Questions regarding the amount of space between two objects, the units, or measurement thereof.

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Calculate Atmospheric Extinction Using Source Altitude Angle

I am trying to code up the following article http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2349512 (alternative free access version) to calculate the light reflected from the moon to a given point on earth at a ...
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0answers
20 views

How to find the distance between two quasars

I want to calculate the distance between two quasars of which I know the angular position and the red shift. Let $Q_1=(\alpha_1,\delta_1, z_1)$ and $Q_2=(\alpha 2,\delta 2, z_2)$ and suppose $z_2 > ...
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2answers
114 views

Is the diameter of the observable universe a relative quantity?

The diameter of my observable universe is 90 billion ly measured in proper distance. But isn't lenght a relative quantity in the theory of Relativity? Could an observer moving at a different velocity ...
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0answers
66 views

Will Hubble's law always be accurate?

We have Hubble's law: v=Hd where H is the Hubble parameter, which is decreasing in value, but it will be constant in the distant future. So, assumming the Standard Model of Cosmology holds true, ...
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1answer
30 views

Is it possible to get the distance to a star in the IPHAS DR2 catalog?

I'm looking at the IPHAS DR2 catalog. It has the Right Ascension and Declination but I'm not seeing any distance information (lightyears or parsecs). I'm wondering, given the columns in the dataset, ...
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1answer
69 views

Is there a theory / equation showing whether or not two passing bodies will go into orbit around each other?

I am looking for a theory that shows whether or not two passing celestial bodies will go into orbit. I assume there would have to be a critical point where the gravitational attraction is stronger ...
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1answer
47 views

How can I find out which known stars lie within or close to M8

I'm looking for a way to find stars within a certain region of space, the Lagoona Nebula in this case, based on what we currently know. Are there some databases that allow you to make such queries? ...
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2answers
113 views

How to calculate position of an unknown star knowing positions of some other stars from an image?

Suppose I know the coordinates (right ascension and declination) of the stars marked with red. How should I calculate the coordinates of an unknown star, marked with yellow? Searching over the web, ...
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1answer
33 views

What is the distance between 2 cities? [closed]

Both Quito and Kampala lie on the Equator. The longitude of Quito is 82°30'W and that of Kampala is 37°30'E. What is the distance from Quito to Kampala? A) along the shortest surface path B) along a ...
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2answers
124 views

Why are distant objects observed in the near infrared?

I was reading an article that explains why JWST is a successor to Hubble and not a replacement for Hubble. They explained that Hubble's science pushed astronomers to look at longer wavelength. And ...
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1answer
21 views

Do astronomers, in principle, have more information about older phenomena than younger?

The further away we see, the older states of the world we observe. And the volume of the part of space which is observable, increases by the square of the distance to it. So there should basically be ...
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2answers
186 views

How do you calculate the lookback time distance to a given galaxy?

By lookback time distance I mean the same as Light travel distance. Can you calculate it by just knowing its redshift?
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3answers
118 views

Do we still use the term “astronomical unit” nowadays?

An astronomical unit is defined as the measurement of distance between Earth and our Sun, my question is since distances between celestial objects beyond our solar system are vast and unimaginable ...
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2answers
87 views

How do astronomer measures the size of any celestial objects?

What techniques and tools are available to the astronomers to measure the size of any celestial objects such as, stars or perhaps black holes that doesn't emit light nor reflects starlight?
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1answer
47 views

Do astronomers and astrophysicists more often use diameters or radii when discussing about planets, dwarf planets, exoplanets and stars?

Mathematicians much more often use radii over diameters when discussing about circles and spheres, because in mathematics the radius is more fundamental than the diameter (the sphere is defined using ...
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1answer
75 views

Why do astronomers use supernova to measure distance in space?

Why can't the distances between our Sun and the celestial objects be measured directly and instead had to rely on looking around for supernova? Is these events frequent, evenly distributed and lasting ...
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3answers
384 views

What would the night sky look like if Earth orbited an intergalactic star?

