Why is North up? Bib. Ast.#27

Page 2 - Seeking answers about space? Join the Space community: the premier source of space exploration, innovation, and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier.
Status
Not open for further replies.
B

bobw

Guest
I'm afraid I have to agree with crazyeddie about this biblical astronomy stuff. Anything you quote to us is just a modern interpretation of old stories which had nothing to do with astronomy. I don't buy the "god was just talking to us in terms we can understand" argument, either. <br /><br />The bible could have said 'lo the stars are suns very far away with nothing between here and there' and ' verily the earth revolves around the sun and the moon around the earth' but it doesn't. Just those two lines would have eliminated millenia of belief in crystal spheres and holes in the firmament where water pours in and it certainly would have saved Galileo a lot of trouble. No, the bible isn't astronomy, it is sheepherder myth.<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>One of my questions is: where does north point in our universe using north from the plane of the solar system eccliptic?<br /><br />For example, which direction was the Hubble space telescope pointed in comparison with the average north on our planet when the famous Hubble deep field photo was taken?<br />Btw - my question is based on only one verse:<br /><br />(Job 26:7) 7 He is stretching out the north over the empty place, Hanging the earth upon nothing;<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />There was no plane of the ecleptic for Job, there were crystal spheres within spheres. The planets orbited earth, it was a mess .<br /><br />Our north doesn't point anywhere except some random direction. When you look at the Hubble deep field some galaxies are sideways like the sombrero galaxy, some are full face like the whirlpool. It is all random. Our north is nothing special.<br /><br />http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap980607.html<br /><br />To make the Deep Field image, astronomers selected an uncluttered area of the sky in the constellation Ursa Major (the Big Bear) and pointed the Hubble Space Telescope at a single spot fo <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
N

newtonian

Guest
bobw- Thank you for the link concerning the Hubble deep field photo- but it doesn't answer my question about north.<br /><br />I already know the details in the Bible, the answers I seek here at Ask the Astronomer involve applying Romans 1:20 and studying "the things made" to find additional details. That's why I am asking these questions on this forum.<br /><br />I can see you are not familiar with the Bible. Unlike other ancient books, it does not contain any of those myths you speak of like crystal spheres and holes in the firmament for the stars.<br /><br />See my Biblical astronomy threads for more details.<br /><br />For example, while the ancient Jewish pseudepigrapha describes the earth as a cube with sides with Hell Fire, and indicates stars can become lightning, and many other supposed secrets of the cosmos allegedly revealed supernaturally, the Bible in contrast contains no such unscientific statements.<br /><br />You would expect, if the Bible was simply man-made, that it would contain at least a few of the contemporaneous myths taught both in ancient scientific and religious myths.<br /><br />Actually, had people believed in the Bible rather than their church traditions, science would have been saved from centuries of believing the earth was attached physically in some way with physical supports, or the fear the earth was flat (or a cube, where they could fall off the edge into one of those hell fire levels).<br /><br />(Job 26:7) 7 He is stretching out the north over the empty place, Hanging the earth upon nothing. . .<br /><br />The Bible is unique in stating accurately that earth is hung upon nothing in empty space. No other ancient scientific or religious text reveals this basic scientific fact.<br /><br />Others, for example, had the earth supported by Atlas or by turtles, etc.<br /><br />BTW- The Bible does not teach the Hell Fire myth either.<br /><br />The Bible also taught the earth is round (Isaiah 40:22) and that the terminator is a circle(Job 26:10) - again
 
B

bobw

Guest
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>And you have ignored the strictly scientific portion of my question. <br /><br />I still want to know which way is north in our universe<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Why would it be any direction besides the direction from here to polaris? I didn't ignore it I answered it. Again;You wrote:<br /><br /> <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p> One of my questions is: where does north point in our universe using north from the plane of the solar system eccliptic?<br /><br /> For example, which direction was the Hubble space telescope pointed in comparison with the average north on our planet when the famous Hubble deep field photo was taken?<br /> Btw - my question is based on only one verse:<br /><br /> (Job 26:7) 7 He is stretching out the north over the empty place, Hanging the earth upon nothing;<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />You asked which way hubble pointed with respect to the average north on our planet. I don't know which way Hubble pointed based on Job but based on pointing at the big dipper, since the pole star is pointed to by the big dipper, the Hubble pointed pretty much north. Which way do you think it pointed based on the place the website said it pointed? You want RA and Dec, look it up! If you don't know that the big dipper is in the north you are probably not going to get too far comparing the bible to astronomy LOL. ' Which way is north in the universe? For example which way did hubble point in relation to the earth' indeed <img src="/images/icons/rolleyes.gif" /><br /><br />North is a vector. It points to polaris from here. Later it will point somewhere else. If you call that north then that's north for the whole universe. I think you are just asking questions so you can post bible verses on the website and claim it's science.<br /><br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
B

bobw

Guest
I've got a copy of both volumes of Uranometria 2000. The north book is centered on polaris +_ a small bit. It maps the "universe" down to magnitude 12 or something. If urnaometria says polaris is north it probably is IMHO. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
B

bobw

Guest
Re: your assertion ". Unlike other ancient books, it does not contain any of those myths you speak of like crystal spheres and holes in the firmament for the stars."<br /><br />That's just my point. It doesn't contain any substantial information at all. For centuries people tried to figgure out the sky and when they did the "myths", constructed by the best biblical scholars of the time, almost proved fatal to people who figgured out the truth. So now you are going to re-interpret the bible based on stuff we've learned in spite of the bible. That's the thing about the bible; the true believers will always try to find a way to twist it around so it looks like it matches reality and the previous interpretations were just human error. Have at it! Have fun! Just don't call it science.<br /><br />Here's a link to my favorite book on the subject. It covers everything from "do people live at the antipode?" to lightningrods. Science won. Get over it.<br /><br />http://www.gutenberg.net/etext/505<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
C

CalliArcale

Guest
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>a_lost_packet_ - Is the reason Saturn and Jupiter are spoken of as having a northern hemisphere because north is indeed the same direction in relation to the plane of the ecliptic as on earth?<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Astronomically speaking, "north" is defined as "above" the plane of the ecliptic -- and "above" is defined by the northern hemisphere of Earth. So one might consider the "top" hemisphere of each planet to be the northern one.<br /><br />However, astronomers don't always regard the "top" hemisphere as north. Instead, although the convention is based on which side of Earth is called the northern side, it depends on a planet's rotation. The northern hemisphere is the one which, if you looked at it from a point directly above the north rotational pole, appears to be rotating counter-clockwise. This definition might only hold true for objects which are tilted close to 90 degrees to the plane of their orbits, or which are very irregular. (433 Eros, for instance, has a fairly dramatic tilt. To complicate things, it doesn't rotate along its long axis, but tumbles end-over-end through space. "North" for Eros is defined by its rotation, not its relationship to the ecliptic.) I'm not sure about that.<br /><br />Does anybody happen to know which end of Venus is considered North? This is significant because Venus has an axial inclination of 177 degrees -- which means it seems to rotate backwards (retrograde; clockwise as viewed from "above" the ecliptic). <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
M

mooware

Guest
<font color="yellow">"So now you are going to re-interpret the bible based on stuff we've already learned"</font><br /><br />Isn't that it exactly! The re-interpretation is after the fact. All those Bible scholars, for every religion for the past hundreds of years have all been wrong until the JW's came along. These guys looked at what science has discovered then proceeded to find it in the Bible. <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
 
N

newtonian

Guest
Calli- Thank you for your reasonable and informative post.<br /><br />That was the simple answer I was looking for.<br /><br />North is indeed up in our solar system in the same sense that north is up on planet earth.<br /><br />Unless, of course, we get some different answer to your question about Venus.<br /><br />Anyone know that answer?
 
N

newtonian

Guest
bobw - You are off thread theme. I will post a portion of your post on the correct thread, concerning Biblical astronomy statements. You posted:<br /><br />"Re: your assertion ". Unlike other ancient books, it does not contain any of those myths you speak of like crystal spheres and holes in the firmament for the stars."<br /><br />That's just my point. It doesn't contain any substantial information at all."<br />That would, of course, mean that the 100 statements I intend to list (I am up to 27) are not substantial-so it belongs on that thread - where I will respond to your statement.<br /><br />It is totally irrelevant to Why is North up?
 
P

pizzaguy

Guest
New, <br /><br />Being a Bible-believing Christian, I have to agree with Eddie. YOur first post seemed to be about maps and (what is the word - 'carteography'???) That was ok, and I was quick to try to answer, but I don't feel comfortable discussing religion here, 'least not outside of FREESPACE.<br />You are now moving into an obviously religious discussion - that belongs in FREESPACE.<br /><br />(Not that you will be received very well over there.)<br /><br />ALSO: Check your PM's! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1"><em>Note to Dr. Henry:  The testosterone shots are working!</em></font> </div>
 
N

newtonian

Guest
pizzaguy- Well, I wasn't striving for popularity - just answers to questions on Astronomy- including Biblical astronomy.<br /><br />Your response and Eddies are off of thread theme.<br /><br />Remember my question: Why is north up?<br /><br />I also do not wish to discuss religion on this thread.
 
N

newtonian

Guest
Calli - In view of the posts since yours, I want to thank you for staying on thread theme.<br /><br />I really do appreciate it.<br /><br />Would you then agree that a photo of Saturn from earth would have north on top?<br /><br />Frankly, it seems to me that it would depend where you were on earth at that time!<br /><br />My relevant added question is (to repeat):<br /><br />Would the location where north would be the top of the photo be described by all the reference points that lie within the plane of the eccliptic - extended in an imaginary way into our universe?<br /><br />I know that the orientation of said reference points would be relative - one would have to assume that the extraterrestrial photographer also considered north as up - for some reason - and I do not assume the reason is just convention or tradition.<br /><br />Do you understand my question?
 
