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

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18
votes
1answer
750 views

How distances are measured in the Solar System, in the Galaxy, and in the Universe?

Distances in our universe can be calculated in several ways: Stellar Parallax Standard Candles Redshift How are these methods linked, and how they are actually used to calculate distances are ...
11
votes
3answers
408 views

Calculate Distance To Stars

I was just watching a lecture from Carl Sagan. He talked about figuring out the distance to the stars; it got me interested in learning more about the subject. As far as I know, the Inverse square ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Is the light we see from stars extremely old?

Our nearest star Proxima Centauri is 4.243 light years away from Earth. Does that mean we are seeing light that is 4.243 years old everyday?
12
votes
2answers
646 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

How do we know that the intrinsic brightness of Cepheid variables corresponds to their period?

As I understand it, beyond parallax the next way of estimating the distance to astronomical objects is by using a relationship between the period and intrinsic luminosity of Cepheid variables. How do ...
2
votes
1answer
95 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
172 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 (...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
689 views

What is a parsec and how is it measured?

Astronomical units of measurement are mostly pretty straight-forward: Astronomical Units refer to the mean Earth-Sun distance (~150 million km or 93 million miles) Light years are the distance light ...
9
votes
2answers
652 views

Why is the observable Universe larger than its age would suggest?

The age of the Universe is estimated at 13.8 billion years, and current theory states nothing can exceed the speed of light, which can lead to the incorrect conclusion that the universe can't have a ...
9
votes
1answer
270 views

How would parallax affect an object at 200-1000 AU (for example, the 9th planet)?

We know from this question that an object is hypothesized to be at between 200-1000 AU that is large enough to detect, known now as the 9th planet. It should move about 40 arcseconds per year. It ...
6
votes
1answer
382 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
148 views

How can we be sure that we have identified very distant stars correctly?

From reading this question on calculating distance to stars and from a bit of background reading on the standard candle theory I still don't see how we can confirm that a star we see at one distance ...
2
votes
2answers
160 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. ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Can we tell how fast bodies are moving away by measuring their frequency?

It's clear the universe is expanding because light from distant bodies, like galaxies, are shifted towards the red side of the spectrum. In other words, the light measured is more red than it should ...
-1
votes
1answer
69 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 ...