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NASA's Swift Observatory  (Source: NASA)
Gamma burst reported as most powerful on record.

NASA scientists have identified a violent cosmic eruption that temporarily blinded a NASA satellite in June.  An X-ray telescope that tracks gamma rays on board the NASA Swift satellite captured a record-breaking burst of rays that had left scientists mystified about its massive brightness and point of origin.  

At it's peak the gamma-ray explosion – documented as the most powerful emission on record -- produced between 143,000 and 145,000 X-ray protons per second, which is about 10 to 15 times brighter than previous bursts captured by the telescope.   

After weeks of analysis, researchers are now indicating that the astounding blast was produced by a massive star collapsing into a black hole.  

According to 
Astronomy.com and Space.com, although the Swift satellite was designed specifically to study gamma-ray bursts, the instrument was not designed to handle an X-ray blast this bright.

"The intensity of these X-rays was unexpected and unprecedented," said Neil Gehrels from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He said the burst, named GRB 100621A, is the brightest X-ray source that Swift has detected since the observatory began X-ray observation in early 2005. "Just when we were beginning to think that we had seen everything that gamma-ray bursts could throw at us, this burst came along to challenge our assumptions about how powerful their X-ray emissions can be.”

The event was so powerful, it disrupted the telescope's data-analysis capabilities.

"The burst was so bright when it first erupted that our data-analysis software shut down," said Phil Evans from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. "So many photons were bombarding the detector each second that it just couldn't count them quickly enough. It was like trying to use a rain gauge and a bucket to measure the flow rate of a tsunami."

The X-rays had been traveling for over 5 billion years before being detected by the Swift satellite.

The burst lasted for about one minute and was about 200 times brighter than the Crab Nebula, an X-ray radiation benchmark for astronomers. 

The X-ray blast is the brightest ever detected from outside of the Milky Way galaxy. 



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RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2010 10:17:42 AM , Rating: -1
I thought it was concluded in that particular discussion that people are ultimately going to believe what they want to believe; Since evidence is subjective and all...

I could argue that the methods used to extrapolate this conclusion of "we see something 5 billion light years away" is heavily reliant on many paper thin assumptions. So in a sense, if you believe the assumptions to be true, then you will conclude that the 5 billion light years away to be true.

When introducing the experiments that slowed the speed of light down (significantly), I ask how you can truly be sure of the finding. I'm just posing a question. (Before you take a jab at me, I understand that there are other methods of gathering data; I am just curious to see how those too are not subjective and assuming).

/Polite and logical response please.


RE: Didn't we just...
By PCR on 7/19/2010 10:41:48 AM , Rating: 2
Paper thin assumption? Seriously? What leads you to conclude that its a paper this assumption?

Light travels at 300,000 m/s, so its pretty easy to figure out how long light would take to get from one point to another, that's just basic physics.

What qualifies to make these conclusions? I have seen a lot of your posts but I have never responded but in this case I just had to respond. Mind sharing your educational background with us? TBH I could care less what some lay people have to say, yes I am biased against uneducated and dumb people, especially when it comes to the sciences.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Alexstarfire on 7/19/2010 10:50:41 AM , Rating: 1
I suggest you check your spelling and grammar then.


RE: Didn't we just...
By PCR on 7/19/2010 10:51:26 AM , Rating: 1
That has nothing to do with education or knowledge of science Yeah my typing sucks, so what? That means nothing and has nothing to do with science.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Alexstarfire on 7/19/2010 10:58:29 AM , Rating: 2
It was more in response to your last sentence talking about how you are biased against uneducated and dumb people. It was a bit hard to understand what you were saying at certain points because of some obvious errors in your post.


RE: Didn't we just...
By DamonZ on 7/19/2010 12:11:31 PM , Rating: 3
And I go back to the statements made merely questioning the assumptions. The person asked for polite responses, and was just making the comment that it has been proven light can be slowed, how do we know it isn't happening at the edge of our galaxy, or anywhere else along the way?

I don't believe in creationism, and will probably never be convinced otherwise, but a lot of things don't have good answers.

Try to treat the comment as intended, as a discussion. Don't be a jerk if you don't agree, try to prove to us you are worth talking to.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2010 12:25:40 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for helping me try to clarify my question, I appreciate it.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Alexstarfire on 7/19/2010 4:33:26 PM , Rating: 1
Heaven forbid I make a comment. I found it ironic, that was all. Lighten up.


