Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

The Most Stupid Question...

  • Please log in to reply
171 replies to this topic

#1 clusterbuster

clusterbuster

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 628
  • Joined: 13 Mar 2016
  • Loc: Tampa Bay, Fl.

Posted 14 March 2019 - 06:06 AM

What is the Most Stupid Question that You have been asked about astronomy ?

FOR ME; A friend of mine sveral years ago invited me and my girl to join him and his wife on the upcoming Saturday night to play cards. I told him that we were going to go observe with the Telescopes. HE THEN REPLIED; You look at them all of the time, HAVEN'T YOU SEEN EVERYTHING YET ?

Mark


Edited by clusterbuster, 14 March 2019 - 06:39 AM.

  • Jon Isaacs, Vesper818, David Castillo and 8 others like this

#2 Jeff Struve

Jeff Struve

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 3791
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2010
  • Loc: Iowa, USA

Posted 14 March 2019 - 06:13 AM

"Do you really need to buy another telescope?"


  • George Bailey, Hesiod, Mike G. and 9 others like this

#3 John Turley

John Turley

    Explorer 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 93
  • Joined: 08 Mar 2014
  • Loc: Sheffield, England

Posted 14 March 2019 - 06:23 AM

I can remember years ago at a local astronomy club meeting, a junior member asking the question 'Why is Mercury the closest planet to the sun'.

 

Now if he had asked the question 'Why is the closest planet to the sun called Mercury', then that would have been a much more sensible question, and one to which I could have provided an answer.

 

John


  • clusterbuster likes this

#4 edwincjones

edwincjones

    Close Enough

  • *****
  • Posts: 12712
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2004

Posted 14 March 2019 - 06:26 AM

we could change this to the most stupid question WE have ever asked.

but no ---just too awkward 

 

edj


  • Jon Isaacs, csa/montana, bumm and 3 others like this

#5 clusterbuster

clusterbuster

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 628
  • Joined: 13 Mar 2016
  • Loc: Tampa Bay, Fl.

Posted 14 March 2019 - 06:36 AM

"Do you really need to buy another telescope?"

Jeff, 

Now, that's a STUPID QUESTION !

Mark


  • Jeff Struve likes this

#6 Starman47

Starman47

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 575
  • Joined: 10 Jun 2018
  • Loc: Tennessee

Posted 14 March 2019 - 06:40 AM

How far can you see with that thing? To which I replied, I don’t need to see very far since all the light comes to me. belushi.gif


  • izar187, paul m schofield, Exnihilo and 5 others like this

#7 salico

salico

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 541
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2016
  • Loc: Germany

Posted 14 March 2019 - 06:47 AM

"Why do you look at those stars and clusters? They seem not to move at all. Boring."


  • bumm and clusterbuster like this

#8 jfaldo

jfaldo

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 166
  • Joined: 12 Aug 2013
  • Loc: Midwest, Wy

Posted 14 March 2019 - 07:16 AM

"What could there possibly be up there to see"foreheadslap.gif


  • bumm, clusterbuster, kellyvictoria and 1 other like this

#9 kellyvictoria

kellyvictoria

    Ranger 4

  • *****
  • Posts: 308
  • Joined: 16 Apr 2017
  • Loc: Florida, 29 degrees N

Posted 14 March 2019 - 07:27 AM

Not a question but a statement: .

 

"Stop saying the word Takahashi, I think you just like to say "Takahashi".

and

"I am sure you can see thru the clouds by now".

 

vk


  • payner, Exnihilo, bumm and 2 others like this

#10 Myk Rian

Myk Rian

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 808
  • Joined: 11 Aug 2017
  • Loc: Hartland, Michigan

Posted 14 March 2019 - 07:30 AM

"What could there possibly be up there to see"foreheadslap.gif

That's what I got from my next door neighbor.

