Questions involving basic astronomical concepts or information.

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2
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4answers
511 views

Which is more rare: Lunar eclipse or Solar eclipse?

Which is more rare: Lunar eclipse or Solar eclipse? Please explain why either one is more rare than the other. Thank you in advance for your inputs.
1
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4answers
87 views

Image sets for testing stacking algorithms?

I am looking for sets of astronomical images for testing different kinds of stacking algorithms. The idea is simple: if one has $N$ images of the same object, the signal-to-noise ratio of the ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

How are errors on X-ray photon index propagated to X-ray spectral index?

I have seen that in X-ray astronomy, astronomers often talk in terms of photon index $\Gamma$, which is related to spectral index $\alpha$ by relation $\Gamma$ = $\alpha$ + 1. Are the errors on ...
2
votes
1answer
55 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, ...
5
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1answer
57 views

Astronomical databases for machine learning?

I was reading this question about open problems in astronomy. The bounty-receiving answer says that I have just left the field where some colleagues are trying to develop some software to use ...
4
votes
2answers
44 views

Where to obtain Tycho Brahe's data?

I would like to obtain Tycho Brahe's data on Mars. What would be an authoritative source? One source I could find is this page (the data is given as an Excel file) but I have no idea can that be ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Equations for coordinates of solar system objects

I would like to write a program that visualizes the solar system. To do this, I would need equations for calculating the coordinates of each solar system object at a given time. Where could I obtain ...
7
votes
2answers
287 views

Open problems in astronomy that an amateur (with a PhD in some other field) would have a chance of solving?

What are some open problems in astronomy that an amateur would have a chance of solving? Suppose the amateur has a PhD in some other field, owns a basic telescope, a set of filters, diffraction ...
1
vote
1answer
18 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 ...
0
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1answer
14 views

How to convert horizontal coordinates using NOVAS?

I'm using NOVAS 3.1. I know that I can convert equatorial coordinates to horizontal coordinates using the equ2hor function. Is it possible to make NOVAS do the ...
6
votes
1answer
547 views

Are there more stars than all the words ever spoken by humans?

A while ago I saw Neil deGrasse Tyson comparing the number of stars in the universe with the number of words spoken by all of humankind, ever since. I realize both of these numbers are not strictly ...
0
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0answers
26 views

What significance does coincidence or luck have in astronomy?

Astronomy is basically about looking around, and what happens to be there is very important for what we are able to discover. To what degree is astronomy shaped by coincidences in our neighborhood? ...
0
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0answers
55 views

Can an astronaut ever reach a Black Hole theoretically? [duplicate]

Ok, bear with me, while I try to explain the question I have. I read that time slows as we approach a black hole. So, suppose,theoretically, as astronaut is approaching a Black Hole. And he gets ...
-1
votes
1answer
23 views

US observations relevant in UK?

When I listen to the Planetary Radio podcast, there is a section at the end where they suggest objects to look out for in the night sky. If I am in the UK, but they are talking about the USA, will I ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Red shifting galaxies

I am an amateur astronomer please correct if any of my understandings are wrong. We all know that from the Hubble's ultra deep field image the most distant galaxies which were created shortly after ...
4
votes
1answer
91 views

Why didn't Johannes Kepler use data about more planets?

In Astronomia Nova (1609) Johannes Kepler used observations of Mars in order to refute circular orbits. Throughout Astronomia Nova he hardly even mentions other planets than Mars, Earth and the Sun ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Requesting book references for a non-expert person with math background or just a non-expert person

I've just finished my masters degree (to be exact previous week ^_^). And I'm completing my collection of applications of my studies. During previous year I started reading about Robotics and Coding ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

Is there an astronomy exam I can take?

I am currently living in Bangkok and I love astronomy. However, I haven't been able to find an official astronomy exam that I can do to gain college credit. Could someone help me out please?
5
votes
1answer
677 views

How many astronomers are there in the world today?

How many now living individuals have a PhD in astrophysics, or by some other definition can be reasonably classified as astronomers? I think Richard Feynman once said that only one in a million is an ...
1
vote
2answers
657 views

Why don't planets give off their own light? [closed]

Why don't the planets glow like stars?
1
vote
3answers
84 views

Basic celestial data

complete beginner here, only got into star gazing a few days ago using my friend's telescope and I don't really understand at all what any of the measurements mean. Anyway, talk about jumping in the ...
4
votes
3answers
156 views

Is there a flaw with the newer purposes and correlations attributed to the HR diagram? (And would a third axis of mass correct the enclosed flaw?)

