3
votes
2answers
118 views

Is the Sun homogeneous?

Does the Sun have the same composition and density everywhee within it? How does it vary in other stars?
3
votes
2answers
141 views

What's the furthest object observable by the naked eye from earth?

From XKCD: Caption: 'The light from those millions of stars you see is probably many thousands of years old' is a rare example of laypeople substantially OVERestimating astronomical numbers. So, ...
3
votes
2answers
231 views

Why do the planets in the Solar system stay in the same orbital plane?

An earlier question addressed why all planets formed in the same orbital plane, but how is this angle maintained? What prevents the planets from taking on a different orbital plane?
3
votes
2answers
110 views

How should one rationally deal with the issue of space travelling alien civilizations?

What kind of reasoning is appropriate to understand the as of today unanswered question of whether there are (other) interstellar space travelling civilizations in the Milky Way? We have already sent ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

Could we fly/drive through Jupiter?

If Jupiter is made of gas, could we fly or drive through it or would its center be too dense?
3
votes
3answers
185 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
113 views

What is the difference between gas and dust in astronomy?

Is there a strict difference between gas and dust? In Earthly environment most things become gaseous if heated enough. The temperature of interstellar medium seems to range mostly between 10 and 10 ...
3
votes
5answers
128 views

Could there be life beneath the surface of Mars or moons?

I realize radiation and extreme temperatures would probably destroy life on the surface of most planets and moons, but could life exist beneath the surface (e.g. like earth worms on earth)?
3
votes
2answers
91 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
113 views

Did big bang happen only one time or it might happen again somewhere million time away from our observable universe?

We know, everything is in existence due to big bang from singularity. Time also started from that big bang point. So, did big bang happen only once or it might happen again somewhere million time ...
3
votes
2answers
54 views

Why did the Chelyabinsk meteor explode?

In February, a meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia and exploded, producing a shockwave blast that damaged hundreds of buildings around the explosion site in Russia. But why ...
3
votes
2answers
644 views

Why can I see the whole moon during various non-full-moon phases?

Here's an image that describes the phenomenon I'm asking about. The very thin sliver to the left is of course the surface of the moon as lighted by the sun. But the rest of the moon is also faintly ...
3
votes
1answer
195 views

Pictures of a curious astronomical phenomenon

In a recent holiday, a friend made the following picture. It contains a curious green "thing" in the nightsky. The picture was made in Ladakh, India, 6weeks ago. The "thing" only appeared in one of ...
3
votes
6answers
345 views

Why isn't the star that created the black hole a black hole?

If the mass of a black hole is creating so much gravity that light cannot escape, why isn't the mass of the star that created the black hole (before it went supernova) trapping light as well? By all ...
3
votes
4answers
343 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
52 views

What are the objects that are visible from a city?

I live in a light polluted city of the northern hemisphere and I would like to know what I can see with my Skywatcher BK 707AZ2. I have already seen Jupiter (and its moons), Saturn, Mars, M45, the ...
3
votes
2answers
80 views

If the moon still had a magnetic field how long would have been possible to keep an atmosphere?

Let's assume the Moon had a considerable magnetic field to prevent the atmosphere dispersion caused by solar wind. Given the low gravity of the Moon, how many years would pass before all the gases (of ...
3
votes
3answers
141 views

Absolute magnitudes of stars

Where to find comprehensive list of absolute magnitudes for stars of different spectral types? I need published paper or web page with data and reference to the source.
3
votes
2answers
256 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
2answers
361 views

What is the physical, geometric shape of the universe?

I'm not asking about theoretical ball, vs saddle, vs flat surface which is just a metaphor with 2D space. It's hard to say as we see very little of it, and we see them in the past because light ...
3
votes
2answers
302 views

What is a wormhole?

I have learned that there are white holes and black holes in the universe, but I am confused as to what a wormhole is. Is it a tunnel that connects black and white holes?
3
votes
3answers
104 views

Strong force and metric expansion

If the expansion of the universe (the metric) continues (and perhaps is accelerating), in a very large but finite time the expansion of the metric will clash with the effects of the strong nuclear ...
3
votes
2answers
64 views

Why do some celestial bodies have atmospheres, and not others?

Question is rather self-explanatory. An answer touching upon how/why atmospheres are formed in the first place would be ideal as well. An example of such astral bodies would be The Earth and it's ...
3
votes
3answers
105 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

Would a high albedo reflective substance cool down Venus?