Myk
  • clusterbuster likes this

#11 TOMDEY

TOMDEY

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • Posts: 3576
  • Joined: 10 Feb 2014
  • Loc: Springwater, NY

Posted 14 March 2019 - 07:30 AM

When I was a little kid, mommy told me that the earth is round. I grasped that just fine, retorting, "what's on the other side?" What I was visualizing was that we were on the ~inside~ of a spherical cavity, like the inside of some futuristic space colony... but never having seen the outside... having no concept of an outside... and wondering if the ground therefore goes on forever, or eventually punches thru to... ~the other side~. Once I understood that we are already on the outside, my reaction was, "Yikes!" Made me feel very vulnerable.

 

Ironically, today, modern astronomers entertain the thought that we may be on the inside of a Black Hole... our entire Universe... on the inside of a Black Hole...    Tom

Attached Thumbnails

  • 34 80 Paracelsus Universe Sphere.jpg

  • Phil Cowell, dUbeni, bumm and 4 others like this

#12 Dynan

Dynan

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2439
  • Joined: 11 Mar 2018
  • Loc: NOLA

Posted 14 March 2019 - 07:43 AM

Can you see Nibiru?

 

And the constant, relentless, sophomoric:

"Can you see little green men?"


Edited by Dynan, 14 March 2019 - 09:40 AM.

  • Napp, clusterbuster, Freezout and 1 other like this

#13 BFaucett

BFaucett

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1036
  • Joined: 12 Jul 2014
  • Loc: Houston, Texas 29.779 -95.603 (approx)

Posted 14 March 2019 - 07:50 AM

Of course there's the "Can you see the flag?" question when looking at the Moon.


  • David Castillo, Philler, Tyson M and 5 others like this

#14 Tony Flanders

Tony Flanders

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16757
  • Joined: 18 May 2006
  • Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA

Posted 14 March 2019 - 08:05 AM

I don't think that any of the questions listed here so far is stupid. Think of them, rather, as a teachable moment.

 

For instance, the answer to the question "haven't you seen it all?" -- which frankly I have asked myself more than once -- is a quote from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

 

Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is.

 

So no, for all practical purposes the amount of stuff that you can see through a telescope is infinite. And that goes even for a small, simple, cheap telescope.


  • Jon Isaacs, csa/montana, stevew and 7 others like this

#15 Migwan

Migwan

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1117
  • Joined: 24 Jul 2017
  • Loc: Meeechigan

Posted 14 March 2019 - 08:25 AM

Is there is such thing as a stupid question?   Careful how you answer that, cause it demonstrates your outlook.   jd


  • Jon Isaacs, Vesper818, bumm and 5 others like this

#16 Allanbarth1

Allanbarth1

    Soyuz

  • -----
  • Posts: 3959
  • Joined: 29 Apr 2016
  • Loc: Central New Jersey

Posted 14 March 2019 - 08:55 AM

The only stupid question is the one you don't ask. 

 

Now silly questions on the other hand.....

 

Once a friend asked me if I could see the other side of the moon with my telescope.....hmm.gif


  • Vesper818, photonhunter, Exnihilo and 4 others like this

#17 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 76151
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 14 March 2019 - 09:03 AM

I was about 8 years old.  We lived about 100 yards up the hill from a well known southern California beach. I spent a lot of time body surfing. It was probably mid September and I had just gotten out of the water. 

 

A lady with a small dog came up to me and asked me ;

 

"Is that water wet? "

 

I still wonder about that more that 60 years later .. Seemed very strange at the time. 

 

I answered something to the effect of "yes ."

 

Jon


  • Exnihilo, bumm, airbleeder and 2 others like this

#18 Exnihilo

Exnihilo

    Apollo

  • *****
  • Posts: 1332
  • Joined: 02 Aug 2010
  • Loc: Tempe, AZ

Posted 14 March 2019 - 09:10 AM

"What makes it so powerful? Does it have batteries or something?"

