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Extreme observatory in the Antarctic: what are they looking for?

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posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 01:39 AM
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Originally posted by luxordelphi
So to answer your question - I'm looking for a quantity X to explain anomalies that I see by my own observations and also to explain the ones I read about like this one, as an example, from 2002 that says, according to MIT, that Pluto is undergoing global warming:

web.mit.edu...



Thanks for the link. And I understand your position in searching for answers re: the anomalies you are observing.

But given your response to my questions about the "major effects" that would have to be resulting if those photos really did in fact identify a planet, I guess I'm having difficulty understanding the point then in posting the NZ photographer's link in your OP.

Based on your response it would seem you agree that those pics are not of a planet. Am I correct, or am I misinterpreting?

edit on 3-12-2011 by ColAngus because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 02:04 AM
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reply to post by luxordelphi
 




Still looking for a reasonable reason for all this carryon at the South Pole.


I've answered each of your questions. You've been given the reasons but you don't seem to understand astronomy well enough to understand them.

Because the seeing at Dome A is more than twice as good as it is on Mauna Kea.
Because the seeing at Dome A is three times better than it is at Cerro Paranal (Atacama, and yes, they had to build a road to the top of a 2,635 meter mountain to build a telescope there). Because the seeing is so good at Dome A that very good observations can be made with smaller telescopes.

Because the long sunless winter allows continuous observations of the light fluctuations of stars.

Because looking for exoplanets is only one of the things that can be accomplished with the surveys being conducted there.

Because the CSTAR telescope can be operated remotely.

Because by using the "puny" CSTAR telescope effective astronomical observations can be made while learning about the problems which may be encountered with establishing larger telescopes on the site.

Because Dome A is possibly the best place for astronomy on the planet. That makes it worth the effort.

Dome A has been selected as one of the major goals of development for Chinese astronomy for the next decade; Major Instruments are proposed;

aag.bao.ac.cn...

Do you think it was easy to build those huge telescopes on those mountaintops? Do you think it was cheap? Do you think those telescopes were built specifically to look for that "something" that you think is out there? What about the space telescopes? They can see the southern sky just as well as a telescope on the south pole could. Do you think the Hubble Space Telescope is part of that plan? Kepler? Webb? Why else spend all that money and do all that work? No, it couldn't be just to do astronomy. It must be something much more than that. You know those astronomers, they're always up to something. Just can't trust them.


I wasn't able to determine if Keck is limiting themselves to a 20 degree section of sky or not.
I'm not sure what you mean but a 20º field of view is not "limited". It is a wide field of view...which is good for photometric surveys. It doesn't really make sense to compare CSTAR to Keck, they serve completely different roles. The Keck telescopes have a maximum field of view of 20 arcmin (0.33º). That's the largest area of sky each can cover at one time. Keck would require 360 exposures to cover the same area as a single CSTAR exposure.

edit on 12/3/2011 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 06:11 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 





Sure. great idea. The more the better. Of course, there is the problem of funding but there is at least one location considered suitable. Maybe someone will put an observatory there, especially if the work in Antarctica proves to be as fruitful as expected and testing shows the sites to be as promising as hoped.


Ellesmere Island is already experiencing global warming so would not be a good site for an observatory.

oceandots.com...


In recent times, however, the ice shelf has begun to break up into a series of smaller units — thought to be the result of rising temperatures in the Arctic.





No. It would be on the ecliptic. The Sun is on the ecliptic. When an object appears near the sun, it must be near the ecliptic as well.




No. If it was an object is visible "near" the Sun in New Zealand it would have been visible near the Sun everywhere on the planet where the Sun was visible




If it was an object far south of the ecliptic, it would not appear close to the Sun anywhere on the planet, even at the south pole.


The ecliptic is an east-west function as viewed from earth. If an object is south of the sun - that's a north-south function like longitude. It may be on the ecliptic, it may be crossing the ecliptic, it may be near the ecliptic or it may be south of the ecliptic or north of the ecliptic. As far as visibility from different latitudes, I've given a few examples below which also cover visibility at different latitudes for 'close to the sun' objects.

www.icq.eps.harvard.edu...


