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Robert Nemiroff
Works at MIchigan Tech
Attended University of Pennsylvania
Lives in Houghton, MI
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Robert Nemiroff

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Here is an interview I did recently for "PAGES OF" magazine. 
http://pagesofmagazine.com/apod/
In this interview I try to explain some of the reasons why I write my APODs the way I do. Have a look!
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Paolo Amoroso's profile photoRobert Nemiroff's profile photo
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I have just a general curiosity, not a specific interest for a research paper.

I manage or have access to a number of websites, and I generally observe a low click rate. Some pages get many visits from incoming links, but users don't seem to look around for more good content or in depth material on the same or other linked sites.

Your mention of hyperlinks in the interview caught my attention. Unlike the early web days, I suspect these days many ordinary users no longer have a mental model of the web, hypertext, and hyperlinks. So, many miss the supplemental material provided by the links. There were actually a few users who explicitly asked me about material that was clearly linked from certain pages.
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Robert Nemiroff

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Last night I was the guest on the first hour of the radio show "Coast to Coast". Here is the link, although you need to be a member to download the audio: http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2014/01/26
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Robert Nemiroff

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Searching the Internet for evidence of time travelers

Following my curiosity and having a bit of fun, a student and I decided to test for the existance of time travel by looking for evidence potentially left on the Internet. Our adventure is documented in this manuscript recently uploaded to arXiv here: http://arxiv.org/abs/1312.7128 .

Now I have submitted the manuscript to three physics journals and none of them have even sent it out for review. The last two said that the manuscript was just not a good fit for their journal. Therefore if anyone can think of a jounal that might review this msnuscript, I would be grateful if you could drop me a note.

Even if this manuscript is never published, I am actually quite proud of it.  I have never seen anything like it. The work actually explores a cornerstone of classical physics with modern computer searches! One hope is that others follow this approach with more comprehensive and different types of searches. 
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Robert Nemiroff

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I am happy to report that a new manuscript that I have been involved with has now been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.  The manuscript can be found here: http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.2454 . 
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Robert Nemiroff

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Nova Centauri 2013 
Now visible to the unaided eye (southern hemisphere)
Copyright: Yuri Beletski
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Gorgeous comets, nake-eye novas: looks like the southern hemisphere gets most of the good stuff.
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Have him in circles
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Full research mode

I am in "full research mode" now with a developing science project. (See: https://plus.google.com/108986424241706680661/posts/D6DRoRKQQaH) This surely is a phenomenon common to many people in many fields of research and development. Anyway, here is a snippet of this process, for me, this time, part of the time. It is somewhat typical for me. I am: writing short bits of my budding new manuscript on a word processor; realizing I don't know what I am talking about; thinking through another key point; coming to a conclusion; coming to another conclusion in contradiction to the last conclusion; realizing that I have framed the paper in a naive fashion and delete sections (but saving all drafts just in case); starting to write a new section; realizing I don't know what I am talking about; worrying that this whole project is going nowhere new; being grouchy because if this is going nowhere then I am wasting my time; comforting myself with the thought that at least now I better understand something that I should have better understood earlier; starring at my whiteboard for several minute stretches occasionally sketching a small diagram or writing a key equation; thinking how cool this is and wondering if anyone else understands this mini- sub- topic in this much detail; realizing a new potential search term and doing a literature search for it in ADS and Google; finding my own work and feeling reassured that perhaps I am actually a reasonable scientist; finding key references that address some part of this idea that I didn't know about and feeling like an idiot; reading those papers and thinking how brilliant those authors are and how I could never write papers this good; realizing how much those authors have missed on this topic; making more small diagrams on my whiteboard and stare at them wondering how I could have been so clueless only a few minutes ago; starting to rewrite a section in the paper while being embarrassed about how naive the previous section about this was; hitting a logical conundrum and realizing that I still don't know what I am talking about; writing a small computer code to test out a small part of this idea; staring at the computer output and thinking "ohohohoh" yes that makes sense what an idiot I have been being; realizing that I am undergoing yet another "revolution of thought" and that I need to think about this whole project from yet another new angle; walking around the building thinking about this even newer approach; trying not to look in the candy machine because I don't need those empty calories; returning to my office and answering some email and checking Facebook; taking out a sheet of paper and fiddling with some math to see if this this new approach really is useful; deciding that this new approach really is useful; deriving a new equation; entering this new equation in the paper and write some preliminary text to describe it; realizing from a hole in the text that there is yet another new aspect  of this project to think about; going "ohohohoh" and make a new diagram on my white board; wondering if this whole project is converging; feeling grateful that I actually have the time just now to keep chasing this idea, even if it goes nowhere, reaching a good "contemplation point" that needs to be thought through before continuing; worrying that I am too stupid to ever solve this contemplation point; solving the contemplation point and thinking how obvious it was and what an idiot I was for not seeing its solution earlier; going home promising myself to keep thinking about this last contemplation point because it might be more complicated than I had previously suspected; wondering at home if this project is going anyplace new or interesting; not being very optimistic; agreeing with myself that if I don't go through these cycles of mistakes, understandings, and continued revolutions in my own thinking, I can never produce anything new or interesting.
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Robert Nemiroff

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I have recently started working on something interesting and have the slight worry that I could be "scooped" before it is ready for submission. Therefore, I am now specifying the first two letters of each word in the (working) descriptive title into this strange group of letters: "SuPaReEvInAsSe". Further, the main three words in the title form the anagram "AElectrifiersIronANullPump ". 

