APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

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APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by APOD Robot » Tue May 24, 2016 4:08 am

Image Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks

Explanation: That's not lightning, and it did not strike between those mountains. The diagonal band is actually the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy, while the twin peaks are actually called the Spanish Peaks -- but located in Colorado, USA. Although each Spanish peak is composed of a slightly different type of rock, both are approximately 25 million years old. This serene yet spirited image composite was meticulously created by merging a series of images all taken from the same location on one night and early last month. In the first series of exposures, the background sky was built up, with great detail being revealed in the Milky Way dust lanes as well as the large colorful region surrounding the star Rho Ophiuchus just right of center. One sky image, though, was taken using a fogging filter so that brighter stars would appear more spread out and so more prominent. As a bonus, the planets Mars and Saturn are placed right above peaks and make an orange triangle with the bright star Antares. Later that night, after the moonrise, the Moon itself naturally illuminated the snow covered mountain tops.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by Ann » Tue May 24, 2016 4:58 am

Lovely image. Good thing it was clearly stated that it is a composite image, too.

In this era of climate change, we should probably treasure the sight of snow-covered mountains while they are still there.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by jisles » Tue May 24, 2016 1:30 pm

It's Rho Ophiuchi, not Rho Ophiuchus. Use the genitive of the constellation name.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue May 24, 2016 2:04 pm

jisles wrote:It's Rho Ophiuchi, not Rho Ophiuchus. Use the genitive of the constellation name.
That's certainly a common convention. Personally, I choose not to use dead language genitives in most cases. Rho Ophiuchus makes more sense, and is clearer to more people. I consider it the preferred usage. I encourage others to modernize our astronomical terminology by their usage, as well.
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by Guest » Tue May 24, 2016 3:02 pm

Beautiful picture and text to enhance my morning coffee break. And, as is often the case, your links ("naturally illuminated") made me smile.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by othermoons » Tue May 24, 2016 3:18 pm

How sure are we of the location of our galactic center based on observations?

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by neufer » Tue May 24, 2016 3:21 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
jisles wrote:
It's Rho Ophiuchi, not Rho Ophiuchus. Use the genitive of the constellation name.
That's certainly a common convention. Personally, I choose not to use dead language genitives in most cases. Rho Ophiuchus makes more sense, and is clearer to more people. I consider it the preferred usage. I encourage others to modernize our astronomical terminology by their usage, as well.
  • So then is the closest star system Alpha Centaurus :?:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plural_form_of_words_ending_in_-us wrote:
<<Even if the Latin plural were known, English speakers would not be obliged to use it. Examples of Latin loanwords into English which have regular English plurals in -(e)s include campus, bonus, anus and cancer. These stand beside counterexamples such as radius (radii) and alumnus (alumni). Still other words are commonly used with either one: corpus (corpora, or sometimes corpuses), formula (formulae in technical contexts, formulas in non-technical usage).

As a word in Botanical Latin, cactus follows standard Latin rules for pluralization and becomes cacti, which has become the prevalent usage in English. Regardless, cactus is popularly used as both singular and plural, and is cited as both singular and plural. Cactuses is also an acceptable plural in English.

There are three plural forms of octopus: octopuses, octopi, and octopodes. Currently, octopuses is the most common form in the UK as well as the US; octopodes is rare, and octopi is often objectionable. The Oxford English Dictionary notes that octopi derives from the mistaken assumption that octōpūs is a second declension Latin noun, which it is not. Rather, it is (Latinized) Ancient Greek, from oktṓpous (ὀκτώπους), gender masculine, whose plural is oktṓpodes (ὀκτώποδες). If the word were native to Latin, it would be octōpēs ('eight-foot') and the plural octōpedēs, analogous to centipedes and mīllipedēs, as the plural form of pēs ('foot') is pedēs.

The situation with the word platypus is similar to that of octopus; the word is etymologically Greek despite its Latinized ending, and so pluralizing it as if it were Latin (i.e. as platypi) is ill-considered. As with octopus, importing Greek morphology into English would have platypodes as the plural, but in practice this form is not well-attested. In scientific contexts biologists often use platypus as both the singular and plural form of the word, in the tradition of sheep or fish, but laypersons and scientists alike often use the simple English plural platypuses. There is no consensus on which of these two is correct, with different dictionaries making different recommendations.

The English plural of virus is viruses. This is non-controversial and speakers would not attempt to use the non-standard plural in -i. The Latin word vīrus (the ī indicates a long i) means "1. slimy liquid, slime; 2. poison, venom", denoting the venom of a snake. Since vīrus in antiquity denoted something uncountable, it was a mass noun. Mass nouns—such as air, rice, and helpfulness in English—pluralize only under special circumstances, hence the non-existence of plural forms in the texts. It is unclear how a plural might have been formed under Latin grammar in ancient times if the word had acquired a meaning requiring a plural form. If vīrus were a masculine second declension term like alumnus, it would be correct to use vīrī as its plural. However, it is not a masculine second declension term, as was explained. There does exist a Latin word virī, meaning "men" (the plural of vir, a second declension masculine noun), but it has a short i in the first syllable.

