Debunking the Big Bang Theory?

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  • #2
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I can't speak for the site the story is posted on, but yes it is a serious issue, although from what I can tell, Arp is considered a maverick in cosmological circles. Look at the Non-Cosmological Redshift thread in the General Astronomy and Cosmology forum.

Personally, I think that even if this is found true (and that's far from a foregone conclusion) the Big Bang will survive, just as Newton's laws survived Relativity. The Big Bang has a lot more legs to stand on than just quasars.
 
  • #3
Ivan Seeking
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From Rense's source.

For those twenty years Talbott and Thornhill remain outsiders, at odds with the scientific establishment. Each longs for confirmation of his discoveries from other disciplines.

1994. Talbott and Thornhill meet in an elevator. And each discovers in the work of the other the confirmation he has been searching for. Ancient mythology and leading edge astrophysics are telling the same story. [:rolleyes:] That story will shake up our collective assumptions both about the Earth’s not so distant past and about how deep space and the universe actually function. [continued]
http://www.thunderbolts.info/tb-authors.htm [Broken]

Any questions?
 
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  • #4
Not commenting on the big bang one way or the other but hasn't it long been known that there is basically dust floating in space? Over a vast enough distance that dust would build up an effect quite similar to the atmosphere's effect on sunlight at sunset?

Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly but it seems that redshift of incoming light from distant parts of the universe should have never been a concept of any consequence other than a mere expectation.

... further away, more dust in between, photons lose energy... yadda yadda.
 
  • #5
Nereid
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phoenixthoth said:
I came across this and was wondering if it was just hot air or if it was serious:

http://www.rense.com/general61/bbang.htm
It's nonsense.

For example: "The Big Bang was dismantled by direct observation-including a highly redshifted quasar in front of a nearby galaxy!" note that Reese doesn't give you any info on which one (so you simply have to take his word for it) - not a good sign (and, AFAIK, there isn't any such 'direct observation').

If Reese is serious about this: "For many years it has been known that the map of the universe acquires a bizarre appearance when you let redshift determine distances. Suddenly galactic clusters stretch out in radial lines absurdly pointing at the earth. The effect is called "the fingers of God," and the earth-directed "fingers" span billions of light-years." he's either extraordinarily ignorant, or disingenuous (to put it mildly) ... a) the effect has been well known for a long time (look up 'virial theorem'), b) the fingers of god
don't stretch over such distances, and c) there is a lot of voids, strings, and sheets ... just what is predicted in the concordance model (of cosmology).

Note that there's not a single concrete, specific, testable prediction on his website ... so we are to abandon the mainstream astronomy community - with its millions of observations - in favour of Reese, simply because he says we should? :eek: :surprised :yuck:
 
  • #6
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Seems like the big bang theory should have never attained the status and credibility it did. But as useall the majority are more interested in preserving their sacred doctrines than the truth. Seems like a common theme throughout the scientific world.
Here's to preserving the status quo.. :yuck:
 
  • #7
russ_watters
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Overdose said:
Seems like the big bang theory should have never attained the status and credibility it did. But as useall the majority are more interested in preserving their sacred doctrines than the truth. Seems like a common theme throughout the scientific world.
Here's to preserving the status quo.. :yuck:
You don't see any contradictions in that post, do you...? How about:

-"the big bang theory should have never attained the status and credibility it did"
is contradictory to:
-"But as useall the majority are more interested in preserving their sacred doctrines"
and:
-"Here's to preserving the status quo"

So I ask: how did the BBT attain status and credibility if the scientific community likes to preserve the status quo? How did Relativity become the 'dogma' some people call it today, if in 1900, pretty much every scientist supported ether theory?

The science-is-dogma opinion is self-contradictory at face value.
 
  • #8
Chronos
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It's hot air. Rense is spouting off a lot of nonsense that was debunked 20 years ago. WMAP sent a bunch of his kind underground. Now they are re-emerging under the under the umbrella of CREIL and other unprovable intrinsic redshift crap. Believe it if you like. You will notice they always explain why it makes the same predictions as GR. You will also notice they fail to mention the predictions that do not match GR. It's all cowpies to me.
 