There. Now I feel a bit more relaxed because now I feel I can publish it even if others do (seemingly) first, because now I can say, perhaps with more authority, that I had the idea independently. Of course, quite possibly, I will now find out that this line of research, like many others I have tried, actually goes nowhere!.
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Joanna Bialek's profile photoPaolo Amoroso's profile photoChris Dolan's profile photoHugo Burnham's profile photo
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Good luck!!!
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Robert Nemiroff

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Comet Lovejoy in Black & White 
Taken: 2013 December 28
Copyright: Damian Peach
http://www.damianpeach.com/deepsky/c2013_r1_2013_12_28dp.jpg
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Robert Nemiroff

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Here is something (else) I don't understand. The amount of circlers on G+ for +APOD River  has been slightly decreasing over the past few weeks.  Why?

Now I (and occasionally others) have been posting some of the cool new submissions to +Astronomy Picture of the Day (APoD) there and a student has been posting favorite old APODs there for more than a year. Since 2012 May, +APOD River went from zero to over 14,000 circlers. If anything, the posting quality and quantity has gone up in the past few weeks. (But please check for yourself.) What happened? Why would the amount of circlers stagnate and even slightly decrease now? This is only G+ (or FB) site I know doing this. Any ideas?
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Paolo Amoroso's profile photoChris Dolan's profile photoRobert Nemiroff's profile photo
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Thanks! Perhaps G+ members have less tolerance for an increased posting frequency than FB members. Or perhaps any change in content or post frequency will bring a purge and then a changed circling rate. I'll keep monitoring it, of course.
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Attached is the latest video from SOHO showing Comet ISON passing the Sun. Here are some comments I have on this event as recently posted to the APOD discussion board:
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=32519#p214892

Although I have published on comets once before, I have never published on sungrazing comets and don't really know much about how comet tails interact with the solar wind, particularly when near the Sun. Anyway, here goes:

Something has Survived 

The SOHO images posted previously indeed do indicate that some part(s) of ISON survived. 

ISON's Ion Tail 

Why the ion tail will point somewhat away from the Sun. By eye, it seems to me, that ISON might well be outrunning the solar wind when within a solar diameter or two of the Sun's surface (a possibility mentioned above). But ISON's speed is almost completely horizontal and not out from the Sun at that time, therefore the ion tail which responds to the vertical wind should still point outward.

Since ISON is moving so fast, however, the ions expelled will move away from the place they were expelled, which will trail the comet's coma. The glowing ion trail should still appear to connect to the comet so long as it is expelling ions -- but now move outward from where ISON used to be -- but move outward from the Sun faster that the coma is moving. Therefore this ion tail will appear to "swing around" the coma as ISON recedes from the Sun. I think the newly developing ion tail being, for a while, nearly perpendicular to ISON's motion out from the Sun shows this effect in the SOHO C3 video. As ISON's motion shifts to more outward than sideways, the ion tail will keep on "swinging" until it (nearly) appears to point out from the coma in the direction away from the Sun.

ISON's Dust Tail 

Why some of the dust tail will still point somewhat toward the Sun. Dust already trailing the nucleus(es) will continue to trail the nucleus(es) even after it rounded the Sun. This dust will not magically jump over the comet nucleus(es) after perihelion. That is also possibly why the orbit of the comet faintly persists (particularly in the SOHO C2 image) even hours after the comet has passed -- trailing dust is still trailing. 

One caveat is that dust chunks small enough to evaporate and exposed to direct sunlight and solar wind may turn into plasma and no longer orbit as dust but as plasma.

After perihelion, however, newly emitted light dust will be pushed out from the coma by light pressure and so will not trail the coma. This dust will roughly follow ISON's orbit but be slightly further out from the Sun and move slightly faster. 

Yes I am Making This Up 

Again, almost all of this is speculation. I include it here partly to inform those interested and partly to invite discussion that may help to better illuminate what is actually going on with ISON and even possibly lead to timely and telling observations of this unique and brief opportunity in the life of this unusual comet. (e.g. There is no time for peer review in this case.)
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Bernhard Adelmann's profile photoHans De Kryger's profile photoAddison Rennick's profile photoAfrânio cancio's profile photo
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No. ISON is not a threat to the Earth.
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Have him in circles
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I am an astrophysicist at Michigan Tech trying to understand various parts of the universe.  I am most recognized for my association with the Astronomy Picture of Day (APOD) website.
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Snubbed by Goofy at Disney World. Punched by a tour guide at Universal Studios. Told to lie in a court of law by the judge.
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  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Lehigh University
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Robert Nemiroff's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
APOD River
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The best of classic APODs -- and the best images submitted to APOD.