RE: Didn't we just...
By niva on 7/19/2010 4:39:01 PM , Rating: 2
It does make you look uneducated and dumb though when you can't string a proper sentence together while complaining about those very things. You should know by now that arguing against creationism if foolish. Just lay down your evidence and the ones with working brains will convert. The ones who vocally argue are hopeless and you're simply coming down to their level when you engage back in an argument.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Sazar on 7/19/2010 5:40:31 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry but I just had to interject.

If you are going to say some things make someone look uneducated and dumb, you might want to check what you have posted before doing so. :)

Other than that, agree with you

"You should know by now that arguing against creationism if foolish"


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2010 8:12:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You should know by now that arguing against creationism if foolish. Just lay down your evidence and the ones with working brains will convert. The ones who vocally argue are hopeless and you're simply coming down to their level when you engage back in an argument.

I offer my up-most sincere apology to the omnipotent and unfaltering niva; I did not realize that I was speaking to the most hyper intelligent being on this planet. Your opinion is clearly superior to our feeble minded species, and I hope you can forgive us for intruding upon your greatness.


RE: Didn't we just...
By IGoodwin on 7/19/2010 10:57:19 AM , Rating: 4
Don't know about anyone else, but I always have trouble with the speed of light, especially a maximum, mainly because time is not fixed.

How 'fast' light travels in intergalactic space may not be constant relative to our time stream. Mass and time have a curious relationship.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2010 12:34:32 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
How 'fast' light travels in intergalactic space may not be constant relative to our time stream.

Exactly. The next galaxy could be literally located 3 feet away from ours, and there would be know way of "truly knowing" ... unless someone has invented interstellar travel without me knowing.


RE: Didn't we just...
By maven81 on 7/19/2010 2:28:46 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, but if we had invented interstellar travel and could actually go there, then you would just argue that all we really proved was that this particular object was 5 billion light years away. And you would insist that this doesn't prove our methods are correct, because how do we know every other object is like this one? We would have to visit every single one of them for you to be happy.

What you are doing is taking a very nihilistic approach towards science. There's a big difference between healthy skepticism and a belief that nothing can be proven. Taken to an extreme, how do I know that you actually exist and are not just a figment of my imagination?

Scientists don't operate on blind faith as you seem to imply. The theory has to fit the available evidence, and if that's no longer the case it will be replaced with a newer theory. Just as Newtonian physics was expanded upon by Einstein, and I'm sure that one day Einstein's physics will be expanded upon by someone else.
It wouldn't surprise me if some of Einstein's assumptions turned out to be wrong, but that doesn't mean that it puts everything we know about the universe in doubt.

By the way in case you were curious how you actually measure distances to such far away objects in the first place I suggest reading up on redshift, the Doppler effect, and the Hubble constant.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2010 4:24:00 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Ah, but if we had invented interstellar travel and could actually go there, then you would just argue that all we really proved was that this particular object was 5 billion light years away. And you would insist that this doesn't prove our methods are correct, because how do we know every other object is like this one? We would have to visit every single one of them for you to be happy.

You can not be serious ... Have you read a single word of what I have already posted here? Did you truthfully follow what I said in a recent article? If you had, you would not be so quick to post that naive and ill conceived preconception of me.
quote:
There's a big difference between healthy skepticism and a belief that nothing can be proven. Taken to an extreme, how do I know that you actually exist and are not just a figment of my imagination?

Quote me (in context) of exactly where I gave any kind of indication that I think this way. Until then, you are just making idiotic assumptions of me.
quote:
By the way in case you were curious how you actually measure distances to such far away objects in the first place I suggest reading up on redshift, the Doppler effect, and the Hubble constant.

Yet again someone else who assumes that posing questions mean that I don't actually do my own research/understand the concepts.

You just plain out don't understand the simple logical questions that I asked. You immediately went on the defensive and ranted and raved. Please go back, and actually read the questions that I ask. They are very simple, and require no deep thought.


RE: Didn't we just...
By SPOOFE on 7/19/2010 4:56:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yet again someone else who assumes that posing questions mean that I don't actually do my own research/understand the concepts.

You asserted that another galaxy could be "literally 3 feet away". I'm sorry, that's just a very stupid thing to say. The appearance of objects has consistent effects at varying distances. Hell, this is apparent if you've ever watched a sports game.

Stop whining; your comments make it clear that you have no idea what you're talking about. It's nobody's fault but your own that you're ignorant.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/10, Rating: -1
RE: Didn't we just...
By SPOOFE on 7/19/2010 4:54:19 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The next galaxy could be literally located 3 feet away from ours

There are too many observations that are all consistent with each other for your assertion to be anything but really, really stupid.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2010 11:01:40 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Light travels at 300,000 m/s, so its pretty easy to figure out how long light would take to get from one point to another, that's just basic physics.


