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#26 perfessor

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 09:15 AM

"Where does gravity come from?" from a 10 year old girl. I told her that if she figured that out, she'd be famous.

But then I shifted into a brief explanation of orbits, and mass, and why the sun is at the center of the Solar System, and why the things we were looking at (moon and planets) were always "moving around".

I actually get a lot of questions relating to the mechanics of orbits - why we can't see Jupiter now ("hasn't risen yet"), why we'll be able to see it much better in a few months; how these planets, just like the sun, rise in the east and set in the west; why conjunctions are temporary and wonderful. They're just not used to thinking about it.

Oh, and minions - do you get those from the same place you get henchmen? Or is that a different franchise?

#27 csrlice12

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 09:29 AM

Minions are smaller and more compact...and not necessarily human.

#28 desertlens

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 12:52 PM

"Where does gravity come from?" from a 10 year old girl. I told her that if she figured that out, she'd be famous.



Excellent question... and answer. It's important to acknowledge what remains unresolved... the origin of mass?

#29 desertlens

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 12:56 PM

I think that what gets people engaged and questioning is related to the ideas that you can get people to think about. And that's what makes outreach rewarding for me.



Bill, I think you've hit the nail on the head here. Outreach is an informal thing for me, usually among those friends that will listen. Your presentations are bound to generate more inquiry.

#30 amicus sidera

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 01:13 PM

Minions are smaller and more compact...and not necessarily human.


Yes, considerably more portable than henchmen... wage and hour laws don't apply either, although they've got a heck of a union...

:grin:

#31 jmandell

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 01:19 PM

I was doing an event last night with probably 500 people looking at the moon and Saturn. We got the normal "what power?", "how much", "how far", etc.

But I got a question I've never expected, pondered, or ever thought existed.

"This thing has great resolution. How many pixels does it have?"

I was taken aback by this, and didn't know how to answer this, so I just told him how the optical path works, etc.

Anyone else ever get that one?

#32 desertlens

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 01:52 PM

"This thing has great resolution. How many pixels does it have?"



An entertaining question... sort of like: What is the meaning of X÷0? The world of digital cameras has got people thinking about resolution in terms of pixels... even where they don't exist.

#33 jmandell

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 08:41 PM

"This thing has great resolution. How many pixels does it have?"



An entertaining question... sort of like: What is the meaning of X÷0? The world of digital cameras has got people thinking about resolution in terms of pixels... even where they don't exist.


I honestly think that he thought there was a video screen in the eyepiece or mirror, so I proceeded to show him how the optical path worked. It is an interesting question, though.

#34 Skylook123

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:48 PM

My wife, super fan of Despicable Me I & II, who's had her share of interesting questions as a high school science teacher and sometime telescope operator at the Grand Canyon Star Party, just said "You have to grow your own minions...That's what grandchildren are for."

#35 gravitino

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 02:28 PM

"This thing has great resolution. How many pixels does it have?"



Cool question. In this case, your EYE is acting in place of the camera, so the each individual receptor cell is like a pixel. If you assume you are only using the rods (non-color sensitive cells on your retina) in the dark, then there are about 120 million rods. If a megapixel is 1 million pixels, that is about 120 megapixels. :-)

Clear skies,
-- Shane

#36 UND_astrophysics

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 05:13 PM

I offered to lend them a copy or Richard Dawkins' "The Magic of Reality". They declined.


Man that is real inspiration. I will have to remember that response ha ha.
Dawkins is a real piece of work, and the real deal no doubt.

#37 oldtimer

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 05:38 PM

My standard answer to "how much did this cost?" is "Less than a bass boat or a Harley".

#38 csrlice12

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 07:37 AM

Overheard one night:

How long did it take to build that? (large homebuilt truss dob)

Billions of years.....he then went on to describe how all the elements in the universe were created by stars.....it always kind of stuck with me,,,thus the little blurb in my signature.

#39 desertlens

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 07:01 PM

...then there are about 120 million rods. If a megapixel is 1 million pixels, that is about 120 megapixels. :-)



Heck, I was wondering about this myself... good answer. :bow:

#40 Ira

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:57 PM

What's the magnification of that telescope?

Answer: It's arbitrary. Magnification is meaningless. I can make it as high as you want but it won't be useful magnification.

/Ira

#41 skyguy88

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 10:25 PM

Magnification becomes completely ambiguous with a video display. You double your magnification by halving your distance to the screen.

Bill

#42 jmandell

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 05:34 AM

"This thing has great resolution. How many pixels does it have?"



Cool question. In this case, your EYE is acting in place of the camera, so the each individual receptor cell is like a pixel. If you assume you are only using the rods (non-color sensitive cells on your retina) in the dark, then there are about 120 million rods. If a megapixel is 1 million pixels, that is about 120 megapixels. :-)

Clear skies,
-- Shane


Very interesting. I'd given some more thought to it, but assuming each rod as a pixel never occurred me. I suppose if I ever get that question again, I'll have an answer!

Thanks






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