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Article Astronomers Measure Precise Distance to Controversial Star Cluster - Essay Example

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First of all, distance is important in astronomy. These astronomers have to know the distance of the star to identify its powerfulness. A star that is farther than the astronomers thought…
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Article Astronomers Measure Precise Distance to Controversial Star Cluster
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Astronomy Astronomy Astronomers are able to use the scientific method and the study of light in astronomy. First of all, distance is important in astronomy. These astronomers have to know the distance of the star to identify its powerfulness. A star that is farther than the astronomers thought often emits twice more light than the astronomers thought. The astronomers also observe the parallax to measure the distance of the stellar (Croswell, 2014). This is a small movement that is exhibited by a star every year since observers often look at it in another perspective when planet earth revolves around the sun. The further the distance of the star, the smaller the size of the parallax.
Astronomy is a social activity where astronomers discuss ideas and interpret data while at the same time arguing on what the observation mean. In the scientific method, they make use of both the inductive and the deductive reasoning to learn about astronomy. In inductive reasoning, they make use of observations and use the results to make generalizations about astronomy. These generalizations may lead into a new theory or elaborations on a theory. They may also make use of deductive reasoning where the existing theories are subjected to rational considerations to come up with logical theory consequences.
The consequences could result into new theories and other predictions testable through various experiments. For instance, there are radio astronomers claiming that they have determined a distance of the Pleiades cluster of star from the earth. However, the results contradict that of European satellite aimed at measuring stellar distances. The European space agency launched a Hipparcos satellite to measure a parallax of 100000 stars (Croswell, 2014). Unfortunately, a certain booster failed to fire leaving a satellite in an elliptical orbit around the earth resulting into complicated data analysis. Despite this, Hipparcos scientists released the data indicating the Pleiades cluster was closer to the earth. This raised a controversy since the analysis of data had been distorted.
However, scientists agreed on a new methodology to resolve the ongoing controversy. They had to launch the Gaia spacecraft which measures parallaxes of billion stars including multiple Pleiades. The scientists are optimistic that by the end of a decade, then individuals will have a sure proof of how far the cluster is from the earth. However, this could raise more controversies if its findings contradict what the astronomers think they know. Thus, astronomers use the scientific method to know the distance of the cluster of stars from the earth. They also use the brightness of the light of these stars to determine the parallax.
Personally, I have not had a chance to use the scientific method in this way. However, I hope to accomplish it someday since I am interested in learning more about the scientific method. Often, it is difficult for science to lie since multiple experiments are often completed to prove a certain hypothesis. However, sometimes the results differ and these results into a controversy between the scientists involved like visible in the case of the Hipparcos.
References
Croswell, K. (2014, August 28). Astronomers measure precise distance to controversial star cluster. Retrieved from http://news.sciencemag.org/space/2014/08/astronomers-measure- precise-distance-controversial-star-cluster Read More
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