in one calendar year. The name "zodiac" comes from the Greek meaning animal circle. In fact all of the 12 constellations of the zodiac are named after animals. Note: The path of the Moon and the other planets fall pretty much on this plane as well. Since it takes 365 days for the Earth to orbit the Sun and there are 360 degrees in a circle, the Sun moves pretty close to 1 degree per day.

    Celestial Coordinates

    If, on the first day of spring (the Vernal Equinox), a line is drawn from the Sun through the Earth and out to infinity, that line is said to extend to a point referred to as The First Point of Aries. (So named because at one time this line pointed to the first star in the constellation of Aries.)

    The celestial sphere is tied to the Earth for its coordinate system. Project the Earth's equator out to infinity and you have the equator of the celestial sphere. Likewise the north and south poles of the Earth points to the north and south poles of the celestial sphere respectively. This makes it very easy to map the sky referenced to the Earth. This coordinate system is called the Equatorial Coordinate System. It ties in closely with our own geographic coordinate system here on the surface of the Earth.

    Note, however, the geographic coordinate system is fixed upon the surface of the Earth (Lat-Long) -- so it rotates with the rotation of the Earth. The celestial coordinate system is fixed to the celestial sphere and appears to rotate due to the Earth's rotation. The equivalent of "latitude" in the celestial sphere (the angle of an object above or below the celestial equator) is called declination, with zero being on the equator. (This is pretty easy to relate to, since the celestial's equator and poles appear to be fixed like our own earth.) The celestial sphere's analog to "longitude", called right ascension, is not a "fixed" reference to the Earth: it is fixed to the stars instead, thus rotating every 24 hours. Instead of using degrees, right ascension is measured in hours. The Vernal Equinox is used as the zero reference for the right ascension. Since there are 360 degrees in a circle, the Earth rotates about 15 degrees every hour, so every hour of right ascension is equivalent to 15 degrees.

    A declination of zero is on the equator and a right ascension of zero is at the Vernal Equinox. So on the first day of spring, when the Earth's equator lines up with the line to the First Point of Aries, the Vernal Equinox will have the coordinates of 0 degrees and 0 hours. This has come to define the center point for an Equatorial Sky Chart.

    How was all this formed?

    We will first start out with the evolution of a single, low mass star from a molecular cloud to fusion and planetary accretion

    Although dust and gases are found throughout interstellar space, star formation is a relatively rare event with perhaps only 10 percent of interstellar medium actually being converted into stellar mass. Interstellar space contains roughly about 10 hydrogen atoms per cubic meter at approximately 100 to 106 K. In pockets of non-homogeneous molecular gas and dust, the densities of matter may be as high as 104 to 106 atoms per cubic meter (contrast this with atmospheric air at STP ¡Ö 5.3 x 1025 atoms per cubic meter). Particulate matter within these regions is thought to include not only atomic and molecular hydrogen (H2), but also helium, carbon monoxide (CO), water ice (H2O), alcohols, ammonia (NH3), formaldehyde (HCHO), formic acid (HCOOH), methane (CH4), and other organics such as aliphatic hydrocarbons. Dust particles effectively block ultraviolet radiation from nearby stars, thus decreasing temperatures within these regions to only about 10 to 20 K.

    Radio astronomers use CO emissions at 1.3 and 2.6 mm to identify molecular hydrogen (H2) in these cold molecular clouds. H I regions consist primarily of neutral atomic hydrogen (H) gas with densities of up to 107 atoms per cubic meter at temperatures around 100 K, and are detected from 21-cm emissions generated by the quantum spin flip of individual hydrogen electrons. H I regions may also be detected by Alpha Lyman H-absorption bands. In contrast, very hot H II and He III regions (up to 10,000 K) within glowing emission nebulae close to O and B spectral type stars (such as the Lagoon Nebula) are detected via infrared radiation.

    Note: Super geek alert #1:

    The accepted view of star formation requires that an influx of non-thermal energy (shock wave or turbulence) initiate the collapse of molecular clouds. However, some researchers believe that these clouds can become stellar nurseries simply because cooler temperatures allow matter to move more slowly, allowing tiny gravitational and ionic forces between atoms to form complex molecules, leading to gravitational collapse.

    Irrespective of the initial mechanism, areas of accumulated matter grow and coalesce, eventually forming a center of mass around which particulate matter and gases orbit, often colliding with other particles or the center of mass itself. As the mass contracts under continuing gravitational attraction, the core begins to heat and infrared radiation is released. Rotational velocity also increases, conserving outward angular momentum while allowing a continuous inward flow of material. The orbiting mass begins to take on a flattened disk-like shape about the core, which is now more appropriately referred to as a prestellar core or protostar. The protostar may have densities of up to 107 atoms per cubic meter at this stage in its evolution (newly formed stars have observed densities of about1022 atoms per cubic meter). Interior core temperatures may reach 150,000 K, with surface temperatures of about 3500 K as outward thermal pressure increases to compensate for the inward pull of gravity. At this point, the protostar will appear on a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram as a cool but bright star, as luminosity is still dependant upon gravitational collapse.

    As contraction continues, particles that are outside the accretion disk, but still under the influence of gravitational attraction from the protostar, will be drawn into more extreme sinusoidal orbits in and out of the plane of the accretion disk. The chance that these extra accretion disk particles will collide with particles within the disk increases not only with increased density and thickness of the disk, but also with a decreased angle of incidence relative to the plane of the disk. Most particles will ultimately become part of the protostar, but some will enter into a variety of orbits within the accretion disk plane depending on their relative velocities, often forming additional regions or bands of increased density from which protoplanets may later accrete.

    While the protostar stage of development may only take a few years, the pre-main sequence stage may take tens of millions of years because continued contraction, accretion and heating of the stellar core proceeds slowly.