COMET C/1970 K1 (WHITE-ORTIZ-BOLELLI; O.S. 1970 VI). Seen visually only from the 18th of May until the first week of June; T = 1970 May 14. A member of the Kreutz sungrazing group of comets. Observable strictly from the southern hemisphere. Visible only very briefly after sunset within the evening twilight.



COMET C/1948 V1 (ECLIPSE COMET; O.S. 1948 XI). Period of naked-eye visibility extended from Nov. 1 until about Dec. 20; T = 1948 October 27. Visibility was limited to the southern hemisphere and low Northern latitudes. First spotted as a brilliant object situated about 2 degrees southwest of the sun during the total solar eclipse of November 1, at magnitude about -2.



COMET C/1927 X1 (SKJELLERUP-MARISTANY; O.S. 1927 IX). Visible to the unaided eye from Nov. 27 until early Jan.; T = 1927 December 18. Comet visible almost exclusively from the southern hemisphere; very small perihelion distance. Already visible to the naked eye at discovery, situated in the southern constellation of Norma and moving rapidly northward to the sun. Reported as magnitude +3 on December 3, with a 3-degree tail. On December 18, visible in the daytime adjacent to the sun, magnitude -6!



COMET C/1910 A1 (DAYLIGHT COMET; O.S. 1910 I). Visible with the unaided eye from Jan. 12 until mid-Feb.; T = 1910 January 17. Spotted from the Southern Hemisphere in the morning twilight of January 12 as a brilliant object of magnitude -1. Moved quickly into conjunction with the sun. Between January 17 and 19, visible to the unaided eye in the daytime, its brightness peaking at magnitude -5. Beginning January 20, seen in the evening twilight from the northern hemisphere, looking like Venus but with a 10-degree tail.



COMET C/1901 G1 (GREAT COMET; O.S. 1901 I). Followed with the naked eye from Apr. 12 until May 23; T = 1901 April 24. Also known as "Comet Viscara", this object was observed exclusively from the southern hemisphere. Discovered in the morning twilight as an object of second magnitude with a noticeable tail. Moved eastward passing south of the sun.



COMET C/1887 B1 (GREAT SOUTHERN COMET; O.S. 1887 I). Period of naked-eye visibility extended from Jan. 18 to the 30th; T = 1887 January 12. Referred to in some old texts as "The Headless Wonder"! Seen only from the Southern Hemisphere. Very brief period of visibility. Object a member of the Kreutz sungrazing group of comets. Detected first on January 18 in the evening twilight as a bright, narrow ribbon of light 40 degrees long, terminating at the southwestern horizon. When situated further from the sun in the following days



COMET C/1880 C1 (GREAT SOUTHERN COMET; O.S. 1880 I). Seen with the naked eye from Jan. 31 until Feb. 15, T = 1880 January 28. A member of the Kreutz sungrazing group of comets. Visibility limited to the Southern Hemisphere. First detected on the evening of January 31 as a bright beam of light extending from below the southwestern horizon. Comet moved eastward away from the sun.



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 06:17 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Had one more example to add to my previous.


COMET C/1843 D1 (GREAT MARCH COMET; O.S. 1843 I). Followed with the unaided eye from Feb. 5 until Apr. 3; T = 1843 February 27. Object a member of the Kreutz sungrazing group of comets. Spotted on February 5, low in the southwestern sky following evening twilight, of magnitude perhaps 3 or 4. Moved rapidly to conjunction with the sun. On the 28th, visible throughout the day in both Europe and America as a brilliant object immediately adjacent to the sun; incredibly bright (mag -6 to -8) and displaying a 3-degree tail against the blue sky! For the next two weeks, visible mainly from the southern hemisphere.


As far as visibilities from Oort distance, Kuiper distance, outer solar system distance and the differences between those from our perspective - comets really do tell it all. The only thing they don't tell is semi-fixed star.



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 06:41 PM
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reply to post by luxordelphi
 


What do you mean the ecliptic is an east/west function? Plus, those objects you list were in no way similar to the objects presented in your video...Of course there are objects in the sky that can only be viewed in the Southern Hemisphere...but an object such as the one in the picture would be visible wherever the Sun was visible...



