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Thread: new column for Astronomy magazine

  1. #1
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    Hey folks-- just a note; I have started writing a regular column for Astronomy Magazine's website. The first one is online:
    Everything's Under the Sun. The column is monthly, and the second one is already done (for November) and the third is being checked by my crack team of editors (actually, my wife).

  2. #2
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    Oh, so now you're a Contributing Editor? [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img] Congradulations on the new column. BTW, I don't remember off the top of my head, but what happened with your deal with the German Magazine?

  3. #3
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    ------ [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] THE FOLLOWING POST IS A JOKE [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif[/img] -------
    Well well well, if it isn't mister big shot astronomer getting YET ANOTHER source of income! [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif[/img] [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] Just like movie stars, pro-athletes and rock stars, scientists can never get enough of anything! [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img] [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif[/img] [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif[/img] [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    Congratulations! And may your new found source of revenues bring you many a new possessions which in turn will bring you joy! [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img] [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif[/img] [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif[/img] [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    Joking! Come on! Where's your sense of humor!

  4. #4
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    Bad Astronomer:

    That is a great article! I have saved the site. I subscribe to a number of science journals and magazines and have always liked Astronomy magazine (to which I subscribe), because it handles such a variety of topics in astrophysics and cosmology, as well as the expected astronomy topics. I am well acquainted with many of the writers from other sources, to which I also subscribe, such as SCIENCE.

    ljbrs [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

  5. #5
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    BA,

    Congratulations! I hope your career as a scientist and popularizer of science continues to prosper. We need some smart and dedicated people to step into some big shoes, for instance those of Asimov and Sagan.

    After I read your first two paragraphs, I said, "Aha! He's going to point out that our sun is unusual because it's not part of a binary or trinary system!". But you surprised me... [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]


  6. #6
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    The article is actually very good, Bad Astronomer. Congratulations from Planet P.

  7. #7
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    I suppose it all comes down to definition. Most non-astronomers would compare our Sun against the stars that are visible with the naked eye. Given that as a criteria our Sun looses it "A" grade (unless of course we assume the unique perspective of planet Earth).

    Jeff

  8. #8
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    Glad to hear about the new column. I've been a satisfied subscriber to Astronomy since high school, many, many years ago.

  9. #9
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    Isn't it also true that the sun is unusually rich in metals and heavy elements? (Keeping in mind that "metal" to an astronomer is anything that's not hydrogen or helium.)

  10. #10
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    Heh. Actually, I didn't even think to mention that the Sun is solitary and not part of a multiple system, nor did I think about the high metallicity. Figures. Well, I can't think of everything. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    Thanks for the comments, folks.

  11. #11
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    On 2001-10-26 11:35, The Bad Astronomer wrote:
    Heh. Actually, I didn't even think to mention that the Sun is solitary and not part of a multiple system, nor did I think about the high metallicity. Figures. Well, I can't think of everything. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    Thanks for the comments, folks.
    Well, it looks like you have some material for a future column then. You can do a nice follow-up. Perhaps you can talk about the local stellar neighborhood?


  12. #12
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    Awesome, but left with one silly nagging question...

    What colour is Sol in reality? I have heard people call it a white dwarf, whilst others have called it a yellow dwarf, me is confused (bad English on purpose by the way...).

    Matt

  13. #13
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    On 2001-10-26 12:31, StarTux wrote:
    Awesome, but left with one silly nagging question...

    What colour is Sol in reality? I have heard people call it a white dwarf, whilst others have called it a yellow dwarf, me is confused (bad English on purpose by the way...).

    Matt
    http://www.vendian.org/mncharity/dir...color/sun.html

  14. #14
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    I can't be left out, so...

    Congrats on the new column, BA.

  15. #15
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    The Sun is:
    1) White, by human visual response definition.
    2) A main sequence star (not dwarf).

  16. #16
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    On 2001-10-26 11:35, The Bad Astronomer wrote:
    Well, I can't think of everything. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img]
    Sure you can. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  17. #17
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    On 2001-10-26 16:50, Mr. X wrote:
    On 2001-10-26 11:35, The Bad Astronomer wrote:
    Well, I can't think of everything. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img]
    Sure you can. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]
    It just takes infinite time.

