[LINK] The Milky Way

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Fri Jan 1 17:05:14 AEDT 2010

Greg writes,

> I have a genuine Sagan Baloney Detector .. it's rather surprising to
> see it raise it's ugly head in the once highly-respected Link journal.
> Perhaps the critical thinking gene is disappearing from the genome even
> faster than we feared... Phil Plait did a good job of debunking it back
> in 2007. Hurrah for the Internet:
> http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2007/06/27/is-the-sun-
from-another-galaxy/    A Happy and Skeptical New Year to all.  Greg

Haha .. good to see you, and Phil, are so certain about science, Greg.

It must be a nice feeling. Of course, I'm certainly no astro-physicist
but, do you think it may be prudent to await additional information so
that one can be so sure of things? Eg, Gaia and MilkyWay at Home. However 
wherever our solar system comes from numbers of studies show our solar 
system is warming up .. not that this in any way negates the necessity
of world carbon responsibility ..


Mike Irwin at the University of Cambridge, UK, told New Scientist: "We 
found a large excess of stars just below the plane of the Milky Way, 
spread into an elongated shape .. falling into the Milky Way .. and even 
be passing through our own celestial neighbourhood. In computer models we 
have run, some stars do seem to rain down close to the Solar System," 
says Irwin.

"Which stars these are, if any, may remain unknown until next decade when 
the ESA spacecraft Gaia should launch. Gaia will measure stellar orbits 
to suggest which stars in the night sky have been cannibalised from this 
and other dwarf galaxies."

and ..


MilkyWay at home is an internet-based public distributed computing project 
employing the BOINC software platform. It attempts to generate highly 
accurate three-dimensional dynamic models of stellar streams in the 
immediate vicinity of our Milky Way galaxy. 

With SETI at home and Einstein at home, it is the third computing project of 
this type that has the investigation of phenomena in interstellar space 
as its primary purpose. 

By middle 2009, the project's main astrophysical interest is in the 
Sagittarius stream, a stellar stream emanating from the Sagittarius Dwarf 
Elliptical Galaxy which partially penetrates the space occupied by the 
Milky Way and is believed to be in an unstable orbit around it, probably 
after a close encounter or collision with the Milky Way which subjected 
it to strong galactic tide forces. Mapping such interstellar streams and 
their dynamics with high accuracy is expected to provide crucial clues 
for understanding the structure, formation, evolution, and gravitational 
potential distribution of the Milky Way ..



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