5
votes
1answer
91 views

What's special about Saturn that it has distinctive rings?

This may overlap with other questions, but I'm asking what is unique about Saturn in location, properties, etc that is has far more pronounced rings? It's between Jupiter and Uranus and Neptune in ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

The tidal locking problem concerning Earth sized planets in habitable zone around Red Dwarfs

Would twin planets orbiting around each other present a solution to tidal locking of habitable planets in red dwarf systems? It's an awfully easy equation to set up. I'm fibbing; I can't do it. I was ...
1
vote
2answers
69 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" = ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

PowerSeeker 114Q

I just purchased a powerseeker 114q by Celestron. This is my very first telescope. I believe I assembled it correctly however I can't see anything out of it. Well I can see a small corner of an image. ...
-2
votes
1answer
55 views

Why does the sun rise north of east between the vernal and autumnal equinox?

Can someone please explain this phenomenon? A solid explanation seems to be missing from the entire internet.
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Did I see a meteor or a re-entry?

Last night (January 21, possibly 5:30 UTC), from my house in northern California, I saw a moving point of light in the sky, going west to east, crossing about 120 degrees of sky in 5 seconds or so. ...
5
votes
1answer
160 views

How often does the supermassive black hole in the Milky Way become a quasar?

My current interest is black holes and quasars. I was wondering how often they erupt--specifically ours? Would it be blindingly bright on Earth? Finally, would there be any effects that would alter ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there any planet/star bigger than VY Canis Majoris?

Compared to VY Canis Majoris, our Sun is more like a speck of space dust. Is there any planet or star which is known to us that is bigger than the VY Canis Majoris?
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Recent origin of Saturn's rings

Saturn was formed around billion years ago along with Jupiter. After which it had enough time to form moon which can break into rings. Then why is it said that Saturn's ring are of recent origin - ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

Where does the dust on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko come from?

As we (laymen) are told, comets lose gas and dust when they descent into the denser regions of the solar system. Seemingly so much and so large parts that they can even cause meteor showers like in ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

If Alpha Centauri A's solar system exactly mirrored our own, what would we be able to detect?

Suppose there was an exact replica of our solar system 4.4 ly away (people included). What would we be able to detect and with what telescope(s)? Which planets? Could we detect radio transmissions ...
1
vote
0answers
18 views

How do I deduce my latitude and longitude from N obervations of occultations from the same place?

I think it would be an interesting exercise to measure the latiude and longitude of my house using N occultation timings. I would like to see how precisely I can measure it using that technique, and ...
1
vote
2answers
90 views

Finding the temperature of Earth from temperature of Mars and its distance from Sun

I am to compute the temperature of planet--in fact I've already found out it's Earth--knowing only: the surface temperature of Mars (210 K) and its distance from Sun (1.524 AU) and of course ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

How likely is it that the Sun will destroy our electric society?

Given the studies of the Sun and similar stars and the most impressive understanding of its physics, is there any kind of probability distribution for its dangerous behavior? There are also some ...
4
votes
1answer
458 views

What is supposedly in the center of the Milky Way?

It's big. It's bright. It's white. It's so intense. But what is at the center of the Milky Way?
1
vote
1answer
52 views

When is Gamma Draconis closest to the zenith in London on April 4th

I am reading Roobert Hooke's paper An attempt to prove the motion of the earth from observations (1674, faksimile). Hooke writes The principal dayes of doing which will be about the 4 of April, ...
1
vote
2answers
171 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
93 views

Do we have knowledge of the geology of the moon?

With reference to the Ebb and Flow lunar satellites, was there any data about its geology? Is there a central core, or is it homogenous?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it safe to view moon at daytime through telescope

I have a little 76mm Newtonian Reflector. I want to see the moon at daytime. Is it safe to look at sky at daytime when sun is shinning or there is any risk of sun.
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Could the planets in the Solar System have been captured?

Ignoring any current beliefs, is it possible that the planets could have been captured by the Sun's gravitational force after drifting through space while retaining their axis of spin and speed? ...
3
votes
2answers
134 views

Why do scientists think life requires water? [duplicate]

As far as I know, scientists seeking extraterrestial life are simply looking for plantets containing water in liquid state. To be honest, I find this weird. It is true that life - in the form we know ...
14
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
126 views

How can I see a nebula?

I've recently been seeing a bunch of pictures of nebulae and I'm just fascinated by their beauty and complexity. Is there any kind of telescope that would make it possible to view it from here on ...
-2
votes
3answers
78 views

the initial astrometry calibration for a telescope

Generally a telescope can memorize how to point to a target with a particular RA&Dec. There is no need to calibrate every day. How can it happen? How to let the telescope(non-amateur) know the ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

Is the universe simply a mass of atoms in 'void'; what does it look like?

I've always been stumped with the question of what lies beyond the universe, and I've come to the firm conclusion - void (i.e. completely empty). Does it make sense then to think of the universe as a ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Why is [O III] a good density probe in interstellar medium?