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 06:56 PM
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reply to post by ColAngus
 




But given your response to my questions about the "major effects" that would have to be resulting if those photos really did in fact identify a planet, I guess I'm having difficulty understanding the point then in posting the NZ photographer's link in your OP.


I posted the photo in my OP because one reason for all the activity on the Antarctic Plateau could be that there is something to see which is best seen from the southern hemisphere. I think over 2 million people live in the arctic (north of 60 degrees) but in Antarctica (south of 60 degrees) there are only research stations with their attendant populations. A lot of them are there for other purposes than star gazing.

www.adventure-life.com...

As far as major effects - maybe I'll do a thread on that. There are major effects and have been for awhile...and not the least of those effects is the secrecy and confusion surrounding many of them. Are the effects major enough to account for something that 'looks' that big and that close? IMO, no but I haven't done the math. Still...if the photo is real, there's not a way to know how close or how far or how big or how substantial.




Based on your response it would seem you agree that those pics are not of a planet. Am I correct, or am I misinterpreting?


I don't know. I can't know anymore than anyone can know if it's lens flare or not.



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 07:12 PM
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reply to post by luxordelphi
 

Yes, an object may cross the ecliptic. But if it is near the Sun it will be near the Sun no matter where on Earth it is viewed from.


I've given a few examples below which also cover visibility at different latitudes for 'close to the sun' objects.


C/1970 K1: On May 28th (about the middle of the viewing period) the comet was about 21º from the Sun as viewed from Sydney. On the same date it was 21º from the Sun in Bakersfield, the same as in Sydney.

C/1927 X1: On December 11 the comet was about 15º from the Sun in Sydney. In Bakersfield it was the same distance from the Sun.

C/1910 A1: A very bright comet! On January 19 it was 3º from the Sun as viewed in Sydney. In Bakersfield it was the same distance from the Sun.

The same is true of all of your examples because that's the way the sky works. The location of a comet relative to the Sun is not affected by your location on Earth. If the "object" in the photos in the OP was that close to the Sun in New Zealand, it would have been that close to the Sun in Bakersfield and Anchorage.

ssd.jpl.nasa.gov.../1970%20K1



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 07:48 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


I think I understand what you are saying but I have one question.

Is it possible for an object to be inbound from the sun and be hidden from view till it is upon the earth and noticed at the "Last Minute" ?



posted on Dec, 3 2011 @ 08:40 PM
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reply to post by CherubBaby
 

An actual object angularly very close to the Sun would be lost in the Sun's glare to the naked eye. It would not be visible anymore than Mercury is right now.

But objects in space do not follow straight lines and the Earth moves through space. With that in mind, it is not feasible that an object "inbound from the Sun" could remain hidden then suddenly appear.



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 02:37 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


You say:




I've answered each of your questions. You've been given the reasons but you don't seem to understand astronomy well enough to understand them.


I do appreciate your opinions and also do appreciate your substantial contribution to this topic and very much appreciate being able to dialogue with someone who actually knows what they're talking about. You're a smart cookie and we wouldn't be talking if you weren't. Not sure what you mean about understanding astronomy in this context of possible hypothetical not for public consumption reasons for the extreme observatory on the Antarctic Plateau.

Your reasons for the location are the same reasons given in the literature. I understand all of those; I'm just not buying. The reasons I'm not buying:

You say:




Because the seeing at Dome A is more than twice as good as it is on Mauna Kea.
Because the seeing at Dome A is three times better than it is at Cerro Paranal (Atacama, and yes, they had to build a road to the top of a 2,635 meter mountain to build a telescope there). Because the seeing is so good at Dome A that very good observations can be made with smaller telescopes.


The seeing is so much better than at Mauna Kea and yet Mauna Kea found 18 exoplanets to Dome A's one possibility of an exoplanet. The seeing is so much better than at Atacama and yet at Atacama:


The average annual rainfall is about one inch (25 mm) and in some mid-deserts spots, rain has never been recorded, at least as long as humans have measured it.



Not even cacti grow there. The air is so dry that metal objects never oxidize and the meat left for long on open air preserves for unlimited time. Without moisture nothing rots.



It is so arid, that mountains that reach as high as 6,885 metres (22,590 feet) lack glaciers and, in the southern part from 25�S to 27�S, have possibly been glacier-free throughout the Ice Age. Travellers relate that during summer the drought is so severe that hair and beard crumble and fall and the nails chap.



