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Wealthy Astronomers

Article <minnie-1611960824090001@>
From: (Gary/Robyn Goodwin)
Subject: Re: Hale Bopp photos
Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 08:24:09 -0800

In article <1996Nov14.131438.1@stosc>, (Faraway, SoClose) wrote:
> In article <minnie-1311962031050001@>,
> Goodwin) writes:
> > In article <E0tnsq.CL8@murdoch.acc.Virginia.EDU>,
> > pcp2g@karma.astro.Virginia.EDU (Twisted STISter) wrote:
> >
> >> >That may be true, but if you check the website, there is a release date of
> >> >1 year after the date of observation. I think it's a dumb idea myself,
> >> >but that's what I found.
> >>
> >> Data taken by HST is indeed held private for 1 year. This 'embargo' gives
> >> the astronomer that made the proposal a chance to reduce and analyze
> >> the data.
> >> Time (and money!) on HST is very competitive, so it is in the community's
> >> best interest to put the data on hold for a year. Getting a proposal passed
> >> to observe on HST is an arduous and time-consuming task. If they simply
> >> released the data immediately no one would ever propose anything!
> > Maybe I'm confused here... you're saying that knowledge is postponed in
> > favor of competition?
> No, what he is saying is that knowledge is INCREASED by the embargo.
> As he said, to get observing time takes a great deal of effort. If the
> data became public as soon as it was obtained there is a good chance
> someone else will analyze the data. So the astronomer invested time
> with no benefit. If that were the case, no astronomer in their right mind
> would propose for HST observations, no pretty pictures would be obtained
> and no HST would exist. While I do what I do because I love it, I still
> have to secure an income in a very competive field and plan for a future
> career. The data will come out eventually - and whats more, instead of
> it justbeing a pretty picture there will be analysis with it that will give
> us all a great deal of interesting new information.

There must be quite a few independently wealthy astronomers out there for all of the images I've seen realeased right away. I do understand that data is a different story, but I'm not to concerned about most of that. My interest has been in the size and nature of Hale Bopp, which seems to have been intimated by some, hidden by others. And hardly for the reasons this thread uses as an excuse. I support your right to make a living and all other astronomers and everyone living. But not to suppress information that may impinge upon my right to protect my family and self. Go ahead and say it...crackpot, conspiracy purveyor, etc, etc. If they can provide information to me that would prevent pain and suffering for those that I love, and they withhold for profit, there is a name for them also. And to say that this is just another comet that will put on a great show, is crap. Once it's gone and we've seen the show, I'll gladly wear the coat of shame for everyone to laugh at. I watched in awe, reverence and respect as SL9 rained destruction down upon Jupiter. I didn't laugh, carry on, and drink a toast like our friends at JPL. This experience and the fact that there has just been too many "coincidences" with this comet...I am willing to be called a fool. This is not a personal attack upon you Mr. Dempsey, but upon the system to which belong, a goverment that ignores the right of the individual to have knowledge. A goverment that uses the masses to extend their control, while crying "freedom". Yes, I am a crackpot. But I am right.

gary d. goodwin