    Early pre-main sequence stars are often referred to as T Tauri stars. In these very young stars, an excess of ultraviolet radiation is released as dipolar magnetospheric accretion columns form, slowing the rotational velocity of the star in relation to the disk, and transferring mass directly from the disk to the poles of the young star. Accretion rates for these stars have been estimated to be from about 2 x 10-8 to 10-7 the mass of our Sun per year. However, mass is also simultaneously ejected from these stars perpendicular to the circumstellar disk along magnetic field lines in very narrow bipolar jets or pulses of material, possibly a mechanism for reducing excess angular momentum. T Tauri stars are hotter but not as bright as protostars, and will appear on a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram closer towards the main sequence as late F through early K spectral types.

    Once the internal temperatures of the young star reach about 1 million Kelvin, the proton-proton chain reaction begins, first fusing two protons into one deuterium plus a positron and a neutrino [equation 1].

    [1] 1 H + 1 H ->2 H + positron (e+) + neutrino

    The positron almost immediately encounters an electron, and the particles annihilate each other, producing two gamma rays. These gamma rays will ultimately migrate to the stellar surface where they will each be emitted as about 200,000 photons of visible light [equation 2].

    [2] e+ + e- -> 2 gamma rays

    Deuterium created via the reaction represented by equation 1 reacts with a proton to create one helium-3 plus another gamma ray [equation 3].

    [3] 2 H + 1 H -> 3 He + gamma ray

    When stellar core temperatures reach 10 million Kelvin, two helium-3 atoms will be fused into one helium-4 atom plus two protons [equation 4], an event that marks the transition to the main-sequence phase of stellar evolution, when energy produced is no longer due to gravitational collapse, but by nuclear fusion.

    [4] 3 He + 3 He -> 4 He + 21 H

    Main sequence stars are typically very stable because of hydrostatic equilibrium, where the forces between continued gravitational collapse equal internally generated thermal pressures. Typically, a low-mass star will continue in the main sequence for about 90% of its lifetime, slowly converting hydrogen into helium for several hundred million to several billion years until the supply of hydrogen is exhausted.

    Planetary formation from stellar accretion

    A model of early solar system formation (and there is evidence supporting such) describes that metal, such as Nickel-iron, rock, and ice condensed out from the accretion disk created as our solar system formed. The metals condensed out first (this is why many of the asteroids are Nickel-iron) Followed by rocky material and ice. These tiny particles then collided creating small boulders and asteroids.

    Once these small asteroids and boulders have enough mass, gravity becomes the driving force. Thusly the planets and moons are formed. However, since Jupiter is so large and the total mass of the asteroid belt is so tiny, the material forming the asteroid belt never was "allowed" to form a small planet or moon because of the gravitational perturbations from Jupiter. Remember the asteroid belt has less mass than 1 tenth of our moon.

    Finally the solar wind from the newly formed star (our sun) would blow all of the remaining gas into interstellar space leaving us with the planets, moons, comets, asteroids, etc. circling our little star.

    Note: This is a really simplified version. There is much (volumes of data) I did not include.

    Since we are talking about the Solar System, I thought I would add a little data about our solar system: :-)

    All planets move in ellipses. A planet that moves in a perfectly circular orbit is actually an ellipse with its eccentricity (e) = 0, a parabola has e = 1 and a hyperbola the e > 1, thusly, the closer to zero the planets eccentricity, the more circular its orbit.

    For the planets, the furthest point from the sun in its orbit is called aphelion and the closest is called perihelion.

    All of the planetary distances from the Sun are measured in Astronomical Units (AUs). One AU is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun, which is approximately 93,000,000 miles.

    Mercury: e = 0.2056 and its AU = .39
    Venus: e = 0.0068 and its AU = .72
    Earth: e = 0.0167 and its AU = 1
    Mars: e = 0.0934 and its AU = 1.52
    Jupiter: e = 0.0483 and its AU = 5.20
    Saturn: e = 0.0560 and its AU = 9.54
    Uranus: e = 0.0461 and its AU = 19.18
    Neptune: e = 0.0097 and its AU = 30.06
    Pluto: e = 0.2482 and its AU = 39.44

    If you notice only two planets have a high eccentricity; Mercury and Pluto. Only one of them cross the mean distance of another planet from the Sun and that is Pluto and Neptune. Briefly Pluto is closer to the Sun than Neptune when its orbit is at perihelion.

    The eccentricity of our planet's orbit is mild; aphelion and perihelion differ from the mean Sun-Earth distance by less than 2 percent. In fact, if you drew Earth's orbit on a sheet of paper it would be difficult to distinguish from a perfect circle and that is with e = 0.0167. As for the perfect circle, there never will be a perfect circle with the orbital elements. Remember the other planets are also "tugging" on each other. I brought up the perfect circle to show that a circle is a very special type of ellipse. The reason for that was that when we see ellipses in our mind, we see really elongated structures. Also when you look at a "map" of the solar system, they usually put it in a somewhat side perspective which exaggerates the appearance of the ellipse.

    Most of the planets are so close to circles that on a piece of paper they would look just that. Again, the only two that would be even readily noticeable would be Mercury and Pluto.

    For satellites orbiting the Earth, we have an added component of not only the atmospheric drag but the solar wind as well. To even further the complication our Earth is not a perfect sphere and has natural gravity wells due to the distribution of the landmasses and that it is an oblate spheroid instead of a perfect sphere (the difference is only about 15 miles between the equator and the poles). One more rub is that with long term measurements taken using a satellite in orbit (the LAGEOS), the Earth is very very slowly re-rounding itself out over time.

    The other thing that is not readily apparent from most solar system maps is just how far apart the planets really are and also how tiny they are with reference to the solar system.

    Enter the Lyman Alpha Forest

    There is one spectral line that stands out above all others: the transition between the ground state of hydrogen and its first excited state. This is called the Lyman Alpha line. This energy difference corresponds to a photon with a wavelength of 1216 angstroms.