The name of this desert seems to come from the native Atacama Indians, who still inhabit the area. Another thing: Atacama harbors one of the largest astronomic observatories, the Very Large Telescope, as here is one of the clearest skies on Earth to look at the stars.


news.softpedia.com...

www.eso.org...


The VLT has made an undisputed impact on observational astronomy. It is the most productive individual ground-based facility, and results from the VLT have led to the publication of an average of more than one peer-reviewed scientific paper per day. VLT contributes greatly to making ESO the most productive ground-based observatory in the world. The VLT has stimulated a new age of discoveries, with several notable scientific firsts, including the first image of an extrasolar planet (eso0428), tracking individual stars moving around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way (eso0846), and observing the afterglow of the furthest known Gamma-Ray Burst.


The seeing is so much better than at Atacama and Mauna Kea that tiny telescopes are ok and yet Atacama and Mauna Kea seem to see so much more.

You say:




Because the long sunless winter allows continuous observations of the light fluctuations of stars.


That's a good point and wasn't in the literature I read, however, so would the arctic allow that and climate in the arctic is not as harsh as the Antarctic Plateau.

You say:




Because looking for exoplanets is only one of the things that can be accomplished with the surveys being conducted there.


And yet that's basically what they say the're looking for and judging by what they say their activities with the data have been that's basically what they're looking for.




Because the CSTAR telescope can be operated remotely.


It has to be operated remotely because of the climate. A climate which was originally deemed worse than other sites for viewing and now has been deemed so good that tiny telescopes can supposedly do the work of giants at Atacama and Mauna Kea.

www.antarcticconnection.com...


The interior of Antarctica receives the most indirect rays from the sun which makes it cooler. For long periods in the winter it receives no sunlight at all. The interior has a very high altitude which adds to the very cold temperatures.


(continued in next post - ran out of room...)






edit on 4-12-2011 by luxordelphi because: correct last link



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 02:50 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


...continuation of previous reply


Because the interior of Antarctica is a land mass and far away from the ocean, it gets no warming effect from the water.The interior is characterized by extreme cold and light snowfall. Raging blizzards often occur, however, when winds pick up previously deposited snow and move it from place to place.


You say:




Do you think it was easy to build those huge telescopes on those mountaintops? Do you think it was cheap? Do you think those telescopes were built specifically to look for that "something" that you think is out there? What about the space telescopes? They can see the southern sky just as well as a telescope on the south pole could. Do you think the Hubble Space Telescope is part of that plan? Kepler? Webb? Why else spend all that money and do all that work? No, it couldn't be just to do astronomy. It must be something much more than that. You know those astronomers, they're always up to something. Just can't trust them.


This paragraph of yours is pregnant with frustration. No it wasn't easy or cheap but it's already done. No they weren't built to look for that 'something' and I'm saying hypothetically that PLATO was because of the inconsistencies and illogical statements and actions at PLATO. Because the timing of this very costly operation is the same timing in which the governments of the world are going bankrupt. Because a number of people are asking the question - where did the money go? And still asking where does it continue to go? As far as trusting astronomers, trust me, I trust them. Always will trust them. That doesn't mean that I'm going to swallow government propaganda without question.

Last: a 20 degree view of the sky out of a 180 degree field view, and that's not taking into consideration the length, is not a wide field of view. Limiting oneself to a certain section of sky implies that one expects to find something there.



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 03:11 PM
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reply to post by jeichelberg
 


The ecliptic is the suns' path across the sky from our viewpoint. It follows a generally east-west direction from our viewpoint. Those objects I cited are comets - all of them. Comets have all different kinds of paths across the sky from our viewpoint. They come in at different angles to the orbital plane and rarely (Elenin was unusual) are in the same orbital plane as earth and the planets of the solar system. This makes seeing them, from earth, different and unique for each one. It makes the seeing better and worse by latitude. The eight or so observation data sets I cited show this unique visibility. Please see my reply to Phage below for how seeing an object close to the sun is affected by latitude.



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 04:55 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


You say:




Yes, an object may cross the ecliptic. But if it is near the Sun it will be near the Sun no matter where on Earth it is viewed from.