N

newtonian

Guest
crazyeddie- First of all, I don't lie.<br /><br />Second, yes I have received good responses.<br /><br />I still have unanswered questions.<br /><br />Please refrain from posting on this thread unless you have something meaningful to add.
 
N

newtonian

Guest
bobw - Sorry, I do not know what that word means.<br /><br />Come again?
 
N

newtonian

Guest
Interesting forum. Why did you link to it? I didn't notice anything concerning north being up.<br /><br />I have been invited to join many different forums, and I have posted on a few. <br /><br />Space.com is my favorite, however.<br /><br />Partly because the moderators are moderate and partly because freedom of speech has been very evident here.<br /><br />And, of course, I love science and especially astronomy.
 
B

bobw

Guest
And, of course, I love science and especially astronomy.<br /><br /><br />Me too. I was jubilant when, after only 30 years of study, I finally understood the relationship between north and the plane of the ecliptic. LOL <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
N

newtonian

Guest
bobw- Well, I only learned it on this thread! Researching myself, primarily.<br /><br />But with help - thank you all.<br /><br />However, I don't understand - similar to Calli's point, why Venus is also in the same plane despite its rotating in the opposite direction.<br /><br />And I also do not understand why Jupiter and Saturn have opposite magnetic poles to Earth.<br /><br />How far back does this magnetism go? From the original accretion?<br /><br />And did I hear correctly that our sun flips its magnetic field every 11 (or 22?) years?<br /><br />However, those are tangents.<br /><br />My tentative conclusion is that North is up in Astronomy, cartography and the Bible for the same reasons, and that it really goes back to Bible times- i.e. very ancient.<br /><br />And, my speculation is that north really is up from the viewpoint of the extraterrestrial author - which may mean this is viewed from outside our universe from all directions within the plane of the eccliptic extended outward to beyond the edge of our universe.<br /><br />Do you understand what I mean?<br /><br />Just speculation, understand.<br /><br />And I guess this tangent belongs on SETI.<br />
 
N

newtonian

Guest
Calli - Jupiter (11 degrees) and Saturn's (1 degree) rotational axes are only tilted slightly compared with earth's tilt.<br /><br />Counterclockwise would be looking at north down towards south.<br /><br /><br />From a caption on a picture and charts in ?Scientific American,? February, 2000 concerning a probe from Galileo to Jupiter:<br /><br />"The Gas Giant - Jupiter <br />Until the Galileo mission, no object touched by human hands had ever made con-tact<br />with a gas giant planet. The spacecraft dropped a probe into the atmosphere<br />just north of the equator, a location shown on this Hubble Space Telescope image taken<br />after the probe had been targeted (left). The probe descended for more than an<br />hour, measuring the composition (table below) before succumbing to the increasing<br />temperature and pressure (sequence at right). The primordial solar composition is assumed<br />to be the same as that of the outer layers of the sun."<br /><br />See the article if you want more info. on Jupiter and its moons.<br /><br />For this thread, note that the probe was dropped "just north of the equator."<br /><br />Again confirming North is up, at least in the accompanying photo where north is clearly on the top of the photo.<br /><br />Or did they just twist the photo to make it look that way?<br /><br />Just kidding - Jupiter?s north is indeed north of the eccliptic just as on earth.<br /><br />Again, I ask - what locations in our universe could also have north on top in a photo?<br /><br />I assume one would have to be east or west of us on the plane of the solar system eccliptic to see north as up.<br /><br />Am I right?<br /><br />Or would one have to do a handstand?<br /><br />BTW - I intend to research Venus as per your request - next.<br /><br />If someone else doesn't beat me to it!<br />
 
N

newtonian

Guest
Calli- This is perhaps a simpler question:<br /><br />How does north in the celestial sphere (i.e. the northern celestial hemisphere) compare with north in the solar system eclliptic?<br /><br />I have in mind this reference:<br /><br />From:<br /><br />http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_Deep_Field<br /><br />"The Hubble Deep Field is a region of the northern celestial hemisphere about one 30-millionth the area of the sky that contains at least 1,500 faint galaxies."<br /><br />And the Hubble Deep Field South is in the southern celestial hemisphere.
 
