Scroll down to access these topics:
1) Cool Astronomy Facts
2) Information about the Moon Landing Hoax
3) Skeptoid Podcasts
The night sky is a time machine. All the stars we see are a number of light years (that is the distance light travels at 300,000 kilometres or 186,000 miles per second) away. Close stars like Sirius are 8 1/2 light years away, while farther ones like Deneb are 1,600 light years away. We are not seeing the stars as they are now, but as they were years ago.
If the star Deneb were the same distance from us as the dog star Sirius it would shine as bright as a full moon.
When you look at the Andromeda galaxy (which is approximately 2.5 million light years away), the light (the photons hitting your eyes) you are seeing took 2.5 million years to reach you - you are seeing the galaxy as it was 2.5 million years ago. We can see this galaxy from Saddington. It has approximately 400 billion stars in it. The Andromeda is the farthest deep sky object that can be seen with the naked eye.
Betelgeuse, a red giant star is the right shoulder of Orion the hunter.
Betelgeuse is 425 light years away and is 60,000 times brighter than our star the Sun (Sol). It is so big that if you replaced the Sun with Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse would fill our solar system to out past the orbit of Jupiter.
The Sun is the largest object in the solar system, and constitutes over 99 percent of the solar system’s mass
Light from the sun takes approximately 8 minutes to reach Earth, so we see the sun as it was 8 minutes ago. If it stopped shining we would still see it shining in the sky for 8 minutes.
If the sun were the size of a dot on an ordinary-sized letter 'i', then the nearest star would be a dot 16 kilometres (10 miles) away.
If a piece of the sun the size of a pinhead were to be placed on Earth, you could not safely stand within 150 kilometres (90 miles) of it!
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Information about the “Moon Landings Hoax”
We, some members of the SGM, are amateur stargazers who love science and are completely convinced that the Apollo missions landed men on the moon – 12 men on 6 landings. We are also astonished that a growing number of people, fooled by some internet sites and a Fox TV show, are convinced that the missions never occurred. We ask you to please consider the evidence from the other side of the Moon Landings Hoax debate, the side supported by science, reason and common sense.
For detailed technical refuting of individual moon landings hoax claims please see the attached list of websites.
The Size of the Conspiracy
We think that by far the largest problem you must explain away if you wish to promote the idea that the moon landings were a fraud is the sheer size of the supposed conspiracy: the number of dedicated, professional people who would be complicit in the fraud. There is a caveat: just because someone is a well-educated professional does not mean he or she must be correct. However, if many thousands of such professionals agree on a conclusion, that in itself is a strong case for its veracity.
Who would be complicit in any cover-up?
Professional Astronomers Around the World
This group includes the members of the International Astronomy Union including the
10 143 current members (in the year 2009) and the many thousands of past members who have retired or died in the four decades since the moon landings.
· They are university professors, observatory scientists and researchers.
· They are from all over the world, not just the
· They have all spent many years educating themselves; often to the doctorate level about astronomy. How could anyone buy them all off?
The Apollo astronauts brought back from the moon 382 kg (842 lb) of moon rocks. Many hundreds of geologists have examined these rocks and all of them have commented on the lack of water and the micro-meteorite scoring, neither of which is possible in rocks created on Earth. None of these scientists has ever come forward calling the rocks (and the missions that collected them) fraudulent.
Subcontractor Engineering Firms
Many thousands of professional engineers (rocket scientists, really) at NASA, JPL, and various subcontractors worked on the moon landers, Saturn 5 rockets, rendezvous technology and so on. They would have caught on to a hoax immediately.
The Valerie Plame affair, the Iran/Contra conspiracy, Watergate, and the missing weapons of mass destruction in
The most important group of people to consider are the scientists in
Websites That Refute the Moon Landing Hoax
The evidence is clear: the Apollo missions landed men on the moon – twelve men on six landings. We base this opinion on a careful examination of both sides of the controversy. Our largest consideration is a complete disbelief that anyone could organize such an enormous cover-up.
For information refuting the purported moon landing hoax, we hope you will access the websites below.
This is our favourite site for information about thinking critically about a range of topics including astronomy related hoaxes.
The site features podcasts that can be downloaded to an IPOD, other MP3 player or a computer. Each podcast is a short (no more than 10 – 15 minutes) episode about a specific topic.
This is the home page
This link takes you to the page where you can select an episode.
Our favourites episodes include
9/29/09All About Astrology (Skeptoid #173) and
There is a movie and rumours about the world ending in 2012. Here is some information from NASA and other sites about the astronomical basis (none) for the rumours.
Next to UFOs, we get more questions about astrology than any other astronomy-related topic.
We think it is great that astrology gets people thinking about the night sky and constellations. We do, however, do not believe that astrology works. Check out the links below for more information.
This is the best take on astrology we’ve heard. You can also listen on-line or download an audio version of the report.
This is a long, but excellent article.
Wikipedia did a good job of giving an overview of astrology including the science point of view.
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