Follow the reluctant adventures in the life of a Welsh astrophysicist sent around the world for some reason, wherein I photograph potatoes and destroy galaxies in the name of science. And don't forget about my website,

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Ask An Astronomer Anything At All About Astronomy (XLVIII)

So... it's been quite a while since the last AAAAAAAA post. Okay, fine, it's been six months, when nominally these posts were supposed to be weekly. Oops. Sorry about that. The problem is that updating the full Q&A page is quite a laborious task, since blogger only allows internal page links if you edit the HTML and doesn't give you a method to do this via the WYSIWYG editor. Also, with the demise of Google Plus - which is currently barely functional and will be gone completely come April - there just haven't been that many questions to answer. Not to mention various other ongoing projects that have demanded my attention.

But though the upcoming doom of Google Plus is a travesty of a farce of an injustice (more on that in a future post), as far as the AAAAAAAA posts go there is good news : I am now active on Quora. Quora is a huge Q&A site where people can ask questions about anything they like. It's also social media of a sort, in that you can follow people and like/dislike content. It has a big advantage of ready access to an endless series of questions and a very easy-to-use interface. So if you have any burning questions I highly recommend trying it out ! Of course, you can also ask me directly in the comments here.

I'll have more to say on where you can find me on the internet in a subsequent post. Suffice for now that this blog isn't going anywhere, but I'll probably stop trying to collate questions on anything like a weekly basis - at least for the foreseeable future. Once a month is more realistic, but expect bigger collections thanks to Quora's much higher activity rate.

Anyway, here's the latest batch of questions. Don't forget to click on the links for the longer and less sarcastic answers !

1) Is the Fermi Paradox really much of a paradox ?
Yes, it's awful.

2) Can you shroud a galaxy ?
Yes, but don't.

3) Did the Chinese not know their plants on the Moon would all die ?
Yes, but they just didn't care. The heartless bastards !

4) Do we need a better measure of brightness to describe the naked-eye visibility of astronomical objects ?
I guess you might if you like that sort of thing.

5) So what's the difference between "enormous dwarf galaxy" and "small regular sized galaxy"? Are they small in terms of mass or in terms of luminosity ?
Insert inevitable "yo momma so fat" joke here...

6) What happens to the brightness of a star as we can further away over a very long time ?
Actually, the answer is much more interesting than you might think.

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