5
votes
1answer
107 views

Why are galaxies disk shaped?

I always see galaxies in "disk" shape in pictures. It is like, there is a rotational movement on a plane and the system is balanced by the pulling-in gravitational force which prevents the stars to ...
5
votes
1answer
59 views

Was comet ISON in a Kepler orbit prior to disintegrating?

Was comet ISON in a Kepler orbit prior to disintegrating? If so, it is possible over time that Kepler orbits can be altered by increases or decreases in the mass of of celestial bodies? For instance ...
3
votes
2answers
664 views

How to calculate Longitude from Right Ascension?

Considering that a star of certain declination is crossing the local meridian at the observer's zenith at an unknown location on the earth. Here, the declination of the star is equal to the observer's ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Calculate apsides without knowing eccentricity

How would one go about determining the apsides of an orbit, knowing only the current distance between the 2 bodies, the orbital velocity, and the period? Every formula I've seen requires eccentricity, ...
7
votes
3answers
250 views

Is the Jupiter-Sun system considered a binary system of some type?

Since Jupiter is very massive, it is the only planet (in our solar system) that has a center of mass with the Sun that lies outside the volume of the Sun. (Source) If Jupiter was a star, they would ...
9
votes
3answers
195 views

How can the Earth's rotation speed up? [closed]

It is known as a fact that Earth's rotation is slowing every year, that's why we sometimes have 61 seconds long minutes. In the Java documentation of Time : ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

Brightest Radio Source In the Universe

I would have assumed that the brightest radio source in the Universe is a quasar of some kind (perhaps 3C 273) given that the average pulsar has luminosity of $~10^{40} \text{Watts}$ and this is the ...
7
votes
2answers
32 views

Official registry of lunar placenames?

What's the definitive source for names of geographic objects on the moon? Reason: As a computer graphics project I've rendered a scene based on LROC terrain data. I want to know what I'm looking at. ...
4
votes
2answers
57 views

Is sundial time entirely dependent on solar azimuth?

I've visited several "how sundials work" sites and can't seem to get a clear answer to this: is "sundial time" just a linear function of solar azimuth? More specifically: When the sun is due ...
8
votes
1answer
457 views

Is there any telescope on Earth that can see the lunar rovers on the moon?

If I have the right numbers, it seems to me that even Hubble telescope might barely be able to make out a carcass of a blue whale on the surface of the moon, which puts objects as small as the lunar ...
5
votes
1answer
46 views

How can absolute value of azimuth exceed distance from pole?

I'm sure I'm just doing something dumb, but: Yildun has a declination of approximately 86.5. This puts it 3.5 degrees from the celestial north pole. Per the snapshot below, Yildun's azimuth can ...
4
votes
2answers
96 views

How many minutes does a sundial change every day?

I'm planning to create a sundial in Ghana (10° 28.852', 0° 26.032') in July 2014. I will stay there for about 3 weeks. Do I need to adjust the numbers anywhere in these 3 weeks? I know the shadow's ...
6
votes
1answer
72 views

Where did Mars water go?

Many sources indicate that there is ice water on Mars today, but it is mainly traces, here and there, but not that much. However, solid hypothesis state that there were oceans on Mars, see ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

Coordinate transformations between reference frames in spherical astronomy

Suppose there are two observational frames of reference with origins $O$ and $O'$, respectively, separated by some constant distance. A body located at point $P$ has Cartesian coordinates ...
11
votes
3answers
167 views

Is it possible to measure galactic red shift using consumer telescope equipment?

I was wondering if it would be possible to measure red shift from distant galaxies using consumer grade telescope equipment and spectroscopy filters. (like this one) I imagine it would require a ...
6
votes
1answer
53 views

What are the current accepted theories of the formation of the Uranian moon Miranda?

Miranda, a moon of Uranus is unique in that it has a very fractured surface Source: University of Oregon The surface is said to be jagged and fractured, with comparatively large disjointed cliffs ...
8
votes
3answers
219 views

Is the rotation of the Sun and the rotation/orbit of the Moon around the Earth a coincidence?

While looking at sunspot information in connection with Amateur Radio, I found that the Sun rotates on a period from 27 days to 31 days. Its rotation is differential, at the equator it spins at a ...
4
votes
1answer
645 views

How to measure the altitude and azimuth of a star?

Given that the star is crossing the local meridian line in a certain location, I've tried calculating the altitude of a star by finding the difference between the declination of the star and the ...
5
votes
1answer
41 views

Is there a pattern between the mass of a body and the mass of orbiting objects around it?

I was looking at Wikipedia's Solar system page, and it says that Sun represents 99.86% of the whole solar system mass. I found that pretty huge. So i calculated ratio of masses : Earth / (Earth + ...
3
votes
2answers
177 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?
8
votes
1answer
206 views

How do people measure the distance between the earth and the moon?

How do people measure the distance between the earth and the moon? What methods were used? Where can I find the official data?
6
votes
1answer
67 views

What is the current accepted theory as to why Titan has retained its atmosphere?

Titan (moon of Saturn) is unique in that it possesses a very thick atmosphere. However, Titan is certainly is not the largest of the moons - Ganymede being larger. What is the current accepted ...
0
votes
1answer
625 views

How to build a powerful home made telescope [closed]

Simple, I fell in love with the sky when my parents were constructing our new house I was a kid then and one day I ventured out on the terrace, to my amazement it was a full moon, ever since I've felt ...
0
votes
3answers
102 views

What is the formula to figure out how far away a star is? [duplicate]

I have tried to search for this but it won't show me the formula or "how to" figure out the formula. So what is the formula, and how do you figure it out? (The formula for stars within 400 light ...
5
votes
1answer
97 views

How do scientists know there are about 300 billion stars in a galaxy and there are about 100 billion galaxies?

