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Old 6th March 2017, 10:00 PM   #1
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Default The Moon is really far away, Earth and planets and space and so on.

So I've always been a big fan of science fiction (and some science) but not very interested in space.

To me Space has always been a huge troll, like standing on a beach 5 thousand years ago where there are no trees (to make boats out of) looking across the water at something that might be land, or might be a cloud with no way to get there.

It wasn't until I watched Interstellar and a few other films that I really thought about it.

Some time after that I took a photo of Jupiter with very modest photographic equipment and could clearly pick out 3 moons which was kinda cool

Recently I watched the ISS whiz past overhead and was explaining to my wife about geostationary satellites and how they are always in the same spot in the sky, then looked up the height of such an orbit, and realised why they are hard to see. (ISS orbital height = 500km, Geostationary orbit height = 35,786 km)

I'm aware of the mathematics of orbital heights but was really surprised that Geostationary satellites were this far away.

So I wondered to myself how much further away than the moon they were.

and had no idea how wrong I was. The moon is 384,400 km away from the earth

to put this into perspective if you picked up each known (and probably unknown unless there are more gas giants we don't know about) solar planet and dwarf planet and placed them in a row they would all fit between the earth and the moon.

To put it a different way, if the earth was the size of a basketball and the moon was the size of a tennis ball, the tennis ball would orbit the basketball at a distance of 7.37 metres.

A lot of you will already know this, some won't, I thought it was pretty interesting.
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Old 6th March 2017, 11:21 PM   #2
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You need to watch Cosmos, pronto.
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Old 6th March 2017, 11:24 PM   #3
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You need to watch Cosmos, pronto.
yeah probably.
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Old 6th March 2017, 11:37 PM   #4
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Mr spork would live long and prosper you

However there is also the theory of flat earth

https://www.theflatearthsociety.org/home/
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Old 6th March 2017, 11:45 PM   #5
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Mr spork would live long and prosper you

However there is also the theory of flat earth

https://www.theflatearthsociety.org/home/
coincidentally I have been reading about that also, but left it out of the OP for obvious reasons.

Wouldn't mind having a flat earth discussion, but posters would have to leave the tinfoil hats at the door if it was in this subforum.

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Old 7th March 2017, 8:48 AM   #6
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something for next time you're stoned.

flat earth "discussion" - here it is, ppl thought the earth was flat. Then science happened and we found out it wasn't, the end.

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Old 7th March 2017, 9:37 AM   #7
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I thought I had a pretty good understanding of out solar system, our planets, how far away they are etc. Then I read chapter 1 of "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Billy Bryson. Holy shit...

Here's a quote on drawing the solar system to scale:
Quote:
Such are the distances, in fact, that it isn’t possible, in any practical terms, to draw the solar system to scale. Even if you added lots of fold-out pages to your textbooks or used a really long sheet of poster paper, you wouldn’t come close. On a diagram of the solar system to scale, with Earth reduced to about the diameter of a pea, Jupiter would be over a thousand feet away and Pluto would be a mile and a half distant (and about the size of a bacterium, so you wouldn’t be able to see it anyway). On the same scale, Proxima Centauri, our nearest star, would be almost ten thousand miles away. Even if you shrank down everything so that Jupiter was as small as the period at the end of this sentence, and Pluto was no bigger than a molecule, Pluto would still be over thirty-five feet away.
What really blew me away though, was the distances involved from Pluto to the actual edge of our solar system. I'm not even going to try and explain it, you really should read the book, at least the first chapter

ps. There's an inland highway in NSW (maybe starting at Parkes?) that actually has planet models along the road. It was a while ago but I think I remember reading that they are spaced (pun!) apart to scale.
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Old 7th March 2017, 9:55 AM   #8
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Wouldn't mind having a flat earth discussion, but posters would have to leave the tinfoil hats at the door if it was in this subforum.
Apart from discussing it historically, there isn't really any reason to have one.