According to Draine in his book "Physics of the interstellar and intergalactic medium" (page 210/211) and Caltech [O III] line ratio's (amongst others) are a good density probe, but I cannot really ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

How fast does Venus move as seen from the earth?

So last night I was about to sleep with the window in front of me. there was a 3 inch gap between the curtains that let me see a small portion of the sky. I could see something magnificently bright in ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

What are the exact physical parameters used to calculate Mercury precession with Einstein theory?

NASA measured 43,13 arc seconds per century. General relativity predicts 42,98 arc seconds per century. I try to find out what the parameters' values such as $G$, $M_{sun}$, $\omega_{min}$ at ...
5
votes
1answer
69 views

What is the process for vetting the 4,175 candidate planets Kepler has discovered?

In the National Geographic article about NASA's announcement of new planets discovered by the Kepler spacecraft, it states that there are 4,175 candidate planets. What is the process for vetting these ...
-2
votes
1answer
58 views

Origin of the original bright light and matter [closed]

Do any theories exist as to where this bright light and matter came from that expanded to form our Universe ?
-1
votes
1answer
84 views

Are a black hole's jets caused by the black hole's magnetic field?

Do the jets sometimes emitted by a black hole result from its magnetic field? It would seem Jupiter's magnetic field tends to be concentrated at the poles, and I would imagine this might extend to ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Is there a strong galactic magnetic field?

My main question is: Is there a strong galactic magnetic field, perhaps driven by the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy? I am also wondering if this field would be strong enough to ...
5
votes
4answers
506 views

Can magnetism escape a black hole?

I know light, and practically nothing but gravity can escape a black hole. My question is: can magnetism escape a black hole? A couple things that convince me it can are: Jupiter's magnetic ...
2
votes
2answers
143 views

Are there equations to simulate creation of a solar system?

I've been wanting to create a simulator to run tests based on properties of a star to find patterns in how planets form. Are there any already made equations for any of these countless relationships? ...
-3
votes
1answer
53 views

How do astronomers choose their research topic? [closed]

Astronomers don't face much of an ordinary jobs market in their "trade". What does the process look like from choosing a topic for the PhD to doing research in a specific topic? Let's say that you're ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

Why stars are named Gliese?

There are exoplanets called Gliese 581c, Gliese 581d etc. I assume their star is Gliese 581. So where does this Gliese come from?
5
votes
2answers
82 views

Meteorites bring water

The latest information suggests that Earth's water came from Meteorites . The Moon was also bombarded by Meteorites and yet it has no water. Is this because it lacks an atmosphere and its water was ...
-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 ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

How do or could radio telescopes contribute to exoplanet studies?

Current and upcoming telescopes which find exoplanets and take spectra of their atmospheres seem to be optical or infrared. What about radio telescopes applied to exoplanets? They are larger and more ...
5
votes
2answers
152 views

Tide on the Moon

If the Earth's Moon had a water ocean of depth 2-4 Km, how high would the tides rise due to the Earth's gravity? (Just a hypothetical question.)
4
votes
4answers
356 views

Do Roche limits apply to black holes?

Consider black hole A, a super massive black hole at the center of the galaxy. Orbiting it is black hold B, a less massive black hole. If some passing body were to modify black hole B's orbit such ...
0
votes
2answers
89 views

Near-future astronomic events that could threaten Earth

What kinds of astronomical events can pose a serious threat to life on Earth in the near future (1000-10,000 years). If there are none in the near future, when is the soonest event that is predicted ...
-1
votes
1answer
85 views

Collision of two Earths

Assume that two Earth-like planets orbited the same star, with elliptic orbits. Eventually, something occurs that caused the two planets to collide. What would be the outcome of such a catastrophe? ...
-1
votes
1answer
47 views

How can I predict space directions?

Did the Neptune and Pluto trajectories ever cross or was it a mere reclassification? Do studies say that I can predict an intersection between 2 trajectories or movements based on data now? Do I have ...
2
votes
2answers
231 views

If an asteroid twice the size of Earth passed super close would half of the Earth be pulled towards it?

So let's say that an asteroid the twice the size of Earth passed by going relatively slow say in between the Moon and Earth. Among so many other things (and perhaps you can touch on some of the ...
4
votes
0answers
56 views

Does CIBER Experiment from Caltech suggest that there can be lots of stars which are not in any galaxy?

My question is about the implications of the observations recently made by the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment, or CIBER, from Caltech. I've read at Caltech web site: "The total light ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

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" ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

Ramifications of black hole stellar system

Recently, I got around to seeing the movie Interstellar. In it, the characters of the movie visit a stellar system that appears to be built around a black hole instead of a star. On top of this, their ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Wher can I find a list of blueshifted regions in the Milky Way?

It would be nice to get a relation between the blueshifted regions and the distance to earth. I'm searching especially for objects in other galactic arms.
7
votes
1answer
183 views

As days get longer, why isn't the added daylight split evenly between sunrise and sunset?

I have a basic understanding of the sinusoidal relationship of the rate of change of daylight as the year goes on. But it seems intuitive that the changes should be equally split between sunrise and ...

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