5
votes
1answer
127 views

How can satellites be safe in the atmosphere when there are so many asteroids coming in?

How can artificial satellites be safe in the atmosphere when there are hundreds of tons of dust and asteroids coming into earth's atmosphere everyday? What is an orbit of an artificial satellite? ...
5
votes
1answer
109 views

Open data for satellites positions

Is there a site / service where I can get the data for the positions of satellites (I mean artificial satellite, ISS, etc.)? I know that some sites provide a visualization of these positions, but I'm ...
5
votes
1answer
151 views

Planned telescope to detect alien waste-heat

I remember watching a talk by someone who designed a telescope to view a single star at a time. The purpose of the telescope was to detect waste-heat which would presumably be emitted by any ...
5
votes
1answer
56 views

Why is Rosetta's Comet so “warm”?

Rosetta Comet AKA 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko has the surface temperature range of -43 to -93 degree Celsius. Now, if we compare that with the Mercury (I chose Mercury cause it's closest to the Sun ...
5
votes
3answers
180 views

Does the Sun impose back it's tidal forces onto the Earth (such as the Earth's to the Moon)?

It is known that each year the Moon is moving away from the Earth due to tidal forces. What about the Earth relative to the Sun?
5
votes
1answer
33 views

What will eLISA be trying to observe?

eLisa - Evolved Laser Interferometer Space Antenna. A LISA-like mission is designed to directly observe gravitational waves, which are distortions of space-time travelling at the speed of light. ...
5
votes
2answers
56 views

Temporal path through Hertzsprung-Russell diagram?

Is there graphic of typical temporal paths that stars take through the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram?
5
votes
1answer
161 views

Can a gas moon exist?

Could a gaseous moon exist in the same way as a giant gas planet? All the moons in the solar system are rocky, or icy. Why shouldn't gas planets have gas moons?
5
votes
1answer
347 views

How can a planet have a 90° inclination?

Planetary systems as we understand it exist from a disk of mass when the parent star is young. That's why all our planets are in the same plane, or close to it. See also Why is the solar system ...
5
votes
1answer
136 views

How often are new astronomical objects (variable stars, supernovae, comets, etc) discovered by amateurs?

How often are new astronomical objects (variable stars, supernovae, comets, etc) discovered by amateurs? Where could one report new findings?
5
votes
1answer
82 views

Why is the Boomerang Nebula colder than the CMB?

An earlier answer on temperature mentioned that the temp of the CMB is 2.4K and the temp of the Boomerang nebula as 1K. How did the nebula cool faster than the CMB?
5
votes
1answer
153 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
65 views

What known comets are binary?

Many asteroids are today known to be binary, to have "moons". But what comets are known to be binary? Or what fraction of them are theoretically thought to be binary? And if possible, then separate ...
5
votes
2answers
785 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
90 views

Red cresent moon

Yesterday night i witnessed something very strange when i looked outside the window. I saw the moon (crescent) but it was dull red and right on the horizon ,which is strange considering that it is ...
5
votes
1answer
694 views

Black Hole / Hawking Radiation: Why only capture anti-particle?

I may have some specifics wrong here. If so, don't focus on those. Just focus on the general thrust of my question. I "understand" (cough) that particle/anti-particle pairs form spontaneously in ...
5
votes
1answer
88 views

What was the age of the universe when the average density was one atmosphere?

How long did it take after the Big Bang for the average density of the universe to reach one Earth atmosphere at sea level? How about the density of water? Is there a chart of densities that relate to ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Calculate latitude and longitude based on date and sun

I can't seem to find this algorithm, if it exists. Can you calculate the longitude and latitude of where you are standing based on the date and the angle of the sun? Also, would the algorithm work for ...
5
votes
2answers
104 views

What does the term alien planet actually refer to?

This article left me wondering what do they mean by the term alien planet? Aren't all planets simply alien by default, or do they mean planets outside our solar system are alien? Do they mean there is ...
5
votes
1answer
508 views

Solar Noon: meridian crossing time versus time of maximum elevation

According to the first paragraph of the Noon Wikipedia page, solar noon is the moment when the Sun crosses the meridian and is at its highest elevation in the sky. The wording there suggests that ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

How can we be sure that we have identified very distant stars correctly?

From reading this question on calculating distance to stars and from a bit of background reading on the standard candle theory I still don't see how we can confirm that a star we see at one distance ...
5
votes
1answer
115 views

What is a 'hybrid' eclipse?

As mentioned on the NASA eclipse website the eclipse on the 3rd of November 2013 will be a "Hybrid" eclipse. I have looked at the diagram on that page but can't see what is different about the ...
5
votes
1answer
163 views

How can we tell if the asteroid 2013 TV135 will hit Earth in 2032?

Some astronomers in Ukraine have estimated that there is a small likelihood (1 in 63,000) that the asteroid 2013 TV135 will strike Earth in 2032. (source) Don Yeoman of NASA JPL says: with more ...
5
votes
1answer
525 views

Are Barlow lenses stackable for bright objects?

I'm back to the refractor that I own, and I want to maximize the zoom capacity. I realized today that I own more than one barlow lens, and I was wondering if I could stack them together for looking at ...
5
votes
1answer
50 views

Who or what will the Arecibo message reach?

