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Space Science

On Second Thought, Polaris Really Does Seem 434 Light Years Away 75

Posted by timothy
from the shaggy-dog-story dept.
sciencehabit writes with this excerpt from Science Magazine "Last November, astronomer David Turner made headlines by claiming that one of the sky's best known objects—the North Star, Polaris—was actually 111 light-years closer than thought. If true, the finding might have forced researchers to rethink how they calculate distances in the cosmos as well as what they know about some aspects of stellar physics. But a new study argues that distance measurements of the familiar star made some 2 decades ago by the European Space Agency's venerable Hipparcos satellite are still spot on."
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On Second Thought, Polaris Really Does Seem 434 Light Years Away

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  • by tqk (413719) <> on Saturday January 19, 2013 @02:56AM (#42632527)

    Does this discrepancy only exist for Polaris? Do all other stars give the same results for both measurement methods?

    Short read. []

    You'd think making Hubble take an accurate bead on the thing on Dec. 31 and Jul. 1, then comparing the two readings to triangulate would be all that's needed (basic geometry); nuh uh. How about Type 1a supernovae which ought to all be the same luminosity, or Cepheid Variables, ditto.

    Nope. It's not that easy. Fun problem.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 19, 2013 @06:33AM (#42632829)

    that pissed me off so much, universe was actually getting quite good....Someone needs to invest in a real scifi network that only show...oh i fiction?

    A good starting lineup would be stargate, a star wars tv series, A reboot of firefly, and some good old fashioned early 90's anime....

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.