When I was younger, I was looking at HR diagrams, and began to experiment with the HR diagram. I was looking at plotting different groups of stars on the HR diagram when I found RV Tauri stars. ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

How might Thales have predicted a solar eclipse?

Thales of Miletus purportedly predicted a solar eclipse (most likely the solar eclipse of May 28, 585 BCE). The historicity of Thales' prediction can't be verified with any certainty given the ...
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0answers
27 views

Coordinates of the Moon

How does one compute the right ascension and declination of the Moon at a given time (or for that matter, the altitude and azimuth)?
7
votes
1answer
241 views

Was the progress of astronomy in the 1800s surprisingly slow, and if so why? [closed]

The 1800's was a century of fantastic scientific discoveries in chemistry, geology, biology, engineering and so on. Is it correct to say that astronomy did not keep up with this development? And if ...
4
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1answer
40 views

Calculating Angular Distance

Given the horizontal coordinates of two objects in the sky, how does one go about calculating the angular separation between them?
6
votes
1answer
73 views

Calculation of Horizontal Coordinates

Given a fixed coordinate location on Earth (i.e. a latitude and longitude), and a fixed equatorial coordinate location of a particular astronomical object in the sky (i.e. right ascension and ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

golden and red colored light even after Sunset [closed]

I heard about golden hour but today i saw golden and red colored patches in sky even after Sunset. why it happens? and would like to know more about science behind golden hour.
3
votes
2answers
94 views

How and when did we learn about the universe?

I'm 13 - I'd like to know how we found/discovered important details about the Universe. I know we have found many different things about the Universe, but when did we find how amazingly large the ...
4
votes
1answer
151 views

How did Copernicus get the idea of heliocentric model?

The heliocentric model marked the beginning of modern astronomy. But what were the reasons which led Copernicus to think that the earth orbited the sun. I've read that his model was based on ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

A curious relationship between lunar periods and the solar year

Earlier today I was exploring the astronomy features on WolframAlpha, when I stumbled upon an intriguing numerical relationship involving the values for the lunar synodic and sidereal months. Using ...
4
votes
2answers
235 views

Location on (or in) the celestial sphere

First off, I apologize if I am breaking any site-etiquitte. Secondly, this is probably extremely elementary. For a lab, I was given the question: When we are sitting in a planetarium, where are ...
2
votes
2answers
73 views

Is it possible to calculate the time of day given latitude, longitude and solar elevation angles (zenith, azimuth, elevation)?

I am trying to determine the time of day of some images I have. I know the lat/lon, the day and year of image. I also know the 3 solar angles (zenith, azimuth, and elevation). Is there MATLAB or ...
4
votes
2answers
105 views

Acronyms of catalogs in SIMBAD database

How to find acronym of specific catalog in SIMBAD database? For example, I want to select stellar names, object types and all binary stars from "Stellar effective magnetic fields. II." catalog ...
4
votes
2answers
372 views

How to plot orbit of binary star and calculate its orbital elements?

I have a set of dates, position angles ($\theta$) and angular separations ($\rho$) for visual binary star. For example: ...
15
votes
4answers
776 views

How would the night sky look from inside a globular cluster?

When the weather is clear, we can look at the stars. And we normally would see several thousands of them, they all being more than a $\textrm{pc}$ away from us. Now, there are globular clusters, ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How to calculate Longitude from Right Ascension?

Considering that a star of certain declination is crossing the local meridian at the observer's zenith at an unknown location on the earth. Here, the declination of the star is equal to the observer's ...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

Coordinate transformations between reference frames in spherical astronomy

Suppose there are two observational frames of reference with origins $O$ and $O'$, respectively, separated by some constant distance. A body located at point $P$ has Cartesian coordinates ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How to measure the altitude and azimuth of a star?

Given that the star is crossing the local meridian line in a certain location, I've tried calculating the altitude of a star by finding the difference between the declination of the star and the ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Calculation of right ascension and declination

I am confused about this problem: If I see an object from Mount Teide (longitude is 16"30'E and latitude is 28"18'N) that passes the meridian (azimuth=0) at 5h (am) UTC, and I also know that the ...
5
votes
1answer
129 views

How well can we in principle determine $T_{\textrm{eff}}$ of a star?

This is a question about the basics of astronomy, which I have never happened to see a good discussion for. It is about how well would we be able to measure effective temperature of a star, if we had ...