Index | Comments and Contributions | previous:2.13 physicists

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From: Edwin Spector <ems#NoSpam.lucent.com>
September 4
Special Category: How many scientists does it take to screw in a lightbulb

Q: How many astronomers does it take to change a light bulb?

1). Ten! One to change the bulb, and nine to argue how their own bulb
gives better colour.

2). None! Astronomers aren't afraid of the dark.

3). See the FAQs
"What sort of light bulb should I buy?"
"Should I start with a candle?"
"Where should I buy my light bulb?"
"Where NOT to buy a light bulb."
"What type of light bulb to avoid?"
"What will I be able to see with my bulb?"
"How do I deal with telescope-pollution?"
"Can I buy a bulb for a friend?"
"Can I use my bulb in the daytime?"

From: Perry <perrycn#NoSpam.bitbucket.apci.net>
4) FAQ addendums, approximately four pages, each:
"The new microwave pumped plasma lamp vs. a bank of krypton incandescents
 for solar simulation experiments."
"The red LED flashlight vs. the conventional flashlight with removable red
"The different light pollution filters and the lights they can filter."
"Directed beams for convincing automatic streetlights that it is daytime."

From: "Jim Szorady" <jszorady#NoSpam.tricomachine.com>
A5:  5
* one to measure it's black body radiation at room tempreature to verify it is
totally dead.
* one to lobby  government for money to buy another one.
* one to write the environmental impact statement.
* one to record the steps during the change for later publication in
Scientific American.
*one to shell out the money for a new one, because the government turned you

From: Stephen Tonkin (news05footfrommouth#NoSpam.astunit.com)
(Taken from the electronic bulletin of the Network of Student
Physical Societies, 1994.)

A: I thought astronomers used standard candles.

A: Two: one to change the bulb, the other to complain about the light

A: Only one, but you have to go to Hawaii to get the really good

A: Three, plus or minus seventy-five.

A: Eight:
1 observational astronomer to measure luminosity and redshift of bulb
1 theoretical astronomer to calculate spherical co-ordinates of bulb
1 departmental head to write to PPARC, for project funds
1 astronomical engineer to design and build the bulb replacing
1 starling SIG programmer to write satellite control and data reduction
1 NASA mission control expert to arrange satellite launch and say
"t-2 go for main engine start........" etc
1 remote observer to manipulate the satellites arm once in elliptical
orbit around light bulb
1 Grad student to act as scapegoat in event of mission failure

A: Four:
A research student to sit around and not learn anything.
His/her supervisor to explain how much harder it was to change light
bulbs when he/she was a research student.
An amateur astronomer to make sure it's a low pressure sodium light
bulb with proper shading to reduce light pollution (right kids!).
Some technical johnny to actual change the light bulb and generally
keep the place running while the astronomers contemplate their NGCs.

A: 10^8, because astronomers love really big numbers !

A: None, they wouldn't change it because it ruins their night vision.

A: What's a light bulb ?

A: Four:
One to actually change the darn thing.
One to operate the CCD camera to measure the number of photons it emits 
whilst his friend operates the computer to do the task
And another to complain about how the CCD is out of focus and how the
light bulb actually looks like a polo mint.

From: Martin Frey (martinfrey#NoSpam.snipclara.co.uk)
How many astronomers does it take to change a lightbulb?

Stephen Tonkin <news05footfrommouth#NoSpam.astunit.com> wrote:

1 says I'm new to this: what bulb should I get?
1 says it won't be a proper bulb unless you make it yourself
1 complains about the price
1 says get it from the US
1 says get it from supersaver BC&F
1 says try 2nd hand as puts the old bulb onto UKAstroAds
1 tries to collimate the overmantle mirror
1 says the infocus rings are oval
1 says collimation is impossible
1 (Tonkin) says it's ridiculously easy
1 goes off in a huff and buys a refractor
1 says he's barmy and should buy an SCT
1 discovers the bulb has already been sold on ebay
1 says there is no lamp - it's all a NASA hoax
50 say #*=ः off Min
1 says I can't see the lamp because of the bloody Moon
1 blocks any change in case the light helps top posters
1 arrives too late because his watch is set to relative time
1 finds gravity interaction of lamp and bulb scrambles his brain 
1 (from Selsey) is electrocuted trying to fit a candle
1 actually changes the bulb
1 immediately shoots it with his airgun/laser

and from the top til ready

From: "Dave Barlow" <abaroth#NoSpam.tiscali.co.uk>
Q: How many astronomers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: 73. 1 to change the bulb, and 72 to argue that it should weigh about 3
   times as much, now that it's cold dark matter. 

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From: John Steinberg
September 4
Special Category: How many scientists does it take to screw in a lightbulb
How many astronomers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Answer: Astronomers have no time for screwing!
Answer: Light....ick!
Answer: 3, one to hold the bulb, one to hold the receptacle and one to
write the save Stellafane petition.

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Special Category: How many scientists does it take to screw in a lightbulb
September 4
Q: How many light bulbs does it take to screw up an astronomer?
From: Mark Gingrich <grinch#NoSpam.rahul.net>
I believe the official IDA version of this riddle poses the question
as follows:

Q: How many light bulbs does it take to screw up an astronomer?

From: Perry <perrycn#NoSpam.bitbucket.apci.net>
Q:   How many astronomers does it take to change a light bulb?

A1:  None, especially if it is burned out.

A2:  One more than the number of people who vote to keep the street lights
the same.

A3:  One eloquent speaker at a town meeting.

From: Dave Storey <dave#NoSpam.quik.demon.co.uk>
A4: Just one, if he can shoot straight.
     (Can I get mounting rings to fit an air rifle on top of my 8"
Schmidt-cass telescopic sight??).

     (Is it sporting to shoot off a field tripod, anyway?!)

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Special Category: How many scientists does it take to screw in a lightbulb
September 4
From: "Gareth Slee" <gareth.slee#NoSpam.ntlworld.com>

How many news:sci.astro.amateur posters does it take to change a light bulb?

Answer - 1343

1 to change the light bulb and to post to news:sci.astro.amateur that the light
bulb has been changed.

14 to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light
bulb could have been changed differently.

7 to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs.

27 to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing light bulbs.

53 to flame the spell checkers.

41 to correct spelling in the spelling/grammar flames.

109 to post that news:sci.astro.amateur is not about light bulbs and to please
take this email exchange to alt.lite.bulb.

203 to demand that cross posting to alt.grammar, alt.spelling and
alt.punctuation about changing light bulbs be stopped.

111 to defend the posting to this newsgroup saying that we all use light
bulbs and therefore the posts **are** relevant.

306 to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where to buy
the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs work best for this
technique, and what brands are faulty.

27 to post URLs where one can see examples of different light bulbs.

14 to post that the URLs were posted incorrectly, and to post corrected

3 to post about links they found from the URLs that are relevant to this
list which makes light bulbs relevant to this list.

33 to concatenate all posts to date, then quote them including all headers
and footers, and then add "Me Too."
12 to post to the list that they are unsubscribing because they cannot
handle the light bulb controversy.

19 to quote the "Me Too's" to say, "Me Three."

4 to suggest that posters request the light bulb FAQ.

1 to propose new alt.change.lite.bulb newsgroup.
47 to say this is just what alt.physic.cold_fusion was meant for, leave it

143 votes for alt.lite.bulb."

From: jonisaacs#NoSpam.aol.com (Jon Isaacs)
1 to shoot out the light bulb the next night.

From: "Colin Dawson" <News#NoSpam.cdawson.tele2.co.uk>
24 to complain about the light pollution caused by the light bulb.

From: brian#NoSpam.zot.isi.edu (Brian Tung)

137 people who write to complain about the secondary spectrum of the light bulb?

From: "Jan Owen" <janowen1#NoSpam.cox.net>

5 folks who made 4,532 posts to complain about false advertising of that
secondary spectrum...

From: Jim <jimh#NoSpam.bga.com>

1 zetaspeaker to argue that there isn't a lightbulb, but...

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From: Stan Jensen
                      Other Names For "The Big Bang"

The Bottom Turtle

(infinity symbol)

"That Point In Time When the Volume of the Universe Decreases to
Approximately Zero, and Density Approaches Infinity, and the
Combination of the Strong Nuclear Force and Electromagnetic
Attraction Between Red and Blue Colored Quar-- hey Steve, can't
we think up a nickname for this?!?"

The Best Of Times, The First Of Times

The Grand Opening Sale

*Pop* Goes Existence!

The Time, Space & Energy Factory Outlet Sale

    and the Number 1 Other Name for "The Big Bang"...

Dude, Where's My Void?

From: Ed Neuzil <76201.1460#NoSpam.compuserve.com>
The Horrendous Space Kablooey
   --from "Calvin & Hobbes"

From: Mike Simmons <eclipse99#NoSpam.mwoa.org>
From Sky and Telescope's contest to rename the Big Bang a few years ago:

A Celestial Party
A Steven Spielberg-George Lucas Production
Beautiful Bounty
Bouquet of Beginnings
Bursting Star Sack
Creation of a Universal Dream
Go God!
Hey, Looky There at That
Hot Hurl
Immense Blossoming
Infinity Forever
It's a Universe
Jiffy Pop
Leisurely Cosmic Expansion
Let There Be Stuff
OK, Fine
Purse Opened to Reveal Universe
Sigh of Eternity
Stupendous Space Spawning
Super Historic Change
The Beginning of the Becoming
The Crescendo of a Sound
The Expanding Godhead
The Instantaneous Beginning of Yesterday, Today,
and Tomorrow
The Outward Pouring
The Primal Billowing
The Whole Enchilada
Well, I'll Be

My personal favorite is "Hey, Looky There at That" followed closely by
"Well, I'll Be".  Honorable mentions go to "The Whole Enchilada" and
"It's a Universe."

From: Peter Rabinovitch <Peter.Rabinovitch#NoSpam.Alcatel.com>
The Colossal Kaboom
(For James Ross Thompson, if you're out there)

From: brian#NoSpam.zot.isi.edu (Brian Tung)

What Happens If You Tell God a Joke When He Has Milk in His Mouth

My Parents Went to PanDimensional InternexusCon, and All I Got Was
This Lousy Universe

Honey, I Blew Up the Cosmic Egg


From: Kerry Shetline <kerry#NoSpam.shetline.com>

From: "Mario Mendes" <mariomendesREMOVETHIS#NoSpam.mediaone.net>
Oh yes, yes, oh, yes, yes, yes, YES, oh God Yeeesssss, YEAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSS,
don't stop, oh god, oh yes, yes, yes, yes, yyyyeeeeeeeessssssssssssss, oh my
that was good!

From: John R Nickolls <nickolls#NoSpam.ihug.co.nz>
"Hoyle's Folly", perhaps?

or "Universes'R Us",

or "What the heck was THAT!!!?"

"Ready or not, here I come"

From: "Rigellian" <orion83#NoSpam.nospam.2access.net>
Do you mean to tell me that no one remembers the true story of the "Big


On the first day, God decided to use the "Big Bang" to create the Universe.

Upon completing this task, God saw that it was good...

And, as he started dancing around in the whole Universe, rejoicing in this
great creation, the first word to come out of his mouth was: -


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From: Chris Morton (mortoncp#NoSpam.nextwork.rose-hulman.edu)
do it collection

From:Joao Batista(fbatista#NoSpam.cc.fc.ul.pt), rgep#NoSpam.pmms.cam.ac.uk (Richard Pinch)

Special Category: Scientists do it...
Astronauts do it above the atmosphere.
Astronomers do it all night.
Astronomers do it anually.
Astronomers do it Charging, Coupling and Devising (CCDs).
Astronomers do it cosmologically.
Astronomers do it ellyptically.
Astronomers do it hyperbolically.
Astronomers do it in clusters.
Astronomers do it in nebulae.
Astronomers do it in the dark.
Astronomers do it in voids.
Astronomers do it in X-ways.
Astronomers do it meteorically.
Astronomers do it on mountain tops.
Astronomers do it orbitally.
Astronomers do it parabolically.
Astronomers do it spectroscopically.
Astronomers do it telescopically.
Astronomers do it under the stars.
Astronomers do it universally.
Astronomers do it variably.
Astronomers do it while gazing at Uranus.
Astronomers do it with binaries.
Astronomers do it with dwarfs.
Astronomers do it with giants.
Astronomers do it with lenses.
Astronomers do it with light.
Astronomers do it with lights out.
Astronomers do it with long tubes.
Astronomers do it with mirrors.
Astronomers do it with sextants.
Astronomers do it with stars.
Astronomers do it with Uranus.
Astronomers do it with Very Large Bottoms Interfeering (VLBI).
Astronomers do it with young stars.
Rocket scientists do it with higher thrust.