The examples you give are based on data from ephemerides. The link you offered is to calculate ephemerides for comets or objects. I'm interested only in how it looks to the eye of an earth-based, latitudinally located, observer. In other words, how does it look to someone going outside and looking up.

Here is a link to the history of the 'Quest for the Astronomical Unit."

www.tbp.org...


“…a transit of the planet Venus across the Sun - mobilized nations to spend today’s equivalent of tens of millions of dollars to commission special telescopes, outfit ships, fund expeditions, and send forth trained observers willing to sacrifice their health and even their lives, all to time four crucial instants.”



“…that same event repeatedly frustrated astronomers in their quest, and, ultimately, the prize was captured not by astronomers - but by electrical engineers.”



“THE COSMIC ‘HOLY GRAIL’ The ultimate object of the astronomers’ quest after Venus was the precise determination of one number: the astronomical unit - the mean distance from the Earth to the Sun.”



“…the one time Venus would be readily visible at its closest approach would be when the planet exactly transit’s the face of the Sun…At such a time, the same relatively small telescopes astronomers used to observe sunspots would reveal Venus as a black disc about 1/20th the Sun’s diameter silhouetted against the Sun’s bright disk.”



“More importantly, because Venus is so much closer to Earth than the Sun, observers south of the equator would see Venus across a different chord of the Sun’s disk than observers north of the equator. Thus the transit‘s duration would be greater for observers at some latitudes than in others.”


(Please see FIGURE 1 in the link on Page 2.)


“Because Venus is closer to Earth than the Sun [in transit], observers at different latitudes on Earth would see Venus transit different chords on the face of the Sun, with northern observer A seeing the lower chord and southern observer B seeing the upper chord.”


Here is a link describing observations from different latitudes of Saturn passing in front of a star. The item of interest is the first diagram which shows the chords from different latitudes and then a bit further on Page 3, a listing of sites with latitudes.

occult.mit.edu...

Here is a link describing:


the perceptible displacement of an object when it is viewed from two different lines of sight


www.ehow.com...

Here's a semi-interactive link showing the apparent motion of the sun at different latitudes. It's not earth observer centric so some visualization is required.

www.math.nus.edu.sg...

Here's an article from TIME this year on the hypothesized Tyche.

www.time.com...



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 05:18 PM
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reply to post by luxordelphi
 


Thanks for the reply...I understand what you stated about the East/West travel...I think that I understand the plane of the ecliptic to be more a function of dividing the hemispherical North/South...in other words, where I view the Sun in terms of the amount of degrees it rises above the latitude I am at on the globe...

I saw the list of comets you provided...I believe Phage already provided a response indicating those comets could also be seen in the Northern Hemisphere...
edit on 12/4/2011 by jeichelberg because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 05:23 PM
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reply to post by luxordelphi
 


I believe what you describe here might be related to parallax...I do not know for sure though...



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 07:05 PM
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reply to post by luxordelphi
 

I have answered these. I will try again.


The seeing is so much better than at Mauna Kea and yet Mauna Kea found 18 exoplanets to Dome A's one possibility of an exoplanet. The seeing is so much better than at Atacama and yet at Atacama:

Mauna Kea (Keck specifically) has 10 meter telescopes and spectrographs. That kind of equipment is well suited to confirming the existence of exoplanets and ascertaining some details about them. You cannot compare the instruments or findings to PLATO. They are doing a different type of astronomy entirely.


The seeing is so much better than at Atacama and Mauna Kea that tiny telescopes are ok and yet Atacama and Mauna Kea seem to see so much more.

Actually, they see less at one time not more, but they see it in much better detail than CSTAR is capable of. Again, you do not understand the difference in the science being done at each location.


That's a good point and wasn't in the literature I read, however, so would the arctic allow that and climate in the arctic is not as harsh as the Antarctic Plateau.

And it may well be done there in the future, as pointed out in the article I linked earlier.


And yet that's basically what they say the're looking for and judging by what they say their activities with the data have been that's basically what they're looking for.