    Because the clouds lie at different distances, they are traveling at different relative velocities due to the expansion of the universe. This means that their Lyman Alpha lines, as we see them, lie at different places in the spectrum because of the Doppler Effect. This means that there will be many more Lyman Alpha absorption lines--and at an increased red shift for distant objects than for nearby objects.

    This enables us to plot the position of the intervening neutral hydrogen between us and other stellar objects.

    Note: Super geek alert #2:

    Radio astronomers use temperature to describe the strength of detected radiation. Any body with a temperature above -273 deg C (approximately absolute 0) emits electromagnetic radiation (EM). This thermal radiation isn't just in the infrared but is exhibited across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. (Note: it will have a greater intensity (peak) at a specific area of the EM spectrum depending on its temperature). For example, bodies at 2000 K (Kelvin), the radiation is primarily in the infrared region and at 10000 K, the radiation is primarily in the visible light region. There is also a direct correlation between temperature and the amount of energy emitted, which is described by Planck's law.

    When the temperature of a body is lowered, two things happen. First, the peak shifts in the direction towards the longer wavelengths and second, it emits less radiation at all wavelengths.

    This turns out to be extremely useful. When a radio astronomer looks at a particular point of the sky and says that it has a noise temperature of 1500 K, he/she isn't declaring how hot the body (nebulae, etc) really is, but is providing a measurement of the strength of the radiation from the source at the observed frequency. For example, radiation from an extra solar body may be heated from a nearby source such as a star. If this body is radiating at a temperature of 500 K, it exhibits the same emissions across all frequencies that a local test source does. The calculated noise figure will be the same across all frequencies. (Note: this does not take into account other sources of radiation such as synchrotron radiation).

    So, here's the rub. Not only does the source that is of interest to the radio astronomer emit thermal radiation but also both the local environment (ground, atmosphere, etc) and the equipment (antenna, amplifiers, cables, receiver, etc) being used to make the measurements. To accurately observe and measure the distant sources, the radio astronomer must subtract all of the local environment and detection equipment noise additions.

    In 1963, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were working with a horn antenna trying to make it work with as high efficiency as possible for the Telstar project. This antenna was also going to be used for radio astronomy at a later date. They pointed it to a quiet part of the sky and took measurements. When they subtracted all of the known sources of noise, they found approximately 3 K left over. They worked very diligently to eliminate/describe this noise source and were unable to. This mysterious source of noise seemed to be there no matter where they pointed the antenna. What they had discovered was the microwave background produced from the Big Bang. This 3 (closer to 2.7) K microwave background originated approximately 300,000 years after the Big Bang itself had occurred. It has been determined that when these signals originated, the universe had already cooled down to around 3000 K.

    Stars Visible from Earth

    If you add up all of the stars that are visible from everywhere on the globe this roughly 6000 stars are visible to the naked eye, globally speaking. From any given location on a single night, about 2,500 are visible to the discerning eye. Under bright city lights, the quantity of stars visible to the unaided eye can drop to mere dozens.

    Our Sun has an intrinsic or absolute magnitude of about 5. This is the apparent magnitude our Sun would have if it were 32.6 light years away. A star 100 times brighter would have a magnitude of 0; a star 10000 times brighter would have a magnitude of -5; a star 1000000 (i.e. a million) times brighter would have a magnitude of -10.

    With the Hubble telescope, using an exposure time of several hours, one can see stars to about 30th magnitude. This is about 10 billion times fainter than our Sun, if it were 32.6 light years away. The brightness of any object falls off as the square of the distance from the observer, so the Hubble telescope could just see our Sun if it were 3.26 million light years away. If you were to replace our Sun with a star a million times brighter, it could be seen about a thousand times further away, i.e., about 3 billion light years.

    Since this estimate is only for the very brightest stars, and since the distance I obtained is still less than the size of the visible Universe (about 15 billion light years), there are surely many faint stars at great distances which we cannot see.

    On to the Earth-Sun system

    It takes one year for the Earth to rotate around the Sun one time and 24 hours to rotate on its axis. Think about this relationship. Not only is the Earth revolving on its axis, it is in motion about the Sun. (I know this is really basic grade school stuff, however, it will help in visualizing the concepts I am about to explain) Therefore the Earth moves 1/365th of its orbit about the Sun every day.

    Ok, here is where that visualization will come in handy. Since a "day" is described by one complete rotation of the Earth on its axis, this equates from noon to noon (when a point on the Earth is directly pointed at the Sun). The term for this is called the Mean Solar Day. But here is the rub; the Earth has moved through 1/365th of its orbit during this period of time we called a day. Because the Earth has moved over a tiny bit from where is was the day before, it must rotate a tiny bit more to have the same spot facing the Sun at noon. This tiny bit is slightly less than one degree (the Earth's orbit completes 360 degrees in 365 days). Thus the Earth actually rotates almost 361 degrees, not just 360, to complete a mean solar day.

    Now let us think of this celestial sphere we have been chatting about. Remember the stars appear fixed in one location (at least on a daily basis). This means that one complete revolution of the Earth referenced to a star does not take that little bit of extra time to be over the same spot on the Earth. This "day" is referred to as a Sidereal Day. It takes approximately four extra minutes for the Earth to have the Sun over the same location on the Earth than a star.

    This is the difference between a Sidereal Day (23 hours, 56 minutes) and a Mean Solar Day (24 hours).

    Also the Earth is tilted on its axis from the plane of the ecliptic by 23.5 degrees. That tilt causes the North Pole to be currently pointed towards Polaris. As the Earth moves around the sun its pole stays pointed at Polaris. This is the cause of the seasons we experience. Note. This tilt varies back and forth from 21.6 degrees to 24.5 degrees approximately every 41,000 years.