From: Jim.Van.Nuland#NoSpam.sjpc.org (Jim Van Nuland)
 * SLMR 2.1a * Astronomers do it on mountaintops.

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From: slevy#NoSpam.ncsa.uiuc.edu (Stuart Levy)

A column in the Astronomical League's "Reflector" some years ago
reported a T-shirt worn at a Texas Star Party -- presumably by a solar
observer -- that read

    Limb Darkening: Early Treatment Saves Lives

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From: "p" <foofoomonkey#NoSpam.hotmail.com>
April 24
The New York Times, among other papers, recently published a new Hubble
photograph of distant galaxies colliding.  Of course, astronomers have had
pictures of colliding galaxies for quite some time now, but with the vastly
improved resolution provided by the Hubble Space Telescope, you can
actually see lawyers rushing to the scene...

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From: Wayne Howell <whowell#NoSpam.gensearch.com>
Not just an story--but a true event.

About 15 years ago, several of us sat up our dobs in a shallow canyon
about a mile outside the Marine Base at 29 Palms, CA.  We had them
pointed towards the north to avoid the sun shining down the tubes--this
also had them pointing towards the base.

The week-end warriors were flying their exercises, and about mid-day, a
jet roared up the canyon.  Apparently he spotted the scopes and thought
they looked suspicious, because about 30 minutes later two helicopters
came and hovered low over us, looking us over carefully.  After a few
minutes of inspection, they flew off....but returned that evening, well
after dark and lit us up, ruining our night vision.  Since they didn't
fire on us, I guess we passed inspection!

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March 10
From: Jim.Van.Nuland#NoSpam.sjpc.org (Jim Van Nuland)

True story!

One of NASA's people came and talked to our astronomy club back when the
Hubble was still on the drawing boards.  To better place the time, it was
not much after the rings were discovered around that planet.

A member asked if the HST would be able to observe the rings around Uranus.
The NASA'er deadpanned "Not through the Earth's atmosphere!".

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Special Category: Top Reasons
gemfindr#NoSpam.my-deja.com wrote:
10. Guaranteed to get at least a little something in view.
9. If you get tired, wait 10 minutes and go at it again.
8. Nobody cares if you are ugly.
7. You don't have to compliment the person who gave you a view (thru
   their goto?).
6. Person you're with doesn't fantasize you're someone else.
5. 40 years from now, you can still participate regularly.
4. If you wear a Bill Clinton mask, no one thinks you're kinky.
3. Doesn't matter if kids hear you moaning, oohing and aahhing.
2. Less guilt the next morning.
1. ?

From: Sharon Curtis <scu#NoSpam.nickel.cs.stir.ac.uk>
1. You can do it all night.
From: Michelle Stone <litebkt#NoSpam.plettstone.com>
1. You can experience multiple objects in a single session
From: "dmbarr#NoSpam.erols.com (HJ)"

1 there is less shame when purchasing the equipment
From: "Deane W. Herbert" <Deane_Herbert#NoSpam.hotmail.com>
1. The telescope isn't gonna make you pay child
support for the next 18 years.

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Author: Wayne Howell <whowell#NoSpam.gensearch.com>
More years ago than I care to think about, back in the early days of
on-line activity, there was a group of us that discussed astronomy on the
old, old version of Prodigy (I still see some of their names here once in a
while).  In those days, every posting was read by a censor prior to
allowing it on-line......we had some real arguments over rejected postings
because the censor that covered the "Outdoor Hobbies" area, where astronomy
was covered, was _!!REALLY!! dumb!  She wouldn't allow any posting
regarding Uranus (she once told me that she KNEW there was no planet with
that obscene name), rejected any discussing about Saturn (no commercials
were allowed, and our efforts to discuss Saturn were "thinly veiled
attempts to promote automobile sales"), and when we tried to refer to
Saturn as the "ringed" planet, she rejected those postings also as
'inappropriate".  She suggested that it would be "more appropriate" to talk
about 'rings' on the jewelry making board.

I raised so much objection to her stupidity with Prodigy management, who
backed her completely, that I (and several others) ended up getting kicked
off of Prodigy!

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From: "Reece Watkins" <reecew#NoSpam.iwon.com>

Reasons why news:sci.astro.amateur was blocked by CompuServe

Well, after all, astronomers do post messages along the lines of:

1) "Exactly how long is your tube?"
2) "I need a friend to help me grind this thing..."
3) "I want to get in a little naked-eye action."
4) "What's the closest anyone's ever gotten to Uranus?"
5) "You need a bigger unit so you can go deeper..."
6) "What's the best way to mount a Short-Tube?"

From: Rockett Crawford <Rockett#NoSpam.Audiotel.com>
7) Reasons why smaller apertures are better...
8) Are you going to shoot the Virgin tonight?
9) She kept observing it as it rose higher and higher

From: Anthony Ayiomamitis <plato32#NoSpam.attglobal.net>
10)  "Mine is bigger than yours"
11)  "Who says aperture doesn't count?"
12)  "We do it in the dark"

From: "Planetman" <planetman#NoSpam.vci.net>
13)".....and all night long"

From: Dave Messer <dmesser#NoSpam.firsttech.com>
15) "I use shower caps over the end of my 10 and 6 inch..., you will
     need the extra large size for your 12.5 inch."

From: Rick Smith <ricardo9#NoSpam.ici.net>
16) "Do you have your angle of the dangle correct?"
17) "Viagra kept me going all night long!"

From: Anthony Ayiomamitis <plato32#NoSpam.attglobal.net>
18) "I love going deep ...."
19) "The deeper the better"

From: "Hans Scheepers" <hans.scheepers#NoSpam.nl.origin-it.com>
20) "Aperture always wins"
[The actual reason is even stranger.  At Compuserve they associate .amateur
with sex newsgroups]

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From: "alohacyberian" <alohacyberian#NoSpam.att.net>
Living on Earth may be expensive, but it includes an annual free trip
around the Sun.

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From: cberry#NoSpam.cinenet.net (Craig Berry)

A guy walks into a bar and says to the bartender, "Gimme a Mexican beer."
Instead of handing him a beer, though, the bartender starts shouting "Okay,
everybody out!  Right now!  Out you go!" and herds everyone out into the
street.  The solar physicist shakes his head sadly.  "Dang," he remarks,
"should've seen that Corona mass ejection coming."

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From: Michael Dworetsky <mmd#NoSpam.star.ucl.ac.uk>
Two astrophysicists are discussing their research in a bar one evening
when a drunk who has been sitting and listening in at the next seat
turns and says, in a very worried voice, "What was that you just

"We were discussion stellar evolution, and I said to my colleague here
that the Sun would run out of nuclear fuel and turn into a red giant
star in about 5 billion years, possibly melting the Earth."

"Whew!!," says the drunk, "You really had me worried.  I thought you
said 5 million."

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From: justpat#NoSpam.ten.tropretni (Patrick Di Justo)

Oh, that's too easy.  This solar physicist walks into a bar and says
the the bartender, "I'd prefer a cold Corona."

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From: Rob Z. <rzhome#NoSpam.ANTISPAMdallas.net>
Q: How far can you see on a clear day?
A: 93 Million miles...From here to the Sun.

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From: Gary Gullikson <garyg#NoSpam.e-world.net>
* Eyepiece-Costs too much and you only get to watch!
* Rack and Pinion-Medieval S&M apparatus
* Objective-The bigger aperture that you have been saving-up for.
* Objective-The lens that can never be big enough made covered with
* Equatorial Mount-A racy latin dance similar to the Cuban Slide.

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Special Category: Edwin Hubble
Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
November 20
September 28
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
There are two possibilities: One that the distance between the chicken and
the side of the road that it was on before it crossed is expanding, and the
other, that the distance is contracting, and will collapse on itself.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
From: John Steinberg
Q: Why did the astronomer cross the road?
A: Answer: NEAF Naglers!

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From: John Steinberg
Q: What's an astronomers dilemna?
A: Answer: A sale on Meades ETX

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
November 9
December 20
Special Category: Carl Sagan
From: "Lance Pittleman" <lpittleman#NoSpam.wi.rr.com>
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Carl Sagan:
There are billions and billions and billions of such chickens, crossing
roads just like this one, all across the universe.

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From: announce <announce#NoSpam.wsf_su.org>

[**** For immediate release]

GENEVA (AP) January 25, 1999  --  In a surprising announcement, the
World Science Federation said today that the field of astronomy will
no longer be recognized as a major science along with the likes of
physics and chemistry.  Instead it is being reclassified as a
"trans-earth auxiliary scientific pursuit" according to a new taxonomy
laid down by the WSF, the international scientific community's
governing body.

"This is a painful issue that we've been grappling with for some
time," said Dr. Jean-Sven Johansson, president of the WSF.  "The study
of the heavens has been considered a science since prehistoric times.
But if it were just discovered today, with all we've learned in the
intervening millennia, there's no way we would categorize astronomy as
a major science.  It is too soft, too based on speculative theories,
and too far removed from the everyday world."

"[The reclassification] is a difficult but ultimately correct
decision," read a supporting statement from the United States Council
of Scientists.  "While we are sympathetic for practitioners of
astronomy, we believe that the sanctity of science demands a more
rigorous test for inclusion than merely a few centuries of tradition."

The news is a bitter pill for astronomers to swallow.  For years they
have endured derision from their colleagues in the so-called 'hard'
sciences of physics, chemistry, and mathematics.  Only recently had
astronomers believed they'd earned a measure of overdue respect from
the broader community of scholars.  Stunning discoveries from the
Hubble Space Telescope, plus new theories on the origins of the
universe, had put astronomy into the forefront of public

The WSF's announcement changes all that.  While astronomy will still
be studied in schools and research institutions, its practitioners may
no longer refer to themselves "scientists".  No future Ph.D. degrees
may be conveyed by accredited universities of science.  However, a
grandfather clause allows current doctoral students to complete their
studies and earn degrees within 18 months.

Perhaps the most significant changes are in matters of protocol when
scientists meet.  Astronomers will still be permitted to attend
academic gatherings, but they must defer to official scientists in
lectures, workshops, and buffet lines.  They must also refrain from
displaying items that identify themselves as scientists, such as
t-shirts or vanity license plates.

Reaction to the WSF's announcement among astronomers was a mixture of
disappointment and outrage.

"I am very saddened by this decision," said Dr. Velikov Vonk, noted
planetologist and author of the seminal paper 'On Renaming The Big
Bang To Something More Dignified.'  "Astronomers have added much to
the rich history of science and to our understanding of the universe
around us.  I pray the WSF will reconsider."

"It is disheartening, but not altogether unexpected," added Arpad
Arkabaranan, a researcher at the University of New Jersey.  "Rumors
have been circulating throughout the scientific community for several
months.  Personally, I find it the pedantic act of a self-important
panel.  It accomplishes little more than fostering confusion among
schoolchildren and requiring countless textbooks and encyclopedias to
be rewritten, all for the sake of purity of nomenclature.  Does the
WSF not have any more important issues to worry about?"

Other astronomers accepted the news with less equanimity.

"Who died and left them boss?" fumed William McGilly, a propulsion
engineer with NASA's Goddard Research Center.  "I wonder what science
is next on their hit list.  If I were an anthropologist or a geologist
or a cosmetologist, I'd be putting together my resume quickly."

Dr. Johansson points out that astronomy has not been kicked out of the
scientific club entirely.  Rather, it will become "auxiliary
scientific pursuit #1", the first in a new category of demi-sciences
under the WSF's revised hierarchy.  "We will rename astronomy as
'trans-earth studies' to reflect its new status," says Johansson.  "We
believe that after the disappointment fades, astronomers will be proud
and excited to act as the trailblazers in this exciting new arena."

Still, the WSF's announcement could not have come at a worse time to a
field that was felt it was close to turning the corner.  Notable
breakthroughs in coming years would have included the Mars Lander, the
International Space Station, and the much-anticipated results of a
joint Canadian and Japanese task force to develop a pronunciation of
Uranus that would not make high school students giggle.  ("That was
going to be huge for us," says Vonk forlornly.)

