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Frequently Asked Questions:

These are questions that I hope run through the mind of any viewer visiting the website:

My FAQ's have been translated into Russian! Visit the translated page here

Do you believe or do you have evidence of aliens and UFO's?
Did the United States put a man on the Moon?
What is Astronomy Online about?
Why are you working so hard on this website?
Who does the website benefit? What is the target audience for the website?
How is the website organized?
Where can I find more information?
How can I support Astronomy Online?
I have some information I want to contribute. Where do I sent it?
Where does the information I sent get posted?
Who does your web design?
What other projects are you interested in?
Can you help me with my projects?
Why are references important?
Can I use your material?
What happened to your online store?
What are your thoughts on Intelligent Design?


Do you believe or do you have evidence of aliens and UFO's?

I have been asked this question on countless occasions, so I though I would add this entry into the FAQ. Personally I believe that there is extra-terrestrial life. I believe there are hundreds if not thousands of planetary systems that will have at least one planet capable of supporting life.

I have never seen a UFO or any aliens here on Earth, and have yet to see hard evidence to prove they do exist. People who ask the question should always look to the other side of the story. Eye witness testimony is not good enough to "prove" the existence of anything. I have seen some very strange things when I drink too much scotch, but that doesn't make it real!

People researching UFO's or aliens should visit and bookmark the following sites:

The UFO Skeptic's Page - alternate explanations of famous sightings
Circle Makers - people that actually make crop circles, and some very intricate designs
Bad Astronomy - not really a UFO debunking sight, but does have insight into the claim of the Apollo Moon Landing hoax

UFO, aliens, alien abductions and paranormal phenomenon are all lumped into the "pseudo-science" genre. If there are people that still firmly believe this stuff, or actually have these types of abilities, you need to visit this website:

James Randi Educational Foundation - if one can prove these things, they will get a million dollars!

"Extraordinary claims requires extraordinary proof." This axiom is alive and well in the world of science, so perhaps the pseudo-science folks should also inherit this axiom. Regardless of what phenomenon is is researched and studied, the Scientific Method should be applied.

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Did the United States put a man on the Moon?

Yes.

Bad Astronomy has pages about this, but for those who still question this:

  1. If we faked it, wouldn't Russia have spread the word? They were our competition.
  2. Lighting issues - the Flag is translucent so yes both sides are visible, lighting of dark areas - the Moon's regolith reflects sunlight, shadows are not consistent - they are not consistent on Earth either due to changes in elevation, hills and object distance.
  3. The flag waves in what appears to be wind - what you are seeing is lack of dampening because there is no atmosphere. The rod holding the flag is aluminum so it continues to move longer than on Earth. Residual movement was the result of placing the flag.
  4. There are no stars in the photos - true, but do the same on Earth and you will get the same result. We do not see more stars in space as our atmosphere is optically transparent.
  5. There is no crater from the Lunar Lander - true, but this is because there is less gravity on the Moon so full thrust is total overkill. The thrust was reduced to 25% when landing - hence no "blast" crater.
  6. Radiation would have killed the astronauts - not true at all. Solar Flares are detectable and move at supersonic speeds (speed of sound - it takes light 8 minutes to reach earth), so that means a flare can take a few days to reach us. Cosmic ray emissions are dangerous if exposed for weeks to months at a time, but not for the short duration of visits to the Moon.

These conspiracy theorists are also forgetting that even today, the McDonald Observatory in Ft. Davis, Texas routinely bounce lasers off mirrors placed on the Moon by the Apollo astronauts. They do this to get accurate positions of the Earth in the Solar System.

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What is Astronomy Online about?

Astronomy Online is an information website dedicated to providing up-to-date links and information in all the major topics of Astronomy. This site is also designed to be a students reference as well as a resource for amateur astronomers. Additionally, this site also serves as a hub for Astronomers around the world to debate in the forums, share ideas, and gain valuable knowledge in what ever area of Astronomy he or she may be interested in.

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Why are you working so hard on this website?

I have always had a passion for Astronomy since I was a wee child. Now that I am older and in a position to learn more about Astronomy, I have taken it upon myself to earn my Master's degree in Astronomy. During my studies, I have come across frequently changing Internet websites, broken links, and many "questionable" website. Additionally I have discovered some very valuable Internet resources. This site serves as my guide in my studies by centralizing my notes and resource links.

