New here and curious...

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gfpaladin

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I was wondering...WHO is the "Astronomer" who is answering questions in this forum?
 
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bbrock

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gfpaladin<br /><br />You have a small contingent of amature astronomers and a few professional astronomers answer questions on this site. I am an amature astronomer. How may we help you?<br /><br />Clear Skies<br />Bill
 
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gfpaladin

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I have no specific questions; I was merely curious. I have been reading threads in this section and it seemed, at times, that there were no 'astronomers' pointing people towards accurate answers.<br /><br />Thank you for your prompt reply!
 
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mooware

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What accurate answers were you looking for?<br /><br />
 
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Saiph

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There used to be an astronomer employed by SDC to answer questions, but that was a few years back.<br /><br />As NEVERS said, a lot of amatuers fill in, and there are a couple professionals (Alex Blackwell) who post here.<br /><br />I believe I am the closest thing to a professional astronomer that posts here regularly. I'm heading off to graduate school in astronomy this fall to begin the ardous task of earning my Ph.D. in Astrophysics.<br /><br />If you ever see a thread where a solid answer seems to be lacking, drop my a line and I'll take a look.<br /><br />There are some threads I don't look at, just because they doesn't interest me (e.g. the Iapetus threads for the most part). But if someone sends me a PM asking for my input, I take a look.<br /><br />Also, there sometimes aren't facts or specific findings on a topic. Astronomy (and all sciences in general) have a lot more debate, and give and take than the public normally sees. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#c0c0c0"><br /></font></p><p align="center"><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">----</font></em></font><font color="#666699">SaiphMOD@gmail.com </font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">-------------------</font></em></font></p><p><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">"This is my Timey Wimey Detector.  Goes "bing" when there's stuff.  It also fries eggs at 30 paces, wether you want it to or not actually.  I've learned to stay away from hens: It's not pretty when they blow" -- </font></em></font><font size="1" color="#999999">The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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gfpaladin

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I'll keep that in mind, Saiph. We can chat sometime as I did my PhD in materials Science. Astronomy was my first love and what got me started in Physics.<br /><br />The reason I asked this question was because I was a bit taken aback at the wild speculation in this particular section of the board that went, seemingly, unanswered by someone knowledgable in the field.<br /><br />
 
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emperor_of_localgroup

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@gfpaladin:<br />welcome to the jungle. Ph.D in Elec Engineering with Physics undergard here. Have been fascinated by the night sky since boyhood. Since we cant know everything, speculations are the answers for now. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="2" color="#ff0000"><strong>Earth is Boring</strong></font> </div>
 
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Saiph

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any particular thread in mind?<br /><br />The iapetus thread is pretty out there right now, but that's more of a debate on the approach to the answer (start with artificiality in mind, or start with natural causes). It's basically a discussion on how to do science, and how science is done.<br /><br />I've stayed out cause telfrow et al. are doing a fine job of keeping up with it (better than I can right now).<br /><br />The electric sun theory came up again, which I'm addressing (came up in a black hole thread).<br /><br />But speculation isn't all a bad thing. Gets people to ask questions, and allows the more knowledgable members to chime in and elaborate on various topics. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#c0c0c0"><br /></font></p><p align="center"><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">----</font></em></font><font color="#666699">SaiphMOD@gmail.com </font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">-------------------</font></em></font></p><p><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">"This is my Timey Wimey Detector.  Goes "bing" when there's stuff.  It also fries eggs at 30 paces, wether you want it to or not actually.  I've learned to stay away from hens: It's not pretty when they blow" -- </font></em></font><font size="1" color="#999999">The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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tfwthom

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Back in the "Old Days" of SDC we had Jeff Kanipe as the "Offical Astronomer". You might have read some of his books (one of the writers of Backyard Astronomy and others) SDC got in a money crunch and he stopped getting paid but hung around for awhile anyway. After some time he turned it over to the rest of us saying that there was enough people around to answer just about any question.<br /><br />I haven't seen Jeff around in awhile. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
 
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gfpaladin

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"one of the writers of Backyard Astronomy "<br /><br />I believe I own that book. Got it way back when, when I belonged to an Astronomy book club.
 
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heyscottie

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No PhD for me, but I do have a B.A. in computer engineering and a M.A. in applied mathematics, so I'll consider myself part of the "club".<br /><br />Welcome to space.com! I think you'll find that the signal to noise ratio around here is somewhat better than most message boards out there on the internet, but there certainly are a fair number of wacko threads out there. It won't take long for you to figure out which posters generally know what they are talking about, and which do not.<br /><br />Many people ask questions out of a real desire to understand better, but some posters seem to have agendas to push...fortunately, that is relatively marginalized here.
 
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vogon13

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Hey, I've cut way back on that!<br /><br /><br /><img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /><img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /><img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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nexium

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I may be one of the guilty parties. I often suggest hypothesis that I never heard anywhere, and they are typically ignored by everyone, even though I often temper them with perhaps and other phrases that suggest they likely are not mainsteam opinion. Mostly I re-tell things I read here on space.com which seemed probable. My interest include all the hard sciences and some of the soft sciences. Much of astronomy is soft science because few of the hypothesis can be tested independently. Tentative conclusions are based on a few photons gathered by telescopes during a minute portion of the duration of a typical process. I think of myself as a self educated generalist. Neil
 
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bbrock

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My Goodness, I've never seen such soul searching. All over a question. <br /><br />Just about everyone who monitors and responds are very talented and technical persons. Amature, Professional or enthusiast. Some just have more imagination and enthusiasm then others. I still haven't found a question in all of this correspondance. <br /><br />For all I know, the original poster of "Who is the Astronomer". Is a professional garbage collector who likes astronomy. But does it really matter.<br /><br />Bill
 
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gfpaladin

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BBrock said <i>I still haven't found a question in all of this correspondance.</i><br />Here you are, from the first message in the thread...<br />"...WHO is the "Astronomer" who is answering questions in this forum?"<br /><br />My thanks to all who responded!
 