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Here's a quote on drawing the solar system to scale:
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Originally Posted by Douglas Adams
"Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. I mean you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space."
Surprisingly, Space isn't very far away. If you live in Canberra, Space is closer than the Beach. Space starts 100K's up... But to stay up there, you need to throw yourself at the ground and miss... and to do that, you need to be going sideways at about 7.5 Kilometers a second .
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Old 7th March 2017, 10:16 AM   #9
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B]The moon is 384,400 km away from the earth[/B]
And even at that distance, the moons gravity affects us and gives us our ocean's tides.
I used to think the moon was tiny, but it's 1/4 the size of the earth, that's yuuge!

The immense sizes and distances of objects in the universe are mind boggling. The first time I saw this, my head almost exploded

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Old 7th March 2017, 10:47 AM   #10
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I don't have anything to add other than you should play Kerbal Space Program with the RSS (real solar system) mod..

You can fly to jupiter and it literally takes 10 years, luckily they have 100000x time acceleration.

Once you do that and you land on the moon looking back at the earth you realise how far away it is. The fact it takes 8 minutes to get into orbit is even more mind boggling.


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Old 7th March 2017, 11:04 AM   #11
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If you are interested in astronomy, I highly recommend you watch these videos - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...515420F4E601A4

It is lectures on astrophysics from Yale University. There is no math beyond basic year 10 level and he really explains things simply yet leaves out no important detail and it covers most everything going on in astronomy these days.
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Old 7th March 2017, 11:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amran View Post
I thought I had a pretty good understanding of out solar system, our planets, how far away they are etc. Then I read chapter 1 of "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Billy Bryson. Holy shit...

Here's a quote on drawing the solar system to scale:


What really blew me away though, was the distances involved from Pluto to the actual edge of our solar system. I'm not even going to try and explain it, you really should read the book, at least the first chapter

ps. There's an inland highway in NSW (maybe starting at Parkes?) that actually has planet models along the road. It was a while ago but I think I remember reading that they are spaced (pun!) apart to scale.
A few guys in America did a video a few years ago (maybe linked on the news page? I can't remember where I was linked to it from) that had the Solar System in scale in a field (I think the Sun was a basketball, and the earth was a ball bearing) - BIG field, they then waited for night, and used cars to drive and show the light trails for the orbits.
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Old 7th March 2017, 11:28 AM   #13
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Apart from discussing it historically, there isn't really any reason to have one.
My interest in the flat earth is more about how people process information. and how feeling is usually stronger than fact. Also it is one topic that can be discussed objectively without being labelled anything but a science denier.

You can do that with Vaccines but the stakes are much higher in that case.

Specifically my interest is things that can be easily and directly observed and how they are interpreted to support either theory.

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And even at that distance, the moons gravity affects us and gives us our ocean's tides.
I used to think the moon was tiny, but it's 1/4 the size of the earth, that's yuuge!

The immense sizes and distances of objects in the universe are mind boggling. The first time I saw this, my head almost exploded

image
yeah I always just thought the moon was a lot smaller and a lot closer. I've seen photos like the one in your post before, and half comprehend the relative sizes of things (and have to justify this by reminding myself that all the big things are gas balls) in space, but the distances are something else altogether.

Back to the moon another way of putting it is if you have the earth (a basketball) in one hand and the moon (a tennis ball) in another you can't hold them at to-scale distance apart by yourself.
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Old 7th March 2017, 2:32 PM   #14
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There is a 1:1,000,000,000 scale model of the solar system along St. Kilda Beach.

Even a billion times smaller it is still 6kms from the Sun sculpture to Pluto.
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Old 7th March 2017, 2:44 PM   #15
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Fucking love space and the thought of how little we know about it. It truly blows my mind but then I realise in my life time I will never fly a fighter spaceship and I am infinitely sadden by that.

Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson are simply fascinating to listen too.
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