SciShow: Talking with Hank Green about cosmic distances.

Hank Green Learns How to Measure the Stars

Hank Green Learns How to Measure the Stars

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Sept. 11 2014 7:30 AM

SciShow: How Do We Measure the Distance to the Stars?

Hank Green and Phil Plait
Yeah, I'll just leave that here.

Photo by SciShow, from the video

Hey, remember that SciShow video I posted about, when I visited the adorable Hank Green in Montana and filmed a short thing with me talking about the smallest star in the Universe?

While I was up there, Hank and I sat down to do a short conversation to promote Comic Relief, a charity that’s raising money to help educate (and feed) kids in Zambia.

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Hank and I talked distance. Specifically, how do you figure it out? Stars are far away, yet we seem to be pretty confident when we give their distances. It turns out, the answer is right in front of your nose. Watch.

That was fun! And Hank was honestly excited about the topic, and the very fact that we can know what we know. That’s one of the reasons I like him.

If you want more info on the topics we discussed, I’ve written about parallax and also on how exploding stars are used to gauge the expansion of the Universe.   

Also, as you saw in the opening part of the video, this was done to raise money for kids in Africa, which is pretty cool by me. As it says in the YouTube video show notes:

Help more students learn, by giving to Comic Relief at http://www.comicrelief.com/SOYT

Or if you’re in the US, you can text SOYT12 to 71777, message and data rates may apply.

If you’re in the UK, text SOYT12 to 70005. Texts cost £5 plus your standard network message charge. £5 per text goes to Comic Relief. You must be 16 or over and please ask the bill payers permission. For full terms and conditions and more information go to www.comicrelief.com/terms-of-use

Because stars may be far away, but no one on Earth really is. Help ‘em out if you can.