Monday, October 30, 2006

Stump the Cosmologist

Cosmologist Sean Carroll admits that he couldn't figure out what these two crescents were. Come on Sean, there are only two crescent objects visible from a planet with a blue sky. See comment #1 for the answer.


Blogger L. Riofrio said...

The thin crescent, big as a cloud, is the Moon. The little crescent is waxing, indicating that it is prograde in its orbit from the Earth-Moon system. It is also to the left of the Moon and therefore closer to the Sun. This is Venus, which often shows a crescent face to Earth. Men are from Mars...

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spot on!

I had witnessed the Moon the other day exactly as the image shows( whilst retuning from my local newspaper shop early one morning)..but I did not notice Venus !

9:44 PM  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

10 31 06

Blow me down! I thought it was the multiply connected regions of spacetime! heheheheheh Then again, I had been reading too many papers on the Cobe data! Hehhehehe Besides that, observational experiemental science was never my strongsuit...Ha!

11:52 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

It is always nice to hear from Paul and Mahndisa. The CMB data is good reading, as I have devoted many posts to it.

8:53 AM  
Blogger nige said...

Hi Louise,

Trick question! When photographing anything in the sky with magnification, you should give the scale or it is meaningless.

Since the moon itself is fairly small (looks about same size as sun), it is obvious Venus is too small in detail - it will just look like a dot unless you are using optical appartus.

I like astronomy, but the light pollution from streetlamps where I live and work is so bad all the time, I never get to see any stars for real - only in photos.

To be sarcastic, you could equally take a photo of any star, and ask which star it is. Unless it is observably colour tinted or something, it will be virtually impossible to identify.

I just hope you realise that Mars is a great planet, far better than cloudy venus, and Mars is the only one other planet than Earth that can in principle support evolution of intelligent life!


Best wishes,

12:34 PM  
Blogger Kea said...

Yeah, Nigel, except that Mars doesn't have any intelligent life...hee, hee.

3:03 PM  
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