Questions regarding electromagnetic radiation in the visible spectrum.

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18
votes
3answers
667 views

Why can't light escape from a black hole?

I've heard that light can't escape from a black hole. Can it? If not, why?
15
votes
8answers
3k views

Why can't we see distant galaxies with the naked eye?

If light keeps travelling in a straight line, why can't we see distant galaxies with the naked eye? Surely if you stared long enough, the light from them would eventually hit your eye? I apologize if ...
13
votes
4answers
258 views

What is Gravitational Lensing?

What is the effect known as gravitational lensing? How does it work? What objects would be able to cause this effect?
13
votes
4answers
875 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?
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How do scientists determine the age of stars?

I was Googling about the oldest galaxies in the Universe. Everywhere is written that their age is known by the light. Referring to this line "Since light travels at a set speed, if you look at a star ...
9
votes
1answer
104 views

Is the surface of TrES-2b actually dark?

The exoplanet TrES-2b is known as the darkest planet ever found, reflecting <1% of the light that hits it. What does it mean in respect to the surface? What would we see below the atmosphere of ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

By putting a mirror in space, would we be able to see into the past?

I only ask this because of how fast light travels. The question remains in the title. Why, or why not, would this work?
8
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the difference between our time and space time?

I am trying to understand the phenomenon of space-time. But, everything on internet seems to be too complicated for me since I do not have a background in physics. Can anyone give me simple ...
6
votes
2answers
236 views

Are there stars that don't emit visible light?

Are there stars that do not emit any light in the visible part of the EM spectrum?
6
votes
3answers
695 views

Why is the speed of light 299,792,458 meters/sec?

Ok, I am majoring in physics (4th year) and I never understood this fundamental (kinda) question. Maybe I haven't explored it enough. For example, why does it take 8min20sec for the light from the ...
6
votes
1answer
125 views

Can Doppler shift make colors of two stars at same distance different?

As you know, Doppler effect can change the wavelength of the light. Suppose there are two stars at same distance and same temperature. If one star is receding and the other star is approaching, their ...
5
votes
3answers
252 views

Does gravity slow or speed light up?

The speed of light in a vacuum is presumably the fastest speed possible. if gravity bends the course of light, does this imply that gravity the retards light so it is moving at a slower speed? If ...
5
votes
4answers
173 views

What is the farthest point of light that is emitted by a torch?

If I focus my torch into the night sky,what would be the farthest point the light can reach? Recently I looked at the night sky and noticed a light spark moving around the clouds for about 15 ...
5
votes
1answer
129 views

How is it known that Pillars of Creation are destroyed?

We can observe Pillars of Creation with 7000 years delay, but it is destroyed only 6000 years ago. How do we know that? How the information about explosion reached the Earth before light do?
5
votes
2answers
295 views

Why is twilight longer in summer than winter and shortest at the equinox

I recently decided to set my alarm clock to wake me up when it is "dark" out. In the end, I decided to set my clock to the earliest time that nautical sunrise is in my state (Illinois) and stick with ...
5
votes
1answer
91 views

How would light from a blue or red star affect the way we see?

How would things look if we saw them through the light of a blue or red star? Would there be any changes?
5
votes
1answer
210 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
84 views

Why are (Type II) supernovae so bright?

The vast majority of energy from a supernova is emitted as neutrinos and high-energy radiation, both of which being invisible to the naked eye. Yet a supernova can outshine its galaxy in the visible ...
5
votes
0answers
74 views

Is it possible to have two objects moving by sum speed of light (c) in the opposite direction? [closed]

I am puzzled by this question, because by the laws between the two object the relative gravitation force should be infinite. Anyways we can take two objects where the sum of speeds are equaling c ...
4
votes
4answers
613 views

What would the effects be on Earth if Jupiter was turned into a star?

In Clarke's book 2010, the monolith and its brethren turned Jupiter into the small star nicknamed Lucifer. Ignoring the reality that we won't have any magical ...
4
votes
2answers
171 views

How does light affect the universe?

When light is emitted by for example a star, that star loses energy - which causes it to reduce its gravity. Then that energy begins a journey for potentially billions of years, until it reaches some ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Pictures of large galaxies

The Andromeda Galaxy is tens of thousands of light years in diameter. That suggests that the most distant stars in the Andromeda galaxy is up to tens of thousands of years "behind" in their orbit ...
4
votes
1answer
44 views

Does the Perseid peak cause enough light pollution to be a problem?

The annual Perseid peak occurs between August 9-14. During this time, about one meteor burns up in the atmosphere per minute. When these meteorites burn up, they generate light. When you have one of ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

Perception of an objects history passing as an observer moves toward it

If a star is 20 light-years away and I look at it through a telescope, what I'm observing is what the star was doing 20 years ago yes? So, if I fix my sight on the star and move toward it (for ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

How bright are the outer planets, when at close range?