The new classification takes effect on April 1st, giving astronomers
precious little time to solve what might be their last problem as
scientists.  For years, English-speaking children have been taught the
phrase 'My very earnest mother just served us nine pickles' to
remember the names of the nine planets in order.  ('My' stands for
Mercury, 'very' for Venus, etc.)  If astronomers downgrade Pluto to a
minor solar object as planned, possibly as their final act before
losing their own official status, a new mnemonic will be necessary.
The solution has eluded astronomers and linguists from around the

Ponders Arkabaranan:  "My very earnest mother just served
us....nutmeg?  Nachos?  New England Clam Chowder?  Oh, poop!  Give us
time, we'll think of something."

[nps. Thanks to Mr. R.A. Lafferty for his assistance in this story.]
(JV: This was based on the rumour that the IAU declared that Pluto was not
a planet in January 1999.  The IAU denied this later.  It only added it to
the list of trans-Neptunian objects. On 24 August 2006 Pluto was officially
declared a dwarf planet, along with  Xena/Eris.)

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From: Ian Ellis <ian#NoSpam.iglou.com>
Janet Reid was driving her daughter westward after the Malibu fires when
the smoke in the sky made everything look surreal.

"Ooh, Wendy, look at the sun," she told her daughter. "It looks like a big
ball of fire."

The 3-year-old preschooler replied: "It is a big ball of fire."

-- from Los Angeles Times, Jan 13, 1997

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From: mstueben#NoSpam.tjhsst.vak12ed.edu (Michael A. Stueben)

   Question: What is more useful: the sun or the moon?

   Answer:   The moon, because the moon shines at night when
             you want the light, whereas the sun shines
             during the day when you don't need it.

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From: Erin Leonard (not:Mariella Wells) Merit <wellsm#NoSpam.hsdemo.merit.edu>
Fortune teller: Do the stars and planets control our lives? No; the IRS
maybe, but not the stars and planets.

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Special Category: Nicolaus Copernicus
Februari 19
May 24
From: Jan.Six#NoSpam.uku.fi (Jan Six)

"It is a hypothesis that the sun will rise in the morning. This means we
don't _know_ it will rise"
                                 - Ludwig Wittgenstein
"Actually, now that you come to mention it..."
                                 - Nikolaus Copernicus

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From: aaron#NoSpam.falcon.cc.ukans.edu (Aaron Hoyt)W

Whatever the missing mass of the universe is, I hope it's not cockroaches.

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From: s232#NoSpam.brems.ii.uib.no (--Arild.)
April 24
This has probably been around since Hubble (telescope not astronomer):

Heard about the new hubble cocktail, it's expensive and when you drink it,
everything looks fuzzy ...

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From: "Valentine Germann" <v.germann#NoSpam.worldnet.att.net>
Serious Astronomical Humor On The Net!

Val Germann
Central Missouri Astronomical Association

Can anyone tell me if these two guys, Brothers Lance and Theodore, are
around these days?  The messages below date from about three years ago but
have lost nothing over the intervening time!

Begin Quote:

To Brother Theodore,

If thou wouldst but recount thine own experience with refractive glass,
'twould be of exceeding benefit to all--for knowledge increaseth
understanding. For thine edification, Brother Lance would relate to thee an
most perplexing recent incident:

'twas on Solstice eve, when peaceful slumber was interrupted by unexpected
appearance of three Spirits, in close temporal succession, into sleeping
chamber. Spirit of Solstice past did remind Brother Lance of the simple
pleasures afforded him by the three inch reflector of his youth. Spirit of
Solstice present did shew to unto this humble Brother the seeds of
discontent present in wandering eye of he that doth covet the seductive
convenience of Schmidt-Cassegrain and Maksutov, or the "perfect image" of
the refractor (an image obtainable, in truth, only through the unobstructed

The final Spirit did prophesy of the great wickedness and depravity that
followeth close upon such covetousness: an evil progression of foul
catadioptric, APO (rotten to the core), CCD, Nagler, cyphering machine in
conjunction with stepping motor (but one step short of perdition), digital
navigator, and all manner of vile optical and mechanical corruption, such
that Brother Lance did fall to his face and clutch at the feet of this
Spirit, to forsake and foreswear all association with such optical
abomination and mechanical Manicheanism.

Next moment 'twas morning, and Brother Lance did find himself deliriously
clutching at the foot of his Brother Dobson type telescope, and oft
repeating the words "I'm not the amateur I was." Mayhap such delirium
resulteth from consumption, on previous even, of many bottles of Brother
Molson's Exceedingly Fortified Special Solstice-Celebration Hop
Beverage--but thou never knowest.

Leastwise, said Spirit hath renewed mine old conviction of the divine
ordination of the reflecting glass, and mine erstwhile held belief in the
absolute depravity of any optical instrument whose design doth deviate from
the simplicity that dwelleth within our beloved Newtonian.

Nevertheless, whether thine eyes are bathed in the pure Light of the
Reflected Truth, or are temporarily confounded by inferior glasses, the
Solstice doth signal the end of darkness, and the beginning of a slow but
steady progression into Light.

May ye all see the Light.

Brother Lance

To all:

WARNING: Brother Lance is a member of a strange medieval brotherhood that
zealously defends its choice of telescope: the Newtonian. He speaks at
great length about the evils of refractors, Maksutovs, Naglers, Baker-Nunn
cameras, CCDs, equatorial mounts, and any aspect of astronomy that goes
beyond observing the sky through a simple reflector and a simple
eyepiece. He's been known to bend the truth in defense of his
doctrine. Today's target: the Schmidt-Cassegrain.

Forsooth! Hither stands a one whose learning and illumination are most
evident. The heavens rejoice at your return from the wickedness of the
compound instrument and the refracting glass. Peace unto you, brother.

Much instruction is gained through contemplation of the twofold heresy born
of the unholy union between The Followers of Schmidt and The Order of
Casse-grain. The fallen nature of this depraved cult is made manifest in
the foul instrument through which these children of darkness attempt an
understanding of the world that night doth reveal to those attuned to the
mysteries thereof. The depth of their depravity is revealed in the devious
means by which these scorpions attempt to cover up the optical wickedness
and poisonous aberrations concealed within their evil cylinder. How the
tube doth gleam in vainglorious attempt to please and distract the eye from
the optical corruption hidden within. Yet, to the unwavering eye, how
evident the iniquities of design and grievous inadequacies of
manufacture--grave impediment to the important verities shewed by the
Divine Radiance.

And what host of wretched contrivances these creatures spawn, to facilitate
the capture of Light, both sensible and insensible, upon sensitive plates
(another heresy worthy of much comment). Their ingenious devices, which
serve only to distract from the Observed Truth, are abominations: engines
to counteract the natural and pleasing motion of the sphere of fixed stars;
tiny mirrors in hollow tubes, with which they capture and imprison the off
axis light of a lone star--not to more readily study the Truth contained
therein--but only to guide the aforementioned engine, to restrain or
advance its movement, whilst they pursue their false images.

None of the holy treasures of the sky are safe from the perverse endeavours
of these iconolators. Nay, not even the countenances of the Planetary Gods
are sacred to these lost souls, intent on holding the Divine Light in their
hands, or on their phos-phorescent screens.


Sailors of the celestial seas consult charts, and rely upon age old
traditions and intimate knowledge of heaven's shoals to wend their way among
the luminaries. Not so the followers of Schmidt and Cassegrain. This nest of
vipers hath concealed, deep within the bowels of their accursed double fork,
ciphering machines of exceeding complexity, allied with their devilish
enginery, allowing them to navigate midnight's ocean while yet remaining
themselves rudderless.

What manner of evil is contained within those forks? Verily, the pitchfork
of The Enemy containeth fewer of the persuasive powers of perdition.

Consider the injustice suffered by one who steadfastly leadeth a life of
righteousness but, nonetheless, is turned away from Paradise at the last
moment. Is not the situation similar in the case of the catadioptric
abomination? Blessed Light, messenger of Truth, flieth through the aether on
course straight and narrow, without regard for millennium upon millennium in
her path. Mere inches short of her goal, she encountereth the refracting
element, the passage through which rendereth the Light pregnant with false
colour and foul aberrations.

Her chastity is further sullied by the Evil One, whose gross form doth
obstruct one third of the harbour toward which Lady Light is drawn. Dazed,
she proceedeth on to the blessed reflecting element, whereupon she is not
further confounded, but is greeted with warm, momentary embrace--her
remaining purity preserved. Forthwith, she is sent back along her original
path, and suffereth not one, but two more changes of course before the final
necessary travail through the smaller refracting glasses. Brave Lady Light
might endure three reflections and yet maintain her integrity; but in
encounter with refracting element and looming bulk of the Evil One, none
Light can prevail.

I exhort the misguided multitude under the influence of the gravely mistaken
catadioptric teachings to forsake their heresies, and abjure their
compounding of errors. Partake of the glory that the reflecting glass doth
reveal in friendly star, and subtle aspect of Wand'ring Fire, born high on
gentle evening's bowl. And if on that even, by God's grace, the ocean of air
be not troubled, but remaineth still throughout its depth, what marvels and
glad tidings await those who stand with the Brothers of the Reflected
Truth--in awe of the overarching magnificence we behold--eyes fixed upon the
unblemished Light that proceedeth from our simple cylinders. We are content
in the knowledge that brother Newton hath provided the means by which all
Truth may be known. A scope within the grasp of even the lowest of men: a
mirror in whose reflection we might gaze upon the face of Truth: a glass
sufficient to reveal the luminous splendours and divers wonders that
comprise the radiant complexion of the night.

"Most assuredly, the Schmidt-Cassegrain doth suck!
-- Aristotle
-- Brother Lance

End Quote

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From: Kurt Foster <kfoster#NoSpam.rmi.net>
                      FUN FIRSTS DURING MOON PROGRAM
  Besides the dramatic firsts scored leading up to the moon landing - the
successful docking, two weeks in space, first men to go beyond Earth
orbit, etc - there are a number of other firsts that may not be getting
the attention they deserve.
  Of course, Apollo VIII first discovered (or made it so) that the moon
was made not of green cheese, but American cheese.
  But I have a vague recollection that during one of the Gemini space
walks, they scored the first dirty (on the outside) window in space - the
guy (White?) doing the space walk was using some gizmo that fired jets of
gas, and it was causing something to be deposited in the window.  The guy
inside the capsule said something like, "You're messing up my windshield,
you dirty dog!"
  Also, I think it was one of the Gemini missions that scored the first
corned-beef sandwich in space.  One of the astronauts (Grissom?), sick and
tired of the usual "space food", decided to bring some REAL food on a
mission, and smuggled a sandwich on board.  There were crumbs floating
around in the capsule, and it smelled pretty strong, but nothing really
bad happened.
  Anyone have more details on these, or other "fun" firsts on the road to
the Moon?

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From: "clem" <stompin#NoSpam.thesavoy.com>
Scientists Decode the First Message From an Alien Civilization...

Simply send 6 x 10^50 atoms of hydrogen to the star system at the top of
the list, cross off that star system, then put your star system at the
bottom of the list and send it to 100 other star systems. Within one-tenth
of a galactic rotation you will receive enough hydrogen to power your
civilization until entropy reaches its maximum! IT REALLY WORKS!

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June 4
From: "Joॅo Batista" <jmnbatista#NoSpam.hotmail.com>
(translated Portuguese to english; sorry about any mistakes/incorrections!)

Tomorrow there will be a sun eclipse, so I have resolved that the company
will be at the drill field in campaign uniform, where I will give
explanations about the phenomenon, which does not happens every day. If it
rains, though, the company will remain in quarters.

By orders of our captain, there will be a sun eclipse tomorrow in campaign
uniform. The whole company must be present at the drill field, where our
captain will give explanations about the phenomenon inside the quarters,
which doesn't happen every day if it rains.

Tomorrow, there'll be a sun eclipse, which will give the necessary
explanations about our captain. The phenomenon will go out in campaign
uniform to the drill field, except if it rains in the quarters, which
doesn't happen every day.

We'll go out tomorrow to a campaign in a sun eclipse that our captain's
phenomenon fixed up to rain uniforms in the drill field. If it rains,
though, the company will give explanations in quarters, which doesn't happen
every day.

Tomorrow will rain a sun eclipse in quarters, which our captain gave the
company so the drill phenomenon will go to the uniform campaign. If it rains
in the uniforms, which doesn't happen every day, we'll have to take the
eclipse inside quarters.