    There is also a precession of our pole and it sweeps a complete circle in the sky (think of the Earth as a top wobbling as it rotates) about every 26,000 years. (Hard to explain without a diagram). This gives us different pole stars as the north pole of the Earth sweeps out a circle on the celestial sphere.

    There are also a number of other motions that must be taken into consideration over the years, such as the precession of the aphelion. Our Earth's orbit around the Sun is not a perfect circle. It is an ellipse with the closest point of the orbit called perihelion and the furthest point called aphelion. Currently perihelion occurs in early January, and aphelion falls in early July. However, this is not always the case. The aphelion and perihelion change over the centuries and sweeps thru the calendar year with a periodicity of around 22,000 years. By the way, the amount a circle is "squished" (not much of a scientific term :-) ) to create an ellipse is called its eccentricity. If the eccentricity is equal to zero the orbit will be a perfect circle (also known as a degenerate elipse). An eccentricity between zero and one, not inclusive, describes the eliptical path of an orbit - a highly eccentric orbit has eccentricity close to one. In the case of eccentricity equal exactly to one, the path is a parabola, and eccentricity greater than one describes a hyperbola. Although natural forces tend to circularize most orbits over time, achieving an eccentricity of exactly zero is extremely unlikely in nature.

    The eccentricity of Earth's orbit is very small. However, even this changes over time. Its eccentricity varies periodically about every 100,000 years. There are also other motions effecting the orbit, caused by the Moon, Jupiter and the Sun: these are called Nutations. One of the major nutations has a period of 18.6 years.

    Since we are now talking about orbiting bodies, let us digress just a wee bit further and briefly talk about orbits

    There are different sizes and shapes of orbits. We use the term Semi-Major Axis to measure the size of an orbit. It is the distance from the geometric center of the ellipse to either the apogee or perigee (The highest (apo) and the lowest (peri)). Apoapsis is a general term for the greatest radial distance of an Ellipse as measured from a Focus. Apoapsis for an orbit around the Earth is called apogee, and apoapsis for an orbit around the Sun is called aphelion.

    Periapsis is a general term for the smallest radial distance of an Ellipse as measured from a Focus. Periapsis for an orbit around the Earth is called perigee, and periapsis for an orbit around the Sun is called perihelion.

    The terms Gee and Helios comes from the Greek words "Ge" (earth) and "Helios" (Sun) respectively.

    First lets talk a bit about "where it is". An orbit is a nothing more than an object falling around another object. Both Kepler and Newton came up with a set of laws that describe this phenomenon.

    Kepler's three laws of planetary motion:

    1) The orbit of a planet is an ellipse with the sun at one of the foci.
    2) The line drawn between a planet and the sun sweep out equal areas in equal times.
    3) The square of the periods of the planets is proportional to the cubes of their mean distance from the sun.

    So what is that telling us? In a nutshell, all orbits are ellipses, the close to the body you are orbiting the faster you go (e.g. if you have a highly elliptical orbit the satellite or planet's velocity will increase as it approaches the object being orbited and decrease as it get further away)

    These laws not only apply to planets and satellites, but to any orbiting body.

    Note: Super geek alert #3:

    For an orbiting body this is not entirely correct. It turns out that both bodies end up orbiting a common center of mass of the two-body system. However, for satellites, the mass of the Earth is so much greater than the mass of the satellite, the effective center of mass is the center of the Earth.

    Newton's three laws (and law of gravitation):

    1) The first law states that every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force. (Commonly known as inertia)
    2) The second law states that force is equal to the change in momentum (MV) per change in time. (For a constant mass, force equals mass times acceleration F=ma)
    3) The third law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, if an object exerts a force on another object, a resulting equal force is exerted back on the original object.

    Newton's law of gravitation states that any two bodies attract one another with a force proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

    Note: Super geek alert #4:

    Actual observed positions did not quite match the predictions under classical Newtonian physics. Albert Einstein later solved this discrepancy with his "General Theory of Relativity". There are four classical "tests" that cemented General Relativity:

    1) In November of 1919, using a solar eclipse, experimental verification of his theory was performed by measuring the apparent change in a stars position due to the bending of the light buy the sun's gravity.
    2) The changing orientation of the major axis of Mercury not exactly matching classical mechanics.
    3) Gravitational Redshift
    4) Gravitational Time Dilation

    So what is all this trying to tell us? Planets, satellites, etc orbit their parents in predictable trajectories allowing us to "know" where they will be at any given time. A set of coordinates showing the location of these objects over a period of time is called its ephemeris.

    This is a good spot to digress into laws and theories:

    Here is my own example of gravity:

    A little history here:

    Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation

    “Every object in the universe attracts every other object with a force directed along the line of centers for the two objects that is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the separation between the two objects.”

    F=Gm1m2/r2

    Where:

    F equals the gravitational force between two objects
    m1 equals the mass of the first object
    m2 equals the mass of the second object
    R equals the distance between the objects
    G equals the universal constant of gravitation = (6.6726 )* 10-11 N*m2/kg2 (which is still being refined and tested today)

    (BTW this is a simple form of the equation and is only applied to point sources. Usually it is expressed as a vector equation)

    Even though it works well for most practical purposes, this formulation has problems.

    A few of the problems are:

    It shows the change is gravitational force is transmitted instantaneously (Violates C), assumes an absolute space and time (this contradicts Special Relativity), etc.

    Enter Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity

    In 1915 Einstein developed a new theory of gravity called General Relativity.

    A number of experiments showed this theory explained some of the problems with the classical Newtonian model. However, this theory like all others is still being explored and tested.

    From an NSF abstract:

    “As with all scientific knowledge, a theory can be refined or even replaced by an alternative theory in light of new and compelling evidence. The geocentric theory that the sun revolves around the earth was replaced by the heliocentric theory of the earth's rotation on its axis and revolution around the sun. However, ideas are not referred to as "theories" in science unless they are supported by bodies of evidence that make their subsequent abandonment very unlikely. When a theory is supported by as much evidence as evolution, it is held with a very high degree of confidence.