The Arecibo Message was aimed at the globular star cluster M13, but as far as I read, M13 will move out of the original position and thus not be able to receive it. So, who or what will be able to ...
5
votes
1answer
39 views

What are the prerequisites for a meteorite to reach the ground?

I'm sure it's a function of atmospheric entry angle, meteorite mass (and possibly composition/density), and its velocity, but what function is it? Above all, how does it depend on velocity? Will the ...
5
votes
2answers
165 views

How unusual is the solar system?

In Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, the main characters are looking for the long-lost Earth. There are two major features of the solar system that seem to make it unusual among the millions of ...
5
votes
1answer
294 views

Astrophotography - Unable to achieve focus with current setup

I am new to astrophotography and am looking for guidance. I have the following equipment: Orion StarBlast 9814 4.5" Altazimuth Reflector Tabletop telescope 1.25in Telescope Adapter Extension Tube T ...
5
votes
2answers
187 views

What astronomical observations would give conclusive proof of alien life?

There are several ways we are coming closer to answering the question "is there life elsewhere in the universe?". One is by first understanding very well the origin life on our own planet. Another is ...
5
votes
1answer
461 views

Position of Neutron stars in H R diagram

Why is that Neutron Stars are never depicted in an H R diagram? They can be placed in the bottom right corner but you will never find any diagram in literature showing neutron stars.
5
votes
1answer
108 views

How should exoplanet discoveries affect SETI?

Given that SETI was created before the discovery of exoplanets, has this changed how they search? Would it make more sense to focus efforts on discovered earth like exoplanets?
5
votes
1answer
321 views

What is the temperature of an accretion disc surrounding a supermassive black hole?

What is the temperature of an accretion disc surrounding a supermassive black hole? Is there plasma in the disc?
5
votes
1answer
247 views

How to see Saturn's rings through a pair of binoculars?

I have a pair of 15x70 binoculars. I would not say what manufacturer to avoid being the subject of 'hold'. The current angular diameter is 15.5 arcseconds. I am wondering if that condition is enough ...
5
votes
1answer
105 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
370 views

Do black holes have energy?

So black holes are created by certain dying stars and when the star runs out of nuclear energy gravity wins out and the star implodes. An entire star’s mass collapses down into a smaller and smaller ...
5
votes
3answers
287 views

Is there enough hydrogen left after a star dies so another star will have enough to light up?

A star consumes quite a lot of hydrogen in its life, and is pretty much "vacuuming" everything in its vicinity. After it dies (eventually by supernova which will spread all its composition over light ...
5
votes
2answers
365 views

Is it possible that a ultra-large portion of the space we live in is already inside a black hole? How could we refute this?

Trying to wrap my head around some concepts involving the very large gravitational fields of black holes, and what the gravitational gradients look like on a cosmic scale. I'm familiar with the Great ...
5
votes
2answers
103 views

Can the Gaia telescope detect small temporarily captured asteroids near its Lagrange orbit?

The Gaia space telescope is in a Lissajous orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrange point 2. The orbit period is about 180 days and the size of the orbit is 263,000 x 707,000 x 370,000 km. It has been ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Percent-illumination of crescent moon and its naked-eye visibility?

What level of percent-illumination of moon (waxing crescent), given by Stellarium, is enough to make it visible with naked eye, in clear sky? thanks
5
votes
2answers
273 views

Statistically, what would the average distance of the closest black hole be?

The closest confirmed black hole is several thousand light years away from earth. Our galaxy has about 100 billion stars. I didn't find any reliable information on the black hole count of ratio versus ...
5
votes
1answer
122 views

How did astronomers first come to understand that the Sun's core was a gas?

I was reading a very old book (around 1850) on astronomy and the author explains Sun spots as a phenomena where you can see the black planetary like hard core of the Sun through two different ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Our universe the surface of a 4-dimensional sphere?

The cosmic microwave background that we observe uniformly around us is usually explained by assuming that our universe is the surface of a four dimensional sphere. That way the uniformity makes sense ...
5
votes
2answers
788 views

What is the minimum mass required so that objects become spherical due to its own gravity?

Is this minimum mass known? or maybe, is it given in terms of density? If so, how much density is the minimum to have an spherical object due to its own gravity?
5
votes
2answers
294 views

Why does e.g. Hubble's secondary mirror not block part of the picture?

The SOHO observatory has an opaque object in the light path that blocks the direct light from the sun making it possible to observe the corona. Hubble and many other telescopes have a big primary ...
5
votes
1answer
103 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
68 views

What happens to the shrinking universe in the presence of the pressure of Hawking radiation?

Black holes release Hawking radiation. Now assume that the universe after all collapses back again, bringing all matter to a single black hole. I assume that this would bend the whole space-time of ...
5
votes
2answers
268 views

A clock travelling “faster than the speed of light” [closed]

When a clock travels close to the speed of light as observed by us, it should tick slower. Does this mean that, when using this clock to measure a second - it could travel much more than 300 000 km ...
5
votes
1answer
481 views

What distance has the moon been from earth at the closest?

For every year, the moon is orbiting further away from earth. What distance has the moon been from earth at the closest?
5
votes
1answer
162 views

Could the earth's atmosphere have been partially stripped by a passing rogue planet?

I am involved in the fight between palaeontologists and aerodynamicists on the theoretical flight capabilities of the largest pterosaurs (who reached their climax in the Cretaceous and then ...
5
votes
1answer
311 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 ...

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