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From: harry#NoSpam.brain.jpl.nasa.gov (Harry Langenbacher)

                            Mars Observer Found

Seen on a hall wall at JPL:

(each letter appears to have been cut out of a magazine and pasted on
the paper )
   we have your
 satelite if you
  want it back
 send 20 billion
   in martian
 money. No funny
   business or
 you will never
  see it again

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Press release by: Jim Griffith (griffith#NoSpam.netcom.com)

Valles Marineris (MPI) - A spokesthing for Mars Air Force denounced as
false rumors that an alien space craft crashed in the desert, outside of
Ares Vallis on Friday. Appearing at a press conference today, General
Rgrmrmy The Lesser, stated that "the object was, in fact, a harmless
high-altitude weather balloon, not an alien spacecraft".

The story broke late Friday night when a major stationed at nearby Ares
Vallis Air Force Base contacted the Valles Marineris Daily Record with a
story about a strange, balloon-shaped object which allegedly came down in
the nearby desert, "bouncing" several times before coming to a stop,
"deflating in a sudden explosion of alien gases". Minutes later, General
Rgrmrmy The Lesser contacted the Daily Record telepathically to contradict
the earlier report.

General Rgrmrmy The Lesser stated that hysterical stories of a detachable
vehicle roaming across the Martian desert were blatant fiction, provoked by
incidences involving swamp gas. But the general public has been slow to
accept the Air Force's explanation of recent events, preferring to
speculate on the "other-worldly" nature of the crash debris. Conspiracy
theorists have condemned Rgrmrmy's statements as evidence of "an obvious
government cover-up", pointing out that Mars has no swamps.

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June 4
From: "G - P" <G - P#NoSpam.GP.Com>
Required Scientific Behavior At Eclipses

Here are a few tips intended to make your eclipse experience extremely
memorable.  REMEMBER !!!:

-  Focus your camera before taking photos.

-  Take a flash photo (full face view) of  someone acting as
"astronomer"  being very serious about trying to take a classic eclipse
photo.  Do
it  just as everybody shrieks "There's the corona!! Oh, its so
  -  Run around trying to wake up any roosting birds.  Claim they are
  missing a great experience.

-  Wave a bright flashlight around. Hold it eye high and sweep it
horizontally.  Try to see if it's dark enough to see flashes from bike
reflectors, car taillights, etc. That will be fun (anyway, more than
the science part of an eclipse).  Of course, you will undoubtedly catch
many people directly in the face.  That's their problem.  IF anybody
challenges you, tell  them you're doing research for Kodak on the Red Eye
phenomenon and you need a crowd.

-  Buy  a live rooster and take it with you to a popular observing
site, binding its feet to keep it close by.  Put it up high like on a wall
(or on someone else's telescope).  Call to it incessantly (Here Karl
Friedrich Gauss Leghorn, LOOK LOOK!  Pretty soon you'll be getting sleepy.
THAT's IT! )  Soon, you'll draw a crowd, all eager to watch how the
rooster behaves during the eclipse.
1.  As above, wait until it gets very dark, then take lots of flash
photos of the rooster.  (How else WOULD you get a good photo in the
dark anyhow ??)
2.  Set up movie lights to better see the rooster (String a couple
of long extension cords).  Of course, no one else will be able to see
for 100's of meters, but so what?  And also of course the rooster will not
notice the eclipse.  Scream at the rooster to go to sleep. It won't
help, but will get you lots more attention.  After it's all over, give a
press interview stating your name as someone else (DO NOT USE MY NAME!!!!!).
Claim that this was an individually bad chicken.  Next eclipse you'll
be back with an entire crate of them -- that will give you better
Alternatively you can claim you have disproven hundreds of years of
hearsay evidence about eclipse phenomenology -- and you now know that
roosters don't notice eclipses!!!  Make sure they spell (whomever's)
name right.
-  Gape at the dark sky and scream.  "There's Mercury, there's Venus,
there's Mars, there's Pluto. God, there's a new comet!!!  No! I saw it
first." Keep acting like someone else is arguing with you about who
saw it first.  Threaten them loudly that you'll call the police.
-  Talk in a very loud voice.  Claim that all your previous eclipses
were MUCH better because you were always on a cruise ship and those people
were  so much nicer than these German tourist riffraff.  Tell them all how
you hate being there but there were no cruise ships except on the Rhine,
and you HATE the Rhine!!!  Keep this up for the entire eclipse. Pay
someone else to agree with you, that they have had the SAME experience.

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From: KALOTHI#NoSpam.cmsa.berkeley.edu
April 24

                     Better than Neiman-Marcus Cookies

A few years ago I was touring the Jet Propulsion Lab and they showed me
a prototype of the Hubble Space Telescope.  "Pretty cool machine,
guys," I said, "but is there anyway us amateur astronomers can get in
on this kind of action?"  They said yes, plans for the HST were
available through the gift shop.  "How much?"  I asked.  They said
"Fifty."  I said "Great!  Here's my American Express Plutonium Card!"

I picked up the plans and went home, happy as a clam, until I got my
American Express bill.  The total amount due was $50,119.00!  I figured
the $119 must have been from one of these Northwest student ticket
vouchers, but where was that $50,000 from?  Only then did I realize
that JPL had charged me, no fifty dollars, but fifty THOUSAND dollars.
Boy was I mad.  But it was too late to return the plans and get my
fifty thousand dollars back, so I just chalked it up to experience.  But
now I'm getting my revenge...  I asked the folks at the JPL copyright
office if I could give the plans out to all my friends and they said,
"Heck, why not?  What do we need with royalties?  Tell the world!"  So
I've written up the key steps here.  Please post them to every bboard
you can think of and mail them to all your friends.  Remember, if you
break the chain you'll get seven years of bad sunspot interference.

You will need:
1 launch vehicle.
126 "Master Constructor" Erector Sets(tm).
1 Radio Shack(tm) Pro-2001 scanner.
1 2-meter block of glass.
1 box of aluminum foil.
4 sheets of #20 (coarse) sandpaper.
4 sheets of #150 (fine) sandpaper.
2 children's magnifying glasses.

(optional) filters and instrumentation as needed.


  1.  Using the erector sets, construct a superstructure capable of
      supporting a 2-meter mirror and whatever instrumentation you will
      be using.  Make sure that the superstructure can survive the
      G-forces during launch.  Don't be tempted to skimp on the nuts
      and bolts here.

  2.  Using the #20 sandpaper, grind the block of glass until it takes
      on the shape of a convex mirror.  Be very careful in this step
      because if you get the shape wrong you'll have to start over
      again.  Use the #150 sandpaper to smooth out any irregularities
      and fix any minor problems with the focus.  Then melt the
      aluminum foil and vacuum deposit 1-2 atomic layers of aluminum on
      the surface of the mirror.  Mount the mirror in its place in the

  3.  Mount the children's magnifying glasses at the focal point of the
      mirror.  These will serve as an eyepiece for your instruments.

  4.  Open the back of the Pro-2001 scanner.  There will be a 16-pin
      chip on the upper left of the circuit board labelled 1Y1169AV.
      Carefully clip out the fourth pin on the left and remove it from
      the chip.  This will convert your Pro-2001 scanner into the
      usually much more expensive Pro-2010 scanner with orbital
      transceiver capabilities.  Close the back of the scanner, check
      that the batteries are in place, mount it in the superstructure,
      and connect it to your instruments.

  5.  Make one last check of everything and you're ready to launch!

This is a true story, every bit of it, I swear on my father's sister's
grave.  Even if it isn't, I hope that you get as much use and enjoyment
out of your home-built Hubble Space Telescope as I have from mine!


Comment from a System Manager at the Space Telescope Science Institute
(which didn't _build_ the Hubble, but operates it):

Hmm.  Got the instructions for the mirror wrong.

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"It's a good thing the guy in charge of naming galaxies was into chocolate
bars and not Chinese food. Otherwise, the Milky Way might have been named
Moo Goo Gui Pan, and who wants to have to learn about that ?"
  - Paul Paternoster

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From: joneil#NoSpam.multiboard.com (Joseph O'Neil)

Warning - only for those with a poor sense of humour like myself....

The Anarchist Astronomer
by J.P. O'Neil

	IN an effort to stop my waistline from reaching 40 before I do, a
list of "not recommenced" foods has been made up for me by my dear wife,
sister and mother.  You know you are doomed when the three most important
women in your life gang up on you.  Be that as it may, I also suffer from
certain food allergies, and thus there is another list of "foods to avoid"
I must now watch.  Cross reference these lists with foods that clog
arteries or cause cancer or some other fatal malady and the only edible
item left to me is cold oatmeal - provided the water used to cook it is
free of E. Coli.
     Much modern like dietary wisdom, amateur astronomy is beset by rule
that, in my opinion, take much of the fun out of the hobby.  We are all
becoming much too serious and looking sight of the fun that can be had.
For those who feel burnt out, I present my ten step program in reclaiming
the fun in astronomy.  Now I must admit this point of view originates from
a person who's sole claim to 15 seconds of fame is hosting an imaginary
star party every couple of years, so take my advice with the proverbial
rock of salt.
1) Replace Seti with Cindy Crawford

	Every time  a group of armature astronomers gather in a group
larger than three, guess what happens?  Bragging rights over who has
finished the most Seti At Home work units.   The way I see it, you
have a bigger chance of winning the lott0 6/49 than discovering life
out there.  Even if by some wild stroke of luck, you are the one to
discover the real "ET", odds are the only thing that will happen is
guys in dark suits form some secret government agency will raid your
house, confiscate all your computers and shoot you up with weird
psycotropic drugs thus destroying all short term memory.
	So give it a break for a week or a month, go explore the
Bikini of the Day web site until you get your feet back on the ground.

2) Make Sure It's Too Big

	About 15 years ago while observing  a couple of us stuck a
32mm plossl in a 5.5", F3.6 Comet Catcher.  The result was an exit
pupil of almost 9mm.  According to every published article on the
subject, this exit pupil was too large and wasting light.   We also
stuck with it all night as we discover oversized exit pupils are very
comfortable on the eye.    In other words, to my sexist tastes, women
look nicer in high heels, but flat soles are much more comfortable.
So are oversized exit pupils.  Try it and see for yourself.

3)  Observe Only On Fresh Sod

	Think about this.  We all know the sky gods punish purchasers
of new telescopes with rain and layers of new sod with clear skies, so
if you place a new telescope on fresh sod you'll confuse the hell out
of them.  In the ruckus that follows, a couple of clear nights should
slip through.

4)  Play Mind Games With Refractors

	The more expensive refractor you have, the better this works.
When setting up at a star party, aim you refractor at a suitable
planet, pop in one of those 0.965" SR 4mm eyepiece and invite other
amateurs to have a peek.  Act if all is perfectly normal.  If somebody
asks for a better eyepiece, use a Huygens 8mm.    Offer the use of a
nebular filter then screw in one of those ultra-danergour sun filters.

5)    Gather Ye Both Stick and Stones

	Are you at a star party that is just totally clouded out for
the night?   If so, invite everyone to the main tent or main building
for popcorn and a movie.   Then play "The Blair Witch Project".
After everyone goes to sleep quietly place stick figures and small
piles of stones around all the telescopes in the campground.

6)  Swap Table Fun

	This will not make you  make any money, but assuming you can
keep a straight face,  have a hidden camera setup to to capture the
expression on the faces of people as they see these items you have
made up for sale:
	- an optics cleaning kit consiting of 6 grades of steel wool
and a tin of rubbing compound;
	- "Make your own pitch kit" consiting of pine tree seeds and
instructions on how to gather pitch off the tree when it is 20 years
	- a home made split ring mount for a small newtonian that uses
a toilet seat as the split ring;
	- a set of plastic lenses out of a large screen projection TV
labeled "world's most awsome plossl";
	- a half dozen shaving mirrors labeled "20th of a wave or

7) Expand your Horzions Grasshopper

	Tape as many episodes of the "Iron Chef" as you possibly can,
then label all the tapes "Japanese Optical Crafting Techniques" and
donate them to your local astronomy club library.

8) Fight Light Pollution With Madness

	Have all the members of your local astornomy club join the
Druids.  Elect a  high priest, and register with the goverment as a
bonafide charity and/or religion.  Next step is to build a henge,
either surrounding your club observatory or surrounding an urban
	Finally, when all in in place, sue city hall for not
respecting your religious rights.  Go to all the medi and scream like
a banshee how light pollution, installed and paid for by the city,
prevents you form observing the stars from your Henge (aka Church) and
thus prevents your religous rites of worshipping the stars.   The more
new age psybabble you can mix into your press releases, the higher
your public appeal will be.