    In science, the word "hypothesis" conveys the tentativeness inherent in the common use of the word "theory.' A hypothesis is a testable statement about the natural world. Through experiment and observation, hypotheses can be supported or rejected. At the earliest level of understanding, hypotheses can be used to construct more complex inferences and explanations. Like "theory," the word "fact" has a different meaning in science than it does in common usage. A scientific fact is an observation that has been confirmed over and over. However, observations are gathered by our senses, which can never be trusted entirely. Observations also can change with better technologies or with better ways of looking at data. For example, it was held as a scientific fact for many years that human cells have 24 pairs of chromosomes, until improved techniques of microscopy revealed that they actually have 23. Ironically, facts in science often are more susceptible to change than theories, which is one reason why the word "fact" is not much used in science.

    Finally, "laws" in science are typically descriptions of how the physical world behaves under certain circumstances. For example, the laws of motion describe how objects move when subjected to certain forces. These laws can be very useful in supporting hypotheses and theories, but like all elements of science they can be altered with new information and observations.

    Those who oppose the teaching of evolution often say that evolution should be taught as a "theory, not as a fact." This statement confuses the common use of these words with the scientific use. In science, theories do not turn into facts through the accumulation of evidence. Rather, theories are the end points of science. They are understandings that develop from extensive observation, experimentation, and creative reflection. They incorporate a large body of scientific facts, laws, tested hypotheses, and logical inferences. In this sense, evolution is one of the strongest and most useful scientific theories we have.


    Posted by RadioAstronomer 02/04/2006 10:54:50 AM EST · 39 of 313

    Ok, let us take a look at the Moon. :-)

    1) How was it formed, 2) what is it made of, and 3) how far away is it are some of the questions that we can begin to answer.

    1) How was the Moon formed?

    There were at least five major ideas that were proposed as to the formation of the Moon.

    Fission – The Moon split off from the Earth.
    Capture – The Moon was captured by the gravity of the Earth.
    Condensation – The Moon coalesced out of the same “stuff” the Earth did.
    Colliding Planetesimals – Formed from colliding Planetesimals during the early formation of the solar system.
    Collision – A body collided with the Earth causing a piece of the Earth’s crust to form the Moon from a resultant ring produced by that collision

    The evidence points to the collision theory. First, the Moon does not have an iron core. This pretty much rules out that it coalesced from the same cloud of debris that the Earth did. Second, throughout the solar system, the oxygen isotopes have been found to be different. If the Moon were captured, it too would not match the Earth’s oxygen isotope ratio (which it does). Fourth, by looking at the angular momentum and energy required, the theory that the Moon spun off the Earth after the Earth formed does not hold up.

    This leaves us with the Collision theory as the best model we have for the formation of the Moon. The resultant collision caused a ring of debris from the Earths crust to form outside the Roche limit. If it had not, tidal forces would have not allowed for the Moon we see today.

    A more in depth discussion of tidal locking since the Moon is tidal locked to the Earth. The reason the Moon keeps one face to the Earth (Its rotation on its axis matches the period of its orbit) is it is tidally locked to the Earth. Here is a more in depth explanation. The total angular momentum of the earth moon system, which is spin angular momentum plus the orbital angular momentum, is constant. (The Sun plays apart also) Friction of the oceans caused by the tides is causing the Earth to slow down a tiny bit each year. This is approximately two milliseconds per century causing the moon to recede by about 3.7 centimeters per year. As the Earth slows down, the Moon must recede to keep the total angular momentum a constant. In other words as the spin angular momentum of the earth decreases, the lunar orbital angular momentum must increase. Here is an interesting side note. The velocity of the moon will slow down as the orbit increases.

    Another example of tidal locking is the orbit period and rotation of the planet Mercury. What is interesting about this one is that instead of a 1:1 synchronization where Mercury would keep one face to the Sun at all times, it is actually in a 2/3:1 synchronization. This is due to the High eccentricity of its orbit.

    There also can be more than one body “locked” to each other. Lets take a look at the moon Io. Io is very nearly the same size as the Earth’s moon. It is approximately 1.04 times the size of the moon. There is a resonance between Io, Ganymede, and Europa. Io completes four revolutions for every one of Ganymede and two of Europa. This is due to a Laplace Resonance phenomenon. A Laplace Resonance is when more than two bodies are forced into a minimum energy configuration.

    There are also examples of tidal locking in the asteroid belt.

    First, the asteroid belt has an estimated total combined mass of less than 1 tenth of the Earth's moon. Second, Jupiter has a profound effect on the asteroid belt.

    Since Jupiter has a semimajor axis of 5.2 AU (I AU is the distance from the Sun to the Earth) it ends up with an orbital period of 11.86 years. Since the asteroids are not all at the same distance from the sun, there orbital periods will differ in a direct relationship to their distance from the sun. This will result in some of them having an orbital period of one half of Jupiter. This puts those particular asteroids in a 2:1 orbital resonance with Jupiter. The result of this resonance is gaps called Kirkwood's gaps.

    The rub is why did not this asteroid belt form a small planet? The reason is the gravitational force of Jupiter. It perturbs the asteroids giving them random velocities relative to each other.

    Another effect of both Jupiter and the Sun on the asteroid belt is a group of asteroids that both precede and follow Jupiter in its orbit by 60 degrees. These asteroids are known as the Trojans.

    2) What is the Moon made of?

    From here:

    http://lunar.arc.nasa.gov/science/geochem.htm

    “Primary elements: The lunar crust is composed of a variety of primary elements, including uranium, thorium, potassium, oxygen, silicon, magnesium, iron, titanium, calcium, aluminum and hydrogen. When bombarded by cosmic rays, each element bounces back into space its own radiation, in the form of gamma rays. Some elements, such as uranium, thorium and potassium, are radioactive and emit gamma rays on their own. However, regardless of what causes them, gamma rays for each element are all different from one another -- each produces a unique spectral "signature," detectable by an instrument called a spectrometer. A complete global mapping of the Moon for the abundance of these elements has never been performed.

