4
votes
1answer
82 views

Could an ejected “extra ice-giant” still be lurking in distant solar orbit?

BACKGROUND Hot Jupiters are thought to have migrated inwards, implying that another giant planet has been ejected in order to conserve the orbital momentum of those planetary systems. The number of ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

How will the Breakthrough Initiatives affect other astronomy observations?

BACKGROUND The Breakthrough Initiatives is in the news because of a $100 million private donation for a SETI project. It doesn't seem to be for building any new observatory (but maybe for buying ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Can a galaxy splits into multiple galaxies?

Is there any naturally occurring event powerful enough that can cause a galaxy regardless of shape and size to divide itself into two or more smaller galaxies?
1
vote
1answer
35 views

What is a “jumping trojan”? And what do their orbits look like?

I was googling Neptune's trojan companions and found on Wiki this claim about ~200 km diameter (316179) 2010 EN65: " the object is actually a jumping trojan, is jumping from the Lagrangian ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Is there a general term for epicycles, deferents, and eccentrics in Ptolemaic astronomy?

According to Ptolemy's (c. 150 CE) account of the motions of planets, planets moved in circular paths ("epicycles") around center points that in turn moved around the center of the earth along a path ...
2
votes
1answer
320 views

Shall we say now that Pluto is “larger than Mercury” ?

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-Article.php?page=20150717-3 "Scientists working with NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft have observed Pluto’s atmosphere as far as 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

How significant is a planet's density to the formation of life?

I'm doing some writing set on a fictional earthlike planet that for reasons needs to be substantially larger than Earth but can't have substantially higher gravity. I've been able to compromise with a ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

why do peple think the most energetic events in the universe are GRBs?

Recently people have found supermassive black hole binaries with very short orbital period. link They should be more energetic than GRBs when they merge, right? It seems people do not talk about ...
0
votes
1answer
130 views

How would the solar system look in a Geocentric model?

If I fix the Earth as the center of the solar system, what would this look like? Are there any good images? How complex is this system?
0
votes
0answers
17 views

How does the lack of magnetic field on Mars affect the possibility of using electricity there? [closed]

Thank you to all who spend time and energy reading this and using your brains. I am learning about electricity and magnetism and find that they are two phenomena of the same thing. What that is...? If ...
2
votes
3answers
148 views

How did our ancestors discover the Solar System?

I wonder, how did our ancestors discover the Solar System? They did not have any telescopes to see distant objects, right? Even a planet looks like a star from a distance. They discovered the ...
2
votes
2answers
52 views

about H$_\alpha$ and H$_\beta$ lines in astronomical objects' spectra

Generally there may be some line ratio between the two lines. If H$\alpha$ is strong, it is quite possible we can see H$_\beta$ too. Is it possible we can see H$_\beta$, but can not see H$_\alpha$? ...
2
votes
2answers
84 views

Was the Universe expanding before the beginning of inflation?

My point of view is that first there was the Big Bang singularity, and then the period of inflation which resulted in the observable Universe becoming many times bigger. But was the Universe expanding ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Why do we observe spectral lines of specific energy?

The basis of my confusion is that atomic orbitals, even when described accurately by quantum numbers, have definite energies, meaning they represent energy eigenstates of the wave function. They're ...
9
votes
2answers
352 views

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
98 views

What is a possible software for simulating binary star systems?

I would like to define both initial velocities and masses of components so that orbits may be either elliptical of hyperbolic. Is there any software to make such simulation? Unfortunately, Binary ...
1
vote
2answers
248 views

How many galaxies are there in the Hercules–Corona Borealis Great Wall?

The Hercules–Corona Borealis Great Wall is "to date (February 16, 2015), it is the largest and the most massive structure known in the observable universe" (source). How many galaxies is the ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

How Are Radioactive Decay Rates Influenced by Neutrinos - On Earth and Other Dense Planets

I read a science report recently that mentioned an accidental discovery where radioactive decay rates shifted slightly slower in advance ( about a day and a half) of solar storms or in sync with sun's ...
1
vote
2answers
117 views

How do we know the universe's expansion is speeding up?

Please forgive my ignorance, I am not an astronomer, just an interested layman. The further away a galaxy is from us, the faster it is moving away from us. But the galaxies we see exist in the ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

What's the difference between grism and grating?

In spectroscopic observations, sometimes you meet grism, sometimes grating. Both of them could cause light dispersion, but what is the difference?
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Method to determine the amount of reflected starlight necessary for an exoplanet to be visible from a given distance/angle?

What is the method to determine the amount of reflected starlight necessary for an exoplanet to be visible from a given distance/angle? (Not from occlusion but actually visible on its own.) Further, ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

Is the Tombaugh Regio on Pluto visible from Earth?

Is the Tombaugh Regio on Pluto discernably visible from Earth ground based or Earth orbiting telescopes? And more generally, can surface features seen in Hubble images be matched with images from New ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Are lunar occultations visible to the naked eye?

The Moon occults a lot of stars. But are these events visible to the naked eye? Won't it be blinded out by the crescent even at its thinnest just before sunrise? Did ancient astronomers actually ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

How do you determine which star, between two, is more luminous?

For example, if star 1 is 4x bigger than star 2 but both are the exact same temperature how do you determine which is more luminous?
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Whats to be gained from the New Horizons mission once its beyond the Kuiper Belt?