No. They are specifically studying the variability of stars. Sometimes that variability
can indicate the presence of exoplanets. In the first survey, one of the variables identified is a candidate for an exoplanet. Notice the word "candidate". They are not able to confirm it because all they are using is the light profile from the star. The best they can do is say there might be an exoplanet.

The photometric catalog can be used for studying any variability in these sources, and for the discovery of transient sources such as supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, and minor planets.

authors.library.caltech.edu...


It has to be operated remotely because of the climate. A climate which was originally deemed worse than other sites for viewing and now has been deemed so good that tiny telescopes can supposedly do the work of giants at Atacama and Mauna Kea.

Yes. It has to be operated remotely and it is capable of being operated remotely without human intervention. Again, you do not seem to understand that the telescopes on Mauna Kea and Atacama (actually Cerro Toco, Atacama is the desert from which Cerro Toco rises) are doing entirely different science than that being done at PLATO. It makes no sense to compare them. CSTAR cannot do what they do and they cannot do what CSTAR can do.


Last: a 20 degree view of the sky out of a 180 degree field view, and that's not taking into consideration the length, is not a wide field of view. Limiting oneself to a certain section of sky implies that one expects to find something there.

As pointed out, the purpose of the PLATO sky surveys is to study variable stars. The best way to do that is to concentrate on one area of the sky over a continuous period of time. By aiming CSTAR at the 20º area around celestial the south pole for 4 months at a time, the variability of all the stars in that region (thousands of them) can be studied in detail. A "close up" view of the stars is not needed, just a continuous observation of the amount of light being emitted by them. The only place on the planet such long term observations can be done is at the poles because they are the only places which are in darkness for that much time. For now Dome A is the only place it is being done. Before too long it may also be done in the Arctic (as pointed out earlier).

edit on 12/4/2011 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 4 2011 @ 07:24 PM
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reply to post by luxordelphi
 


The examples you give are based on data from ephemerides. The link you offered is to calculate ephemerides for comets or objects. I'm interested only in how it looks to the eye of an earth-based, latitudinally located, observer. In other words, how does it look to someone going outside and looking up.

I told you that. I told you how far each comet was from the Sun at a given location on a given date. The information is readily available by using the HORIZONS web interface. You can select a variety of information from any place on the planet, including where in the sky the object of interest was, is, or will be located. It will tell you where to look.




Here is a link to the history of the 'Quest for the Astronomical Unit."

The Sun is 0.5º across. That makes the difference in the chords of the Venus transit about 0.05º. Yes, I admit I rounded the figures I gave to the nearest degree.


Here is a link describing observations from different latitudes of Saturn passing in front of a star.

You don't seriously think that the difference in an occultation chord of Saturn would be visible to the naked eye do you? An object visible near the Sun in the southern hemisphere would be visible near the Sun in the northern hemisphere.


Yes, I am aware of the Tyche hypothesis. Matese and Whitmire are hopeful that the data from WISE will show that they are correct. There are not many astronomers who think it will. There are not many astronomers who think Tyche exists.

edit on 12/4/2011 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 03:06 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


You say:



As pointed out, the purpose of the PLATO sky surveys is to study variable stars.


Many amateur astronomers participate in the study of variable stars. They use comparatively small telescopes. There are so many catalogued variable stars that professional astronomers could never even begin to observe them all.

www.aavso.org...


“Over 100,000 variable stars are known and catalogued, and many thousands more are suspected to be variable.”


Maybe CSTAR has some climate advantages that other places don't have? And perhaps CSTAR, the tiny telescope array at Dome A on the Antarctic Plateau, is studying, from their location, a section of sky that can't be studied from anywhere else?

arxiv.org...

They say:


“Dome A on the Antarctic plateau is likely one of the best observing sites on Earth thanks to the excellent atmospheric conditions present at the site during the long polar winter night. We present high-cadence time-series aperture photometry of 10,000 stars with i < 14.5 mag located in a 23 square-degree region centered on the south celestial pole. The photometry was obtained with one of the CSTAR telescopes during 128 days of the 2008 Antarctic winter.”


And yet there are a number of disadvantages with this site:


“Some disadvantages that must be considered include aurorae, a reduced amount of the celestial sphere that is available for observations, and prolonged twilight.”


