Highest Rated Comments

Andromeda3211025 karma

I did when I was a kid! The constellations were all accurate, right down to the colors of the stars.

Andromeda321842 karma

I think the type doesn't matter as much as having a good, solid mount that won't wobble the second you accidentally touch something, like most "for kids" telescopes unfortunately do. So frustrating!

I always recommend people who buy a telescope also get a copy of Turn Left at Orion. It's a great book to tell you how to find stuff in the sky with a small telescope, including pictures of what things will actually look like!

Andromeda321741 karma

Destroying Earth completely is pretty hard- it's a rather big rock.

Destroying all life is similarly hard- those bacteria by the thermal vents aren't going to die from most things we'd die from.

Destroying humanity though... well assuming it's not us in thermonuclear war, I'd go with a space rock slamming into us. We know it happens pretty regularly, and the Russian meteorite a little while back was a 20m diameter rock that injured a thousand people. We currently have no defenses in place even if we discovered one big enough to destroy the planet.

Andromeda321674 karma

Well, now that they can't take back the doctorate...

I started my PhD in 2011 in Amsterdam, working for an adviser who in hindsight didn't take me seriously as a scientist for a variety of reasons, and on a project that was not successful. About five years in this adviser decided it was my fault nothing was going well, and in fact I was incapable of independent research and would never work at a research institute, and tried to kick me out of the program. He was department head so there was little I could do, and in fact I have research he forbade me from publishing because then I could use it for my thesis and it would undermine his claims of my incapability of independent research. (He said that paper would never be accepted, and I couldn't' submit it alone because it was proprietary data. I sent it to a few colleagues with no back story and they all said they would accept it if the referee at a journal with minor corrections, so yeah.)

Luckily during this period I reached out to a lot of people and was able to work with a wonderful astronomer in Toronto, where I basically wrote three first author papers in two years, and maintained a connection with a prof in Leiden so I could defend my thesis there. But wow, I'm leaving a ton out, but I do not wish that experience on anyone. I keep hearing stories similar to mine since from others in academia, and my blood boils every time.

Andromeda321643 karma

When I was a teenager I was lucky enough to attend astronomy camp out in Arizona. One night we looked at the sky through a 61" telescope with an eyepiece.

A globular cluster had so many stars in it you didn't know what to focus on, nebulae had all sorts of strange colors, and you could see multiple gaps in Saturn's rings!

If I had the money I'd send all of our politicians out for a night of observing on that telescope- we wouldn't have any issues with funding anymore.