Talk:1644: Stargazing

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?.. is this Brian Cox??? 06:07, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

My first thought was that it was a pisstake of Brian Cox, except I wasn't sure if they had Stargazing Live in America. 08:33, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

Brian Cox seems like a nice guy and I applaud his enthusiasm, but if you want to see a truly awesome science broadcaster look for a set of broadcasts from the 70s/80s by James Burke titled "The Day the Universe Changed", Mr. Cox's programmes seem to be as much about how many airmiles the production team can accumulate as they are about the science. 09:10, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
The airmiles comment above applies to Cox's "Wonders Of The Universe" series, certainly, but my first thought was either that Randall knew of the BBC's semi-regular programme-cluster "Stargazing Live", here in the UK, that Cox co-presents - perhaps via BBC America? - or else there's an equivalent US version (precursor or postcursor) of the same name that perhaps has a celebrity-based core team.
(Brian's primary co-host in the programme is an Irish comedian, but one with a accredited science background who knows what they're talking about. They also have 'guest celebrities' for internal and external segments (from just outside the studio, under the night sky, to a pieces filmed/livecast at some space-relevant location, usually featured across all episodes of that season as a theme so not so much 'gratuitous globe-trotting) but they are all interested in space-stuff, and many also have an actual background expertise in physics/astronomy even if that's not what they're publicly known for.)
Quickly looking around, I can't see any obvious astronomy programmes(/programs!) in the US that aren't similarly expert-led, but that's possibly because any that are don't feature as 'proper' programmes on any of the lists I've checked. 14:25, 17 February 2016 (UTC)
The title text does imply it is in reference to Brian Cox. He is well known for his very philosophical comments referencing physics in that way. 20:05, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

I also thought this might be poking fun at the "Celebrity" presenters of TV astronomy programs. 13:16, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

I believe the title text may be referring to the fact that several people think that the sun is the brightest star simply because it's the closest to us, completely disregarding absolute magnitude? I'd change the explanation if I knew how. -- 06:39, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

The original statement in the comic is about which star is the brightest *in our sky*, i.e. most visible radiation per square meter hitting Earth, not the star with the most total radiation. You can change the explanation just by hitting the little edit button to the top right of the "Explanation" section. 06:57, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

I still don't get the main comic, unless its just situational comedy of someone acting like they know what they are talking about, when really they don't even know the meaning of the word "astronomer". 07:01, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

I put my best understanding of the comic in the explanation - I'm not sure I really get it, but I figured it was better than nothing. 07:14, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

This is exactly how I feel about looking at stars and hard core astronomy. I look for the brightest stars, and would like to know something about them, but just the basic facts. I have had a course on astronomy and it was boring to do the math for star formation and cosmology. I learnt that way that I was only interested in the results and conclusions, not in trying to calculate it my self, or counting all the other smaller stars to gain the data needed. I really like Megan here ;-) Space is awesome, astronomy is boring :-) --Kynde (talk) 09:08, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

I am pretty sure the last line in the first panel used to read "I'm doctor of whatever", but now it's clearly "... doctor or whatever". Has Randall changed the comic? -- 13:06, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

I wrote the original transcript based on the comic on this site. This has since been corrected to or, which makes sense. But the image file for the comic has not been changed here on xkcd, so had it not been for your comment here, I would just have put it down to a typo on my behalf. I still think so, as I believed she said or whatever when I wrote about it in the explanation. But the "or" can look a little as "of". It is, however, not unheard of that Randall changes a comic if he spots a mistake after the first release. This has happened several times. --Kynde (talk) 14:50, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

From now on I plan to present Sirius as the brightest star that can be seen at night, just to take the wind out of the jokers sails... Andyd273 (talk) 14:34, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

I wonder if the style of speaking is a reference to Donald Trump. 19:31, 17 February 2016 (UTC)