    Hydrogen and helium: Because its surface is not protected by an atmosphere, the Moon is constantly exposed to the solar wind, which carries both hydrogen and helium -- each potentially very valuable resources. One natural variant of helium, [3]helium, is the ideal material to fuel fusion reactions. When scientists develop a more thorough understanding of fusion, and can practically implement such reactions, the Moon will be a priceless resource, since it is by far the best source of [3]helium anywhere in the Solar System.”

    This pretty much answers the question; are there valuable materials up there?

    3) What is the distance to the Moon?

    The mean distance to the Moon is approximately 238,800 miles.

    And what do we have in the way of examples of the persistent bedwetter's intellectual contributions, for comparison?

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    [crickets]

    But because RadioAstronomer used a naughty word in a private FReepmail, he is deemed "unworthy" to be on FR. In view of RA's prodigious intellectual prowess, I can understand why his interlocutor wet himself at the prospect of trying to argue with him.

  • Free Republic Purge: Conservative Web Site Bans Giuliani Supporters

    05/28/2007 8:42:34 PM PDT · 1,000 of 1,422
    longshadow to dbehsman
    My butt he didn't deserve it! Would you like for me to forward to you the nasty little Freeper mail that the little cretin sent to me? He asked for it, he begged for it, and FreeRepublic is a much better place without him. He was banned when he blew a head gasket on a Schiavo thread. I hope he does not come back. He can rot over at Darwiniac Central.

    Ooooooo; a nasty Freepmail. Boo-hoo! Did you wet yourself when you read it?

    RA contributed more to the collective intelligence of this website in one week than you have in your entire existence as a member of FR.

    Face it, you couldn't carry RadioAstronomer's sliderule if it was stapled to your hand.

    FreeRepublic's loss is DarwinCentral.org's gain.

  • Evolution Opponent Is in Line for Schools Post

    05/28/2007 8:17:01 PM PDT · 229 of 474
    longshadow to omnivore
    ****"I just skimmed the thread; is it Internet Night at the Outpatient Clinic?"****

    LOL.

    From the duration of this thread I see my original assessment was incorrect; it's not "Internet Night" at the Outpatient Clinic, it's obviously Internet WEEK there....

    But hey; if it has any therapeutic value at all and cuts down on their Thorazine™ bill, why not....

    ;-)

  • New Book! Why Evolution is a Fraud: A Secular and Common-Sense Deconstruction by Tom Sutcliff

    05/25/2007 8:18:48 PM PDT · 30 of 67
    longshadow to js1138
    Flaming Blue Memorial Troll Placemarker
  • Evolution Opponent Is in Line for Schools Post

    05/24/2007 7:51:39 PM PDT · 51 of 474
    longshadow to Coyoteman
    I just skimmed the thread; is it Internet Night at the Outpatient Clinic?
  • State forces McGuire’s to remove 'joke' restroom signs

    05/19/2007 8:24:32 AM PDT · 45 of 50
    longshadow to Cagey

    Get Bob “Mad Man” Mulcahey to write a song about it — that should fire up the patrons.

    ;-)

  • What is wrong with intelligent design?

    03/26/2007 2:33:28 PM PDT · 622 of 649
    longshadow to si tacuissem
    This isn't the first ESL anti-Evo to bloviate on CREVO threads on FR..... though the last one was booted off several years back.

    The current incarnation has exactly the same grammar, sentence structure, egregious errors, and argumentation technique as the one who got the boot. If they aren't the same person, or the members of the same family, they surely went through the same school system.

  • What is wrong with intelligent design?

    03/23/2007 5:33:54 PM PDT · 571 of 649
    longshadow to si tacuissem
    1) From a video Lecture by Dr. Kent Hovind

    Gee; is that by any chance the same Kent Hovind who bought his degree from an unaccreditted diploma mill called "Patriot University" and who is currently cooling his heels in jail for Tax evasions convictions?

    Just for reference, here's photo of the original campus of "Patriot U" -- Hovind's alma mater:

    Yup; anybody who gets a doctorate from a school like that must be a leading expert on the science of Radiometric Dating techniques.....

    < /sarcasm>

  • What is wrong with intelligent design?

    03/21/2007 8:56:42 PM PDT · 515 of 649
    longshadow to Coyoteman
    Be gentle with your interlocutor:

  • What is wrong with intelligent design?

    03/21/2007 8:25:09 PM PDT · 502 of 649
    longshadow to Coyoteman; Gumlegs
    Words fail me....

    so here's a graphical characterization that says it all:

  • What is wrong with intelligent design?

    03/21/2007 9:30:57 AM PDT · 485 of 649
    longshadow to Gumlegs
    Dr. Thomas G Barnes---Physicist Take him, he’s yours. Wikipedia says, “Thomas G. Barnes is a creationist who posited that the magnetic field of the Earth was decaying at an exponential rate.” This is difficult to take seriously.

    It gets worse:

    A quick Google search indicates that while Barnes does have a Masters degree in physics, and is a retired professor, his doctorate is an Honorary ScD from his undergrad alma mater, a religious college:

    Thomas Barnes, formerly affiliated with the Institute for Creation Research, is perhaps best known for the argument that the decay of the Earth's magnetic field is proof of its young age.

    Barnes, who is an emeritus professor of physics at The University of Texas at El Paso, holds a legitimate M.S. degree in physics from Brown University. However, his Sc.D. degree from Hardin-Simmons University, a Christian school and his undergraduate alma mater (when it was known as Hardin-Simmons College), is merely honorary.

    as documented by TalkOrigins.

    No PhD, ergo no "doctor."

