Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Dobsonian (Score 1) 187

by SteveAstro (#47744567) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?

The steppers are now all "microstepped", which basically means you don't see quantisation from the drives, but you can't "beat" field rotation, and you'd be surprised how few de-rotators are out there - the imaging guys pretty well all use equatorials, with their attendant problems.

ALL mounts have their issues - an equatorial can't view the area around the celestial pole, and is rarely as stiff as an alt-az for the money. An Alt-az has the field rotation issue, and can't view its zenith.

Mount wars get like computer language wars....


Can the Multiverse Be Tested Scientifically? 147

Posted by Soulskill
from the signs-point-to-no dept.
astroengine writes: Physicists aren't afraid of thinking big, but what happens when you think too big? This philosophical question overlaps with real physics when hypothesizing what lies beyond the boundary of our observable universe. The problem with trying to apply science to something that may or may not exist beyond our physical realm is that it gets a little foggy as to how we could scientifically test it. A leading hypothesis to come from cosmic inflation theory and advanced theoretical studies — centering around the superstring hypothesis — is that of the "multiverse," an idea that scientists have had a hard time in testing. But now, scientists at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, in Ontario, Canada have, for the first time, created a computer model of colliding universes in the multiverse in an attempt to seek out observational evidence of its existence.

It's Time To Bring Pseudoscience Into the Science Classroom 470

Posted by timothy
from the for-a-few-object-lessons dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "'Roughly one in three American adults believes in telepathy, ghosts, and extrasensory perception,' wrote a trio of scientists in a 2012 issue of the Astronomy Education Review. 'Roughly one in five believes in witches, astrology, clairvoyance, and communication with the dead (PDF). Three quarters hold at least one of these beliefs, and a third has four distinct pseudoscientific beliefs.' Now Steven Ross Pomeroy writes in Forbes Magazine that it's time to bring pseudoscience into public schools and universities. 'By incorporating examples of pseudoscience into lectures, instructors can provide students with the tools needed to understand the difference between scientific and pseudoscientific or paranormal claims,' say Rodney Schmaltz and Scott Lilienfeld." (Read more, below.)

Comment: Legend (Score 3, Interesting) 57

by SteveAstro (#45983757) Attached to: Telescope Designer and Astronomer John Dobson, 1915-2014

Another, probably apocryphal, story was John claimed to have star tested a scope using the glint of light off the eye of a blackbird, perched on a telephone wire down the street - really, really good telescope makers can identify the condition and quality of a mirror by studying the shape of the image from the scope just inside, and just outside focus.

Comment: Re:Nice guy (Score 4, Interesting) 57

by SteveAstro (#45978409) Attached to: Telescope Designer and Astronomer John Dobson, 1915-2014

John stayed with us in the UK back in 2002 - that Wikipedia article picture should have me just out of shot... We took him to see the city of Chester - which John insisted on seeing the city walls "The last city I saw with walls was Beijing in 1920" I think he said. We took him to North Wales to see the sights there, and then he stayed in my home for a couple of memorable nights, when he baby-sat my eldest son while I rushed my baby son to the ER having found him bleeding and screaming after climbing a bookcase and cutting his head open. "John, I really, really need to get this little guy to hospital. Can you tell my wife where we've gone and look after this one ? " "Aw, sure, no problem". I came back to find John reading a book to my son. I have video of John "lassoing" the kids out in the yard with a rope he always carried to demonstrate with !

One of those visits that will stay with me forever- the youngest son is now 13, and still has the scar......

Comment: Re:Bad call (Score 1) 611

by SteveAstro (#45932203) Attached to: Bill Nye To Debate Creationist Museum Founder Ken Ham

Not many atheists go to warlord controlled countries to delivery medical supplies while unarmed and unprotected. Christians do and that resonates with people.

No, what happens is that many "atheists" go to warlord controlled countries etc , etc, they just don't feel any need to mouth off about why they are doing it, and they are only doing it because they believe in a sky-fairy.

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350