APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

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APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by APOD Robot » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:09 am

Image Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the Stars

Explanation: Fans of planet Earth probably recognize its highest mountain, the Himalayan Mount Everest, on the left in this 3-panel skyscape of The World at Night. Shrouded in cloud Everest's peak is at 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) elevation above sea level. In the middle panel, stars trail above volcanic Mauna Kea forming part of the island of Hawaii. Festooned with astronomical observatories, its summit lies a mere 4,168 meters above sea level. Still, measured from its base starting below the ocean's surface, Mauna Kea is over 10,000 meters tall, making it Earth's tallest mountain from base to summit. At right, beneath the arc of the Milky Way is the Andean mountain Chimborazo in Ecuador. The highest equatorial mountain, the Chimborazo volcano's peak elevation is 6,268 meters above sea level. But rotating planet Earth is a flattened sphere (oblate spheroid) in shape, its equatorial diameter greater than its diameter measured pole to pole. Sitting nearly on top of Earth's greatest equatorial bulge, Chimborazo's peak is the farthest point on the planet's surface from the center, over 2,000 meters farther from the center of the Earth than Everest's peak. That makes Chimborazo's summit the place on Earth's surface closest to the stars.

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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by johngauvreau » Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:11 pm

I love dropping in to APOD every day, and am constantly delighted, but this is a unique and fascinating perspective. Congratulations, not just to the photographers, but to the very clever person who put this all together for us to enjoy. Well done!

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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by bls0326 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:53 pm

+1 Thanks

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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by aildoux » Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:59 pm

Wow.... you learn something every day....

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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by Lilly » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:22 pm

My students dont like this explanation today... They said it is to complicated... too much information in a few words..... I found it interesting....

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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by Cousin Ricky » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:25 pm

Lilly wrote:My students dont like this explanation today... They said it is to complicated... too much information in a few words..... I found it interesting....
Draw them a picture.

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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by neufer » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:52 pm

-----------------------------------------------------------
  • Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
DE GUICHE: Have you read 'Don Quixote'?

CYRANO: I have! And doff my hat at th' mad knight-errant's name.

DE GUICHE: I counsel you to study. . .The windmill chapter!

CYRANO (bowing): Chapter the Thirteenth.

DE GUICHE: For when one tilts 'gainst windmills - it may chance. . .

CYRANO: Tilt I 'gainst those who change with every breeze?

DE GUICHE: ...That windmill sails may sweep you with their arm
  • Down - in the mire!...
CYRANO: Or upward - to the stars!
-----------------------------------------------------------------
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrano_de_Bergerac wrote:

<<Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac (6 March 1619 – 28 July 1655) was a French novelist, playwright, epistolarian and duelist. Today he is best known as the inspiration for Edmond Rostand's most noted drama Cyrano de Bergerac which, although it includes elements of his life, also contains invention and myth.

Cyrano de Bergerac's works L'Autre Monde: ou les États et Empires de la Lune ("Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon", published posthumously, 1657) and Les États et Empires du Soleil (The States and Empires of the Sun, 1662) are classics of early modern science fiction.

In part one [of L'Autre Monde (1657)], an attempt to reach the Moon to prove there is a civilization that views Earth as its moon leads the narrator to soar from Paris into the sky by strapping bottles of dew to his person, but he fails and lands back on Earth. Believing to have traveled straight up and down, he is confused by local soldiers who tell him he is in France; they escort him to the provincial governor who informs him that it is in fact New France. The narrator explains to the governor that all matter is formed inside and expelled from stars, and that once the Sun has run out of fuel it will consume the planets and restart the cycle. He uses New France as evidence for this theory, claiming that its only being discovered not long ago by European explorers was because the Sun had only recently sent it to Earth.

The narrator tries again to construct a way of reaching the Moon, this time through a flying machine that he launches off a cliff's edge. Though the craft crashes, local soldiers attach rockets to it, hoping that it will fly to celebrate the feast day of St. John the Baptist. Dismayed at this use of his machine, the narrator attempts to deconstruct it while the fuse is lit, but the machine takes off and sends him into space. He meets inhabitants who have four legs, musical voices, and amazing weapons that cook game for a meal while it's being shot, as well as the ghost of Socrates and Domingo Gonsales of Francis Godwin's The Man in the Moone. His discussions with Gonsales include how useless of a concept God is, that humans cannot achieve immortality, and that they do not have souls. After these discussions, the narrator returns to Earth.

In part two, a new machine that focuses solar energy through mirrors to generate bursts of air sends the narrator to the Sun. Those living on a Sun spot teach him about the solar system by relating it to how atoms move. Upon the surface of the Sun, he is tried for all the crimes humanity has committed by birds, but one who knows him sets him free. The narrator then discusses with Tommaso Campanella how sex would work in Utopia.>>
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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by iamhondo » Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:32 pm

Geometry Error:

Chimborazo's summit is closest to the stars on the celestial equator. But the North Pole is almost 4,000 miles closer to northern stars like Polaris. (Oh, and the South Pole is closer to the stars in the Southern Cross.)