Just to think about this is mind boggling. But how do scientist get these numbers? What technology/system/theory do they they use?
5
votes
1answer
77 views

Are there any alternative explanations for the gravitational force we attribute to dark matter?

It always seemed counter-intuitive to me that we observed an measured a gravitational force and since the universe has not enough mass to account for it, the conclusion was to say there's a different ...
6
votes
1answer
150 views

Does anyone know why three of Jupiter's largest moons orbit in 1:2:4 resonance?

Three of the first four moons ever discovered outside of our own planetary sphere of gravitational influence orbit in very close to perfect resonance. Europa's orbit is almost exactly twice as long as ...
4
votes
1answer
48 views

Source of T Tauri wind?

What particularly causes the T Tauri star to eject the strong bipolar wind which clears the gases around the star?
12
votes
1answer
233 views

Could any known, living organisms on Earth survive on Mars?

No life has been discovered outside of Earth (yet?), but do we know if anything that would be considered "living" on Earth could conquer Mars? (or maybe Venus?) With the Mars One project on the way, ...
2
votes
1answer
29 views

iteration to cover the whole sky with right ascension, declination, angle

I am sure I get parts of the terminology wrong but if anyone can shed some light in the following: I understand that for a given right ascension (RA) and declination (DEC), one has defined a ray ...
5
votes
4answers
194 views

How do you define the diameter of the Sun

That is, it's twice the radius where the radius is from the centre of the sun to some edge. But what is that edge?
11
votes
2answers
271 views

At what distance from Earth would our Sun be the same apparent magnitude as the next brightest star in the sky?

When I stand outside looking at the night sky, to my untrained eye, everything except the moon looks like a star. I know intellectually that some are planets circling our sun, and some are entire ...
4
votes
3answers
113 views

Find distance from star to star?

How do you find the distance from a star/planet/black hole to another? I know people can calculate the distance from Earth to a star, but what about from one to another?
2
votes
2answers
103 views

Has life been discovered outside of Earth?

I've just watched a movie that made me curious as to whether life has really been discovered on another world such as Europa??
8
votes
1answer
53 views

How was Io not torn apart by tidal forces during its formation?

Jupiter's moon Io is arguably one of the most volcanically active bodies in the Solar System. The reason, according to NASA's page Scientists to Io: Your Volcanoes Are in the Wrong Place is believed ...
6
votes
1answer
79 views

How do you figure out the magnitude of stars?

How do you figure out the star magnitude of a star? Do they just give it a guess or what? If not, how do they figure it out accurately?
4
votes
2answers
85 views

Could Venus be a source of Earth's water?

I've watched documentaries about the solar system, where it is suggested that Venus once had oceans of liquid water similar to those that cover most of Earth today. Venus is now in a period of ...
4
votes
1answer
33 views

Could a cryo-volcano be the reason behind this colour difference in Iapetus's hemispheres?

Iapetus's hemisphere facing Saturn is dark, whereas the opposite one is bright. Could a cryo-volcano be the reason behind this colour difference in Iapetus's hemispheres?
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Without using absolute magnitudes or isochrones, how might we tell a star's age and evolutionary status?

Usual methods of estimating stellar ages involve isochrone approximations. It can also help to estimate a star's radius by correlating its absolute magnitude with effective temperature and apparent ...
6
votes
3answers
188 views

How would we detect an Earth doppelganger planet?

With our current technology, or technology available in the near future (up to 2025), how would we detect a planet exactly like our own, and how close would it have to be to be detectable? Which ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

USNO moon images look quite different?

I visited: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/imagery/moon http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/time/moon-phase-images within seconds of each other, and saw two very different "current moon images": Is one of ...
4
votes
1answer
257 views

What is the maximum transmission distance of the radio signal in the outer space which could still be understood?

I’ll put this question in a form of a physics problem: Transmitter at a point A sends a signal to a receiver at a point B. What is the longest distance in light years from points A to B for which ...
5
votes
2answers
195 views

Does the radio signal decay when it travels through the intergalactic space?

When you emit the radio signal it starts moving at the speed of light. Radio beam is diffusing with each kilometer the signal has traveled. To the nearby receiver the signal is strong. But if the ...
9
votes
2answers
163 views

How are Galaxy Super Clusters Generated

I have seen pictures of clusters of galaxies, usually used in regards to theories of dark matter and galaxy formations. One of the most famous ones has the perceived shape of a stick-figure. If I am ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Calculation of right ascension and declination

I am confused about this problem: If I see an object from Mount Teide (longitude is 16"30'E and latitude is 28"18'N) that passes the meridian (azimuth=0) at 5h (am) UTC, and I also know that the ...
6
votes
1answer
105 views

Apparent size of M31

I am trying to understand something I read on wikipedia about M31. Wikipedia says that M31 appears more than six times as wide as the full Moon. But I remember that when I watched it naked eye it ...
10
votes
1answer
109 views

Why haven't asteroid belts turned into new large bodies?

If gravitation (attraction of mass) is the cause of the formation of all celestial bodies then how come the numerous small bodies found in asteroid belts spread over an orbit instead of clustering ...
4
votes
1answer
52 views

Climate modeling of exoplanets

These notes from an exoplanet talk discuss modeling the climate of exoplanets. How would we do that with our current technology? Would data be primarily gathered by spectrum analysis?
5
votes
1answer
765 views

How many stars and galaxies can be seen naked eye?

How many of the luminous dots that we see naked are galaxies and not stars from our galaxy? I immagine that the majority of the luminous points that we see naked eye during the night, are actually ...
6
votes
1answer
371 views

How does one determine the effective temperature of a star from its spectrum?

Determining effective temperature of a star is in general a non-trivial task. Simple reason for this is that we can only study the electromagnetic radiation from a star, but not the temperature ...

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