If the Earth and its host star were located exactly in-between the Milky Way and Andromeda would the night sky be completely void of light? Would stars be visible to the unaided eye? So there could ...
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1answer
31 views

L4&L5 positions?

I know that, in L4&L5, the distances to the two main bodies should be equal. Still, how can I calculate that distance with accuracy? How can I know that that distance is inside the equipotential ...
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2answers
47 views

What qualifies as a local star?

My professor used the term 'local star'. What range of distance is generally considered 'local' for a star? And what would be considered distant?
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3answers
190 views

Do objects look larger the further away they are, beyond z=1?

I stumbled upon this text which illustrates and says: We find that as the object is moved to higher redshifts its angular size first decreases (as naively expected) but soon begins to increase ...
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2answers
76 views

What are the units of distance in this subtended angle calculation?

I'd like to find the distance at which a 2.4 cm coin is subtended by an angle of 10". I've drawn my diagram and found that $D=\dfrac{d}{\alpha}$ using the small angle approximation. Since $10" = ...
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2answers
222 views

How to calculate distance from object to point on celestial sphere

I'd like to calculate the distance (in arcsec) from the object nearest to ra='08h55m10s' dec='-7d14m42s' to that point on the celestial sphere. I am actually having trouble identifying the object. I ...
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3answers
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Why is the Eagle Nebula so “static”?

This, of course, is a newbie question, as I am nothing more than a hobbyist. But I was quite surprised to see the recently-released "before and after" pictures of the so-called "Pillars of Creation" ...
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1answer
100 views

Photos from galaxy

So, I hear people say blah blah blah is 3 light years away, and here's a photo. So does that mean the photo that we see are actually at least 3 years ago since that's how long it takes that light to ...
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4answers
420 views

Are the stars in constellation located in a plane or they are in different distances

Are the stars in constellation located in a plane or they are in different distances from each other and when we observe them from the Earth we think they are all in a plane?
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6answers
795 views

Why are stars so far apart?

So, this is mere musing, but it seems that stars are quite extremely far apart. I tried to determine the mean distance between nearest neighbors for stars (in just our galaxy) but I'm not sure what it ...
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1answer
268 views

Distance between Earth and where The Big Bang's happened? [duplicate]

The universe is around 13.8 billion years old. We know how fast the light is. We also know how fast our galaxy moving around inside observable universe. Is it possible to calculating distance ...
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1answer
58 views

Determining Distances in Space [closed]

I suspect the scope of this question may be to broad, but: what are some methods for determining distances between two objects in Space? Please present the methods in historical order, so as to make ...
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3answers
106 views

How near to Earth do comets pass?

Siding Spring now passes about 10 Earth diameters away from Mars. What are the estimates of how often comets fly by Earth at different distances? Are the distances to some famous historical comets ...
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2answers
1k views

Diameter of any galaxy

I've been trying to figure out how to find the diameter in kpc of any galaxy given that one knows the distance to it in Mpc (d) and also the angular diameter/size (A) in arcsec. I had a formula before ...
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1answer
228 views

If we count Avogadro's Number of stars that are closest to Earth, how big that space would be?

I posted this as a question to Scientific Imagination (Area 51 proposal) a while ago. And it was suggested that this question "is perfectly acceptable on Astronomy SE", since "it's about stellar ...
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1answer
54 views

What is the radius of observable universe- 46 billion LY or 200 yottameters?

I have found two answers for the radius of the observable universe. Wikipedia (and other places, including this site) say approximately 46 billion LY. I am researching this to study for the National ...
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1answer
962 views

How was the Earth-Sun distance originally calculated?

AFAIK it was possible long before the first interplanetary probes. Who did it?
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1answer
204 views

How many light years away is Earth from the closest outer edge of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way?