  • #9
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phoenixthoth said:
I came across this and was wondering if it was just hot air or if it was serious:

http://www.rense.com/general61/bbang.htm
From that site said:
For established science the greatest embarrassment could come from public realization that, for decades, astronomers suppressed the warning signs.
Anytime you see this kind of garbage stated about scientists you can bet your sweet bippy that it was written by a crackpot!

If any credible scientist has a so-called "warning sign" that there was something wrong with the Big Bang Theory they would quickly jump on that evidence to see where it could lead. Scientists aren't a group of secret conspirators attempting to support someone else's theory at all cost. On the contrary they are ruthless cut-throat competitors who would jump at any chance to make a name for themselves by proving anything at all! Especially if it flew in the face of some traditional theory!

They would instantly be seen as another Einstein if they had a credible theory that would upset conventional wisdom. So the idea that they are somehow trying to cover their tracks because they know they are wrong is the most absurd crackpot idea anyone could possible suggest. :rofl:

That's not to say that the Big Bang Theory might not be incorrect. Personally I think it will be discovered to be incorrect someday actually. But the idea that scientists are suppressing warning signs to avoid embarrassment is absurd!

There's nothing embarrassing about recognizing that any particular theory has other explanations that might actually be more compelling. That's what science is all about!

again from the article said:
But astronomers ignored or dismissed Arp's work, insisting that his conclusions were either erroneous or impossible.
If the scientific community looked at this work and dismissed it as being invalid, then who wrote this article? And why should we believe them? Sounds like disgruntled complaining to me. "Nobody believes us but we're right! You just wait and see! The entire scientific community will be embarrassed about being dumber than we are!"

:smile:
 
  • #10
The conspiracy theorist tone and lack of evidence does seem to contribute to the characterization of the site as crackpottery...

So I ask: how did the BBT attain status and credibility if the scientific community likes to preserve the status quo? How did Relativity become the 'dogma' some people call it today, if in 1900, pretty much every scientist supported ether theory?
I've got no axe to grind with BBT. I couldn't care less if it is right or wrong but I don't follow your logic here.
It's a little like saying: "How did protestantism become the 'dogma' some people call it today, if in 1500, pretty much every believer in Jesus supported catholicism?"
And I'd say that the catholic church does like to preserve the status quo..

The science-is-dogma opinion is self-contradictory at face value.
Can you elaborate? I'm certain that the troubles that Einstein faced when trying to convince proponents of ether would have seemed to be dogma to him. The fact that a very great many scientists held on to ether for the next 20 years I believe he would have called dogma.
How is it that you believe there is no dogma in current science? Are people 100 years later that much further evolved that we are above turning scientific understandings into belief systems as has been done down through the ages?

1905+ proponents of relativity could have seen many of the seeming contradictory evidence produced by the scientific community as almost a conspiracy to hide the truth. The problem with conspiracy theorist then and now is that they don't properly understand group psychology. Things can happen on a fairly large scale without any specific conscious effort on the part of any of the participants.

"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


My question is this:
1) Is it well known fact that there is dust in space or am I remembering some faulty data I picked up somewhere?
2) If so, then there would be a compton effect right?

Okay, if I haven't assumed something wrong in those two statements then there is a redshift that must be expected in any light that travels a great distance. All light from a given source would be redshifted an equal amount so that if the redshift is factored out we can still study the spectral lines of distant stars and galaxies.

I don't know a ton about BBT but surely redshift is not the only leg it stands on. I doubt proving redshift happens in a different manner would cause the theory to totally fail...

Edit:Oh! One question that just occured to me.(left field) If plasma is known to redshift light and gravity is known to redshift light then wouldn't the light from denser stars be more and more redshifted by thier own intense gravity fields? Wouldn't that make it exceedingly hard to determine if a star was so cool that it produced red light or if it was so dense that the light was simply redshifted an amount that makes its color the equivelent to a cooler star?
 
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  • #11
russ_watters
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TheAntiRelative said:
Can you elaborate?
Certainly:
I'm certain that the troubles that Einstein faced when trying to convince proponents of ether would have seemed to be dogma to him.
Well that's exactly the point: there were no such troubles. As is usual for the scientific community, it recognized Einstein's work for what it was: correct.
The fact that a very great many scientists held on to ether for the next 20 years I believe he would have called dogma.
It really wasn't that many scientists who disputed Einstein's work. There were no such controversies.
How is it that you believe there is no dogma in current science? Are people 100 years later that much further evolved that we are above turning scientific understandings into belief systems as has been done down through the ages?
No, its an intrinsic property of science itself that it is anti-dogmatic.

edit: More on Einstein. It is is a common misconception that Einstein's work was not well received. In THIS thread, I posted excerpts from THIS biography:

Of note:
-In 1900, Einstein graduated from college at age 21 like his peers.
-For the next year+, he tried, but failed, to get a teaching job. This fact says nothing at all about the "acceptance" of his work.
-After a couple of temporary teaching jobs, Einstein took his famous patent office job in 1902 at about age ~23 (note: he was not a "clerk" as is often said - he was a "technical expert"). He gave up looking for a teaching job. Stopping here is where the erroneous perception comes in. Continuing, for proper context:
-He earned a pHd in 1905 - yes, that's right, he was still a student when he first started working at the patent office.
-Over the next few years, he did a significant amount of his scientific work in his spare time. 1905 is when he first proposed Special Relativity.
-In 1908, he became a lecturer at Bern
-In 1909, he quit his patent job having now, at age 30, been recognized for what he was.
-In 1912 he became a full professor.
-By 1919 following a solar eclipse prediction, the revolution was complete: "The London Times ran the headline on 7 November 1919:- Revolution in science - New theory of the Universe - Newtonian ideas overthrown."

To summarize: in his 20s, in between earning a living and putting himself through school, Einstein laid the groundwork for his main works. By age 30, he was recognized for what he was and by age 40, he had essentially completed the rewriting of much of physics. After that, the "only" thing he did was lay much of the groundwork for QM...
Basically, Einstein's ideas were accepted while he was still developing them. It took only 15 years to complete the revolution, and then only that long because it took him 15 years to do the work!
 
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  • #12
It really wasn't that many scientists who disputed Einstein's work. There were no such controversies.
Well then I've read a tremendous amount of fiction trumped up by those gawd-awful historians. :tongue2:

Apparently, what was believed and understood by the entire scientific community was totally changed overnight by one students paper... There's was no strife. No misgivings. They all just looked at it and said. Yup! We've all been wrong our entire lives and we're so glad that at a glance, this extremely hard to conceive, and counter-intuitive theory is so self evident.
All it took was just sending the paper around a bit...

That sounds like the plot from the first Blade movie where the blood-god could just look at someone and they'd become a vampire. lol

No I think that any psychologist might tell you that the unlikelihood of that borders on the impossible.

edit: By the way, you know SR wasn't just concieved in '05...
 
  • #13
russ_watters
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TheAntiRelative said:
Apparently, what was believed and understood by the entire scientific community was totally changed overnight by one students paper... There's was no strife. No misgivings. They all just looked at it and said. Yup! We've all been wrong our entire lives and we're so glad that at a glance, this extremely hard to conceive, and counter-intuitive theory is so self evident.
Now c'mon, that's a gross mischaracterization of what I said and the quote I was responding to. A lot happened in those 15 years, but it does not imply any dogma.

I have never heard of any complaint Einstein ever had about the way his theories were recieved (by all means, feel free to find me some) Contrast that with guys like Arp who is about as famous for his complaining as for his theories. Any controversy (if you want to call it that) was just healthy, normal debate over the scope and implications of an extrordinary, new, still-under-development theory.

edit: I'm searching for controversy....

What I'm seeing is that following the publication of his 1905 paper, he was surprised by how little criticism he received. His most likely critic, Lorentz, the author of the very theory SR was to replace, agreed with him!

There was somewhat more controversy over GR, but that didn't trouble him much because one of the prime pieces of evidence (at the time) hadn't come yet: his prediction on the 1919 solar eclipse.
 
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  • #14
Phobos
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Note: Rense is just the hosting website (full of crackpottery if you care to check out the homepage). David Talbott is the author of the cited article.

Like Nereid said, the article is all claims/rhetoric and no evidence.

TheAntiRelative - Off the top of my head, I seem to recall some astronomer's discussion that there is not enough dust to cause the amount of redshifting that is observed (the amount of dust needed would totally obscure viewing distant objects). But I'll have to dig around to find the reference on that...
 
  • #15
Cheers Neutronstar!

Re: Anytime you see things like claims that scientists are "hiding the truth!" to protect the "status quo" it should send up red flags.
I'm sure a LOT of people are likely to scoff at new theories, though you DO have to ask what's really wrong with scoffing when a theory is presented with either little or no evidence to back it up, or a single point current theory has admitted difficulty explaining is offered as "proof" that everything currently accepted is mere "dogma" while everything the "dogma" apparently gets right that the new theory doen't bother to address is ignored, (which seems to account for around 90% of debunking theories), and I REALLY have trouble with people that interprit any attempts to debunk their debunking as an "attack".

"Wait a minute, wait a minute. How do you account for this, this, this, and this?"
"Umm, ah,.. Help! Help! I'm being surpressed!"

It reminds me of the old Woody Allen routine from Casino Royal.

"Yeah but the-the-the (hic!), the (hic!), they (hic!), they called Einstein c-crazy didn't they?"
"That's not true. Nobody ever called Einstein crazy."
"Well they ah wa-WOULD have if,.. (hic!) if - if he'd (hic!),.. if he'd carried on this way!"
 
  • #16
Ivan Seeking
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Phobos said:
TheAntiRelative - Off the top of my head, I seem to recall some astronomer's discussion that there is not enough dust to cause the amount of redshifting that is observed (the amount of dust needed would totally obscure viewing distant objects). But I'll have to dig around to find the reference on that...
Have we accounted for dark matter? I have been wondering what effect dark matter and dark energy may have on the expected red shift.
 
  • #17
arildno
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There has been a few comments on the reception of Einstein's theory of relativity in 1905; I recently read a book, which among other stuff, dealt with the reception of special/general relativity in the Cambridge milieu at the start of the 20th century.
I thought it could be interesting to add a few comments in that connection.

At Cambridge, Joseph Larmor had developed a theory ("Electron theory of Matter") in the 1890's, which to the theorists at Cambridge seemed as a natural development of Maxwell's theories, and seemed to hold great promise as a general theory of physics.
(Experimentalists, however, diverged on this point).

The theory included, amongst other things, what is now known as the Lorentz transformations (but with a subtly different interpretation).
(Lorentz noted his transformation in 1904, some ten years after Larmor)

When Einstein came with his theory in 1905, then, the Cantabrigians were involved in their own (ether-based) research project, and to the extent that they bothered with Einstein, they thought him too philosophical, and that his ideas didn't contain predictions beyond those that their own pet project seemed to promise.

This changed radically about 1915/1916, when GR came to the fore; now Einstein had provided a theory which sought to explain gravitation as well, and was able to predict the required correction in Mercury's perihelion.

If Larmor's theory were to be a truly rival theory to GR, it would have to be able to address such issues as well.
However, Larmor's theory received its death-stroke when Lodge, in collaboration with Eddington showed that the theory made completely wrong predictions in calculating planetary orbits.


The main reason, therefore, of the lacklustre reception of Einstein's theory in 1905 in Cambridge, was that they were already involved in a theoretical project which looked very promising at that time.

When it was shown that Larmor's theory couldn't compete with GR, the theorists at that time at Cambridge finally realized that they needed to adjust their ideas accordingly.
 
  • #18
russ_watters said:
Now c'mon, that's a gross mischaracterization of what I said and the quote I was responding to. A lot happened in those 15 years, but it does not imply any dogma.

I have never heard of any complaint Einstein ever had about the way his theories were recieved (by all means, feel free to find me some) Contrast that with guys like Arp who is about as famous for his complaining as for his theories. Any controversy (if you want to call it that) was just healthy, normal debate over the scope and implications of an extrordinary, new, still-under-development theory.

edit: I'm searching for controversy....

What I'm seeing is that following the publication of his 1905 paper, he was surprised by how little criticism he received. His most likely critic, Lorentz, the author of the very theory SR was to replace, agreed with him!

There was somewhat more controversy over GR, but that didn't trouble him much because one of the prime pieces of evidence (at the time) hadn't come yet: his prediction on the 1919 solar eclipse.
Hehe, okay I'll admit I was taking things to extremities just as I thought you were but here is some stuff I picked up searching around. I don't vouch for validity...

"Controversy started to rise when Einstein released his second paper called "General Relativity." The controversy was so great that in 1922 when he received his Nobel Prize in physics, it was explicitly stated that the award was not for the Special and General theories. The controversy died down in the late 20's and early 30's when technology was evolved enough to prove Relativity true."

"In 1905 Albert Einstein wrote his famous Special Theory of Relativity. It was published in a scientific journal that same year, but took many years to gain general acceptance. In fact, it was not proven by actual experiment until 25 years later.
Two years after that paper was published, Einstein wanted a job as assistant professor of mathematics. This job required the applicant to submit a thesis paper, so Einstein submitted his Special Theory of Relativity. The university rejected it."

Russians apparently had some problems:
http://www.bibliovault.org/BV.book.epl?BookId=4396


Additionally there was the controversy about plagiarism

Lorentz (realtivity components)
Poincare (relativity)
De Sitter (I don't remember)
David Hilbert (Completed field equasions)
Paul Gerber (Equations for the perihelion of mercury)


And don't forget that Michelson and Miller (Morley seemed to drop off the map) were very well respected scientists that paved the way for Einsteins revelations with thier interferometer work but they still did not agree for many many years afterwards.


People in general (scientists included) have a tendancy to turn everything they've "known" for a long period of time into dogma. Even in the face of mountains of evidence, even logical minds can find the areas of doubt and focus on them.

Theories almost always have room for doubt, the difference is that typically it is not reasonable doubt...
 
  • #19
MonstersFromTheId said:
"Wait a minute, wait a minute. How do you account for this, this, this, and this?"
"Umm, ah,.. Help! Help! I'm being surpressed!"
Come see the violence inherent in peer review!
Help help, I'm being repressed!
 
  • #20
Phobos
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Ivan Seeking said:
Have we accounted for dark matter? I have been wondering what effect dark matter and dark energy may have on the expected red shift.
Certainly, there's a lot still to be learned about DM & DE.
 
  • #21
Ivan Seeking
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Is this significant? Since we don't know the true nature of either one, I would think that there must be some question about this in both cases. No?
 
  • #22
On the topic of scientific discovery being supressed...
I can only reference two instances myself.
1) Nikola Tesla/alternating current: Tesla fought tooth and nail for his discovery/invention. Edison et al more or less waged war against him and Westinghouse. Admittedly there was a very definite financial motivation. Even when Tesla first arrived in the US and obtained a job with Edison Edison would not allow Tesla to do work that may rival his own and even stole one of Tesla's inventions which led Tesla to quit his employment with Edison.

2)Lotfi Zadeh/fuzzy logic: Zadeh published his original paper on fuzzy logic in the sixties. Due to it flying in the face of aristotalian logic, the dogma of the field ;-p, and it also being reminicent of so many other multivalued logic systems that had not done so well it gained no acceptance. For decades it had what you might call a "cult following" and that was it. It wasn't until a Japanese foriegn exchange student took the concept back to Japan and they started working with it there which led to a major technological in the nineties that it began to gain acceptance here in the US where the idea originated from in the first place.

Not exactly the same as physics and astronomy but I'm thinking that stories like these are where people get the idea that science is so very stodgy when it comes to new ideas.
 
  • #23
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100 years later that much further evolved that we are above turning scientific understandings into belief systems as has been done down through the ages?
thanks antirelative thats basically what i was trying to say in my post, but you put it much better than i did. Yes it does seem that as a race we still find it hard not cling to theorys as beliefs in an almost religious manner.
Russ says this isnt the case but i strongly disagree, i could list 100's of people who've ideas have been rejected not because their ideas are not valid but simply because the ideas fly in the face of a great deal of 'accepted thought/scientific dogma'.

Not only that but on a personal note I for for one will admit that i sometimes get lazy and fall into a bad habit of forgetting that alot of the central tenants of science are in actuality JUST theorys and working models no matter how well proven. But it somehow just seems easier to treat theorys such as the big bang as absolute truths in an almost quasi-religious mindset, prehaps are brains have yet to fully evolve beyond our 'god in the sky' worshipping days...
 
  • #25
Nereid
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TheAntiRelative said:
My question is this:
1) Is it well known fact that there is dust in space or am I remembering some faulty data I picked up somewhere?
My response is that the question is a good one, but it takes quite a lot to answer comprehensively.

So, at the risk of leaving out lots that you are interested in, here goes:
- there is indeed a great deal of 'dust in space' ... several thousand (million?) tonnes of it enter the Earth's atmosphere every day; the Zodiacal light is just 'space dust'; Barnard 68 looks black largely because of dust; IRAS discovered http://www.ipac.caltech.edu/Outreach/Edu/Guess/img9.html [Broken] all over the sky; edge-on spirals show lots of dust bunnies
- however, there is apparently little or no dust between galaxies
2) If so, then there would be a compton effect right?
Can you say more please? Certainly viewing an object through lots of 'space dust' makes the object look redder than it would if there were no dust.
Okay, if I haven't assumed something wrong in those two statements then there is a redshift that must be expected in any light that travels a great distance.
OK, you've lost me here ... 'reddening' is a very different kettle of fish from 'redshift'; the former is simply a greater absorption of shorter wavelengths (any lines in the spectrum of a reddened object remain at the same wavelenghts they'd appear if there were no dust); the latter is the whole spectrum being moved to longer wavelengths. Are you confusing the two perhaps?
All light from a given source would be redshifted an equal amount so that if the redshift is factored out we can still study the spectral lines of distant stars and galaxies.
what?
I don't know a ton about BBT but surely redshift is not the only leg it stands on. I doubt proving redshift happens in a different manner would cause the theory to totally fail...
Yes and no ... 'redshift' itself isn't one of the pillars, it's the Hubble relationship - the greater the redshift, the further away an object (galaxy, quasar) is. The Hubble relationship is critical to the BBT; since 1927 millions of hours of work and observation have gone into testing it, and it's been refined considerably. The most difficult part of the testing was establishing 'the distance ladder' ... means to reliably estimate the distance of an object in the sky.
Edit:Oh! One question that just occured to me.(left field) If plasma is known to redshift light and gravity is known to redshift light then wouldn't the light from denser stars be more and more redshifted by thier own intense gravity fields?
Am not sure about the former (where did you read that a 'plasma is known to redshift light'?), but the latter has been well-known for a long time, and also observed. For example, white dwarfs show gravitational redshift.
Wouldn't that make it exceedingly hard to determine if a star was so cool that it produced red light or if it was so dense that the light was simply redshifted an amount that makes its color the equivelent to a cooler star?
No. First, you need to do the calculation; simply using words will lead you to all kinds of unresolvable puzzles. Second, the lines in the spectrum of a star can tell you the 'surface gravity' of the star; together with its apparent brightness and estimated distance, you can then work out its size (radius). And so on .... (this post is already waaay too long; I doubt anyone will bother to read it all :cry:)
 
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