Facetious mock-erudite plurals in -i or even -ii are sometimes found for words ending with a sound (vaguely) similar to -us. Examples are stewardi (supposed plural of stewardess) and Elvii (as a plural for Elvis imitators). The Toyota corporation has determined that their Prius model should have the plural form Prii, even though the Latin word prius has a plural priora, the Lada Priora having prior claim to that name—though the common plural is "Priuses". The Winklevoss twins are sometimes collectively referred to as "the Winklevii".>>
Last edited by neufer on Tue May 24, 2016 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue May 24, 2016 3:25 pm

neufer wrote:
Chris Peterson wrote:
jisles wrote:
It's Rho Ophiuchi, not Rho Ophiuchus. Use the genitive of the constellation name.
That's certainly a common convention. Personally, I choose not to use dead language genitives in most cases. Rho Ophiuchus makes more sense, and is clearer to more people. I consider it the preferred usage. I encourage others to modernize our astronomical terminology by their usage, as well.
  • So then is the closest star system Alpha Centaurus :?:
Indeed, it is. Although it's not unreasonable to use "Alpha Centauri" for the simple reason that it's become a proper name in its own right, divorced from its original genitive derivation. There are a handful of famous stars in that category.
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by neufer » Tue May 24, 2016 3:27 pm

othermoons wrote:
How sure are we of the location of our galactic center based on observations?
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by Fred the Cat » Tue May 24, 2016 5:35 pm

neufer wrote: "Sgr A* contains a cluster of dark stellar objects or a mass of degenerate fermions"
That degenerate matter. It's such a deviant form of an ideal gas...The next thing you know they'll be allowing anti-matter to tell us who we voted for in the next election. :wink:
By the way Hillary won because she appointed Bill Clinton to be Vice President
From there - everything degenerated. :ssmile:
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by jisles » Tue May 24, 2016 6:23 pm

The International Astronomical Union says (http://www.iau.org/public/themes/constellations/):

'Each Latin constellation name has two forms: the nominative, for use when talking about the constellation itself, and the genitive, or possessive, which is used in star names. For instance, Hamal, the brightest star in the constellation Aries (nominative form), is also called Alpha Arietis (genitive form), meaning literally “the alpha of Aries”.'

Sky & Telescope (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronom ... eviations/) says:

'Every constellation name has two forms: the nominative, for use when you're talking about the constellation itself, and the genitive, or possessive, which is used in star names. For instance, Hamal, the brightest star in the constellation Aries (nominative form), is also called Alpha Arietis (genitive form), meaning literally "the Alpha of Aries."'

I'm not sure who copied whom here, but the IAU is the official body for star designations. Sorry, but forms such as "Alpha Centaurus" and "Rho Ophiuchus" are incorrect. You should use the genitive.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue May 24, 2016 6:28 pm

jisles wrote:The International Astronomical Union says...
Yes, they do. Which means that this is the recommended usage for professional astronomers to use in publications. It isn't a mandate, even for them, however.
I'm not sure who copied whom here, but the IAU is the official body for star designations. Sorry, but forms such as "Alpha Centaurus" and "Rho Ophiuchus" are incorrect. You should use the genitive.
They are not "wrong". They simply deviate from IAU convention. Language is dictated by usage, not by professional societies without legal authority.

Use the Latin genitive if you like. I will continue to eschew it for simplicity and clarity, and encourage others to do the same. Nothing wrong about that at all.
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by Mactavish » Tue May 24, 2016 7:42 pm

Then, are those thingies up there thingyus? or thingyii?

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by heehaw » Tue May 24, 2016 7:54 pm

Gosh, I got so confused reading this profound discussion of Latin endings, that I decided to find out who was right, and who was wrong, by clicking on "Rho Ophiuchus" in today's caption - hey, I thought, that ought to take me to a definitive source! And it took me to .... Astronomy Picture of the Day! There can't be any source more authoritative than THAT! And ... guess what!!!!

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by Fred the Cat » Tue May 24, 2016 8:05 pm

All kidding aside from earlier but what a change from Martin's usual APOD images. Search Pugh. Excellent write-up too on how it's possible to create such a landscape. I've been a fan to his deep sky photography and now I'm a fan of more down-to-Earth images too. Thanks!! :clap:
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue May 24, 2016 8:15 pm

heehaw wrote:Gosh, I got so confused reading this profound discussion of Latin endings, that I decided to find out who was right, and who was wrong, by clicking on "Rho Ophiuchus" in today's caption - hey, I thought, that ought to take me to a definitive source! And it took me to .... Astronomy Picture of the Day! There can't be any source more authoritative than THAT! And ... guess what!!!!
There you go! (And not everything can be categorized as either right or wrong.)
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by geckzilla » Tue May 24, 2016 11:46 pm

I Anglicized annuli to annuluses the other day. I'm still not sure how I feel about it. Some things like nebulas I have no problem with at this point but for some reason annuluses didn't sound right, probably because I almost never see it written that way.
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed May 25, 2016 12:08 am

geckzilla wrote:I Anglicized annuli to annuluses the other day. I'm still not sure how I feel about it. Some things like nebulas I have no problem with at this point but for some reason annuluses didn't sound right, probably because I almost never see it written that way.
Words like that aren't used so much in ordinary communication, either. They are more along the lines of jargon, and we hear jargonized plurals as well.