Did you even read the question that I presented? I'll try again:

quote:
When introducing the experiments that slowed the speed of light down (significantly), I ask how you can truly be sure of the finding.


Your post comes across as more "firing off at the mouth", rather than actually adding something to the discussion. You also seem to insinuate that I am somehow stupid for asking questions about science. So, please tell me why it is wrong to question scientific method/experiment/reasoning.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Goty on 7/19/2010 11:24:33 AM , Rating: 2
The speed of the photons themselves, when free, is still the speed of light. It is just the interactions taking place in the experiment that make it appear to travel more slowly. Photons in these experiments are no more traveling slower than the speed of light than the photons in superluminal jets are traveling faster than the speed of light. It's all just illusion.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/10, Rating: 0
RE: Didn't we just...
By Goty on 7/19/2010 12:41:13 PM , Rating: 2
That's easy. We know we don't sit inside a large bubble because the things we observe in our own galaxy appear no different from the same processes that occur in other galaxies. We don't occupy a special place in the universe (physically, anyway), everything looks the same everywhere on a large enough scale.


RE: Didn't we just...
By nafhan on 7/19/2010 3:23:04 PM , Rating: 2
Coming up with unnecessarily complicated theories to explain things is not productive. With your beach ball example, it doesn't really matter that someone might be trying to trick you into seeing a beach ball. You go with the assumption that there's a beach ball on the island until you have a reason not to assume that. Generally, that's how science works. Start with the simple and try to understand it better until you find a problem.
Our galaxy could be in a giant bubble, our galaxy could be a giant simulation running in a giant computer, our galaxy could even be a mental construct in the mind of an all knowing being. However, that doesn't really matter. What we have observed doesn't support those things.


RE: Didn't we just...
By SPOOFE on 7/19/2010 5:03:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Who's to say that our galaxy is inside a giant bubble that causes matter to interact differently?

That's your "paper-thin assumption"? The assumption that physical interactions are consistent across the universe? You're just making up fantastical crap to justify doubts. Explain why we should believe the laws of physics are different locally compared to a billion light-years away.

quote:
It isn't hard to grasp the concept of things being different outside of the scope of our physical limitations.

A concept is one thing; using that baseless concept, with no observational reason to believe it's an accurate concept, to cast doubt on a subject with more internally consistent observations than you have hair follicles. If physics were different here as opposed to there, then those differences would be apparent... or they'd be so negligible as to be irrelevent. Either way, your statements are nonsense.

quote:
You can stand on an island and look through a pair of binoculars and see another island. You have no way of reaching this island. On the island you spot a beach ball. In reality, this is only a picture of a beach ball propped up in the sand.

Yeah, I get it. It's obvious. You have no idea what you're talking about.

If you see a "picture" - of anything - that picture obviously had to come from somewhere. Outside of a proposed mechanism, consistent with all other observations, for that picture to be generated, created, or falsified, the only logical conclusion is that the picture represents a fairly accurate view of circumstances.

You have doubts with no mechanism, no explanation for those doubts. You're stupid. You're ignorant. I'm almost sorry to be so blunt, but them's the facts. If you don't like it, you can stop being stupid.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2010 7:06:29 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
If you see a "picture" - of anything - that picture obviously had to come from somewhere. Outside of a proposed mechanism, consistent with all other observations, for that picture to be generated, created, or falsified, the only logical conclusion is that the picture represents a fairly accurate view of circumstances.

Wow, you really are too dumb to see the point I was making lol. Go eat rocks...


RE: Didn't we just...
By Goty on 7/19/2010 11:22:47 AM , Rating: 3
*300,000,000 m/s or 300,000 km/s

Seriously, didn't you learn to check your units in physics class in high school?


RE: Didn't we just...
By wallijonn on 7/19/2010 11:57:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Light travels at 300,000 m/s, so its pretty easy to figure out how long light would take to get from one point to another, that's just basic physics.


Except when dealing with Black Holes (?).

quote:
the astounding blast was produced by a massive star collapsing into a black hole.


Wouldn't the Black Hole have slowed down the speed of light? In which case it could be longer than 5 billion years ago.


RE: Didn't we just...
By SPOOFE on 7/19/2010 5:06:23 PM , Rating: 1
A black hole does not slow down the speed of light; the intense gravity well slows down time itself.

