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Everything posted by toml42

  1. I'm not quite sure i follow your point, are you saying we shouldn't seriously debate the big questions because people are so entrenched in their own opinions that it makes no difference, even when presented with evidence to the contrary? I'd change my opinion on UFOs or gods were i shown compelling evidence, although it's true there are many who don't or won't budge
  2. "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics." - Richard Feynman
  3. Darkstar, the problem with your hypothesis is that interference still occurs even if you fire your photons or electrons one at a time - individual particles seem to posses the ability to interfere with themselves. For all intents and purposes we've already 'solved' the quantum weirdness, quantum theory is one of the most accurate to date - even though our brains may never be able to fully grasp why!
  4. All of the statistical evidence so far points to true randomness (look up bells inequality). It is at least conceivable that some variant of the "hidden variables" theory could exist that is true... from where we stand right now though, it looks very unlikely that it is anything but random edit: this is the best explanation of bells inequality and its implications i've come across, much clearer than the wikipedia article, i think http://www.upscale.utoronto.ca/PVB/Harrison/BellsTheorem/BellsTheorem.html
  5. state 'a' or 'b' is selected in quantum mechanics entirely at random and you have no way of influencing the outcome one way or the other. Unless our current formulation of quantum mechanics is completely wrong, it cannot be used to transmit information - it would be like trying to communicate by flipping a coin
  6. The key point with quantum entanglement is you don't know if your partner on the other side of the universe has done their experiment yet, you don't get a little flashing light saying "my wavefunction has collapsed!". You know you're either going to get result 'a' or result 'b', there is no additional information you can detect - it is only when you meet up with your friend later to exchange results that the entanglement becomes obvious. You might think that if you do your experiment first, and get 'a', you are transmitting some information to your friend that is forcing them to get 'b'. The problem you run into is that when you factor in relativity there are situations where you will both think you did the experiment first - and you will both be right! When there is no privileged frame of reference, it is impossible to tell who went first and thus 'transmitted the information' and who 'received' it. Relativity Causality Faster than light communication you can only choose two of the above...
  7. Quantum entanglement, so far as we know, is not capable of actually transmitting information. The result is always random, it just turns out that the universe has a knack for remaining consistent. The simplest way to explain this is actually, somewhat counter-intuitively, to posit the multiverse theory, which is why it is currently the favoured theory amongst most theoretical physicists (though by no means a consensus).
  8. Electric universe theory is demonstrably wrong. If you have any specific points to raise from that website, I'd be happy to address them in more detail, but I'm not going to tackle the whole behemouth in one post!
  9. The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia 603 and counting! I'm studying a super earth at the moment called gj1214b, from our observations we can tell that it is a) covered in a thick blanket of steam or b)has thick hydrogen haze and cloud banks We currently don't have the technology to distinguish between the two, but my money is on the steam. If that were the case, a planet just a little cooler than gj1214 would be covered in a gigantic sea, many times deeper than ours.
  10. I don't think there's ever been any evidence for 'Sympathetic twins', only anecdotes and stories. There is certainly something interesting about them however, which is more to do, i think, with the psychology of spending your childhood with someone who is essentially a clone of you... it's no wonder they often share a close connection
  11. I think it's unlikely that a large proportion of terrestrial sized planets will be water worlds but we really don't have enough data on planets of this size to speculate. However, the opening frontier of Super-Earths and 'hot neptunes'? I think it's quite possible that a good number of these objects are largely composed of water.
  12. cheers for the comments about 20 million years ago
  13. Here's the finished result only 10 more minutes of subs than last time, the clouds took the rest but I've flat/dark corrected and unsharp masked it.
  14. This is a work in progress (still taking data now!) but i thought i'd alert everyone who didn't already know about the type 1a supernova just kicking off in m101 here's the discovery image and here's what i've got so far. (50x60 seconds, no flats or darks) it's very obvious that the SN is brightening at a pretty rapid pace, it should reach peak brightness of mag 10 or so. exciting!
  15. That's really cool, what an interesting object!
  16. Astro Babys HEQ5 Polar Alignment this is the one that i used, very helpful
  17. Ah, ok, that's not right. You may need to check that the polar scope is correctly aligned with the mount.
  18. polaris won't stay in the little circle when you rotate the mount! the little circle is just for the initial alignment, and polaris will only be in that circle when you have your mount aligned for the correct 'time'. Polaris should stay on the perimeter of the larger circle as you rotate the mount, or as the night progresses.
  19. I was rushed off my feet with this one, as i only had a very short window between actual darkness falling and the dreaded fence I'm pretty happy with this regardless as a first trial, this is a lovely target and i'd like to spend some more time with it. pity it never gets very high at our latitude. This is about 20 minutes of data, 10 in luminance and 10 in ha. mostly 60 second subs, with a couple of 120 second ones to test my tracking.
  20. Using flats, i can't get my image looking significantly better than the second image i posted. Is this normal, or do i just suck at flats? Is it possible that the dust has 'settled' or moved slightly since the initial image was taken?
  21. hmm, i will have a look at the autosave, it's worth a shot. I'm combining darks, flats and bias.
  22. I played with the all the level bars, and compared it to a stack which did not include bias frames (which was fine). In the biased image, all but the brightest stars in the image were simply gone. I'll upload an image next time i use the laptop
  23. Now that i've got it inside under the light i can see the offending dust particle and it's definitely inside, just above the sensor. I don't think i'd be comfortable opening it up, surely that can only do more harm than good?
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