APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

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APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:06 am

Image The View from Everest

Explanation: What would it be like to stand atop the tallest mountain on Earth? To see a full panoramic vista from there, scroll right. Visible are snow peaked mountains near and far, tremendous cliffs, distant plateaus, the tops of clouds, and a dark blue sky. Mt. Everest stands 8.85 kilometers above sea level, roughly the maximum height reached by international airplane flights, but much less than the 300 kilometers achieved by a space shuttle. Hundreds of people have tried and failed to climb the behemoth by foot, a feat first accomplished successfully in 1953. About 1000 people have now made it to the summit. Roddy Mackenzie, who climbed the mountain in 1989, captured the above image. Mt. Everest lies in the Himalaya mountains in the country of Nepal. In the native language of Nepal, the mountain's name is "Sagarmatha" which means "forehead of the sky."

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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by BPCooper » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:10 am

I know this has been used before, but it might be worth noting that the number of people that have made it to the summit is around 3000 now (over 2700 people by the end of 2008, and over 4000 ascents if you count those who have done it multiple times).

bruceclark

Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by bruceclark » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:45 am

Everest actually straddles the border between Nepal and Tibet - and it can be climbed from both sides. The Tibetans call the mountain "Chomolungma" which means "Saint Mother".


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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by JohnD » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:13 am

Sagamartha is usually translated from Nepali by "Sky Goddess", rather than the very odd "sky forehead" (!! spell checker error??)

And that name is an official invention, by the Nepali Government in the 60s, when they realised that there was no Nepali name for this mountain which was the major reason for their country to be noticed by the rest of the world. The Sherpas have known it since time out of mind as "Chomolungma", which has the same meaning in the Sherpa language. Tibetans use the same name, and meaning, but since the Chinese invasion of Tibet it was politically unacceptable in Nepal.

And THAT is significant, because while the south side of Everest/Sagmartha/Chomolungma is in Nepal, as stated in the caption, the North side is in Tibet.

So much for the famed 'fact checking' in US publishing! But we'll forgive you - you're astronomers!
JOhn
Last edited by JohnD on Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by Tolkny » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:18 am

Without being told, one may not be certain that the view is the highest in the world, although I guess if one arrived there blindfolded the lack of oxygen would be instantly realised.

My point is that notwithstanding the beauty of the view and skill of those involved in presenting it to us, we might also gain a similarly awe inspiring view from nearer to sea level. Whilst it is surely right and proper that some 'reach for the stars' for the good of humanity, just because maybe, we can only see a view across a prison cell, it does not prevent us from having sights to wonder at.

Some of us are denied any view or sound and some even both.

Thank the powers of nature that our minds eye, always grants access to the pictures in our heads!

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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by bystander » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:24 am

JohnD wrote:Sagamartha is usually translated from Nepali by "Sky Goddess", rather than the very odd "sky forehead" (!! spell checker error??)
Wikipedia wrote:Sagarmāthā is a Sanskrit word, from sagar = "sky" (not to be confused with "sea/ocean") and māthā = "forehead" or "head", and is the modern Nepali name for Mount Everest.
But we'll excuse you. you're British (so much for the famed 'British manners').
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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by owlice » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:36 am

National Geographic wrote:Everest, named after British surveyor Sir George Everest, is known as Chomolungma by the local Sherpas, meaning "Goddess Mother of the World"—related to this is the Chinese name Qomolangma. The Nepali word for Everest, Sagarmatha, is often translated as "Forehead of the Sky."
Source: http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/tr ... pal-facts/
Himalaya Guides.com wrote:Most Nepali people refer to the mountain as Sagarmatha, meaning "Forehead in the Sky".
Source: http://www.himalayaguides.com/trip/mt-e ... ition.html
China Tibet Tour wrote:Most Nepali people refer to the mountain as Sagarmatha, meaning "Forehead in the Sky." Speakers of Tibetan languages, including the Sherpa people of northern Nepal, refer to the mountain as Chomolungma, Tibetan for "Goddess Mother of the World."
Source: http://en.tibettour.com.cn/geography/20 ... 134857.htm
400+ websites wrote:Mount Everest, also called Sagarmatha (Nepali: सगरमाथा meaning Head of the Sky) or Chomolungma, Qomolangma or Zhumulangma (in Tibetan: ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ, in Chinese: 珠穆朗玛峰 Zhūmùlǎngmǎ Fēng)
There are plenty of sources which provide alternative meanings for "Sagarmatha," and certainly "sky goddess" makes for impressive press, but it appears to me that the APOD editors are on firm ground regarding the meaning of Sagarmatha.
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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by orin stepanek » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:09 pm