Regardless, "speed of light", or C, refers to the speed of light in a vacuum. The fact that one can physically slow down a photon does not mean the cosmic speed limit of C has been slowed.


RE: Didn't we just...
By FaaR on 7/19/2010 6:56:22 PM , Rating: 2
From what I understand, black holes do not slow down light per se. Rather, space-time inside the event horizon curves too much for light to escape from within (and it curves infinitely inside the black hole itself; ie it has zero surface area despite having perhaps billions of solar masses).


RE: Didn't we just...
By Alexstarfire on 7/19/2010 10:56:01 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I'm a bit confused as to what you are trying to argue. Are you just trying to argue the distance? If so, it's still 5 billion light years even if the speed of light changed. The only thing you would have changed is the light year constant. More of a technicality I realize, but still. Even if the light was slowed to 1/100th of it's normal speed then that's still 50 million equivalent light years. It's insane no matter how you look at it.

Though, with these scientists obviously specializing in "outer space" I'm sure that they realize the speed of light isn't always exact. There are several things that could affect it. The collapsing star/black hole that the rays came from for one. IDK how they calculate the speed of light to find its distance, but I'll assume they know better than my very limited knowledge on the subject.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/2010 11:26:43 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Well, I'm a bit confused as to what you are trying to argue. Are you just trying to argue the distance? If so, it's still 5 billion light years even if the speed of light changed.

I am having a mental picture of the word "irony" sprouting wings and flying right over your head lol!

The speed of light was "proven" if you will, to not be an end all be all in the world of constants. If you were to assume that this is true, then you should also conclude that this would change A LOT of previous "fool proof" foundational methods to determine things like start distance, etc. Don't misunderstand me, as I stated earlier, I know that there are different methods as well. I am simply calling to question some people's undying belief in claiming to know the distance of something that we can't touch.

But does no-one seriously question how you could conclusively say that anything outside of our reach (physical) absolutely can not be verified with "knowing" fact?

I'll give you a simple question that is meant to test logic conclusion: How do you know that light/matter/energy travels in the same way/manner between galaxies as it does in them?


RE: Didn't we just...
By maven81 on 7/19/2010 2:52:42 PM , Rating: 4
"I'll give you a simple question that is meant to test logic conclusion: How do you know that light/matter/energy travels in the same way/manner between galaxies as it does in them?"

That's something we can actually observe and measure. Take for example this way: because gravity can bend light, there's a nifty effect called gravitational lensing where a really massive object (like a distant galaxy) bends the light from an even more distant galaxy behind it. You could compare the light that went around it to the light that went through it and see if there's a difference.
You can also measure how things behave in intergalactic space by comparing what you think you should see, with what you actually see. (if a certain type of star you measured to be 2 million lightyears away looked significantly brighter, or dimmer then the math predicts, you would know something is wrong).

You know I actually once thought as you do, when I was a young teen and still figuring things out. But then you realize that there are a lot of very bright people spending a lot of time researching this, and unless you had some sort of epiphany that no one else had or came up with some crucial bit of evidence, it's pretty safe to say that they are right and you're wrong.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Alexstarfire on 7/19/2010 5:07:08 PM , Rating: 2
Which is what I was getting at.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/19/10, Rating: 0
RE: Didn't we just...
By thejerk on 7/19/2010 11:24:37 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is you're making a relativistic set of illogical arguments under the guise of Philosophy and pseudo-intellectual posturing. While discourse is a fun way to explore Existentialism, this has become foolish.

Your stated purpose and discourse only have merit if you were actively pursuing your answers in a practical, scientific manner. The conditions for the slowing of light only exists in specific laboratory conditions, and has a remote chance of existing (the following qualifier is important), universally, at the "edge of our galaxy." I agree with the others in that you know nothing of the Science you write about. I will also add that you know nothing about Philosophy, either. There is no point, not even for the sake of discourse, to continue.

If anything, your continued arguments make you appear an attention-hungry sociopath.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/20/2010 8:59:28 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
The problem is you're making a relativistic set of illogical arguments under the guise of Philosophy and pseudo-intellectual posturing. While discourse is a fun way to explore Existentialism, this has become foolish.

Who do you think you are talking to?! Using complex words in a sentence doesn't give it more meaning or actually add to this discussion. Those two sentences made you look like you are trying way too hard.
quote:
Your stated purpose and discourse only have merit if you were actively pursuing your answers in a practical, scientific manner.