C

CalliArcale

Guest
First off, I apologize for not responding sooner. Last week got really hectic. This week probably will too.<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>My tentative conclusion is that North is up in Astronomy, cartography and the Bible for the same reasons, and that it really goes back to Bible times- i.e. very ancient. [/qutoe]<br /><br />Yep. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> It's purely a convention, and not even all ancients shared the convention. In fact, strictly speaking, we don't even all follow the convention exactly the same way now. We use compasses to tell us which way is north, and yet we define it based on the Earth's rotational axis, which means that our practical definition (the direction a compass points) is inaccurate compared to the formal cartographer's definition.<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>How does north in the celestial sphere (i.e. the northern celestial hemisphere) compare with north in the solar system eclliptic? <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />"North" in the celestial sphere just means that if you considered the sky as being stars studding a huge black sphere (wrong, but a useful model for mapping purposes), and then bisected it by an infinite plane running through the Earth's equator (not the Earth's orbit!), the side that the Earth's north pole points towards would be the northern celestial hemisphere. The northern celestial pole is almost exactly on top of Polaris. Again, this is purely a projection of our own conventions used by cartographers on Earth.<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>However, I don't understand - similar to Calli's point, why Venus is also in the same plane despite its rotating in the opposite direction. <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Don't let this confuse you; it has nothing to do with the definitions of north and south, which are really arbitrary and serve only to provide a common vocabulary for discussion of the ph</p></blockquote> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
N

newtonian

Guest
Calli - Hi! No problem. When I go to New York I'm offline for up to a month! <br /><br />And once the incredibly hot, humid weather stops here in south Louisiana (we are also in a drought), I will be working in the garden more and online less.<br /><br />Thankyou. That answers allot. I hope you don't mind if I doubt it originally was just convention - i.e. that north is up.<br /><br />That is interesting that the north celestial hemisphere is based on earth's rotational north and not the solar system eccliptic. <br /><br />However, imagine yourself about 100 light years away or so, and having a very good interferometry type telescope and being able to see our solar system.<br /><br />Then imagine that you are an extraterrestrial and are looking at our solar system edge on- i.e. along an imaginary line east or west of the solar system eccliptic.<br /><br />Now assume up is north for you just as it is for us-in whatever language you use.<br /><br />Am I correct that you will, under these conditions, view all of the following as north from your perspective and language:<br /><br />1. Earth's north rotational pole.<br />2. Saturn's north rotational pole.<br />3. Jupiter's north rotational pole.<br />4. What we consider north in the solar system eccliptic.<br /><br />And also that, except for local stars, their north celestial hemisphere will be very similar to ours?<br /><br />???<br /><br />And one final question (for now): How is the solar system eccliptic aligned with the galactic eccleptic?<br /><br />BTW - there are alternate models for the origin of structure with have magnetism playing a major role along with gravity. <br /><br />For example, see From Scientific American, 10/02, article entitled "The Emptiest Places," <br />By Evan Scannapieco, Patrick Petitjean and Tom Broadhurst- e.g.:<br /><br />"Astronomers long assumed, however, that the details of the intergalactic gas were unimportant and that gravity alone called the shots in galaxy formation. According to the prevailing v
 
C

CalliArcale

Guest
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Now assume up is north for you just as it is for us-in whatever language you use.<br /><br />Am I correct that you will, under these conditions, view all of the following as north from your perspective and language:<br /><br />1. Earth's north rotational pole.<br />2. Saturn's north rotational pole.<br />3. Jupiter's north rotational pole.<br />4. What we consider north in the solar system eccliptic.<br /><br />And also that, except for local stars, their north celestial hemisphere will be very similar to ours?<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />No to both, though the former could occasionally be true by pure chance.<br /><br />If you had a super-powerful telescope, would the Earth appear right-side up? No, unless you're very lucky. That alignment would actually be no more likely than any other alignment. Earth might appear sideways or upside down -- and in fact might appear to be aligned differently to observers on the very same alien world, observing on the same night.<br /><br />In fact, although astronomical photos are frequently aligned so that north is up, this is purely for asthetic and conventional purposes. (If north is on top, it's easier for people accustomed to those sorts of maps to work out what they're looking at.) We have come to expect to see Saturn's rings running from right to left, and Jupiter's Great Red Spot on the bottom half of the planet. We expect Venus' differentially-rotating clouds to bend from right to left, and we expect Mars' ice caps to be at the top and bottom. Because Earth globes are usually tipped on their sides, we are willing to accept a jaunty tilt to a planet, but that's about it. We also expect the Moon to be aligned a certain way, and if you'll bear with me, this is what will really give the truth away.<br /><br />The Moon is usually shown in photographs with its north pole up. Oceanus Procellarum is on the left. Tycho Crater is at the bottom. And yet, if you look at the Moon <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
M

mtrotto7287

Guest
it is hard to see how one could consider any direction to be "up"<br /><br />doesn't "up" change relative to WHERE YOU ARE STANDING ON THE EARTH (up in the southpole is south, while in the northpole, it is north)<br /><br />the universe can be mapped in any fashion, as long as it is accurate in the relative positions from one body to the other<br /><br />thats just how i see it though
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY