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Cosmos - "The Clean Room" Clarification Question about Age of the Earth.

My wife and I just watched the seventh episode of Cosmos called "The Clean Room" which tells us (among other things) about how Clair Patterson determined the age of the Earth. The episode explains Patterson used meteorite fragments, such as those from the Canyon Diablo crater, because they were assumed to be leftovers from the creation of the solar system. My question is one of clarification; specifically, how they could be sure that assumption was correct? [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Jun 16, 2014 - 12 answers

Why don't we have HD video of Earth rotating in space?

Why don't we have HD video of Earth rotating in space? You know, relatively close-up, as if the Enterprise had just dropped out of warp and the planet was being majestically introduced to the cinema audience. An extended, multiple pass/rotation exposure, so that it could be watched by appreciative viewers wanting to get a bit of perspective/peace. I imagine I would sit and gaze at this for extended periods. What are the technical limitations which have prevented this?
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jan 1, 2014 - 23 answers

Can you collect meteorite dust in your backyard? How?

I've been told recently that collecting micrometeorites is as easy, basically, as placing a clean surface outside and picking through the debris you collect because thousands of tons of space dust and debris fall to Earth every day. That can't be all there is to it, can it? How do you know whether you're looking at Earth dust or space dust? [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Feb 27, 2013 - 4 answers

Hypothetical Astronomy

If all non-solar-system stars ceased to exist, how would things look different to us on earth? Would anything change? [more inside]
posted by juniperesque on May 15, 2012 - 16 answers

At what altitude does the Earth look like a big blue marble?

How far up do you have to go to see the Blue Marble? [more inside]
posted by alms on Apr 9, 2012 - 10 answers

Would an alien radio pick up a cacophony or a damp fizzle?

If an alien located on a planet 100 light years from here was to switch on a big, multi-frequency radio receiver, and record all the noises coming from outer space for the next hundred years, on all frequencies, how many soap operas, advertisements and new broadcasts would they pick up from Earth? Would a mass-market radio, similar to our Earthly equivalents, pick up anything? Over time, as the number of Earth transmissions increases exponentially, would the alien pick up a cacophony or a damp fizzle? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Feb 23, 2012 - 10 answers

From Mars to Earth??

I was listening to this Fresh Air interview today and wondered how they know a meteorite is from Mars. [more inside]
posted by Rad_Boy on Apr 4, 2011 - 8 answers

If you travel through space at lightspeed, will the stars in the background appear to move relatively slow?

If you travel through space at lightspeed, will the stars in the background appear to move relatively slow? [more inside]
posted by paulinsanjuan on Sep 20, 2007 - 16 answers

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