humor me, science nerds. i have a question about stars.

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by carlita, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. carlita

    carlita TPF Noob!

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    okay so stars live for a really freakin long time. and it's not like with dinosaurs and stuff where we've got fossils we can play with so that we can map out a timeline and whatnot.

    so how exactly do we know what the real life of a star is like since we can't observe it? i mean, it takes WAAAAAAAAAY too long for anyone to have ever witnessed a change. so sure, we've got lots of stars we can see in all different stages of their lives, but how the hell are we supposed to know which stage comes first and which comes last let alone what order they go in in between that?

    i tried to ask my dad about this (an engineer at NASA) and either he didn't understand my question or he just really didn't know. i'd like to thing it was the former because if it's the latter he should be ashamed of himself. :razz:
     
  2. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have head the answer to this before on PBS but cannot recall it exactly
     
  3. mygrain

    mygrain Friend to nose goblins everywhere

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    LOL if a NASA engineer can't answer that then who can? My best guess is... First stars are real, and they can be observed. Second they are made up of the same elements that make up every thing else. We can observe stars in many different states and phases of it'slife and observe the elements that make up stars as well. Two hundred mathimatical equations later...you got yer answer. :mrgreen:
     
  4. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

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  5. carlita

    carlita TPF Noob!

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    are you implying that dinosaurs weren't real? :p
     
  6. mygrain

    mygrain Friend to nose goblins everywhere

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    Nope Im implying that nothing is real...you and the rest of the known galaxy are simply figments of my imagination...you just said nerd and my ears perked up. :wink:
     
  7. mygrain

    mygrain Friend to nose goblins everywhere

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  8. carlita

    carlita TPF Noob!

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    haha, orie... "A Newsletter on Teaching Astronomy in Grades 3-12"

    wow. 7 years of college have really paid off, eh?! :lol:

    "...astronomers (able to glimpse any given star for only a "moment" of its long existence) must examine many stars and hope to find some in each stage of its life. And we have been able to do exactly that..."

    see, i don't understand how they can say "and we have been able to do exactly that" as if they've observed everything there is to observe in the universe, or even enough of what's out there (which has got to be about like observing a grain of sand, or a fleck of dust) to then assert that they know the timeline for the life of stars.

    i dunno. i guess i just don't buy it.
     
  9. mygrain

    mygrain Friend to nose goblins everywhere

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    ya know they sure do act like it's an exact science but I see where yer coming from Carlita. There is tons of room for error from just simply observing the nature of things.
     
  10. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

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    Oh I didn't even notice that about the grades! Don't think I was trying to say anything with that! :D
     
  11. carlita

    carlita TPF Noob!

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    oh, don't worry... i didn't think you meant anything by it. hell, even if you had it would have been funny! :razz:
     
  12. MDowdey

    MDowdey Guest

    by measuring the varying degrees and magnitude of light emitted by each star, nerds can approximate how far away and how old. im not sure how it works, but thats about it. they have margins of error that are plus or minus a couple million years... :confused:



    md
     

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