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March 5
December 2
From: J. Richard Jacobs (On the Science Jokes mailing list:
A true incident that occurred on Monday, the 14th of February. In my class
we were celebrating Galileo's birthday. The previous Friday I had given an
hour long lecture on computing angular distances using star charts of the
Mercator style.

After the class sang Happy Birthday in Italian I asked the following:
"All right, who here can tell me the distance from Betelgeuse to Procyon
using your standard chart?"

A hand shot up immediately and my chest swelled with pride. They had
gotten it, I thought.

"About an inch and a half," came the response.

J. (embarrassed)

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From: J. Richard Jacobs (On the Science Jokes mailing list:
It is estimated that 3.71 X 10^10 "first-star-tonight" wishes have been wasted
on Venus.

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From: "Fco. Javier" <fjneicor#NoSpam.yahoo.es>
Why Ms. moon has left  Mr. sun?

answer.. Because he never wants to go out by the night with her..

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From: "Olivier Staiger" <olivier.staiger#NoSpam.span.ch>
October 2
>Several observatories have a no smoking policy in and around
>the telescope and instrumentation as the smoke will coat the optics.

Maybe it is to avoid "discovering" a new nebula ?

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October 2
From: Dan McKenna
Do Astronomers Smoke?
Several observatories have a no smoking policy in and around
the telescope and instrumentation as the smoke will coat the optics.
On the other hand,

You no doubt have scene the pictures of Hubbell at various telescopes with
his pipe.

I have watched people smoke at coude focus at two
observatories. One time an observer plugged his heated "flight over all's"
in to the 110 v when it was a 24v heater. The astro started
screaming I am on fire!.. the telescope operator hit the e stop
button which killed the power and wrote in the log book
astronomer smoking at prime focus.
A famous one is the French discovery of a potassium flare
star. It turned out that they where lighting matches in front of the
spectrograph while guiding in order to smoke. We ordered some
french matches and reproduced the spectra as American
matches didn't have the same spectra.
Finally one observer at a 1 meter prime focus telescope that was
in a tube, dropped his pipe down on the mirror cover.
He lowered the telescope and sent his kid down the tube to
recover the pipe and when the kid passed the balance point
the telescope swung to zenith trapping the kid in side.
the day crew had to winch the scope to the horizon so the
kid could crawl out.

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From: "Paul" <i_don't_like_spam#NoSpam.vegetarian.com>

The Onion, 10/4/68 "Hippies, NASA Race for Moon."

    The space race between NASA and the hippies is more heated than ever,
with both of the astronautic super-powers vying to be the first to land a
man on the moon. "NASA will win the race to the moon, and the world will
see a United States astronaut, not a longhair, walk on the moon before the
turn of the decade," Apollo 10 Mission Director Gus Lance said Thursday.
    Despite NASA's confidence, hippie-space-program sources report that the
moon will be within their reach in mere months. "Freakonauts have already
outdistanced NASA in their high rate of success with manned missions
throughout the Tibetan Book of the Dead and cosmic voyages Beyond Total
Awareness," said Freedog Osmosis, head of the prestigious Haight-Ashbury
Center for Astraldynamic Research. "And current missions are flying higher
than ever. Take me, for example. I'm sitting right in front of you. Yet,
even as we speak, I'm orbiting at tremendous altitudes." "We are 12 to 16
weeks away from having all the vibes in place to launch, orbit and land a
hippie on the moon," Osmosis said, "as well as to return him safely to a big
oversized floor pillow after wear-off and subsequent crashpad re-entry
    With the Lunar Excursion Module proven flightworthy in recent Apollo
test missions, it is only a matter of time, NASA scientists argue, before
they win the race to the moon. However, hippies say, a NASA victory in the
space race is by no means certain. "From such early victories as the Byrds'
historic eight-mile-high test flight above San Francisco Bay to recent
trips by The Rolling Stones as far as 60,000 light-years from home, it's
clear that our radical, substance-based approach to space travel boasts
significant advantages over NASA's more conservative methods," said
spacecadet hippychick Raven Transcendence. Trancendence added that the
hippie space program also enjoys a clear economic advantage over NASA:
While the cost of a NASA lunar mission is estimated at $600 million, the
hippie space program, she said, can reach the moon with just a dime bag.
    Hippie space exploration, however, has not been without its
setbacks. In June, shortly after setting his controls for the hear of the
sun, Floyd Commander Syd Barrett lost control of his 50-milligram capsule
and veered wildly off course. According to hippie scientists, he is
currently lost somewhere near Neptune. The scientists project that the
Floyd program will not match NASA's Apollo 8 orbit of the dark side of the
moon untill the mid-1970s. "Yes, hippie space travel does have its
problems," Osmosis said.  "The severe crash-and-burns that follow intense
spaceflight can be devastating, and launch windows are dependent on the
week-to-week booking schedule at the Fillmore West. Nonetheless, we have
repeatedly reached the Sea of Inner Peace and Sea of Undulating Joy-Vibes,
and we're confident that a flower child will touch down on the Sea of
Tranquility soon, certainly no later than the big Woodstock festival next

"Our Dumb Century, 100 Years of Headlines from America's Finest News
Source" Three Rivers Press

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                                Stargazing Tips

From: "Brian Larmay" <brileau#NoSpam.earthlink.net>

Heres something I found in the Onion newspaper...
This belongs in Bad astronomy, but humor is the main point here, soo....

Be in the know of which stars are hot and which are not..Betelguese: Hot,
Rigel: Not.
Polaris Hot, Pleiadies: Not.

If the evening you choose to take your kids stargazing is overcast,
maintain their interest by announcing that it is an extremely rare eclipse
of everything.

Though astronomy s a relativly safe hobby, keep in mind that stars are very,
very hot and will burn for millions of years if unattended.

Remember of learning the ABC's of leaning about constellations: Always Be
learning about Constellations.

When contemplating the ineffable grandeur of the universe, nothing sets the
mood more quite like the airy, transcendant synthesizer sounds of Vangelis.

Do not gaze directly at white-hot star Kate Hudson. Instead, poke a pinhole
in a sheet of paper, and lookat Hudsons outline on another sheet of paper.

Some may scoff at the hobby of astronomy, but sitting in an empty field in
the middle of winter is a great way to see tiny little dots.

Name your baby after a constellation, no one has done that before.

Locate the Virgo cluster. Is it still there? Good....your like the cop of
the universe!

Remember: Galileo was an astronomer, and they threw his #$! in the clink.
Exersize caution.

Theres one star easy to find, you will have to wait for daytime though.

Next time you go stargazing, bring a girl along. Set up in a field far from
the city lights and take turns looking through the telescope.Then when the
right moment comes, kiss her, Kiss her!  Dont let the opportunity pass you
buy-it may never come again! Kiss her!

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From: Stan Jensen
                             Astronomer Pet Peeves

There's a Libra you'd really like to get to know better, but with Mars
going retrograde in your house of love, you should play it safe for
now. - "No, that's astrology, not astronomy.  Now put the tarot cards

When Mistress Cleo fails to correctly foresee the location of the
planets orbiting Cygnus X1.

Klingon/Uranus joke gets real old real fast.

Everyone *has* to snicker when you say "Uranus."

There are places where you can get Thai takeout delivered at 3:00 AM.
There are places where telescopic viewing conditions are best. These
are *never* the same place.

When comparing telescopes, it's really hard to pretend that size
doesn't matter.

For the last time, "Dude," you can *not* pick up "bitchin' tunes" with
a radio telescope!

They get Jodie Foster to play one of us in the movies, then she's
nailed by some preacher!

The next bureaucrat who refers to my budget as a "black hole" gets a
transept right between the eyes.

Cat-loving astronomers that name new stars "Snowball" and "Mouser."

    and the Number 1 Astronomer Pet Peeve...

Crab Nebula?  Sure.
Horsehead Nebula?  You betcha!
Naked Cheerleader Nebula?  Still searching.

From: Bill Foley <w.foley.poot#NoSpam.verizon.net>

"Oh, how FAR can you see with that telescope?"
"Great picture of the Big Dipper!  What flash did you use?"
(by the way, on a Barney video, the Big Dipper was a constellation,
NOT an asterism)
"You can't see that chart with that little red light, here, let me shine
my 5-cell on it for you."

From: rwh56#NoSpam.aol.com (Rwh56)
Driver of large pickup with floods ablaze:  "Hey you, whatcha looking at?"

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From: "Cerberus - The Dog Of Hell"

The Theologian and the Astronomer

A theologian and an astronomer were talking together one day. The astronomer said that after reading widely in the field of religion, he had concluded that all religion could be summed up in a single phrase. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," he said, with a bit of smugness, knowing that his field is so much more complex. After a brief pause, the theologian replied that after reading widely in the area of astronomy he had concluded that all of it could be summed up in a single phrase also. "Oh, and what is that?" the astronaut inquired. "Twinkle, twinkle, little star; how I wonder what you are!"

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From: Esmail Bonakdarian <e_bonak#NoSpam.yahoo.com>
September 15
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal
and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night and went to sleep.  Some
hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. "Watson, look up
and tell me what you see."

Watson replied, "I see millions and millions of stars."

"What does that tell you?"

Watson pondered for a minute. "Astronomically, it tells me that there are
millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.

Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo.

Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past

Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and

Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day
tomorrow. Why, what does it tell YOU?"

Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke.  "Watson, you idiot. Some jerk
has stolen our tent."

From: "octogenarian" <jimg2k#NoSpam.yahoo.com>
Original from NY Times:

HOLMES: Watson, look up at the stars and tell me what you deduce.

WATSON: I see millions of stars, and if there are millions of stars,
and if even a few of those have planets, it is quite likely there are
some planets like earth, and if there are a few planets like earth out
there there might also be life.

HOLMES: Watson, you idiot! Somebody stole our tent.

Retold by Nobel Physicist:

(sorry if typo, from pages 95-96 , A Different Universe by Robert
Laughlin, Nobel Physicist 1998, Stanford Physics professor...)

HOLMES: Watson, look up at those stars in the sky! What do you deduce?

WATSON: Well, each of those pinpricks of light is a huge sun powered by
the fires of hydrogen fusion. That fuzzy patch over there is the
Andromeda galaxy. Powerful telescopes tell us that Andromeda is an
island of billions and billions of stars. Even more powerful telescopes
tell us that there are billions and billions of such galaxies
stretching out to the edge of the universe. If even one in a million of
those suns had planets, and even one in a million of these had an
oxygen atmosphere, and even one in a million of these had life, and
even one in a million of these had people and civilizations, then we
would be certain of not being alone in the universe.

HOLMES: No, Watson, you idiot! Somebody stole our tent!

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From: Wayne Watson <mtnviews#NoSpam.earthlink.net>
A George Carlin joke

Astronomers announced that next month the sun, the moon, and all nine
planets will be aligned perfectly with the earth. They say, however, the
only noticeable effect will be that the Nome to Rio bus will run four days

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From: Wayne Watson <mtnviews#NoSpam.earthlink.net> A George Carlin joke

According to astronomers, next week Wednesday will occur twice. They say
such a thing happens only once every 60,000 years, and, although they don't
know why it occurs, they're glad they have an extra day to figure it out.

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April 23
From: "Paul S. Walsh" <filmdos#NoSpam.nwlinkkillspam.com>

     Why Hamlet is bad for astronomy

To go, or not to go: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The barbs and flames of outrageous threads,
Or to take arms against a sea of threads,
And by cross-posting end them? To lie: to lurk;
No more; and by a killfile to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
newsnet is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To lie, to lurk;
To lurk: perchance to learn: ay, there's the rub;
For in that lurk of death what threads may come
When we have shuffled off this portal web,
Must give us pause: there's the download
That makes calamity of so long winter;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of saa,
The observers wrong, the luddite's contumely,
The pangs of despised goto, the light's delay,
The insolence of Shawn and the Vols
The patient merit of the unworthy pukes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With an LX200? who would tripods bear,
To grunt and sweat under a telrad,
But that the dread of something after dawn,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No stargazer returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those scopes we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus the mafia does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of a bad coating,
And telescopes of great aperture and mount
With this regard, tube currents turn awry,
And lose their resolution.--Soft you now!
The fair Ophiuchus! Nymph, in thy horizons
Be all your stars remember'd.

