4
votes
1answer
120 views

What is the explanation for rapid inflation just after the big bang?

I often hear about cosmic inflation occurring rapidly after the Big Bang, but have never came across any explanation for it. What supposedly caused this inflationary period in the early universe? ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Alt-Az or Polar?

I have a Meade wedge that I am to install on one of their LX200 telescopes. Will I be able to align in alt-az afterwards? Is polar easier or harder to make an alignment? Any other tips welcome. Thanks ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

Leonid meteor showers and the Tempel-Tuttle comet

I've been reading about the Leonid meteor showers and am struggling to understand one piece of information. On Wikipedia (Tempel-Tuttle), it states: The orbit of 55P/Tempel–Tuttle intersects that ...
11
votes
7answers
908 views

Do we know the exact spot where big bang took place?

If you rewind the universe back 14,7 billion years, all matter were in one spot, and then started expanding. Do we know where this is in reference to our own solar system? And is there anything there? ...
1
vote
2answers
208 views

Why don't we orbit the center of our galaxy?

At the center of the milky way, there must be some giant mass that keeps the galaxy from just floating away from itself. So, obviously, we feel the immense gravitational pull of whatever this is. But, ...
4
votes
1answer
187 views

What will New Horizons be able to say about a magnetic field at Pluto?

Does NASA's New Horizons flyby probe to Pluto have instruments to measure Pluto's (or Charon's) magnetic field, if any? I'm a bit confused by the Wikipedia article which says that New Horizons, ...
5
votes
2answers
153 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.)
1
vote
1answer
60 views

How do we know an event is a gamma-ray burst?

How do we know an event is a gamma-ray burst (grb)? There are two kinds of grbs, long burst and shot burst, which are caused by supernova explosions explosion and the merger of two neutron stars, ...
2
votes
5answers
757 views

Why can't I see Mars clearly?

I just bought my first telescope - a Celestron CDC 1100. It came with a 40mm lens so with a primary focal length of 2800mm the power should be 70x. My problem is that I've looked at Sirius and Mars ...
5
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Why do we need to add a second to 30 June and risk upsetting Internet?

We linked a physical constant (the time of one second) to a physical non constant (the rotation of the earth) so there will have to be adjustments - or not? Is it important that the UTC in one line on ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

Is there a star simulation software that can handle mass ejections and supernovae?

I use MESA right now to play around with stellar dynamics, but it can't do mass ejections and therefore, I can't think of a way to let the simulated stars explode as supernovae. What simulation ...
1
vote
3answers
674 views

Why is iron responsible for causing a supernova?

Why is the element iron responsible for supernova? Can any star create more element than iron within the span of its life? I understand that when star dies due to supernova, other elements are ...
-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
2answers
72 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" = ...
5
votes
1answer
164 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
106 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
2answers
327 views

How are the speed, distance and time of India's MOM and USA's Maven Mars missions calculated?

How do the scientists calculate the correct time to launch the Mars mission so that the satellite travel time is less? How they are synchronizing the speed of satellite with respect to earth and mars ...
10
votes
2answers
367 views

Why is the Moon receding from the Earth due to tides? Is this typical for other moons?

After reading the Q&A Is the moon moving further away from Earth and closer to the Sun? Why? about the tides transferring energy to the Moon and pushing it from Earth, I have a question: How is ...
3
votes
2answers
116 views

What range of exit pupils work for observing the full moon?

I'm observing the full moon, from a major city, with heavy light pollution and dust. The objective size is fixed, for this comparison, something between 4 and 6 inches. The question is about the ...
1
vote
1answer
34 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 - ...
4
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
96 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
120 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
252 views

Is a wavy path possible for a shooting star?

I was camping recently (May 2014), and observed several shooting stars (very fast, short lived), a few satellites (very slow, long lived) and lots of aircraft (flashing lights) in the night sky. All ...
7
votes
1answer
69 views

How would the pocket cellular clock work?

In a museum in Lviv, I saw a pocket cellular clock. I don't have a photo, but it was a small disc that had 2 or 3 filaments in it which were pointed at the stars (one of them was Andromeda, I think). ...
0
votes
2answers
96 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?
4
votes
1answer
464 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
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
151 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
207 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
809 views

Why is the speed of light 299,792,458 meters/sec?

Ok, I am majoring in physics (4th year) and I never understood this fundamental (kinda) question. Maybe I haven't explored it enough. For example, why does it take 8min20sec for the light from the ...
3
votes
1answer
115 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
140 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 ...
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.
1
vote
1answer
89 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
262 views

How does Titan maintain the atmosphere

Titan which is smaller than mars has an atmosphere but mars is not able to maintain atmosphere. Even Luna doesn't have an atmosphere.
33
votes
6answers
2k views

Why is only one side of the Moon visible from Earth?

Why do we only ever see the same side of the moon? If this is to do with gravity are there any variables which mean we might one day see more than we have before?
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Are there many faint meteors that are too faint to see with the naked eye?

I remember one time a while back looking at the night sky through night vision goggles. One interesting thing I noticed is that there appeared to be many very faint meteors in the sky practically all ...
4
votes
6answers
411 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
360 views

How can the universe be infinite?

I've heard from renowned astrophysicists that we don't yet know whether or not the Universe is infinite. How is that possible regarding the big bang theory is accepted (as they all do)? Are they ...
2
votes
2answers
117 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

Big Bang / Big Crunch cycle?

I've been reading some of Stephen Hawking's work on the theory of the expansion (and ultimate contraction) of the universe and was curious if anyone has every hypothesized that the universe has ...
3
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

Basic DIY Telescope

I am looking for a design of a cheap and easy telescope to build with my 9yo daughter with the only basic requirement being that I'd love to be able to see detail on the moon. Looking around, there ...
-2
votes
1answer
60 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
vote
1answer
156 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 ...
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 ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Do all the objects in the universe exert force on all other objects?

Do all the objects in the universe exert force on all other objects? Like a type of gravity; also, how much does it decrease as it gets farther away?

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