1522: "Astronomy"

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1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Dr What » Fri May 08, 2015 4:46 am UTC

Image
title="Astrobiology is held back by the fact that we're all too nervous to try to balance on the ladder while holding an expensive microscope."

Ladder? Nope... but I'll try space elevator.

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby rhomboidal » Fri May 08, 2015 5:01 am UTC

You can ALMOST make out exoplanets through the sweet spot.

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Eternal Density » Fri May 08, 2015 6:28 am UTC

Oh look, it's Beret Guy being a doofus again :roll:
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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri May 08, 2015 6:44 am UTC

So that's why the awesome observatories are on mountaintops! Not because astronomers like hiking to work!
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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri May 08, 2015 6:53 am UTC

Modern astronomers telecommute up the mountain.
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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Envelope Generator » Fri May 08, 2015 7:14 am UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:So that's why the awesome observatories are on mountaintops! Not because astronomers like hiking to work!


But why don't they have ladders ON TOP OF mountains? That 's such an obvious thing to do. The people running those observatories must be really incompetent.
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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby keithl » Fri May 08, 2015 7:29 am UTC

Astrobiology, microscopes, and ladders? Nah.
I gave a scanning tunnelling microscope to a squirrel on a flagpole, and it immediately spotted extraterrestrial life. Around a distant star, another flagpole with a squirrel and STM on it.

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby keithl » Fri May 08, 2015 7:33 am UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:So that's why the awesome observatories are on mountaintops! Not because astronomers like hiking to work!

The astronomers are just trying to get away from all the idiots who can't figure out what the Beatle's song 'Fool on the Hill" was about.

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri May 08, 2015 8:11 am UTC

They aint getting away from this idiot who can't figure out what the Beatle's song 'Fool on the Hill" was about by hiking up a hill.
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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Essah » Fri May 08, 2015 8:32 am UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:They aint getting away from this idiot who can't figure out what the Beatle's song 'Fool on the Hill" was about by hiking up a hill.


you mean you're on the hill too?

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri May 08, 2015 8:40 am UTC

Essah wrote:
Neil_Boekend wrote:They aint getting away from this idiot who can't figure out what the Beatle's song 'Fool on the Hill" was about by hiking up a hill.


you mean you're on the hill too?

As often as I find someone to go hiking with me. Which isn't all that often now that my friends and family are starting to get kids.
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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby cellocgw » Fri May 08, 2015 11:09 am UTC

Essah wrote:
Neil_Boekend wrote:They aint getting away from this idiot who can't figure out what the Beatle's song 'Fool on the Hill" was about by hiking up a hill.


you mean you're on the hill too?


Careful: this hill has eyes s :twisted: ...
Even if they're only looking up.

Anyway, who needs a ladder, or a mountain, if you have an anopticon handy.
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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby wolf99 » Fri May 08, 2015 12:05 pm UTC

I actually laughed out loud at this strip :D

What about if astronomers dug up one hill and put it on top of *another* hill... and maybe added a couple ladders on top of that?

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Canonical » Fri May 08, 2015 12:21 pm UTC

What's funny is go to any "star party" and you'll find people precariously perched on the tops of very tall ladders in order to look through the eyepieces of some of the larger scopes. Or maybe that's just funny to us amateur astronomers. In any case, thanks for tossing an astronomy cartoon in there!

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby mathmannix » Fri May 08, 2015 12:26 pm UTC

Okay, so... a magnifying glass is the same idea as a telescope, but only 2x instead of 100x or so, right?
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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Whizbang » Fri May 08, 2015 12:32 pm UTC

You're only using one ladder?

How cute.

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby cellocgw » Fri May 08, 2015 1:55 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:You're only using one ladder?

How cute.


You can also gain height by standing on the shoulders of an Oklahoman. Thus: Sooner or ladder .... :oops:
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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby speising » Fri May 08, 2015 2:13 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:Okay, so... a magnifying glass is the same idea as a telescope, but only 2x instead of 100x or so, right?

actually, a telescope does not magnify at all. Stars are pretty big, yet you see even more than one through a telescope.

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby orthogon » Fri May 08, 2015 3:15 pm UTC

speising wrote:
mathmannix wrote:Okay, so... a magnifying glass is the same idea as a telescope, but only 2x instead of 100x or so, right?

actually, a telescope does not magnify at all. Stars are pretty big, yet you see even more than one through a telescope.

I remember being taught that magnifying glasses don't magnify either: they just allow you to get your eye closer to the object and still be able to focus. I think that only strictly applies if you hold the glass right against your eye: in that case it works like a kind of monocle to "correct" the "long-sightedness" inherent in normal vision. Put another way, it makes a virtual image of the object that's bigger and further away in the same proportions. However, most people don't use magnifying glasses like that. If you hold the glass further away, the embiggening is not cancelled out by the distancing and the object really does look bigger, i.e. it subtends a bigger angle.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Velo Steve » Fri May 08, 2015 4:27 pm UTC

I was just reading about Foldscope. They are cheap and light enough to carry to the top of a ladder without fear of expensive breakage. Astrobiology, here I come.

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Heimhenge » Fri May 08, 2015 4:35 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
speising wrote:
mathmannix wrote:Okay, so... a magnifying glass is the same idea as a telescope, but only 2x instead of 100x or so, right?

actually, a telescope does not magnify at all. Stars are pretty big, yet you see even more than one through a telescope.