The "farthest point...from the center" claim is valid. But the "closest to the stars" claim is overly general and unsupported by geometry.

It might be the place with the fastest radial velocity on the surface. Or the place on Earth where you weigh the least. (Not enough coffee yet for trig calculations.)

Joe

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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by gvann » Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:35 pm

Chimborazo's peak is also the place on Earth where the acceleration of gravity, g, is lowest. Anyone know exactly how much it is? I calculate about 9.76 m/sec^2

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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by Chris Peterson » Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:54 pm

gvann wrote:Chimborazo's peak is also the place on Earth where the acceleration of gravity, g, is lowest. Anyone know exactly how much it is? I calculate about 9.76 m/sec^2
The acceleration of gravity isn't determined only by the distance from Earth's center, but by the local density of the crust. As a result, Huascarán Peak in Ecuador, which is slightly closer to Earth's center than Chimborazo, actually has the smallest acceleration of gravity on Earth, 9.7639 m/s2. (It needs to be measured, not calculated, and it's tricky because centrifugal force has to be allowed for at this degree of precision.)
Chris

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Closer to some...further from others (2016 Feb 25)

Post by geoffrey.landis » Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:40 pm

"That makes Chimborazo's summit the place on Earth's surface closest to the stars."

Indeed. Closer to some of the stars... further from others.

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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by neufer » Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:52 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
The acceleration of gravity isn't determined only by the distance from Earth's center, but by the local density of the crust. As a result, Huascarán Peak in Ecuador, which is slightly closer to Earth's center than Chimborazo, actually has the smallest acceleration of gravity on Earth, 9.7639 m/s2.
  • That's one way to avoid putting on the pounds.
http://www.foodsforfibromyalgia.com/2010/03/07/world-record/http://www.foodsforfibromyalgia.com/2010/03/07/world-record/ wrote: <<Most people have an adventure deep inside them – a secret urge to drive across a continent, sail an ocean, or climb a mountain. The Social Climbers is a tale of one such dream. An absurdly ridiculous dream which, carried out with epic incompetence, became a ludicrous reality.

Led by Chris Darwin (great-great-grandson of the famous Charles), Deirdre Rawlings, together with a party of nine inspired amateurs, including a 62-year-old grandfather, set off for Peru to create a bizarre visual joke: the world’s highest dinner party. Only two had any mountaineering experience, yet they chose to host the dinner on the summit of Peru’s highest and most unpronounceable mountain, Huascuaran – at 22,604ft (6,769 meters).

They had been warned about terrorism, blizzards, avalanches, frostbite and altitude sickness. But no one could have predicted the real hardships they would face: loss of libido, a documentary crew led by an obsessed German philosopher, an absurd love triangle and chronic flatulence; nor could they have foreseen the litany of injuries and disasters that would befall the expedition: malaria, bronchitis, Guardia, hemorrhoids, a ripped shoulder, cracked ribs, hypothermia, pregnancy and a frozen bottle of red wine.>>
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by Fred the Cat » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:33 pm

neufer wrote:
Chris Peterson wrote:
The acceleration of gravity isn't determined only by the distance from Earth's center, but by the local density of the crust. As a result, Huascarán Peak in Ecuador, which is slightly closer to Earth's center than Chimborazo, actually has the smallest acceleration of gravity on Earth, 9.7639 m/s2.
  • That's one way to avoid putting on the pounds.
http://www.foodsforfibromyalgia.com/2010/03/07/world-record/http://www.foodsforfibromyalgia.com/2010/03/07/world-record/ wrote: <<Most people have an adventure deep inside them – a secret urge to drive across a continent, sail an ocean, or climb a mountain. The Social Climbers is a tale of one such dream. An absurdly ridiculous dream which, carried out with epic incompetence, became a ludicrous reality.

Led by Chris Darwin (great-great-grandson of the famous Charles), Deirdre Rawlings, together with a party of nine inspired amateurs, including a 62-year-old grandfather, set off for Peru to create a bizarre visual joke: the world’s highest dinner party. Only two had any mountaineering experience, yet they chose to host the dinner on the summit of Peru’s highest and most unpronounceable mountain, Huascuaran – at 22,604ft (6,769 meters).

They had been warned about terrorism, blizzards, avalanches, frostbite and altitude sickness. But no one could have predicted the real hardships they would face: loss of libido, a documentary crew led by an obsessed German philosopher, an absurd love triangle and chronic flatulence; nor could they have foreseen the litany of injuries and disasters that would befall the expedition: malaria, bronchitis, Guardia, hemorrhoids, a ripped shoulder, cracked ribs, hypothermia, pregnancy and a frozen bottle of red wine.>>
Did they play "Survival of the Witless" after dinner?