  • Brainwashed 12 Year Olds Regurgitate Gore Propaganda to Vermont Legislature;

    03/17/2007 8:39:27 PM PDT · 9 of 43
    longshadow to Gail Wynand

    12 year olds are being used as fodder by the evo-fascists to testify before the VT legislature because they have roughly the same intellectual capacity and knowledge base as most of the legislators to whom they are testifying.

  • Intelligent Design Scientists Will Showcase Evidence Challenging Evolution

    03/16/2007 10:19:53 AM PDT · 338 of 392
    longshadow to RadioAstronomer
    Take your pick:

  • Intelligent Design Scientists Will Showcase Evidence Challenging Evolution

    03/16/2007 8:13:48 AM PDT · 330 of 392
    longshadow to RadioAstronomer

    Is it my imagination, or did somebody just conflate Copernican Heliocentrism with Keplerian Heliocentrism?

  • Intelligent Design Scientists Will Showcase Evidence Challenging Evolution

    03/16/2007 8:01:08 AM PDT · 327 of 392
    longshadow to RadioAstronomer
    Beware the Wobbly Universe; the End is Nigh!

    < /cosmological clown mode>

  • The Gentle Darwinians - What Darwin’s Champions Won’t Mention

    03/11/2007 12:09:26 PM PDT · 118 of 193
    longshadow to js1138; RadioAstronomer

    "ID Field Researchers Conduct Intensive 10-Minute Search for Elusive '747-in-Junkyard' & find none -- Declare Evolution Disproven!"

  • The Gentle Darwinians - What Darwin’s Champions Won’t Mention

    03/11/2007 11:51:51 AM PDT · 116 of 193
    longshadow to RadioAstronomer
    ****moron.****

    Your ignorance is showing again RussP.

    (On second thought - it never stopped, so why should I be surprised?)

    Yeah, but I bet he plays a mean banjo..... [cue soundtrack to "Deliverance"]

  • THAAD Radar Completes Successful Target Tracking Test

    03/10/2007 3:40:09 PM PST · 15 of 16
    longshadow to RDTF
    I think you mean a WB-57

    I understand that's the current designation; but before NASA got their hands on them, they used be designated RB-47, AFAIK.

  • Museum displays pit Big Bang vs. Bible

    03/09/2007 9:44:29 PM PST · 278 of 283
    longshadow to RadioAstronomer
    In 1963, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were working with a horn antenna trying to make it work with as high efficiency as possible for the Telstar project. This antenna was also going to be used for radio astronomy at a later date. They pointed it to a quiet part of the sky and took measurements. When they subtracted all of the known sources of noise, they found approximately 3 K left over. They worked very diligently to eliminate/describe this noise source and were unable to. This mysterious source of noise seemed to be there no matter where they pointed the antenna. What they had discovered was the microwave background produced from the Big Bang. This 3 (closer to 2.7) K microwave background originated approximately 300,000 years after the Big Bang itself had occurred. It has been determined that when these signals originated, the universe had already cooled down to around 3000 K.

    Speaking of which:

    COBE available from [1] with the caption " Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) spectrum plotted in waves per centimeter vs. intensity. The solid curve shows the expected intensity from a single temperature blackbody spectrum, as predicted by the hot Big Bang theory. A blackbody is a hypothetical body that absorbs all electromagnetic radiation falling on it and reflects none whatsoever. The FIRAS data were taken at 34 positions equally spaced along this curve. The FIRAS data match the curve so exactly, with error uncertainties less than the width of the blackbody curve, that it is impossible to distinguish the data from the theoretical curve. These precise CMB measurements show that 99.97% of the radiant energy of the Universe was released within the first year after the Big Bang itself. All theories that attempt to explain the origin of large scale structure seen in the Universe today must now conform to the constraints imposed by these measurements. The results show that the radiation matches the predictions of the hot Big Bang theory to an extraordinary degree. See Mather et al. 1994, Astrophysical Journal, 420, 439, "Measurement of the Cosmic Microwave Background Spectrum by the COBE FIRAS Instrument,"Wright et al. 1994, Astrophysical Journal, 420, 450,"Interpretation of the COBE FIRAS CMBR Spectrum," and Fixsen et al. 1996, Astrophysical Journal, 473, 576,"The Cosmic Microwave Background Spectrum from the Full COBE FIRAS Data Sets" for details."
    [emphasis added for benefit of the "Purveyors of Unknowledge"]
  • THAAD Radar Completes Successful Target Tracking Test

    03/09/2007 4:52:34 PM PST · 11 of 16
    longshadow to BigBobber; RadioAstronomer
    Anyone who doubts missile defense can work, check these photos of a space shuttle launch taken from 220 miles up in the ISS.

    http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=3183

    Internet Hoax.

    Those photos were NOT taken from the ISS, or any orbital platform.

    They were taken from a NASA RB-57 aircraft at an altitude of about 10-12 miles, NOT 220 miles.

  • Museum displays pit Big Bang vs. Bible

    03/08/2007 8:33:26 PM PST · 257 of 283
    longshadow to RadioAstronomer
    (Hint - LS already showed you a graph. Do you understand the implications of that graph?)

    Don't get your hopes up; apparently, somebody doesn't know a salad bar from an error bar......

  • Museum displays pit Big Bang vs. Bible

    03/08/2007 11:41:21 AM PST · 252 of 283
    longshadow to Physicist
    I see someone finally got around to following up my parting suggestion in my 11/2001 post. ;^)

    GMTA?

    ;-)

    And seemingly just as baffling to supporters of Humphrey's "Theory" today as it was over 5 years ago....