Now that we have seen what Pluto has to offer and New Horizons is headed to the Kuiper Belt, is there anything we can gain from the mission in interstellar space after it travels beyond the Kuiper ...
0
votes
2answers
114 views

Precessing of the Earth

It's been known that the Earth's axial tilt varies from 22.5 to 24.5. Does this result in a wobbling while the value of the tilt varies about these two limits? If so, how does it affect the mechanics ...
6
votes
3answers
132 views

Why are radio telescopes shaped so differently than optical telescopes?

Why are radio telescopes typically only a dish with a receiver above it, while optical telescopes have a primary, plus secondary and sometimes even a tertiary mirror? In other words, why do radio ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

How do I get from Star Atlas to real life?

This question is about finding the elevation and bearing of a given star at a particular time at Latitude 52N. I look up the RA and Declination of my star. How do I calculate its RA and elevation at ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Real images (not “artist concept”) by NASA

Does NASA make publicly available real images of missions in an organized manner? What I mean is: Say I'm looking for the images taken by New Horizons - a simple list of the images in chronological ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

which pulsar has the longest spin period so far?

Vela X-1 has a 283s spin period, while this one may have a 2.7hr spin period. However neither of them is included in ATNF catalog. They are not included in $p-\dot{p}$ diagram either. The longest ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

How can they tell no asteriods will hit earth in the next hundreds years?

It has come to my mind this interrogation : How can they tell no asteroids (big enough to create damage) will hit earth in the next hundreds years? Because, so far, we were unable to get a clear ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Calculate time when star is above altitude 30°

To find the best observation time for an object, I'd like to calculate the time when it is 30° or more above the horizon. Local Sideral Time would be sufficient. To include that in my program, I need ...
2
votes
2answers
43 views

How many nested stable (1 Mio years) orbits are theoretically possible?

If we look at our solar system we have the sun which has planet orbits and planets have moon orbits. If we look at the possible size difference from hypergiants to small asteroids why shouldn't it be ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Problem with Dobsonian reflector telescope

I'm not sure whether I should ask this question here but I'll give it a shot. I have a XT8 Dobsonian Reflector telescope and it works fine. But recently when I use the focuser to focus the image when ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Where does the solar system end?

This is a question I've heard many times in the past, and a quick search of the site says it hasn't been asked here, so I figured I might as well ask (and answer) it. I know that it is rare for ...
5
votes
2answers
82 views

Official Definition of Satellite?

So I had an argument with a friend, which was about whether the Moon is a planet or a satellite. IAU 2006 Resolution B5 gives definitions on what it is to be a planet, but there is a vagueness, as I ...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

Speed of light through the ISM and Wavelength

Articles written about fast radio bursts describe the signal's short-wavelength components arriving before its longer-wavelength components, suggesting energy-dependent time delays in the interstellar ...
4
votes
1answer
169 views

What is the bluest narrow band filter mounted on ground based telescopes?

If we want to check a QSO's lyman alpha narrow band image, could a ground based telescope do that? I mean under the circumstance that its lyman alpha shifts to 3300A.
2
votes
0answers
67 views

Why are retrograde orbits more stable than prograde ones?

Regarding solar system dynamics, i.e. planets in stellar systems and moons in planetary systems, this is often mentioned in the literature, but it is difficult to find a good analysis/explanation of ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

Can stellar black holes cancel each other?

Hypothetical question: when a pair of identical stellar black holes are very close to one another wouldn't the side facing each other experience lower gravitational force? How is this logic un/sound?
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Planets and moons positions in cartesian coordinates?

Is there freely available and reliable source, where one can find positions of planets and moons of the Solar system at given time in cartesian coordinates? (I am writing a simple gravity simulator ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

Historical astronomical lunar tables

I hope this is the right place to ask this question, and I apologise if not. I've come across a date written in an old book, but it is written using what seems to be a lunar/zodiac system. Below is a ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Is the Universe really expanding at an increasing rate?

Here's what I just read from Wikipedia's page on the Hubble Space Telescope: While Hubble helped to refine estimates of the age of the universe, it also cast doubt on theories about its future. ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

If Venus and Mars changed places, would we then have 3 habitable planets?

This is the supposition: Venus is too hot, Mars is too cold. If they switched places then Solar energy would change to make both more Earth like. We might as well have had three instead of just one ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Which kind of properties can we get for cosmic ray particles hitting on an optical ccd?

It is very common that we meet cosmic ray particles in optical images recorded by CCDs. You can see the "snowflakes" in the hubble images below: Generally we should remove them in order to get ...
3
votes
0answers
52 views

How to calculate the moon phase

I need a way of to calculate the moon phase. Do you know resources for research the theory from behind this? I basically have searched in Google, but the results were not very satisfactory. Exists a ...
7
votes
0answers
117 views

How has the Earth's orbit changed over hundreds of millions or billion of years?

First, I know that modeling orbital mechanics of 8 planets is hard, but there are some theories out there, for example, Jupiter is thought to have moved in towards the sun then started moving away. ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

Energy required for light speed [closed]

It is said that in order for us to travel at the speed of light, there has to be an infinite amount of energy. Light is made up of photons but photons themselves do not have an infinite amount of ...
33
votes
3answers
2k views

How many planets are there in this solar system?

So, in school (that's a long time age) they have been teaching us there are 9 planets in our solar system. Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto But every now and then I ...
8
votes
1answer
507 views

Is there a limit to how hot a star can be?

I think that size and mass do not correlate to temperature, but then again these factors contribute to the internal pressure. I would like to know if there is a limit to how hot a star can get and ...

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