(15) comments Back to story

Tailgater

"debunking theoretical notions about the evolution of a galaxy." I would be interested to know what notions of galaxy evolution they are changing their minds on both before and after.

Jane K

It is nice to see an interesting and positive article about academic pursuits at A&M

Serpant

Wait, how can this all be? The earth is only 4,000 years old. That is what the Bible says, so it must be true. All of you astronomy people are being tricked by the devil. Look out, Governor Perry and his Texas Taliban will be giving you a visit in the near future.

Ernie Montoya

Now that you have your scope out, try finding a defense for Sumlin.

NICHOLAS SUNTZEFF

The attentive Eagle readers here have caught an obvious mistake, but let me turn this into a learning moment (hey, give me a break! I am a professor at A&M) When you measure distances to stuff in the universe, the meaning of distance is ambiguous. It has taken 13 billion years for this light to get to us from this galaxy and this is one way of measuring distance. Another way, which is often used in astronomy, is asking how much the universe has expanded since that time - sort of how far away is the object in today's much larger universe. We call this the "co-moving" distance. That number is more like 30 billion light years for this galaxy. For me, it is easier to think of distance as how long it took the light to get to us, which would be 13 billion years. But the 30 billion year distance is also correct, if not obvious.

And yes, this will be on the mid-term.

dogma

Thank you for the insightful explanation of how the expansion of the universe to needs be taken in for distance measurements in a kind and non-condescending manner. Yes, this is a teachable moment on many levels.

I'll put this on my crib notes. [wink]

obasfirst

Suntzeff, as in Bush Excellence Awards recipient?

William Johnson

Sutzeff is the Director of the Astronomy Program at TAMU. He became a University Distinguished Professor (the highest award given by TAMU) of Physics and Astronomy in September and currently serves on the Executive Committee of Distinguished Professors.

Jane K

Thank you for the explanation.

Nunya Bidness

Go, productive faculty, go!

obasfirst

this is the definition if irony (although I'm sure you will not understand)

George Hayduke

Go, science, go!...

dogma

The writer should go back over his notes, he said the light from the galaxy has been traveling for 30 billion years, the universe is only 13.8 billion years old.

Nunya Bidness

Someone help this poor guy out. I can't stop laughing long enough. Funniest post EVER!

dogma

if you can't stop laughing and find this the funniest post ever, then you are easily amused.

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