Seven probes have passed by or orbited outer planets. I wonder how their photos differ from the naked eye view one would have if one were actually there. Saturn is 10 AU from the Sun, which means ...
4
votes
1answer
37 views

Are we still in the Solar Maximus stage? Will this winter 2013/14 be a good aurora-viewing season?

I remember reading in 2011 that 2013/2014 would be the peak of the current solar maximus, but I want to confirm whether that is still ongoing. Will the upcoming winter season be a good time to see ...
3
votes
2answers
281 views

Why are distant galaxies not visible in the observable Universe?

Assuming that the Universe is and has been expanding ever since its creation (Big Bang theory), the galaxies that are now at the 'edge' (not visible theoretically) must have been (at some point in ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Is there light on the surface of Venus?

A simple question: is there light on the surface of Venus?
3
votes
1answer
142 views

How can light reach us from 14 billion light years away?

One thing that I can't quite wrap my head around is how light is traveling to Earth from 14 billion light years away, aka the beginning of the universe. The way I see it, the universe itself was very ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

how did James Bradley discover light aberration?

I do not understand his timing method. James The magnitude of the aberration could be v/c? The speed of earth is about ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

How is the magnitude of a star measured?

How does one measure the brightness of a star?, I did not find anything on the internet.
3
votes
3answers
249 views

Why is the outline of a crescent moon brighter?

Some quick googling has given me the answer to whether seeing part of the moon that receives no sunlight is an optical illusion or not: it isn't. Earthshine lights the moon enough for the human eye to ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

How massive does a planet need to be to create gravitational lensing?

Is it ever possible for starlight to be distorted in a noticeable way from something as small as a planet? I'm guessing that the chances of this working are better on a dense terrestrial planet than ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Time dilation on an object circling earth

How would a receiver on Earth hear a radio transmission from an object circling earth at 99% of the speed of light for 24 hours. The transmission from the object circulating would be non-stop. ...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Did time pass more slowly in the past?

13 billion years ago, the universe was about 600 million years old according to many scientists. At that time, all matter in the universe would have to be closer, or in other words denser. Did time ...
2
votes
5answers
245 views

Could light be dark matter?

Is it possible that light itself is dark matter? I am speaking of photons (e.g. visible light, infrared, ultraviolet, etc...). I realize light is understood to be massless, but it is obvious it at ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Does near light-speed travel doppler-shift the light from the target into gamma rays?

If a space ship travels at near the speed of light towards a star, wouldn't the light from the star doppler shift into gamma rays (or worse?) and become lethal to life and destructive to space ship ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Could dark matter be considered a medium?

Long ago, it was theorized that light had to travel through a medium, until the particle/wave duality of light was discovered. Then it changed to the idea that light can travel through the vacuum of ...
2
votes
1answer
135 views

If an object with mass were to somehow go the speed of light, would it destroy the whole universe?

Would an object with mass traveling the speed of light destroy the whole universe because it would have infinite energy / mass? According to ...
2
votes
2answers
156 views

Is it dark inside a black hole?

Assuming you could be standing inside a black hole, would it be light or dark around you?
2
votes
1answer
51 views

How to differentiate between images of a gravitationally lensed object

The light coming from a distant galaxy or star can be distorted en route to Earth; this distortion is caused by the curvature of space when a massive object is present. My question is, how can we tell ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

speed of light measurement

While searching for different methods of speed of light measurement, i came across one of the method of fizeau discussed below which i cannot fully understand. In short,in Fizeau’s apparatus, a beam ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

What is the ratio of cosmic microwave background radiation to normal radiation?

I would like to know the ratio of cosmic microwave background radiation to normal radiation in the universe. I am considering cosmic microwave background radiation to include the microwave, and any ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

Is it accurate to say that we have a gravitational attraction towards all objects in the known universe?

Its probably small, but is there a theoretical gravitational attraction between all objects in the universe? Light can move pretty far, so does that mean gravity can as well, and is the gravity ...
2
votes
0answers
78 views

Is light bending around my finger? [closed]

I was hoping that astronomy enthusiasts/scientists would help me out with a simple question about light. Hold your outstretched hand up to any bright light source (the sun, or even a light bulb) so ...
1
vote
3answers
97 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
251 views

How far away is the light that would reveal the Big Bang?

I guess theoretically if we could go faster than light, which we clearly cannot, at some point we'd be able to see the big bang itself. Just curious - how far away is that light?
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Shadows of Light = Space or Dark Matter?

Perhaps my title is misleading. but here is my understanding and I'm looking for confirmation. You cannot have dark without light. The only thing faster than light is darkness (i.e. shadows) Stars ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Does the cosmic microwave background recede at the speed of light?

Does the cosmic microwave background recede at the speed of light? Is it possible it recedes even faster because of the stretching of space?
1
vote
2answers
125 views

How did Bradley arrive at the +/- correct speed of light when he calculated it?

After Bradley discovered stellar aberration and the corresponding constant of aberration he was able to calculate the speed of light, since he knew the speed of the Earth around the Sun. As far as I ...