Still, I don't worry much about how something sounds. That's just experience. I almost always choose the anglicized version of a plural over the Latin one, simply as a matter of form. Anything to simplify the language is a good thing, as long as it doesn't increase confusion or reduce comprehension. (And in fact, I'll bet that a lot of people don't know what "annulus" even means, and if you told them and asked them to refer to several in a sentence, they'd say "annuluses", because that's the obvious choice.
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by geckzilla » Wed May 25, 2016 12:20 am

There are times when I might favor a Latin plural because it sounds better. Maybe. I'm not a big fan of things that end in s having a subsequent es added on, even though it's correct. In the end I think I prefer to be consistent rather than to subjectively pick and choose what I like, though I think the nature of language is possibly closer to the latter. Why did we choose to fully Anglicize the word galaxies while many stick with the Latin nebulae? That's usually what I ask someone who is stuck on the idea that nebulas is wrong.
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by Ann » Wed May 25, 2016 12:29 am

geckzilla wrote:There are times when I might favor a Latin plural because it sounds better. Maybe. I'm not a big fan of things that end in s having a subsequent es added on, even though it's correct. In the end I think I prefer to be consistent rather than to subjectively pick and choose what I like, though I think the nature of language is possibly closer to the latter. Why did we choose to fully Anglicize the word galaxies while many stick with the Latin nebulae? That's usually what I ask someone who is stuck on the idea that nebulas is wrong.
You guys taught me to write nebulas. My spellcheck still protests.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed May 25, 2016 12:41 am

Ann wrote:You guys taught me to write nebulas. My spellcheck still protests.
Just curious... when you post in a forum like this, do you switch your browser or computer to English, along with the spellcheck dictionary, or do you have a sort of hybrid dictionary with English and Swedish all mixed together (which might lead to många fel, nej?)
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by Ann » Wed May 25, 2016 1:26 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
Ann wrote:You guys taught me to write nebulas. My spellcheck still protests.
Just curious... when you post in a forum like this, do you switch your browser or computer to English, along with the spellcheck dictionary, or do you have a sort of hybrid dictionary with English and Swedish all mixed together (which might lead to många fel, nej?)
The expression många fel, nej would be a dead giveaway that you are not a native Swedish speaker. It is the "nej" that gives you away. I think you can say "mange fejl, ikke" in Danish, but you shouldn't ask me about that.

But as for my spellcheck: yes, I have to change it from English to Swedish and back again, as I switch languages. If I don't, and sometimes I'm too lazy to do it, almost every word I write has an angry red line under it.

The spellcheck I have in school drives me crazy, at least when I try to post something here at Asterisk*. I haven't been able to figure out what language it thinks I'm trying to write in. It protests at every word I write, and then it forcefully puts a capital letter on every tenth word or so - Galaxies, Picture and so on. I think perhaps it is doing this to nouns only (though not to all nouns) so perhaps it thinks I'm trying to write some sort of German.

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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by MarkBour » Wed May 25, 2016 1:31 am

Ann wrote: You guys taught me to write nebulas. My spellcheck still protests.
So does mine, no Swedish in my settings.

How apropos, that the pluralization of nebula should be a bit of a clouded issue. :D
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed May 25, 2016 1:46 am

Ann wrote:
Chris Peterson wrote:
Ann wrote:You guys taught me to write nebulas. My spellcheck still protests.
Just curious... when you post in a forum like this, do you switch your browser or computer to English, along with the spellcheck dictionary, or do you have a sort of hybrid dictionary with English and Swedish all mixed together (which might lead to många fel, nej?)
The expression många fel, nej would be a dead giveaway that you are not a native Swedish speaker. It is the "nej" that gives you away. I think you can say "mange fejl, ikke" in Danish, but you shouldn't ask me about that.
Interesting. Yeah, if I were reading something I'd commonly expect ikke. But I picked up on the nej parallel with English watching the Danish TV show Rita (about a teacher, FWIW). They use nej in that construction all the time. Younger people. I wonder if it's an idiomatic shift from the small world of the Internet, in a country where essentially everyone speaks English. Not common in Sweden, I guess (would you use inte, or a completely different construction?) I'm not sure how idioms move between the Scandinavian languages. Most of my experience with Swedish is watching Bergman movies, which isn't exactly modern conversational Swedish!
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Re: APOD: Milky Way Over the Spanish Peaks (2016 May 24)

Post by neufer » Wed May 25, 2016 1:59 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
Most of my experience with Swedish is watching Bergman movies,
Well...that explains a lot...
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