WOW! I have no desire to climb any mountain! I drove up Pike's Peak when I was young and that was high enough. Mt. Everest is awesome; and you would have to be in great shape to endeavor such a climb. 8-) :mrgreen:
Orin

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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by Warmonger » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:36 pm

How, exactly, is this an ASTRONOMY pic?!

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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by JohnD » Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:52 pm

Forehead, head, leader, chief, god(desse), the opportunity for free translation is clear, and is handicapped by being from a language in a different script to ours. Let it go.
My points on the recent and political coining of the Nepali name stand, I think, and that Everest/Sagarmatha/Chomolungma is half Nepalese territory and half Tibetan, the latter contradicted in the caption.

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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by Alietr » Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:23 pm

It is incorrect to say that 8.85 km (29,000 feet) is the maximum cruising altitude for commercial airliners; it is actually at the lower end of the average range of cruising altitudes.

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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by owlice » Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:50 pm

JohnD wrote:Forehead, head, leader, chief, god(desse), the opportunity for free translation is clear, and is handicapped by being from a language in a different script to ours. Let it go.
John, you complained about the translation; once sources you (apparently) ignored which show the translation a reasonable one are brought to your attention, you suggest that others "let it go." (The script of the language is irrelevant, but thanks for the red herring.) Wow.
JohnD wrote:My points on the recent and political coining of the Nepali name stand, I think,
There is nothing in the caption suggesting anything at all about the coining of the name; you state that as though the APOD text is somehow in error on that point. It isn't.
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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by moonstruck » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:14 pm

Wow, thanks Roddy. Now I won't have to clime it. 8-)

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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by NoelC » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:07 pm

What an incredible view! I certainly would want to take EXACTLY that panorama from up there. And I imagine, as every ounce of weight is precious and paid for dearly in blood and sweat, that it wouldn't be trivial to haul a high resolution (heavy) camera up there. I can also only imagine the brilliance of the stars at night from near there (assuming you didn't freeze your body parts off looking).

And a special thanks to neufer for the alternate views of this magnificent mountain range and of Everest herself. You never cease to amaze me with the stuff you post; it adds SO much value.

I do want to say I'm disappointed with folks who think it's appropriate to nitpick at wording details in the shadow of such an amazing accomplishment, and insult people in the process. Frankly, it lowered my enjoyment in reading this thread. There's no reason you couldn't make your points and add positive information without throwing barbs at the US and astronomers. Look to neufer's examples for great ways to improve the discussion without the downside.

-Noel

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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by Tolkny » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:23 pm

I do want to say I'm disappointed with folks who think it's appropriate to nitpick at wording details in the shadow of such an amazing accomplishment, and insult people in the process. Frankly, it lowered my enjoyment in reading this thread.
Agreed

I am thankful that another member of this forum suggested viewing this website.

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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by bystander » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:24 pm

JohnD wrote:and that Everest/Sagarmatha/Chomolungma is half Nepalese territory and half Tibetan, the latter contradicted in the caption.
While the north face is in Tibet (nothing in the APOD caption disputes that) the majority of the mountain (including the summit) is in Nepal. Maybe you are the one who needs to check your facts.
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by bystander » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:35 pm

Warmonger wrote:How, exactly, is this an ASTRONOMY pic?!
The Earth is part of the Solar System, the Milky Way, the Local Group, the Virgo Supercluster, and the Universe.
Mount Everest is as close to the stars as you can get without leaving the surface of our local planet.
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by biddie67 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:46 pm

As Tolkny pointed out up above, it's easy to lose the sense of the altitude at which the picture was taken. And I had the same thought as NoelC - I bet the view of the stars could be magnificent!

I'm envious of those incredible climbers that made the trek to the top! But what about the Sherpas??? They do it many times over!!!

