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PhotobucketIt would be hard to tell by the sheer number of diaries and intensity of news coverage, but there are some topics that are bigger than politics. I'm getting my fill of it. Browsing around for other stories of interest, I found this video from the Royal Observatory Greenwich about measuring the size of the universe. You must agree this topic is bigger than politics.

In August 2011, I had fun writing a four part series of diaries on the methods used to measure cosmic distances. See below. For the closest objects like the Moon, Sun, planets, and nearest stars, the methods utilize basic geometry and proportions. For the farthest objects like galaxies and quasars, the methods utilize information about assumed luminosity, distance, Doppler effects, among others. The set of methods used to quantify those increasing distances is referred to by most astronomers as the Cosmic Distance Ladder. I called it the Kosmic Distance Ladder.

What made this video special was the simplicity with which they described the concepts used. It only takes a little over four minutes of your time. It is time well spent learning about the methods used to measure the size of the universe. If you are thirsting for more details, by all means, dig into the four diaries listed and linked below the video.
Please enjoy this 'small diversion' from the din of political discussion.

From March to September 2012, the Royal Observatory offered a new exhibition and a season of talks, special events and planetarium shows all asking the question: Just how big is the Universe?

From Edmund Halley and Captain Cook, to Edwin Hubble and the Cosmic Microwave Background, the Royal Observatory told the stories of the people who measured the cosmos.

Links to my Kosmic Ladder diaries...
  •  The Cosmic Distance Ladder
  •  Kosmic Distance Ladder - Part 2
  •  Kosmic Ladder 3 - Henrietta and the Harvard Calculators
  •  Kosmic Ladder 4 - Expanding Universe

Originally posted to SciTech on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 08:29 AM PST.

Also republished by Astro Kos.

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