# All Questions

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### How to polar align an equatorial mounted telescope when you are close to the equator?

I recently moved to southern Mexico (16 degrees N) and I wonder what would be the best way to align my EQ telescope when the polar star is not visible?
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### Electron Degeneracy Pressure and the Pauli Exclusion Principle

I have read that what keeps white dwarfs from gravitational collapse is electron degeneracy pressure. How does this pressure prevent further collapse, and how is it related to the Pauli Exclusion ...
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### Under Earth's gravitational pull, how dense would an object have to be to reach its Schwarzschild Radius?

The Schwarzschild Radius is a theoretical radius, that if the mass of the object was compressed into that certain radius, the escape speed from the surface of the compressed object would equal the ...
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### Name of area close to Local Bubble?

The following image is a map of the area surrounding the Local Bubble. One side of the image is 1700 lightyears. From the Sun to the Hyades (immediately below the sun) it is 150 lightyears. The local ...
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### Why do astronomers like green laser pointers? [closed]

When I've been to Astronomy-nights for the public at the local observatory, they always used green lasers to point things out. Why is there such a preference for green lasers? What's wrong with red ...
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### Why are explosions always used to represent the Big Bang?

In documentaries the Big Bang is often represented as blackness followed by a big explosion with loud noises. This always feels cheap and falling short of explaining the origin of the Universe. Is ...
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### Do we expect life to develop only in certain regions of the galaxy?

If I understand correctly, the Earth lies in an area of the galaxy - the "local bubble" - that is relatively free of dust and gases and where no new stars are being born. What is the current theory ...
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### Difference between quasar and Active Galactic Nuclei?

Are there any differences between quasars and Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN)? As I understand it, they are both caused by extremely luminous electromagnetic emission from material accreting onto a ...
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### Estimating the tangential and cross component of the galaxy's shear using Gnomonic projection

I would like to know how I can estimate the tangential and cross component of the galaxy's shear using Gnomonic projection of the right ascension and declination ...
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### Is a white dwarf hotter than a Red Giant?

From what I've read, white stars are hotter than red ones. But a white dwarf would have just heavy elements to fuse, so shouldn't it be less bright?
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### Are multiple satellites required to handle geostationary orbits?

Do geostationary satellites need to have the equator as the plane of rotation, and the earth's centre to be the centre of rotation? Can it rotate over, say, the Tropic of Cancer, focusing on a single ...
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### Going from the second moments of an object to its ellipticities and half-light-radius

I am studying ellipticity distributions of galaxies and am having trouble moving from the second central moment matrix (covariance matrix) to properties for an object such as its half-light radius. I ...
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### What are Flamsteed numbers?

Can you tell me about Flamsteed numbers? I just know that it is a specific number used for identification of stars. But what is the theory behind it? In what way is the number given to stars?
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### Collimator for Dobsonian, same as Newtonian?

I have been looking on line for Collimator for my Meade Dobsonian. The only Collimators I can find are made for Newtonian Lenses. It's a 8" mirror with a 1.25" lens. Will this work for my telescope?
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### Why do the rings around the Gas Giants get their 'ring' shape?

In our Solar System, all the gas giants have ring systems. However, why do these rings form rings and not a cloud of debris around the planet?
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### Is it possible for a person to not see the new moon at different places on earth?

It is known that theoretically we see the same moon phase everywhere on the earth, but practically I see that people are unable to observe the 0.8% waxing crescent at different places on earth. This ...
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### Birth and Evolution of Millisecond Pulsars

How are millisecond pulsars formed, and what is the evolutionary track of a millisecond pulsar?
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### Observational Evidence for the Existence of Black Holes

What is the direct observational evidence that black holes exist? I have read that black holes have been detected through X-ray emission. What is some other observational evidence for black holes?
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### how does Kepler stop exposure after a 5 minuate or 30 minute cadence time?

There are two kinds of cadence time for Kepler, 5 minutes and 30 minutes. I just know there is no shutter and the CCDs of Kepler can be locked after exposure. handbook But how to realize that? ...
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### Gallery of 'actual images' from space?

Where can a gallery of actual unaltered photographic images taken in (or of) space be found? Specifically ones that are untouched, not colorized (not necessarily black and white), and taken by natural ...
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### 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 ...
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### How did the Hulse-Taylor Pulsar Provide Confirming Evidence of General Relativity?

What measurements and observations of the Hulse-Taylor Pulsar agreed precisely with the predictions of general relativity, and how did these measurements support the theory?
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### What is CMB radiation doing to the universe?

It is said that due to CMB radiation our universe has been expanding? Firstly what lead the universe to expand? What do scientists mean by dark energy? Will energy convert into matter?
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### Is the argument of perihelion random?