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From: METHEFOZ#NoSpam.aol.com

This is my original.  I am really interested in astronomy and my hero is
Carl Sagan.  So, I thought I would invent a joke that even he would have
laughed at.  So, here it is:
 A young astronomer came rushing into the office of the head astronomer and
  "Sir!  I have just spent the last 6hrs at our telescope and have made an
astonishing discovery!  However, there is good news, and bad news!"
 The old astronomer, naturally, asks: "What is the good news?"
  "I have just discovered a new galaxy, that has just appeared, and is only
14 light years away from our own!", replied the young astronomer.
  "My God, that's fantastic, that's wonderful, amazing, etc. What bad news
could there possibly be about that?"  The old astronomer quieried.
  The young astronomer replies, "Sir, it's BLUE!" 

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From: Joachim Verhagen.
Special Category: Famous last words
                             Famous last words

Astronomer:  That asteroid does not hit the Earth.

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Special Category: quizzes and tests to do
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>

                             Astronomy Test 1

Test your knowledge of astronomy by putting one of the astronomical terms
listed below into each blank.

  1. I don't want NASA to ____________ its budget again.

  2. Leave my girlfriend alone! ____________ down this instant!

  3. "Where did you put the book?" "____________ the table there."

  4. When an astronomy problem is not clear, it is ____________.

  5. If you want an astronomical experiment to succeed, you have to
____________ carefully.

  6. An astronomy grad student who packs things in boxes. ____________

  7. The cow is bigger and heavier, but is it ____________ too?

  8. My pet dog got run ____________ by a truck yesterday.

  9. Platitude ignored by kindergartners. ____________ share alike.

10. What to look for when checking for foot frostbite. ____________

11. A ditty to put you to sleep. ____________

12. That road accident made ____________ mess.

13. It's not his shell, it's ____________.

14. "Am I far from it?" "No, you're ____________."

15. Sign on NASA scientist's door: "Out to ____________."

16. My pen just ran out of ____________.

17. ____________ up! We're waiting for you!

18. This has to be ____________ boring astronomy lecture yet.

19. ____________ he coming to get us?

20. He was the ____________ survivor of the rocket explosion.


a) Ariel           f) Halley           k) Neptune         p) Pluto
b) Charon          g) Herschel         l) Nereid          q) Sol
c) Crater          h) Jupiter          m) Nova            r) Titan
d) Deimos          i) Launch           n) Oberon          s) Vega
e) Encke           j) Meteor           o) Planet          t) Venus

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Special Category: quizzes and tests to do
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>

                             Astronomy Test 2

     Test your knowledge of astronomy yet again by putting one of the
astronomical terms listed below into each space.

  1. When astronomers sing, they do so a ____________.

  2. Incorrect past tense of "to know." ____________

  3. __________, I guess we won't be able to see Pluto tonight after all.

  4. In photographic astronomy, the presence of the Moon will  ____________ 
of the problems.

  5. The astronomer who mixed rye whiskey with jello got ____________.

  6. The drink made from crushed insects. ____________

  7. What astronomers take as a cure-all. ____________ oil.

  8. An astronomer who kepples. ____________

  9. Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's moons must have been a real 
____________ -opener.

10. Where astronomers get married. ____________

11. Embezzling astophysicists are a bunch of ____________.

12. The day after the famous astronomer died, his ____________-uary 
appeared in the newspapers.

13. The correct phrase is "stone it", not "____________!"

14. The Astronomer King lives, naturally, on the asteroid __________.

15. "Fred is an excellent hedge trimmer." "Yes, ____________ them into 
interesting shapes."

16. Astronomers and baseball can mix, witness the World ____________.

17. That observatory is ugly. It ____________ the whole landscape.

18. Explaining the ocean's motion left many astronomers fit to be ____________.

19. The Great Bear was shot with Celestial Tranquilizer to ____________ down.

20. If the bull had caught us, it would have ____________ apart!


a) Altair          f) Comet            k) Kepler          p) Pallas
b) Betelgeuse      g) Cosmos           l) Lowell          q) Rigel
c) Capella         h) Crux             m) Mars           r) Rocket
d) Castor          i) Eclipse          n) Node            s) Taurus
e) Ceres           j) Io               o) Orbit           t) Tide

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From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
  After extensive investigation by both the Russian and US space agencies,
spokesmen from both organizations announced that they have determined the
cause for the accident which has placed the station and its resident
personnel in jeopardy. In a terse statement at a recent press conference,
Soviet and US space agency spokes persons said Thursday: "We have concluded
joint investigations concerning this potentially tragic accident and each
nation's team, separately, has arrived at identical conclusions for this
incident. The accident was caused by one thing and one thing only:  ...
Objects in mir are closer than they appear!

For non-americans:
The pun is a play on the statement found on side automobile mirrors in the
US which state that "objects seen in mirrors are closer than they appear." 

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March 13
From: "nemo" <nemo#NoSpam.naughtylass.wet>
Two astronomers. One is looking through the telescope and the other is
standing next to him.

Astronomer No. 1: Hey! I can see Uranus!

Astronomer No. 2: That telescope must be a funny shape!

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From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>, puns of the weak
Meteorite: A space chip (Michael Driscoll) 

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Excerps from a thread on news:sci.astro :
Jeffery Laws:
Can anyone tell me what the diameters of the seven planets are?

Tom McDonald:
Your math seems a bit off.

Tom Lawler:
Well... he probably already knows Earth... and we all know that Pluto is
not a planet. <duck>

Not duck; dog.  Pluto is a dog.

(BTW, Jeffery also got the data.)

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From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>, puns of the weak
How is the astronomer doing?
Things are looking up. (Mike Benny)

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From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>, puns of the weak
Did the astronaut like the restaurant on the moon? 
He thought the food was fine but there wasn't much of an atmosphere!
(Kayla, 10)

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From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>, puns of the weak
Does it snow on Pluto?
No, not if Mickey lets him inside!  (Taylor, 11)

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From: "MIKE ROSS" <MIKE_ROSS#NoSpam.-removethis-bbs.juxtaposition.dynip.com>

[puts on Groucho Marx eyebrows, glasses, moustache, and cigar:]

These three red dwarfs walk into a bar together, and the bartender says,
"Hey, you, get out of here, we don't serve class M main-sequence stars in
this bar!"  So, the three red dwarfs leave.  The first two decide to go
someplace else, but the third one wants to try and get back into the bar.
So, he frizzes his hair out and ties himself in a double-hitch, then
waltzes back into the bar right in front of the bartender.  The bartender
looks at him quizzically, and says, "Hey, aren't you a red dwarf?!"  To
which the star replies, "Silly, stars can't talk!"  <rimshot>

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From: saberscorpx#NoSpam.aol.com (SaberScorpX)

More Astro Bumper Stickers...

U Toucha My Scope, I Breaka U Face!
Dawn- Just Say No.
So Many Parallel Universes, So Little Time...
Black Holes Are Out of Sight 
Black Holes Were Created When God Divided By Zero! 
Black Holes Really Suck... 
Cosmologists Do It With A Big Bang! 
The Hubble Works Fine; All That Stuff Really IS Blurry! 
Going The Speed Of Light Is Bad For Your Age.  
How Many Weeks Are There In A Light Year? 
Supernovae Are A Blast! 
A Day Without Fusion Is Like A Day Without Sunshine.
Astronomers Do It In Black Holes.  
Astronomers Do It All Night.
Astronomers Do It In Clusters. 
Astronomers Do It In The Dark. 
Astronomers Do It Under The Stars. 
Astronomers Do It While Gazing At Uranus. 
Astronomers Do It With Mirrors.
Size Does Matter! 
Limb Darkening: Early Treatment Saves Lives 
Living On Earth May Be Expensive, But It Includes A Free Annual Trip Around The
It Is Estimated That 3.71 X 10^10 "First-Star-Tonight" Wishes Have Been Wasted
On Venus. 
Honk If You're From Draco!
Gravity: Not Just A Good Idea...It's The LAW.

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From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>, puns of the weak
Sirius, the dog star, is drawing closer to earth at a rate of nine miles a
second. Someday we could be in Sirius trouble (John S. Crosbie)

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Two guys in prison talking:

"I still don't understand how they found out it was you. All they knew was
that the guy was an amateur astronomer?"

"The interrogator started talking about how he bought this great department
store scope that could go up to 800x...."

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                             Blonde Astronauts

At a press conference the Brunettes announce they are going to make a trip
to the Moon. The Redheads speak up "That's been done before, we're going to
go to Mars". The Blondes speak up "That's nothing, we're going to be the
first people to go to the Sun". One of the reporters says "Don't you idiots
know that you'll burn up?" The Blondes say "NO WE WON'T; WE'RE GOING TO GO

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Whenever anyone asks me what my hobbies are, I always say I enjoy watching
heavenly bodies.

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From: "Tony Follari" <tonyfollari#NoSpam.hotmail.com>

What came out of the Astronomer's ass? Dark matter.
Joke by NZ Comedian Tony Follari

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Special Category: You might be a scientist if...
From:Randy Muller (randy#NoSpam.nospam-osi.com)

You know you're a Deep Sky person when...

1. ... you consider the moon a major annoyance.

2. ... you consider Jupiter 'light pollution'.

3. ... you spend most of your time looking at or for objects you can
barely see.

4. ... your favorite objects are objects you can barely see.

5. ... you enjoy looking at faint fuzzies with the smallest possible

6. ... you enjoy looking at faint fuzzies with the largest possible

7. ... you like to choose objects that are easier to imagine than to

8. ... your observing schedule demands that you search for objects in

From:Jay Reynolds Freeman (freeman-despamifier#NoSpam.netcom.com)

9.  ...you keep thinking that if only the stars would go away, it
    might really get dark.

10. ...you wonder how your favorite objects missed getting included
    in the New General Catalog or the Index Catalog.

11. ...you're not sure that anything in this solar system counts as
    astronomy any more.

12. ...you're amazed that anyone needs artificial light to read charts.

13. ...you could do a Messier Marathon from memory, if you still bothered
    with Messier objects.

14. ...you can read all the NGC abbreviated visual descriptions without
    using the key, but you have to be careful not to cheat by just
    remembering what things look like.

15. ...you view a major earthquake as an opportunity for a close-in
    dark-sky star party.

From:David W. Knisely (dk84538#NoSpam.navix.net)

16.  ... you are attending a major star party (guess which one), and you 
ask the organizers to turn down the Milky Way.

From:Todd Gross (toddg#NoSpam.weatherman.com)

17.  ...You believe M13 ruined your dark adaptation

From:Jennifer B. Jakiel (jakiel#NoSpam.crl.crl.com)
18. ... You observe M42 at the _end_ of the sessions because it DOES ruin
dark adaptation!

19.  ...Your choice of a new vehicle is determined by the size of your

20.  ...Vacation time is planned around the Winter and Texas (or other)
Star parties.

21. ...Arp is not a funny sound, but the name of one of your favorite
galaxy catalogues.

22. ...You challenge friends by saying .."Lets do something stupid" ..as
you hunt for deep sky objects on a hazy, full-moon nite because you are
faint-photon starved.

23. ...You find auroras a complete anoyance because they ruin sky contrast
and dark adaptation.

From:Michael L. Cunningham (hydromachine#NoSpam.earthlink.net)
24. ...you memorize the NGC, PGC, UGC, MCG, & ESO catalogs and can recite
type and magnitude off the top of your head when asked "What is NGC

From:Wil Milan (wmilan#NoSpam.airdigital.com)

25. ...Your ideal site would require oxygen.

26. ...Your ideal vacation would be in Namibia, but...

27. ...Your ideal telescope would be immovable.

From:Bill Owen (wmo#NoSpam.wansor.jpl.nasa.gov)
28.  ...You take deep-sky pictures during a total eclipse of the moon.
(No joke:  I actually saw people doing this during the July '82 eclipse.)

From:Dave Nash (nash#NoSpam.aries.scs.uiuc.edu)
29.  ...You bitch about severe light pollution when the limiting magnitude
is "only" 6.5.

From:Andy Domonkos (domonkos#NoSpam.erols.com)
30. ...you prep your eyes by applying pupil dilating drops until they open
to 10mm...

