Saturday, February 7, 2009

Paper Ranks Top Ten Telescopes

Nature: The world's top ten telescopes revealed.

It doesn't take a big mirror to have a big impact. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a project conducted with a modest 2.5-metre-wide telescope in New Mexico, performed the most highly cited science in 2006, according to a new analysis of the top ten 'high impact' astronomical observatories.

"It measures how hot the science of the telescope is," says Juan Madrid of McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, of the top-ten table he has released for most years since 1998. "In a way it measures how good the time-allocation committee is and how good the telescope is. I will also say it measures how good the scientists are."
Nevermind if the assumptions and conclusions are wrong. As long as you're cited frequently, that makes you good. Since Ptolemy has been cited for over 2000 years, he's obviously the greatest scientist who's ever lived.


Raptor Lewis said...

That looks like a cross between a satelite dish that's found in Arizona or something and a flower-shaped mirror!! Cool!!

Raptor Lewis said...

Oh yeah, as for Ptolemy, that is debateable and is you opinion, but don't get me wrong. I respect your opinion.

OilIsMastery said...

I was being sarcastic. Using their logic, they would have to conclude Ptolemy is one of the greatest since over a 2000 year period he was one of the most cited. I don't agree with their logic so I don't really think Ptolemy is the greatest...=)

Raptor Lewis said...

Oh....hard to tell on the internet, isn't it? :P

Raptor Lewis said...

Why is Ptolemy cited so much? In science, we usually prove someone's idea right or wrong, or expand on it.

Anaconda said...

@ Raptor Lewis:

"Why is Ptolemy cited so much?"

For about 1500 years Ptolemy was cited because he came up with the Earth centered Universe and developed the epicycles of the crystal spheres. In the Ptolemaic system, the dynamics of the solar system were driven by spheres that were invisible.

This held sway until Nicolaus Copernicus proposed the Sun centered Universe and Galileo confirmed the Copernican theory.

Ptolemy continues to be mentioned as an example because while his theories were wrong as to the actual structure of the Universe, his predictions about the planet's motions were surprisingly accurate.

Which raises the specter that a scientific theory can predict what will happen in a given circumstance, but be wrong about the causality of that circumstance.

Ptolemy is cited, today, primarily as a cautionary tale, that appearances can be deceiving.

Anaconda said...


This Post points out that Man is continually advancing his ability to detect phenomenon in the Universe.

And what will Man detect?

In previous comments, this writer has emphasized the fact that electric currents cause magnetic fields and in fact magnetic fields are only caused by electric currents -- and there is an additional corollary -- electric currents mean there is charge seperation into electrons and positive ions.

The following paper, titled: Extragalactic Magnetic Fields, provides a window on this expanding knowledge.

"Abstract: Recent advances in observational techniques reveal the widespread existence of magnetic fields in the Universe, and produce much firmer estimates of magnetic field strengths in interstellar and intergalactic space. Ordered, microgauss-level fields are common in spiral galaxy disks and halos, and appear to be a common property of the intra-cluster medium of clusters of galaxies, indeed well beyond the cluster core regions. Strengths of ordered magnetic fields in the intracluster medium of cooling flow clusters exceed those which are typical of the interstellar medium of the Milky Way, suggesting that galaxy formation, and even cluster dynamics are, at least in some circumstances influenced by magnetic forces, which also could possibly affect the global dynamics in areas of some galaxies, especially dwarf galaxies, which are rich in interstellar gas and cosmic rays."

This paper is a solid piece of work that this writer recommends by reviewed by those interested in Plasma Comology.

The paper give definition to where magnetic fields exist outside our solar system.

And if one keeps in mind that all magnetic fields are generated by electric currrents, it fleshes out the importantance of plasma Cosmology.

Time is on the side of Plasma Cosmology.

'In the beginning was plasma" -- Hannes Alfven, 1970 Nobel Prize winner in physics, founder of Plasma Cosmology

Anaconda said...

WARNING: Don't attempt to read the above linked extragalactic magnetic field paper at one sitting.

A couple of notes:

The paper is written not to antagonize the dominate gravity model.

To that end, while magnetic fields are the focus of the paper and the paper in many ways validates Plasma Cosmolgy, it doesn't refer to "electric currents".

This is a common approach in science: "Don't make the elephant angry."

What do I mean?

You are a scientist and you want your scientific paper to get the widest audience and you know your paper raises issues that could go against prevailing ideas in the discipline, so you don't challenge the prevailing ideas head on. You attempt to make your ideas compatible with the dominate ideas in the discipline.

Allow the "Bull Elephants" an opportunity to get comfortable with your ideas. In other words, don't stampede the elephants.

May I suggest the above linked paper is a successful example of the above outlined strategy.

Anaconda said...


The following passages are from NASA:

Interstellar medium: Access to Interstellar Particles and Fields

"Interstellar plasma and low-energy galactic cosmic rays are prevented from entering the heliosphere by the interplanetary magnetic field. As a result, we have no access to the charged component of interstellar matter inside the heliosphere, and measurements near Earth can determine neither the cosmic ray spectrum in interstellar space, nor the contribution of cosmic rays to the energy density of the galaxy."


"Sending a spacecraft beyond the heliopause to begin the exploration of our local galactic neighborhood will be one of the grand scientific enterprises of the next century. Interstellar space is a largely unknown frontier that holds many of the keys to understanding our place in the galaxy."

Man's scientific understanding of the magnetosphere and other near-space phenomenon did not become solid until Man was able to do in situ experiments from satellites sent into space.

Likely Man's increased understanding of space beyond the heliopause will also wait until in situ observation and measurement can be made by satellites.

Anaconda said...

NASA: Heliophysics, the new science of the Sun-Solar system connection

Anaconda said...


Giant Rockets Could Revolutionize Astronomy, January 14, 2009(science@NASA)

"NASA's new Ares V rocket is going to completely change the rules of the game."

"Optical engineer Phil Stahl of the Marshall Space Flight Center offers this example: "Ares V could carry an 8-meter diameter monolithic telescope, something that we already have the technology to build."

"For comparison, he points out that Hubble is only 2.4 meters wide."

The capability for high resolution of deep space objects in the next generation of telescopes will be truly phenomenal.

OilIsMastery said...