How many light years is Earth away from the closest outer edge of the supermassive black hole in Sagittarius A* at the center of the Milky Way? I don't mean the distance to the center of the galaxy, ...
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0answers
28 views

How do we determine something is “x” light years away? [duplicate]

I always read/hear "This galaxy is X thousand light years away" or some similar statement (for example see this table). Please excuse the naivety of question. How do we determine that some ...
3
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1answer
132 views

What is the farthest object we've been able to bounce signals off of to date?

I know people bounced lasers off of Venus and Mercury in 1960s in order to test the Shapiro delay. Since then, we've developed higher power lasers and radio transmitters (Bolshakovo transmitter). ...
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1answer
79 views

Distance of extra-galactic Classical Cepheids

There have been many questions and answers about finding the distance of a star from the earth. But as I did some research on the net, I found that we have specific approaches for finding the ...
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2answers
435 views

How often do stars pass close (~1ly) to the Sun?

Interstellar exchange of massive objects is difficult across several light years. But as the stars orbit the galaxy the distances between them change. I don't find data for neighbor star distances ...
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2answers
88 views

Does Tobler's First Law of Geography Apply to Star Composition?

There is a principle in Geography called Tobler's First Law of Geography which states that "Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things." Does this ...
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1answer
68 views

Do we make predictions in our time, or local time?

I was scrolling idly through the Wikipedia article on Orion when I read: Orion will still be recognizable long after most of the other constellations—composed of relatively nearby stars—have ...
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42 views

Triangular Asterism Trigonometry

Using the SIMBAD database for Alnitak, Saiph, and Sirius -- i.e.: Alnitak: FK5 coord. (J2000): RA = 05 40 45.527 DEC = -01 56 33.26; Saiph; FK5 coord. (J2000): RA = 05 47 45.389 DEC = -09 40 10.58; ...
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2answers
327 views

How are the speed, distance and time of India's MOM and USA's Maven Mars missions calculated?

How do the scientists calculate the correct time to launch the Mars mission so that the satellite travel time is less? How they are synchronizing the speed of satellite with respect to earth and mars ...
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2answers
134 views

Conundrum involving distance to object, universal expansion, age of universe, etc

I was recently reading about a galaxy or quasar (not sure which, so lets just say quasar) where the estimated distance to this thing was some very significant fraction of the age of the universe. ...
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2answers
83 views

Present distances between planet. How can I find them?

It's "commonly known" how distant are our solar system planets from Sun. But we can't easily say that about planets, which distances can differ greatly, without some observations (or simulations, ...
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2answers
439 views

What's the furthest object observable by the naked eye from earth?

From XKCD: Caption: 'The light from those millions of stars you see is probably many thousands of years old' is a rare example of laypeople substantially OVERestimating astronomical numbers. So, ...
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1answer
122 views

3D Positions of Nearby Stars

I have come across a number of star catalogs that list stars by right ascension and declination, along with other data such as magnitude. Is there a star catalog that lists the 3-D position of stars ...
5
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1answer
179 views

How far apart can two people watch the moon simultaneously?

Obviously there's a limited part of earths surface where the moon is visible at any given time. I imagine the area of this surface would be a lot smaller than the area where the sun is visible at any ...
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2answers
63 views

How close would quasars have been to each other?

My understanding is that quasars are the early phase of formation of galaxies. At the time quasars were forming, the universe would have been smaller and therefore things closer to each other. About ...
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2answers
828 views

How to measure distances to stars by means of spectroscopic parallaxes?

How to measure distances to stars by means of spectroscopic parallaxes on practice? What is the accuracy of measuring distances using this method compared with distances based on HIPPARCOS ...
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1answer
265 views

When we say a galaxy is 200 million light years away, does this account for the expansion of space in the time it took it's light to reach us?

When we see a distant galaxy, the light we are watching started it's journey millions of years ago. In all that time, space has been expanding, so if the initial distance was A, right now the distance ...