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Re: Closer to some...further from others (2016 Feb 25)

Post by BMAONE23 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:17 pm

geoffrey.landis wrote:"That makes Chimborazo's summit the place on Earth's surface closest to the stars."

Indeed. Closer to some of the stars... further from others.
And, Certainly, mountains on this side of the Earth are closer to stars on this side of the Earth than are mountains on the other side of the Earth but that particular mountain top is closer to local stars than other mountains to their relative local stars.

Arguably the closest mountain top to the "Stars" would be what ever southern peak (probably Vinson Massif in Antarctica) lies closest to Alpha Centauri B, our closest star that isn't the Sun

John Macdonald

Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by John Macdonald » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:26 pm

I'd define "closest to the stars" differently. While the provided "farthest from the center of the earth" has some appeal, this site is talking to and about astronomers. In that context, "closest to the stars" means "least amount of obscuring atmosphere blocking the view of the stars" - which would require integrating the density and depth of the atmosphere above the positions being compared. I suspect that the atmosphere reaches higher above the equator than above the poles, in conjunction with the same forces that cause the non-spherical bulging of the earth's (solid) surface. So, the prime candidate is likely a mountain that is tall and close to the one of the poles.

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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by Boomer12k » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:54 pm

It is not closer to the ones on the other side of the planet....

I find it immaterial, as I use a telescope, and a few thousand meters isn't going to make much of a difference...it is LIGHT POLLUTION that bothers me....

Some people have way too much time on their hands....interesting though it maybe....

Nice images though...
:---[===] *

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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by mfisher19 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:59 pm

How does one get a higher resolution photo to print/frame such a beautiful mosaic, with the understanding of willingness to pay?

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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by Tara_Li » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:34 pm

Now, the question I have is - due to centrifugal force on the *atmosphere*, and the variations in local gravitation affecting the density profile of the atmosphere - is this peak actually the best one to peek through, as in the least atmosphere in the way? (And of course, light pollution is always a consideration *growls*).

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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by Beyond » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:56 pm

neufer wrote:
Chris Peterson wrote:
The acceleration of gravity isn't determined only by the distance from Earth's center, but by the local density of the crust. As a result, Huascarán Peak in Ecuador, which is slightly closer to Earth's center than Chimborazo, actually has the smallest acceleration of gravity on Earth, 9.7639 m/s2.
  • That's one way to avoid putting on the pounds.
http://www.foodsforfibromyalgia.com/2010/03/07/world-record/http://www.foodsforfibromyalgia.com/2010/03/07/world-record/ wrote: <<Most people have an adventure deep inside them – a secret urge to drive across a continent, sail an ocean, or climb a mountain. The Social Climbers is a tale of one such dream. An absurdly ridiculous dream which, carried out with epic incompetence, became a ludicrous reality.

Led by Chris Darwin (great-great-grandson of the famous Charles), Deirdre Rawlings, together with a party of nine inspired amateurs, including a 62-year-old grandfather, set off for Peru to create a bizarre visual joke: the world’s highest dinner party. Only two had any mountaineering experience, yet they chose to host the dinner on the summit of Peru’s highest and most unpronounceable mountain, Huascuaran – at 22,604ft (6,769 meters).

They had been warned about terrorism, blizzards, avalanches, frostbite and altitude sickness. But no one could have predicted the real hardships they would face: loss of libido, a documentary crew led by an obsessed German philosopher, an absurd love triangle and chronic flatulence; nor could they have foreseen the litany of injuries and disasters that would befall the expedition: malaria, bronchitis, Guardia, hemorrhoids, a ripped shoulder, cracked ribs, hypothermia, pregnancy and a frozen bottle of red wine.>>
Oh, the hazards of dining out er, up.
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Re: Closer to some...further from others (2016 Feb 25)

Post by Cousin Ricky » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:32 pm

BMAONE23 wrote:
geoffrey.landis wrote:Arguably the closest mountain top to the "Stars" would be what ever southern peak (probably Vinson Massif in Antarctica) lies closest to Alpha Centauri B, our closest star that isn't the Sun
That would be Proxima Centauri, not Alpha Centauri B.

And certainly not Vinson Massif. There is a 23&deg; difference between Proxima's declination and Vinson's latitude, making the Earth's curvature a bigger factor than Vinson's altitude.

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Re: Closer to some...further from others (2016 Feb 25)

Post by neufer » Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:04 am

Cousin Ricky wrote:
BMAONE23 wrote:
Arguably the closest mountain top to the "Stars" would be what ever southern peak (probably Vinson Massif in Antarctica) lies closest to Alpha Centauri B, our closest star that isn't the Sun
That would be Proxima Centauri, not Alpha Centauri B.

