5 Science and Tech Misconceptions that Actually Make Sense

By NASA/JPL-Caltech/L. Cieza (University of Texas at Austin) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By NASA/JPL-Caltech/L. Cieza (University of Texas at Austin) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

If there are technology “truths” that turn out to be falsities, there are also tech misconceptions or myths that are actually not as wrong as they are purported to be. They may not sound believable the first time you hear about them but they actually make sense when examined more carefully. The following are some of these misconceptions in technology that deserve to be reexamined.

1. There are green stars.

Well, apparently, there are no green stars (at least when viewed by the naked eye). Most stars only appear white, yellow, red, and blue. The color depends on the temperature of the surface of the star. Colder stars are red. The hotter ones are blue. Those in between are either yellow or white.

The sun appears white but when its light curve is analyzed, it peaks in the green part of the spectrum, which means that there are more solar photons coming from the green part of the spectrum. This supposedly gives it a greenish color but it does not appear to be the case when viewed from Earth or even from space. This is because of the combination the different colors the sun emits. The resulting light is prominently white with a color temperature of around 6,800 Kelvin. This is the same effect you can observe in LCD and AMOLED displays. They generally have minute red, green, and blue dots or strips (no whites unless they use the RGBW tech) but they produce white light when all these color dots or strips are lit.

2. Not-so-smart people shouldn’t despair. Even the great Albert Einstein failed in academics.

This is one “misconception” many keep repeating to encourage those who encounter academic failures. However, the popular story about Einstein’s alleged failure in school (in Math in particular) was already debunked. This story most probably originated or was amplified in an issue of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, which published the article entitled “Greatest Living Mathematician Failed in Mathematics.” The article was shown to Einstein, who belied the claim. Einstein did not fail in Mathematics. Nevertheless, this misconception could be true to some extent. Despite Einstein’s braininess, he failed the entrance exam into the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in 1895.

3. Seasons are caused by the distance from the sun.

You might think this is not even a misconception. Unfortunately, it is branded as one by NASA itself. Seasons are not caused by the Earth being closer from or farther to the sun but by its 23.4­­° axial tilt. Earth  is even farthest from the sun during summers in the Northern Hemisphere. Nevertheless,it can be said that distance still factors in if you take into account the fact that solar radiation tends to be hampered from directly reaching Earth’s surface because of the tilting. More radiation reaches the Earth’s surface when the surface is perpendicular to the incoming light (which means a shorter distance for light to travel and less atmosphere to pass through).

When it comes to the equatorial regions and the tropics, the “dry and wet seasons” are affected by the distance of the Earth from the sun.

By Tauʻolunga (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Tauʻolunga (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

4. Frozen meteors suffer excessive heating in the atmosphere that they should be very hot.

They may be light up as they enter the atmosphere but this is not enough to leave meteorites that burn like magma. Yes, you may have learned before that some frozen meteorites actually land with their frozen parts still frozen but this does not take away the fact that the atmosphere actually burned off parts of these space objects. The atmosphere can burn, melt, or disintegrate objects that enter it at extreme speeds. Spacecraft for instance can reach temperatures higher than 6,000 K. This means that objects can really experience excessive heat as they enter the atmosphere from space.

The reason why some frozen meteorites still have ice or frozen components is the disintegration of the parts that were burned, molten, or excessively heated in the atmosphere. Since they are removed from the meteor bit by bit, they don’t get to the conduct heat into the inner parts, leaving the ice in some meteors still frozen. Besides, it’s important to point out the difference between meteors and meteorites. Meteors are those objects that are still in the atmosphere while meteorites are those that make it to the ground. So technically speaking, meteors get really hot on their surface but you may find meteorites that are relatively cold because the hot parts have already disintegrated in the atmosphere.

By DarkAngelMKD (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

By DarkAngelMKD (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

5. Device benchmarks matter.

This is something commonly said by tech review websites: benchmarks don’t matter. For many of them, benchmarks are considered as unnecessary numbers. However, this is not really an accurate way of putting things. Device benchmarks do matter. The only issue perhaps is the cheating of some manufacturers that has affected the way many perceive benchmark numbers.

These benchmarks can actually show how well a device performs. They may not matter when you are comparing two devices with similar specs and marginal benchmark differences. However, they matter when you are comparing devices based on their prices and performance. Moreover, benchmarks can be indicative of device optimization. There are some devices that get laggy and have low benchmark scores compared to the average for the hardware they sport. When their operating systems are upgraded or stripped to the basics (rooted Android for example) to remove unnecessary features, they are able to perform better while generating higher benchmark scores.

There are many other tech misconceptions that are not really completely false. Sometimes, you just can’t believe everything tagged on the Internet as hoaxes or myths. It pays to do your own research or to do some deeper analyzing to sort the lies from the truths.