Talk:2633: Astronomer Hotline

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Someone really needs to check on the bot. This is the second day in a row where I have had to begin the article! SqueakSquawk4 (talk) 13:06, 15 June 2022 (UTC)

The fact that this is the Astronomer Helpline seems like commentary on the frequency with which astronomers are asked about mysterious objects, and/or the fact that astronomers (who tend to spend a lot of time looking at the sky) rarely report seeing unidentified objects. It could also be noted that calling fireflies a UFO would technically be accurate, as they are objects which are flying that the observers apparently could not readily identify. 13:36, 15 June 2022 (UTC)

There is about 2000 species of fireflies. OF COURSE I can't identify which one it is, considering it's so dark I only see the light. -- Hkmaly (talk) 18:22, 15 June 2022 (UTC)

Title text probably referes to Periodical cicadas that appears every 17 years. 13:58, 15 June 2022 (UTC)

As someone from a country without fireflies, is "Ground Stars" a normal word for fireflies or a joke? (similar to how planets are "wandering stars", so to an astronomer everything is a star, similar to 2017: Stargazing 2) Sqek (talk) 14:17, 15 June 2022 (UTC)

A joke. 14:54, 15 June 2022 (UTC)

The second last paragraph is extremely confusing. Someone should fix it. 15:17, 15 June 2022 (UTC)

I have removed the paragraph referenced in the above comment; it was confusing, and seemed focused on explaining the reasons for cicadas having prime-numbered year cycles. While this is interesting, it is not relevant to understanding any of the jokes, especially since two helpful links to periodical cicadas and Brood X were already included earlier in the article. Parties interested in learning cicada facts may follow those links; to explain the joke, it is enough to acknowledge that periodical cicadas are a thing, not explore the ecology or evolution of such a trait. If I overstepped, feel free to reinstate with a clearer explanation. Dextrous Fred (talk) 16:16, 15 June 2022 (UTC)

Does anyone else think that the 'Weird Bug Helpline' may be a play on more conventional helplines, and weird computer bugs that only appear 'every 17 years' when a user presents with an odd edge case that wasn't anticipated? 09:16, 17 June 2022 (UTC)

I just got a message from the Odd Perfect Number hotline!

I was trying to explain to someone today that the question of whether there are any odd perfect numbers is an open problem, so I asked Google Assistant and was informed that proves that there aren't! 21:15, 15 June 2022 (UTC)

Cosmic Ray Phenomena

When I started reading the comic, I was sure it's referring to cosmic ray phenomena. Reading further it made less sense, though I feel it should be mentioned in this explanation. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I do not agree. This is something happening to astronauts in space. Not to a guy calling an astronomy hot-line. --Kynde (talk) 13:35, 16 June 2022 (UTC)

Trivia US UFO helpline

AFAIK you can only report UFOs to the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG) if you're in the military. They really want to have sensor data, too. But with a smartphone, you can get apps to identify astronomical objects or airplanes by pointing your phone at them. does a lot of UFO identification. -- 11:07, 16 June 2022 (UTC)

other xkcd related? - people forgetting that the sun is visible during day - the bug hotline might have been built on the bug tracker

Could this comic be referring to the Supernova Early Warning System?

Is this comic possibly a reference to the Supernova Early Warning System(SNEWS) or some other similar astronomy organisation? SNEWS is basically an astronomer hotline(or rather mailing list). If astronomers detect what they think is a supernova, they let astronomers(amateur and professional) around the world know about the event, so that they can try to point their telescopes at the supernova quickly enough to observe it/ work out what it is/ study it. I always thought of this as an astronomer hotline: If you see some strange lights in the night sky, you can call upon every astronomer in the world to point their telescopes at it and work out what it is. -- 08:20, 17 June 2022 (UTC)