So, what you are saying is it's wrong to post a simple, logical question in science? I don't know how you define science, but I can ask a simple question to my hearts desire. I don't have to launch satellites into orbit every time I want to know a simple answer to a simple question. Just because you can't understand the question doesn't mean you should bash me. In effect, you make yourself look like an idiot when running off at the mouth and trying to "prove" your intellect.

Look, it's someone on the internet with an agenda to make someone look stupid rather than add to the discussion, wow; never seen that one before! Your name is very fitting.
quote:
The conditions for the slowing of light only exists in specific laboratory conditions

There is absolutely no way you can know that AT ALL; You have no idea what can happen outside of our realm, and you are arrogant and foolish to say otherwise. Unless you literally know it all. Then by all means, please enlighten us.

Btw, I seriously doubt you talk like this in every day life. So stop trying so hard, it makes you look very desperate; And if you aren't going to contribute respectfully to the discussions, then please butt out. There is no room for your complete arrogant ass-hat attitude.


RE: Didn't we just...
By maven81 on 7/20/2010 10:02:55 AM , Rating: 3
"Purely false. There is not one single piece of existing technology that allows us to measure anything outside of our physical reach (that you can claim to be accurate)."

I'm sorry but that's bullcrap. If you're talking technology we got extremely accurate measurements of the distance to the moon before anything landed there thanks to radar, and even laser ranging. (of course we got even better measurements after putting a retroreflector there). In fact radar has been used on asteroids that we have not physically reached at all. But you don't need sophisticated technology. The planet Neptune was discovered MATHEMATICALLY. In the 19th century! Just by some very clever mathematicians observing the gravitational effect it had on the orbits of other planets like Uranus. They noticed a disturbance, did some calculations, and deduced that there had to be an object we haven't discovered yet. Then telescopes were pointed at the predicted spot, and it was right there! This was proof that our understanding of gravity and orbital mechanics was correct. There's no better example then a prediction leading to a discovery. Just as in the world of chemistry Mendeleev left blank spaces on the periodic table for elements that had not been discovered yet, because he accurately deduced that they must exist and just haven't been seen.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/20/2010 10:29:31 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I'm sorry but that's bullcrap. If you're talking technology we got extremely accurate measurements of the distance to the moon before anything landed there thanks to radar, and even laser ranging.

Re-read the part where I mentioned "physical reach". Your comprehension skills are poor.

The rest of your post points out sound science; Science that is well within reason to assume that they are accurate, especially since they are within our solar system (our physical reach). I forget how far our space probes (gigitty) have gone as of today, but it is still within our reach obviously. Have all of our predictions about distance to these planets come to be true? Yeah, sure but you can't automatically assume that these methods work for something OUTSIDE OF OUR REALM OF OBSERVATION!! HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY THIS? Could they be right? Sure, and they probably are about a good amount of things. Does anyone "know"? No; and claiming so makes them/you lust after power and meaningless knowledge. You completely misunderstand my original post, and I honestly can not think of a different way to say it.

You are making it out to look like I am denying all scientific discovery and processing, and that's just simply wrong to characterize me as such. You plain out just do not understand the original question/s logic concepts. Quit accusing me like you know me, because you don't.


RE: Didn't we just...
By maven81 on 7/20/2010 11:02:54 AM , Rating: 2
"Re-read the part where I mentioned "physical reach". Your comprehension skills are poor."

Now you're just spinning. These things are within our physical reach TODAY, but as I mentioned we got our measurements BEFORE we were able to reach them, and in some cases we proved the existence of something that we didn't even know was there! Two hundred years before it became within our physical reach, get it?! We proved the existence of something that we could not see, touch, smell you name it.
For the rest of your post, I don't understand where you get this crazy idea that scientists claim to know everything for certain. That's not at all how science works! It operates under the assumption that this is the best available explanation TODAY. That's it. The only one claiming that scientists know something to be the only explanation is YOU.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/20/2010 11:17:13 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
These things are within our physical reach TODAY, but as I mentioned we got our measurements BEFORE we were able to reach them

Wow, now I've reached the point of arguing with an idiot because I clearly JUST SAID that exact same thing in my previous post. Either you didn't read it, or (as I said earlier) your reading comprehension skills are poor.

quote:
I don't understand where you get this crazy idea that scientists claim to know everything for certain. That's not at all how science works!

Keep reading my original posts, maybe you will get it one day.

*walks away in disgust


RE: Didn't we just...
By maven81 on 7/20/2010 12:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
That's funny, weren't you the one that moaned about people calling you names and saying you wanted a civilized discussion? Seems to me like you're the idiot if you can't even express what you're trying to say.
Time and time again presented with multiple explanations of why your existential psychobabble was either implausible or silly, you still persist. That's the definition of stupidity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/20/2010 12:31:57 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Seems to me like you're the idiot if you can't even express what you're trying to say.