I am currently designing star and planet systems in the RPG framework GURPS. This game system has a very elaborate set of rules to set up a star system, complete with planets and the like. However, ...
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### Astronomy questions I wondered for hours [closed]

I read a question posted by a community member in my community that shocked me, I think it contains some pretty cool astronomy questions that I cant wait for you scientists to answer. I am asking this ...
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### Date and time system on moons

Supposedly, if humans were to establish a colony on one of the moons of a planet (such as gas giants in our own solar system), how could we possibly design date and time system? On Earth, we define ...
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### Why does this twilight sky flat field have a grid of dark pixels?

The image below is a small region of a twilight flat field. A grid of darker pixels with 728x36 cell dimensions can be seen. The camera used was the SBIG STL-6303 according to the FIT headers, which ...
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### Can there be an infinity of humans in the Universe? [closed]

I was reading this question about if the number of stars can or cannot be infinite. The answer to this question is: ...
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### Visibility of Apollo 11 module

I wasn't around when man landed on the moon in 1969. When I see the moon, I always wonder, were people able to see the rocket? Yesterday, I looked at the moon in daylight and wondered again. My ...
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### Determining planetary positions on the celestial sphere by Right Ascension and Declination

How would one go about determining the position of the different planets in our solar system with respect to the celestial sphere based on the following data set? Is there a practical way to calculate ...
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### Distance between each dish in an array telescope configuration

In an array telescope configuration, like VLA and ATA, what dictates the distance between each dish?
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### Can there be an infinity of stars in the Universe?

I have a mind puzzle. Can there be an infinity of stars in the Universe ? I have 2 opposed reasonings, yet I don’t find any flaw in them. Can you help me here ? Answer A : No, the number of stars ...
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### With gravitational lensing, is it possible to mathematically compute the correct image of the galaxy that is being distorted?

There's been another report of gravitational lensing in the news. Wikipedia has a good image of an example of gravitational lensing taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. This brings me to wonder ...
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### How can the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) warn of incoming solar storms?

How can the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) warn of incoming solar storms when is is invested with radiation? Discovery.com article Solar Storm Warning Satellite on Last Legs states that: ...
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### How do telescopes “zoom” and change angle of view?

Images from the Hubble Space Telescope have widely different angles of view. Is this only the result of composing multiple images, or can the telescope itself change its "zooming" optically, ...
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### Aren't there more naked-eye-visible stars in the Milky Way plane?

Most stars which are visible to the naked eye are within 1,000 light years. The Sun is inside the Orion arm which has a diameter of about 3,500 light years. Thus, all stars (with very few exceptions) ...
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### Inclination of planets

Why do the planets have roughly the same inclination with respect to Earth? Looking at the inclinations, which I got from http://www.astronomynotes.com/tables/tablesb.htm , we see that Mercury has ...
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### Is the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field image representative of the entire sky?

The Hubble ultra-deep field image is a photograph of an area of sky equivalent to a 1mm x 1mm piece of paper held a metre away from the eye (one thirteen millionth of the entire sky). It contains an ...
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### Could a habitable satellite of a gas giant have a stable subsatellite?

I have set a science fiction story on a moon, orbiting a gas giant (which orbits its star at approximately the same orbit as the Earth around the Sun), and given this moon its own satellites. The ...
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### Landing on an “earth-like” planet (practical application)

This may not belong here in astronomy and my apologies if that's the case. The hypothetical: We find, and are able to travel to (in a reasonably short amount of time), a planet that is for all intents ...
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### Where does the Milky Way end?

I was reading this article and it says the following: Researchers measured the mass of the Milky Way and found that our galaxy is approximately half the weight of a neighbouring galaxy known as ...
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### Why can't we determine the center of the universe [duplicate]

I find this baffling. If we can observe objects moving away from us and each other, than it stands to reason that we can track their paths (relative to each other and ourselves) backward to find a ...
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### 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 ...
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### seasons elongating and shortening

I have heard of years with longer summers and winters and shorter springs and falls and vice versa because of a change in the earths axis. Is this from the procession that causes the season switch ...
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### 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 ...
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### How did the reionization epoch make the universe “transparent”?

I've been reading about the reionization epoch of the universe, and it isn't entirely clear to me. As I understand it, very shortly after the big bang the universe was ionized, with the electrons ...
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### 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 ...
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### Does the universe have an edge?

I've heard the universe is just an empty cavity. Does the universe have any edge or stop or is it just an infinite empty cavity?
In a hypothetical solar system there exist: a sun of radius $r_s$ and absolute visual magnitude $V$ the Earth, with radius $r_e$ and distance from the sun of $1\,AU$ another planet, wit radius ...