Even when I was much younger and quite physically fit, I don't think that I would have been able to be among those successful climbers. Now-a-days, the only way I could make it to the top would be if there were a tourist tram line with pressurized cabins built up to the top - heaven forbid such!!!!

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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:02 pm

biddie67 wrote:As Tolkny pointed out up above, it's easy to lose the sense of the altitude at which the picture was taken. And I had the same thought as NoelC - I bet the view of the stars could be magnificent!
The sensitivity of the eyes is extremely sensitive to blood oxygen levels. Even for those of us who live at high altitudes, it is only necessary to go another few thousand feet up and the number of visible stars drops significantly, under the darkest skies. Even on external oxygen, the pO2 of climbers on Everest is dangerously low. While there are certainly stars to be seen from the peak, I guess that few climbers would get much of a view.

FWIW, the atmosphere doesn't actually reduce the intensity of stars by much. You can see nearly as many stars on a dark, clear, dry night at sea level as you can from a high mountain. Of course, from mountains you are likely to have more dark, clear, dry nights than from most sea level locations.
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the view from mt. everest

Post by hawells » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:13 pm

something is wrong with this picture. the mountain top shown in the picture is above the horizon in the distance, therefore at a higher elevation than the photographer. if this was shot from everest, the photographer must not have been at the very top. (i suppose now that i think about it, if the horizon was at say 15,000 feet, then a 28,000 foot peak could be above the horizon when viewed from 30,000 feet. sorry about that.)

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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by JohnD » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:30 pm

bystander,
The border between Tibet and Nepal runs through the summit, along the North East and West Ridges.
Please look at any map, starting with Google Earth, because it's easy to find.

Owlice, others who complain of my nitpicking,
Quote the caption, " Mt. Everest lies in the Himalaya mountains in the country of Nepal. In the native language of Nepal, the mountain's name is "Sagarmatha" which means "forehead of the sky."
This pressed all my buttons for patronising, parochial information, that is so unlike the usual, informative, intelligent APOD caption that I had to comment.
It is as if it was written for kindergarten children, for whom simple statements are needed. But those simple statements must be correct, and on the location of Everest it's wrong, on the name it's wrong (or only partially correct),and it's wrong on the "native" language of Nepal. Is there any other that is the language of Nepal? Surely we have stopped talking of "natives" as if they were some subhuman race?

John

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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by Beyond » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:33 pm

No matter how one looks at it -- It's one-hell-of-a-peak to be peering from!!
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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by emc » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:16 pm

It’s like a mental cooler. This would be a good APOD to repeat this summer! 8-)

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Re: APOD: The View from Everest (2011 Apr 17)

Post by owlice » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:17 pm

JohnD wrote:bystander,
The border between Tibet and Nepal runs through the summit, along the North East and West Ridges.
Please look at any map, starting with Google Earth, because it's easy to find.

Owlice, others who complain of my nitpicking,
Quote the caption, " Mt. Everest lies in the Himalaya mountains in the country of Nepal. In the native language of Nepal, the mountain's name is "Sagarmatha" which means "forehead of the sky."
This pressed all my buttons for patronising, parochial information, that is so unlike the usual, informative, intelligent APOD caption that I had to comment.
It is as if it was written for kindergarten children, for whom simple statements are needed. But those simple statements must be correct, and on the location of Everest it's wrong, on the name it's wrong (or only partially correct),and it's wrong on the "native" language of Nepal. Is there any other that is the language of Nepal? Surely we have stopped talking of "natives" as if they were some subhuman race?

John
John, I'm not complaining about your nitpicking; I'm simply pointing out where your nitpicking is in error.

If you don't like the way something is phrased, well, okay, you don't like it. (APOD is written for a wide audience and that is reflected in its text.) APOD doesn't mention which language of Nepal. Though Nepali is spoken by less than half the population of that country, it is by far the language with the greatest number of speakers and is the country's official language. (In which other country is Nepali spoken by a greater percentage of its population?) It may have been more exact if the APOD text had read In Nepali, the mountain's name is "Sagarmatha" which means "forehead of the sky", but the text as written is not incorrect.

There is nothing wrong with the term "native language," either. Everyone has one.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.