    Or was this just another pad-post? [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  18. #18
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    Good article. I've always appreciated Astronomy Magazine. Some years ago I joined a literary "festival" promoted by them, about the tension "Science vs Religion", sending a 1000 word article. It was a nice gesture from them. Harboring the reader's points of view is something that indicates a high level of concern and professionalism. From that moment on Astronomy became my most cherished "light" astronomy magazine. I Wish you success!

  19. #19
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    BA,
    I was under the impression that brown dwarfs were massive enough to fuse deuterium but not massive enough to fuse hydrogen and that red dwarfs were the smallest stars that "burn" hydrogen.

  20. #20
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    All *Main Sequence* stars are *dwarf* stars, including our Sun (Sol). Now a *White Dwarf* star is different from an ordinary *Main Sequence* dwarf star and is, instead, a compact star at the end of its evolutionary cycle and definitely not on the Main Sequence. White Dwart stars are extremely compact and must be under 1.44 Solar Masses (the *Chandrasekhar Limit* for White Dwarf stars). The Sun will eventually become a White Dwarf star. Before that time, it will leave the Main Sequence and go through the Red Giant stage, shedding its outer layers in a complicated process before it eventually collapses into a compact White Dwarf star. This evolutionary period will not occur for approximately 5 billion years, so do not hold your breath in anticipation...

    ljbrs [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ljbrs on 2001-10-27 19:50 ]</font>

  21. #21
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    20011028 12:46 A.M. PST (yep) HUb' "LEFT:"
    On 2001-10-26 11:35, wrote: Everythings Under the Sun (p1
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  22. #22
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    I have to admire a website that lets me know that I need to turn on my javascript. (Although I think I didn't really need to to read the text; it's a nice change...)

    Also

    Good job B.A.! Keep us informed!

  23. #23
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    On 2001-10-26 08:00, ToSeek wrote:
    Isn't it also true that the sun is unusually rich in metals and heavy elements? (Keeping in mind that "metal" to an astronomer is anything that's not hydrogen or helium.)
    Since nobody else answered this yet..

    Rich as opposed to how much is in the Earth? Yes, probably. The spectral lines tell us that much. But rich in comparison to the overall sun? Not at all. H and He outmoles heavier elements by many orders of magnitude. The heavier elements you're thinking of were created in supergiants, so all the non-H and non-He in our solar system came from some long deceased star. (Our sun has no where near the mass needed to fuse Helium into Carbon when its Hydrogen fuel runs out in 5 billion years or so.)

  24. #24
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    On 2001-10-29 10:49, Mnemonia wrote:
    On 2001-10-26 08:00, ToSeek wrote:
    Isn't it also true that the sun is unusually rich in metals and heavy elements? (Keeping in mind that "metal" to an astronomer is anything that's not hydrogen or helium.)
    Since nobody else answered this yet..

    Rich as opposed to how much is in the Earth? Yes, probably. The spectral lines tell us that much. But rich in comparison to the overall sun? Not at all. H and He outmoles heavier elements by many orders of magnitude. The heavier elements you're thinking of were created in supergiants, so all the non-H and non-He in our solar system came from some long deceased star. (Our sun has no where near the mass needed to fuse Helium into Carbon when its Hydrogen fuel runs out in 5 billion years or so.)
    My understanding that the sun is unusually rich in heavy elements when compared with other, otherwise similar stars.


    <font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: ToSeek on 2001-10-29 11:00 ]</font>

  25. #25
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    No, I think rich means in comparison to other stars of it's class. I think it's common knowledge that Hydrogen makes up the vast majority of the mass of the sun. But I've heard it too that our sun has a larger percentage of elements other than H and He in it than most stars.

    What I don't know is how does this compare to other stars in the nearby area. Are we special compared to our neihbors, or are most of the other stars near us also higher than normal?

  26. #26
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    On 2001-10-29 11:01, David Hall wrote:

    What I don't know is how does this compare to other stars in the nearby area. Are we special compared to our neihbors, or are most of the other stars near us also higher than normal?
    And if they are, does that mean that we live in the Lake Wobegone sector of the Milky Way? [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img] I haven't seen anything about the sun having more dense stuff than normal, but I wasn't really willing to sift through Google stuff to check completely.

    Ben

  27. #27
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    ... does that mean that we live in the Lake Wobegone sector of the Milky Way? ...
    Where the sunspots are strong, the spectra are good looking and the metals are above average [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_confused.gif[/img]

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