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bbrock

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Well I have a question I can't find a good answer to!<br /><br />In the latest "Astronomy" magazine, an excellent article on clusters " Steller Archeology ". There is a conflict with what is described and with what I have always generally thought. A difference between the globular and open clusters is the relative age as well as the metalrich composition of the clusters. <br /><br />Metalrich is defined as being greater in molecular composition then helium. I suppose a molecular weight greater then helium. In the articles description, open clusters are defined as younger and more metalrigh. Globular clusters are defined as much older and less metalrigh. The age I have no problem with. I don't understand how younger stars in open clusters can have a greater composition of molecules heaver then helium.<br /><br />Can anyone explaine this, or am I missing a point somewhere. -- I'm into clusters. Especially red giants imbedded in young cluster. <br /><br />Bill <br /><br /><br />
 
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heyscottie

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I'll take a stab, but others will have to verify:<br /><br />If it is the *stars* in the globular cluster that are older, then it would stand to reason that they have fewer heavy metals, as they are still "first" generation stars. The open cluster, however, has younger stars, which have formed from the ashes of previous generations of stars, which allows them to be more metal-rich.<br /><br />Scott
 
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gfpaladin

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<i> I don't understand how younger stars in open clusters can have a greater composition of molecules heaver then helium</i><br /><br />Well, a young (i.e. early in its life cycle) population I star would be metal rich, right? So I guess we could speculate that older, larger stars went nova, spread their materials, the 'younger' stars formed from the enriched environment, and voila! Does that sound plausible?
 
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Saiph

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I'm getting beat to it left and right...geesh. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#c0c0c0"><br /></font></p><p align="center"><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">----</font></em></font><font color="#666699">SaiphMOD@gmail.com </font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">-------------------</font></em></font></p><p><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">"This is my Timey Wimey Detector.  Goes "bing" when there's stuff.  It also fries eggs at 30 paces, wether you want it to or not actually.  I've learned to stay away from hens: It's not pretty when they blow" -- </font></em></font><font size="1" color="#999999">The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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bbrock

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OK Guys, this is certainly plausable. And I never thought of it from the "Phenix" stand point. You know, rising from the ashes. I have been fixated with the notion that open clusters are hot-blue , mostly main sequence. which is why I love to hunt for red giants in open clusters. In Globulars , all of the giants have mostly sunk to the center and the smaller -- still main sequence stars float to the outside. <br /><br />Where am I coming from? Well, even an older main sequence star is thinking of firing up helium. These guys are pushing 10 - 12 billion years. I guarantee the centers of globulars are full of red giants making carbon and oxygen and other heavy stuff. They have been weaned of of hydrogen for a long time. <br /><br />Let me put it this way. The stars in the trapezium? Are they mostly hydrogen with some metalrich molecules, or are they mostly ash and metals burning some hydrogen they found floting around in the Orion nebula? I always thought they were 99.99% hydrogen. I think these guys are less then a million years old. This small open cluster won't be on it's own for a few more million years.<br /><br />I need to think of this ash thing some more. <br /><br />Thanks for the ideas.<br /><br />Bill<br /><br />
 
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Saiph

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While young open cluster stars are "metal rich" less than 1% by mass (and much less than 1% by number) are metals (anything heavier than helium). The rest is 75% hydrogen and 25% helium (by mass).<br /><br />This applies to all stars.<br /><br />So the trapezium stars are mostly hydrogen and helium, like every other star. However, being part of the newest generation of stars they will have a higher % of metals (still only ~1%). <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#c0c0c0"><br /></font></p><p align="center"><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">----</font></em></font><font color="#666699">SaiphMOD@gmail.com </font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">-------------------</font></em></font></p><p><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">"This is my Timey Wimey Detector.  Goes "bing" when there's stuff.  It also fries eggs at 30 paces, wether you want it to or not actually.  I've learned to stay away from hens: It's not pretty when they blow" -- </font></em></font><font size="1" color="#999999">The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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douglas_clark

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Saiph,<br /><br />I've a question. Accepting what you say about stellar composition, like 99% Hydrogen / Helium, why do we not see that mix on Earth? AFAIK we have a metallic core, an atmosphere which is largely nitrogen and oxygen. How would these elements have been distilled out of the stellar medium? You did say you'd answer questions <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> (I've got this idea in my head that it's some kind of huge centrifuge, but that is probably too simplistic.)<br /><br />Thanks<br /><br />douglas
 
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nacnud

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Try a huge centrifuge but with gravity instead of centripetal force. <br /><br />Lots of planetiods of heavier material surrounded by gas and dust, then the sun switches on and blows the gas away with the solar wind.<br />
 
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jurgens

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nacnud, I believe that was the old model though and it didn't explain how gas giants could form at close distances to their suns. And considering how the majority of planets found outside our solarsytem are gas giants that orbit very close to their suns, the model had to be revised. I dunno how it was though, anyone care to explain?
 
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douglas_clark

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nacnud,<br /><br />Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it. My point was that the heavier elements have to come from some place. Given that stars are the precursors of these heavier elements, I was just asking for an Earth forming mechanism, given the lack of these elements in the Sun. I do appreciate that the Sun may be a later generation star, but I don't undertand the concentration of, relatively, heavy elements here on Earth. Please explain.<br /><br />Thanks<br /><br />douglas
 
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