I remember being taught that magnifying glasses don't magnify either: they just allow you to get your eye closer to the object and still be able to focus. I think that only strictly applies if you hold the glass right against your eye: in that case it works like a kind of monocle to "correct" the "long-sightedness" inherent in normal vision. Put another way, it makes a virtual image of the object that's bigger and further away in the same proportions. However, most people don't use magnifying glasses like that. If you hold the glass further away, the embiggening is not cancelled out by the distancing and the object really does look bigger, i.e. it subtends a bigger angle.


Magnifying glasses and telescopes both make small things look bigger. But magnifying glasses work with things that really are small. Telescopes work with things that just look small because they're so far away. [explaining optics to Calvin]

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri May 08, 2015 4:47 pm UTC

Heimhenge wrote:
orthogon wrote:
speising wrote:
mathmannix wrote:Okay, so... a magnifying glass is the same idea as a telescope, but only 2x instead of 100x or so, right?

actually, a telescope does not magnify at all. Stars are pretty big, yet you see even more than one through a telescope.

I remember being taught that magnifying glasses don't magnify either: they just allow you to get your eye closer to the object and still be able to focus. I think that only strictly applies if you hold the glass right against your eye: in that case it works like a kind of monocle to "correct" the "long-sightedness" inherent in normal vision. Put another way, it makes a virtual image of the object that's bigger and further away in the same proportions. However, most people don't use magnifying glasses like that. If you hold the glass further away, the embiggening is not cancelled out by the distancing and the object really does look bigger, i.e. it subtends a bigger angle.


Magnifying glasses and telescopes both make small things look bigger. But magnifying glasses work with things that really are small. Telescopes work with things that just look small because they're so far away. [explaining optics to Calvin]


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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Kit. » Fri May 08, 2015 4:57 pm UTC

Heimhenge wrote:Magnifying glasses and telescopes both make small things look bigger.

That's bad telescopes. Good telescopes make big things look brighter.

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby orthogon » Fri May 08, 2015 5:01 pm UTC

Or do they just make big things that look small look small but further apart?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Kit. » Fri May 08, 2015 5:41 pm UTC

Not "just", although their huge aperture is good for both (when the ability to make things "look further apart" is diffraction-limited).

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby senor_cardgage » Fri May 08, 2015 5:43 pm UTC

Maybe beret guy is just trying to start a campfire by focusing the starlight onto a single point using the magnifying glass. Kinda like how they do it with the sun, only this time with the light of a thousand suns (albeit millions of times farther away).

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby mathmannix » Fri May 08, 2015 6:55 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Heimhenge wrote:
orthogon wrote:
speising wrote:
mathmannix wrote:Okay, so... a magnifying glass is the same idea as a telescope, but only 2x instead of 100x or so, right?

actually, a telescope does not magnify at all. Stars are pretty big, yet you see even more than one through a telescope.

I remember being taught that magnifying glasses don't magnify either: they just allow you to get your eye closer to the object and still be able to focus. I think that only strictly applies if you hold the glass right against your eye: in that case it works like a kind of monocle to "correct" the "long-sightedness" inherent in normal vision. Put another way, it makes a virtual image of the object that's bigger and further away in the same proportions. However, most people don't use magnifying glasses like that. If you hold the glass further away, the embiggening is not cancelled out by the distancing and the object really does look bigger, i.e. it subtends a bigger angle.


Magnifying glasses and telescopes both make small things look bigger. But magnifying glasses work with things that really are small. Telescopes work with things that just look small because they're so far away. [explaining optics to Calvin]


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oh, that made my day! (It was in my head already after reading heimhenge's response, but it was nice to have a link to it right there!)
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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri May 08, 2015 7:53 pm UTC

I took it as a Roadrunner-type joke - the amateur astronomer is telling us one thing about the space we're seeing (the stars are big and far away in a 3D universe as we expect), while beret guy is telling us something else instead (the stars are a painted background just behind the foreground figures, because everything in the comic is a stack of 2D layers.)
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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Blake'sTiger » Fri May 08, 2015 9:32 pm UTC

Remember that Beret Guy's eyes don't function like everyone else's.

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby ...m... » Sat May 09, 2015 5:14 am UTC

mathmannix wrote:Okay, so... a magnifying glass is the same idea as a telescope, but only 2x instead of 100x or so, right?
...actually, judging from the aperture and focal length of that refractor, plus her ultra-wide-field eyepiece, she's probably doing rich-field observation, very low magnification on the order of 20 or 25 power with that equipment...i'd venture she's observing the milky way, magellanic clouds, or andromeda with that setup; any refractor with that fast an f-ratio will suffer fierce chromatic abberation in bright planetary or lunar observation, and for diffuse nebula a reflector is way more cost-effective without diffraction spikes becoming an issue...

...so really, the magnifying glass isn't such a terrible idea by comparison: low-power handheld binoculars are a fantastic tool for rich-field observation, and the magnifying glass isn't ridiculously far off...beret's a lot smarter than most people give him credit, with just the right twist of brilliance to mess with their heads...

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Baccar Wozat » Tue May 12, 2015 12:45 am UTC

By the same stretch of logic, Dr. Richards first saw Galactus through a telescope because you can't spell Astronomy without Nom.

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Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue May 12, 2015 4:17 am UTC

But who better to stretch logic than Reed Richards?
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