And certainly not Vinson Massif. There is a 23&deg; difference between Proxima's declination and Vinson's latitude, making the Earth's curvature a bigger factor than Vinson's altitude.
  • More like a 16° difference:

Code: Select all

Vinson Massif's latitude:        78° 31′ 31.74″ S

Proxima Centauri Declination 	−62° 40′ 46.16″
However, there is a ~1 km Earth's curvature factor to make up
for every latitude degree SQUARED discrepancy
[so (16°)2 makes for a lot of vertical kilometers to compensate for].

Of course all this pales in comparison with the Earth's orbital motion:

On May 21, 2000, the Earth was closest to Proxima Centauri by ~108,500,000 km due to the Sun, Jupiter & Saturn all being roughly in the opposite direction of the sky from Proxima Centauri. (Assuming that Proxima Centauri stayed put) the closest "point" would be whatever longitudinal [62° 40′ 46.16″S oceanic] point had Proxima Centauri at zenith at the time that this orbital extension maxed out.
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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by geckzilla » Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:24 am

I took "closest to the stars" to mean the imaginary sphere at some unknown height above Earth regardless of atmospheric thickness, distance to individual stars, or Earth's current position. Ie, Flammarion engraving
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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by Nitpicker » Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:33 am

geckzilla wrote:I took "closest to the stars" to mean the imaginary sphere at some unknown height above Earth regardless of atmospheric thickness, distance to individual stars, or Earth's current position. Ie, Flammarion engraving
That imaginary sphere surrounded a flat Earth though, did it not? So that would make Everest the closest. (Though if it really were flat there couldn't be any mountains.)

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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by geckzilla » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:01 am

Nitpicker wrote:
geckzilla wrote:I took "closest to the stars" to mean the imaginary sphere at some unknown height above Earth regardless of atmospheric thickness, distance to individual stars, or Earth's current position. Ie, Flammarion engraving
That imaginary sphere surrounded a flat Earth though, did it not? So that would make Everest the closest. (Though if it really were flat there couldn't be any mountains.)
That Wiki Article wrote:Some commentators have claimed that Flammarion produced the image to propagandize the myth that medieval Europeans widely believed the Earth to be flat.[16] In his book, however, Flammarion never discusses the history of beliefs about the shape of the Earth. His text suggests that the image is simply a fanciful illustration of the false view of the sky as an opaque barrier.
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Re: APOD: Highest, Tallest, and Closest to the... (2016 Feb 25)

Post by neufer » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:59 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firmament wrote: <<The firmament is the structure above the atmosphere, conceived as a vast solid dome. According to the Genesis creation narrative, God created the firmament to separate the "waters above" the earth from the "waters below" the earth. The word is anglicized from Latin firmamentum.

The word "firmament" is first recorded in a Middle English narrative based on scripture dated 1250. It later appeared in the King James Bible. The word is anglicised from Latin firmamentum, used in the Vulgate (4th century). This in turn is derived from the Latin root firmus, a cognate with "firm". The word is a Latinization of the Greek stereoma, which appears in the Septuagint (c. 200 BC).>>

  • Hamlet, Prince of Denmark Act 2, Scene 2

HAMLET: This goodly frame, the earth,
  • seems to me a sterile promontory, this most
    excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave
    o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted
    with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to
    me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_spheres wrote: <<The celestial spheres, or celestial orbs, were the fundamental entities of the cosmological models developed by Plato, Eudoxus, Aristotle, Ptolemy, Copernicus and others. In these celestial models the apparent motions of the fixed stars and the planets are accounted for by treating them as embedded in rotating spheres made of an aetherial, transparent fifth element (quintessence), like jewels set in orbs. Since it was believed that the fixed stars did not change their positions relative to one another, it was argued that they must be on the surface of a single starry sphere.

Ancient and medieval thinkers considered the celestial orbs to be thick spheres of rarefied matter nested one within the other, each one in complete contact with the sphere above it and the sphere below. When scholars applied Ptolemy's epicycles, they presumed that each planetary sphere was exactly thick enough to accommodate them. By combining this nested sphere model with astronomical observations, scholars calculated what became generally accepted values at the time for the distances to the Sun (about 4 million miles), to the other planets, and to the edge of the universe (about 73 million miles).

Albert Van Helden has suggested that from about 1250 until the 17th century, virtually all educated Europeans were familiar with the Ptolemaic model of "nesting spheres and the cosmic dimensions derived from it". Even following the adoption of Copernicus's heliocentric model of the universe, new versions of the celestial sphere model were introduced, with the planetary spheres following this sequence from the central Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth-Moon, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.>>
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