This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Sleek Probe To Map Earth's Gravity

Sleek Probe To Map Earth's Gravity - Comments

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 1 by Rawhard Dickins

Perhaps CERN will find out what gravity is, just in time.

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 18:51:00 UTC | #232526

DeepFritz's Avatar Comment 2 by DeepFritz

Gravity is just a theory!

Actually my bet is that they will find an average value of 9.81m/s^2. I know I am being controversial with this one ;)

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 20:03:00 UTC | #232533

RigoJancsi's Avatar Comment 3 by RigoJancsi

The results will help me to decide in which place to settle down to feel lighter, even without diet... :-)

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 21:09:00 UTC | #232545

guyinsfca's Avatar Comment 4 by guyinsfca

as a U.S. resident i thought that it was god that caused gravity, so if they figure out what gravity is and/or map it and do some kind of science would that not prove my god is fake .... wait .... i have no god.... this new rocks i can not wait to see the images! may this open everyone's eye to the ever changing love of science!

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 21:28:00 UTC | #232548

alexmzk's Avatar Comment 5 by alexmzk

i'm sure i'm not the only person eagerly awaiting the results, so that i can run off to the point of lowest gravity and just jump up and down a lot.

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 22:16:00 UTC | #232551

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 6 by Laurie Fraser

I don't think posters are responding appropriately to the gravitas of the article.

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 22:20:00 UTC | #232552

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 7 by mordacious1


The hours between 7 PM and 12 AM (my time) and roughly 2 PM to 7 PM (Antipodal time) used to be pretty active on this site. Now it is the slowest time of the day. Hmm, I wonder what's missing? Or who?

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 22:29:00 UTC | #232554

Oromasdes1978's Avatar Comment 8 by Oromasdes1978


Has Al captured you and holding you for ransom in his sunglasses or have you simply possessed him? For jokes like that young man I am not surprised! ;)

This sounds incredibly interesting, ever since I saw this programme on Masters of the Universe, it was about Professor Hawking & co and their quest for knowledge about the universe - gravity was very high up on the list of things to learn about. I look forward to the results of this experiment, once we have finished sorting this out and black holes with CERN, well, what next, warp factor 9? :)

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 22:29:00 UTC | #232555

King of NH's Avatar Comment 9 by King of NH

...ever since I saw this programme on Masters of the Universe...

Huh?!? "By the power of Grayskull, I have GRAVITY!!!"??? was about Professor Hawking & co and their quest for knowledge about the universe...

Oh, sorry. Nevermind. Sounds like a great program.

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 22:37:00 UTC | #232557

Laurie Fraser's Avatar Comment 10 by Laurie Fraser

Mord - I dunno. Might be the time of the year - seasons changing, and all that. Plus I'm under the pump at work at the moment, so time is limited; perhaps others are in the same boat. Oh, and the inspirational pixie is not around :)

Philip - Gregg made this great image out of Al's avatar after Al and I had been fighting over gun control for about a zillion pages. The message was "Al's got you in his sights, Laurie". And it's such a great image I commandeered it last night (without permission, of course; after all, I'm a socialist.)

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 22:38:00 UTC | #232558

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 11 by mordacious1

Yes, I think it was the blonde pixie...always good to get a conversation started. At least I'm getting to bed earlier. *wipes tear from eye*

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 22:43:00 UTC | #232560

AtheistAspy's Avatar Comment 12 by AtheistAspy



Wed, 10 Sep 2008 22:45:00 UTC | #232562

wonderist's Avatar Comment 13 by wonderist

To do this, GOCE has ion thrusters which act like a cruise control, making minute adjustments to its position to combat the effects of air drag at the edge of space. The sun's energy will charge and accelerate xenon atoms into ions to power the thrusters.

Andromeda, here we come, baby!

Is this the first spacecraft to use ion thrusters?

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 23:08:00 UTC | #232565

AfraidToDie's Avatar Comment 14 by AfraidToDie

"GOCE will yield details of the Earth's gravity field to an accuracy and resolution that is simply unobtainable by existing terrestrial and space techniques," says Professor Philip Moore from Newcastle University, who specialises in gravity research

Haven't they heard of the Farmer's Almanac? Between that and the bible, no other reference is needed.

Laurie, Al's making you look cool!

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 00:11:00 UTC | #232572

DrivenMad's Avatar Comment 15 by DrivenMad


The ion drive was used on Deep Space 1.

This was retired in 2001.

So old tech then :)

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 01:39:00 UTC | #232584

Thor'Ungal's Avatar Comment 16 by Thor'Ungal

This is almost certainly a stupid question but how do they compensate for the moon?

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 05:51:00 UTC | #232659

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 17 by Quetzalcoatl


What about the Moon? Do you mean how does the probe compensate for the Moon's gravity, or are you asking if the Moon's gravity has an effect on the Earth's gravity?

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 05:54:00 UTC | #232660

severalspeciesof's Avatar Comment 18 by severalspeciesof

Wonder if this might help to appease Sir David King. (see 'brain drain' thread)

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 06:08:00 UTC | #232665

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 19 by Quetzalcoatl


Probably not, he doesn't like space-related stuff.

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 06:10:00 UTC | #232666