But I gotta agree, there really aren't "stupid" questions, only funny ones.
  • Jon Isaacs, bumm, Napp and 1 other like this

#19 Jeff Struve

Jeff Struve

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 3791
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2010
  • Loc: Iowa, USA

Posted 14 March 2019 - 09:13 AM

I was about 8 years old.  We lived about 100 yards up the hill from a well known southern California beach. I spent a lot of time body surfing. It was probably mid September and I had just gotten out of the water. 

 

A lady with a small dog came up to me and asked me ;

 

"Is that water wet? "

 

I still wonder about that more that 60 years later .. Seemed very strange at the time. 

 

I answered something to the effect of "yes ."

 

Jon

 

That is a good question... is water really wet... or are only solid things that come into contact with it wet?


  • bumm, clusterbuster, Allanbarth1 and 2 others like this

#20 HubSky

HubSky

    Vostok 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 159
  • Joined: 28 Dec 2011
  • Loc: Virginia

Posted 14 March 2019 - 09:20 AM

If it's an honest and genuine question then I don't think there are any stupid questions. To me it becomes a stupid question when someone is asking a question that they know the answer to but are trying to make themselves look smart.


  • Vesper818, Vondragonnoggin, bumm and 4 others like this

#21 Jon Isaacs

Jon Isaacs

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 76151
  • Joined: 16 Jun 2004
  • Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA

Posted 14 March 2019 - 09:24 AM

That is a good question... is water really wet... or are only solid things that come into contact with it wet?

 

The question was specific: "That water ." .I don't think one asks 8 year old boys philosophical questions ..

 

My take was the lady had never seen the ocean before and the pounding surf was quite different than any water she had ever seen .

 

Jon



#22 Jeff Struve

Jeff Struve

    Soyuz

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 3791
  • Joined: 05 Nov 2010
  • Loc: Iowa, USA

Posted 14 March 2019 - 09:32 AM

The question was specific: "That water ." .I don't think one asks 8 year old boys philosophical questions ..

 

My take was the lady had never seen the ocean before and the pounding surf was quite different than any water she had ever seen .

 

Jon

So... I guess my question was stupid!

 

:)


  • Voyageur likes this

#23 zleonis

zleonis

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 173
  • Joined: 27 Mar 2018
  • Loc: Richmond, VA

Posted 14 March 2019 - 09:47 AM

I for one completely relate to the people asking whether you can see the lunar landing site. Sure, the flag we left on the moon would have to be on the order of 1000 larger or closer to be visible through an amateur telescope, but if you asked me a question like how big is a mitochondria or how far apart are the molecules in the air we breathe on average, I could see my guess be off by a few powers of ten. And even with celestial distances that I 'know', it takes an extraordinary mental effort to make the distance to an object any more meaningful to me than its catalog designation.

 

And the question of 'how far can you see' seems like an interesting one even if your answer is 'just' the most distant galaxy, quasar, etc that you personally have observed with the scope in question. The question of 'how far can you see in principle' is almost too mind-boggling to contemplate.


  • Jon Isaacs, bumm and Lenard like this

#24 csa/montana

csa/montana

    Den Mama & Gold Star Award Winner

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 99941
  • Joined: 14 May 2005
  • Loc: montana

Posted 14 March 2019 - 09:52 AM

Frankly, I hate the word "stupid".  Any question that may show interest in our hobby is possibly a step forward to teach about astronomy.  I'm quite sure that I'm not alone, when I was a beginner; to ask questions that seasoned observers might deem "stupid".  However, I was not made out to be "stupid", rather the people graciously answered my questions.

 

How about if we try to do the same?


  • Jon Isaacs, Vesper818, Javier1978 and 12 others like this

#25 Tony Flanders

Tony Flanders

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 16757
  • Joined: 18 May 2006
  • Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA

Posted 14 March 2019 - 09:59 AM

If it's an honest and genuine question then I don't think there are any stupid questions. To me it becomes a stupid question when someone is asking a question that they know the answer to but are trying to make themselves look smart.

Well phrased! I couldn't agree more.


  • Exnihilo, bumm, theropod and 1 other like this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics