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Astronomy ideas

Requested in Science & Technology by a contributor
edited by Dreamer

8 Ideas

+2 votes

Shooting Star Finder

Know where to look.

One night my wife and I were standing out on an overlook at the Grand Canyon waiting to see a shooting star (that was one of the things on her bucket list). We saw one after a few minutes but I've got a feeling we would have seen one a whole lot quicker if we knew which part of the night sky we should be staring at. This idea for this invention is a handheld GPS device linked to an observatory that would pass the information from the observatory to your location and tell you where to look. Kids would probably get a kick out of taking one of these along on a camping trip too - they tend to get bored quickly when stargazing. As a bonus the device could also flag other objects moving across the night sky and tell you what they are (satellites, the space shuttle, UFO's.).


13 Years Ago

Shared by a contributor
edited by Dreamer

+1 vote
It's time for a night-sky makeover.

Tradition gives constellations names based on what ancient astronomers saw when they looked up at the sky. Seems like it's about time we had a pair of night goggles that could take in the view and connect the dots to give us new pictures (for those who don't want to use their own imagination). If the pictures were amusing enough we might even remember where the stars are supposed to be the next time around.
Shared by a contributor
+1 vote
Starry Starry Night

For lazy amateur astronomers.

This would be a subscription-based service that would let you see the night sky above your house without any light pollution getting in the way. To use it you'd just sign on, key in your address (or let a GPS signal figure it out) and then the nearest satellites would give you a view of the stars after programmatically adjusting the angle to match what you'd see if you were outside.

Not only would this get rid of the light pollution that keeps you from seeing what's really out there, it would keep you from having to go outside and fiddle around with a telescope lens to get a good view.It would also make it easier to watch things like the Leonid Meteor shower which typically occur at an inconvenient time (the wee hours of the morning). You'd just sign on, hit the record button, and watch the shower at a more convenient time the next day.
Shared by JFR (6,080 points)
0 votes
Galactic Time Distortion Map

Replace the stars with the boundaries of time distortion fields.

This would be a hard map to make but an interesting one to view. Instead of seeing the stars in our galaxy it would show how time is distorted around each of the bodies in it.  For instance, starting with earth as green since that would be the subjective viewpoint of the observer, any black holes at the center of the galaxy would be bright red from the center out to their event horizon since time would look like it was stopped inside that ring to the earth-bound observer. Moving out from the event horizon the color would gradually change from red to orange to yellow to green (once it reached the point where one minute on earth looked like one minute in space). Other large bodies in the galaxy wouldn't start with red since they don't have an event horizon, but they might start with an orange or yellow ring if they're massive enough to distort time.

So, what would make this an interesting map? For one thing, it would show where time distortion rings overlapped and raise the question of what the equivalent of a Lagrange point would be when we're talking about time instead of gravity. It might also provoke some theories about why the Pioneer spacecraft aren't where they're supposed to be even after all of the gravitational influences have been taken into account.
Shared by a contributor
0 votes
The Soccer Ball Universe

Where's the other bald spot?

One of the ideas making the rounds of cosmology at the moment is that the universe might be shaped like a soccer ball. Instead of exiting the universe when you reach an edge you'd just come back into it at the exact same spot on the opposite side. Astronomers are looking for matching clusters of stars in opposite directions now to see if they can confirm the theory. It seems like they might be able to accomplish the same thing by looking for a billion light year wide bald spot in the opposite direction of the one they've already found (this spot is
devoid of stars).
Shared by JFR (6,080 points)
0 votes
An app you can use to see the stars in the sky the way there were aligned billions of years ago (and other periods) and how they're expected to look in the future.
Shared by a contributor
0 votes
"The moon" is such a boring name. Get elementary school kids involved all over the country to think up a new name for it and have a vote on it. That'll get them more interested in astronomy and science in general.
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0 votes
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