While this site serves me, I also want this site to server you as well. And this is my way of contributing to the vast pool of knowledge.

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Who does the website benefit? What is the target audience for the website?

This website benefits anyone with an interest in Astronomy. The target of this website is everyone!

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How is the website organized?

I have created major topics of Astronomy with links underneath the logo. Each major category has their relative subcategories. Some of these subcategories have additional topics of their own, and are visible on the left navigation box.

The material is of a basic to intermediate level with advanced topics and subjects left to the Additional Resources of each major category.

On the right hand side of the logo are quick links to reference materials, introduction, about us, FAQ, and search.

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Where can I find more information?

The References tab includes sections on books, website, magazine and professional journals I have used to fill the pages of this site. In addition, subcategories of the Additional Resources will include additional website links and guest contributions.

A forum is also in place to share ideas and ask questions. There is plenty of information here!

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How can I support Astronomy Online?

There are four ways to support Astronomy Online:

  • Spread the word - tell your family and friends about this website
  • Contribute to the forums and/or information to the website
  • Consider a Donation
  • Buy something from our Store

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I have some information I want to contribute. Where do I sent it?

Information, images, questions and comments can be sent to:

astro at astronomyonline.org

E-mail is checked on a daily basis, and I will respond to any questions.

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Where does the information I sent get posted?

There are two locations that information will be posted on this website:

  • If the information is of a basic or intermediate level, it will reside within the pages corresponding to the major topic
  • If the information of an advanced level, it will reside in the Guest Contributions and/or Advanced Topics within the Additional Resources section.

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Who does your web design?

My beautiful and talented wife is the web guru.

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What other projects are you interested in?

I am interested in all topics of Astronomy; however, my first goal is to collect data for exoplanet research. With additional donations I would like to see:

  • A telescope dedicated solely to remote access
  • A telescope dedicated solely to the search for NEO's - Near Earth Objects
  • A telescope dedicated to teach photography, telescope use, and general observing

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Can you help me with my projects?

If you are a student and your project is related to your education, this site is enough to help you with your content.

If you are an amateur who wishes to use this site in someway to assist your project, please contact me and we can discuss.

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Why are references important?

Plagiarism is illegal and violates copyright. Any time a thought and idea is written down (notes, website, letter, poem, website, book and so on) it becomes the intellectual property of that individual. This also applies to images.

I have used NASA, JPL, NOAA and other government organization images for this site unless specified otherwise. If you supply content, I have to assume you have already referenced any material you borrowed or used to create your work.

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Can I use your material?

As long as you do not use my material for profit, you are free to use it under the following conditions:

  • All material written by me is protected by copyright laws
  • If my material is used, references to me are required
  • I request a link or copy of anything in which my material is used

Simple conditions, and it helps to protect me and anyone who uses this site.

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What happened to your online store?

Trying to maintain a store while working on my degree and contributing content to the website is an arduous task. I have decided to focus only on content. As such, our Store is now fully maintained by the nice folks over at CafePress.com. What you will find is a nice variety of shirts, hats and other useful items that are adorned by our new logo. Wear something unique and show your support for the last of the true sciences.

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What are your thoughts on Intelligent Design?

This is a hot topic in the world of science. The current trend in the United States seems to be a push towards "traditional values," and this includes religious faith. While I have no problem with an individuals belief or faith, religion and science are not compatible. The purpose of science is to basically question our Universe, to understand how it works and to test theories of how we think it works. Christianity and other religions answer the questions as to why we are here. Science can be tested and religious beliefs cannot.

The problem with Intelligent Design is in its statement, that life is far too complex for it to have evolved naturally without the intervention of a Supreme Being. While this may be true, it basically states that close examination of life is no longer necessary.

Some people seem to find the theory of evolution and the Big Bang theory to be offensive. However, while these are theories there are many compelling pieces of evidence to support these theories - and this simply cannot be ignored.

For me, I find it more of a miracle that all of this - the entire Universe - began as a single event over 13 billion years ago, and that life emerged from a volatile environment here on Earth from methane and carbon components around 3.5 billion years ago. The introduction of ready-made life on Earth seems to easy to me as life would not have had to survive the many changes on Earth from early formation, environmental changes, virus and bacterium, predators, and food supply.


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