# All Questions

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### What Is The Great Attractor?

I've heard that there is something called the Great Attractor which seems to have some kind of gravitational influence on objects in the Universe. Is this some kind of theoretical notion posited in ...
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### What is a Barlow lens?

I am looking to buy a Celestron 21023 FirstScope 76 Telescope, which is quite inexpensive, and it has good reviews on Amazon. One thing that many reviewers have said is that the two lenses that it ...
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### Our galaxy, the Milky Way, forms part of a galaxy group called The Local Group. What are the parameters that dictate what a galaxy group is?

Are there different classifications or just the one? How does our galaxy group compare with others?
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### What skills would a software developer need to get a job in space research or exploration organization? [closed]

I am in the field of software programming. What skills should I brush up and gear up to get a job in space exploration and the observatory industry? What are various job profiles in terms of software ...
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### Telescope buying guide for a beginner in India

I am located in the southern part of India and am looking forward to buy a telescope to gaze up to look ay farther planets, moons in our solar system and take pictures. How should I go about getting a ...
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### Which planet or moon has all resources that can be used to sustain life in a controlled biosphere? [closed]

Now that we are making it to Mars, continuing onward, in an effort for humanity to civilize other planets, not just setting up residential colonies, but to mine minerals and carry on geological and ...
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### Can Doppler shift make colors of two stars at same distance different?

As you know, Doppler effect can change the wavelength of the light. Suppose there are two stars at same distance and same temperature. If one star is receding and the other star is approaching, their ...
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### How do we know Milky Way is a 'barred' spiral galaxy?

In reference to the question, "How can we tell that the milky way is a spiral galaxy?" The answers there clearly sum up the question asked. But Milky Way is not just a spiral galaxy. It is further ...
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### Internet Resource which register all Ultra-long Gamma-Ray Bursts

I read in a scientific magazine there was new gamma bursts that last longer than usual. One was detected during december 2010, also known as Christmas Burst: GRB 101225A and another one in 9th of ...
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### Light patch in the night sky [duplicate]

I am so sorry for being ambiguous. I'm not an astronomer and have have never actually even bothered to look at the sky before. I don't have a telescope nor camera. Yet, I'm really really curious ...
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### The life course for a massive star from birth to death using the HR Diagram

could you explain to me the life course for a massive star (30-40 solar masses) from birth to death using the HR Diagram (by showing key events in its life on the HR Diagram)? thanks
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### Why can you see the space station on some days but not on others?

In my area, from December 17th - 26th, you can see the space station every day, twice But from December 27th - January 6th, you can only see it twice My question is, why does it appear for ...
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### 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 ...
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### What is the Exact time earth takes to revolve around its axis [closed]

I read that our day is not exactly 24 hours long. If it is not then why weather seasons come at the same time (Summer, Winter, Autumn Spring) ? how it is equalized ? Update: Sorry I could not make ...
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### What caused the comet ISON to disintegrate?

So curious to know why comet ISON disintegrated? Well, it went near the Sun but was the Sun the only reason it died? Or is there any other reason for it's fading away?
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### Good Introductory Textbooks [closed]

I have a more mathematical background but have always been interested in astrophysics, cosmology, astronomy, etc. There are a lot of popular books on the subject, but I am getting more interested in ...
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### How would the night sky look from inside a globular cluster?

When the weather is clear, we can look at the stars. And we normally would see several thousands of them, they all being more than a $\textrm{pc}$ away from us. Now, there are globular clusters, ...
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### If we were to see the Sun with our naked eyes from the Orion belt, would all planets be encompassed inside the star? Is this calculable?

When we see a star it looks much bigger in diameter to us than it really is, this picture (extracted from here) explains what I mean: Notice that the point we see in the skynight, represented by ...
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### How close are we to having the technology to measure planetary obliquity for exoplanets?

As far as I can tell, we do not yet have the precision to even put reasonable bounds on an exoplanets obliquity, but wikipedia seems to indicate that this may be possible in the "near future." It ...
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### Is it possible for a moon to orbit a planet floating free in the galaxy rather than orbiting a star

This article got me thinking, can a planet hold a moon in orbit if it is just floating in the galaxy by itself not as part of a star system? Can a celestial body even qualify as a planet if it is ...
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### Why are orbits elliptical instead of circular?

Why do planets rotate around a star in a specific elliptical orbit with the star at one of it's foci? Why isn't the orbit a circle?
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### Why the earth revolves? [duplicate]

Why do the earthor any other planet continue to revolve around the sun or a star in general and that also with constant time period?What is the reason behind it?Other than gravitational force is ...
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### How can we tell that the Milky Way is a spiral galaxy?