From:Vince Pearman (vpearman#NoSpam.ix.netcom.com.nospam)
31. ...when you have elective surgery to replace your eye's natural lenses
with f/0.8, oil-spaced, apochromatic triplet objectives designed by Roland

From:Michelle Stone (mstone#NoSpam.tencor.com)
32. ...You wear red sunglasses all day in preparation for viewing that

33. ...You wear an eyepatch during the viewing session.

34. ...You paint the LED's on your equipment with red fingernail polish so
that they are dimmer.

35. ...You always set your scope up so that you can't move your car until

36. ...You bring a gallon of coffee (or 12 pack of Diet Coke) to the
viewing session.  If the caffine doesn't keep you awake the urge to "go"

37. ...Nightlights are a nuiscance in your house.

From:Darryl M. Gage (dgage#NoSpam.netsync.net)

38. ... You talk out loud to yourself all night long to hoping to keep the
skunks away.

From:Stephen Tonkin (astro#NoSpam.aegis1.spoiler.demon.co.uk)
40. ... You welcome (and have even considered instigating) power cuts, but
only if they occur on clear moonless nights.

From:fore057#NoSpam.not.canterbury.ac.nz (fore057#NoSpam.not.canterbury.ac.nz)
41. ...You pay $3500 for a pupil enlargement operation even though you own
1 1 m light bucket.

From:Janet Vialls (Janet#NoSpam.mhorann.demon.co.uk)
42. ... you remove the LED on your drive control panel, because THAT ruins
your dark adaptation!

From:Michael Packer (mpacker#NoSpam.stars.sfsu.edu)
43. ...in preparation for another DSO bout, you carefully massage your eyes
to make sure all your rods are discharged.

From:rick (fsteiner#NoSpam.removethis.msmail2.hac.com)
44. ...you actually know how to USE setting circles

45. ...you consider the milky way 'light pollution'

46. ...you actually USE 'uranometria', and can quote page numbers

46 1/2.  you frequently disagree with Burnhams, and have seriously
considered publishing your OWN "observer's guide"

47. ...you see absolutely no value in using a Telrad

48. ...your principal finder scope is larger than 80mm

49. ...you consider 15 minutes to be a 'quick' exposure

50. ...you see more DSOs on your laptop screen during an evenings'
observing session than you do through the eyepiece

51. ...you have seriously considered starting up your own anti-sattelite

52. ...'What meteor?  Was it THAT good?  Shucks, I missed it again'

53. ...you consider meteors 'light pollution'

54. ...you actually know where to get billberry jam, and make a point of
consuming some prior to observing sessions.

55. ...you've been thinking that a 14th century black monk's hood is a
pretty cool idea

56. ...you have blackened the edges of your eyeglasses

57. ...the domelight of your car is painted red

From:david p nash (dnash#NoSpam.students.uiuc.edu)
58. ...You are briefly taken aback by the brightness of a normal flashlight
under "normal flashlight" circumstances (power outages, e.g.)

From:Shawn & Jennifer Clark (sd&jkclark#NoSpam.tyler.net)
59. ...You think GM's Daytime Running Lights are some kind of evil alien

60. ...You can make ten trips lugging equipment back and forth across a cow
pasture without stepping on a single cow pie (using only the illumination
of that garishly bright Milky Way to guide you.)

From:Christopher Michael Jones (cjones#NoSpam.ix.cs.uoregon.edu)
61. ...You consider the HII regions of distant galaxies as individual
observing targets.

From:Michael L. Cunningham (hydromachine#NoSpam.earthlink.net)
62. ...You wear sun screen during full moon periods

63. ...You wear sun glasses during full moon periods

64. ...You're caught by the police climbing light poles at night trying to
"unscrew" the bulbs.

From:jml#NoSpam.astropix.com (jml#NoSpam.astropix.com)

65. ...You complain you can't really see the faint stuff because the
Gegenschein is too bright.

From:Art Russell (artrussell#NoSpam.mindspring.com)
66. ...You consider how to blow-up the SUN in order to reduce light

From:George Varros (gvarros#NoSpam.clark.net)
67. ...hire a crop duster to spray the surrounding area because
last night the fire flies kept ruining your dark adaptation.

From:Randy Muller (randy#NoSpam.nospam-osi.com)
68. ...you keep a cross-index of stuff that you have looked at on 3x5 file
cards organized by object catalog number, so you can easily find your
logged observations of any specific object.

69. ...most of your friends think that is a bit much.
(with apologies to Jay!)

From:Thor (roadside#NoSpam.skagit.co)
70. ...you have logged M51 and M57 and it isn't even really dark yet.

From:Chris Duston (Thathinker#NoSpam.geocities.com)
71. ...you think about how to smash the nearby streetlight without getting
caught.......or you think about how much the penalty would be for smashing
the nearby streetlamp..

applies to me directly....

From:Alan Gore (agore#NoSpam.primenet.com)
Actually there is a much easier way that won't cause any damage: get a
lecturer's laser pointer and, using a cheap photo tripod for support,
set it up to illuminate the photocell on top of the streetlight. It
thinks dawn has broken, and shuts off until the laser source is

From:Gautam N. Lad (gautam#NoSpam.interlog.com)
72. ...you begin to realize that even the deepest red flash light is
affecting your vision.

73. ...if you are a permanent eye glass wearer) you plan to get your
  glasses fully multi-coated or get new ones made of ED glass.

74. ...you ask your eye doctor if it is possible to get the lenses in you
eyes fully multi-coated.

75. ... you ask you eye doctor if it is possible to get the lens in your
    eyes enlarged.

From:Randall Wagoner (lewis68#NoSpam.ix.netcom.com)
76. ...You use an infrared flashlight.

77. ...You ask your neighbors over to star gaze, so they will know to turn
out their porch lights.

From:rbishop#NoSpam.trxinc.com (rbishop#NoSpam.trxinc.com)
78. ...while spot checking the collimation of your dob, you note that with
concentration you can just begin to detect spiral structure in the dust
coating your primary.

From:Sirius76 (sirius76#NoSpam.aol.com)
79: ...You drive a thousand miles with no sleep, to sit in the darkest area
you can find, with no sleep, with a bunch of people who haven't slept for
days either, just to look for the faintest of all fuzzies! ;-)

From:Rod Mollise (rmollise#NoSpam.aol.com)
80. ...You can talk while holding a red flashlight in your mouth.

And <bada-boom>
81. ...You can understand what someone talking with a flashlight in their
mouth is saying!

From:Kris Bolling (spaminator#NoSpam.mindspring.com)
82. ...You park your car in the driveway because the garage isn't big
enough to store both the car an your telescope.

From:Hilton Evans (hfevans#NoSpam.SPAMNOT.ici.net)
83. ...You think the best reason to stop smoking is that the glow of the
          cigarette hurts your dark adaptation*.

From:Sketcher (invalid#NoSpam.nowhere.NOSPAM.net)
84. ...you look upon a total solar eclipse as an opportunity to break the
current record for the most DSOs observed visually by a ground based
amateur in the daytime.

From:Mike Spooner (spooner#NoSpam.page.az.net)
85. ...Lying on the living room floor you try to pick out detail in the
dust bunnies under the sofa.

From:brien stratton (bstratton#NoSpam.sprint.ca)
86. ...when at new moon all your duties are neglected.

From:onaxis#NoSpam.my-deja.com (onaxis#NoSpam.my-deja.com)
87. ...When you have two Collins I3 Pieces for your binoviewer.

From:Willard Joder (willard#NoSpam.keinspamhierjoder.net)
88.  When your main criterion for retirement is a dark sky home.

From:Edwin Spector (espector#NoSpam.mlswc.uk.lucent.com.NO-SPAM)
89. ...you print out and keep all the "You know you're a Deep Sky person"
posts for reference!

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From:Janet Vialls (Janet#NoSpam.mhorann.demon.co.uk)
"Twinkle twinkle little star...."
Drat! Lousy seeing again!

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From:Les Blalock (n5koa#NoSpam.NOSPAMcableone.net)

                 The Ten Commandments for Amateur Astronomers: 

1. Thou shalt have no white light before thee, behind thee, or to the
side of  thee whilst sharing the night sky with thy fellow stargazers.

2. Thou shalt not love thy telescope more than thy spouse or 
thy children; as much as, maybe, but not more.

3. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's telescope, unless it 
exceeds in aperture or electronics twice that of thy wildest dreams.

4. Thou shalt not read "Astronomy" or "Sky & Telescope" on 
company time, for thine employer makes it possible to continue thine 
astronomical hobby.

5. Thou shalt have at least two telescopes so as to keep thy 
spouse interested when the same accompanies thee under the night sky 
or on eclipse expeditions to strange lands where exotic wild animals
doth roam freely.

6. Thou shalt not allow either thy sons or thy daughters to get 
married during the Holy Days of Starfest.

7. Thou shalt not reveal to thy spouse the true cost of thy 
telescope collection; only the individual components, and that shall
be done with great infrequency.

8. Thou shalt not buy thy spouse any lenses, filters, dew 
shields, maps, charts, or any other necessities for Christmas, 
anniversaries, or birthdays  unless thy spouse needs them for their
own telescope.

9. Thou shalt not deceive thy spouse into thinking that ye are 
taking them for a romantic Saturday night drive when indeed thou art 
heading for a dark sky site.

10. Thou shalt not store thy telescope in thy living room, 
dining room, or bedroom, lest thou be sleeping with it full time.

11. Verily, observe not through thy neighbor's AP or Tak, lest 
thee be utterly consumed by the lust of apo-fever, and thy brain and
thy bank account shall shrivel and wither like branches in a flame...
12. Verily, observe not through thy neighbor's Dob of Goliath, lest thee be
lain bare to the fires of aperture-fever, and thy sanity, thy sacroiliac
and thy life savings be crushed as ye grapes of wrath..

[This fine work by "anonymous" is reposted, with additions, from a 
forward to the New Hampshire Astronomical Society list. ]

From:Doug S. (albireo54#NoSpam.aol.com)
And here are two others from the NH group that didn't make the first

13. Thou shalt not partake of the fruits of the eyepiece, when it is
written in the Holy Book [IMO Meteor Calendar] that thou shouldst be
observing a minor meteor shower of meager ZHR, even unto ye lawnchair of
righteousness. [Oh, the deep-sky guilt!]


14. Thou shalt neither read from nor post to, nor vouchsafe thyself to be
posted from, thy astronomy club's e-mail list at thy labors, lest a
righteous vengeance be poured out on thee by ye corporate e-mail police.

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From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>, puns of the weak
Scientists studying the sun have a flare for research. (Pun of the Day)

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December 25
Special Category: Christmas Science Jokes

From: Jane Houston Jones 

      The week before Solstice

Twas the week before Solstice, when all through the city,
Not a planet was shining, now isn't that a pity.
The telescope was stored in the garage with despair,
In hopes that the weather would soon turn to fair.

The astronomers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of nebulae danced in their heads.
And Mojo with his laptop and  I with my starmap,
Had just settled down for a cloudy night nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew with a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon shone brightly, no clouds hid the glow,
The full moonlit lustre to objects below.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But Pleiades, Orion, and Ursa Major, the bear.

With our trusty old telescope, the setup was quick,
I knew in a moment we had objects to pick.
More rapid than eagles, the targets they came,
We aimed and we pointed and called them by name.

"Now, Procyon, now Pollux, now Castor and Capella!
On Aldebaran, on Rigel, on Sirius, and Betelgeuse, the red fella :-)
To the top and around the winter circle of stars,
Now a quick look at Saturn, Jupiter, Venus and Mars.

As fireflies that before the dawns morning light,
Brilliantly flicker and soon are a memory bright,
A new wonder would paint the dark sky to pale blue,
The sunrise was nearing and morning twilight was too.

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I stepped from the telescope and was turning around,
Down the chimney the stranger came with a bound.

He looked like an astronomer, bundled from head to his foot,
Like a stargazer his clothes were tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
Looked just like our telescope accessory pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry
He looked like we do after a cold winter starshow
Freezing but happy from the Milky Way glow

The stump of a flashlight held tight in his teeth
Its soft red glow encircled his head like a wreath
We asked him if he'd ever looked closely at Mars
"I'm working at night, I have no time for the stars".

He stepped up to the eyepiece, a right jolly old elf,
And I smiled as he gasped, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but took in view after view,
Then he spoke with a sigh he had more work to do.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
Happy stargazing to all and to all a dark night.

My apologies to Major Henry Livingston Jr. 1748 - 1828, author of "Twas the
Night before Christmas" or Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas.
Previously believed to be the written by Clement Clarke Moore.