  • Museum displays pit Big Bang vs. Bible

    03/08/2007 11:12:15 AM PST · 250 of 283
    longshadow to RadioAstronomer

    "Shade Tree Young-Earth Cosmologists search for the Elusive Riemann Manifold"

  • Museum displays pit Big Bang vs. Bible

    03/08/2007 10:16:35 AM PST · 248 of 283
    longshadow to RadioAstronomer
    As you've probably already noted, the Purveyors of Unknowledge haven't fared too well during your absence. None have exhibited an understanding of the graph I posted previously, nor what it signifies.

    Perhaps a simpler graph might be easier on them.

    As regards Riemann Manifolds, I suspect that the closest any of the Purveysors of Unknowledge have ever come to that is when they swapped out the stock intake runners for an Edelbrock aftermarket unit on Chevy straight six.....:

    "Yeee-haw; git 'er done!"

  • Museum displays pit Big Bang vs. Bible

    03/07/2007 5:29:42 PM PST · 242 of 283
    longshadow to b_sharp
    You'd think by now somebody would have noticed that interesting red line in the graph that seems to meander through almost all the datapoints. Hmmmmm; what does it represent? What significance does the fact that virtually all the data points coincide with it have?
  • Museum displays pit Big Bang vs. Bible

    03/05/2007 2:26:22 PM PST · 233 of 283
    longshadow to RadioAstronomer
    Let's see if the Purveyors of Unknowledge can spin THIS:

  • Museum displays pit Big Bang vs. Bible

    03/04/2007 8:57:41 PM PST · 227 of 283
    longshadow to RadioAstronomer
    Time to revist an old post, apropo of what you are experiencing here:

    In the history of the world, only a tiny fraction of all the people who ever lived have had the opportunity to ask highly qualified scientists direct questions, and learn from their wisdom. Happily, because of the internet and places like FR, it is now possible for people from all walks of life to converse directly with all sorts of scientific experts; we have physicists, microbiologists, mathematicians, astronomers, and chemists, to specify but a few, roaming these threads, and eager to explain what they know and how they know it to virtually anyone willing to ask an intelligent question.

    But there is another segment of people on these threads who, instead of asking these learned folks intelligent questions and thus expanding their knowledge and understanding, insist instead upon bludgeoning them with their ignorance, and questioning the patriotism, honesty, and intellect of people who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of scientific knowledge.

    I submit that such people are not here to learn anything, but are in fact interested in quite the opposite. I submit they are here to interfere with the dissemination of scientific knowledge that they find offensive. They don't want other people to ask the experts questions and learn from them; no, they are here to attack the experts and cast doubt upon their wisdom, in the desperate hope that others will turn away and not listen to them.

    IMHO that is why the same people show up over and over again parroting the same refuted diatribes and misinformation, and spewing the same bogus out-of-context quotes designed specifically to disrupt the dissemination of scientific knowledge. ThatÂ’s why the same people show up over and over again misrepresenting what scientific theories and laws are, despite having had it explained to them 1720th time; they are here to instill confusion and spread their ignorance, not to disseminate knowledge.

    The experts here on these threads ought to be revered and thanked for sharing with us their insights and explanations of the natural world around us; instead scorn is heaped upon them and their knowledge by the belligerently ignorant. I submit that these purveyors of unknowledge should be treated for the intellectual disruptors that they are. They stare the best opportunity any of us will ever have to gain more insight and understanding in the eye, and spit in the faces of those who offer and have the knowledge to help make that a reality.

    Behold, I give you the belligerently ignorant, the intellectual Luddites of our time. Know them for the anti-knowledge disruptors they are.

  • Alchemy, Marxism, and the future of Darwinism

    03/02/2007 8:31:44 PM PST · 21 of 68
    longshadow to RadioAstronomer
    This sort of fantasy twaddle always gets posted just before a full lunar eclipse.

    And after....

  • Faltering Family M.D.s Get Technology Lifeline (Doctors Think Small To Revive Solo Primary Care)

    02/24/2007 7:40:20 AM PST · 2 of 22
    longshadow to shrinkermd
    "I was able to build a Norman Rockwell practice with a 21st-century information-technology backbone," he says.

    He means "George Russell, M.D." --- Rockwell was the painter; Russell was the doctor he used as his subject.

  • Iran Revolutionary Guards: Unit engraved emblem on U.S. ship

    02/14/2007 12:52:54 PM PST · 21 of 41
    longshadow to SmithL
    classified photo of symbol Iranian's claim to have etched on US Warship:
  • Who Was Milton Friedman?

    02/03/2007 12:14:39 PM PST · 13 of 21
    longshadow to Gail Wynand

    Krugman opining about the economics and politics of Milton Friedman is like Mother Teresa opining about the sexual prowess of Zara Whites.

  • THE CURE: HOW CAPITALISM CAN SAVE AMERICAN HEALTH CARE By David Gratzer

    01/25/2007 5:49:17 PM PST · 12 of 26
    longshadow to Physicist
    My three recommendations for fixing our healthcare system are:

    1. Restore the price mechanism.
    2. Restore the price mechanism.
    3. Restore the price mechanism.

    And, failing that:

    "If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free."

    - P.J. O'Rourke

  • Space shot diverts US eyes from rogue states

    01/18/2007 9:05:58 PM PST · 16 of 46
    longshadow to stuck_in_new_orleans; RadioAstronomer
    If China has succeeded in developing the technology to shoot down satellites, it will have achieved technical superiority over the US, which is still struggling to develop its interceptor missile technology.

    someone tell me that this is BS

    Suffice to say that those who really know probably can't say what they know; thus, whatever you read is by definition likely the product of ignorance.

  • $1.1-billion orange crop is severely damaged (CA freeze)

    01/16/2007 8:26:55 PM PST · 38 of 40
    longshadow to RadioAstronomer
    I am astounded.

    You shouldn't be.

    ;-)

  • Dark matter mapped - First three-dimensional picture of elusive matter throws up mystery.

    01/08/2007 2:33:13 PM PST · 53 of 66
    longshadow to RadioAstronomer
    Please don't feed the Narcissist....

    ;-)