How Many Astronomers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?

	A: I thought astronomers used standard candles. 

	A: Two: one to change the bulb, the other to complain about the light pollution. 

	A: Only one, but you have to go to Hawaii to get the really good bulbs. 

	A: Three, plus or minus seventy-five. 

	A: Eight:
		1 observational astronomer to measure luminosity and redshift of bulb 
		1 theoretical astronomer to calculate spherical coordinates of bulb 
		1 departmental head to write to SERC, sorry, PPARC, for project funds 
		1 astronomical engineer to design and build the bulb replacing satellite 
		1 starling SIG programmer to write satellite control and data reduction 
		1 NASA mission control expert to arrange satellite launch and say "t-2 go 
			for main engine start........" etc 
		1 remote observer to manipulate the satellites arm once in elliptical orbit 
			around light bulb 
		1 Grad student to act as scapegoat in event of mission failure 

	A: Four:
		A research student to sit around and not learn anything. 
		His/Her supervisor to explain how much harder it was to change light bulbs 
			when he/she was a research student. 
		An amateur astronomer to make sure it's a low pressure sodium light bulb 
			with proper shading to reduce light pollution (right kids!). 
		Some technical johnny to actual change the light bulb and generally keep the 
			place running while the astronomers contemplate their NGC's. 

	A: 10^8, because astronomers love really big numbers ! 

	A: None, they wouldn't change it because it ruins their night vision. 

	A: What's a light bulb ? 

	A: Four:
		One to actually change the darn thing. 
		One to operate the CCD camera to measure the number of photons it emits 
			whilst his friend operates the computer to do the task (bit techie) 
		And another to complain about how the CCD is out of focus and how the light 
			bulb actually looks like a polo mint. 

From the electronic bulletin of the Network of Student Physical Societies, 1994.

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