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If the lord almight had consulted me before embarking upon his creation, I
should have recommended something simpler.

A response attributed to Alfonso the wise (1221-1284), king of Leon and
Castille, on having the Ptolemaic system explained to him.

I quite agree, too many epicycles by that time.

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                     People actually said these things

From: Wally Anglesea <wanglese#NoSpam.spammersbigpondareparasites.net.au>

Thought I'd put up some astronomically related strange questions and

"If it's so dangerous to look at the eclipse, then why are they having
one at all?"  (caller to a radio program prior to the 2002 eclipse,
Ceduna, Australia)

"Is it safe to play golf during the eclipse, I mean, won't I lose my
balls?"  Asked of an astronomer at Bombala, for the eclipse in 1976

"How do you manage to take pictures of the sun during the day? Isn't
it too bright?"  An email to yours truly.

"If there are no aliens, why can't NASA show us pictures of them not
being?"  (apocryphal, but I've been told this and asked similar
questions so many times I can believe it)

"It's obvious the Earth is flat, otherwise the people on the bottom
would fall off into space" Said to an astronomer in 2001 in the UK.
This was NOT said as a joke....

"Isn't it too dangerous to have 2 comets in the sky at the same time?"
Asked of yours truly in 2004.

Anyone got some more?

From: Michael Malolepszy <kmmposting#NoSpam.yahoo.com>

At a planetarium where I've worked there was this question from a
caller - a teacher apparently:

"Me and my class cannot make it to the solar eclipse on wednesday...
can you reschedule it?"

From: "Jeff R. Schroeder" <190#NoSpam.earthlink.net>
At the planetarium where I work, I've had a couple of people angrily 
complain about NASA scheduling eclipses and comets at inconvenient times. 
When I pointed out that they had nothing to do with that, I was told "what 
do you think the space program is for?"  They didn't get it when I suggested 
that their complaints might get a better hearing at a local church. 
(everybody else did)

Another time, I was showing the crescent Venus through my long (obvious 
where its pointed) refractor. The comment; "I thought you could see craters 
on the moon".  I directed his attention towards the real gibbous Moon high 
in the sky behind us, only to be told, "you have to have a telescope to see 
the Moon!" He then turned back to the scope and told his child to "look at 
the Moon in here, but its not very good".

From: "William Foley" <bill1401a#NoSpam.verizon.net>

I used to take constellation pictures by mounting my Vitessa L camera on my 
EQ scope and using the slow-motion controls to follow the stars.  Someone 
asked me if I used a flash for the star photos.

From: DT <dentist#NoSpam.nospam.demon.co.uk>
Not so much astronomical as gravitational, but this may qualify.
A friend said to me, while shrouded in mist at the top of a small 
mountain, 'it's hard to know which way is up when it's like this'.
I said 'as long as your feet are standing on something...'
He said 'why? Is that up?'

Maybe Darwin is wrong....

From: Pat O'Connell <nvcaver.FIGUREITOUT#NoSpam.cox.net>

My favorite question came from a neighbor during a partial eclipse
(probably the one on July 11, 1991--visible from Albuquerque where I lived
at the time), who asked if it was harmful to be out while the eclipse was
going on. He'd heard that it was dangerous to look at an eclipse. We were
looking at images of the eclipse on the ground, as formed by the many
pinholes of light filtering through tree leaves. I assured him that when
you don't look at the sun directly, there's no problem.

From: Stan Jensen <spam#NoSpam.wonderful.spam>

Many years ago during one of our public nights at our observatory, a
couple of ladies cornered one of my friends and were pestering him on
the subject of UFO's and the like. It was late September, and getting
pretty chilly out, so I walked out of the building to get a jacket. 

As I passed my friend and his "questioners" one of them asked him "Do
you think we'll know where the aliens are from?" Quickly, without
breaking stride, I said "they come from the planet Ullu in the Skyron
Galaxy" and went to my car, where I put a dark jacket on over my light

Those ladies looked for me for the rest of the evening, thinking I
knew all about the aliens. But since it was dark, they never found

From: Wally Anglesea <wanglese#NoSpam.spammersbigpondareparasites.net.au>

I was just mailed this contribution, from a colleague in the UK:

From a 1980 Shreveport (Louisiana) Times newspaper Letter To The

"Why do we have Daylight Savings Time?  That extra hour of daylight is
killing my grass..."

From: Chris L Peterson <clp#NoSpam.alumni.caltech.edu>

Yup, a common idea, I'm afraid. I overheard a women on the street
explaining to her companion that the reason the snow starts melting so
quickly in the springtime is the extra hour of sunlight after DST

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Special Category: Definitions and terms
From: "david lowenstein" <animepc#NoSpam.ix.netcom.com>
Stellar Evolution: The transformation of Demi Moore from a Stripper in
Striptease to a Navy SEAL (soldier) in G.I. Jane.

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July 20
From: adamson#NoSpam.cmu.edu (Mark Adamson)

                              30 years later

July 20th, 1999 will mark the 30th Anniversary of the lunar landing.  To
commemorate the event, Neil Armstrong, "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins
will arrive at Cape Canaveral together in a limousine.  Neil and Buzz will
join the day's festivities, and Michael will be left sitting in the car.

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From: "Terry Byatt" <terry#NoSpam.byatt.tv>

The trouble with discovering a comet is that it's "alcock" !
((UK astronomy joke)

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Newsgroups: rec.humor.funny
From: hoolihan#NoSpam.msu.edu (gefilte)
                           Pluto Gets Downsized

Prague - The international committee of astronomers decided this week
to remove Pluto from the list of planets. A spokesman released this
statement, "We're awfully sorry to have to let Pluto go, but this
restructuring is necessary to move this solar system forward. We've got
to tighten our asteroid belt and make difficult decisions. We've really
enjoyed working with Pluto in the past and wish it no ill will. We look
on this event as a great opportunity to revitalize our system."

Behind the scenes however, things were reportedly more heated. Rumors
abound that Pluto orbited slower than other planets, often appearing
sluggish and possibly intoxicated. Some have reportedly complained
about off color jokes directed at Uranus. Lawsuits by several asteroids
demanding inclusion in the solar system reportedly also motivated the
committee to take a hard line on planet definition. An original plan to
use the world "Pluton" was rejected by their lawyers as demeaning and

Others have defended Pluto, claiming the decision to downsize was based
on unjust discrimination.  One anonymous insider claimed, "It's a new
solar system, and if you're not wearing rings, or you're too small,
you're just not flashy enough for the kids today. Besides, the
committee was always uncomfortable with the attraction between Pluto
and its long-term partner, Charon. It's just prejudice I tell you."

Pluto's press agent released this statement, "While Pluto is saddened
by this turn of events, it's not bitter, rather Pluto looks on this as
an opportunity to explore new and exciting projects."

 [Courtesy Mark Hoolihan and the Hoolinet (www.hoolinet.com)
  Copyright 2006 Boniface Bugle Productions. All Rights Absurd.]

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From: jsavard#NoSpam.ecn.ab.ca
                    Why Xena Must Not Become a Planet!

No, it's not because the ambiguities of its relationship with Gabrielle
might be a bad influence on impressionable schoolchildren.

In all the controversy over the apparent demotion of Pluto, many points
have been raised.

Isn't a dwarf planet still a planet? (Well, if so, then what about a
minor planet?)

There was a question about how an alternate resolution for defining a
planet was suddenly brought forward by a coterie of determined
dynamicists at the last minute at the IAU meeting. (Of course, one
might ask why they needed to do so; surely it is astrophysicists, and
not planetary geologists, who would outnumber them.)

And, of course, there is the history of the matter - we were used to
calling Pluto a planet for longer even than those who called Ceres a
planet (and, while they were doing so, they were calling Pallas, Juno,
and Vesta planets as well). We feel that whether or not Michael Brown
deserves the laurel wreath of a planet discoverer on his head, Clyde
Tombaugh certainly does.

But in all of this, one point seems to have been ignored.

One thing that would unite astrophysicists with dynamicists in wanting
to take extreme measures if necessary to forestall the possibility that
2003 UB 313 might _ever_ be considered for planetary status!

What was 2003 UB 313, also known as Xena, _discovered with_? Was it
some 100-inch telescope, languishing alone in some forgotten dusty
observatory, because no one had any glamorous projects to use it on?
(One _could_ say that about a 48-inch telescope, which was what got
Michael Brown started; but even though 100-inch telescopes usually are
in active use, we *do* remember that the Hooker was in a decomissioned
status for a few years.)

No. It was discovered with the Keck. Remember it? A 400-inch telescope,
atop Mauna Kea? At least in December of 1997, it was the world's
largest optical telescope! (Google and APOD are one's friends.) And I
don't recall hearing of a bigger or more important one since, although
there are a few 8-meter telescopes around which give the astronomers
who can't get time on the 10-meter Keck *something* useful to do with
their time.

No wonder there are a number of astronomers out there rather determined
not to do anything to encourage Dr. Brown to spend more of the Keck's
valuable time hunting down those - those - _vermin_ of the skies!

John Savard

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From John Alejandro King (www.covertcomic.com)
Im not saying this is a legitimate reason to major in astrophysics, but
the fact is, once you attain light speed its basically goodbye college
loan officers forever.

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Special Category: Said Tom

From: "Harry Farkas" <hfarkas#NoSpam.wowway.com>

"I'm quite fond of astronomy," Tom said nebulously.

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March 13
From: anonymous

 I've been looking for the right place on the web to send this. You seem
 twisted enough to publish this. Please don't use my name or especially
 e-mail address.

I know that much has been said about this planet before, butt this
information needed to be compiled for the sake of posterior. 

True Asstronomical Facts:

* Uranus has thirteen dark rings. They are very faint, so it's hard to see
  them unless you are really, really close. 
* Uranus is classified as a gas giant.
* The diameter of Uranus is almost a billion times greater than the
  diameter of an elephant's penis. This is due to billions of years of gas
* Between 1690 and 1871, people thought Uranus was a star.
* Uranus is in opposition every 369 days.
* Uranus is in retrograde for many months each year.
* Uranus rotates almost 90 degrees off axis.
* Uranus can be seen with the naked eye.
* Uranus looks like a blue-green disk.
* Uranus has 27 known moons. There may be more; these are just the ones
  we've found out about. 
* The escape velocity of Uranus is 47,000 mph.
* The atmosphere of Uranus is 2% methane.
* Uranus has massive storms that would engulf the continental United States.
* Uranus has a peculiar magnetic field. It's magnetotail is twisted into a
  corkscrew shape. 
* Scientists in Hawaii were able to take great pictures of Uranus from the
* A probe made a close approach to Uranus on January 24, 1986. Carl Sagan
  was deeply involved. Many photographs were taken. 

Mythical and Asstrological Facts:

* Uranus is the trickster.
* Uranus is the Greek god of the heavens.
* Uranus was castrated by his son.
* Uranus gets its name from a word meaning "to moisten".
* When Uranus is in retrograde, expect the unexpected: trauma, surgery,
  airplane crashes, electrical shocks, bizarre accidents, explosions,
* seizures, revolution, attacks, technological failures, and general
* If you are born with Uranus in opposition, you are original and
  impractical, and will create excitement and controversy. 

* When Uranus transits through your first house, it is a good time to make
  major changes. 
* When Uranus transits through your second house, your income is likely to
  become unstable. 
* When Uranus transits through your third house, people will be shocked at
  what you say. 
* When Uranus transits through your fourth house, you may decide to change
* When Uranus transits through your fifth house, you will be attracted to
  unusual people. 
* When Uranus transits through your sixth house, you might just quit your job.
* When Uranus transits through your seventh house, don't get married.
* When Uranus transits through your eighth house, you will have more
  inventive sex. 
* When Uranus transits through your ninth house, you might change religions.
* When Uranus transits through your tenth house, you might change careers.
* When Uranus transits through your eleventh house, you will be attracted
  to bizarre people. 
* When Uranus transits through your twelfth house, material will shoot up
  from your subconscious. 

Uranus is pronounced "You're a Noos". Let me spell it out for you:
U-R-A-n-u-s. So I don't ever want to hear "Your Anus" again!  I mean, is
there something funny about "Your Anus"? If there is, I think you should
share it with all of us.

Most of the asstronomical and mythical facts can be verified on
Wikipedia.org. Verifying the asstrological facts will require a more
extensive internet search.

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