Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Astronomer's Humor: Part 3

From my friend Luis Vargas:
How, then, does this initial temperature profile evolve in time? There are classical methods for determining T=T(x,t) for t>0. One of the basic results is that one can start with an exciting temperature profile T(x), for instance one that resembles the skyline of Manhattan or the panorama of the Alps, and after some time the temperature profile always looks like the landscape of Nebraska.

Source: R. Kippenhahn and A. Weigert, "Stellar Structure and Evolution". pg 33, 3rd ed (1994)
Wait... I thought it was Kansas that was flatter than a pancake...

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