I expressed what I was trying to convey just fine (and got immediately persecuted). It's funny how some people got it, some didn't. It's all opinion anyway, so no-one is better than the other. What I get angry at is how you just right to negative comments about me just because you don't understand my points.

Agreeing to disagree would be a good option here.


RE: Didn't we just...
By maven81 on 7/20/2010 2:22:28 PM , Rating: 2
I'm afraid it is you who don't get it. Let me spell it out for you.

1)No one claims to know exactly .

2)There's a difference between being able to measure something, and being able to comprehend it. You will find that while we can observe and measure many phenomena we don't claim to understand exactly how they work.

3)Even if the things we see are not exactly what they appear to be, that does not affect our reality! For instance if we lived in a 9 dimensional universe and the sun was actually nothing more then a shadow of some other incomprehensible object, it still wouldn't change the fact that in our dimension it's a star, with specific properties we can learn. It's like an ant drowning in an olympic size pool... the ant will never know if the pool is a pool, a river, or an ocean. The word ocean will not have any meaning to him. But that will not change the fact that water is wet, that gravity makes pulls him down etc.
Let me repeat that, we can do amazing science without fully comprehending everything, and by putting the knowledge we gain in doubt you give a great disservice to every scientist.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/20/2010 3:39:21 PM , Rating: 2
You are taking a simple concept and blowing it to a 9 dimensional universe proportion? Again you are playing your on twist on to my posts. Even more evident that you - don't - get - my - point.

I asked if we could just agree to disagree about the subject, so I'm just going to assume that you are acting like a complete tool by now.


RE: Didn't we just...
By maven81 on 7/20/2010 3:45:59 PM , Rating: 2
It just pains you to admit that you don't have a clue what you're talking about doesn't it! Calling me a tool won't change that.


RE: Didn't we just...
By bh192012 on 7/20/2010 11:50:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Purely false. There is not one single piece of existing technology that allows us to measure anything outside of our physical reach (that you can claim to be accurate). Do you measure to cut boards with a pair of binoculars? No, we physically measure it, and can justify it as being accurate. You can see other galaxies/stars/planets/etc sure, but we can not say "fact" anything. All observations are purely speculative and the opinion of whoever is looking.


Why do you think laying a strip of tape on something is more accurate than using lasers/optics and time/math? You can ponder some great illusion just beyond our reach if you want but you're going to have a much more difficult time with an illusion within arms reach. Any reality distorion field that close will also screw up your tape measure and render logic pointless.

At this point we can all go home and give up on logic, or we can admit things like "optics, lasers and math" are more accurate than a tape measure. Our brains use something called parallax to measure distance, so we don't walk into walls etc. We can use the same technique to measure things in space out to a thousand or more light years.
Great, now we've established a large collection of stars distance in our galaxy with accuracy. Using other techniques we also know the size, spectral type, metalicity and other facts about these stars. Facts that you have to accept as true, unless you go around flinching and disbelieving that the tree in front of you is actually far away. These facts are not paper thin at all. They are thick and tougher than steel.

We can now use these stars as benchmarks. Some of these stars act in a very specific way, Type 1a supernova for instance reach a very specific size, brightness etc. as determined by math. Now we can use those facts to determine distance. Is it exact, perfect accuracy down to the mm? No, but we can calculate the margin of error and it isn't terrible. The margin of error does get bigger as we try to measure things that are farther away, but it tends to be reasonable, otherwise it gets shot down by other skeptical scientists before it gets published.

(ps. I would love to see a sniper measure distance with a tape measure.)


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/20/2010 12:49:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
At this point we can all go home and give up on logic, or we can admit things like "optics, lasers and math" are more accurate than a tape measure.

If you think that this was anything close to the point I was making the you were looking way too far into my post. I guess you: 1. made an assumption that I was an uneducated boob. and 2. that I acutally think we would use tape measures as the most accurate method.
quote:
now we've established a large collection of stars distance in our galaxy with accuracy.

LOL! Thanks for proving my point! What did we compare our math to in order to produce an "accurate" result? HAHA you just don't get it do you?

It's like me standing away from a suspended object; I calculated the area of said object using [insert several reasonable methods]. Make a note that the object is line of sight only and we have no way of physically reaching it. We also have no way of knowing what's on the other side of this object. It could actually be cone shaped for all we know.