And a strange advantage considering the number of months when the sun doesn't set:


“An observatory that can operate year round without interruptions is required to best capitalize upon the advantages provided by the Antarctic Plateau.”


And some problems directly linked to site inaccessibility and seeing conditions:


“The CSTAR telescopes were installed at Dome A in January 2008. During the following Antarctic winter season, there were technical problems with 3 of the 4 telescopes…which prevented them from obtaining any useful information.”



“…the fourth telescope…performed without any significant issues. Observations were conducted from 2008 March 20 through 2008 July 27...”



“49% of the data obtained in March was rejected due to the high sky background caused by the relatively large sun elevation angle.”


And a statement showing that the best visibility was limited to one day:


“Frame-by-frame registration was used to combine 3000 of the best images obtained during a 24-hour period of exceptionally good conditions (2008 June 29) to form a master reference image.”


And then of course the fact that what they did had all been done before with equally tiny telescopes from someplace else without the climate and inaccessibilty disadvantages:


“The brightest 10,000 of these are detected in most individual frames and correspond to the depth of a previous study of this area of the sky by the ASAS project (V ~ 14.5 mag Pojmanski 2005).”


en.wikipedia.org...


The All Sky Automated Survey (ASAS) is a Polish project implemented on 7 April 1997 to do photometric monitoring of approximately 20 million stars brighter than 14 magnitude all over the sky[1]. The automatic telescopes discovered two new comets in 2004 and 2006. The ASAS-South, located in Chile and ASAS-North, located in Hawai'i, are managed by Grzegorz Pojmański of the Warsaw University Observatory via the internet



The work on the ASAS program began in 1996 with a mere $1 million budget. The automatic telescope, located in Las Campanas Observatory, Chile, was designed to register the brightness of circa one million stars in the Southern Hemisphere. However, it proved very efficient and helped to find many new variable stars.



So far, ASAS has discovered 50,000 variables located south of declination +28°, which means that it has covered 3/4 of all the sky.


So a survey of that portion of the sky had already been performed with semi-robotic telescopes from an ongoing set-up. They've covered the same area of sky from their location and done it at a fraction of the cost. Their original budget was $1million. I've got to say...this makes less and less sense the longer we dwell here.



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by jeichelberg
reply to post by luxordelphi
 


Thanks for the reply...I understand what you stated about the East/West travel...I think that I understand the plane of the ecliptic to be more a function of dividing the hemispherical North/South...in other words, where I view the Sun in terms of the amount of degrees it rises above the latitude I am at on the globe...

I saw the list of comets you provided...I believe Phage already provided a response indicating those comets could also be seen in the Northern Hemisphere...
edit on 12/4/2011 by jeichelberg because: (no reason given)


You're right, basically, it's about how high the sun gets in the sky from your location. Unless you're between 23.5 degrees N and 23.5 degrees S, the sun will never be overhead. It will always be lower in the sky than overhead. It is overhead at the equator and in its' yearly travel goes as far north as the southern part of Libya and Algeria or the middle of Mexico or the southern part of Taiwan. In its' yearly travel it goes as far south as the middle of Nambia, just above South Africa and northern Chile and Argentina and the middle of Australia. The path of the sun in the sky, the ecliptic, basically follows the equator except that it deviates from it as far north as 23.5 degrees and as far south as 23.5 degrees. So it's kind of like 2 rings that touch in 2 places and progressively diverge and converge the rest of the time.

As far as the comets...yeah...it wasn't a question of where they are but of from where on earth were they seen. It's not a question of if they're near the sun all over the world but of where from the world can they be seen. That's why I provided the observational data.



posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 04:04 PM
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Originally posted by jeichelberg
reply to post by luxordelphi
 


I believe what you describe here might be related to parallax...I do not know for sure though...


Yeah...the one article had to do with parallax. What I'm trying to say is that yes, things look different from different viewing locations but different viewing locations also provide a different quality of view. For instance, in places where the sun is directly overhead, there is almost no twilight. Dark is more sudden. And in different latitudes the glare of the sun on a nearby object washes it out where in another latitude it might be a bit more viewable. It's like the example of Venus crossing the sun in an earlier reply...let's say it goes behind the sun and the same chords apply from different latitudes. It's going to be visible in the sky sooner from some latitudes than from others.




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