The Moon is really far away, Earth and planets and space and so on.

Discussion in 'Science' started by oculi, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. oculi

    oculi Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Messages:
    9,003
    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.
     
  2. power

    power Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Messages:
    50,777
    Location:
    brisbane
    You need to watch Cosmos, pronto.
     
  3. oculi

    oculi Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Messages:
    9,003
    yeah probably.
     
  4. treeplant

    treeplant Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Messages:
    463
  5. oculi

    oculi Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Messages:
    9,003
    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.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. power

    power Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Messages:
    50,777
    Location:
    brisbane
    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.

     
  7. Amran

    Amran Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,530
    Location:
    Wagga
    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 :thumbup::)

    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.
     
  8. PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    9,918
    Apart from discussing it historically, there isn't really any reason to have one.

    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 :).
     
  9. guy.incogneto

    guy.incogneto Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    4,182
    Location:
    Melbourne
    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

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Foliage

    Foliage Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2002
    Messages:
    31,848
    Location:
    Sleepwithyourdadelaide
    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.


     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  11. dakiller

    dakiller (Oscillating & Impeding)

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    7,337
    Location:
    Gippsland
    If you are interested in astronomy, I highly recommend you watch these videos - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD1515420F4E601A4

    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.
     
  12. Cape_Horn

    Cape_Horn Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2001
    Messages:
    2,227
    Location:
    Shooting Baker
    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.
     
  13. oculi

    oculi Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Messages:
    9,003
    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.

    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.
     
  14. Supplanter

    Supplanter Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    Messages:
    341
    Location:
    Wobbies World
    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.
     
  15. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    6,239
    Location:
    Brisbane
    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.
     
  16. Akh-Horus

    Akh-Horus Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Messages:
    10,506
    Location:
    Western Vic
    Exactly how I feel. When I was a kid I used to think that my generation (born in 1965) would be able to travel among the stars and interplanatery flight would be in, now I am 51 and saddened by the fact that my generation will miss on it all, it will be several generations before the travel comes in if at all.

    It does blow my mind though, the whole stellar/inter stellar concept.
     
  17. shredder

    shredder Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    9,196
    Location:
    Dec 27, 1991
  18. oculi

    oculi Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Messages:
    9,003
    have you flown a fighter plane?
     
  19. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    6,239
    Location:
    Brisbane

    Of course hasn't every one?

    Seriously no, I have bad eyes, something I am equally sadden by. But I was hoping we would get into some sort of intergalactic war and everyone would become fighter pilots... That's what 30 years of sci fi tv and movies have taught me. Is this not the case?
     
  20. fnp

    fnp Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Messages:
    880
    My favourite space fact is this. Out of all the mass in the solar system (sun, planets, asteroids, the lot) the sun accounts for 99.8% of it. Out of the remaining 0.2%, Jupiter makes up 90% of that. It is therefore fair to say that the solar system consists of the Sun, Jupiter, and some associated debris.

    Kind of puts us in our place doesn't it.
     

Share This Page