Thursday, October 02, 2008

Zoom Into NGC 3324

From the Hubble Space Telescope, currently out of action. The star-forming nebula NGC 3324, in one corner of the Carina Nebula. The Nebula also contains the Keyhole Nebula and the tumultuous star Eta Carina. Pillars of gas are stars being born, possibly seeded by tiny Black Holes.

Alice's Astro hosts the new Carnival of Space!

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Blogger nige said...

Wow, that's a genuine video of zooming into the nebula, and it is brilliant - like travelling through space.

I think that is what people should show whenever they show stars or nebula (star explosion remains) on TV.

They should start off with the night sky, as you can see with the eye on a dark clear night, pan over well known constellations to give bearings (the only two constellations I know for navigation are the big dipper - like a saucepan with a handle, the north pole being in the direction of the two stars at the end of the bowl, at a distance of about five times the distance between those two stars, and Cassiopeia, the W formed by 5 stars, the north pole always being above the W), and then zoom in on the object.

The usual way that astronomers have of just presenting a photo with no way for the viewer to assess

(1) where the thing is in the sky so you have a feeling for its location,

(2) what size the thing is (eith solid angle of sky in radians or degrees, or else distance scale in parsecs, light years, etc.)


(3) how far away the thing is.

If every astronomical picture was shown as in this video by a zoom-in, all of these 3 vitals would be addressed in at least an approximate touchy-feely way, and astronomy would look less abstract and more exciting on TV.

The usual method of showing abstract freeze-frames with no really convincing indication of where the thing is, how big it is, or how far it is, just turns me off watching the TV shows on astronomy, etc. The people making those programs are just zombies, trying to turn people off real, objective, precise science, as far as I'm concerned. Or, more likely, they are trying to attract fringe idiots like religious freaks (who like the mysterious pictures they can't understand scientifically, just as they like all "supernatural" science fantasy), by being so abstract.

(It's a similar story in nuclear explosion films and pictures, where conventionally every effort is made to mislead the viewer with fakery and frauds. E.g., there is no proper indication of the size scale of what you are seeing - how much zoom, how far the camera is and how big the thing actually is - and the sound track is dubbed to the flash of the explosion to give the impression that sound travels at the speed of light, etc., etc.)

7:43 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Great hearing frim you nige. Astronomers and scientists need to make better videos. Media tends to zoom in on whatever they want us to see.

3:06 AM  
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Anonymous Sildenafil said...

It is a fantastic journey for sure, I always think on the wonders of the universe, all the things that we cant even begin to image that exist out there.

7:19 AM  

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