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Is the Moon Really One Quarter the Size of the Earth?
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Re: Earth is the big cheese
  • 12/27/2016 8:11:46 AM
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It's great that not only analytics is revolutionizing what humanity is discovering, it is also allowing people to participate in the analysis through open source platforms, programming, and communities.

Re: Earth is the big cheese
  • 12/26/2016 5:03:54 PM
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Thinking about the relative size of the moon makes me think of how profoundly the analytics/big data revolution has been impacting astronomical research. Today the amount of data being gathered and analyzed about the universe is approximately doubling each year.

Here are a couple of articles about the subject – one fairly technical, the other oriented to more of a layperson audience ...

Astronomy in the Big Data Era

How Big Data Is Changing Astronomy (Again)

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Re: Earth is the big cheese
  • 12/22/2016 4:16:51 PM
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It's always been funny to me to see journalists write stories about the super moons, which one would think occur very rarely, or the eclipses, or just about any astronomical event, which as it turns out aren't all that rare at all. At least if you define these events so superficially, or so generally that a super moon could be more common than we might expect, without a good definition of just what "super" means, or how the size is truely different than usual.

Re: Earth is the big cheese
  • 12/20/2016 9:32:32 AM
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Whaddaya know ... Huffington Post UK has just posted an article this AM (Tuesday, Dec. 20th) on a major discovery about the Earth's molten core, involving its influence on the outer magnetic field. In fact it was changes in the magnetic field that led to the discovery of the core phenomena ...

 

Re: Earth is the big cheese
  • 12/19/2016 9:53:04 PM
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T Sweeney asks "do you know if the difference in weight/mass has anything to do with the earth's molten core, which also circulates and is thought to be the source of our planet's magnetic field?"

Regarding the mass issue, I don't have a ready answer; I'd need to research this. Earth's core is about 30% molten iron, which is pretty dense, so maybe that's a factor in the higher density affecting the mass comparison.

Regarding the Earth's magnetic field, I understand that convection within the core, plus Earth's rotation, does play a significant role in generating this (it's called the geodynamo).

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Re: Earth is the big cheese
  • 12/19/2016 9:16:17 PM
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One other question, Lyndon... do you know if the difference in weight/mass has anything to do with the earth's molten core, which also circulates and is thought to be the source of our planet's magnetic field? I'm no astrophsicist, but it makes sense to me that a body with a molten core would weigh more than one that doesn't.

Re: Earth is the big cheese
  • 12/19/2016 9:13:18 PM
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You make an excellent point about volume, Lyndon. And in this instance, I can see where my own preference for visual data might keep me from grasping the bigger picture (as it were). In any case, this is a great representation about how one set of data doesn't tell the whole story.

Earth is the big cheese
  • 12/19/2016 6:28:11 AM
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I dabble only cautiously in astronomical physics, but it seems to me the volume comparison has more validity than visual diameter or circumference.

However, mass is probably the metric that beats all three. In terms of mass, the moon has just 1.2% of the Earth's mass. Earth "weighs" 81 times more than the moon. A major reason is that the moon has just 60% of the Earth's density.

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