And for those of you too gullible to understand this next concept: The best images we have ever seen for objects within distance galaxies have been about the same size as this dot(and smaller!). What most people see is rendered images of what "we think" these look like in detail.

http://www.le.ac.uk/ph/faulkes/web/galaxies/r_ga_s...

This is what we really see. And if you find anything "fact based" conclusive from that then you are surely arrogant to say so.


RE: Didn't we just...
By maven81 on 7/20/2010 2:40:09 PM , Rating: 2
"It's like me standing away from a suspended object; I calculated the area of said object using [insert several reasonable methods]. Make a note that the object is line of sight only and we have no way of physically reaching it. We also have no way of knowing what's on the other side of this object. It could actually be cone shaped for all we know."

You are VASTLY downplaying our knowledge. (And even the power of deductive reasoning). A cone would have a different volume then say a sphere. The different volume would have a different mass. The different mass would have a different gravity which would be something we could theoretically detect even if it was half way across the known universe.
You again stubbornly refuse to accept that we HAVE solved problems like this one. We've determined that some asteroids are rubble piles while others are solid rock without ever stepping foot on one. How is that possible in your world?

"And for those of you too gullible to understand this next concept: The best images we have ever seen for objects within distance galaxies have been about the same size as this dot(and smaller!). What most people see is rendered images of what "we think" these look like in detail."

You don't know what the hell you're talking about. For example the nearest galaxy, Andromeda appears to take up 3 degrees of our sky. For reference, the full moon is about half a degree. That means Andromeda looks 6x wider then the full moon! (it's just a very dim object, so unless you have a dark sky it's pretty hard to make it out).
We can see individual stars in galaxies tens of millions of lightyears away. Granted galaxies billions of lightyears away look like a faint smudge but they still take up more then 1 pixel.
Now if you get into radio astronomy and set up arrays of telescopes all acting as one dish we have indeed resolved features of galaxies billions of lightyears away.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/20/2010 3:27:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Now if you get into radio astronomy and set up arrays of telescopes all acting as one dish we have indeed resolved features of galaxies billions of lightyears away.

And yet they are still a few pixels in size. My point exactly.


RE: Didn't we just...
By maven81 on 7/20/2010 3:41:48 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong!

Here's a radio image of Quasar 3C273 which is 2.4 billion light years away.
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2000/0131/0131_ra...
Now tell me that's several pixels! You can now try to spin that by several you mean 100... but you specifically said "the size of this dot".


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/20/2010 4:22:37 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, now point out to me in that blurry little picture a water based planet. LoL, you can't. That's supposed to be an entire galaxy in an image half the size of a piece of notebook paper. You have got to be kidding me haha.

The reason I ask is because how many times have you read an article that says, "Water based planet discovered 6 billion ly away that may support life"... in a supposed reputable science based media.

I'm going to keep replying just because you can't agree to disagree, and it seems to make you angry.


RE: Didn't we just...
By maven81 on 7/20/2010 6:06:37 PM , Rating: 2
"Ok, now point out to me in that blurry little picture a water based planet. LoL, you can't. That's supposed to be an entire galaxy in an image half the size of a piece of notebook paper. You have got to be kidding me haha.

The reason I ask is because how many times have you read an article that says, "Water based planet discovered 6 billion ly away that may support life"... in a supposed reputable science based media."


Uh, that would be never. Of the over 400 extrasolar planets discovered so far not a single one is outside of this galaxy. Hell, they aren't even outside our local neighborhood. I think the furthest ones are around 25,000 lightyears away. THOUSAND.
Second, none of them have been described as water based. And finally I think only a handful are in an orbit that may be suitable for life temperature wise. (not boiling hot or frozen over). So you better post some links about this discovery because that would be a big deal!

"I'm going to keep replying just because you can't agree to disagree, and it seems to make you angry."

Or I just enjoy pointing out how silly your assertions are, and injecting real astronomy into daily tech since we get to talk about it pretty rarely.


RE: Didn't we just...
By SPOOFE on 7/19/2010 5:14:00 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The speed of light was "proven" if you will, to not be an end all be all in the world of constants.

Incorrect. You're mistaking C with "the velocity of individual photons". Affecting the latter does nothing to the former.

quote:
If you were to assume that this is true, then you should also conclude that this would change A LOT of previous "fool proof" foundational methods to determine things like start distance, etc.

