Society for Popular Astronomy

Naughty astronomy
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Author:  Cliff [ Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Naughty astronomy

Dear al(L) anyone of a very sensitive nature might be best not continuing to read this topic.
My favourite cosmological quote of this week.
"So where does that leave us in the 21st century ?
Down a black hole under the antimatter's a--e, might be a good description , or up a quantum pole without a piece of superstring................................"
NO it isn't me, I am not the original author of that snip-it of astronomical genius, but it might turn out to be a tiny bit of possibly the most entertaining cosmology book (140 pages) I ever started reading .
Best wishes from Cliff
PS - both missing letters in the 4 letter word are contained in the immediately preceding word.

Author:  brian livesey [ Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Naughty astronomy

Joking aside Cliff, cosmology is a fascinating field of study: from the wonder of the Big Bang, to the wonder of the ubiquitous Brian Cox. :wink:

Author:  Cliff [ Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Naughty astronomy

Dear Brian
In the past I was "cautiously" enthusiastic about cosmology, but increasingly over the las few years ( maybe up to 20?) finding it a confusing mixture of some interesting but increasingly boring nonsense.
Perhaps cosmology has simply been advancing too quickly for me. Although my only big problem with cosmology might be my lack of mathematical knowledge. In which case my feelings could be non-sensical.
Sadly (perhaps) gone seem the nights when proper astronomers had their eyes looking through the tlescopes, or even sat in telescopes cages for hours on end taking astro-photographs (although not really my idea of fun !).
Perhaps now a days (sorry nights) cosmologists have their eyes glued to computer screens.
I fear computers may be fantastic tools but I have a sneaking feeling computers may not just mess up cosmology but everything else in this increasingly globalised World and humankind might be terminated pretty soon.
Best wishes from Cliff
PS - "It wasn't my fault Your Honour I was driving a brand new driverless car."
PPS - Incidentally the book I'm currently reading (very slowly) is "The Universe" subtitled ' Explained, & condensed & exploded" by Richard Osborne (Pocket Essentials) supposedly £8-99p but I got it for £2 in the 'The Works" if it hadn't been so cheap I probably woud not have bought it - only 140 small pages and no pictures, but I think it is better value than many £9 or even more expensive books than I've seen. very easy reading !

Author:  mike a feist [ Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Naughty astronomy

To Brian, Cliff and anyone else interested: Personally I find cosmology "not my thing" at all. regards maf

Author:  Cliff [ Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Naughty astronomy

Dear BrianL and Mike
I feel sorry to learn that cosmology is not Mike's thing. But perhaps I am really like Mike in many things I feel.
However, I've decided that as a purely "AMATEUR astronomer" I can believe what I want to about astronomy (and I include cosmology as part of my astronomy as wel of course)l.
Having said that I have to say that Professor Brian Cox does seem to have had a dramatic effect on increasing the general public's interest in astronomy\cosmology.
I say that partly on the basis of local astronomical societies I have been a bit involved with in the recent past. I think both gained significant increase in membership because of the Prof Cox "influence".
I see nothing wrong in this - indeed Prof Cox shows a very genuine enthusiasm for the subjects.
When I was a relative young schoolboy I recall discussing the possibility of me becoming a professional astronomer when I would leave school a few years later. I was basically told that my understanding of maths wasn't good enough. To be honest, I do not think I was really very bothered about that.
A few years later after doing National Service in the Army (becoming a radio mechanic in REME) once a civilian again I got into engineering (mainly highways & drainage). I had long been interested in many aspects of engineering.
Now retired in hindsight I am pleased I continued to be just an amateur astronomer not needing to follow conventional astronomy too rigidly, but doing my own thing.
Best wishes from Cliff

Author:  David Frydman [ Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Naughty astronomy

Hi Cliff and others,
In the recent gales the top inclined 45 degree approx. ridge tiles opposite detached and crashed onto our garage roof.
Does a vortex occur when the angled roof ridge tile meets the flat roof above?
Is there a partial vacuum?
Does this suck the ridge tile out of its position?

Not astronomy, except that the roof now obscures my horizon and makes solar observing more difficult.

Do winglets, such as at the tips of aircraft wings, exist for roof tiles to stop any vortex?
I would like to stop this happening again and I certainly would not go out observing in such conditions in case a ridge tile hit me.


Author:  mike a feist [ Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Naughty astronomy

Hello Cliff: I consider myself to be a skywatcher rather than an amateur astronomer. There may be a very thin line between the two, although professional astronomy is generally something else. I imagine that amateur astronomers do not generally do cosmology...that is not to say that some professional astronomers do not do skywatching in their spare time! When one mentions to someone in the park, say, that you are an astronomer, the replies vary from confusion with astrology, sci-fi films, space travel, X-files, UFO, cosmology - black holes etc, etc.......
I never expected or planned to become a professional astronomer, and although went to Grammar School, I was never happy there. Went as far as GCEs, and did pass A-Level Maths , failed the physics, and when into office-work. Never fitted in there either (did not like the collar and tie uniform) and became a wharehouseman-storeman - a bit more my style. The best was to come when the Foredown WaterTower near my home was converted into countryside Centre with the Camera Obscura...then I actually finally got paid to skywatch, talk about telescopes and even run an astronomy group! Even then I only gave talks bases on what I really knew from practical experience. regards maf

Author:  mike a feist [ Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Naughty astronomy

Hello David: I cannot answer your question about "flying rooftiles" although I have noticed that my baseball-style-cap is more like to blow off when walking with the wind behind me rather than if I is walking into the wind! Last week's storm-wind was so strong at the Foredown Tower that accesssing the viewing gallery via the outside metal staircase was really too dangerous so we closed and went home. regards maf

Author:  Cliff [ Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Naughty astronomy

Dear David
I'm no great meteorologist. However, I have seen "dust devils" and also I usually find that if I ever walk near any tall buildings - particularly walking between two tall blocks - any low level wind strength seems to increase 100 fold (alright maybe a bit less).
I hesitate to say what happens at a roof ridge but I wouldn't be surprised ?
Best wishes from Cliff

Author:  Cliff [ Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Naughty astronomy

Dear Mike
I would think at least at night most skywatching qualifies as "amateur astronomy".
Furthermore I suppose even "pure armchair astronomy" also qualifies as "amateur astronomy".
From what I gather anyone can do astronomy on a mobile phone these days - although it is NOT acceptable to do it whilst driving a motor car.
Just imagine it, someone just makes a dramatic astronomical discovery whilst using their mobile phone and at the same instant crashes their car.
Best wishes from Cliff

Author:  brian livesey [ Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Naughty astronomy

I saw a motorist driving round a roundabout with his head cranked over to the left, a mobile 'phone wedged between his chin and shoulder, his left hand on the wheel and a sandwich in his right hand :roll: . We cyclists have no chance.

Author:  RMSteele [ Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Naughty astronomy

Don't worry Brian, you can be recycled. Blob

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