From Earth, we can distinguish the type of another galaxy very easily simply by observing the shape, colour, and structure of the galaxy when we image it. But since we are located inside the Milky ...
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### Can I see the star of Bethlehem at Christmas? [closed]

In the Christian tradition the first Christians are believed to be three wise men who followed the star of Bethlehem to the stable where Jesus was supposed to be born. Is it with some accuracy known ...
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### How stable are Lissajous orbits?

Now that the Gaia Space Telescope is on it's way to the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrangian point (SEL2), I start wondering about the stability of Gaia's orbit there. The Planck Telescope is already there, as was ...
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### Did a piece of Halley's comet strike the Earth 1,500 years ago?

A friend showed me an article saying that there's evidence that a piece of Halley's comet may have struck the earth about 1,500 years ago. Is anyone here aware of such evidence?
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### 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 ...
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### What can be seen with a 4.5" telescope

I just got a 4.5" Newtonian reflector. The skies haven't been clear where I live lately so I've only been able to use it to see the moon and Jupiter (I was also able to see the Galilean moons). A ...
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### What can we expect from the first accurate image of a black hole? (wich will be taken soon)

From recent news from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy: The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded 14 Million Euros to a team of European astrophysicists to construct the first ...
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### When is optical refraction important in astronomy?

What are commonly important astrophysical systems/models, where optical refraction is important or necessary to account for? I would kindly ask you not to consider refraction in Earth's atmosphere or ...
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### What was the length of year 1 million years back?

We know that the universe is gradually expanding and this indirectly means that the gravitational force between sun, earth, planets and other stars (roughly anything in the universe) is gradually ...
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### Timeline of falling into a blackhole

For some "average sized" black hole, how long would it take for a distant (spacesuit-wearing!) astronaut to: be able to see the gravitational lensing with the naked eye clearly feel the gravity ...
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### What is the difference between solar wind and solar radiation?

Is there a difference between solar wind and solar radiation or are they just different ways of describing the same thing?
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### On (minuscule) dark matter production in supernovae

It is believed that dark matter is made of particles, which interact with matter only weakly and gravitationally. One common candidate for dark matter are so called WIMPs. WIMPs, specifically, are ...
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### How does the Milky Way look like above 66° North and below 66° South?

I read on Wikipedia: depending on the time of night and the year, the arc of Milky Way can appear relatively low or relatively high in the sky. For observers from about 65 degrees north to 65 ...
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### How to calculate the altitude of the Moon?

With the known latitude coordinate of the observing position, how to find the altitude of the moon when it is high, i.e when it crosses the local meridian?
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### Why don't we have 2 Summers and 2 Winters?

Due to Earth's elliptical orbit, its distance from Sun varies by almost 5 million Kilometers (147 million Kilometers at closest point & 152 million Kilometers at farthest point, i.e. almost 3% of ...
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### Hypothetical beyond Neptune far away planets orbiting the Sun

The planet HD 106906 b was found at 650 AU from its home star, which is not a star much different from the Sun. Fomalhaut b is also a young planet that is orbiting very far away from its sun. These ...
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### How do we know that the intrinsic brightness of Cepheid variables corresponds to their period?

As I understand it, beyond parallax the next way of estimating the distance to astronomical objects is by using a relationship between the period and intrinsic luminosity of Cepheid variables. How do ...
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### Lunar Soil : what are those “bumps” and how they were formed ?

I was watching a video of the chinese lunar landing and saw the numerous bumps on the soil. What are they ? Is there any theory to explain how they came into existence ?
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### If the hammer and feather move at the same speed why do comet and the tail particles move at different speeds?

From this exhibition by an astronaut on the moon dropping a hammer and a feather and showing they move at the same speed, why do the particles of the comets tail move away from the comet, slow down ...
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### In India, what is the best time to view the geminid meteor shower in 2013

As of the time of writing this question, the meteors should have appeared, but so far I haven't seen any. What time would be the best to view them?
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### How do we calculate the escape velocity of galaxies?

How do we calculate the escape velocity of galaxies? Do we have to know the total mass? What is the escape velocity for Milky Way?
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### What are some night sky objects I could see with my Celestron UpClose 20x50 Porro Binocular?

I bought this binocular because I've read countless times that one should start with a pair of binoculars before diving into telescopes. I've seen details of the moon and I can notice Venus round ...
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### What's the smallest scale at which dark matter has been measured?

What is the smallest scale at which we have detected "dark matter" (more kinetic energy than would be predicted)? If you don't mind indulging a follow-up: Would its detection on smaller scales be ...
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### Is there an orbit that could cause regular debris showers like in the movie Gravity?

[some spoilers] If you were in the ISS and orbiting the Earth roughly every 90 minutes, would it be possible for debris to be orbiting such that it passes you every 90 minutes? While Neil DeGrass ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...