If we were to put a highly reflective substance into Venus's upper atmosphere, could we cool it down? I am envisioning adding a highly reflective fine dust or gas, possibly lighter than "air" to the ...
3
votes
4answers
228 views

Where can I find a catalog of all stars in the Milky Way?

Is there a catalog of all known stars or brightest stars in our galaxy? Preferably with some sort of galactic coordinates instead of just night sky coordinates (right ascension, etc.) I'm trying to ...
3
votes
1answer
490 views

Would time go by infinitely fast when crossing the event horizon of a black hole?

If you were to fall into a black hole, my understanding is that from your reference point, time would speed up (looking out to the rest of the universe), approaching infinity when approaching the ...
3
votes
3answers
103 views

Pulsation Modes of Cepheids

There are various modes of Cepheids like single modes: fundamental (F), first overtone (1O), and likewise. And then we have double modes: F/1O, 1O/2O etc. triple modes: 1O/2O/3O etc. ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

Would a Phobos full impact make Mars temporary habitable?

Due to tidal deceleration, Phobos is predicted to be destroyed by Mars in the next 30-50 million years either by collision or by breaking up in a planetary ring. If Phobos falls on Mars in one piece ...
3
votes
3answers
135 views

Does the Sun have hard radiation?

Does the Sun spread hard radiation waves around the Solar System? If so, why are we safe here (or are we even safe)?
3
votes
2answers
113 views

What is the term for a star swallowing another star?

A star A goes through the body of another star B, or is swallowed by B. There is no tidal disruption. It sounds like kerzan. Does anybody recognise this pronunciation?
3
votes
2answers
84 views

How many earth-like planets do we know at this moment?

Well, the title says everything... How many earth-like planets have we discovered out there? Discard too big (made of gas), too cold, too hot, etc. Consider earth-like sun distance, size, temperature, ...
3
votes
4answers
196 views

What is the most oblate astronomical object known?

There are some very vast spinning objects out there. How high can the eccentricity get, or, which I think is easier to understand, how small can the ratio between the polar and equatorial diameter ...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

Could the Philae comet lander be recharged by laser?

Could the Philae comet lander be recharged with a laser (or possibly many lasers) from earth? My thought would be to aim one or more powerful lasers from earth at the Philae lander to recharge it ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Is there light on the surface of Venus?

A simple question: is there light on the surface of Venus?
3
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
172 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
66 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

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, ...
3
votes
2answers
83 views

If the Universe is infinite, why isn't it of infinite density?

If we make the assumption that the Universe is infinite, and has an infinite number of hydrogen atoms, then why is it not of infinite density - because, under Schrodinger's wave equation the ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

How many black holes exist?

How many black holes exist and what is their distrubtion over mass? There is a list of black holes, but I'm interested in an estimate of all black holes in the visible universe.
3
votes
1answer
164 views

Do telescopes harm while observing sun through them?

I don't know whether we can observe a sun through a telescope. But if we can then will it harm our eyes and if such telescopes exists what is their configuration?
3
votes
2answers
126 views

Are black holes orbiting around each other?

Obviously, bodies with low gravity force orbit around another one with higher gravity force, if they are close enough to each other. Is it true also for objects like black holes? Are they even able ...
3
votes
2answers
502 views

How to measure distances to stars by means of spectroscopic parallaxes?

How to measure distances to stars by means of spectroscopic parallaxes on practice? What is the accuracy of measuring distances using this method compared with distances based on HIPPARCOS ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Do all moons orbit their planets on the ecliptic?

Do all moons orbit their planets on the ecliptic? Do they all follow this same process as the moon that orbits Earth, or is their some random distribution with some even having extreme polar orbits.
3
votes
2answers
38 views

what is the highest throughput astronomy project in pixels?

I was having a discussing about big scientific projects with colleagues, and I postulated that astronomy is still one of the scientific fields with biggest projects per amount of data dealt with, ...
3
votes
4answers
134 views

Generalised planets?

There is somewhat of an abstract way of generalising the notion of planets. Standard definition of planets is, obviously: "planets are the objects formed from the residual material surrounding a ...
3
votes
2answers
544 views

How long does it take to produce a star? Why does it take that long?

I wonder, why stars take a really long time to become stars? Is it because it needs to gain mass? Or heat up? Something like that? And could it be sped up at all?
3
votes
2answers
94 views

Are there stars in the first photo from space?

Wikipedia has this photo (see below) labelled "First photo from space" which was taken in 1946 from a U.S. launched German V-2 rocket. Approximately two thirds of the image is a section of the Earth ...

15 30 50 per page