Except the speed of light is not the only metric used to determine distance. It is, however, consistent with other metrics used to determine distance.

quote:
Don't misunderstand me, as I stated earlier, I know that there are different methods as well. I am simply calling to question some people's undying belief in claiming to know the distance of something that we can't touch.

If you know there are other methods, why no commentary on those other methods? You have this myopic focus on C when you need to encompass the totality of observations.

quote:
But does no-one seriously question how you could conclusively say that anything outside of our reach (physical) absolutely can not be verified with "knowing" fact?

Lots of people question it. None of them, like you, can propose a mechanism nor provide questions that encompass all methods of measurement similarly. You have a high bar to reach in terms of bringing up serious questions to prevailing theory; your questions, and the vehemence with which you present them, indicate you have no clue about the prevailing theory. You're just another ignorant boob.

quote:
I'll give you a simple question that is meant to test logic conclusion: How do you know that light/matter/energy travels in the same way/manner between galaxies as it does in them?

We have no reason to believe it doesn't. The impetus is on YOU to provide a mechanism by which this would be possible.

If we lived in a world in which burden of proof is shifted to the questionee instead of the questioner, I could simply demand that you prove you've never molested children and throw you in jail, you dirty, sick pedophile.


RE: Didn't we just...
By hr824 on 7/19/2010 11:13:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you know there are other methods, why no commentary on those other methods? You have this myopic focus on random numbers when you need to encompass the totality of observations


quote:
If we lived in a world in which burden of proof is shifted to the questionee instead of the questioner, I could simply demand that you prove you've never molested children and throw you in jail, you dirty, sick pedophile.


Say aren't you that global warming denier?


RE: Didn't we just...
By snakeInTheGrass on 7/19/2010 4:24:58 PM , Rating: 1
Paper-thin assumption has to be one of the funniest ways I've ever heard of to explain away actual measurements in possible favor of religious (paper) texts. I know which I find paper thin. LOL. ;)

I think you are correct in that measurements are being refined all the time (look at Hubbles measurements of galactic distances, the amount of mass needed to hold galaxies together as they are seen, etc.), new discoveries are changing how we interpret results (the telescope demonstrated that the 'perfect' celestial spheres were anything but...), etc., but with all of those caveats I'm certain that trying to figure out evidence is 'light years' ahead of trying to look at old creation myths as a basis for understanding the universe. Is String Theory correct? It's a theory. Can we ever know everything? Very unlikely.

You're also right that you can point out any evidence you want, and many people will go on believing what they want - maybe even most, if the numbers that believe in completely unobservable and fantastical stories are to be believed. Sadly it's very difficult to un-condition minds that have been raised with bizarre and illogical concepts as 'real' and expect them to easily shed those preconceptions, even more so when it is strongly encouraged not to dis-believe and that 'faith' in illogical things is somehow a positive thing.

And people can read that as justifying their own positions as well. ;)


RE: Didn't we just...
By eggman on 7/19/2010 4:51:19 PM , Rating: 1
I have Faith in science.


RE: Didn't we just...
By SPOOFE on 7/19/2010 5:20:11 PM , Rating: 2
I don't.


RE: Didn't we just...
By eggman on 7/20/2010 10:42:00 AM , Rating: 2
Did you ever fly in a plane?


RE: Didn't we just...
By bh192012 on 7/19/2010 5:37:28 PM , Rating: 1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_candle

Quadrillity, you should probably read a book on this topic if you're actually interested. Otherwise if you want the quick internet answer, see the link above.


RE: Didn't we just...
By Josett on 7/19/2010 7:20:53 PM , Rating: 1
I'll just negate your statements in bold , so, perhaps, you can answer your own questions.

quote:
I thought it was concluded in that particular discussion that people are not ultimately going to believe what they want to believe; Since evidence is not subjective and all...


quote:
I could argue that the methods used to extrapolate this conclusion of "we see something 5 billion light years away" is not heavily reliant on many paper thin assumptions. So in a sense, if you believe the assumptions to be true /false , then you will not conclude that the 5 billion light years away to be true /false
quote:


quote:
When introducing the experiments that slowed the speed of light down (significantly), I ask how you can not truly be sure of the finding. I'm NOT just posing a question. (Before you take a jab at me, I understand that there are other methods of gathering data; I am just curious to see how those too are not subjective and not assuming).


Cheers!


RE: Didn't we just...
By Quadrillity on 7/20/2010 9:11:47 AM , Rating: 2
How does this add to the discussion at all? lol


RE: Didn't we just...
By Josett on 7/20/2010 11:19:25 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. I had a hunch it'd be an useless point.

Well... Cheers anyway!


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